Thursday, 28 August 2008

Playing Nice With Mr Jago

Mr Jago has got a new clothing company on the go...

go and check it.

He's also got a solo show coming up at Stolenspace...

StolenSpace are pleased to present the 1st London solo show by artist Mr Jago. This will showcase new work on Canvas, Silk, wood & installations, as well as the release of 2 new limited edition screen prints. ‘I see figures & form everywhere, in water, carpet patterns, shadows, clouds, everything is an abstract character and they are free’ says Jago. ‘Of all weather phenomena, I find clouds the most fascinating, from the silky filaments of high altitude cirrus to the towering, threatening mass of storm-bearing cumulonimbus, clouds are as varied as the new work itself. I love cloud watching, from no where the fluffy mass morphing shapes from a cunning fox with whispy ears to familiar faces ’.

Apparent in Mr Jago’s work is its loose lines and organic flow; he describes his work as ‘itchy’ and ‘dynamic’, with heavy movement and life, always searching for a new arrangement of lines. Robotic characters, and multi-layered landscapes feature heavily. The free flowing strokes and organic colours in Mr Jago’s paintings explore the ideas of space and depth in the landscapes and whilst the fast lines in his work attempt to make subject seem alive and animated. Mr Jago seems to have the ability to see a different world amongst the very mundane. These elements a very much reflective in this new body of work, and with this a looser, more instinctive style. This evolution has seen the early ‘Scrawl Collective’ scratchy style through to these more free flowing, abstract and loose paintings.

Cloud Talk 11.09.08 - 28.09.08

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Castles In The Sand: A Lover's Guide to Beach Art

Beach: the final frontier. Sand, shells and seaweed. The epicentre of idle creation. Once you’ve finished playing bat and ball, once you’ve swum until your eyes bleed, then there’s nothing left but to express yourself through sand. What underground tube station or fashionable New York gallery can boast a range of crazy artwork to rival low tide at Cobo on a summer’s evening?

When I talk about beach art, I’m not talking about the freaks who make life-size sculptures of the Simpsons on Brighton beach for daytime TV, and I’m not talking about the sell-outs chasing the big cash prizes in the Rocquaine Regatta sandcastle competition. I’m talking about people who write their name in the sand in twenty-foot letters just so everyone sitting at the Rockmount knows it. I’m talking about people who dig holes so deep that doctors end up writing ‘Why such a big hole?’ on children’s broken-leg diagnostic reports.

Beach art is limitless and can take many forms, but generally, it’s divided into three styles:

1. Lettering: Writing in the sand, usually by trailing the corner of a spade behind you. Often your name, ‘Hello’ or something offensive about someone you know.

2. Hole digging: It’s all about going big. How wide? How deep? Tunnels?

3. Sculpture: Generally castles, occasionally stuff like mermaids. Sometimes sculpture is interactive (think racing cars and boats). Sometimes it takes a more multimedia/kinetic angle (half buried people).

Beach art is a widespread and highly respected form of expression in island communities like Guernsey, and with good reason. It takes mad ability to operate within the limitations of the beach. It’s not an oil painting, so you’ve only got until the tide comes up, and you’ve got to know your sand. If you haven’t got what it takes then your castle is going to collapse, your letters will fade and the holes you dig will subside. Whilst being one of the most technically challenging art forms around, its also one of the most accessible. Most islanders don’t have the facilities to make bronze statuettes or silkscreen prints, but anyone can get hold of a bucket and spade.

Sadly, in spite of the massive following beach art has at a local level, and the fact that thousands of people passionately pursue it as a way of life; it remains disputed as an art form in the UK and much of Europe. Many of the greatest diggers, scrapers and shapers remain at best ignored and at worst despised by the mainstream art scene, and it’s not uncommon for respected artists to dismiss sand castles as ‘just messing about’, accusing beach artists of ‘increasing erosion’ and ‘causing long shore drift’.

Despite this, the future of the discipline is bright. The majority of beach artists don’t seem to care whether they make it big or not. They’re not looking to cross over, blow-up or break-through, and it seems most would prefer a virgin patch of sand and a spade to the Turner Prize.


This is where it's at.

