Friday, 23 March 2012

Handmade In Britain Exhibition, London May2012

As costs increase, quality slips and our awareness of the ecological and social impacts of mindless consumerism comes to the fore, more and more of us are turning our hands, hearts and time towards making our own handmade crafts, homeware, gifts, accessories and even clothing. Handmade Britain will celebrate these creative and resourceful endeavours with an exhibition of work by a selection of some of our countries' designers and makers in May. Items on display will be available to buy, so if you've not yet awakened your own creativity, head down to the London show to support the work of those who have and purchase their London themed pieces. Or, if your taste buds simply require some inspiration for your own craft, Gallery@Oxo will no doubt provide a feast of creative delight.

LONDON: A Celebration
gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London SE1 9PH
Thurs 10th - Sun 13th May 2012 | 11am – 6pm
Free Admission | Map

From: Handmade in Britain
"Appreciating British Crafts - Handmade in Britain is pleased to announce a unique selling exhibition showcasing some of the best British Designer-makers celebrating London in their own unique way...
London, being a big melting pot of culture, is known for its diversity and sense of free expression which is a huge source of inspiration for many artists of different cultural backgrounds.
The show celebrates the British creativity so abundant in London. Each designer will commemorate the capital city inspired by its heritage, diversity, colour and creativity through a range of disciplines such as ceramics, jewellery, glass, textiles and many more.
You will have the opportunity to purchase and commission pieces made specifically to celebrate London in 2012 by both up & coming and established artists of Britain. The show will allow you to get personal with British makers whilst supporting the skill and craftsmanship of Britain."

More info here | Handmade In Britain

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The Fifth Sacred Thing

Almost 20 years ago, illustrious author Starhawk wrote an inspiring work of fiction called The Fifth Sacred Thing about a successful eco community living in California in a future some 30 odd years from now. Now, at a time when positive visions of our future are most needed, Starhawk and her team plan to make the story into a film. If you've read the book, intend to or simply like what you see in the promo below, please consider supporting the project to make this dream a reality. Thanks.

From: Kickstarter: The Fifth Sacred Thing
"They say that movies are collective dreams. If so, we’re heading for a nightmare—for there are very few films that show a positive future on earth. We want to change that. How can we create a thriving, just and balanced future if we can’t even imagine it? We want to bring alive a vision that can inspire people—and we’ve found the story in Starhawk’s novel, The Fifth Sacred Thing.
In the story, set in 2048, Northern California has survived eco-catastrophes, wars and epidemics and forged a society based on respect for the Four Sacred Things that support life: air, fire, water and earth. Streets are turned into gardens, streams flow free, people of all races and religions live in harmony – until the militarist Southlands attack. How can the people of a peaceful society fight against ruthless invaders without becoming what they’re fighting against? Musician-turned-guerilla Bird, his story-teller grandmother Maya, and Madrone, the healer, must wield a force more powerful than weapons—the fifth sacred thing..."

Read more and make a pledge here | Join the Facebook page

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Two Degrees: Are You Sitting Comfortably? Revolution

Image Copyright: Anna Lenihan | Image Source: ArtsAdmin
17th June 2011
8pm | £8
Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street London E1 6AB
T 020 7650 2350

From: ArtsAdmin
"We’re channeling the revolutionary spirit of the literary salons of 18th Century France, so sit back, eat (free) cake, and get comfortable whilst White Rabbit entertain you with an evening of original short stories written by local rabble-rousers, rebels and hell-raisers, read by a team of anarchic dandies. In the sumptuous candle-lit surrounds of the Arts Bar & Café, part Mad Hatter’s party, part 1930s tearoom, there’ll also be literary competitions and prizes and even the odd firework.

Call for stories: We’re looking for stories of around 1000 words on the theme of revolution to be read at the event. If you have a story please send to (deadline 3 June)...."
More here

This is just one of many exciting and inspiring events organised by Two Degrees for the 2011 Festival running from 12th to 18th June. Have a look at the full programme here.

"Two Degrees 2011 reflects world events since the first festival in 2009: failed climate treaty negotiations, financial disasters and government cuts. Protest and activism have hit the headlines, from revolutionary movements in the Middle East to London’s biggest protests for nearly ten years. And away from the mainstream media eye there is a growth of alternative and inspiring solutions to our impending climate crisis.

Sitting between art and activism, performance and protest, this year’s festival is a chance to be part of artist led actions; tell your own revolutionary story, help eradicate an invasive species, go on a mass bingo bike ride, ask an expert about the future or exchange your own personal and political views for a free haircut.

Join in, take part and make your voice heard.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

ReUse And Resist, 27May11

The ReUse project is in its fourth year already! How time flies! Organised by the INSPIRE Collective, the project collects and displays pieces - predominantly of a street art nature - from around the globe for its regular exhibitions at central public locations in the Middle East. All displayed art is inspired and constructed from reused and recycled material.

ReUse inspires positive social change through its work, encouraging us to rethink what we already have and drawing us away from the notion that much of what we have and use is disposable and therefore lacking in meaningful value. Like an increasing number of art collectives in the UK and internationally, ReUse also displays artwork in empty spaces, making good use of what is already there and challenging ideas about neglected public space.

If you happen to be nearby Tel Aviv, Israel this weekend, pop along and be inspired. If it's a bit far to travel, check out previous exhibitions and work at the ReUse website and on flickr.

