Monday, 26 September 2011

Handbags and Cupcakes

With an interest in feminism increasing and all things related, this is curiously interesting and will be attending if I can get up to London for that date. 

November 12th, Friends House, London.

"FEM 11 will bring together leading feminist organisations and campaigners to debate key issues facing women today and how the burgeoning feminist movement can work to build a feminist future."

The event, happening in about 6 weeks time, will feature workshops and guest speakers including Sandi Toksvig (Radio 4), Shami Chakrabarti (Liberty) and Zoe Williams (the Guardian) amongst others. There will also be a whole host of organizations and charities there from Platform 51, White Ribbon Campaign and Imkaan. I think with such a great gathering of hosts, the day, running from 10am-5pm, will be unmissable, especially for only £8! Bargain day of education and enlightenment into the issues facing females of 2011.


Beside The Sea Side

Saturday 24th September finally arrived.
People were face painting, ladies and gentlemen alike were changing into a variety of bright and bold outfits, and I was doing some last minute stapling.
Saturday was the Grand Grotesque Parade as part of the Bournemouth Arts Festival.
I have blogged about it before, as I have been making bits and pieces over the last few weeks for the parade including helping with pantomime horses, a banner and some clown ruffles.
 Making the mane

 Horse Heads in the making
 Banner in the making

I turned up Saturday at the Pier Theatre a few hours before to do some last minute sewing and fixings before getting into costume myself and parading down the pier and into the lower gardens up to the square.

The parade consisted of a suffragette choir, ghoulish ladies in pink, and masked characters from an elephant-chicken, a pig-clown, green honey monster, huge rooster head in a suit and myself, in a stripy dress,dog mask whilst pushing a floral pram. Leading the parade was the Parade Captain, in a floral swimming hat & swimming costume, with the Choir Leader in her own platform directing her ladies [and gent] at they paced down the pier and into the gardens eerily singing 'I do like to be beside the seaside'.

Along the way, from our very starting point, crowds were gathered on both sides with cameras and phones pointed and flashing,with faces of all ages gawping at all the bizarre costumes and masks in awe and wonder. I was told that Poppy, the mini poodle, got lots of comments[see photo below by JK] as did the elephant-chicken. We slowly made our way through the gardens, with some masked characters pushing trollies and prams, and even a stage being pushed with a large lady-headed costume sat like a parade princess.

The ghoulish ladies in frilly pink dresses grasping brooms performed when everyone arrived in the square, alongside mermaid Lottie Bon Bon. The performance involved the girls zombie walking, synchronized dancing, flashing their bloomers for all to see, and devouring the Mermaid.

After the performance, the ladies lead the way back to the pier, followed by the suffragettes, masked characters, Victorian Goths and masked groups of children. The children attended workshops in the weeks running up to the parade to make their own masks, some of which were more elaborate and creative than I could have imagined.

The turnout was so much more than what I expected and the whole event, judging by the crowds responses, was a success.Well done The Girls[Zoe Sinclair and Andrea Blood], We3 and to everyone else who took part to make quite a spectacular evening.
Coverage of the Parade

Unlimited by JK
A blog piece by Joseph Kent as well as a great selection of photos including this one below.
Poppy the Poodle taking part.

Photos by WheelzWheeler on Flikr
Captured lots of characters that were in the parade as well as group shots.
Parade Master, Zoe
Choir Leader

One of my favourite photos which captures anticipation at the front of the parade. Parade Captain in the swim suit and sash and performers We3 in pink.
 Parade,lead by Parade Captain, waiting to march.
Suffragette Choir waiting to head out.

Many Chefs Broth
A small, but great collection of photos and a brilliant video of the parade.  The video captures lots of We3's performance at the square as well as lots of masked characters walking, including myself about 2mins in.

Choir Leader
We 3 performers

Video of the Parade
By TomFaull on Youtube
Captured lots of charaters in the parade walking through the gardens.

The Girls

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

You're A Whore

This evening I came across something quite refreshing and amusing by Natalya Lobanova [ via].

I haven't looked through Booooooom's blog in a while, as it can normally generate some interesting and quite a variety of artists, but I was quite glad I stumbled through it today, as Natalya's work has a similar naive essence of Ian Stevenson and David Shrigley and the boldness, although not so extreme, bluntness of Tracey Emin.

The first illustration that I came across was the one that really drew me in, as it plays with ideology of the female lifestyle. I am constantly frustrated by the peer pressure that women, especially teens and young adults, are put under by magazines and TV. This is what led me to do this piece, about the pressures of not being pale which More! happily reinforced with YOU MUST TAN OR BE REJECTED BY YOUR PEERS in an issue in the early summer 2010.[My legs took personal offense].

For Sketchbook Project 2011.
Anti-feminine design.
So, Natalyas simple and blunt pieces. I think what really appeals to me in her work, is her sense of humour which is similar to mine I think in its bluntness. Her illustrations and handwriting suits each piece with the tone of voice, colours and context which is why I think they all work so well individually and as a collection. I notice she has been working on a zine,which I might try and get my hands on!
The first illustration that really interested me in Natalyas work and felt I could relate to with the subject matter of ideal feminine beauty.

Beautiful rendered with a graceful tone of irony and satire. A mix of feminine illustration and beautifully direct wit, lowering the tone of the aesthetics.

