Sunday, 30 April 2017

Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick : A flashback!

As the weather gets brighter, it's always nice to look forward to exhibitions being held in London over the summer months.

As it's a cool bank holiday weekend, I thought I would look back at an innovative exhibition I visited last year, as I want to share some of the amazing installations they had.
                                       DAYDREAMING WITH STANLEY KUBRICK

I loved seeing all the different art forms, especially themed around Kubrick's movies and career. 
I've often wished we would have a permanent gallery in London, to feature artists with themed briefs like these, such as Gallery 1988 in NYC and LA. Going through their exhibit pages is always a joy. 
The only closest thing I can think of is Little White Lies doing an exhibit of Victorian inspired art on Guillermo Del Toro's films when promoting Crimson Peak. 
Somerset House also did a shortlived screenprint art exhibition themed on their outdoor summer screenings slate, so I hope they do that again this year as I missed it last year! Cassandra Yap's Dracula print is a thing of beauty. 

It was a beautiful sunny day when I walked up to Somerset House which really is a fantastic venue for exhibitions, with lovely rooms off long corridors. I was lucky enough to get a ticket for one of the last days it was on and I'm glad I had the chance to see this in person.

Entering the corridors was eerie as straight away, you were transported into Kubrick's film worlds with the overlook carpet winding all around the corridors. Totally a hit on Instagram!

The pile of fireplaces was creepy and the radios scattered all along the corridors, I think were emanating static noises? 

One room had lots of different artwork on the walls, a taxidermy piece inspired by A Clockwork Orange, a Harland Miller artwork and a huge wall dedicated to a Kubrick baby photo, with a quote "the most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent..." 

My favourite of the hanging art prints were the Clockwork Orange print as well as this Full Metal Jacket one.
One room that I kept going back to was the teddy bears room, with two giant teddy bears dressed as a Clockwork Orange Droog and accessorized with Lolita sunglasses and lollipop. 

                                  I think it was the neon, I love a bit of neon.
                                "when you talk about love, you make me feel invisible"

I also loved the shelves with lots of glass, all etched with Kubrick film titles or quotes. I thought this was very effective as well as a metal maze for The Shining. 

A 'breathing' camera really unsettled me, as well as the lifesize Kubrick wax figure which was tucked away in an alcove, all on its own. 

Another more subtle piece that was a favourite, was one that I don't think many people noticed as it was tucked away in one of the staircases. As you entered, they had lines from The Shining script all around the staircases, interspersed with lights. I wish I could have seen how effective it was in low light, but this was one of my favourite parts of the exhibition!

After this, I was inspired to see more art and make a full day of it, so I trekked to see Jeff Koonz at the Newport Street Gallery, marvelling at this empty mosaic fountain I found along the way. 

I was not disappointed, look at this beauty of a Balloon Monkey!
and the sheer SIZE. I was in awe. 

I ventured home along the south bank and popped in to the Festival Hall see their "VENTRICLE" artwork by SOFTlabNYC, which had caught my eye from outside. Look at the sheer colours shining in the light, it was beautiful. 

I got the train home from Waterloo, where they had installed a giant STAY PUFT marshmallow man breaking through the floor and had slime all over the security cameras, a fun promotion for the new Ghostbusters movie, much along the lines of the Jurassic World raptors promo they did the year before. 

Somerset House has a lot of fantastic exhibitions and events lined up for this summer, so I look forward to venturing out to a few more! 

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Flying without wings (or ears)

There are many factors to travelling when deaf.  I love travelling alone (another post for another time!) but I always make sure I do a few things when flying. 

I let the airline know I am deaf when I check in or drop my case off, so if there is ever any issues or a case of emergency they would know to have an airline steward let me know directly. They often ask if I need assistance which I don't, but I mainly do it to make them aware and they usually give me a filled in form to hand in at the boarding gate. 

It's just communication, plain (plane?) and simple. 

Window seat? Yes, I love the view and let's be morbid, if the plane fails and falls out of the sky at least I get a good view rather than surrounded by screaming people, with no idea what is happening, which would only heighten your own panic and confusion. Plus you can ignore the people sitting next to you, so no awkward small talk. 

Aisle seat? Let your fellow seatmate know you are deaf in case you are blocking their exit to the aisle and if you fall asleep, their first instinct is probably to talk to you to wake you up, so that's no good. Yes, you may get a stranger nudging you but better than waking up, due to someone clambering over you. Awkward for all involved. 

I swear by these Mentos Big Gum pieces when flying. Not an ad, although if they'd send me a lifetimes supply for my travels, I wouldn't say no ;)

The pieces are big enough to chew properly on your molars as close to the ears as possible,  opening and closing your estauchian tubes and the juiciness makes you swallow, also helping to equalise the pressure. None of these skinny wrigleys or puny extras or the non chewiness of wine gums, which I love but honestly, a few chews and you're done and from personal experience, accidentally scoffing a whole pack of wine gums due to panic chewing as the airplane increasingly climbs makes you feel sick. 

You need something to last a bit longer and not so sickly. Due to the size of the Mentos, they do last the whole taxii-ng and taking off procedure. I usually pop two at a time on the runway and go for a third when climbing in the air. Make those Eustachian tubes work!

There's 15 in a pack so there's enough for your return flight home. 

Please note if you neck them all (why?), it does say on the package that there is a laxative effect, but any way to get you moving on the plane, hey?

The red fruit and lime taste is yum too, anything lime based is a winner in my eyes! 

 If you're flying whilst deaf and wear BTE aids like I do, for goodness sake, take your hearing aids off so there's no extra barrier for the air pressure to equalise against, otherwise you will get extremely painful ear pressure that won't 'pop' and will block your ears.

