Saturday, 25 April 2009

Sat 25th April: Profile Weekender - James Copeman - Part 2

So after Noah and The Whale etc. James went on to do more Super8 work, in particular this beauty for Icelandic artist Emiliana Torrini. Not only is it heavily infused with his graphics moving in and out of the action with speech bubbles and characters faces on inanimate objects, but.........he has drawn on the actual props............. snails. Her chorus of singing "do do do do do do do do" decorates the shells with primary paints (see my screengrabs). Although that is my favourite part there is also great use of animation in making her hair accessories morph shape like a Frida Kahlo portrait come alive.

The track is titled "Big Jump" with the lyric "take a big jump but your afraid to break some bones" hence the plaster cast she sports as seen here in one of Jame's snaps. His Polaroids actually feature in the film, telling the story of what is happening to Emiliana like an illustrated story book. This other Polaroid with a painting of Queen Elizabeth, is perhaps an indication of a particular fascination for James as she crops up again in "The Mystery Jets - Half In Love With Elizabeth" where he has taken that title quite literally. Its a hilarious narrative with the character ignoring his girlfriend in preference to an obsession with the Queen! From a Queenie look-a-likey to a real donkey..........check back tomorrow to see where one appears.............

Sat 25th April: Profile Weekender - James Copeman

When your duvet is all downy & soft and your pillow's all nestly & healing ........there is not much incentive to abandon your dream ship and face the reality of the day ahead (potentially eased with a drinkalby hot cup of tea delivered by your flatmate - HINT HINT). The only thing that gets me jump started and animated is turning on E4 Music to see the latest videos. There are 2 divides and both equally entertaining. Half are excellent and worthy of full attention and appreciation. The remaining half are so diabolical and tasteless its the perfect opportunity to vent frustrations on slagging off each detail of appalling fragment and finish.
So HOORAY to the folks that have wit and charm, currently producing the best calibre of the genre by confidently sticking their 2 fingers up at the homogeneous same old, same old format. Here is one such compatriot - James Copeman. Its been exactly one year since he signed to RSA/Black Dog and scooped the award for "Best New Director" at the very first MVA's in October. Copeman was competitively head hunted by Black Dog after his first flurry in directing on promos for Noah & The Whale and Laura Marling. Coming from a background in Motion-Graphics, the clips combine his own imagery drawn ontop of the film and splices of stop-frame animation. Although budgets were initially humble, the constraints were harnessed resulting in Lo-fi trails that look genuinely vintage and cutely charismatic. Its evident that time and consideration went into the art department for a strong stamp of personality in the realisation but complimenting the different musician/s. It is this trademark that alerted me to his work and I have asked him some questions to find out more..............and of course requested imagery from his own archive with the obligatory snap of workspace which I always like...........this is a great one to give insight into his retro-tinted-quasi-Hispanic-comical sensibility..........

Friday, 24 April 2009

Friday 24th April: Time for Tea

Yesterday was open day at Cube PR for the press to come and squizz the new collections, chomp on some cake and have a hot cup of cha, courtesy of "Time For Tea". Cube is located at the rear of a charming shop front on Lambs Conduit Street with the actual shop now open to pop-up enterprises with the current resident being Johnny ...........seen here setting up getting ready for the descending marauds of fashionistas. For one week he has decamped from his Shoreditch High Street HQ and lined the shop walls with silk embroidered wallpaper to set off his vintage fixtures and fittings. These props are for hire as part of his enterprise consisting of .........Event Production, Location Hire, Vintage Vehicles, Host/Acting/Modelling, Nightclubs, Cabaret compering and dj'n, .......or simply providing a weekend destination for cream teas or B&B for those that want to hang-it-out. Clearly being a "slasher" is not such a modern phenomenan after all!
If you do infact have Time For Tea, Johnny will be under his bunting brewing up some banging builders tea and cutting up quiche for one more day ..............and then returning home to.......

Open for Tea & Cake
Every Saturday
& Sunday

110 Shoreditch High St
E1 6JN

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Weds 22 April: Alternative Miss World

Its back! Andrew Logan's Alternative Miss World Contest is making a return after 5 years and this year the theme is "The Elements". It all started in 1972 as one of Logan's parties in his studio in Hackney but on this particular occasion guests had to construct a costume specially for a cumulative competition. A couple of categories were contrived to give it a "Crufts" feel, judging the entrants on poise aswell as their coats! Andrew dressed in a half-half costume he found in junk shop which has gone on to serve as his trademark look as the host/hostess of the proceedings (with complementary makeup split perfectly half way up his face!). At this inaugural contest, David Hockney played judge with a plethora of discerning divas to follow in subsequent years including: Molly Parkin, Celia Birtwell, Zandra Rhodes, Gerlinde von Rosenberg, David Bailey, Angie Bowie, Barbara Hulanicki. That's just the judges! Derek Jarman made a Super 8 film in '73 and Mick Rock was resident photographer in the formative years. If you want to trawl the archive to uncover listings and appearances from the likes of John Maybury, Leigh Bowery, Divine.............then go to the excellent site which someone has painstakingly brought together:
Here are some snaps that I took when had a magical night and honour of being Bishi's guest at dinner with Zandra Rhodes a couple of years ago. This is Andrew with one of his artworks and also sporting one of his mirror mosaic accessories - a lip bowtie?! We sat either side of Andrew and took great delight in listening to his reminisces of first meeting Divine and tales of the the time and subsequent contests. As I have never been myself, I am so excited that the opportunity has come around again.........get your tickets now, its on the 2nd of May!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Mon 20th April: Work It 1st Birthday

It doesn't seem like a year ago since the madness and mayhem started vibrating the basement of Visions video under the 90's anthem jurisdiction of Work It.............but this weekend saw the cutting of the 1st year birthday cake and a night of unprecedented dancing to celebrate. I was sent a bottle of "Black Raspberry" from the guys at Belvedere to road test on a gathering of young discerning ladies before its UK launch. So I couldn't think of a better opportunity than sharing it with the gorgeous toastmistresses of the night who looked their typical resplendent selves in satin and crushed velvet finery. The brown bag wrapped beer bottles were put to one side to sip on some source and soda with a thumbs-up verdict all round. The night was billed with every dj that has played since the inception and we represented up front for the 30 min slot of our fave girl Teo Cruise (seen here in pics lent to me with kind permission of resident photographer:
Here's to another year's success and whirlwind adventure to Johnny Dett, Tina Turnover and Think Twice.......................thanks to you guys for always treating us so well and I'm still SO upset that I spent NYE in bed with the flu and not styling out to Snoop with you...........

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Sun 19th April: Nova Dando HQ

So it was now my turn to do some interior shots of this lushly decorated space in Hackney where both stylist Nova Dando and set designer Petra Stores work from. My time-keeping can occasionally be questionable but this visit was perhaps 2 years late I think! Nova has been looking after one of my mannequins since we took down our installation at VIVA hair salon which I had to retrieve. It looked like a set from Bladerunner with the mannequin reminiscent of a replicant buried amongst all the props and incredible clothes dotted around. This is the nearest thing I have seen to a NYC loft abode in London and I absolutely loved it. So much to look at! Its a crazy collection of artistic co-habitors that not only accumulate random pieces but produce them too. Nova was concerned it might look a mess but I was in heaven visually dissecting all the cosmic clutter and curios to find the jewels. And there were plenty of beautiful shiny magpie enticing gems on Nova's desk which she has been calling in for her new video project with The Gossip. No more info to divulge yet, but you can now check out one of her most recent collaborations with Charlie Le Mindu on the new Peaches video "Talk To Me" directed by Price James ................