Friday 22 July 2016

Friday 22nd July: 2026 in "Utopian Voices" at Somerset House

Following on from yesterday's Photographers Gallery post with a portrait by Kristin-Lee Moolman to an entire exhibition of her photography, specially commissioned by Somerset House.  Curator Shonagh Marshall has brought together a selection of UK artists to form a large-scale group show for the Summer "Utopian Voices" exploring the body, gender, sexuality and race which extends the year's Utopia 2016 scheme.  South African photographer Kristin worked with London stylist Ibrahim Kamara to present a fantasy vision of men's style, 10 years ahead in 2026.  Kamara not only put together the looks but also tailored new constructed garments from clothes reclaimed from landfill in Johannesburg, such as lace tablecloth dresses and laundry bag suits.  Each shot is so unique with no over-lapping or repetition between the whole series.  Here are just some of the images and the extra paraphernalia they have exhibited alongside the prints including sketch-book work.

I really recommend this entire show - "Urban Voices" at Somerset House until 29th August.

Thursday 21 July 2016

Thursday 21st July: MADE YOU LOOK, Dandyism and Black Masculinity

"MADE YOU LOOK, Dandyism and Black Masculinity" is a new exhibition at The Photographer's Gallery, curated by Ekow Eshun.  It charts history since the turn of the century till the present day from a collection that spans the world, cultures and photographic medium.  For example the earliest portraits (top image) date back to 1904 in Senegal and the most recent being a fashion shoot in Soweto Chiawelo, Johannesburg by Kristin Lee Moolman (bottom image).  My favourite is Jeffrey Henson Scales street-style "staight-up" shot of a "Young Man in Plaid" from NYC in 1991.  This photographer began documenting the Black Panthers in the 1960's when he was just 13, going on to become the editor of the New York Times shortly after this piece was taken in the 1990's.  Other incredible documentary series include "The Black House" from a housing project hostel on the Holloway Road in 1973 and more recent subcultures discovered by Liz Johnson Artur.  Set against these spontaneous snaps are set-up studio compositions by Malick SidibĂ© and Samuel Fosso's Self Portraits from "'70's Lifestyle" thru to Hassan Hajjaj's contemporary multicolour patterned poses from Afrikan Boy and Joe Casely-Hayford, OBE.  The entire exhibition is a joy to take time in reading and learning each context to decode the setting.  It's also complimented in the gallery's latest magazine edition with commissioned content from my fave image-makers Campbell Addy and Harris Elliot.

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Wednesday 20th July: JustJam at Chicken Town

Meanwhile, back in London and straight to more live music, this time in a van.  JustJam are rolling out their Summer live streams on the road and last week took up residence on the forecourt of Chicken Town.  This social enterprise in Tottenham is becoming one of my favourite places in London providing local kids (er, and adults) with an affordable, healthy and sustainably sourced alternative to regular chicken spots.  All of the branding and interior design is brilliant with a beak motif integrated from the menu illustrations to the light fittings.  Their employment scheme is also expertly designed to train and mentor staff up to a professional level so that they can transfer over to London's top restaurants (The River Cafe etc).  Despite the earnest framework for the business, their sense of humour is excellent with the "Tottenham Hopspur" beer and dishes being named after Tottenham Grime MC's.  For example the vegan dish is the "BBK" to honour the veggie vocalist Skepta who has been in to try it! These complimentary nachos I got given are dubbed the "Hot Chip".  Check out the kids menu, subsidised at £2, affectionately known as the "Junior Spesh" .....

The Old Fire Station, Town Hall Approach Rd, London, N15 4RX

Tuesday 19 July 2016

Tuesday 19th July: Worldwide Festival, Sete, France

Some collated images of the vibe at this year's Worldwide Festival curated and founded by Gilles Peterson in the stunningly beautiful port of Sete in the South of France.   World, Jazz and Electronic Music fills a beach during the day and amphitheatre overlooking the sea by night............. for a whole week, 8 days in total.  Highlights included Photay's first day opening set, Benji B's afternoon sundown dance in the sand and Kamasi Washington's Epic full band complete with his father on oboe.  We absolutely fell in love with everything about this festival and can't wait to return!

(All images my own or borrowed from Mitchell McGillvary, Kitty Joseph, Magda Kagwa and Kristina inc.  Anderson Paak, Sons of Kemet and Peven Everett.)