Ben Charles Edwards-save the date!
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
I'm actually a fed up of hearing about the so called depraved sector of our community in London. I was born here and went to school here and actually was educated with the very people who's children are probably something to do with the riots that are gong on today. I'm totally unemployable in the real world, and I always have been. I've found my own creative and very enjoyable outlets, I'm not rich, I struggle making ends meet. I'm the daughter of an Hungarian refugee and grew up in north east London along with other immigrants, West Indian, Jamaican, Indian and Greek in the 60's. We were the foreigners. I went to a school with English people who said the most ridiclous things. Obviously this was an age ago, but have things changed? I'm still hearing the old woe of people who resent other people making the most of themselves. I had a typical education of the time, one where as a female you were expected to perhaps have a career and then get married and start a family, and coming from a family where my old fashioned father endorsed this idea, trying to arrange suitors for me at age 15, I somehow knew that it wasn't really what I wanted in life. For some people it is and I have no problem with it, but for me it really wasn't the be all and end all.
Now then, and this is where our island mentality comes in, my father was incredibly racist, claiming that when new 'foreigners' arrived he was here first here and that gave him some sort of standing, bitter and resentful he worked hard at a job he felt was beneath him. Who are the people now rioting? A mixture of second and third generation immigrants and English who forebears have a huge work ethic, high family standards but who have somehow lost the plot. I went to give a motivational talk at Barnet college where total disinterest pervaded, even though we have access to information via the internet, libary's, gallery's and the old tv... the students there just weren't bothered, I even told them to go out, have a good time and write about it, the reaction? Throughly dismal, London is a place where you can see and do things everyday more or less 24/7, were they interested, not in the slightest, with the exception of 2 or 3 students their faces were a blank. When people say the educational system here is not good enough surely there has to be some spark from the pupil, when I was at school I was even caught up with the attitude, 'well what's the point?' lethargy soon set in, I soon found other things to spark my imagination.
I am reminded here of the old 'bug in a rug' story, I picked up somewhere along the way. Basically it's the tale of a bug living in a square inch of the most beautiful persian rug. Going around in circles it's existence is invaded when another bug comes to visit and wonders why he is traveling round in circles when outside his square inch are the most wonderful patterns to explore!
People sometimes really do expect things to just happen with absolutely no imput from themselves, not everyones like that but there seems to be a sector of our community where bombarded with trash tv, celeb culture and generic lifestyle just expect that's how their perfect existance is gaged. Owning the latest technology, owning the must have trainers or designer gear makes the perfect situation for them. This is all brand envy, brainwashing and they've unwittingly fallen for it, where did the looters head off too? Onto their own doorsteps of course, the places where they pass and shop at everyday. Lets face facts these so called rioters don't seem the smartest of people, infact the whole thing seems a senseless opportunity to get a few freebies. A bit of a jolly, a laugh thats got out of hand spearheaded by a few petty criminals who in the community may have a bit of kudos.
Princess Julia 2011
Friday, 12 August 2011
At the moment Andrew Logan is in the process of creating a number of new pieces, one of which is bust of my good self. We started two years ago, had a bit of a break but now we're back for a series of regular sittings. Andrew asked me to sit for him some years ago somehow we never quite got around to it until now. I'm insisting I be placed between Fenella Fielding and his other latest bust of Rula Lenska.
Fenella Fielding by Andrew Logan
During our sittings I confess I take full advantage of Andrews hospitality and pick his brains incessantly. Probing into his colourful past and future projects, his wide range of friends, life in London in the early 70's, the art, fashion and music scene, his parties and the thought process behind the things he creates.
Andrew originally studied architecture, he's completely self taught I was surprised to find out. He emerged in London as part of a collective of creative people, Zandra Rhodes, Ozzie Clark, the Glam rock scene, Brian Eno, Barbara Halanucki the founder of Biba, Mick and Sheila Rock, Keith from Smile hairdressing salon, Derek Jarman, Duggie Fields, Luciana Martinez, Kevin Whitney, Michael and Gerlinde Costiff to name but a few. Some household names, some like him at the time, striking out with new visions in expressive art. Andrew is a rather modest chap in real life, he lives with his long term bf Michael Davis and comes from a rather large family.
