Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Nook

Anna and I are having our first little exhibition. It starts this Friday. Please come down.


Thursday, 22 October 2009

I'll show you mine if you show me yours...

Its that time again and how quickly it has come around. The RCA secret postcard exhibition has a timely appearance, what with the post strike. It only seems like yesterday that I had to do this last year and now all the more important because it gives us money for our final show, can't say fairer than that!
Also while Lauren eagerly got her nails did (and they look so buff) I was sitting excitedly in the next chair getting my hands adorned in a more 'birds of a feather' come 80's wild night out style! They are so damn hot.
Best salon in town and believe me as I have visited a few!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

NOS in the Guardian Guide.

So our opening window for Nation of Shopekeepers in Leeds is featured in the Food and Drink section of this week's Guide. Little pic but nice surprise!


Monday, 19 October 2009

125 Magazine

So The Heroes issue of 125 Magazine is about to hit the shops. We were honored to be asked to contribute to this issue and are very much looking forward to seeing our Totem Poles in print. It is a truly stunning Magazine.


WAH Nails (oh and Zoo Art Fair)

So I forgot to mention that I FINALLY made it down to the WAH nail salon on Friday too. My nails had got to a good length at last without breaking so it was about time I treated myself to a makeover. Meghan realised my 70's psychedelic curtain idea amazingly well and we added some gold glitter tips for a little glam touch. They look like a Mexican Sunrise mixed with 70'S fairground carousel. I am WELL pleased with them and planning my next paint-up session already. WAH Nails also sells vintage clothes, jewellery, snacks and drinks amongst other bits and bobs. It is the perfect east london hang out where you can go and get pampered and inspired at the same time. With good music, juicy coffee table books and a whole host of interesting characters popping in and out it is no wonder that it had a lovely little write up in Timeout the other day (as well as Sharmadein being featured in Grazia recently). Our blog on the WAH site still isn't working but as it has all been a bit of an exciting, busy and stressful last six months for the WAH crew we can understand why. With a pop-up shop coming up in Selfridges and having just done nails for the PPQ show at London Fashion Week, these gals are definitely smashing it.


Oh and I was very excited about my Sunday date to the Zoo Art Fair yesterday. Unfortunately I could have found a thousand better ways to spend the hefty £15 door tax. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, I was in great company and I would have regretted not going but sadly the best thing in there was the Bistroteque pop-up cafe. I was particularly disappointed by Rob Tufnell's curated Exhibition 'Althogether Elsewhere'. Excuse my language but what a pile of s**t. The legendary 'magic carpet' theme promised all sorts of psychedelic wonderment but seruiously failed to deliver. We agreed that the building was far more interesting than the exhibiton. I don't think that Frieze's new and well reviewed 'Frieze Frame' addition helped their case as it was major competition . However, they are going to need to really step up to the plate and switch things up next year if they want to survive in the art (meat) market.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

The Museum of Everything


Last night Anna and I forfitted a night out on the tiles in order to visit The Museum of Everything. Newly opened and with three stars from the Evening Standard amongst other press, this tucked-away gem is the most exciting thing to hit London in a while. Cleverly timed to coincide with the highbrow Frieze Art Fair in nearby Regents Park, the opening exhibition of Folk/Outsider Art is quirky, heart-warming and totally inspiring. Brimming from top to bottom, this unsusual gallery space is the perfect location for the largest collection of this type of art that I have ever seen.

I was lucky enough to catch some of Henry Darger's work in his show 'In the Realms of the Unreal' in San Francisco whilst on a Uni trip a few years back. His beautiful fairy tale-esque landscapes in watery colours blew me away at the time and the Museum of Everything have a large collection of his. On the same trip, a friend and I came across Creativity Explored in the Mission District of SF and spent some time with the artists there. Creativity Explored is a 'nonprofit visual arts center where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit, and sell art'. I was so inspired by the incredible people I met and the artwork. Two artists who I loved were Michael Bernard whose book 'Fears of Your Life' I bought and John Patrick McKenzie who compiles written list-style artworks that vary depending on whether he is in a good or bad mood. I am lucky enough to own an original of his.

We were drawn to the film 'Make' (blurb below) that was showing last night as it followed four artists with similar disabilities. The most moving part of the film for me was the relationships between each individual where their artwork portrayed a clear longing to connect with something/someone they had loved and in most cases lost because of their disability or soon after being diagnosed. Judith Scott, one of the artists featured (who also has work in The Museum of Everything) had spent the last part of her life visiting a similar centre art centre in Oakland called Creative Growth. The Bay area of California seems to be a really progressive area for this type of creative exploration and therapy. I am now inspired to discover similar places in London.


Anna and I went along thinking this was a new permanent space in London but later found out that it is only scheduled to be open for two weeks. The organisers are desperately trying to push it to be open for longer but just in case this doesn't happen I urge EVERYBODY to make a visit. As we walked out into the freezing night both of us had to pinch ourselves to remind us that we weren't back in California. It really felt like we could have been because places like this just don't exist in London, especially in Primrose Hill, which is not a place I visit much.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Homemade Dens

When I was little I used to get all my Mum and Dads' Indian drapes, crochet blankets, sheets and throws and make amazing dens in the living room and garden and sit in them and eat Dolly Mixture out of my favourite little yellow plastic bowl with red hearts on it. I was thinking about starting to make dens again (especially after seeing Jurgen Bey's 'Linen-Cupboard-House' in Telling Tales at the V&A). Today I noticed on Facebook that has an ongoing project called Wild Things Forts. Inspired by the eagerly awaited film Where the Wild Things Are has asked people to create their own dens, fill them with things they love and send in a snapshot to be featured online. The deadline was October 12th for Wild Things Forts IV so unfortunately I missed it :(. Ahhh well, might make one anyway - just for fun.


Ulrika Kestere


Jamie Shaw

Monday, 12 October 2009

Brighton Show

Soooo unfortuantely we had to postpone our Brighton Show for various reasons. We will still be having one in London and hopefully re-arranging the one in Brighton for sometime soon so please watch this space.

Disappointed about the lack of show, I decided to go back down to Brighton on Saturday night anyway. Managed to blag two last minute guestlists for The Blind Tiger Club's fabulous Speakeasy which happened to be going on in a very beautiful, grand and fitting building opposite the Corn Exchange. Walked in on my friend Cordelia Fellowes and her band Gypsy Squat Pop Project playing in the basement-great surprise. The Correspondents (thanks for the tickets Ian!) were AMAZINGLY fun too. (Sweaty) dancing and drinking and lying on the beach chatting in the early hours. Perfect Brighton night. If only I had known it was 1920's affair... A bit out of place in my 70's psychedelic dress.

I also found a great wooden vintage shield/crest thingy in the Sunday Market (which was much better when it was in the train station car park. Boo hoo), got muddled up amongst a Bikers convention, ate the world's best roast at the Yeoman on Guildford Road AND ate frozen yogurt from the Lick on Gardner street which reminded me of L.A. YUM. Best fun EVER.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Fantastic Funfairs

The National Fairground Archive is one of the bestest websites ever. It has lead me on a magical adventure through the history of fairgrounds. If you are a fan of typography, sign writing, psychedelia, victorian ornamental design, colourful bright lights or simply a good ol' cheap funfair thrill check this AMAZING resource:

and scroll down to the 'fairground art - specialist sites' which led me to this:

I am wellll distracted from what I am supposed to be doing.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

The Laughter.

My house is full of laughter. Today I was reminiscing the summer with my sister and the thing that stood out was the constant laughter. I just stumbled across this quote:

'Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.' ~Victor Hugo

It is going to be a sunny winter.