Art etc.

 

This is where you can find all the creative corners I've discovered along the way.

 

 

For more artistic inspiration, you might like to pop over to my pinterest page.

Tue

14

Jun

2016

Illustrator Laura Wilson on art, feminism and the odd mermaid.

 

Floating around the restaurant with an enviable aura of calm, Laura never seemed repressed by the sometimes stiflingly misogynistic atmosphere of our work place half a decade ago. After her smile, I first noticed her tattoos- a tall ship, mermaids and an intricately twined circle on her back. Getting to know her a little better, I learnt she designed them herself. I've been in awe ever since and could not be more excited to introduce you. This is Laura Wilson. 

 

Were you artistic as a child? How did you get into illustration?

 

I wanted to be an artist from a really early age! Art was my favourite subject at school from when I was very young, and it was something I’d spend hours each evening doing. I drew an awful lot of mermaids! I had a few years during my teens when I gave into the ‘art isn’t a viable career option’ rhetoric that sensible adults were telling me, but eventually I decided that following my passion was worth not being as financially stable as I might be if I chose a different career path! 

 

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Sun

01

May

2016

How to survive an English music festival.

Secret Garden Party mud
Secret Garden Party

 

Mention you're from England to any continental European and after mocking you for your cooking, they will most likely mention the weather. Although our continuous drizzle is often exaggerated, several days of downpour have the potential to make life very miserable if you're sleeping in a tent. After several summers of English music festivals, these are my tips for embracing the mud and enjoying the party regardless...

 

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Sat

16

Apr

2016

Architectural details of Vienna, Austria.

The Neptune Fountain, Schönbrunn Palace
The Neptune Fountain, Schönbrunn Palace. Note the two merlegs needed to straddle this type of seahorse.
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Wed

02

Mar

2016

Artist Louis Masai on the environment, music and travel.

 

Trundling along on the megabus, somewhere between Bristol and London, I only started talking to Louis Masai after we broke down. Far from the usual delays, we were entertained by a teenage dance troupe and previously unconnected folk band who just happened to be travelling back from Plymouth together. I felt the hour slip by with little resentment and only once back on the bus realised how close I was coming to missing my connections to Vienna that night. Ice broken by the bizarre situation, I began to learn a little about Louis' work. After nearly a year of following him on social media, I recently decided to ask him for an interview. This is what I learnt...

 

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Sat

13

Feb

2016

An interview with artist Olivier Leger.

Olivier Marc Thomas Leger, Whale Song, illustration
Whale Song, pen on paper, 57 x 62 cm, 2014

 

After discovering his impossibly detailed pen and ink drawings, doodles I could get lost in for hours, I'm incredibly excited to introduce Olivier. His intricate layers of disproportionately sized wildlife weave together into the masterpieces you can see below. Though this website is never going to do his pictures justice, the playful twist on an environmental theme 

seemed perfect. I'll hope you'll enjoy getting to know the artist a little better as much as I have.

 

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Wed

27

Jan

2016

Festival Fact File: Secret Garden Party

Secret Garden Party

 

Approaching the end of July, somewhere in the countryside near Cambridge, England, an otherwise sleepy patch of farm land transforms into the Secret Garden Party. Stages hatch out from the fields, gigantic circus tents are pitched in clusters and psychedelic bunting stretches overhead. People abandon their mundane lives for a few days to loose themselves down the metaphorical rabbit hole.

 

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Sat

28

Nov

2015

Ottery St Mary Tar Barrels (weird and wonderful things to do if you find yourself in Exeter- part 4).

Ottery St Mary Tar Barrels, Devon, England

 

Before experiencing Ottery St Mary's unique Guy Fawkes celebration, I couldn't have imagined such an event could possibly have survived Britain's nanny state long enough to pass on its legacy. For a first-timer the spectacle is confusing; the village is flooded with spectators, after the enthusiastic locals, a crowd of primarily drunken young people from the surrounding area. The mood is impatient as we strain our necks in anticipation, until a plume of smoke and roaring flames give away the tar barrel's spot. This quietness is the tell tale calm. As the barrel comes up above shoulder height, the furnace seems to mill about in the distance for an eternity. Is this what we've come to see?

 

Let your mind drift for a moment however and you're likely to find yourself alone in the dragon's pathway...


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Sun

06

Sep

2015

Boomtown: still the UK's maddest city, just a little bit bigger...

Aerial viw, Boomtown festival, England, UK
2013: view from the hill of death.

Three years ago my weirdo friends and I experienced Boomtown Fair in it's relative infancy. Ramshackle constructions lined the streets as hoards of wide-eyed inhabitants bumbled around in a mixture of wonder and confusion.

 

The gigantic spider Arcadia was our focal point. Grown from recycled metal, it had flaming acrobats twirling from its legs and heavy drum and bass bursting from its chest. We were mesmerised. 

 

 Two of my many dodgy Arcadia photos from 2012...

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Thu

20

Aug

2015

Living like a local in Vienna, Austria

Street art, Danube Canal, Vienna, Austria, Europe
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Fri

03

Jul

2015

Friday Fix: Moscow's Metro Stations.

