Portrait15

Ross worked with us as an editorial intern after studying at the University of Lincoln. He wrote for the site between October and December 2012.

@ross_bryant

78 articles
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    2012 has been a year rammed with unmissable events so unmissable and so frequent that, in fact, it was pretty impossible to get your mitts on them all. Had you braved it and attempted to attend every piece of arty goodness the world over, you’d have surely been forever caught on motorways, trapped in departure lounges fuming about the long delays and endlessly taking in one event only to be thinking the real deal was just down the road!

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    We’ve breached the top 50 and now we gallop steadfast and true, charging like the Light Brigade into a valley of sorts, only this valley is full of creative beauts aimed and readied to fire inspiration or merely trigger those locked up memories. So here it is coming at you!

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    As we crawl up the pecking order, just remember how rewarding it is when you find loose change down the side of the sofa. Every now and then you even strike the big time finding a fiver! And so it it with our round up between 70–61 which includes a host of treasure waiting to be checked out again! Dig in.

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    Ah man the seventies. We loved the seventies. The clothes and the music! And those hairstyles. What were we thinking, and spacehoppers …what’s that? Not that kind of seventies? Oh, well this is awkward. Well let’s crack on with numbers 80 to 71 and pretend this embarrassing sountdwon faux pas NEVER happened. Deal? Good-o…

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    2012 has been a year in which we’ve been spoiled for choice when it comes to great photography. It seems we can’t get enough of it, especially when the subject matter of the work in question creatively fuses fantasy with reality, presenting a body of work that plays with our perceptions of the ordinary. This quality is something Csilla Klenyánszki boasts by the stylised bucket-load, offering viewers a one-way ticket into the portal of her imaginative mind that thinks in images and constantly works to seek out those hidden possibilities in the familiar. Perhaps there isn’t a better (legal) way to trot off into fantasyville than this style of photography beautifully encapsulated here by Csilla. Top stuff.

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    My earliest memory of a light show could be termed rather loosely as lavish, for this was a UK seaside switch-on parade in 1995. As the wind blew an icy chill and the rain lashed at our faces, a scattered crowd assembled to catch a glimpse of the Gladiator star Wolf in what was, and has always been, an entirely inappropriate battle ready leotard.

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    We all know Christmas brings out the lighter, more playful side of working environments and we’ve all definitely come across those clever harry type characters who throw out an idea that making a video will be fun with a capital F, showing everyone how “quirky” the company really is. Sometimes the results are painful, but luckily there are folks like those at Freitag who offer awesome insights into the process of their products, while telling you everything you need to know about the personalities behind them. And so it is with the four animated shorts pieced together by Claudia Röthlin & Yves Gutjahr which follow The truth about F-Mas. Take a moment to enjoy these little beauts!

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    After taking 91,540 photos, driving for 66,565 miles over 365 days across all 50 American states, Theron Humphrey has created what has become a monumental project that not only tells the story of everyday American people, but also takes a fresh look at social media. After working in a commercial photography studio since 2007, Theron woke up one morning with a wild idea to take to the road with little more than his camera and a simple idea – to meet new people everyday and let them tell their story in their own words.

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    I’m not even going to mention what time of year it is, but needless to say I think we’ve all been bludgeoned over the head with blunt advertising objects for far too long this month. One such object that usually bores to the point of unconsciousness, slamming the senses with its mediocrisy is the trusty old brochure. Well, Studio Small weren’t drinking any of that beige juice while mixing together their exciting blend of art direction for Alfred Dunhill’s 2012 gift brochure.

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    If you haven’t done it already, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? I’m obviously referring to the epic quest that is purchasing a Christmas tree from what is normally a highly inconvenient location, following the age-old tradition of dressing it up in all sorts of oddities, and then spending the rest of Christmas slowly watching it die. Fair enough, that last part sounded a bit brutal, but the life of a Christmas tree is one that normally ends up in the January heap of discarded packaging, making it even more important for us to dress them up well for their final wiggle in the spotlight! And here to dress these trees in their first and last glisteningly glorious frocks are the folks from Studio Badini Createam, who have dreamt up the Pantone Christmas baubles. They are stylish, classy, arty and fun and needless to say want, want want!

