Sinister Smiles

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Sinister Smiles

Folded over
Strapped down
Sectioned off
Cajoled, centrally

Dropped down from a disheveled Heaven
Tossed out of Godliness
Rejected from comfort provision for the afterlife
No longer good enough, surplus to requirements

Perhaps pushed out of a boot
Uphill reversing, then shoveled out the back way
Redundant of domestic interior requirements
Rendering green space urban wasteland

Alternatively, a body encasement
A wrap-around, makeshift coffin
A heroin-induced fatality
Disposed of under the extremities of degradation

But from the sinister tatters
We see a smiling face
From the angled geometrics
A striking grin works through
Turning the corners of our mouths
We smile back at the sinister grins face!

 

 

Sinister Smiles is a flash fiction works in response to the mattress shown in the image above. The image was originally posted on social media and the comment made helped to generate the literal works. Originally located in Everton Park, Liverpool, the mattress is no longer present and appears to have been disposed of by the authorities.

Arched: the Mural

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Arched: the Mural was a design submitted for Leeds Kirkgate Market, proposed by Alison Little.

The Mural draws inspiration from the cast iron Victorian arches which adorn the interior of Kirkgate Market.

The central notion of a triangular structure frame is core to the composition. This is to be painted in gold acrylics to echo the lettering used for the entrance from New York Street. The gold tones to complement the lacquered woods used within the traditional interior.

Each section of the triangular arch to be hand-painted, again using acrylics, to represent goods retailing within the nineteenth-century shopper’s paradise.

The mass of strawberries symbolise the fresh produce in terms of food and drink on sale throughout the market. The strawberries of fruit bowls, the flavours of smoothies and the toppings of cakes. Delight within the mural.

The next section presents a mass of yellow buttons, the earth tones working in tandem with the golds of the outer structure. The buttons represent the haberdasheries stalls which are a staple of markets throughout the country. New demands for these stalls being met by the modern trends of ‘Make do and mend’ as opposed to the mass consumer cultures of fast fashion retail and its environmental impact.

A clothing rail, close up in vision, is depicted in the next three-sided space. The concept of the rail being inverted upwards implying movement, the idea of flipping through rails at pace. Again some golden tones intruded to the fabrics, complimenting the colour pallet, suggestions of vintage items to highlight the individual flavours of the modern market place.

Adjacent to this the jewellery sellers defy their small dimensions by making a glimmering appearance. Gold chains hung at a ninety-degree angle to the clothing counterpart. Chain mail which will bring some shine to the design.

Lowering the tone slightly we have some brass clattering its way in. Hardware sellers are presented through the screws, nuts and bolts in addition to the never forgotten washers.

We finish off with the fresh flowers, introducing more colours, delicacy and transparencies to the brushwork of the acrylics.

All these combine to make the completed arch, this is then replicated many times to create the mural. Potentially, the design of each arch could differ to represent goods from each stall-holder on consultation. The geometric forms can spread across the entranceway, interior, exterior or both. Materials to include the use of artists acrylics and yacht varnish to ensure a lasting finish.

A dynamic mural, one which can expand or compact and adapt to its location: Kirkgate Market.

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More about Leeds Kirkgate Market

Graphic Art: Leeds

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Graphic Art: Leeds was a banner design proposal put forward for North Street in Leeds city centre.

A graphic art piece which will excite and reflect the modern, dynamic, newly cosmopolitan city of Leeds.

The backing tones and the image of greenery reflect the cities status as the unofficial capital of Yorkshire. An image of the Yorkshire Dales, flourishing green fields and neatly crisscrossing hedgerows. Green pod-like representations are added, floating across the parameters of the banner surface. The pods vary in the tone of green to aid the visibility of textual format present. The lower section projects darker tones, the upper lighter shades. Thus, presenting the concept of a natural landscape where the horizon of the land reduces to the blues, or more often, grey’s of the sky.

‘Leeds’ as a heading uses a hand styled script, but is equally rather bold, Artlis font in principle location. A tonal use of yellow draws on the artistic nature of North Street.

The 5 headings feature elements of Leeds’ to be expanded upon, cosmopolitan status. They reflect the nature of the business’ present in the major artery of city centre streets. Non-alignment of the titles are to suggest a dynamic motion. The concept of them being flashed before your eyes in the ever-changing city.

‘Culture’ identifies with Leeds’ strong involvement with the arts. The home of Henry Moore and the birthplace of Damien Hirst, both leading names in British art. The Henry Moore Institue and the Leeds City Art Gallery both highly prestigious within the creative spectrum. A vibrant music scene, an unrivalled club-culture and the major Leeds Festival which partners with its Southern counterpart: Reading. Introducing some performance from the Playhouse, Leeds is a cultural haven.

