“It was the best of times, it was the BLURST of times,” as that monkey in The Simpsons unforgettably put it. I joined It’s Nice That almost two months ago now, and it’s been a great way to see in the last few months of 2014. While it feels a bit odd being on the other side of interview questions, it’s been nice to talk about what’s been a really lovely year in many ways; helped along by some equally lovely creative output, which I’ve rambled on breathlessly about below.
What has the internet taught you this year?
That I really need to get my arse in gear and swap home broadband providers.
What’s been your favourite interview/piece of writing of the year?
It’s so hard to pick one, but an interview that really stayed with me was Mark Ellen’s interview with Leonard Cohen in The Times There are the most breathtaking quotes from Cohen, but the final one is truly brilliant – so simple and so evocative. Cohen’s discussing his favourite lyric: “The moon stood still on Blueberry Hill’…You just see that full moon suspended. You just want to gaze at it. It stops the mind spinning. I think what we like about music — and what we like about art in general — is that enterprise that stops our minds from spinning. Because we’re all over the place. A good song is a movie: it will focus and calm and confer significance on this completely bewildering reality we all live in.”
Which website do you think has really stepped up their game this year?
It’s an obvious choice but the Wired redesign is great.
Which song/album would be the soundtrack to your year?
It’s not a timely one, or one I’ve only discovered now, but I can’t get enough of Robert Wyatt’s Sea Song, ever. I saw him talk recently so have been discovering him all over again and he constantly astonished me with how incredible his lyrics are, delivered as though he’s having a chat and a cigarette with you in your kitchen.
Which app could you have not lived without this year
I’m not really an app person, and I currently don’t have a phone, but I have very much enjoyed VidRhythm. It’s an app where you record your friends each making a different sound, like a “tsk” or a handclap, and it puts it all together to make a really fun, really irritating little video where you can have cats and robots and things all jigging along with you.
What’s been your favourite publication this year?
It had to be the new Scamp magazine. The shoots, the design, the content…everything about it is so surreal and bold and brilliant. It bills itself as “the sparkling new compendium of the art and fashion shiterati.” Need I say more.
What’s the best exhibition you’ve visited?
I loved the Ivan Chermayeff collage show at the De La Warr Pavilion. Well worth a trip to the coast for. The Sigmar Polke show is brilliant, too – and laugh-out-loud funny in places. Chris Marker at the Whitechapel, too. SO much good stuff, I’m finding it very hard to choose.
One valuable lesson you have learnt in 2014?
That change isn’t always terrifying, or maybe it is, but it can also be great.
Do you have any new year’s resolutions?
To put on another Center Parcs Fun Time Gang night.
Give us a recipe for an incredible Christmas lunch SIDE dish
For its lovely bright colour and the equally lovely avalanche of sugar, it’s this take on crispy fried seaweed, using red cabbage instead of green, and resulting in something not quite as crispy but nicer than boiled cabbage.
Slice red cabbage quite finely. Heat up a few tablespoons of oil in a big wok. Throw in the cabbage, fry for a couple of minutes, then sprinkle a generous amount of brown sugar (about two tablespoons) over the top, with a good sprinkle of cinnamon. Fry so it’s evenly coated for about five minutes or until it starts to smell vaguely caramelised.
- Photographer Anne-Sophie Guillet’s stunning portraits challenge gender binaries
- For Jan Horcik, type design and graphic design cannot work without one another
- “Like a little factory making picture books”: The wondrous work of Marie Neurath
- What’s the purpose of prison? This series captures a horse rehabilitation programme in Arizona
- Tina Schwizgebel-Wang’s etchings are filled with detailed scenes of everyday life
- “I want to show that the world is actually very simple”: meet artist Hisami Tanaka
- New study claims to pinpoint the most creative time of day, down to the minute
- Singapore-based studio Swell explores the idea of the banished book
- "My little niece and my grandmother like the game equally": how Playables made the simply addictive Kids
- In being "open to possibilities" still life painter Duane Keiser paints the everyday joys of life
- What the cluck? KFC releases limited-edition bucket hat
- For Bizzarri-Rodriguez, book design “is everything except a science”