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    Groovisions is a design studio based in Tokyo, a city where adverts flash and fling their way across a multitude of billboards, buildings and shop windows which can, at times, feel like an assault on the senses. How refreshing it must be then for revellers of the wondrous tech-city of the future to come across some graphic design that doesn’t scream a message in flashing neon lights, but rather, gently entices attention with a clear visual idea that communicates its message at a glance, drawn in bold lines and set on a soft pastel colour palette. This series works on a number of levels, standing out in a crowd by its willingness to be quiet, waiting for viewers that will inevitably come for some peace and tranquility.

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    We get to see swathes of photography on a weekly basis and mostly we are spoilt for choice as to what to show you all. But every now and then we stumble across a photographer that stops everyone in their tracks, and so it was with Christophe Negrel’s powerful Senegal series.

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    Are you ready for a salacious Things peep show? I hope so, because this week they are dancing with that Saturday night sway, puckered up and ready for your visual grazing. So what’s waiting for you on the dance floor? SSAW is waiting in all its elegant splendor and Hound Magazine keeps giving you the eye dancing like the cool cat it is. Who and what else? Well, you’ll just have to motivate yourself, keep on reading and wait for the Prince of the Prom, Brecht Evens, to alleviate those pent-up feelings of city loneliness. Shall we? Let’s…

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    When somebody with the extraordinary talents of Emily Kai Bock recommends a bunch of creative film-makers to you, describing them as a MUST to check out, ears prick up, hairs stand on end and the follow up begins quick march style. And what a pleasure it was finding What Matters Most, and particularly Kahlil Joseph’s short film set to three sampled tracks from Flying Lotus’ latest album, Until The Quiet Comes.

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    Foreign Policy is a design bureau and thinktank based in Singapore who “craft, realise and evolve brands with a creative and strategic development of ideas.” And nobody could argue with that description while looking at their latest brand identity project for Sifang Art Museum. Taking inspiration from the gentle terrain surrounding the museum as well as its elegant, yet harsh architectural angularity, Foreign Policy created an identity of strength and applied it with graceful subtlety. This point in itself underpins the brand of the Sifang Art museum which was constructed with the Chinese saying “strength within gentleness” in mind.

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    This kind of goes without saying, but it should be noted that no animals were harmed in the making of this campaign… or eaten. It was in fact designed to raise awareness surrounding food hygiene, provoking us to think about where and what we’ve been caressing with our little mitts. Nobody is going to argue the cuteness of Cupcake the hamster, or Mr. Loaf the pesky Pug, but do we really want to lick jam off our fingers after stroking Mr. Loaf? Probably not because Mr. Loaf has most probably been rolling in something quite pungent. This campaign is fabulously creative and just as thought provoking as those hard-hitting, fear mongering doomsday ads we’re bombarded with. Great stuff Jeremy!

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    There’s nothing I like better than a good old swing session, and now there’s a perfect excuse to slap on a smile and shoot through the air in innocent ecstasy! This kind of wild excitement derived from such a simple pleasure is something often lost on adults as they grow up to experience the more ‘serious’ pleasures dirty minds may have thought I was alluding to, but Ann Hamilton’s The Event of a Thread installation, currently on display in New York poses a serious question; who says swings are just for kids?

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    We love to show people where we are and who we’re with, and this process requires some “cam-whoring” technical wizardry that always includes a steadfast arm reaching out from the photograph itself. Glance through photos on Facebook or glide the swarms uploaded to Instagram and there is something you are always SURE to see – the precariously taken, arm-length self-portrait captured on a hand-held camera.

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    It has been 25 years since the world took breath and wrapped their laughing gear round the Graphics Interchange Format – the very la-di-da name for what we all know and love as simply, the GIF. I think you’ll agree, it’s hard to imaging stumbling through blogs without bumping into a GIF that completely takes you by surprise, offering snippets of unique stupidity, hilarity, creativity and plain awesomeness. Whether it’s a dancing baby, crazed psycho cats or the cutest thing alive, the GIF has been there for us in all its wondrous glory. And now thanks to Sean Pecknold’s film and the exhibition its tied to – Moving the Still – we can all revel in how this phonomena came to be.