Text by Captain Soap Powder

Choice Cuts

‘UNTIL YOU GET CRUSHED BY a tree or stabbed by a clown, painting – that’s what you want to be doing,’ Mr Jago tells me. Originally an illustrator, and pioneer of the doodle, Jago is now notorious for silk paintings of robots; exploding onto the Bristol scene in the 90’s, he’s been sending shockwaves across the world as far as Japan. Strange, then, that he’s here in Guernsey, eating chips in Trinity Square and drinking Breda like a local.

Painting has been the name of the game this weekend, and it’s not just Jago who’s in on the action. He’s here with heavyweights of what’s come to be known as the UK ‘street art’ scene, Inkie, Cheba, and Nikill, on tour with the Bristol-based live art phenomenon, Weapon of Choice. Set up by Cheba at the beginning of this year, WOC is typically a pub or club event involving the collaboration of two or more artists. As hip-hop/funk beats ooze from the speakers, the artists invariably abuse pen, paint, and not a little liquid inspiration to create – in the course of one evening – a black-and-white masterpiece.

The Readerswives Collective have somehow managed to lure over not two, but four of these Belton-wielding Bristolians. On Friday night, beer in one hand and paintbrush in the other, they blitz some 20ft of wall-space in Rogues nightclub to the ambient sounds of DJ oneofakind’s funk collection.

Considering the loud noises, alcohol and inevitable distractions involved in such a venture, the results are visually stunning. Inkie’s bold style manifests itself as a beautiful twenty-first century bastardisation of art deco, and the black and white medium and limited production time make this work all the more immediate. Cheba’s cartoon characters and wispy evocations of a snowstorm are equally well suited to the parameters of the project. What’s more, the convergence of the static art object with the time frame of just a few hours makes it comparable to performance art; and this kind of pluralism is exactly what the accompanying Centre Fold Gallery exhibition is all about.

Staged the following night, it’s here at the gallery that the artists really show their individual colours (no pun intended). They display a wide range of pieces, from screen prints to mixed media canvases. Inkie is perhaps the best known of the four: he’s worked with Banksy, and is now Head of Design for Sega. His canvases broadcast his confidence, mixing opulent reds and golds with a healthy dose of street. Since Inkie’s roots are planted so firmly in graffiti culture, I wonder what he thinks of street art as an emerging movement. ‘Street art, as a term, is a load of bollocks,’ he tells me, ‘just a way of avoiding the g-word.’ But there are advantages to the current artistic environment: ‘Graffiti has certain parameters, it’s not boundless. Street art has more scope. It can be anything that catches your eye. And, combined with the rise of the digital canvas, it means art is more accessible to young people.’

Jago shares a similar aversion to what he sees as the street art ‘pigeonhole’. ‘I’m in that category because of when I came out and what I do, but I’m not comfortable with the label. It’s a bit like being in a band, and going into a record shop to see your CD in the ‘Dance’ section. What if you’re more than one category? It just doesn’t encompass everything.’

Cheba, who masterminded the Weapon of Choice concept and has driven it to its current success, takes another slant on labels. ‘Street art means public art. It’s selfish. Art forced in people’s faces. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to see my art, it’s fucking there.’ His pieces reflect this frank statement; his work remixes Warhol and Lichtenstein images as well as corporate logos. For example, one of his artworks features the five circles of colour that make up the logo of Crylon – an old make of spray-paint that used by graffiti artists – but he’s turned them into disgruntled little round faces. Instead of the clean circles of the original logo, his pools of colour bleed luscious drips down a black background. Hence it both endorses and subverts; it is self-reflexive, essentially ‘street art about street art’.

Nikill’s work is the most understated of the four, and clearly remarks on his deep respect for older artists – not least Mr Jago. He combines spray paint, acrylic and markers to produce a series of interlinking, heavily layered canvases where ‘angles, mathematics and science combine.’ It seems that his influences are the most important aspect of his attitude to ‘street art’; given his contemporary style, reminiscent of the sketchiness of fellow Bristolian filth-monger Xenz, I’m impressed when he tells me his influences reach as far back as Turner. His reverence for artistic predecessors has obviously paid off for him – he had his first solo show aged 15, and had staged a sell-out exhibition at Seven (Bristol) by the time he was 17. Now, at just 20, he owns his own clothing label, ‘Love the Leaf’, and is a budding music producer.

