Margate is currently hosting a variety of art events related to T.S.Eliot (who wrote the Wasteland here almost a century ago), including a weekend dedicated to cats over Easter. I created this print based on Bulgakov’s the Master and Margarita, and a giant painted banner version of it to hang up at the show. It was a bit last minute, but I got it all done on time. The show is on at the Viking Gallery off Northdown Rd over the long Easter weekend and until the 7th of April.
I hadn’t realised until I was getting the Russian quotes for the text that the book is actually set this week, with the demons’ ball happening on Good Friday. Good synchronicity. The Cyrillic text says “The Master and Margarita” and “Behemoth lives!”
Prints are available from the gallery, or to order online here.
The banner is about 5ft/1.5m tall. It looks small in this photo, but it’s huge in real life. After we’d hung it, me and the curator decided to create a shrine to Behemoth’s demonic powers. The Russian quotes from the book on the wall say “manuscripts don’t burn” and “poison, give me poison”.
What to offer to a demonic Russian cat? Dead flowers, cat food and an empty bottle of vodka.
I also created some fake cult recruitment leaflets, in lieu of business cards.
While unpacking my art stuff, I found some long-lost screen-printed patches, and some packets of kraft paper sticker blanks I had no memory of buying. So I rejigged some old artwork to create some stickers.
The stickers are £1 for a pack of three, and the patches £1.50 each. Prices include UK postage. Find them here.
I haven’t updated here in a while. I worked long hours throughout January and also moved house. I’ve also now officially deferred my course until next year. I missed too much of the school year when I was ill. I’ll have a little while off, and then look for some work to tide me over. In between all that I turned 31. Ancient, really. I’ll have a bit more time on my hands over the next couple of weeks, so I’d better make use of it. Here’s some links of interesting bits and bobs to tide you over.
- Here’s a great BBC documentary about 80s synthpop, now available in its entirety on YouTube. There’s a full playlist of all the songs used in the show here.
- Laura from Behind the Hedgerow blog makes some beautiful clothes for her children.
- Atlas Obscura is one of my favourite websites both for finding interesting places to visit, and just for casual browsing. It’s full of photos and descriptions of unusual places like this town in Alaska that’s one giant building, or closer to home, the Embassy of the Republic of Texas in London.
- The BFI presents their selection of top Icelandic films. For a country with such a small population (around 250,000- about the same as my not so exciting hometown), Iceland certainly punches above its weight in the creative fields. Noí Albinoí is one of my favourite films. I haven’t seen all of the others, so I should check them out.
- The Salvage Project discusses sexual violence in activist communities in the UK. Communities which need fewer of these guys.
- Links to watch a large selection of films by Andrei Tarkovsky, my favourite director for free online.
- My favourite Wednesday treat- Rhik Samadder writing about kitchen gadgets. Start with the shivering horrors of the Egg Master.
- My friend Alex Wrekk has made her zine about being in an abusive relationship and getting out of it free to read online. I’ve got the paper edition from when she officially released it, and it’s well worth the read. In her own words “What if your private life in your relationship is vastly different than what other people see? When do you know you are in an emotionally abusive relationship? How to you gain the strength to get out of it? What do you do when you know you can’t handle the burden alone? What do you do when you feel so alone and terrified of the consequences of leaving, when if it means losing friends, a home, a job and a way life that you love? These are just some of the ideas explored in this zine through a three year personal narrative that also challenges you to examine your relationships with power, to identify how you express the power you have, and also how you relate to the power that of others possess”
- Angelyne is a pop-culture fixture in Hollywood, known for the huge billboards she hires with just her photo and name and for driving her pink sports car around town. I never realised she made a try at a pop music career in the 80s. It’s pretty good, as a trashy new wave song with slightly disturbing lyrics goes. I found it because there were two articles recently about what an all-round unpleasant person she is to spend time with, and I wondered what the irritating Barbie speaking voice the writers described sounded like, so I went hunting on YouTube.
- Mallory Ortberg on the poetry of the Beaufort Scale.
Here’s some nice things I’ve found lately. Starting with this stop-motion cooking video by PES Studios.
- A website with all kinds of free printable papers for designers, like isometric dots, polar grids, etc
- Rainy Mood is well-known, but if you haven’t seen it before, and need some relaxing sounds, it always fits the bill. (Muji of all people, are also giving away a phone app which does the same thing)
- Photos from Yakutsk, the coldest city in the world
- “I once saw him in his room packing his case before leaving- he rightly declined my help as irrelevant- and it was like a mosaic, every single item lovingly lowered into the place carefully left free for it. It would have been sacrilege to destroy that almost floral arrangement by lending a helping hand” Stefan Zweig describing Rilke packing a suitcase in the World of Yesterday. Rilke- master of German poetry, master of Tetris 70 years before it was invented. For people unfamiliar with Stefan Zweig, he was a top-selling Austrian author of the interwar period, who was forced out by the Nazis. The Grand Budapest Hotel is based on both some of his short stories and his own life.
- Anna’s Museum. A small natural history collection, collected and curated by a young girl, and displayed to the public in the downstairs windows of her parents’ house in the centre of Brighton.
- Photo diary of a doctor working for the summer in a tiny village in Nenets in the far north of Russia. (The original Russian version is here, which has longer explanations of what’s happening in the photos, if you don’t mind google translatese)
- Always a favourite- “How to tell you’re in a novel by . . .” from the Toast. A large variety of different writers to pick from.
Recently I went to the Malevich exhibition at the Tate Modern. I was vaguely aware of him as an avant-garde Russian artist (turns out more Polish-Ukrainian) and his black square paintings which caused such a fuss, but I didn’t know much else about him. I’m glad I went to the exhibition.
It started off with some of his early works, when he was an art student in Ukraine and my initial thoughts were “oh, these aren’t that impressive” because I was under the impression they were from the 20s and were copies of other artist’s styles, then when I read the labels though I realised the paintings had been produced between 1905 and 1910 contemporary with everything that was going on in the rest of Europe. Considering that Russia had only abolished feudalism 40 or so years earlier and the Russian Empire was mostly pre-industrial at the time outside a few cities, that’s pretty impressive.
Tomorrow at Power Lunches in Dalston, my friend Melanie is putting on an event with her compadres from the Art & Science MA at St Martins. There’s going to be bands, sound art, projections, edible sugar glass planets, and a very large amount of tinfoil. I did the artwork for the flyer. If you like it, and are coming to the event, you will be able to buy A3 posters of it (a few people asked already). I don’t know the exact prices yet, because I haven’t got them printed yet, but the b&w edition will be roughly £1.50 and the colour version more.
I set myself a project recently of doing mock book covers. First up is Death and the Penguin, by Andrey Kurkov. I did both English and Russian versions of the cover. I’m not sure how successful it is, though. The map I used in the collage is of Kiev.