Everyone loves disco balls, right? It’s the way they make even the least prepossessing room suddenly, infinitely glitzy and sparkly and disco-y isn’t it? Well imagine the It’s Nice That podcast Studio Audience doing exactly the same thing, only it’s glitzy, sparkly, disco-y reach is aural rather than visual. Well then what the heck are we waiting for – let’s crack on with this week’s fun and frolics featuring the ITV rebrand, Ansel Adams, graphic novels. Oh and one of us SINGS! But you’ll have to listen to find out who. And why. Actually I still don’t really know why. Enjoy!
Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea
Ansel Adams, the godfather of American landscape photography is one of those creatives who is always a sheer pleasure to revisit. The man responsible for fixing an idea of how we see the United States and its monumental topography still has the ability to strike the viewer dumb with his work, however familiar we think we are with it.
A new show at London’s National Maritime Museum focuses on the photographer’s treatment of water – from ponds to geysers, rivers to snowscapes – and the manifold ways in which his unerring eye for a shot works with this most ephemeral substance produces a host of truly stupefying works.
With more than 100 prints on show, this is the perfect chance to remind ourselves just how and why Ansel Adams is so revered, and a great antidote to the Instagrammification of the way in which we view landscape photography. Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea runs until April 23.
Kate MccGwire: Lure
Despite our love of prattling on, sometimes it’s the artists themselves who best articulate the qualities of their work we so admire. So it is with Kate MccGwire, who describes her extraordinary feather creations as being “both sensual and deviant in equal measure.” Kate is best known for her huge pieces where slicks of feathers become organic masses and take over the gallery space in beautiful and unsettling ways. Her new show opening in London next week focusses on less overwhelming but no less intriguing pieces, smaller sculptures of incredible form and texture which seem to throb with an inner vitality.
Two pieces in particular reflect Kate’s interest in hair and the big, plaited forms add an unerring human dimension to her bewitching creations. Lure runs at All Visual Arts between November 22 and January 26.
Dumb Ways To Die
It’s fair to say that most of the time public safety information tends to be hectoring, patronising or just plain dull, so it’s great to see a different, and much more interesting approach. Melbourne Metro wanted to point out that mindboggling acts of stupidity on and around their network could have fatal consequences and so McCann turned to musician Ollie McGill and animator Julian Frost for this maddeningly memorable little ditty called Dumb Ways To Die.
What’s great is that although at the end it comes round to addressing the core concerns of the train company, for the first two and a half minutes it’s a cavalcade of increasingly bizarre death scenes featuring everything from rattlesnakes to space travel, all animated with a charm that belies the dark subject matter. All together now…
First up in the second section we looked at ITV’s new identity based on a flexible “harmonised handwriting” which was covered well over on Design Week. But as ever there was some snarky criticism, best summed up maybe in this Daily Mirror article pulling together some of the more creatively critical Tweets…
And we talked about this year’s Costa Book Awards which included two graphic novels – Days of Bagnold Summer and Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes in its shortlists announced this week. We wondered whether it was a watershed moment, a point made articulately over on The Guardian although if you read the quotes the two authors seem to have quite different takes on the seriousness of their craft!
About the Author
Rob joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in July 2011 before becoming Editor-in-Chief and working across all editorial projects including itsnicethat.com, Printed Pages, Here and Nicer Tuesdays. Rob left It’s Nice That in June 2015.