Monday, 24 March 2014

Luke Abby-Characters- 27/3/14

An outside observer watching for moments to capture, eyes forever wide and soul forever searching. Part nomad, part gypsy, bohemian. Sounds like a load of boring cliches yet I can say I know Luke Abby as much as someone can know someone and have shared many adventures and collaborated on ideas as well as several tête-à-tête about art, life and love. Yet his work continues to surprise me. I catch up with Luke just before his show.

In conversation with Luke Abby 24/3/14

You've been documenting the world around you for years yet this is the first time you've exhibited, why now?

To be completely honest it comes down to my own sanity. I needed to share what i have done in a serious light and i've always known an exhibit organised by myself and some friends is the best way to do that. Im always documenting my life and take so many photos of places i travel, people i meet and i'm always waiting for the right time to share them. I could die tomorrow.

Your first solo show is called Characters, what's it all about? 

Characters is simply the people who have been involved in my life one way or another. Some i know some i hardly know. I always feel as though i am watching my life as if it were a film and all of these people were characters in it.

What do you believe led you to choose NYC as the location for your first solo show ? 

I was in NYC when i was in the position to put a show on. Im hoping to do the next one in Berlin.

What does photography mean to you? 

Truth, desire and hope.

Anyone can take a photo nowadays but for me its about the connection with the subject and the experience around the images.

How do you go about choosing the characters that feature in characters? 

This part is very hard, i'm actually in Miami right now in my hotel trying to put the 14 images together 3 days before the show.

From what I've seen you carry a camera as much as possible and document all you can document, do you not get scared that if you capture the moment you can't be lost to the moment and will largely remain an observer? 

I think we are all observers of one or another, anyway subconsciously. I just record it to remember. 

Jaiden James 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Martin Parr x Ginza

Fun times at the very English Martin Parr x Ginza dinner

Travel- Barcelona


 Sometimes I get a strong desire to just up and leave London not for good but for a bit. Escape the damp, drizzle, the grey and the rush. I usually run to somewhere sun soaked and calmer, yet never too calm, being a boy born in the city yet raised in the country only to return to a capital, I know too much serenity and stillness isn't for me. So ideally I look for a city that's not too hectic offering sun, sea and sand yet one with nightlife and happening happenings. So I ended up in Barcelona. I've been before and enjoyed it, yet feel I didn't fully explore it.

the beach, the warmth, the easy transport that's cheap and cheerful with ten rides on train or tram hitting the ten euro mark.


We stayed close to the Fontana station at the Residencia Erasmus Gracia. The hotel was clean with multiple services on offer from bike hiring to wifi in the foyer opposed to in the rooms, which allowed for a form of  escape for me giving the space to enjoy the holiday without being constantly connected to emails and social media. I found the communal kitchen quite nice, coming in hand when you want a chilled and cheap night in. Prices start at around 29 Euros per night.


My favorite shop overall was a charity/ thift store called Humana that had a cute selection of garments from old school Adidas and Nike sweaters to throw back 80's patterned jackets. Surprisingly there was a large range of clothes for men from sportswear to Lyle & Scott, Fred Perry & Lacoste,  they were in mostly small to medium sizes. It was refreshing to see a charity store that was aware of it's second hand/vintage status yet didn't reflect that in the price. Many of the clothes were €4 with tailored and leather jackets also on hand for around €15.


There was a few places around us from the ever present McDonald's if you're into food that you know. For me it was more about quality eats nice places and low prices, There was a few shops to be cautious of serving bland and tasteless food, they even went so far to cook a Ristorante pizza and serve it doing nothing but taking it out of the box and placing it in the oven. There was also good experiences with variety of restaurants serving  Spanish cuisine to Chinese and Thai and even a Wok to Walk. I highly enjoyed Macchina Pasta bar, that stayed open till late, it allowed you to choose the pasta of your choice and then add toppings and sauce, prices were cheap and cheerful and you could watch as it was made. I also enjoyed some of the many bakeries that even had the NYC started 2013 craze the Cronut.

Things to do

The Aquarium is a nice escape for a few hours and next to the beach front, so you can go for a stroll before or after and soak up the sun. I also found trawling the La Boqueria food market. The market stocks a wide range of food from meats to fresh fruit, sweets and smoothies. I found it fun trying the fresh fruits and vegetables and conversing with the stall keepers.


We traveled with Easy Jet, which was a first for me, fast, cheap and reliable it won't be the last. Its great to have budget airlines that don't feel to budget and that's where Easy Jet excels.This is my second time in Barcelona, I've always found that it's a city but a calm one. There's not much to sight see in truth beyond Gaudi's buildings and park but that's not what I expect from Barcelona. With cheap drinks and a slower and more relaxed pace, I escape to the city to party at night usually at Arena, the poly sexual club with the latest pop and r&b music with sprinkling of Spanish hits. It's cheap and cheerful and always brings in a Jolly crowd. and relax in the day on the beach by soaking up the sun.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

BBC Three Axe- Off Air & Online

It seems once again like all things in this day and age and in Britain, most specifically when it comes to cutting, trimming, raising and adding the young are hit the hardest. It's ok to raise university fees and propose cuts to JSA & housing benefits for under 25's and now it seems ok to cut a channel aimed at the young. Once again the young are targeted with the latest news that BBC 3 is to be axed and moved online has caused uproar. It wasn't the greatest but it produced in my opinion some of the brightest gems BBC has had in a while. The BBC is just reflecting the governments and large corporation's views that the young and youthful just don't matter.

In truth the BBC seems like a former shell of a company once loved and trusted with scandal after scandal pandering to the government and trying so hard to please all. Its flagship drama programs are watchable but largely forgettable Dr. Who, Robin Hood, Atlantis, Merlin, Musketeers etc. They all have the same kind of feel to them, trying so hard to appease and appeal to the widest audiences possible with their 'family' dramas. The majority of the shows end up disneyfied, trapped with watered down content. Risks are rare for The BBC, Where is the ground-breaking challenging genre pushing shows like Queer as Folk, Shameless, Sugar Rush, Skins?

At least that's where BBC Three came into the equation producing pilots that remained pilots but still where brilliant such as Noel Clarke's West 10 LDN a pre Top Boy show looking at inner city London's urban dwellings and what about Some Girls?, where for once an ethnic minority played the lead. Fresh in my mind is also In the flesh, a multi layered and artistically brilliant show that touched upon a multitude of issues such as the north and south divide, race, sexuality and difference on a whole. I know comedy found a home in BBC Three and once again quirky and colorful productions like Him & Her, Gavin & Stacey, Little Britain and The Mighty Boosh.

Of course not all shows were to my taste nor where they brilliant but they were entertaining and watchable. Sun, Sea, Sand and Suspicious Parents, Young Dumb and Living off Mum and Snog Marry Avoid. Yeah they're not mind blowing and stimulating but at least they have positive messages helping some parents connect with their kids, individuals appreciate their looks and looking at what it may be like to live independently. When you put it into context of the likes of other channels shows such as  Made in Chelsea and Only Way is Essex they aren't that bad.

I'm all for the license fee but fundamental changes need to be made The BBC should lead and other networks should follow. Buying the rights to The Voice when in truth the broadcaster could and should have created their own talent show that could then be sold off and rewards and royalties reaped. How can the channel be a beacon of Britishness if it can't even muster enough creativity and talent to produce original TV across formats?  

Three should be a thriving place for new talent (writers, directors, actors), where shows should be tested online and then moved to the air and aired on the specific place they're wanting to cut.  I do hope that BBC Three can be saved and changed, looked at and re-valuated as with the BBC on a whole. At this period in time it should be letting the kids in and not shutting them out.