Category Archives: My Travels

Leeds Met Creative Arts Festival. A Creative Event In Itself.

On the 9th of June the Leeds Metropolitan University Creative Arts Festival 2011 opened. It was a chance for all the art and design courses within the university to exhibit their Degree work to the public.

I didn’t quite know what to expect when I arrived at the exhibition (having skipped my own degree show at Newcastle) but what I found was an extremely well organised and creatively thought through exhibition that encouraged you to take your time and view all the work on display.

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Walking across the entrance to the courtyard the first signs of the exhibit begin to appear. A sculpture made up of different colour and material cubes, representative of the departments building design displays the name of the exhibition. The piece is brilliant, eye catching and bold. Its concept fits well, reflecting the building as well as the exhibition.

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The exhibition ticket (top image) featured a series of symbols, white patterns on a colour background. Each symbol represents a different exhibition and the symbols are used throughout the building to guide visitors to each of the exhibitions.

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Floor guides feature the symbols alongside cubes mirroring the design of the outdoor sculpture. If you know which exhibition you want to go to you simply find your symbol and follow the prompts. This could be the coloured cubes dotted around outside, the stacked white cubes inside and then you know you are on the right floor as your symbol is featured on the stairwell. Excellent!

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For the more spontaneous guests just there to have a nosy there was another option to pick where you wanted to go. The wooden object below is like a game. You drop a ball in at the top and it can land in a number of slots, each representing an exhibition, where it lands is where you go.

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Each of the exhibitions featured their own little quirky additions. I hate to admit it but the architecture department looked like it hadn’t really made that much of an effort in comparison to some of the other courses displaying work.

The interior design exhibition had balloons in the entrance. Each with a tag tied to the string at the bottom of the balloon. They made you want to interact and pull down a balloon to find out what it was all about. Each tag had a persons name and details on one side and a very apt, considered quote on the other. A fabulous first impression that wasn’t let down by the quality of the work on display. The interior design room was the one that really got me excited. Some of the display ideas were fantastic.

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The graphic design room had the best ideas for getting the designers details out to the public and for getting feedback to the students direct from the public (typical clever clogs!).

A notice board at the entrance of the exhibition featured a tear off block of plans. The plan was a floor plan of the exhibition space, numbered to show the different display areas of the artists. On the back of the sheet was a key, a list of the designers and their contact details, blogs and websites. I really like this idea! A concise way of getting a huge amount of information across and a memorable addition to the exhibition.

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Alongside the plans was a series of hooks, on each of the hooks was a little tag with phrases such as ‘this got us chatting’, ‘this touched me’, ‘this required skill’ and ‘this got on my tits!’ Visitors could take a tag or two and hang it on a hook next to each designers work. This was my favourite part of the exhibition. The students who created the work were around the exhibition and the look of delight on their faces when they walked in and saw that people had liked their work was fantastic. After all the hard work that had gone into the production this simple feedback technique was fun for visitors and exciting for the students.

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I visited the exhibition to see my sisters degree work and finding a ‘this got us chatting’ tag on her work made mine and her day!

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Filed under Art, Branding, Exhibitions, Interiors, My Travels

Preston Graffiti 2

Walking in to university today (well to the pub to be more precise) I noticed that the graffiti on the side of the Ship Inn had changed once again.

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The geometric patterns in this piece show a big change in style compared to the previous graffiti work I showed you last month. I wonder if the piece is by the same artist. UCLAN has a great creative community, I would love to know more about this particular artist!

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Filed under Art, Cities, Graffiti, My Travels

My First Trip To Blackpool

Just writing the title of this post I felt like I was back at school writing an essay about what I had been up to over a holiday! Summer is officially here, now that my last assignment has been handed in so let the spontaneous road trips commence! The first stop, Blackpool!Blackpool4It was deemed a crime to be northern and have never been to this seaside town so a few of my fellow course mates and I jumped in a car and headed over to the beach. I didn’t quite know what was in store for me but a stroll along the edge of the beach, sweet treats in hand and wander along the deserted pier was the perfect remedy for the past few weeks, trapped inside doing university work. I may have lost a few quid in the amusement arcades and I don’t know how well I would cope during high season but for a chilled afternoon in the sun it was perfect.

Blackpool5The photos here are a few I took while I was there, the beautiful weather did all the work for me!Blackpool1

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Blackpool3To view all the photos from my trip click here for my flickr account.