It’s a multi-faceted and thought-provoking exhibition, and after the exploits of Friday night’s live drawing, I’m overwhelmed by the Weapon of Choice experience. It’s a successful opening night, too, with all 6 of Jago’s silk paintings selling within minutes of commencing business. Everyone’s tired, but happy, and the four artists reflect on their weekend. It was ‘perfect’, they all agree, vehemently promising to return as soon as their busy schedules will allow.

Text by Foxy Paw

Mmmm Virtual Drugs


Who gets a virtual 'kick' out of the internet? Well, me for one; a sure aid to a restful night’s sleep is to tune into MySpace and evaluate how many ‘hits’ my profile has received.

But really, are we even marginally aware of the utter dependency we have on virtual reality? Yes, it is quite the narcotic: every angst of the day is transcribed through the tap-tap-tapping on your keyboard as you complete the obligatory electronic forms to purchase the products guaranteed to enhance your quality of life and, hence, your happiness that has, until the point of purchase, sucked more than a little bit. Your succumbing consequently produces the blessed sleep of the virtual-consumer.

I know I am not alone in this: how good does it feel to return to the sanctuary of your home after a less-than-perfect day and log into a reality over which you have supreme control? You are a God. In setting Google Search as your homepage, you and only you control what you encounter. All stipulations that you ‘befriend your neighbour’, and thus contribute towards the establishment of social harmony, are suspended. Indeed, the only ‘neighbour’ you have to worry about is the anonymous irritant who outbids you on eBay in the last twenty seconds.

But this, paradoxically, breeds a sense of community: your hours of isolation trawling eBay for a bargain are socialised by the fact that your climactic bid is surpassed by an English penny in the final moments of the desired item’s listing. In other words, your unsuccessful vigilance indeed, your very isolation is vindicated by the fact that there is a shrewder Overlord of the virtual reality than you. And the range of emotions that this brief spell induces aggrandisement, assurance, anger, envy are all generated without your leaving your computer's vicinity. That's quite some virtual-reality.

To take Facebook as a site representative of the Internet’s potential to produce a race of social degenerates, one might feel inferior to one's virtual neighbour if that neighbour's number of 'wall posts' grossly exceeds one's own. To this end the individual becomes desperate and embraces the chirpy persona whose posts on a long-estranged friend's wall read something like this: "Hi, I'm sorry I've been rubbish, how are you doing...?"

What they actually mean is: "Hi, I obviously don't care about you that much or else I would have called by now; but I'm suffering from a total identity crisis and need you to validate my reality by confirming that I have friends beyond tin the world outside the room in which my computer is located".

That's pretty crazy, but the internet does indeed provide the opportunity to be as sociable as you please without leaving the well-worn groove in your chair. See? Convenience is key here. Yes you are inevitably inundated with 'special offers' and the assurances that you ARE the '999,999th visitor to this site which means that you win a prize', but you can eradicate these nuisances with the click of a button rather than the slap around the face that would cause offence - and a possible court appearance - in the real world.

It is possible to detect the virtual-addict through the very pallor of their skin; there is clearly a gap in the market for computer screens that create the healthy, sun-blushed complexion of the virtual-abstainer. I would seize this point of fact and go on to suggest that the lure of the internet is nothing short of virtual-vampirism. Mina Harker in Bram Stoker’s Dracula was unable to resist the foreign Count’s charms; who, in these times, can resist the magnetic pull of the Internet? Shopping, socialising, applying for jobs. The Internet takes the sting out of all these events; a pleasant indulgence upon which one soon becomes virtually dependent.

Text by MisSpells

Gormo in Guernsey

Ever noticed the hair pricking up on the back of your neck when circling the Model Yacht Pond? or, taking a private dip at the bathing pools, turned to confront an observer only to find no one there?