I can relate to this image, not being an overly feminine young lady, and despise overly pink and cute things. This mix of femininity with humour that demoralizes it.

 Bluntness- fabulous!

Imagery with attitude.

 A lovely, long awaited message against the very commercial,overly popular, posters.

 Images taken from Natalyas Tumblr Happy 2 b Sad
Please check out all her illustrations

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Grand Grotesque Parade

In the last month, I have spend a few days working with The Girls helping to make bits and pieces for the Grand Grotesque Parade, happening in Bournemouth 24th September!

A live masked parade and film. A unique reinterpretation of Edwardian Bournemouth’s long forgotten ‘Grand Grotesque Carnival’, directed by and featuring the artists duo, The Girls. Watch the parade as it leaves Bournemouth Pier and winds its way through the Lower Gardens, stopping in the Sqaure for a choral performance, before returning to the Pier. A new commissioned film will be screened in the band stand in the Lower Gardens.

Inspiration - Parade with many elaborate and peculiar masks with giant decorative floats that took place in Bournemouth 1910.

It is free to take part, with dressing up encouraged. I myself will there on the night and be in full costume and there will also be a choir as part of the Parade and can guarantee a parade like you have never seen before on this very unique evening! 
Everyone is welcome!

Pictures of making stuff will be up nearer the time and hopefully lots from the evening too. The parade is part of the Bournemouth Arts Festival with lots going on in the area into October. 

Knitted Garden

Yesterday I was told of this incredibly community orientated projected run by Pauline Stanley. Pauline studied Fine Art at Arts University College at Bournemouth, and uses various mediums from film, photography, printmaking and knitting.

Pauline set up the Knitted Garden Project in 2010, involving more than 40 local groups from Brownies, churches, choirs, primary schools, and university students, as well as craft, knitting and crochet groups.I think community projects like this are great to get people involved with a craft they might not have tried before or lost touch with, and brings lots of people together to show off their creative skills to others. Here are a selection of images I have managed to course to show of the brilliant skills of people involved! The project was displayed at Bournemouth Library 3rd May until 4th June.


The Garden I believe is touring the UK, and I hope to catch it some when as I didn't see it in Bournemouth. I wish there were more projects like this, or at least more publicized so people can get involved. I think that schools should certainly be more encouraged to take part in such projects as it opens up young minds to craft skills as well as taking part in a community project. Check out Pauline Stanley's website with her work on there but a warning that it is terribly designed and needs a big reboot!

BBC Coverage
Images from BBC,


A good friend of mine linked me to Jennifer Collier this week, and that is when I fell off my chair crying at the beauty of her work. Her work "focuses on creating work from paper; by bonding, waxing, trapping and stitching I produce unusual paper ‘fabrics’, which are used to explore the ‘remaking’ of household objects. "

The images of her work show off the beauty and delicacy of her craft using stitch to create ordinary 3D objects. The papers she chooses always compliment the designs well, like the floral patterns for the Alice jacket and sewing machine, enforcing a delicate and feminine object.

'I tend to find items then investigate a way in which they can be reused and transformed; giving new life to things that would otherwise go unloved or be thrown away.'

 Alice Jacket

Bernina [unfortunately not the same model as mine]

Typewriter Detail

Jennifer also runs workshops which I would love to attend if I was anywhere near Staffordshire. Next time I head that way, I will certainly be popping in for the day. She also has an online shop which I would empty if I could. I am very much in love with her work. She has established herself very well as a unique artist/craft which I admire and adore.

Do visit her website which has loads of images and info about what she does and her process as well as about her workshops and FAQs.Also noteworthy is the layout of her website, which is the best I have seen in some time, so good work Jennifer!

Jennifer will be at 
Origin: The London Craft Fair. 22nd – 28th September 2011 11am – 7pm

Jennifer Collier

I tend to find items then investigate a way in which they can be reused and transformed; giving new life to things that would otherwise go unloved or be thrown away.

Friday, 9 September 2011


It's been a while, I'm sorry, I have been here, there and everywhere[including Bournemouth, Edinburgh and Kent].
I have been working with The Girls in Bournemouth helping with bits of preparation towards the Grand Grotesque Parade happening on 24th September [Check it out!]. That's all I will say about that, but lots of photos from the day will be arriving after I'm sure.

 But from this, Zoe Sinclair told me about Shoreditch Sisters and their current campaign where they are making a
large vagina quilt.
The campaign is raising awareness of Female Genital Mutilation which occurs in Africa and the Middle East, and they are asking people to send them fabricated vaginas to construct a large quilt. How could I not. I have a lot of interest in feminism recently and this is a fascinating and yet disturbing subject, quite the opposite of where my starting point was. They have managed to get a lot of press coverage as it is a very alternative method to raise awareness however it is very much in tone with its issue. They have lots of updates on their Facebook group, and lots of details about the subject they are raising awareness of. It is quite horrendous and not something that is known to many people so I am in full support of the cause. I believe the final quilt will be on display in Feb 2012, so look out for it [I'm sure I will blog about it nearer the time!]

Here is my vagina that I will be posting to the Sisters later today:

In the mean time, do check out the campaign and also the Bournemouth Arts Festival happening now until Oct!