Here’s the final print. Its A2 or 420mm x 594mm printed 2 colour Risograph on soft recycled grey paper. Signed edition of 50. £50 inc. post and packaging. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for orders.
I get the impression that when we take photos and especially photos for social media we find interesting, it’s often the spectacle unfolding in front of us which is more often than not controlled by ourselves that fascinates. Then there is satisfaction in noticing, capturing and sharing that moment. Photography….fine, easy….but I think a similar idea happened with this object.
Something great happened in the studio this week, as you might have seen I have been working on some type here that I nicknamed fuctfont, and I have been experimenting with some Risograph printing (with mixed results). I have got the print more or less right now and I have started shipping them out to people. I ordered 25 cardboard tubes from eBay to roll the A2 posters in. They arrived address and shrinkwrapped with my name penned on, by courier.
We know that A2 paper dimensions are 420mm x 595mm, the print gets rolled along the long edge. It’s also coincidence that 420mm is perfect seat height, therefore the object that arrived is a perfect stool. I REALLY love when things are automatically and effortlessly perfect and not designed but the fact that I am photographing the stool and writing this blog post turns these 25 cardboard tubes into a design object. This is great version of unpredictable, unexpected Ordinary made Extraordinary. Stool cost £15.60
Gosh I have been so remiss with my blog in 2016. I have a lot going on this year and I don’t want to get all heavy with the blog and only write about big stuff…it’s supposed to be a place where I can share my ideas and thoughts about art and design.
I was so happy that the organisers used my Butterfly Shoes on the flyer for this show. I’ll try and explain what the show is about. About 40 international artists were showing work of various natures from photography to three-dimensional work which addressed sport in contemporary culture from a different angle, mostly through the artists’ observations.
The show was curated in a very good way, split over two sites, each section dealt with a sport in a different way for example there was a room dedicated to sports groups with work about women boxers, middle eastern girl skaters or gay-straight football alliances. There was another room which dealt with body image, showing beautiful photographs from a trans-swimming session and work about the issue of womens’ sporting body image.
Some work was handled in a light way like the beautiful gold chain basketball hoop by David Miguel and other work dealt with more serious issues about exploitation of parts of Rio for this summer’s Olympic games.
So my shoes fit in how? Well, they subvert the idea of a technical performance running shoe by adding the decoration of butterflies. What started out originally as a repair on a hole in the toe of the shoe took on a life of its own and became something more of a statement about masculinity and sporting prowess. Queering the running shoes turns them into a culturally confusing object, the shoes become unfamiliar and make us stop and look again and think.
We did a workshop too and people came to repair their own running shoes.
The show runs until 28th August at NGBK
A relatively new technology allows the carbon for the ash after we are cremated (after we are dead) to be turned into a synthetic diamond. I was asked to participate in a project run by DESIS lab in Hong Kong to pick up the process where ideas were needed for what to do with the diamonds. Their research looks to break taboos surrounding dying and death. Up to this point their research has focussed on interviews, workshops and now this exhibition at K11 gallery.
The project started for me being given 3 stories which are different scenarios about family circumstance, death and wishes. Whilst these scenarios were very specific, I tried to find a commonality in each (apart from the death part). I really liked this way of working.
I responded with three objects which ‘support’ the diamond. My starting point was that I wanted to move away from the fact that for thousands of years people have worn jewels as decoration. I thought that jewellery was too obvious and an arbitrary default answer. DESIS research also suggested that whilst people liked the idea of being made into a diamond after death (as it’s such a permanent and beautiful thing) they also said they might not want to touch the diamond of a dead loved one, but they would like to look at it.
Object 1. The light. This form takes the shape of a candle which emits one candela of light, which refracts through the diamond filling the room with a low light which which is just enough to see and contemplate, but not enough to work by or do any other activity.
Object 2. The clock. This object is a death day clock which counts forwards in days, months and years from the moment of death. This is to aid the bereavement process to a point where exact time no longer matters and the cube serves merely as a display for the diamond.
Object 3. The spirit. This object holds 3 diamonds as the deceased wanted each of his sisters to have one diamond. The deceased was born in the year of the rabbit and this figurative container holds his diamonds within.
One of the highlights of the project was the trip to Mr Mok’s social housing flat to do the photo shoot. He is a remarkable man and has live in the tiny 25m2 flat for over 40 years, and has helped DESIS with many projects, so a big thank you to him.
I made the first pair of butterfly shoes a few years ago to repair my running shoes…..do you remember that film?If not you can watch it here, then I did some more shoes for New Balance and they were featured in some Fashion Magazines. Then I got asked by Francis Sultana to make customise a kids chair for the NSPCC, you can see that here. Then more recently I have been working on this chair. I ordered 1000 embroidered Butterflies from a manufacturer in China, it was the first time that I have used Alibaba, and I was a bit nervous of sending money to an unknown supplier, but I have to say the whole transaction went really well and I was very pleased with the product. I did some research about the migration and behaviour of the Monarch butterfly and imagined what they would look like if instead of gathering on a tree in a Mexican forest, they clustered on a wooden chair….I guess it’s all the same to a Butterfly. And I guess this is the result.