From: ReUse And Resist
"ReUsing IS resisting. When you rethink an object, space or, idea, you, by default, are shedding the idea that the pre-fabricated product sold to you is only created for a one time use...People around the world have their ways of reusing, but public artists display an activist role in reusing the largest thing possible: public space. Over 100 artists this year, coming together to REUSE & RESIST! By any means, possible, this is the show to see...

Witness the positive power of art in public space... watch and learn as this mid-east graffiti / street art energy inspires the collective population & challenges the social issue of neglected & abandoned space... Come and see DIY and public art culture blend as INSPIRE Collective shows us all how reusing and creatively rethinking neglected space is better for us all.

The streets of Tel Aviv will never be the same...there is a better way, no matter what they say! Present-day cities, the world over, have massive percentages of un-used & generally neglected public space. By itself, this fact quickly becomes its own negative social issue & it isn’t a phenomenon, it’s a disgusting norm of all industrialized cities at this point. WE MUST REUSE AND RESIST!!

But how?! Many social issues could be already solved by ReUsing & re-thinking public space. This year, let’s stop talking about it and started getting things done!

Location to be announced online 24 hours before the shows opening on May 27th."

Further Info: ReUse And Resist / Inspire Collective / Flickr - ReUse Project 4

Friday, 6 May 2011

Craft & Design Month

Did you know that May is officially UK Craft & Design Month? This celebration and promotion of crafty design across the UK has been organised by Craft & Design Magazine who hope to raise profiles of the plethora of creative craftspeople and groups working in the UK and encourage our support of these amazing skills.

With Workshops, Open Studios, Exhibtions, Courses, Craft Fairs and more taking place, May is the month for new-to-craft folk to get involved by supporting and exploring our craft & design heritage and future. For creatives who want to take part, sharing talents and promoting their work or business, Craft & Design Month can provide listings space.

From: Craft & Design Month
"Hundreds of craft events already take place successfully every year during the month of May; now Craft and Design Month can bring them all together under one banner to collectively target national and regional media. There are also lots of opportunities for people to organise something especially for Craft and Design Month.

The overall aim is to achieve wider publicity and public awareness of the fine craft and design that exists in the UK today.

This project receives no funding or grant aid. It is entirely based on the simple concept of people working together for the benefit of the whole creative community and is sponsored by craft&design magazine, who have launched this unique opportunity to celebrate and promote crafts across the UK.

To find out more about the aims of Craft and Design Month, download our proposal 'An opportunity to help raise the profile of British Crafts'"

Further Info: Craft & Design Month

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Possible Futures Film Contest

From: Possible Futures Film Contest
Here is our invitation to the storytellers of the world: Make a short film that Inspires us. Moves us. Gives us something to believe in.

Envision a new, positive, possible future for the world. One that is environmentally sustainable, socially just, peaceful and spiritually fulfilling.

The film contest includes awards valuing $30,000 that will be announced in July. Films can be 1 to 5 minutes in length and must be submitted by June 21st.

Dig into the contest guidelines and details
Register now to participate

The contest is open to filmmakers around the world and at all levels of expertise! The prizes add to 30K dollars and include trips for two to Ecuador's Amazon rainforest. A team of notable judges and the community of voters will decide the winners!Make a Film. Make a Difference"

Submissions end June 21st 2011 | No submission fees required

Further Info: Possible Futures Film Contest / Facebook

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Green Patriot Posters

The Canary Project have been working on a book called Green Patriot Posters which is full of designs based on WWII posters. The focus for the images in this publication has been updated from war-time efforts to promoting sustainable lifestyles and practices. There are some fabulous designs both in the book and on the website.

From: Green Patriot Posters - "During World War II the United States was able to mobilize industry and motivate its citizens in breathtaking speed. Factories were overhauled and consumption habits transformed. Strong, graphically compelling posters played a crucial role in the success of this campaign. These posters presented the actions of individual citizens as vital for the nation and portrayed those who took part as attractive, dynamic American heroes.
Today a similar mobilization is required to address the crisis of global climate change and achieve energy independence. That’s why The Canary Project and its partners have launched Green Patriot Posters..."
More here

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Creative Plastic Recycling

Given its dependence on fossil fuels and inability to decompose without taking an age and releasing noxious poisons into our atmosphere and waterways, bAA has a very uneasy relationship with plastic, actively trying to avoid it in day-to-day life as much as is possible. This is difficult as when we start to take more than cursory notice of it, we realise plastic is everywhere - in the laptop I type on, the lamp lighting my desk, the old mini toy chest converted into a ribbon box, my beloved Janome sewing machine and that's just within my immediate radius.

The fake aura of disposability that plastic seems to exude is also frustrating particularly in conjunction with our seemingly effortless ability to accept it despite being aware of the devastating effects plastic has on the earth's resources, energy, our own health and the prosperity of human and animal life on this beautiful planet.

No matter how hard we try not to purchase or acquire plastic objects or packaging, they seem to turn up everywhere. So, bAA was glad this morning to discover two completely ingenious ways of recycling just some of the plastic plethora we propagate!

The first idea, How to build your own Recycled Plastic Bottle Greenhouse is from Moray Greenspace Education Project which gives detailed but simple instruction on building a greenhouse from a timber frame and recycled plastic drink bottles. Depending on the size of greenhouse this could involve an awful lot of bottles but if it rescues a thousand odd bottles from going to landfill at least for a little while longer, that sounds worthwhile to me - not to mention the benefits of growing fruit and veg in a home-made greenhouse! Download the PDF instructions here.

