Wednesday, 16 June 2010

BBC London radio show 16th June

It all began with Bill Tuckey, co-founder of Outline Editions, who had a great deal of interesting things to say about the underground movement he's making overground - or at least in the process of tunnelling a route to. 

London Nautical Chart by Takayo Akiyama

Graphic art has until now, we learned, been largely consigned to what Bill called "people in red glasses and polo necks" creating graphic design for corporate purposes - record labels, advertising, T-shirts...with the results living very firmly outside the walls of elitist art galleries. 

Yet those poor people with red glasses, and even many without, were all the while capable of producing real art (let's not go into the question of what art is - I'm using the term as a complete amateur). Art that was worthy of being framed and hung on walls, anyway. So thought Bill, and because he has his finger on the pulse, he's now hosting these talents in a pop up gallery in Marshall Street along with the curator Camilla Parsons. 

He thinks the artists he's showing will soon be known as the founders of a new wave. Graphic art is having a moment, and the theme of the exhibition is London. 

Welcome To London by Anthony Burrill - one of my favourites

The main thing, Bill explained, is that this art is "friendly", and accessible, with prints starting at £85. No asymmetric haircut required to view. 

Details: the gallery is open until 3rd July. You can buy from the website too.

Next, I hared along to the Cockpit Arts open weekend in Deptford, which is taking place this Friday 18th June (6pm-9pm), Saturday 19th June and Sunday 20th June (11am-6pm).

It's all a result of this social enterprise - the only one of its kind in the UK - that supports 165 designer/makers, giving them the help they need to turn their craft into a business. Not enough time to talk about everything that's going on, but I mentioned Lucy Fergus, who works in 're-silicon' (using waste rubber off-cuts), and how she'll be running a workshop where children can learn to make a 're-silicon rug' that will then be given away in a prize draw.

I enthused, too, about the work of a duo I've just discovered called SORT (Society of Revisionist Typographers). How I'm currently writing is not my favourite form - really, I love real paper and ink, and I especially like the act of posting something tangible from one geographical location to another - usually with a greetings stamp, because I'm one of Those who ask the person behind the post office counter for the Special Ones (they don't cost any more than Queen's Head stamps, you know). 

So it fits that I'd be impressed (pun alert) with cards and notebooks that are created by hand on letterpress printers.

A greetings card for sale in their Etsy store

 A notebook produced for Southbank Centre shop, only £5

SORT will be exhibiting at the weekend too, but there are scores of happenings over the weekend (details here). 

And then I fled from Deptford to Westbourne Grove, and knocked on the door of Mary's Living and Giving Shop

The 'Mary' is Mary Portas, the renowned Queen of Shops. So it makes sense that, although all the profits go to Save The Children, it's not an ordinary charity shop. You're more likely to find Chanel and Christian Louboutin here than a high street label (although the high street is well represented in good quality wares), and everything is rigorously inspected before going on sale. Donations come regularly from the fashion industry - end of line stock or samples - so there's a good chance of picking up brand new designer goods. That means they won't be super dooper cheap, but they will be markedly less expensive than buying from the shops in Bond Street. AND extraordinarily justifiable, given the destination of your money afterwards.

Details: 117 Westbourne Grove, W11 2SB / 020-7727 6166

Crashing on to the City of London Festival, which isn't strictly shopping of course, but I thought it sounded fun and worth a mention. I pretended the link was that you could 'shop' for free salad seeds in the Avant-Gardening Mobile Allotment (22nd -28th  June, just at the corner of London Wall and Moorgate). The mobile allotment, a collaboration between artists and children at the Oaklands School in Bethnal Green, describes itself as a "miniature urban Edan". There's the potential that this is overstatement, but nevertheless, the attempt to bring a glimpse of paradise to smog-dwellers is always welcome. 

I also dropped in that as part of the festival, on Monday 21st June at 10pm in the Guildhall Yard, 21 pianists on 21 upright pianos will play a new piece inspired by Chopin's Nocturnes. I appear to have mispronounced 'Chopin', thus revealing how uncultured I really am. But even as one of the masses, I think I'd enjoy this event.

And then, finally, the sales:

Hermes sample sale, The Music Rooms, 18th and 19th June (9am-6pm). 

Mikimoto pearls, also in The Music Rooms, 25th - 27th June (25th: 12-8pm / 26th: 11am-7pm / 27th: 11am-5pm). Up to 70% off.

Whistles summer sale starts 17th June with up to 50% off.

Zara summer sale starts 24th June.

Browns summer sale kicks off 17th June, with up to 40% off womenswear designer labels (have a look at their website to get an idea).

Matches sale has begun - up to 50% off for men and women: they also have a good website for online shopping.

Just before the news, I squished in a mention of the Little Chelsea Antiques Fair, happening on Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd June. Over 60 dealers, and prices from £10 (to £25,000, only if you're feeling particularly rich). It's happening at the Chelsea Old Town Hall - all details here.

And that was that! Let me know below if you're on the hunt for anything and I'll investigate in time for the next show in two weeks' time.