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Blog

A blog about creativity, culture and why it matters...

 

The Month in Mood Board - storytelling, size matters & sassy networking

Helen Davis

From shrinking mammoth wardrobes to accidentally generating a B-movie monster, June was focused on the humungus. And the surreal.

I met some colourful peeps at the Blogtacular conference. Watched Bates Motel - which did a funky origami thing with stories and time.

I saw my hometown through a French photographer’s eyes. And, I exhibited some art in a railway waiting room...

Why don’t you cover a big cork bulletin board in bright pink felt, banded with bamboo, and pin with coloured thumb-tacks all your various enthusiasms as your life varies from week to week?
— Diana Vreeland
Mood Board June 2018.jpg

 

SEVEN Go Large at #LAT2018

Every June Leigh is taken over by artists. Hairdressers. Churches. Banks. Boutiques. Even personal car hire dealerships become galleries for one week only. Leigh Art Trail 2018 was SEVEN collective's second year showing our A5 sketchbooks at Planet Leasing.

But this year, we also got to share our work with curious commuters as the tall white walls of the station waiting room became our number two venue. So, we took the opportunity to go large - A2 to be precise.  

The concept: to show just how one starting point - vintage timetables - could lead in seven unique and unexpected destinations. The question is, where will we go next?

 

Retelling Psycho's Backstory - back to front, sorta...

Hopefully, we won’t wind up at the Bates Motel - although Psycho seems to be a recurring theme for me personally.

This time it’s in the form of the box set, which is billed as a “contemporary prequel” to Hitchcock’s classic. And when it says ‘contemporary’ it means, yes, ‘contemporary’:

...I would not have done the show if it was period… Then I think you can really feel the pressure to be living literally in the shadow of the movie and that felt way too confining.

Said Bates Motel creator Carlton Cuse.

nd the concept is already confined enough by it’s inevitable ending:

Turning Bates Motel into a contemporary story gives the creative team the space to choose the directions they want to follow for the characters.

Suggests a Screen Prism piece.

[T]here’s a sense that the Bates family’s “present-day” life is colored by the past.

Which seems weird, because that past is also the future, but really when you watch it’s kinda not.

To me, the series has a whiff of the true crime documentary about it. While Psycho (the film) was told largely from Norman’s warped point of view. In fact Mother’s voice is the harpie-esque harrangue-ing in Norman’s own head.

BM, on the other hand, takes its time to unravel the tangled web that is Norma and Norman’s relationship. Norma, here, is a sexy, funny, determined, deeply damaged, single mum.  

We watch her juggle work, her troubled kids, unwelcoming neighbours, corrupt police, her past, and, of course, the ever threatening highway...

 

What If Your Mistakes Became a Monster?

Of course, it’s always easier to watch “all those innocent victims” from the comfort of your sofa. From TV murders to the tea-time news, we thank our lucky stars that wasn’t us.

But what if your actions here could literally be felt over there?

Because this is the theme of Colossal.

Starring former Princess of Prada Anne Hathaway, as an out of work writer with a drink problem who gets dumped, Colossal starts out looking a bit rom-com.

But when she returns home and reunites with her childhood chum things wind up going all Godzilla. And not in the way you think. Because the people getting terrorised by that world-famous radioactive T-Rex are in Seoul. Whaa?

Film critic, Mark Kermode, puts it thus:

After much nervous head-scratching, Gloria concludes that she is somehow controlling this beast. Is she a delusional paranoiac? Or are her personal problems being played out in super-size fashion, with catastrophic results?

A very unique take on a very well worn theme, whatever the answer, methinks.

 

Heat Wave Wardrobes - a mini style revelation 

Of course, the whole carbon footprint problem was another message you could read into Colossal. Something I’m frequently wrestling with when it comes to my wardrobe.

As summer got a helluva lot hotter my planned capsule collection was just a tad too warm. Simply going sock-free wasn’t going to cut it. Everything had to be light, light, light.

And so, I had to rethink. The thing is, people - and fashion - seem to imagine that less is more when it comes to sun.

But has anyone seen Southend seafront at 5pm on a sunny Sunday afternoon? It looks like a Hieronymus Bosch painting, that’s what. But with more pork crackling pink skin.

My solution? Men’s tops. Why? They come in cotton. They’re loose. They have sleeves. And, you can find them in many a charity shop.

 

Blogtacular! - a colourful conference for ladies who do their stuff online  

Speaking of wardrobes attending Blogtacular came with a style request:

Wear something beautiful.

And, so my fave 80s Etam dress - with red socks and silver shoes - it was. I could wax lyrical about the wonder of this dress but we’re actually here to talk about a monster conference.

Colourful. Creative. And crammed with juicy content Blogtacular:

[I]s a place for people who create vibrant and original content to discuss their work, fill their minds with new ideas and to collaborate with fellow bloggers and indie business owners.

Full of friendly and uniquely fashionable females this a web-focused conference which is as dedicated to great graphics as it is to meaningful messages:

No matter what you do online; if you love great quality content and beautiful design you’ll find yourself at home at here.

 

Southend Through a French Eye

They say home is where the heart is, but it’s often the place we most take for granted. Remember Dorothy?

Which is why it was eye-opening to see our hometown through the photographer Franck Gerard’s lens.

The Nantes-based French artist and photographer first visited Southend in 2016 to study our estuary, no less. Which is when local paper The Echo caught his imagination.

So, this June he was back at Metal, as artist in residence, working on a project with that very publication:

Of course the newspaper is for news, but I had the idea for the newspaper to include a photograph every day, something giving news of a poetic situation, to go into the paper every day. Take a picture of today, for tomorrow.

The result? Charming. Funny. And often kinda surreal. As Franck explained at June’s Future Park:

[Y]esterday I took a photo of a man sitting on a bench at the seafront, holding an ice-cream, looking at it, like Hamlet, ‘to be or not to be?’ you know? As if it were ‘to eat or not to eat?’

He went on:

But I like the ambiguity of a photo, the surreal and the reality which exists in it. Do you see the same? I don’t know. And that is the reality.