Art / Design, England

Haroshi 心月輪

With precision and crazy skill, Haroshi selects, stacks and bonds old broken skateboards to create timber layers that he uses to unbelievable effects. The variety of colour found naturally in the laminated construction of discarded skateboard decks overlap to make beautiful and very unique ply art-works once carved.

Perhaps the most interesting of Haroshi’s techniques is the detailed mosaic of skateboard ply block-work. Coincidentally, this method has been used throughout Japanese history to create most of Japan’s wooden Great Buddha statues (of course not using skateboards). One particular Buddhist craftsman from the 12th century, Unkei (運慶) would place a crystal ball, called shin gachi rin (心月輪), at the heart of each of his carved buddha forms to give his sculptures their ‘soul’. Haroshi uses a metallic object from one of the broken skateboards; buried deep in the centre of each of his art-works, again giving the objects a heart, and a ‘soul’.

A friend of ours, Brandon Shigeta, a photographer based in LA was lucky enough to shoot Haroshi’s Tokyo studio for Hypebeast in 2010 and I have been waiting since then to see his works in London. Check out PAIN, at StolenSpace Gallery, on Brick Lane, until 3rd November.

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Art / Design, England, Japan

Bank-note Incredible

Friends of mine at London’s ICN Gallery told me about this artist some time last year and I have been eagerly anticipating her arrival ever since. I hurried out briefly today, while Atsuko was distracted, to check it out before I lost the chance. Like Fukahori Riusuke, this is one of those unbelievable Japanese artists that make me so happy that I stumbled on the ICN Gallery.

I saw the work with my own eyes and met the artist today but I still can’t quite understand how she does this. Saya Irie ‘simply’ erases imagery from banknotes, with a typical school eraser, then blends the rubber-dust with a type of glue and reforms them into a 3D sculpture of the object or person they once were.

Elizabeth Fry, Charles Darwin, Adam Smith and others all appear out from the two-dimensional surface in minute, precise detail despite standing just millimetres tall. It’s astounding. And it really makes you take a second look at the bank-notes we use on a daily basis but never stop to appreciate their incredible beauty. “Every popular thing is beautiful” is open until August 10th; try to catch it if you can…

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Art / Design, Travel

Melbourne Street Canvas

There are endless endless websites, tumblr pages and blogs these days to get your ‘design inspiration’ but nothing can beat travel to refresh, recharge and to spark creative ideas when working on new design projects. I have held back sharing these particular photographs until now because this is the set that feels like it might be the starting point for the work we’ll start shortly for our new client in Australia.

You may look at these and just see battered cars and vandalised walls; so do I. But I also see a rich warm colour palette; colours I never thought of combining before. I see a variety and balance of textures and materials, I see geometry and pattern, Australian humour, I can see the beginnings of something unique. These images are the seeds that will hopefully grow into a plant that I never knew existed. When I look at these, I can’t wait to make the first mark on that blank canvas…

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Art / Design, Travel

Assumption

Before we arrived in Australia, we asked one of our contacts: where should we eat, where are the cool / quirky and interesting shops, where can we see a little street art? The normal questions. I must admit that because of the volume and quality of street art to be found in London, I hadn’t expected to see much interesting graffiti in Melbourne, but now I really do feel so stupid about that particular presumption…

From the relatively average, typical scrawl I saw in the city-centre lanes, I thought I had judged correctly. But the more I walked, and the closer I got to the Brunswick/Fitzroy districts in the north-west of the city, the more excited I became and the more photos I took. The volume was overwhelming so much so that even my eyes got almost tired of looking at the creative, colourful walls. Here’s a pick of the highlights that I managed to see in the few hours I had.

(And if any of you can fill me in on the names of some of the artists, please comment below.)

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Art / Design, England

Fisticuffs

I’ve long been an admirer of this Irish street artist, we featured some of his work on Fashion Street last summer in our post Egg & Soldiers. Conor Harrington is a painter, and not just of the graffiti variety; he’s a seriously talented painter. Seeing his work on the streets creates fabulous contrast because much of his work would fit comfortably in the finest of fine-art galleries.

I follow Conor on Instagram (@conorsayboom) and this week noticed that he was painting somewhere in South East London, not too far from our house. Frustratingly, I couldn’t find out exactly where and work stopped me really looking in earnest until yesterday when I took the afternoon off. Happily I managed to find the wall but Conor had moved on, only the cherry-picker remained, the work was completed only hours before… Take a look at the work, these enormous fighters tower over pedestrians yet the detail is incredible, this is one of the most powerful pieces of street art I’ve photographed. I would have loved to have photographed this in work progress…

I include pictures of a couple of other recent works that have recently gone up around Shoreditch, one a collaboration with Maser. I’m dying to find more.

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Art / Design, England

Lister is Over Stencils

This afternoon, we were lucky enough to catch Anthony Lister putting the finishing touches to his latest painting on Rivington Place, on a wall just outside the Cargo garden terrace. What you can’t see in these pictures is that on the other side of the gate, Banksy’s ‘Guard and Poodle’ is still displayed, now behind acrylic protection. ‘Lister is Over Stencils’ at the foot of the wall suggests Lister is having a bit of a poke at Banksy. And with this guy’s talent, why not?

I’ve only just become aware of Lister in the last few months and have started to really like his style as I notice more and more of his works popping up around London. It was great watching him work and I loved him playing up to his friend’s camera as he finished. The other painting shown below is his End of the Line panel for the White Canvas project.

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Art / Design, England

Geese + Vessel Collision

At the opening party a couple of weeks ago, Keiko Masumoto explained to me a little of the concept behind her work. Vessels typically have a functional purpose, but there are those that are purely decorative objects, and there is really no need for these to be useful at all. Masumoto-san uses traditional ceramic techniques to make not functional pottery items, but artworks that seem to be an imaginative collision of pots and, in this case, geese.

It’s actually her second show here but the thing I love about this new exhibition at the ICN Gallery, is that the acrylic plinths give the flock of geese / vessels a real feeling of motion and lift. Taking photographs this afternoon in the gallery was really relaxing and watching the light change and shadows appear on the walls was really beautiful. This installation is addictive because the longer you stay, the more you notice tiny details.

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