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    Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Well, we all know the news will be reporting it as though death is falling from above at the glimpse of a spattering (with the nation’s attention refocused on the levels of grit!) but mainly there is total love for snow right? It is, after all, basically the daddy of fun. And Japanese artist Toshihko Shibya is making this ice cool powder-puff fluff even cooler with his Snow Pallet installation. Toshihko’s aim is to transform some of the plain looking landscapes wintry weather can create, injecting some fun and personality into places otherwise visually barren. Like most brilliant ideas, Snow Palletis a remarkably simple concept – Toshihko paints iron disks in a variety of colours, placing them at differing heights from the ground. As natural light enables the colour hues to reflect off the snows surface, a gradient of colour presents itself amid the whitewashed landscape. The results are as beautiful as they are reliant on natures forces.

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    Pete Rossi is a graphic designer, visual artist and general maker of things. After working for several renowned studios in the UK and Europe, he’s also one of the 50 winners to receive the prestigious Art Directors Club Young Gun Award Browsing through Pete’s latest graphic work for the artist George Wyllie’s first major retrospective offers insight into his talent for design. In Pursuit of the Question Mark is running until February at the Mitchell, Glasgow with an identity that is closely aligned to the artists beliefs and process. Pete has therefore used a robust, bold typeface and materials to match, creating a stunning catalogue touched off nicely with a bespoke hand stamp.

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    Many people draw inspiration from their everyday life experiences, but what happens to the element of fantasy? In a culture driven by a relentless will to live in the moment, it can be hard to step back and find the spaces to find ourselves. Julie Blackmon has realised this, creating momentary spaces in her photography that “fuses fantasy with reality in order to observe the mythic amid the chaos.”

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    It’s been a particularly busy week this week as we raced headlong into the jaws of In Progress. And as the team wipe their collective brows flinging perspiration in the wake of the weekend, let’s all settle down and have a look at what brightened up the studio, alleviating tensions like a much-needed biscuit. So, what will we be offering your beady, yearning eyes this week? I hear you people, and let’s just say it’ll involve a roam through day jobs, a collection of trendy fashion, naked illustrated bodies, A VINYL TO DIE FOR and some killer stories accompanied by some rather dashing photography. Let’s get it on.

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    It’s always nice to see when a young creative lives up to, nay surpasses, the praise we heap on them and that is certainly the case with Eamonn O’Neil. Back in August 2011, we came across this stunning talent and his trailer for I’m Fine Thanks. Just from the 21 second clip, his technical and creative brilliance was clear for all to see even though he still had a year remaining before graduating from The Royal College of Arts.

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    There are times when carrying any more than four bags back from a supermarket can induce an undeserved hulk-like feeling of strength. It’s normally better to skip over to the car, trolley partially full, and wedge all that milk and honey into the boot. Spare a thought then for the subjects of Alain Delorme’s photography project Totems.

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    Bedow is a graphic design studio run by Perniclas Bedow in the heart of Stockholm, Sweden. Founded in 2005, they have expanded to work on a range of business and cultural projects, bagging a shed load of awards in the process. You don’t have to spend much time looking through examples of their work to see why. Bedow’s approach always seems to offer fresh, creative thinking on projects that far too often are designed in humdrum ways, consequentially making whatever Perniclas and his team touch seem inviting, exciting and interesting.

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    Ben Huff’s photographic series documents what can only be described as an epic journey of discovery. He travelled the frontier of Alaska’s Dalton Highway known locally as “the haul road,” sleeping in his truck and taking comfort in “the silence, open spaces and the generosity of strangers”.

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    If you’ve been to a paintball session, you’ll recognise the crazed, action-packed and normally freezing lark around in the mud that appeal to so many. As the inevitable dodging of bullets falters and your retaliation has sapped all ammunition, the place to be is behind cover, blending in with the unusual landscapes created to feed the frenzied Rambo fray.

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    We all love a bit of colour in our lives, right? It’s the spice that can turn the drabbest of life experience into a wealth of vivid wonder, taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. Carlos Cruz-Diez has been exploring the kinetic movement of colour in his celebrated works, creating interactive manufactured chambers that lures visitors to rethink their perceptions of colour in their everyday lives.

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    It only seems like two shakes of a lambs tail ago when Things was last here. Well, that lamb has been frantically shaking its time tail, suddenly thrusting us all into the weekend! If you’re currently completing a sofa hopping tour of London, you’ll probably have to start thinking about the Monday morning housing situation; if you wear a suit to work, you should probably think about ironing all those crisp white collars soon. In the meantime, stuff all of that and read this, go have a drink or three and dance like it’s the saviour of sanity. So, let’s get to it. Strap in ladies and gents, you know the drill.