Equally, a city steeped in ‘History’ presenting an industrial heritage. The former mills of the textiles traditions that expanded rapidly during the Industrial revolution.

‘Shopping’ ‘Food’ and ‘Drink’ represent the business’ present in North St. The clothing retailers, the restaurants and cafe’s, the bars and pubs which align the major city-centre thoroughfare.

Consultation with the business present would allow for modifications to be conducted. The use of yellow could be adapted if a tone of greater significance was proposed. The titles could be added to or reduced, the descriptive word re-applied.

A artists approach which can strengthen and more than meet the needs of the city in which it is intended to compliment.

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Redesign: Hockney: Westminster Abbey

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A year ago this week David Hockney’ stained glass window design to mark the reign of Queen Elizabeth the Second was revealed.

The window received many reviews, many positive, many negative.

The Queen was claimed by Hockney to Say:

‘An amazing brightness and clarity, it is a simple, utterly recognisable, direct scene.


From Hockney’ birthplace, the Yorkshire Post stated:

‘It looks like it was painted by a six-year-old.’

 

The Dean, the Very Revd John Hall declared:

‘There’s absolutely no harm in having something which is particularly vibrant and different.’

 

And, I myself, reviewed the window in my article ‘Hockney Smokney’ classified it as being a ‘National Blunder’ in addition to:

 

‘Some kind of organic jellyfish-like form surrounded by randomly positioned pods which bear no relation to the framework of the glass.’

 

So, one year on I have taken it upon myself to create a new design for the window.

and….

..it was much more difficult than I initially imagined….

I have kept with the theme of the Queen and her love for the countryside. More abstract in design I introduced yellows to the uppermost section to imply sunlight. The main bodies of the windows beginning with greens of the land, raising to blues of the sky over the higher sections. The circular elements have the potential to be formed through glass blowing, they introduce the idea of flowers or perhaps blossom. The organic nature of the layout suggests the motion and that of falling.

The result:

I have managed some subtleties.

Is it fit for the Abbey?

No, indeed it is not, perhaps an early concept which could be developed into something of greater standing.

 

Hockeys

Hockney Smokney!

Rags, the Boutique does Southport

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Last Saturday saw the fun of Rags Boutique at Southport Festival.

For the magic-themed festival we created an array of high standing wizard hats, a collection of mushroom masks. Black cats masqueraded and a troop of unicorns topped everything off.

Alison Little started Rags Boutique workshops over a decade ago as part of Bold Street development as consumers were flocking to the newly opened Liverpool 1 and retailers were losing custom. She then found a temporary home for the workshops and an exhibition venue in The Old Paint shop, Rapid. The workshop has grown from strength to strength making appearances at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool and the Museum of Liverpool on several occasions.

Last weekend it was Southport’ turn and it livened up Mermaid gardens in the traditions of Lord Street. Southport Festival takes place in early May, lining the streets with arts, dance, music and comedy.

More about Southport Festival

Much fun was had on the streets of much loved Southport.

Contemporary Art Smoothie

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Process milk from Damien Hirst calf ensuring it is free from formaldehyde.

Add some melon from Sarah Lucas’ Au Naturel, tell her to stop ‘Eating a Banana’ and combine to the fluid.

Juice things up with some KY Jelly from Tracey Emin’ bed.

Technique: turn everything inside out the way Rachel Whiteread did with ‘House’.

Pour over ice into one of Grayson Perry’ pots.

Tell Antony Gormley’ men from Another Place to line up and wait to be served.

Nest in a Goats Beard

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Nest in a Goats Beard is an abstract print produced by Carmen Garcia. It is currently being exhibited as part of the ‘She Eclectic’ exhibition at the Victoria Museum and Gallery in Liverpool. This is a section of flash fiction created by Alison Little as a response to the piece:

The image topples round, propelled up by some kind of yellow bubble making machine launching abstract forms. Patterns which expand, texture which can be touched. The machine: a cross between the yellow submarine and the Liverpool tower. A gigantic but equally girly form. Almost folding out, mounts, triangles positioned above the ground. The main form taking the shape of a sixties modernist detached estate disappearing downhill as it stretches away. Floating forms emerge, a kind of balloon making cartoon pistol firing out at comic-strip enemies. A fun-filled water game set within a reclaimed play arena. The form of a shoulder combined with a jumper suit, powering over engrossed in the imaginary of re-enactment.

North End Writers is based from the Victoria Museum & Gallery, holding their monthly meeting there last weekend. The writers read extracts which were written in response to works in the exhibition in the Gallery Space:

The Readings

More about She’s Eclectic