Enjoy the peace and quiet if there is a crying baby on board or Business Bros intent on discussing their deals the whole flight. Ahhhh, bliss. 

I love the novelty of not wearing my hearing aids when awake and it may help me realise more about what I can and can't hear.

 Can you hear that luggage bin closing above your head when the stewardesses slams it? 

Are you aware of the tannoy announcement even if you don't know what they are saying? Different things to experience and make a note of.

I try to fly only with Virgin as I feel they are one of the best airlines in terms of customer service and they have always been really good for me (Virgin Flight Club represent!). Their online entertainment systems have changed throughout the years and thankfully always improving! 

The latest airplanes have the Vera online entertainment system with a fantastic clear quality screen and they have helpfully recently put captioned films in a category all of their own, under Genres. 

They have a fantastic selection of films 

(yes I am watching Zootropolis for the third time, don't judge) and you can line them all up in a "saved movies" playlist  and hit play! 

I just wish they would add subtitled versions of the documentaries as well as some kids shows. Would love to watch the Nora Ephron documentary! 

Customs - As SOON as you approach the counter, let the border person know you are deaf, you lipread or communicate through writing or if you have any special communication needs. This is important as they are your gatekeeper to freedom from the airport and you don't want to get off on the wrong foot! 

Enjoy the destination, safe travels and I'll write more about travelling when deaf. See you on the flip side! 

Sunday, 16 October 2016

10 favourite pieces of art for Scream's 20th anniversary!

What's your favourite scary movie? Mine is Scream and I am always excited each year to see what items come out from fans, artists or licensed labels alike. As it's the 20th anniversary(!), I thought I would round up a few of my favourite tributes for a seminal horror classic that helped revitalise the genre.

I am a big fan of acrylic jewellery and love getting custom pieces made. I utterly loved this custom Ghostface necklace that a spooky Scream lover, Alice designed with the jewellery maker, Black Heart Creatives and they kindly let me order one as well.

It's one of my favourite pieces ever and is so well made. I love the little puddle of glittery blood! Scream stars have always commented on it when they have seen it, Wes Craven faved it on Twitter and Rose McGowan owns one as well!

I love a film shirt and Shirtpunch make some of my all time favourites, as they have great quality designs and the shirts are amongst some of the best in my wardrobe to wear. 
They put out a fantastic range of Scream shirts for 24 hours and I haven't seen anything as creative since, what with Truffle Shuffle, Areopostale bringing out shirts with the poster on and Wal-Mart,  Fright Rags bringing out licensed Ghostface shirts. Even Wes Craven retweeted the Shirt Punch designs and we know he loved a slogan shirt! 

 I am a member of several Scream groups online but so many people talk about masks, robes, knives, all things Ghostface related, that its nice to find artists concentrating on the characters or scenes from the movie.

Over the years, several pieces had caught my eye such as a few minimalist posters or fan made art posters that circulated the Internet or was published in magazines, but it wasn't until this beautiful piece by Mute Art popped up at the Celluloid Screams horror festival and art exhibition in Sheffield a few years ago, that I bothered him into making it available as a print and I made my first art purchase. 

From the same exhibition, I also couldn't resist this adorable little Ghostface by Mal Fisher, how cute is it?

Dale McCarthy is a friend of mine and does the most amazing art, I am honoured to finally add one of his works to my collection, although I was very torn between his Scream choices.  Here is a fantastic drawing of Drew Barrymore as Casey Becker from a Scream promotional photoshoot.

I love the way Dale really captures Rose McGowan and he has one of the finest depictions of Matthew Lillard I have seen. Matthew now has one of his original pieces too!

I finally met Jamie Kennedy at London Film and Comic Con this year and it was great to meet the actor behind Randy, our favourite horror film geek! He signed autographs, took many photos and enjoyed seeing what Scream fans wore to meet him. He was curious about my Shirtpunch shirt, loved my Black Heart Creatives necklace and took a liking to this Woodsboro pennant made by Rat Kings Co collaborating with Creepy Co.

Aaron McMillan does the most fantastic pop culture caricature art, bringing the essence of a film scene or character alive on paper. I got this fantastic motivational Tatum "Hang In There" print coming my way, can't wait!

Emma Munger does amazing pin up illustrations of pop culture characters and she teased this amazing Sidney and Billy art on her tumblr, as a commission for someone with very good taste.

Emma promises that we will get a further look at the other characters before Halloween, so I am very excited for that and will definitely buy a print or two! 

My all time favourite art piece would be this stunning large Mondo print by Ghoulish Gary Pullin, showing Drew Barrymore's iconic opening scene, in a Roy Lichtenstein inspired style. 

Gary told me how it was the fastest approval Drew had given to anything with her likeness, according to the studio, and it is such a beautiful piece, I can't wait to get mine framed and have been appreciating all the framed photos other fans have shared on instagram. This limited edition of 225 prints was released at a Texas convention where Matthew and Skeet did a special Alamo Drafthouse Scream screening and it is now fetching triple digits on ebay. 

The Final Girls are an online collective that do great illustrations, art and enamel pins. They brought out this wonderful  Wes Craven print, along with a matching pin, I feel it is a fitting tribute to his legacy.
A final note, as Wes Craven sadly passed away last year, Funworld paid tribute by contributing a percentage of their 25th Anniversary Silver Chrome mask sales to a brain cancer charity in Wes' honour. It's a beautiful looking mask, I don't even collect masks and I'm tempted to get one. You can get one in the UK, through Mad About Horror.

Do you have a favourite piece from the art I have listed above? What ways do you like to pay tribute to your favourite movies? I know others collect enamel pins, stickers, even tattoos!