Tonight I went along to Creative Networks at Leeds College of Art and Design with some work collegues and friends to see Richard Wheater give a talk on his neon art. As I've previously posted I'm a lover of all things neon and it was great to hear a professional talk about their love for it and how it all works.
We got to see some great pieces of his work and learnt about his most recent project '12 Months of Neon Love" in which he has collaborated with Victoria Lucas. The project started on Valentines day and since then, each month, a quote from a famous love song has been erected in large red neon letters above the Neon Workshop in Wakefield, visible from the railway for all commuters to see. So far 8 quotes have been erected and there's just 4 more to go until Valentines Day next year when the project will come to an end. After each sign is replaced by the next quote it is auctioned off on Ebay on the 14th of every month - for any hopeless romantics out there, the perfect engagement pressie or what?!
Although these heart felt signs must bring a smile to most passers by whilst on their dreary commute into work, its hard to think the council ever wanted to take them down! But after a protest and lots of petitioning (including a signature from Jarvis Cocker!) they won the battle to leave them up - and rightly so.
My passion for neon has grown tenfold tonight and I'm keen on checking out the Neon Workshop to give it a go myself, and with it being the 100th Anniversary of Neon next year with celebrations and exhibitions being held in Paris, what better time to start?
I have always been a fan of Alexa Chung's effortless style and it seems not only can she create visually pleasing outfits, but illustrations too. I love these simple drawings, they are so cute and I like the humorous feel they have to them - they are the type of drawings that make you smile. I am also pleased to hear her new collection for 'Madewell' is now available and I have my eye on her 'eyes eyes eyes pouch'! Roll on pay day!
For anyone who knows me they know I am a complete 'magpie' for jewellery, anything large with precious stones or anything that looks like I could possibly do some serious damage with and I'm there with bells on. That's probably why I have become obsessed with the Australian make - ManiaMania.
They use mostly silver and bronze to twist into all kind of captivating shapes around crystals and rocks creating some really special pieces. Although I am longing to buy a piece of this jewellery the bank balance just won't allow, so for the time being I will just have to make do with the campaign photography, which even that in itself is just as good.
Since my partner and I moved out of town and more towards the countryside we saw it fit to buy some bikes so we could ride down the local canal and go exploring, it's unfortunate these little beauties weren't for sale when we went to purchase them at Halfords! These are just a couple of the bikes that have been customised by some celebs in a collaboration with London's W Hotel for the new 'WOW Bikes' initiative which launched last night in Leicester Square. My favourite design of the bunch is that by Alice Temperley (Last pic - currently trying to get a wicker basket for my own bike!) the other designers joining her are singer Paloma Faith, Patrick Cox, Ron Arad (Second pic) and Natasha Law who has collaborated with Benedict Radcliffe. Whats even better about these bikes is that the guests of the hotel can ride them free of charge before they are auctioned off in aid of Elton John's AID foundation. I better get on and book a room....
I love meeting up with friends and going out for a good dance and when you stumble across a new bar hidden away in the centre of Leeds, it makes the night even better. From the outside, there are no signs, no indication that it's there, the only give away are two bouncers stood outside an intriguing doorway and curiosity gets the better of you. When you enter the bar you climb an elaborate staircase, lined with the prettiest Victorian tiles to some rather large doors with an 'M' for a handle - at this point we still don't know the name of this place. On the other side sits a softly lit bar, small and intimate with pillar candles and roses on each table. It's then when we take a seat we learn the name of the bar from the top of the cocktail menu - "The Maven". Its needless to say a lotta cocktails were drunk! - including a rather large Hendrix Gin punch bowl, which I think was to blame for some very interesting dance moves later on in the night. If you live in Leeds and love cocktails it's definitely worth finding...
Today me and some friends ventured down to take a look at the recently opened Leeds Gallery, an independent commercial art gallery specialising in Photography, Illustration and Fine Art. The galleries first exhibition is Terry O’Neill: 50 Years at the Top. It celebrates half a century of Terry O’Neill’s iconic photographs, a visual Who’s Who of cinema, rock and pop music, theatre and fashion over five decades. It was really great to see the images up close and personal and the gallery itself is only small and intimate, the perfect space in which to view them in. If your in Leeds I would really recommend going down and taking a look, entry is free, you just need to ring the buzzer on the elaborate doors to get in - if you cant make it down you can view the online exhibition here.
I love the work of Tyler Axtell - the use of great photography with geometric symbols and clean typography works so well and give off a really vintage glow, which is probably the reason I admire them so much! Also, anything with a triangle and I'm there, for some reason I'm obsessed with this shape?! strange but true, another added bonus as Tyler uses alot of these in his designs! Check out the link for more of his designs.
For a week now my boiler has been on the blink and we have had no hot water, which is pretty devastating for a me - I love a good hot bubble bath! Finally to my relief the boilers working again today and the first thing I'm going to do is to have a good soak! which reminded me of an Italian bath I had seen recently made from pure natural crystal. I can imagine it would look amazing in a large bathroom sat in the middle of the room, but it come's with a hefty price tag of over $790,000 so it's only for the filthy rich, we however can view it at Harrod's where it is on display until the end of the month.
Richard William Wheater is a Wakefield born artist currently working in Yorkshire and specialises in Neon art. He is currently collaborating with artist, Victoria Lucas to challenge the common expectations of the materials in an ambitious project entitled ’12 Months of Neon Love’. I've always loved neon lighting and how it looks and lucky enough for me he is going to be hosting a night with Creative Networks at Leeds College of Art and Design on Thursday 29th September. For more information just click the links - hopefully see you there!
I used to practice ballet when I was a young girl and I'm so annoyed with myself that I ever gave it up.With the success of Black Swan it's no surprise everyone's jumping on the ballet band wagon but when the people on that wagon include the McCartney's it makes you want to jump on too. Paul McCartney has produced his first original orchestral score for dance, written for the New York City Ballet called Oceans Kingdom, and who would he get in to design the costumes? None other than his daughter Stella, obviously.
It's a pity the performance is in New York as its a production I would love to see, not only for the music and experienced ballet dancers but the costumes also.
Since I bought a house with my partner last year I have become obsessed on trawling the internet and looking in shops trying to find some nice pictures to fill my tall bare walls with. With these images for inspiration I want a bunch of mix match ones all different sizes and colours. I think I'm going to have to hit the charity shops and car boot sales to get my hands on some cheap frames then I can start on collecting some images together. I'm tackling the spare room wall first so I shall keep you posted on how it goes!