The other creative idea comes from Make Magazine (YouTube) whose video Make A Messenger Bag Out Of Trash Bags! (below) shows how to fuse sewable sheets from plastic bags and turn them into useful items such as this messenger bag.

We're a teensy bit concerned about toxins that may emanate from heating the plastic bags but think this re-use project may well be worth the small risk. If you know better, please leave a comment and if you try either or both of these projects do let us know how you get on.

Happy recycling and a happy 2011 to all bluAngelAlmanac readers. May it bring much happiness, creativity, sustainable fun and many blessings to us all.

Further Info: REAP Scotland Greenspaces / Make Magazine

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Get A Life - Become An Art Lover

From: Art Lovers Unite!, Vivienne Westwood, 3Dec10, Get A Life
"...If you become an art lover you get strength. You get a sense of personal progress because you start to understand the world and your place in it. You get out what you put in. That’s my motto.
I’ve given a good summation of my thoughts in this video recorded at the Battersea Arts Centre in London..."

Read more from Vivienne Westwood here and her Active Resistance To Propaganda Manifesto here

Thursday, 2 December 2010

2010 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar

Image Copyright: ESA/NASA & R. Sahai | Image Source: The Big PictureFrom: The Big Picture
"As we find ourselves in December once more, I'd like to present the third annual Hubble Space Telescope imagery Advent Calendar for 2010. Keep checking this page - every day, for the next 25 days, a new photo will be revealed here from the Hubble Space Telescope, some old and some new. This year there is also a temporary RSS feed for the calendar. I continue to feel very fortunate to have been able to share photographs and stories with you all this year, and I wish for a Happy Holiday season to all those who will celebrate, and for Peace on Earth to everyone. - Alan (25 photos total - eventually) [previously: 2008, 2009]"

Image Copyright: NASA, ESA, M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team,STScI | Image Source: The Big Picture

Sunday, 21 November 2010

2 Weeks Of Global Protests

And so it begins...

Image Copyright: Reuters/Christian Charisius | Image Source: The Big Picture"Reuters/Christian Charisius: An anti-nuclear activist with a radiation symbol embroidered on his hat, during a demonstration on a field near the embarking station in Dannenberg, Germany on November 6, 2010. German police and anti-nuclear groups expected about thirty thousand demonstrators to try to block the transportation of CASTOR rail containers of reprocessed German nuclear waste from the La Hague reprocessing plant in France to the Gorleben interim storage facility in Germany"

...the 14 days up to 17th November, have seen hundreds of protests and demonstrations all over the globe. Anti-nuclear, animal rights , anti-globalisation, workers' rights, political freedoms, sexuality rights, government dissatisfaction, student protests at education cuts and much more. Is our long-germinating unease with the various status quo that have too long ruled our worlds, finally sprouting buds across the planet?

Image Copyright: Reuters/Paul Hackett | Image Source: The Big Picture"Reuters/Paul Hackett: A supporter of Myanmar democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi demonstrates in Trafalgar Square, London November 13, 2010. Aung San Suu Kyi walked out of her home to cheers from thousands of supporters on Saturday after Myanmar's military rulers released her from seven years of house arrest."

Whilst our so called 'leaders' fail us and continue to live under the delusion that current systems of 'civilisation' will and must continue, are we finally waking up to the realisation that change is necessary yet nothing will change unless we actively assist with changing it? Have we stopped believing the lies that keep us trapped in apathy? We can and we will bring about change for the better. It has already begun...

Image Copyright: AP Photo/Spectral Q, Lou Dematteis | Image Source: The Big Picture"AP Photo/Spectral Q, Lou Dematteis: Image released by Spectral Q, people form the phrase "THE END?" on an island at the barrier reef off the coast of Belize City, Belize, Saturday Nov. 13, 2010. The demonstration was held on the final day of the Belize Reef Summit which urged global leaders to take strong action for the environment at the upcoming U.N. Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico."

From: In Protest - The Big Picture -
"Taking their desires to be heard to the streets, thousands of protesters and demonstrators around the world have recently been marching, shouting, praying, and engaging in both theater and violence to make their points. From quiet, prayerful requests for peace in Mexico to the violent takeover of an office building in London to student demonstrators in Chile and gay rights activists making a statement to the Pope in Spain, the past two weeks has been full of protest.

Image Copyright: Reuters/Stoyan Nenov | Image Source: The Big Picture"Reuters/Stoyan Nenov: Students carry books on their heads during a protest in front of Sofia University in Bulgaria on November 16, 2010. Hundreds of university students and lecturers rallied in central Sofia on Tuesday to protest against the cuts in funding for universities and the lack of clear strategy for reforms of the Balkan country's education system."

Their reasons are many - anger with austerity measures, frustration with incumbent governments and globalization, frustration with policies in other countries - even protests against other protesters. Collected here is a view of protests and demonstrations around the world over the past two weeks."

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Jenny Wicks: Dick & Ted

Jenny Wicks is a phenomenal photographer capturing a deep level of emotion and humour in every image. Some of her work inspires simultaneous tears and laughter, other images transport us backwards in time to a part-forgotten memory or sideways into a world we may or may not have encountered before. There is something surreal yet familiar in the colours, tones, subject matter and composition, which transform ordinary scenes of everyday life into dreamlike visions.