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Preston PARLE Graffiti

The side of the Ship Inn Preston has, so I am told, for years been covered in Graffiti. I am new to the city and also to the new look Ship Inn and so have only witnessed a couple of the great pieces of work, each produced by the mysterious PARLE.

I haven’t been able to find any information about the artist or any other works so please comment if you know more!

Below is the current graffiti that appeared earlier this week.

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Play/Work/ Live (?) at The Kunsthaus Tacheles Berlin

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Above are a few of the images I took at the Kunsthaus, Berlin. The huge, old building has been taken over by artists and has become an alternative centre for art in Berlin. The building, once grand and elegant has become something rather different. Walking up to the Tacheles3street towards the building, visitors are greeted by the sight of a huge wall covered in graffiti, this is the first signal that you are approaching something different from your usual gallery.

You enter the building, into the base of a long set of stairs that wind there way up through the building. The entrance, is unmanned, open to the elements and an unpleasant smell of urine and alcohol hangs in the air. At this point feeling slightly hung over, thanks to the previous night I did wonder what I was getting myself into but I am so glad I stuck it out!

Tacheles1Climbing the stairs, the beautiful original banister still remaining, every inch of the walls have been covered in graffiti. Built up over the years the space is somewhat of a legal graffiti gallery. Off the landings are corridors leading to artists studios. We had the chance to explore, some had been converted to galleries or contained stalls selling handcrafted objects. It was clear some of the artists were not only working in these spaces but living there too. Living in this building must impose a fairly interesting lifestyle.

Tacheles2Behind the building is what at first glance looks like a junk yard. This outdoor space certainly has its junk, collected objects not yet ready to become art but it also has a bar, workshop spaces and many sculptures and pieces of art. This is clearly the outdoor social hub of the community, music banging, weed being smoked and art coming to life while friends and visitors look on.

I would certainly advise visiting the Kunsthaus Tacheles. Intimidating as I initially found it, everybody I came across was friendly and in its graffiti covered depths are a few extremely talented artists.

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Filed under Art, Cities, Interiors, My Travels, Residential, Retail

Street Furniture, MuseumsQuartier, Vienna

Blogging about Berlin got me thinking about other trips I have been on in the last few years. My visit to Vienna last June instantly came to mind. The city was incredible, I have never seen a place so packed full of beautiful ornate architecture. We were lucky enough to be staying a short distance away from the MuseumsQuartier. This became my favourite place, each morning we would take a stroll down to the area and explore a different exhibition or gallery.

The images below show the courtyard space at the heart artistic region of the quarter. We were lucky enough to have brilliant weather so could spend a lot of time out in this space.

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These benches in the courtyard are a brilliant addition. In my research I discovered that the benches are a regular feature of the space but that they often appear in different formations and each year change colour. Flipped over, the same pieces could be used as tables, incorporated into cafes as serving tables or used by school parties for art activities.

Lounging in the sun in these was fantastic. People watching, planning the day ahead or simply discussing what we had seen. The space was incredibly social, people happy to share the seats and as places became available they were instantly occupied by someone new.

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The courtyard itself is surrounded by a number of art museums, all of different architectural styles and containing different types of art.

For more information about the MuseumsQuartier click here.

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Filed under Cities, My Travels, Street Furniture

Berlin–Split Personality Streetscapes

I went to Berlin over a month ago and I am still finding ways to incorporate my findings into my MA research. I took a lot of images of interesting features on the streets of the city. This mirrored and a similar exercise I did in Manchester and I have to say the results were rather different.

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The above images show some of the more run down elements on the street. Although they have become rather neglected and could do with being cleaned up I still feel they have a huge amount of value. The design of the objects is  interesting, bright and colourful, appropriate to the current trends at the time of their inception, with I slight tweek I can see theses pieces being equally as relevant today. The seating is clever in their separation along a solid base and the angular bike racks are great, if looking a bit dull at the moment.

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These benches show the more modern side of the city. The pieces really reflect the space that they are in. Materiality, form and construction have all been considered to fit their context and create something, beautiful and long lasting. Hopefully these pieces will date as well as their older neighbours above.

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It isn’t just street furniture that has opposing styles throughout the city. From graffiti and posters to something as simple as the materials that cover the ground, within a small space in the city, there can be a number of different urban personalities and clashing styles. This makes the city exciting, you never know what you are going to come across next.

I loved my time in Berlin, I would go back immediately if I could!

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Filed under Cities, Graffiti, Materials, My Travels, Street Furniture