Unknown to the islanders going about their daily lives, dark and brooding figures are watching their every move with an unflinching gaze. The works belong to the Insider series by Anthony Gormley, and have been installed in Castle Cornet since May. Gormley, most famous for the Angel of the North and a collection of figures spread across London rooftops called Event Horizon, has brought to Guernsey LOT, an installation that forms a part of the International Artist in Residence Programme.

The usually sunny and familiar sight of the castle takes on a more sinister air with the addition of these works, and is a perfect venue for the five figures. Its location, with only one approach by foot, affords the artist a valuable level of control over how the viewer is introduced to the piece. The figures start out distinctly human, to such a degree that they could almost be mistaken for tourists risking the high walls. However, as the viewer draws closer to the castle, more of their alien distortion, thin limbs and jutting members become visible, and begin to lend the art its dark and unfamiliar discordance.

It is only once inside the castle that the true brilliance of the installation is revealed. As you navigate the castle's tiered structure, the figures constantly disappear and reappear amongst the walled gardens and staircases. They are mostly planar in form, and flat, except for their pointed penises. This allows each reappearance to give details of different aspects, subtle colours, and the relative positions of the limbs, forming the strong sense of a site populated by innumerable silent suggestions of humans. This effect is so potent that it seems the castle was made for the figures and them for it; an organic feel, as if all were formed together.

This feeling is only broken by the presence of Diaphragm V, a figure more naturalistic in form than the Insider series. Although an interesting work, its placement in the base of the tower – almost as an afterthought – succeeds only in breaking the spell cast by the rest of the installation. Lit by a bare electric bulb and well signposted, unfortunately its addition only detracts from the power of the other works. Entry to the exhibition is free for students, but £6.50 for adults and £4.50 for OAPs, so it’s also a bit dear (although only £1 to visit after 4pm). These are the only things that mar this otherwise thought provoking and powerful installation.

Documentary of recent Antony Gormley installation "Lot" at Castle Cornet, Guernsey. Film by Peter Root and Paul Arnett, in association with The International Artist in Residence programme

Text by Kirsty

Grey Britain

Art, it is said, forces us to view the world in new ways, altering long-held perceptions and drawing our attention to aspects of life that otherwise pass unnoticed. This is undoubtedly the impact of Unpopular Culture at the De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill-on-Sea, a touring exhibition curated by the transvestite potter and winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, Grayson Perry.

The exhibition presents Perry’s personal selection of British art from the Arts Council Collection, focussing on 1940 to the 1980s, and so dealing with everything from the traumas of the Second World War to the onset of the Thatcher years. It tells a story of Britain that is not one of sugar-coated nostalgia but rather of personal attempts to survive, in various ways, the struggles that faced Britain in this period. It largely ignores the Swinging Sixties and Pop: Perry argues that these chapters of culture were ‘really only enjoyed by a minority’ and did not affect the popular consciousness in the way they are so often documented. Instead, Unpopular Culture seems concerned with the atmosphere of anxiety that dominated the whole period, taking place, as Perry sees it, between two national calamities.

Perhaps for this reason, Perry’s selections have been criticised for their ugliness and overriding greyness. Although they might not always be spectacular or artistically brilliant, the works seem to reflect the collective temperament of Britons at the time. The sculptures are exclusively cast in bronze, and their bulky, clumsy forms, such as that of Anthony Caro’s Woman Waking Up (1956), seem to reflect the unattractiveness of modern construction at the time, devoid of lightness and grace. Much of the sculpture is typical of the post-war reconstruction of the human body in art that no longer saw man as an unbreakable colossus, but as battered and bruised, a precarious survivor of the brutalities of World War Two.

However, the impression the exhibition gives is by no means a wholly negative one. Many of the works embrace a sense of English eccentricity. Tony Ray-Jones’ Brighton Beach 1967 (1967) depicts a group of pensioners in coats and headscarves seated unceremoniously on deckchairs and surrounded by the ubiquitous British picnic accessories, a Thermos flask and Melamine plates. They embody a sense of stoicism, not only for picnicking in bad weather, but for the struggles of post-war life in general. Other works tell a story of defiant individualism in the face of modern developments, for example David Hepher’s Arrangement in Turquoise and Cream (1979-81). Playing on the concept of abstract geometric compositions, the painting is in fact a photorealistic depiction of a tower block. It is faceless and oppressive, yet simultaneously asserts the quiet individuality of each of the occupants through the variety of colours and patterns of the curtains in each window.