Image Copyright: Jenny Wicks
Image Copyright: Jenny WicksJenny's newly updated website features a project called Dick & Ted which combines nostalgically shot photographs with amusing and inspiring audio of the subjects discussing themselves, the reason why there are more health issues today, the death of a friend and life in general. Their words are wise with experience and alongside Jenny's finely tuned images, are guaranteed to raise a smile.

"...The good Lord has been good to us as far as... age and health..."
"...Yes, he has...I don't know why..."
"...Live as close to nature as you possibly can. You'll not go far wrong..."

From: Jenny Wicks Photography "Dick and Ted are identical twins. Ted is 20 minutes older, although can't be sure. They were born in 1922 and for most of their lives have lived in the village I grew up in. I have always known them ... They are my local heroes" More here

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Extreme Knitting

Some seriously impressive knitting going on here from Rachel John of Extreme Textiles. This grandiose work took place as part of the Unravel knitting event held in October 2006.

From: Rachel John"Rachel John currently pulls between 3-200 mixed yarn strands simultaneously and hand knits the resulting yarn into large deeply dense carpets among many other items. This is a completely unique 21st century innovation in yarn manipulation and textiles hand crafting bringing new influences and inspiration to all textiles design and associated tool making..."More here

Further Info: Unravel 2011 | UK Hand Knitting

Thanks to Dances With Wools found via FamilyHandspun who have a great page of links to stitch and yarn related stuff x

Monday, 18 October 2010

London Futures: Wish You Were Here?

The Museum Of London is currently hosting an exhibition of photographs from the future called Postcards From The Future - Wish You Were Here?. No time machine was employed to retrieve the images, simply the imagination and design skills of Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones.

Image © Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-JonesThe artists created eight photos for the original Postcards From The Future series way back in 2008 (these can be viewed on the website here). This current exhibition displays 14 images of London digitally transformed to suggest possible effects of climate change on the city. The exhibition runs until 6 March 2011.

Image © Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-JonesFrom: London Futures - Wish You Were Here?
"The display brings home the full impact of global warming, food scarcity, rising sea levels and how all Londoners will need to innovate and adapt to survive. Examples of the striking images that will be on show include Parliament Square put to work as a rice paddy, ice skating down the Thames, Buckingham Palace surrounded by a sea of shanty housing and the Gherkin occupied by thousands of eco-refugees highlight the shocking realities we could face...

Image © Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones“We want to create a space in which people can consider how climate change may impact on their lives. We are committed to making beautiful and arresting images which tell their own story. We have deliberately chosen ‘postcard’ shots of London, places that all of us are familiar with. By focusing our creative energy on these well- known panoramas, the images have taken on a life of their own...”"

More here

Friday, 8 October 2010

The Big Draw Competition

From: AccessArt
"AccessArt would like to invite you to make your mark on 2010!
As part of the Big Draw 2010, we’d like to create a drawn Visual Encyclopedia, made up of all the objects from our everyday life. We’d like to invite EVERYBODY to send us your drawings of the kinds of objects which we take for granted, and yet which over time, change in style and appearance.

Objects like…?
Anything which is relevant to you: a toy, a wellington boot, a deodorant container, a chair, a packet, a piece of furniture… NOT live things though thank you – NOT people, plants, animals…

AccessArt will then compile all the drawings into an online encyclopedia, and a pdf/book, to create not only a snapshot record of our objects in October 2010, but also a fantastic record of our drawings.

What kind of drawings?
We don’t mind what medium your drawings are in, but we would like the drawings to be on white paper, and please draw the objects in isolation (which means just the object on the white paper – do not draw a background…). And please make sure your drawings are no larger than A4.

Who can submit drawings?
We mean EVERYONE. We want to put all your drawings in one place: artist next to child, teacher next to parent… we don’t mind who you are, how old you are or where you live… And submissions are invited from all over the world; we’d love to see objects coming from ALL CULTURES.

I need help drawing..
If you’d like some drawing tips (either for yourself or to help teach others to draw), have a look at the AccessArt Draw! online workshop, or buy the Draw! PDF.

Deadline for receipt of drawings: October 31st 2010"

For more information and to find out how to submit drawings, visit the AccessArt website here

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Mother Nature's Exhibition March-April 2010

Photos related to the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland. This is the 2nd time in a month that Eyjafjallajokull has erupted melting ice, causing flooding and widespread aviation cessation due to falling ash. Pictures sourced via The Big Picture

Image Copyright: HALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP/Getty Images"This aerial photo shows the Eyjafjallajokull volcano billowing smoke and ash on April 17, 2010. (HALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP/Getty Images)"

Image Copyright: AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti"The volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier sends ash into the air just prior to sunset ON Friday, April 16, 2010. Thick drifts of volcanic ash blanketed parts of rural Iceland on Friday as a vast, invisible plume of grit drifted over Europe, emptying the skies of planes and sending hundreds of thousands in search of hotel rooms, train tickets or rental cars. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti) #"

Image Copyright: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images"The sun sets in a sky dusted with ash, over Lake Geneva, as seen from the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, a UNESCO site in Switzerland, on April 17, 2010. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)"

Image Copyright: AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti"The volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier sends ash into the air Saturday, April 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti)"

More here and here

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Copenhagen Comp: Open Bike & Myloop

Here is a super cool idea for a bike by LOTS Design, Koucky & Partners & Green Idea Factory. Joint 1st place winner of the CPH Bike-Share Competition, Open Bike is designed for an intelligent, floating shared bicycle scheme in Copenhagen (where else!). We hope it gets manufactured, takes off and reaches our shores very soon.

