Friday, 27 November 2015

Friday Dec 27th: Carl & Lyn Gabriel's Carnival Arts Garden at The Tabernacle

Carnival artists Carl & Lyn Gabriel have been resident at Carnival Village in Notting Hill to promote the traditional and unique art of wire-bending.  Over the Summer thier large scale sculptures have been on display in the garden of The Tabernacle, completed with a workshop to share the skill at The YAA Centre.  Gabriel who is a photographer, taught himself this incredible 3D shaping when he became involved in creating pieces for his mas band at Carnival.  His photography has formed an archive following the history of the festivities since the very beginning of playing pan.  Now focusing on the engineering of these large scale artworks his photography has become still-life, capturing the wire construction as if they are pictures in CGI.  
The blue face piece here is named "J'ouvert" as a dedication to Arthur Peters who worked with "Mas Man" Peter Minshall and became a mentor to Carl & Lyn on thier quest with wire bending.  Other works include "Zeus" the Olympic God, inspired by the 2012 Olympic Games and the female bust is "Mangbetu" after the DRC tribe (which I researched on my Tumblr).  Carnival has always encapsulated different cultures and been integral to its core from Trinidad with London's Notting Hill Carnival becoming one of the world's largest.  This has come about from the diversity of the capital's population and the influences brought from both the participants and creators.    As Carl & Lyn say.....
"No other street event in London can boast the conviviality that Notting Hill brings to the city and gives to the world.  Described as an organic enriching, its ability to create fusion and cultural mixing across all ages and ethnicities, dismantling of all boundaries as London and the world come together for this intermingling of cultures"

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Weds 18th Nov: Cycle Revolution at The Design Museum

Rover Safety Bicycle, 1888

Franceso Moser's Hour Record Bike, 1984

Bradley Wiggins' Hour Record Bike, 2015

Raleigh Chopper, 1970

Tools from the Bike Makers Workshop

Hartley Cycles 

Apparel & Accessories inc.  Brooks saddle bags

Jon Day's 1970's Fixed Gear Track Bike from his London Courier days

Ben Wilson's Donky Bike & Stairwell sculpture commission

Dear Susan's Tall Bike 2015

Boxer Rocket, 2015

Peckham BMX Club

Sir Paul Smith's testimonial & jumper collection

I’ve been looking f
orward to this exhibition since I first heard about it via their social media campaign to find the ultimate “Urban Rider” for one of the show’s case studies.  The opening today unveiled that tribe alongside competitive “High Performers”, off-road “Thrill Seekers” and freight / messenger “Cargo Bikers”.  Whatever category you might fall into; every cyclist is catered for in this cross section of over 77 frames on display from the earliest 1880’s original to Wiggins’ recent 1-hour record breaker.  Whether you are a die-hard geek into the design detailing, eco-freak into Bamboo builds or a Brompton city boy, each wall is hanging with the finest specimens in the development of the sport. 
As the final show to be held at the Shad Thames site, it’s fulfilled the wish of founder Sir Terence Conran to hold a retrospective on the classic.  Just like the simple chair or cork screw, it’s one of the most desirable mechanical shapes for designers to have a go at re-formatting.  Apparently the hi-spec of the Olympic winning bikes on show are top secret, sitting alongside their earlier counterparts still looking glorious from the ingenuity of the time.  A show-stopper for the display will definitely be the 1984 Franceso Moser’s Hour Record Bike with its silver steel frame and disc wheels.  It is exquisitely beautiful, irrespective of its original pioneering aerodynamic performance.  I think this is referred to as #bikeporn in the industry.
One section of the story is dedicated to six contemporary craftsmen with a “Bike Makers Workshop” consisting of tools from a cross range of Britain’s current game changers.  Emerging world class names represent the nation’s newest talent with HartleyCycles flying the flag for the female force in the frame building industry.  Caren’s initial training in metalwork for jewellery at the RCA has crossed over into soldering the stems of cycles and a new outlet for her fine art flourish. 
Women’s cycling has a great presence across each aspect of the narrative with Joanna Rowsell’s daily track schedule as part of Team GB’s training thru to BMX breakthrough star Shanaze Reade.  Here lies the highlight of the whole thing for me, a film clip following the story of Peckham’s BMX Club which started as a Southwark Council initiative.  A derelict space was turned into a track with coach DJ CK Flash recruited to rally the community.  Now with a 2nd larger home at Burgess Park, he has gone on to discover and nurture the nation’s new competing professionals.  An incredible inspiring story in perfect timing as antidote to the city’s endemic preoccupation with the negative effects of the unrelenting redevelopment. 

And on that note, as the bricks and mortar of London’s landscape is chopping and changing on a daily basis – one other noticeable shift is the amount of commuter footfall now revolving over to peddling.  Numbers of journeys by bike are on the increase and sure to be making a bee line for this new show, not least for the shop brimming with gadgets and cycling theme gifts!

 Cycle Revolution at The Design Museum

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Weds 11th November: "Ann Veronica Janssens: yellowbluepink" at The Wellcome Collection

"Ann Veronica Janssens: yellowbluepink" at The Wellcome Collection is a room full of coloured mist, lit with a series of spectrum lights.   The installation begins a year of an exploration into the experience of human consciousness at the institute called "States Of Mind".  My state of mind was fully cosmic and I could have stayed in there all afternoon!  The subtlety of the hues morphs as you move around the seemingly endless space........... now the pavilion has gone from the Serpentine, this is going to be my new fave hangout in town.
Free, 15 October 2015 - 3 January 2016

Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE