Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Brighton Art and Design Guide - LAST

Last Footwear
Art and Design Map

Alex Herdman first opened Last Footwear in Kemp Town Village in the summer of 2004 in the workshop space where she had done her shoemaking apprenticeship. In 2005 Last moved to it's present position in Pool Valley in 2008. Last launched an online shop www.lastfootwear.com

Alex did an art foundation course at Bucks University and was undecided whether to pursue a career in 3D design or Fashion. When she moved to Brighton she came across a small handmade shoe shop and was lucky enough to be offered an apprenticeship she stayed on after the apprenticeship and opened Last

"It seemed a natural progression to stay in Brighton - I enjoy the friendliness and abundance of creative talent in the city"

This beautiful shop is based in Pool Valley just off the sea end of East Street in Brighton's Lanes, next door to the lovely and legendary Mock Turtle Tea Shop.

Last specialises in shoes, accessories and hosiery, mostly hand made and with a definite emphasis on quality and interesting design.

Alex takes some of her inspiration from gallery shops "I have always loved going to galleries and museums and I suppose I took a lot of inspiration from gallery shops, I like the feeling that you are walking away with not just a shoe but a little artwork. I try and make the shop as welcoming as possible and do not want to be elitist, I try and have products that suit even the smallest pocket. I also really enjoy makers and designers bringing in their creations to sell in the shop and have found lots of my suppliers this way."
Alex says that in the main the shop attracts people who work in the creative industries and students.

Among craftsmen and designers who supply the shop are
Wolfram Lohr - Leather work

Rachel Eardley - Jewellery and Prints

Jane Beckley - Bags

Neoma - Leather work
Funn Stockings - Hosiery
Cecile Gilbert - Tiki - Jewellery

Thomas Murphy - Shoes
Florrie - Knitwear

Alpa Mistry - Ties
Amy Phipps - Accessories

Zoe Olivia John - Accessories

Rosa Mosa - Shoes

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Brighton Art Fair - Poster Design and Selection

Selection starts tomorrow for Brighton Art Fair 2009 and MADE09 - Brighton's Design and Craft Fair. It's always difficult making the selection and each year seems harder - we have to select a balance of different work as well as maintain the high quality and originality of the fair.
Last minute applications go to
Brighton Art Fair

Sarah Young has revealed the poster design for this years fair and is working on the design for Made at the moment.

Click Here to Read More..

Monday, 30 March 2009

Brighton Art & Design Guide - Boxbird

Boxbird Gallery & Studios
Art and Design Map

Artist Graham Carter and curator Alice Teague opened Boxbird in August 2008, after years of dreaming about opening their own art gallery to sell Graham’s work as well as work from all the talented illustrators and artists they knew and loved.

Alice and Graham moved to Brighton four years ago in search of a more vibrant arts scene. After a few years of living in Brighton the dream of a Boxbird seemed to really fit the town so they took a chance and went for it.

The space is a lovingly converted from a mechanics garage. Before Boxbird, it housed the Jewellery workshop Brass Monkeys but it needed a lot of work to make it into a smart gallery -
it has lovely big windows which allows great natural light into the gallery.

Boxbird have ignored the obvious Lane/North Laine locations for galleries in Brighton (because of space/cost considerations) and have ventured a little further afield and found themselves in an amazing street in Hove - St Johns Road was once the service buildings for Adelaide Crescent and the properties are all lovely old coach houses. Many other occupants are car mechanics who thought they were a bit mad opening an art gallery! but nestled among the grease monkeys are musicians, painters and graphic designers – Alice says St johns road is Hove’s best kept secret!

"The street is a brilliant community all of its own, it buzzes with activity during the week and at the weekends becomes a cut through for local residents – we get children, dogs, bikes and all sorts in the gallery on a Saturday!"

Being out of town enabled them to secure a large enough premises for Graham to have his own silkscreen equipment which has completely changed the way in which he can work and the scale too.

Before opening Boxbird Alice worked as the event manager for local children’s charity Rockinghorse for three years. She had also been working with Graham and other illustrators and artists on putting together and promoting the award winning Show Below for the Brighton Fringe Festival.

Graham has been illustrating for 10 years and has worked with some excellent clients including Orange, Saatch&Saatchi, Bupa and Monster.com. Graham is also one of the founding members of the celebrated illustration collective Peepshow. Graham is known in Brighton for his printmaking and he currently exhibits across the uk.

"We are just trying to create somewhere that people enjoy visiting and enjoy viewing art in. It is a working gallery so it’s often covered in paint and half finished prints which is what gives it its personality and energy.

Graham and I don’t enjoy the pretentious side of art and believe that buying art should be fun and get you excited. We don’t let people leave with a piece that they are never fully happy with and certainly don’t do the pushy sales bit!"

A combination of their skills and knowledge is what makes Boxbird so exciting and refreshing. Alice's organisational skills and passion for beautiful things and Graham’s talent makes Boxbird unique and somewhere people love coming to shop!

Customers are encouraged to see the equipment and they can often watch artists printing which helps them to understand the quality of the printing and the processes, time and effort that goes into each design.

Boxbird specialises in limited edition prints by emerging illustrators and printmakers. They have an eclectic selection of work offering something for everyone.

We have a massive variety of customers and no particular pattern to what they will buy! A large percentage seem to be artists themselves which is really nice. Because the work we sell is affordable it doesn’t alienate any age or income group. We had a bunch of art students come in last week and most of them took a goody away with them! We also have a lot of customers in New York which gives me great delight every time an order pops in! 

Boxbird currently represent 15 artists (including Graham) and in May will be adding a further 15 to that with a film based print exhibition CinemaScope. The show will introduce some emerging and graduate artists who will exhibit alongside Boxbird artists and invited artists such as Graham Rawle, Jon Burgerman and Jon Link (Modern Toss)

Graham Carter - Printmaker & illustrator
Zara Wood – Illustrator & Printmaker
Stuart Tolley – Art Director
Fiona Hewitt – Illustrator & Dumpling Dynasty creator
Ben Newman – Printmaker
Sam Chivers – Printmaker & Illustrator
Sallly Elford – Illustrator
Ruth Green – Printmaker
Ruth Munro – Illustrator
Anna Kyriacou – Fine Artist

Exhibitions 2009
March - Battersea Affordable Art Fair

May - Cinemascope as part of Brighton Fringe Festival - 35 artists producing new prints based on film.

June - illustrator Zara Wood is exhibiting a solo show of new prints and originals, inspired by her trip to the New York Natural History Museum and full of lots of lovely new characters.

July - Sam Chivers, printmaker extraordinaire is launching a solo show ‘Micromacro’.
"Sam is the kind of artist every gallery loves to represent because he is so excited about doing the show, and I think will really make use of all the space!!"

Click Here to Read More..

Brighton Art and Design Guide

Brighton Art and Design Guide

Over the next few weeks we'll be posting a daily review of what we consider to be the best art and design, galleries, shops and studios in Brighton and Hove, which will build up to an on-line Art and Design Guide to Brighton and Hove.

This is a biased and subjective guide chosen by the writers for MADE designed to expose the quirky independent venues trying to create something original and unique in Brighton.

If you would like to nominate your favourite shop or gallery drop me a line saying why you think it should be included.

I've compiled a map listing all the venues here and will link to the reviews/articles once they're all published.

We would love to hear about other vibrant towns and if you would like to suggest an art and design guide to your town do get in touch.

Click Here to Read More..

Friday, 27 March 2009

Artist of the Week - Annie Mcmanus

Annie Mcmanus works from her garden studio just outside Lewes in East Sussex. Her work is an eclectic mix of pastels, oils, drawings and cartoons. Annie says that 'Using different means of making marks, mixing mediums and allowing conscious choices to be tempered by judiciously manipulated accidents helps, when it is successful, to keep the work alive and energetic'.

One favourite living artist

There could be any number but I’m going to settle on Craigie Aitchison for the luminescence and sense of significance that he gives to the ordinary object (or figure, or dog). Of course he paints crucifixes but he somehow takes the specific out and makes them stand for all objects with a ritual meaning. The other thing is colour which is rich and deep. He can use fuchsia or cobalt and make it look subtle and celestial rather than blinding.

One favourite historical artist

Rembrandt for his mastery of line, his loose and dramatic but absolutely accurate brushwork, his humanity and his relentless scrutiny of himself. I know Prunella Clough is hardly historical but she IS dead and I can’t leave her out. She is also interested in the object in a landscape, in a different way from Craigie Aitchison. She looks at the man-made against the natural and she is very thoughtful. I also admire the way she mingles figurative and abstract and the way she constantly surprises with areas of her painting that are almost awkward.

When and where did you first want to do what you do?

I’ve always drawn a lot but because I was perceived to be academic I went to University to do English and, though I did a good deal of illustrating work, I didn’t think of making a commitment to art until I was older. Living in America for two years, where I didn’t have a Green Card which would have let me work, meant that I had time to paint, and discovered for the first time what it was to work in colour. So when I got back to England I started on the business of getting an art education, in the course of which I realised that painting was the way I wanted to spend my life.

What place in the world has inspired you?