Image Copyright: LOTS DesignFrom: Erik Nohlin on Industrial Design / Behance
"IMAGINE a bike share system floating and does not need any special parking installations, so you can leave the bike where you want...will learn, adapt and evolve according to needs and user patterns ...makes full use of modern technology for locating, booking and payment, but is as easy to use as ones own bicycle ..facilitates and rationalises bike management, maintenance and redistribution... defines a new level in bike sharing and strengthens Copenhagen’s position as a leader in modern urban transport solutions. This is OPEN bike!"

Image Copyright: LOTS DesignThe CPH jury were clearly delighted with the Open Bike design:
"As a user you only need to relate to the bicycle and the individual technology you can choose to use in reserving a bicycle. In relation to the bicycle’s design the jury wishes to highlight the technological, user-friendly interface, as well as details such as clever placement of lights and seat post. The latter, with its height guide, gives the user excellent odds for adjusting the height of the saddle correctly on the first attempt.

In addition, OPENbike leads us on a beautiful and elegant journey back in time. The basic idea of a floating system sends a tip of the hat back to the white bicycles in 1960’s Amsterdam and the bicycle’s aesthetic qualities relate well to Copenhagen’s bicycle history with its visual connection to our past (and perhaps revitalised) bicycle messenger culture prior to the 1960’s.

These aspects of OPENbike are brought perfectly into play in an exciting, forward-thinking project that elegantly contributes to the branding of Copenhagen and, with its dynamic approach to systems, reminds us that cities, as well as the mobile behaviour of people, change over time."
More here

The Myloop design by Thomas Coulbeaut was joint winner of the competition with another clever design incorporating a stacking system to minimise pavement space when not in use and ability to power up with electricity at the docking system.

Image Copyright: Thomas Coulbeaut
Here's what the judges had to say:
"...the jury notices that the bicycle’s size and the way it is stacked respects the urban landscape in Copenhagen as well as the challenges of mobility and logistics in the city. Therefore the project distinguishes itself in the way that it is aimed at the future with a point of departure in the reality of the city of Copenhagen.

The end user has been thought into the process in many ways. Myloop has a simple and user-friendly interface where the technology is a help and not a challenge.

Furthermore, Myloop introduces, along with a host of other entries, the possibility of locking the bicycle - outside shops, for example - so long as the bicycle is registered as in use by the system. This angle is commendable because it offers the user of the bicycle the same flexibility that other cyclists enjoy on their route around the city."
More here

Check out the other winning designs here

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Attention Brighton Crafters

Image Copyright: Leftover DesignThe new year provides inspiration for us to make better use of our current or potential creative talents. But where to start? Well, if you live in Brighton, Leftover Designs may be able to help. Join one of their new creative weekly sessions and get practising your art(s) whilst making new friends and contacts. Whether you're a beginner or already have skills you'd like to develop get in touch with Sibel at Leftover Designs.

From: Sibel Lagerdahl, Leftover Designs, 5Jan09
"I am organising a weekly get together for everyone in Brighton who is having the creative DIY urges, but doesn't want to do it on their own, or lacking the skills.

With professional advice and guidance, you can now learn:
* Dressmaking (advance or beginners)
* Customising and alterations
* Bag making
* Knitting and crocheting
* Accessory and jewellery making
* Card making
All from 100% reclaimed and recycled materials.

It will all start at the end of this month if it all goes to plan. Please let me know if you are interested, and what particular skills and what day of the week that would suit you."

Suggested hours: 6-9pm on either Mon, Tues or Wed evening
Cost: £10 per 3hr workshop if paid in advance for 4 sessions | £15 for drop-in

Post: Shabitat, Saunders Park, Lewes Rd, Brighton BN2 4AY

Further Info:
Leftover Designs

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Walls Come Tumbling Down - Whitechapel Art Gallery, 2Dec09

From: A World To Win
"The significance today of 1989, the year of revolutions, Wednesday 2 December...

12-2pm, Wednesday December 2
77-82 Whitechapel High Street London E1 7QX

The Whitechapel Gallery is next to Aldgate East Underground Station and near Liverpool Street, Tower Gateway DLR.

All welcome but space is limited so please reserve your place by emailing: or telephone: 07871 745258"

Further Info:
A World To Win / Wanted: a leap in imagination

Friday, 23 October 2009

The Big Picture: Diwali

Here are just a few of the beautiful, fascinating and enchanting photographs of Diwali celebrations around the world collected by's The Big Picture:Image Source: The Big Picture,
Image Source: The Big Picture,
Image Source: The Big Picture, Boston.comMore here

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Pumpkin Carving Competition

Anna Goodson Management are holding their annual Pumpkin Carving Competition which this year is open to the public as well as AGM artists - hurrah! Vote for your favourites, be inspired and get carving here.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Visiting Artists Campaign Update

Manick Govinda, Visiting Artists Campaign Co-ordinator at Artsadmin writes seeking assitance in the petition against the UK's ridiculous laws hindering overseas artists from visiting the UK, making it difficult for some and impossible for others. Please sign the petition if you agree that these draconian measures do nothing but hinder the vital growth and development of global arts and culture.