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    On first viewing this tasty selection of stools, my immediate reaction was one of “Wow, I really fancy a liquorice allsort”, then my pang of sweet need gave way to pure Wow!

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    What would the world of football look like if Rooney and Balotelli stopped denying their hearts desires, put aside their differences and got down and dirty on the turf of Old Trafford? The fans bemused, astounded; the referee flourishing his red as he loses control while the managers of rival clubs rest their bitter arguments to gaze upon their star players’ tackles of love primed to score!

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    It’s obviously the nature of departure areas for us to depart, onwards through the transition onto a new destination. Unfortunately, the departure area also signifies a blind rush and frantic, speedy march, continually frisking yourself for tickets or a passport you’re sure could have slipped off planet Earth through a zipped portal!

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    Having first established themselves in Rotterdam in 2002, Toko have been permanently working out of Sydney since 2006, developing a portfolio of creative work for national and international clients. Their approach to design is informed by the rich heritage found in a Dutch-European culture of design and branding; exemplified by Formations: New Practices in Australian Architecture. The publication, that features first-rate design and dazzling visuals, was produced as part of the visual identity for the Australian exhibition at the 13th Venice International Biennale – the world’s most important architectural event.

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    We’re all familiar with the boldness of Manhattan – a bright, fast, vivid and relentless metropolis that never sleeps. Constantly bathed in artificial light originating from its transport, advertising, entertainment, housing and sidewalks scattered with street lamps. But as hurricane Sandy delivered its devastating blow, sending a vast water surge towards the city and submerging all power sources, the city wasn’t just flooded in water, but in an eerie silence under the cloak of complete darkness. Romain Laurent has captured these moments where the greatest, richest city on earth fell victim to nature, exposing a vulnerability against which it can never be completely defended.

    There was no street life, very few cars, and in this obscurity the few people Romain crossed “were unidentifiable shadows punctuated by flashlights.” This collection of images exposes this unusual environment that was left stranded for several nights, evoking a sense of fear alongside the natural curiosity of the unknown. Overall, Shadows communicates these surreal impressions experienced by residents as they roamed the streets isolated in the pitch black.

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    As the introduction to Clarks in Jamaica states – and it might surprise you – “Clarks shoes have enjoyed a cult status in Jamaica for at least sixty years”. The quintessential British brand has become synonymous with the reggae style and remains so, fed in the early years by enterprising characters such as Smithy, who began to buy up all the Clarks he could in Somerset, returning to Kingston laden with “all sizes, colours and styles of the shoe” – it was, after all, the Clarks name that mattered.

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    You could be forgiven for thinking these photographs are something not of this world; an unnatural, imaginative manipulation that simply introduces colour and scale to create a composition miles away from the usual. Here’s the thing though, these photographs are unadulterated, capturing the vivid splendour of Hutt Lagoon in Australia.

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    Fashions come and go, passing as quickly as my craze for tucking tracksuit bottoms into socks, wearing those whiter-than-white trainers while rocking the wet look hair – a somewhat brief and ill-advised fashion interlude I’d like to add! Well, thank heavens we can change and adapt, a principle not lost on Korean designer Jung Eunyoung, who responds to the adaptive nature of fashion and trendsetting by dressing furniture in a number of different outfits.

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    If, like me, you can’t pass a sign, flyer or packaging of any kind without having a good look at the typeface, you might have heard about Pencil to Pixel, an exhibition by Monotype which ran from 16th-23rd November and brought together “the past, present and future of a unique typographic institution.” The award winning brand communications agency Sea were responsible for the graphic identity for the show, but their work for Monotype didn’t stop there.

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    Sometimes very little needs to be said about the work we post; images can truly speak a thousand words. With this in mind, allow me to merely act as the waiter serving up a chef’s Michelin Star of photography. Steve McCurry’s Blue City photographic series was taken on the edge of the Thar Desert, India, in a place that was once the capital of a princely state – the mystical Jodhpur. Delve into this magical world and these stunning images. We cannot recommend visiting Steve’s website enough – incredible barely does justice to his vast gallery of images!