I can’t say that I ever really work much from life or from the landscape. I never find beautiful places inspiring, they are lovely to look at for sure but they seem somehow complete. I prefer ugly or disordered places but even so I will only collect impressions rather than use a view wholesale. I do think I might be missing a trick here but I always think that if I start painting just what I see I’m going to get lost in trying to make an accurate rendition and everything else will get abandoned along the way.

Do you work best on your own or in collaboration?

On my own

At age 15 who influenced your style?
Because I was drawing a lot and reading a lot it was masters of drawing and of illustration that I loved. Cartoonists like Giles, illustrators like Ronald Searle, the drawings in The Moomin books and in The Phantom Tollbooth. Not very elevated perhaps but I still love that work.

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace - if at all?

I think my ‘vision’ is very fluid anyway. Images that are provoked by an idea, or a word or something around me arise in my head and expect to be got down on paper or canvas. Of course they change in the execution but the final work will be faithful in a general way to the first image. The one area where I feel that I would certainly be influenced by the market place is over the question of size. Big paintings take longer and cost more and people don’t have much spare money at the moment. Without particularly having made a decision about it I realise that, generally speaking, I have been using smaller canvases. Having said that, I have to admit that I am just working on the biggest canvas I have ever used, so no sense or order there then.

Who would you say buys your work?

Depends on the piece of work, very difficult question.

How do you set about starting a new project?

Lots of thinking, not only about the image itself but about medium, support. Then I have to tidy my studio so it can develop a chaos particular to that project or piece of work. Dabble with colour, draw, mess the work up a bit, refine, draw on it, add, take a lot away, decide it’s finished, go away, come back and start making major changes etc etc

Where and what is your studio?

I’m very lucky with my studio, it’s a large, light converted barn in the garden where I can make as much mess as I need to. On the other hand it’s difficult to warm up in the winter.

Do you have a good work/life balance?

Apart from not enough time for either, yes.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?


Would you rather be doing something else?


Are there other fields that you'd like to apply some facet of your work into?

I do other things that involve design or drawing, planning gardens, designing cards, drawing cartoons. I’d like to do more illustration work alongside the painting, the combination of word and picture in illustration is always stimulating.

If you could exhibit in any gallery which would it be?

The Whitechapel

Most overrated artist/maker?

Without mentioning any particular names.... the kind of art that is ideas based is fine if the ideas are original and exciting, but too often there seems to be feeling that any idea, however banal, is as good as any other. It’s hard to keep a sense of discernment since art went conceptual, either for the maker or for the observer so discernment sometimes feels like the first thing to go.

Where do the majority of your inspiration / ideas come from?

All sorts of things, a dream, the space between two things on a hill, someone leaning on a gate, a passing image on the TV....

Where did you train? Favourite / least favourite aspects of training?

Brighton then Wimbledon for an MA in Drawing. I loved my Foundation Course because of the sense of freedom and the constantly changing programme, doing things I would never normally try, like metal work. There were aspects of the MA that I found difficult to stomach, a degree of self satisfaction among some of the staff that led to imaginative failure and sometimes a lack of sensitivity to the needs of the students.

Exhibitions you have had in the past 12 months

National Open Exhibition

Cork Street Open

Art and Soul at Falmer

Teddington Art Fair

The Untitled Art Fair in Chelsea

Future Exhibitions

Own Open Studio, June

Art and Soul 2009 at Falmer, May

The Regency Town House, May, Hove

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Thursday, 26 March 2009

Online Shop of the Week - Donna Wilson

We've always been fans of Donna Wilson's quirky, fun and vibrant work and love her online shop where her delightful textile creatures, beautiful cushions and rugs and 'odd objects' can be found.

The home page of her site keeps you amused as you move your mouse over objects and watch different creatures popping up and passing by (is that just my easily pleased mind?).

Donna has also designed a Chesterfield inspired footstool for SCP furniture called Motley. It is made from handknitted wool and available in 4 different colourways and VERY desirable.

Click Here to Read More..

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Why now is the time for businesses to sponsor the arts

Effective marketing and helping the Arts

Many businesses are reacting to the present recession by cutting advertising spending and especially sponsorship of the arts. We heard recently that one of the biggest grassroots visual arts festivals, - Brighton's Artists Open Houses, has just lost it's major sponsor to the recession (who also sacked half it's staff at the same time). It's unlikely they will find a new lead sponsor before they go to press at the start of April.

AOH each year attracts perhaps 250,000 visitors to exhibitions with publicity reaching at least three or four times that number. Around 40% are from outside Brighton and Hove. The people visiting the houses are very often the 'holy grail' of marketing - ABC1's employed, spenders, who are interested in art and design and want to be out and about spending money. In other words just the sort of people many businesses pay thousands of pounds to marketing firms to reach.