"The petition against the home office's ludicrous restrictions preventing non-EU artists and academics from participating [in] the UKs cultural life is getting closer to our target of 10,000 signatories. When we reach our target we will send a delegation to 10 Downing Street with the petition. We're nearly there, but I'm writing to you for your help.

The points based system which replaced the far more flexible work permits will be a year old on 27 November. We want to hand the petition in by that date to mark that moment when our freedom to invite artists, writers, poets, dancers, musicians, academics and intellectuals - professionals and amateurs - were [sic] taken away from us.

Very recent examples of barred entry included:
* US artist Cristina Winsor detained and deported for allegedly intending to sell 2 small paintings at a local arts event in east London
* US artist MP Landis, his wife and 4 month baby detained and deported for not having the correct paperwork; Glenfiddich Distilleries invited him for a summer residency
* Indian artist Anirban Mitra refused a visa for the same residency opportunity after waiting for 4 months for a decision at great expense
* Russian author Sergei Mironenko of Memorial and Evgeni Tsymbal, Russian film director, were were refused visas despite being invited by reputable organizations (the London Book Fair and Queen Mary University of London respectively)
* The Lahore Pipe Band from Pakistan were refused visas to participate in Scotland’s World Pipe Band Championships

The home office and the UKBA needs to get a sense of proportion. Hundreds of community, amateur and cultural groups are being affected as well as big national arts institutions.

We need to send a loud message to the Home Office that these ludicrous regulations need to be seriously reviewed and reconsidered. This petition has collected a huge breadth of voices from all walks of life, nationalities, political and religious persuasions.

If you haven't signed it, PLEASE do so. If each of you can persuade a friend, colleague or family member to sign the petition then we've more than reached our target."

Access the petition here

"This threatens the exchange of ideas in the arts and sciences which means so much to our culture and also helps promote the cause of international good will. These new regulations will have the very opposite effect of that intended. It will also tend to make UK security authorities something of a laughing stock, since it so obviously exemplifies the narrow bureaucratic mind at its most foolish."
Petition signatory, Michael Moorcock - editor/journalist/novelist

"A few months ago I attended Marina Abramovic presents during the Manchester International Festival. This was undoubtedly one of the most important performance art events to occur in Britain for many years, and there was an empty space where there should have been an artist from Indonesia. The organisers had to explain that the artist had run into visa trouble. Thousands of people attended this event. This means that another several thousand people now see the Border Agency, and the whole policing and population control infrastructure of the United Kingdom, as mean and ridiculous. Why bother having the British Council to promote British culture abroad when you have this stupid agency and these stupid laws undermining all the work that it does to earn respect for the United Kingdom?"
Petition signatory, Robert Persson, artist.

Further info on the visiting artists campaign here

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Not Stupid Greenpeace Grafitti

Not Stupid - Greenpeace event time-lapse Graffiti video
from Karuna Guzmán Møller on Vimeo

Artist: Christian Olsen
Music: Jonas Werner
Compositing and After Effects: Andreas Blinkenberg

"This video was created by Greenpeace for the Copenhagen screening of the Global Premiere of The Age of Stupid. It was shown at the IMAX Planetarium theatre by the lakes in Copenhagen on the 22nd of September, leading up to the COP-15 Summit." More here

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

iknitlinks: Changing Our World One Stitch At A Time

Warming the very cockles of our heart shaped craft world, wonderful news from the knitting world has reached the open doors of bluAngel Almanac. Not only is there heaps going on as usual in the I Knit London department - including book groups, book talks, a knitting weekender, Sunday knit roast (yum) and some fascinating and enchanting films about Lower Marsh SE1 and local specialist shops by getcarterpr - but... wait for it... iknitlinks has begun... *contented, feel-good sigh*

Image Copyright: iknitlinksBut, what is iknitlinks? I here you cry, eager to share in this wealth of loveliness. Let me tell you. iknitlinks is an extraordinary knitting community in the making. This wonderful non-profit community interest company (check it) has been set up by I Knit London needle master Gerard and Stitchlinks' yarn guru Betsan. And their mission? To make a positive difference in the world through knitting. Bless them... no, really - may a thousand blessings rain down upon them and iknitlinks!

Before we get too gushy and teary over this quite lovely enterprise where all profits are directed back into the business (as should happen in all business) and users are aided and encouraged to set up and join our own local community groups for social, health, well-being, educational and any other socially beneficial reason, we'll let iknitlinks explain the project in their own words.
Image Copyright: iknitlinks"I Knit Links is a non-profit Community Interest Company (CIC). As a CIC iknitlinks profits are ploughed back to benefit our knitting community not the company owners.

How it started: Knitting brought together Betsan from Stitchlinks and Gerard from I Knit London. The idea for iknitlinks grew from our friendship and our mutual desire to use knitting to make a difference in the world...

We will:
- Set up a network of knitting groups with the purpose of building local communities.
- Provide a communication network for local community groups to communicate globally.
- Provide an infrastructure for group leaders around the world.