Andrew's work area
When you enter Andrew Logan's world which is his home as well, aptly named The Glasshouse, you're at once transported into a glistening and prettified space. Through his dinning and kitchen area up a flight of stairs and into a glass roofed room full with his fractured and fractal mirror splintered work. To the left is a cluttered work area, the main space being crammed with larger finished pieces, jewelry and works in progress.
Andrew Logan meticulously pieces together sculptures, artifacts and jewelry, his process is seems to be about creating things of beauty, surfaces decorated with colourful mosaic inspired cracked glass, glitter resulting in a high camp drama. His subject matter combines portraiture, adornment and symbol.
The resulting sculptures are flash and beautiful, striking in their immediacy. The initial impact is full on with glamour. Larger than life. Loaded with pop culture and at the same time ancient symbolism, Andrew makes no pretense about his intensions, to make things that are beautiful and make you happy. 'Art can be discovered anywhere' he says, there's an attractive nievety to the way Andrew presents himself and his work. in actual fact if you try and analyse what kind of messages Andrew is sending out his philosophy becomes apparent.
Logan's preoccupation with 'camp' is not to be sniffed at. He himself enjoys the revelations people experience through his work as he does when creating them. A bit on the hippyish side Andrew comes across as a gentle soul. he actively practices yoga and crafts his art with peaceful diligence.
Andrew with a work in progress
Currently Andrew Logan has created a shop next to his studio in Mellior Place near London Bridge. Andrew Logan Shop opened late in 2010 and sells an array of sculpture and jewelry.
Other things of interest include The Andrew Logan Museum of Sculpture located in Wales. Forthcoming film 'The British Guide To Showing Off'
The always contraversial David Hoyle performs at the Soho Theatre until the 20th August. I went on last Wednesday to see David reflect upon his own insecurities, current affairs and sing accompanied by Michael Roulston on piano. David Hoyle takes a turn… all singing wit, outspoken but heartfelt.
David Hoyle has had a checkered career, supporter of the fringe elements of society he has battled with his own demons and with insight those of others. He is a multi dimensional artist, performing, painting and singing. For Hoyle's unplugged session a stream of consciousness is delivered with a lively line of patter which keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout.
Saturday, 6 August 2011
I recently went to Amber Swallows' 'Boob-A-Thon', a fund raising party for Amber's new transitional bosoms. I had a chat with Amber and she told me that the only funding the NHS would provide for her was speech therapy, hence a whip round to help Amber attain her curvaceous female form.
Amber Swallows (De Hanika)
It's a so called 'postcode lottery' as to what funding is available and to whom it can be applied. The process is lengthy and complicated and it seems all a bit hit and miss when it comes to personal analysis. I was curious to see how the NHS allots funding and found this...assessment and for hormonal medication. In addition, a few PCTs
It may seem hard to understand why someone would want to alter themselves so drastically but in afore thought it makes me wonder how many people have suffered silently in the past when faced with this dilemma. In todays modern age we have the knowledge and wherewithal to address and alter our outside appearance to align with our innermost sensibilities. In varying degrees perhaps we all feel uncomfortable in our own skins. Certainly from a personal viewpoint I have used various devices (make-up, personal style, botox) to acquire an image I feel comfortable with, but I have never felt truly 'comfortable' in my own skin. It's a strange feeling.
Some years ago in the early 80's, a friend of mine called to say 'she/he' had something to tell me, would I come over. I happily went to see my dear friend, who, had bravely decided to explain the predicament. ' We discussed this uneasy feeling deciding the only conclusion was to move forward, my friend in essence has always felt a woman inwardly and mentally and has been living outwardly so for over 30 years. One of her eureka moments came after reading April Ashley's book truly fascinating book Odyssey, which tracks April's pioneering life and experiences in a time when the idea of gender reassignment was vertually unheard of.
April in her modeling days, London, 1961
Friend, Pete Burns is truly one who has become a pioneer of perfecting self beautifcation. His knowledge and fascination with surgical procedure means he could probably carry out an operation himself. He takes it very seriously and readily admits there have been some disasters in the past. To me he is somewhat of a work of art. His ideas and concepts are very precise. His honesty is very refreshing when it comes to explaining his ideas of self image.
Pete Burns with Lynn Burns
Perhaps I come from and have been influenced from an old fashioned style of self preservation. My role models are all people who express themselves in varying extremes of considered beauty and style, presenting themselves with individuality but ultimately having strength of character to live a life with conviction ultimately realizing their full potential