Put on your shoes, pick up your knapsack and follow me; we’re going on an adventure. First we’re headed to the mountains of Wyoming, where the devious US cavalry are scheming, planning an attack on the Cheyenne Indians. Next we’re travelling back in time to London in the 1950s, to see what some enterprising art students were writing about, before flying east to watch a bull fight in Lisbon and meet a photographer in Tehran. If you’re well behaved, I’ll even let you wear a fun new t-shirt with a pink rabbit hanging on in a jacuzzi on it.
Sound like fun? It sure is.
Jess Nash: Sand Creek
“After a meeting with the council they broke their camp on the smoky hill and moved down to Sand Creek.” So begins Jess Nash’s trip back to the Wild West, a beautifully illustrated story of Chivington’s men’s attack on a Cheyenne camp. This is a tale which doesn’t need words; Jess’ little cavalrymen and Cheyennes move through a colourful, abstract landscape, looking a bit like figurines or toy soldiers. Something about the delicacy and detail of her drawings is just gorgeous, and reminds me of all the ridiculously imaginative adventures that my toys went on up hill and down dale, over the mountainous sofa and along the carpeted valley of my parents’ living room.
ARK: Words and Images from the Royal College of Art Magazine 1950-1978
This is quite simply a really interesting anthology which does what it says on the tin. Opening the cover, on one side you can flick back in time through all 54 covers of the RCA’s art and design magazine, whilst on the other current students introduce articles from the archive. These prefaces, written by students on the Critical Writing in Art and Design MA, offer an insight on the contemporary context of the pieces. From advertising to coffee, shoes to space, these topics document the changing preoccupations, ideas and interests of the art student.
Dan Stiles: Baby’s First Book Blocks
It isn’t often that we get sent in toys (no naughty thoughts now) to the office, so we thought it’d make a nice change to add these building blocks by illustrator Dan Stiles to this week’s Things. They’re blocks that double up as books (ooo), full of pretty geometric pictures and made from that type of board that kids just love to chew. Fun shapes and colourful patterns are supposed to be great for children’s visual development; they also frequently convince us to feature an illustrator’s work on the site. Children clearly have good taste. Or we just never grew up.
Splash and Grab: Issue #1
Not only does this new biannual photography magazine feature some fab underexposed photographers, there’s also a pun and a half in their tag line. Taking submissions from all over the world for their blog, they print only the best of the lot along with several interviews. Eduardo Leal’s series of matadors in Lisbon is stunning, and they’ve also selected Luke Casey’s “Portholes” which we spotted for It’s Nice That last year. The magazine is edited by a group of UWE photography graduates and funded by a Kickstarter campaign; we’re excited to see more.
Onsen T-Shirt: MAMAMA
When something arrives in the post accompanied by a business card which has a dolphin hatching out of a banana skin on the back of it, Things can only get better. French clothing brand MAMAMA says that it “sees clothes as a basis to express creativity” and “views a blank t-shirt as a painter would consider his blank canvas, and tries to make each design a bona fide artistic work.” Browsing their website, I’d say they’ve managed that and some.