Image Copyright: iknitlinksOur groups will provide a place:
- For local people to meet, chat and knit.
- Where knitters and potential knitters from all backgrounds, beliefs and age groups can mix and make friends to grow safe community networks.
- To grow self esteem and social confidence through learning a new skill or developing and sharing existing knitting abilities.

Our aims are to:
- Promote wellness and positive living.
- Build supportive local and global communities through knitting groups.
- Provide information, training and on going support for group leaders.
- Provide a communication network for group leaders and group participants.
- Put into immediate practice the information arising for Stitchlinks’ research.
- Share our expertise with you.

Image Copyright: iknitlinksWe believe that by changing and nurturing local communities we can ultimately change and nurture the world! Why not join us to be the change you want to see in the world and make this happen?"

bluAngel Almanac is truly touched and inspired. Once you've dried your eyes and thanked the universe for such beautiful people with insightful, generous ideas find out more and sign up here.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Blacker Designs: The Natural Fibre

Image Copyright: Blacker DesignsLooking for some lovely fibre to spin into wintry warmers and gifts but want to support local producers? Look no further than Blacker Designs (previously known as The Natural Fibre) who also sell natural and dyed organic fibres - yum! Needles and hooks ready? Let's go!

"All the fleece we use for our yarns, and all that used in Blacker Designs' products, is British and processed at our mill at Launceston on the Devon-Cornwall border...
Our fibre comes from four different kinds of animal: sheep, alpacas, goats and angora rabbits. We use silkworms, too, which are an entirely different form of animal life; the Tussah silk we use does not kill the silkworm.
The main source of our raw materials are sheep. It was Rudyard Kipling who wrote 'poor little lambs have lost their way' and 'little black sheep who've gone astray'. But if you think that one little black sheep is the same as the next, then think again. There are over 60 different breeds living in the UK alone and in the last three years we've processed fleece from over 50 of them."

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Playing for Change

Image Copyright: Playing For Change"PLAYING FOR CHANGE is a musical exploration that glides across four continents, revealing a relentless insight of humanity that strives for global unification. It is a story of hope, struggle, perseverance, joy, and celebration. It is a story of human ambition to overcome prejudices, separation, natural hardships, and evil existing in our world today. It’s passion, it’s path, and at times, it’s weapon, is music."

Friday, 25 September 2009

House Of Cards Shelter Exhibition

Image Copyright: Shelter House Of Cards / Amelia's MagazineA variety of artists, some we may have heard of, others we need to know about, have created a wonderful set of cards to help raise funds for Shelter, the charity working to provide homes, advice and shelter to an increasing number of people affected by the crisis in housing.

The pack contains some amazing designs and thought provoking images from artists and designers including Vivienne Westwood, Nick Park, Damien Hirst, Amelia's Magazine, Giles Deacon, Ron Arad, Terence Conran and many more. Shuffle the deck here and visit this short exhibition over the weekend (free entry).

Date: 24 - 28 September 2009
Venue: Haunch of Venison Gallery, 6 Burlington Gardens, London W1S 3ET | Tube: Green Park
Open: 10am - 6pm Mon-Fri | 10am - 5pm Sat

From: Suke Driver, Londonist 24Sep09
"Inspired by Shelter’s House of Cards ad campaign, 52 of the country’s leading artists, including Rankin, Marc Quinn, David Bailey and Vivienne Westwood have created a unique collection of art for an exhibition and fundraising auction in support.

Image Copyright: Shelter House Of CardsMembers of the public can place silent bids on the artwork throughout the exhibition, with a selection of the pieces going into a live auction on the closing night. Also included is a 53rd card created by member of the public, Mauricio Ortiz, chosen through a nationwide competition launched by Shelter and Metro newspapers. Shelter chief executive Sam Younger laid his cards on the table:
“The exhibition will help raise vital awareness of the depth of Britain’s housing crisis. With an estimated 65,000 homes facing repossession this year and 6 million households suffering stress and depression because of housing costs, more and more people are coming to Shelter for help and support.”

One thousand limited edition oversized packs of cards featuring the artwork from the exhibition will be on sale at from Thursday 24 September. All profits from the sale of these cards, which retail at £70, will go to Shelter."

Further Info:
House Of Cards | Exhibition Info | Shelter

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Knit The City: Fruity Wool Rhymes

Image Copyright: Knit The CityOoooh, oooh, oooh! Look what those clever folk at Knit The City have created! Woollen fruit, flowers and other bits strewn across London's churches in a wonderful knitted tribute to the nursery rhyme, Oranges And Lemons - gorgeous!

St Martin Orgar Church by Knitting Ninja - Image Copyright: Knit The CityThis Yarnstorm is but one of Knit The City's extravagant creations. While Banksy is busy cutting stencils, these crafters are embroiled in needle and yarn guerrilla art works covering the city of London in their colourful work. We like!

St Leonards, Shoreditch by Lady Loop - Image Copyright: Knit The CityFrom: Knit The City
"Knit the City are a crack team of woolly warriors turning the city Knitwise since February 2009. Knit the City are part of an ongoing campaign to guerrilla knit the city of London, and beyond that the world. No part of the city is safe from Knit the City’s woolly war on the mundane, humdrum and expected. We will bring woolly sunshine to you where ever you dwell. We’re nice like that."