In addition to the works from the Arts Council Collection, Perry has created two new pieces for the exhibition, Queen’s Bitter (2007) and Head of a Fallen Giant (2007-8). The latter is particularly interesting in that it is a conscious riposte to Damien Hirst’s notorious £50 million diamond-encrusted skull, For the Love of God, one of the defining pieces of recent sensationalist, media-driven British art. Rather than attempting to shock or impress, Perry’s head exhibits a quiet restraint and yet succeeds in representing the entire condition of Britain today. It is cast in bronze, yet appears as if an ancient skull has been dredged up from the depths of the ocean, encrusted with stereotypical British motifs such as the Routemaster bus. The sculpture confirms the assertion that Britain has not really changed since the 1940s in terms of atmosphere; it is still a country on the edge of despair, yet full of humour and hope just around the corner.

The real triumph of Perry’s exhibition is in the locations in which it will be shown. After the exhibition, I took a drizzly stroll along Bexhill-on-Sea’s promenade with its dilapidated amusement arcade and Brighton-esque onion domes, absorbing its peculiar Englishness and quiet charm that is so often suggested in the works in the show. The exhibition is touring round Preston, Durham, Southampton, Aberystwyth, Scarborough, Wakefield and Bath throughout the rest of the year and 2009. Go to see it, immerse yourself in the exhibition’s particular setting, and discover not only some hidden gems of modern British art, but of modern Britain itself.

Yeah Grayson Perry rules!

Text by Lady Muck

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Electro Selecto

This is a re-post from our old myspace blog. Enjoy.

The RWC crew have been rinsing the electro recently, here's a definitive list of music you should know...oh my god I love that 808 hand clap.

Giorgio Moroder - From Here To Eternity (1977) Giorgio Moroder was the man back in the day.

Donna Summer - I Feel Love (1977) The Giorgio Moroder production is killer.

Space were fronted by French musician Didier Marouani who penned Magic fly back in 1977. It went on to reach the top spot of many european countries and found itself at No.2 in the uk top 40 in September of that year.

Had jean michel jarre not had such a huge success with Oxygene the previous year, the French may well have described Marouani as their biggest music exporter.

This has to rate as one of the best early synthpop tracks ever.

Kraftwerk - The Robots (1978) Pure Genius.

M - Pop Muzik (1979) Classic

Joy Division - Love Will Tear us Apart (1979) Not really electro but I would kill to have written that synth part. Amazing tune....

Tubeway Army/Gary Numan - Are Friends Electric (1979) Heavy and dark.

The Flying Lizards - Money (1979) ...again not sure if this should be here - killer tune though.

Gary Numan - Cars (1979) Chooooooooon!

Ultravox - Vienna (1980) Truly beautiful - This means nothing to me.

Tom Tom Club - Wordy Rapping Hood (1981) 1 part Talking Heads = Amazing

Devo - Whip It (1981 I Think) Flower pots = genius, all they need is capes and they'll be the best band in the world,

Depeche Mode - I Just Can't Get Enough (1981) I just can't get enough of this tune.

Soft Cell - Tainted Love (1981) The dopest 80's special effects.

New Order - Blue Monday (1983) True classic. Great video

Heaven 17 - Temptation (1983) Take you higher and higher.

Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (1983) Such a killer track, I love it.

Animotion - Obsession (1984) So so fresh - It's all about those femail vocals.

Man Parrish - Hip Hop Be Bop (1984) The whole album is killer, check 'Six Simply Synthesizers'.

Dominatrix - The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight (1984) The sexy dead pan female vocalist is born.

New Order - True Faith (1987) Another great tune and fresh video by New Order.

Les Rythmes Digitales - Sometimes (1999) Darkdancer was the album that got me into electro again, Jacques Lu Cont (complete with spiky mullet) was well ahead of the game in the 80's retro revival. This tune features Nik Kershaw. Sick.

Cylob - Rewind (2000) An amazing video.

