Thursday 12 April 2012

Fri 12th April: Jeffrey Hinton's "In Conversation: Word of Mouth from the Warren Street Squat" at The National Portrait Gallery

In August 2009 Jeffrey Hinton took part in the "Gay Icons" season at The National Portrait Gallery with an event screening his original footage of 80's and 90's night life in London.  His reels of film spanned various happenings from his creative circle of friends including Leigh Bowery, Michael Clark, Body Map and Andrew Logan.  Therefore the content covered club nights such as Taboo, seminal fashion shows, ballet and of course The Alternative Miss World.  This ninety minute compilation of unedited video has now been carefully cut and reassembled with a new selection of archived material to be shown at the gallery this month to coincide with the Lucian Freud retrospective.  Here are some screenshots from Jeffrey where he captured Lucian's muse and David Lachapelle from the same era.  
His theme for the new narrative of clips starts with his cohabited squat in Warren Street from 1980 (see above)  and documents the central characters thru to the current day via performances, rehearsals, backstage, clubs , fashion shows , photo shoots, early gay pride etc.  The objective is mainly to celebrate moments shared, especially "dedicated to the people that are no longer with us".  

Highlights include:

Clubs : Taboo , Daisy Chain , Pink Panther , Kinky Gerlinky , Heaven , Including some of my club Scratch Video's from the time . etc
Fashion Shows and Photo Shoots : Body Map , Stephen jones , ID mag , St martins , London goes to Tokyo , Leigh Bowery , Rachael Auburn . etc 
Performances and Dance: Michael Clark and co , Andrew logans Miss World , Les Child , Rose Mary + Elephant and Castle Amateur Drag . etc 
Tours and Events: Bananarama 89 world tour , Britons Next Top Tranny 2008/10 , Amber Swallows Boob a thon 2011 , Early Gay Pride . etc 

Including : Leigh Bowery , Michael Clark , David LaChapelle , Trojan , Princess Julia , Boy George , Sinead O'Conner , David Holah , Eric Holah , Jeremy Healy , Stephen Jones , Rachael Auburn , Susanne Bartsch , Gerlider Costif , Mark Lawrence , Talulah , John Maybury , Ballie Walsh , Stevie Stewart , Les Child , Sue Tilley , Mark Vaultier , Jonny Woo , A Man To Pet , Rusella , Bananarama , Tasty Tim , Ertha Kitt, Space Princess , Luke Howard , Jeffrey Hinton 

All of these moments will be programed in sections with time for a Q&A in between with various featured artists available for comment.  Unfortunately the night has already sold out but I will be there to document the proceedings so check back at the end of the month for my report.  To see more information go to In Conversation: Word of Mouth from the Warren Street Squat

Friday April 12th: "Growing Up: The Young British Artists at 50" Book Launch

Whilst Damien Hirst is showing his first major retrospective at Tate Modern and Gillian Wearing at The Whitechapel Gallery, Prestel have just published Growing Up: The Young British Artists at 50 by Jeremy Cooper.  Last night The Bethnal Green Working Men's Club was decorated with prints and a projected slideshow for the official book launch.  Tim Noble, Sue Webster and Gavin Turk took turns on the decks of this classic East End venue local to their Hackney roots, with its signature neon heart stage.  Check out the cupcakes with tiny little sugar artworks of a Sarah Lucas portrait, Gary Hume painting and the Hirst crystal skull!  The book focuses on these three artists alongside  Anya Gallaccio and Michael Landy via personal interviews by Jeremy, illustrated with previously unseen photographs and letters.  
In the same week, Jeremy has also brought out "Artists' Postcards: A Compendium"  featuring some of the above names amongst a complete history of the subject since the early 1900s with 400 images from The Surrealists to Gilbert and George's  "mail art" pieces.  So its a good week to get reading ............... and going to exhibitions in London!  
Head over to Crane.TV for a filmed visit to Gavin Turk's studio & Hirst exhibition preview.

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Tues April 10th: My dissertation on Gothic Lolita, Tokyo subcultural style from 2002

After a few years of wearing Buffalo platform sneakers and thinking I was an Anime character, I finally made it to Japan in 2002.  I saved up enough for one week to visit Harajuku to research the resident weekend subculture for my dissertation.  The Tokyo teenagers only hung out on a Sunday and luckily it was the only day it didn't rain whilst I was there!  To my surprise the trend had moved on since the published articles I had swatted up on.  Instead of finding fake-tan, panda-makeup Ganguro Girls I discovered the very first incarnations of Gothic Lolitas.  I was gutted!!  But it did lead to a more interesting interrogation for my thesis to try and decipher how the sartorial shift had happened.  Here are snaps of the cover and some of the contents from the final report.  Here are photocopies of my own photos from the day and the socks and makeup I picked up in Shibuya.  I also included the questionnaires I handed out to the girls in a packet of sweets and coloured felt tip pens!  
I can't believe its been a decade since I made this trip!  My style hasn't changed much and the Kawaii culture has come back round in fashion.  Here are a few of my items from the time - the cocktail sticks I stuck in my hair, diamante eyelashes in a sushi soy sauce packet, my ISIC card for cheap travel and a few of my old rainbows..........
For recommended reading on the subject matter, look up Sharon Kinsella and Matthew Thorn.

Sunday 8 April 2012

Sunday 8th April: The Original Buffalo Boots

The other day I saw a girl walking along with a yellow Buffalo store carrier bag.  Was it an original or has Buffalo re-opened?  It made me wonder where mine were and wonder where this nostalgia for the platform sneaker has come from at the moment?!  I was part of the first wave of Buffalo wearers when it was a tiny shop at the end of Neal Street in '95 before The Spice Girls got styled in them and it moved  to the bigger premises further up the road (now Office?!).  Ive unearthed a couple of my boxes, bags and clippings I kept in a sketch book - and a photo of me in my first midi-high orange pair.  By the end of my Buffalo buying I had accumulated the higher platforms in yellow, red and pink.  I wore them every day, even when driving once I had passed my test.  Luckily I drove a camper van with plenty of room between the pedals and wheel!  A few years down the line when my hair had grown out from this crop and morphed from red to blue,  I started to wear tiny mini kilts and long school socks thinking I looked like a Manga girl.   Around this time a young Patrick Wolf  was working at the Japanese shop SuperLovers opposite Buffalo on Neal Street we may well have met each other all those moons ago!  
If you fancy a pair of new platform sneakers / boots,  I can suggest checking out Bol$hie SS12 or Ashish AW12

Sunday 8th April: Happy Easter - Baking Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten at breakfast on Good Friday.  We adhered to tradition here at Butler HQ, except for the cross which my mum forgot to put on.  So they were more Hot (Not) Cross Buns.......... but it didn't matter!! 
To bake your own, try Nigella , Jamie or Delia's recipes.