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Deep And Simple

"“Mister Rogers & Me” is a story of personal inspiration and discovery, a hero's quest that begins on an Nantucket summer afternoon we spent together in 2001, then sets out on America's highways and skyways to understand the basis for and manifestations of “deep and simple" from some of media's strongest voices."

Nine years ago, Benjamin Wagner met Fred Rogers, famed '70s US TV presenter of children's show 'Mister Rogers' Neighbourhood'. Benjamin was moved by the sincerity of this character whose quirky, slightly surreal at times but very well intentioned TV show meant so much to many children and adults alike.

"I was sitting with Mister Rogers in the candle light of my thirty-first birthday cake. Outside, a thunderstorm was blowing through Nantucket. I told him that I often thought about our conversation the summer prior during which he said to me, "I feel so strongly that deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex." His message stuck with me, I said.
"Spread the message," Mister Rogers told me. "Spread the message."
Three years later, I continue to spread the message."

Read more about Benjamin's upcoming movie here

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Bicyclist Porn

Over at Ecomonkey we have been extolling the virtues of bicycle riding and our obsession with rider voyerism in Bicycle Lust. We are discovering we are by no means alone in our urban-two-wheeler adoration. All across the web photographers and writers are sharing their views of city bicycle heaven and offering heaps of advice and tips for wannabe and experienced urban cyclists all over the globe.

Here is a small sample of our current favourites:
Basket Full Of Beautiful
Image Copyright:
busbozo / Adrienne Johnson
Basket Full Of Beautiful - Image Copyright: busbozo / Adrienne Johnson
In San Francisco we find Adrienne who as well as posting her beautiful photos to flickr and various other bike and spiritually minded ventures, co-writes the Change Your Life Ride A Bike blog. A space
"for people to share how riding a bike has changed how they see themselves and the world!" - check it out.

Change Your Life Ride A Bike's other author is the equally stylish urban gal, Meligrosa of Bikes And The City - everything you wanted to know about San Fran bikes, boys, coffee and more.

0421 rain is better with an umbrella
Image Copyright:
Toronto Bike Chic
0421 rain is better with an umbrella - Image Copyright: Xander N'Dante / Toronto Bike Chic
Toronto Bike Chic is a previous incarnation by Canadian flickrites Xander N'Dante who currently write and photograph 416 Cycle Style
"From the multicultural flavored streets of the 416, we span the neighborhoods and asphalt in search of new aromas and combinations of visual and edible delights. Armed with a crank and a camera we search. Freezing moments in time of the familliar strangers sharing space and riding by. Brothers on Bicycles" - we like!

A Taste of The Toast from Michael on Vimeo

From a suburb closer to home, in Hackney no less, Urban Cycle Chic delivers a feast of info about bike fashion and recycling. "Urban Cycle Chic is a blog encouraging stylish, affordable bike culture ... The ethos is that the city is an arena for bike and rider thrive in and urban cycling is about leading a more active, spontaneous lifestyle despite spiralling congestion and vehicle ownership headaches. It's less about lycra and more about jumping on a bike in whatever you're wearing. Indeed, urban cycling is fast becoming a catwalk on wheels." - we couldn't agree more!

If all this stylishness has left you craving a bike chic consumer fix, check out the London Cycle Chic store where glamour and functionality meet. Or better still, get creative and re-design, re-fashion and re-cycle your current clothing to suit your bike lifestyle.

Monday, 6 July 2009

The Secrets Of Fools

Catching up on my Google Reader I came across this gem from An Unreliable Witness via Swissmiss. Lush!

Red Rabbit from Egmont Mayer on Vimeo

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Art, Design & Politics: A Modernist Perspective

Mostra Nazionale della Moda, Turin (1932), Architect: Gino Levi Montalcini, Photographer: Augusto Pedrini - Image Copyright: RIBAPost World War I design and architecture virtually rejected the natural world in favour of celebrating man-made forms. This predilection led to some extraordinarily complex and arguably beautiful works of engineering and architectural design which were in turn displayed to near perfection by a compatible photography equally obsessed with abstract geometric form, vast scale and starkly contrasted tones.

In Framing Modernism - Architecture & Photography in Italy 1926-1965, the current exhibition of more than 100 images from the RIBA archives, this correlation of medium is analysed from a design perspective. In reviewing the exhibition for A World To Win, Corinna Lotz wonders why, particularly given the current political climate, the evident implications, inspiration and political issues that led to this world changing movement, have been underplayed.

Colonia Marina Rosa Maltoni Mussolini, Calambrone (1935), Architect: Angiolo Mazzoni, Photographer: Anderson - Image Copyright: RIBAFrom: Corinna Lotz, A World To Win, 7May09
"...Framing Modernism offers a chance to widen debates over Modernism’s legacy ... This outing of vintage and new prints from original negatives could provide a new case study in how Modernism related to political power structures and the reality of people’s daily lives ... Angiolo Mazzoni’s Marine Colony seaside camp is dedicated to Mussolini’s mother Rosa Maltoni ... If you didn’t know it was built to glorify Hitler’s ally, you could be forgiven for seeing it as a great effort to provide masses of school children with the chance of a sea-side holiday. As David Crowley has noted: “The years after Mussolini’s consolidation of power in October 1926 were marked by a strong degree of cultural pluralism … at the same time, artists and designers of all stripes were keen to court power.”"
Read the full review here

Framing Modernism is on show at the Estorick Collection, Highbury until 21 June.