This is the tenth edition of my bi-weekly series, Friday Fix, a quick burst of inspiration to spur you (and me) on through our final day in the office. The idea of these photos is to give you a glimpse of some of the most incredible things I've seen in a format you can digest in a coffee break... 

Stained glass, Moscow's Metro Stations, Russia.
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Mon

29

Jun

2015

Architectural details in decay at the Forbidden Purple City, Huế.

Architecture Forbidden Purple, Imperial City, Huế, Vietnam.
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Fri

19

Jun

2015

Friday Fix: Parade of the Giants, Marrakesh. 

This is the ninth edition of my bi-weekly series, Friday Fix, a quick burst of inspiration to spur you (and me) on through our final day in the office. The idea of these photos is to give you a glimpse of some of the most incredible things I've seen in a format you can digest in a coffee break... 

Celebration, parade of giants, Marrakesh, Morocco.
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Wed

29

Apr

2015

D7606 on street art.

With its hidden meanings, revolutionary techniques and pieces that you just "might not get", the art world can sometimes seem pretentious. Although street-art is a different scene, I'd always assumed the artists would think themselves a little too cool to talk to me. That was until D7606 commented on my blog to thank me for featuring his work. I was so excited to be directly contacted by him. His crayola coloured pop-art paste ups brighten the grimy walls they adorn in such a fun way, that I wondered where he was coming from. Here's a little insight into his world...

Invader, Donk and D7606, Manchester
Invader, Donk and D7606, Manchester
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Fri

24

Apr

2015

Friday Fix: Plaza de España, Seville.

This is the fifth edition of my bi-weekly series, Friday Fix, a quick burst of inspiration to spur you (and me) on through our final day in the office. The idea of these photos is to give you a glimpse of some of the most incredible places I've ever found in a format you can digest in a coffee break...

Plaza de España (Seville) Spain
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Tue

07

Apr

2015

Unusual Easter celebrations on Morley Road, Exeter.

decorated eggs, Easter
decorated egg, Easter
My sunset egg.

When I'm travelling I am always so excited to find unique little celebrations within the communities I pass through. I thought this one here in Exeter deserved a mention too... 

 

Every year, the inhabitants of Morley Road celebrate Easter by hosting an egg decorating competition followed by egg and spoon races down the length of the street. There are separate categories for men, women and children, with the overexcited adults taking their participation even more seriously than the kids. 

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Fri

27

Feb

2015

Friday Fix: the faces of Angkor Thom, Cambodia

 

This is the first in my little new series, Friday Fix, a quick burst of inspiration to spur you on through your final day in the office or maybe remind you to dig out those pushed-back travel plans. Never published before*, the idea of these photos is to give you a glimpse of some of the most incredible places I've ever found in a format you can digest in a coffee break...

Angkor Thom, Cambodia
[click to enlarge]
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Sun

22

Feb

2015

Reverse culture shock: battling with Barcelona.

Arriving fresh from Bolivia and alone for the first time in months, I internally struggled to see the beautiful city of Barcelona as anything more than a teeming hub of privilege, greed an excess. Sleep deprived, with ringing in my ears, I visited the landmarks on foot...

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Sat

14

Feb

2015

Architectural details of Cusco.

architecture Cusco Peru stonework
architecture Cusco Peru stonework

 

Without the money for Maccu Pichu, the incredible archaeological site singularly responsible for the majority of Peru's tourist industry, I'd mentally prepared myself to dislike Cusco. As a famous colonial city and the only logical point for most people to begin their Incan adventure, I imagined it would be tacky, teeming with wealthy foreigners and generally lacking the "real" whatever I was looking for.

 

I should have had to eat my hat.

 

There was an element of everything I'd expected, snippets of English conversation from passers-by jarred in my ears and there were a startling number of shiny, never-walked-in boots clomping around, but as much as I tried to find things to scoff at, Cusco just kept surprising me.

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Fri

03

Oct

2014

Huanchaco and the ruins of Chan Chan.

Chan Chan Peru
pelicans Huanchaco

As you might have read in my previous post about our friends' express kidnapping and robbery, we've got a rather mixed impression of Huanchaco. A small touristy destination, twenty minutes away from the third largest city in Peru is bound to have some problems, but if you follow the advice in my previous post, there is no reason to avoid the town altogether. 

 

First and foremost, Huanchaco has become a tourist destination for its surfing- board and the very necessary wetsuit hire costs S25 for a day. If you are clever enough it's possible to haggle down the price or argue that a day is 24 hours, so you can have a go the next morning too. We tried to surf with limited success, but I think it's the wrong season for the best waves.

 

Otherwise, the village is known for its unusual reed fishing boats which can be seen more often on show for tourists than actually in the water. The beach is a little grubby, but it doesn't seem to worry the enormous flock of pelicans which congregate by the pier. 

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Sun

14

Sep

2014

Whale watching, fishy street-art and hitchhiking Puerto-Lopez to Ayangue.