Chicks On Speed - Eurotrash Girl (2000) Very Kraftwerk

Peaches - Fuck The Pain Away (2001) Let the electro revival begin, A seriously pivotal record.

Peaches - Set It Off (2001) Also from the Teaches of Peaches (as above). The ugly queen of smut just kills it. Peaches should rule the world.

Fischerspooner - Emerge (2001) The best of the new breed.

Miss Kitten - Frank Sinatra (2001) Miss Kitten = Dead pan vocals = Sick! Killer video too.

Miss Kitten & Hacker - 1982 (2001) Retro as...

Tok Tok VS. Soffy O - Missy Queen's Gonna Die (2001)

Add N to (x) - Take Me to Your Leader (2002) 2002 was a good year for electro, I had some phat nights in London.

Tiga - Sunglasses At Night (2002) Killer

Felix Da Housecat - Silver Screen Shower Scene (2002) Heavy tune

Swayzak - I Dance Alone (2002)

Crazy Girl - Cocaine Talk (2002)

Ladytron - Seventeen (2002)

Chicks on Speed - We Don't Play Guitars (2003) Electro Punk revolutionaries.

Goldfrapp - The Train (2003) Soooooo sexy, the first 10 seconds kill me.

Free Form Five - Eeeeaaooww (2005) Amazing remixers, amazing fonts, ignore the new stuff 2005 is where it's at. This isn't their best tune but the only one I could find with a video.

I'm sure I've forgotten some classics. The late 80's seem a little sparse, as do the 90's and 2005 onwards. Suggestions anyone?

Take That Grouville

The blogging has been a little slow recently due to a seriously hectic workload, sorry. Anyways the RWC crew are off to Jersey this coming weekend and so we decided to do some homework on our fellow Channel Islanders. We found this absolute classic of a music video by Fortress Island Films for Hedley Le Maistre inter-parish epic.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

BBC Rapping Low-Down from 1989

Shouts to Inkie for giving us the heads up on this one. The RWC feel old.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Centre Fold Website

If you are looking for more information about our gallery, please check our other site....

Make sure you spell it right or you'll get something completely wrong.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Mr Jago and Inkie

Mr Jago and Inkie have collaborated on a fair few walls in the past, if you like what you see in this video and you live in Guernsey, Channel Islands pop down to the Centre Fold Gallery. You can view wall paintings by Mr Jago, Inkie, Cheba and Nikill.

Centre Fold Gallery
Trinity Square Centre
Trinity Square
St Peter Port

Summer Opening (July-August)
Mon-Fri 10:30 - 21:30
Sat-Sun 10:30 - 18:30

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


The RWC crew like to think they are pretty productive and so does Stefano Pasquini. Overwhelmed by the quantity of information and art that was surrounding him, Pasquini decided that in 2004 he would produce one artwork every day. Soon he found out that the "quick fix" of one work a day wasn't enough, and made more and more works every day, reaching 17 works in one day. At the end of the year, the count was 578 artworks that included paintings, sculptures, photographs, watercolors, videos, music pieces, performances and entire exhibitions. On a busy day he would just scribble a little note or drawing on a tiny piece of paper, or just shoot something with his digital camera and call it the artwork for the day. While the project was going on, he updated the list online on his website, that now includes a page for each work produced. The implications for this project are of a philosophical nature: we're too many, and we produce too much. There are too many artists producing too much work, there's too much information, too much creativity: what can an artist do about it? One possible solution is to produce more than anyone else, implying that the opposite of quantity is not necessarily quality. The other solution was already tried by Maurizio Cattelan who asked collectors and galleries to sponsor that for a given year he would not produce any art. Of course the most complete solution was already found by Marcel Duchamp when he stated "there are no solutions, as there are no problems".

This video is a documentation of the 578 artworks that Stefano Pasquini made for Project 2004, and it was shown in Shangai on April 24th, 2008, as part of "Intrude: Art & Life 366"curated by Shen Qibin and Zendai Museum of Modern Art,Shanghai, China. Enjoy.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Notorious H.I.T.

We never realised that Hitler had mad flow, strangely though he sounds just like Notorious B.I.G.