The smallest advert in and amongst hundreds of other adverts in a national newspaper is about £500 and is almost worthless being so small. Local newspapers are not much cheaper and that is only for one day. Sponsoring the right arts organisation (compared to spending money on direct mail or advertising) is incredibly targeted, yields results and doesn't cost the earth.

The message is that in a recession businesses should migrate to relevant sponsorship as a means of saving money achieving marketing goals and reaching prosperous new customers.

Brighton Artists Open Houses need a new sponsor urgently - if you know of a business needing more customers tell them to contact AOH they could get a fantastic sponsorship package. Contact - judy.stevens@zen.co.uk
Artists Open House Film Trailer

Brighton Art Fair in October also needs sponsors and opportunities are available from £110 and reaches thousands of art buyers who still have money to buy luxuries such as art.
contact - Jon@brightonartfair.co.uk

Click Here to Read More..

Midcentury Modern Show at Dulwich College, London SE21. Sunday 29th March 10am-4pm.

Coming up on Sunday 29th March 2009 in London is the one day show Midcentury Modern. For thse who have not been it is a one day show of furniture and collectables for the home from over 70 dealers and designers.

The exhibitors "set up shop" to show and sell furniture, ceramics, wallpaper, textiles and art. It is like a one stop shop full of dealers bringing their best pieces to the one day show. It all takes place in Dulwich College and is enjoyed by serious collectors and those just browing or looking for something special for their home.

Set in the light and bright 60’s concrete and glass Christison-designed refectory and the South Cloisters at Dulwich College. Situated on the A205 South Circular near College Rd, SE21 7LD. Nearest train – West Dulwich (trains leave Victoria BR and take approximately 10 minutes). 5 minute walk to college. Other local galleries and museums include The Horniman and The Dulwich Picture Gallery. Refreshments on site. Car parking with college boys showing visitors to spaces.

Sunday 29th March 2009 Dulwich College, SE21 7LD

10am–4pm Entrance £6 Early entry for trade 9am (£8) Children under 14 free.
Tel. 020 8761 3405

For more information see www.modernshows.com

There is also an on line directory of exhibitors on the website so you can have a browse before you visit.

Click Here to Read More..

Monday, 23 March 2009

Opening on Friday- Andrew Mockett at Castor and Pollux

Local to Brighton, Andrew Mockett is an artist who has worked as a printmaker and textile designer for many international clients including Givenchy and Paul Smith.

In addition to his prints, we will also have handmade books,
silk scarves, cards, card sculptures and wrapping paper.

Friday 27th March, 6 - 8pm.
Cocktails will be served. Please email april@castorandpollux.co.uk for more information.

Click Here to Read More..

Friday, 20 March 2009

Online Shop of the Week - Peepshow

Peepshow are a collective of 10 illustrators, designers and animators with a reputation for producing beautiful and unique work for the commercial market. Their online shop
is an easy to use and effective means to purchasing some of the work produced as a collective and from individuals of the group.

Peepshow design and make prints, tea towels, bags and cards and have a few beautiful books in stock too. Most items are limited editions so we'd advise 'buying at first sight' to avoid later disappointment!

Peepshow: +44(0)207 0339299, shop@peepshow.org.uk

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Artist's Boxes at Rye Art Gallery

Starting this weekend Rye Art Gallery's Easton Rooms has an exhibition of boxed work by artists. When I delivered Sarah Young's contribution's earlier in the week everything was still in the bubble-wrap but it looked like there are dolls, metal constructions and 3d scenes.

Sarah's putting in 3 of her figures - the Mousecatcher - with a coat made from 'mousefur', a Brighton Bathing Belle, and a figure with her organs embroidered on her dress (Can anyone think of a good name for this one? - do let me know - the best we've come up with is Sarah's "Morgan the Organ"!)

The Figures come in a Ash Framed box which can hang straight on the wall.

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Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Contemporary Art Auction

(Paul Cox)

We went along to the Private View of a contemporary art exhibition at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery. Most work on show is by local artists and makers and on 30th May the work will be auctioned at Tooveys Auctioneers

Nick Toovey of Tooveys Auctioneer's in Washington West Sussex has put together this mixed exhibition as a means of giving artists exposure and pioneering a new way for established and emerging artists to sell their work direct to the public

(Sarah Young, Sam Chivers, Paul Chapman)

The auction offers an exciting platform for buyers to acquire pieces of art by established and emerging artists, and a unique opportunity to purchase museum-quality work. The sale will include over 140 works of art by 52 different self-representing artists.

Both Worthing Museum and Horsham Museum are hosting preview exhibitions of work to be auctioned. Do go along and see if anything takes your fancy - being an auction you may pick up a bargain!
(Natalie Martin)

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