 

Bouncing along in the back of a fish-truck we watched the parched, cactus territory along the coastline turn to lush forest. With isolated micro-climates changing the scenery from place to place, Ecuador is amazingly varied for its size. Winter is warmer than Summer here, but the only season I didn't want to miss was when Humpback Whales come to mate. We'd spotted a few from the beach at Puerto Cayo, but it's hard to get a sense of scale at distance and I really wanted to see them up close.

 

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Sun

03

Aug

2014

A final few days of celebration and a sad farewell to La Esperanza.

There have been few places in the world that have brought tears to my eyes when it came to time to leave.  As I'm sure I've made quite obvious in my last four(?!) posts about La Esperanza, Dan and I really loved living there. This post isn't going to be very informative, but mostly a thank-you to the friends who made us feel so welcome in the village. 

 

We finished painting the house just in time for fiesta of San Juan. This was the third fiesta we'd been part of in La Esperanza and by far the most extravagant. There were lavishly decorated vehicles throwing out sweets and roses for spectators and several parties of costumed dancers; everyone was wearing their finery and some people even brought their animals along to display.

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Wed

25

Jun

2014

Bogota- Street-Art, Couchsurfing and World-Cup Madness.

With a mildly dangerous reputation and generally miserable weather, Bogota isn't somewhere I'd have been attracted to had it not been our entry point into Colombia. At a first glance it isn't the prettiest city. The mountains to the East make the skyline impressive from some angles, but the streets generally look a little unloved. Give the city a chance though and look a little closer, Bogota's soul lives in it's people. 

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Wed

07

May

2014

Festival Fact File: Pitch

I'd never even heard of Pitch, but had been looking for somewhere to see my hero Bonobo and figured that we could do worse than hopping on the bus to Amsterdam. With no real expectations, money or knowledge of the majority of acts, it could have gone either way. 

 

In fact, despite having to camp off site, Pitch turned out to be the easiest and most consistently enjoyable festival I went to all summer. It was relaxed, friendly and a manageable size, but with varied enough music to keep the weekend exciting. 

 

...I'm tempted to make some sort of joke about 'perfect Pitch', but am worried I might lose some of you.

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Tue

22

Apr

2014

Festival Fact File: Glastonbury

*I wrote this post a couple of years ago, so ignore the dates. 1st ticket sales this year are 4/10/15. Re-sales after Christmas.*

I'm going to introduce my series of 'Festival Fact Files' with a bit of a banger. Glastonbury is the biggest, muddiest and undoubtedly most exhausting of all the festivals I've ever been to, so why is it breaking my heart this much to watch the resale date sale past?* Although its size can be a little overwhelming at first, Glastonbury is unbeatable for its unique combination of friendly atmosphere, variety of performances and incredible line-up. I've been lucky enough to make it to the last four, but this year I'll leave the tickets for you- resales are on the 24th and 27th April. Get on it!

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Mon

21

Apr

2014

Architectural details of Marrakesh


I'm neither an architect nor a proper photographer, but I couldn't help but fall in love with these intricate designs. Click on the tiles below for full images... 


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Mon

07

Apr

2014

Ten photos that remind me why I have to go back to Portugal...

I hadn't even intended to visit Portugal, but after bumbling up through Morocco and along the South of Spain, that was where I ended up. I only had a few days and never made it out of the cities, Faro, Lisbon and Porto, but that was enough to convince me that I need to return- and soon!
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Sun

06

Apr

2014

The Street Art of Stokes Croft, Bristol.


As part of my usual expedition to catch up with as many of my favorite people as possible while I'm in England, I headed down to Bristol for New Years Eve to see my friends Sam and Steve and the rest of their motley crew I associate with festivals, raves and long days of doing very little. By the afternoon of the Second of January, I'd finally recovered enough to remember where I was and have a little explore...
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Sun

06

Apr

2014

Melbourne, its Street Art and why it would be cool to live there…

We were lucky enough to have friends to stay with in Melbourne. Although I hadn’t seen Karl since I was fifteen, and had never even met his wife Sarah, they took our unpredictable plans in their stride and made us feel at home even when we arrived a whole day early and probably not smelling too fresh. It was amazing to have some nice food, a comfy bed and two whole nights sleep without needing to worry if we were going to be turfed out at any moment (hopefully we weren’t irritating enough to drive them to that!).

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Sun

06

Apr

2014

'Wildlife Photographer of the Year' -London

 

Where: Natural History Museum, London

 

When: 18 October 2013 - 23 March 2014

10.00-17.50 (last admission 17.15)

The photos will then do a tour of various cities (I once saw them in Sydney instead).

 

How much: Adult £12, child and concessions £6 (including 10% optional extra donation)

 

Buy tickets: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/wpy/exhibition/

 

 

Amazingly, this year was the forth in a row I've managed to see the winners of the 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year' awards and this latest collection certainly did nothing to dislodge its position as my favorite exhibition of all time. Not only are the photos themselves incredible, but the set-up of the exhibition in the Natural History Museum creates a peaceful, soothing environment in which to view them. Beautifully back-lit in a darkened, but spacious side wing, strange but soothing music emanates from the walls, making you feel as if you're wandering around inside a whale's womb.*

 

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