NOTTINGHAM (UK): BUILDING BRIDGES (AND POSITIVE REBELLION) AROUND AN OLD BUS

 

Guest Writer: DAWN LINDSON, Act Intern

Photos: Tracey Whitefoot, Inna Schutts, William Ranieri

After a busy day leaving behind a sunny cultural island that has plenty of natural beauty and so much Art to explore…  In case you hadn’t guessed, the place I was describing is Majorca!  I was pleased to arrive home in time to catch Roberto Alborghetti’s Ghost Bus 2019 performance live at the Bartons Garage.  I had heard so much about him through ACT and how he has a special interest in Beeston so I was very curious to learn more.

He spoke of how he sees colours, I found this fascinating and it prompted questions from the audience.  He said “Colours are our energy…..our life!” A comment I couldn’t agree more with, especially since I have a craze for colourful things.  I guess we all see colours differently and his perspective was quite unique.  Roberto loves the colour red and when he first came to Nottingham he saw that in the bricks, which for him are a symbol of structure and history of our city. This became the inspiration for his first production called “Colours of Nottingham.”  He collaborated with singer Jeanie Barton (who I met at my first ACT event) to create visual and musical films which will be on her new CD album called “Moments of Clarity”.

However the things that I found struck a chord with me most were listening to him discuss some of the 6 books he had recently published.  One of them “Dining with Pope Francis” covers his passion of food for survival and how we are what we eat.  As a world we waste so many consumer goods which is totally unnecessary and is having negative effects on our world.  Roberto described how he believes food waste is the biggest problem in our world today and said Italy wastes 40 billion euros of food each year.

He also aims to have a positive influence on school children with his “Social or Dis-Social?” guide.  He rightly acknowledges that the use of digital technology is a great source of education when used appropriately.  However, 90% of children are using it inappropriately by spending too much time chatting online and playing violent video games.

He has concerns that children as young as 6 are losing as much as 4 hours a day on their smartphones, this also increases to 6 hours for teenagers.  Not only is this causing negative social effects but they are being affected by blue light.  He is concerned that some people are allowing the digital world to destroy their lives and recognises the importance of a sensible approach to using the internet.  The important message he wants to get across to school children, is to use their smartphone to better themselves and create a better world for everyone to live in.

It was interesting listening to him having a discussion with the presenter William Ranieri live on stage and I also enjoyed watching the videos which were displayed on the large screen.  He has a very imaginative approach to taking photographs, which would inspire photographers all around the world.  However, he is not just a great Artist but also a great influencer on important sociological issues the world is facing.  He finished the evening by answering questions from the audience.  I will look out for his next event in Beeston and perhaps next time I will be able to meet him in person.

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Guest Writer: MARYSIA ZIPSER, Founder of ACT Group

Last week Beeston welcomed the annual return of ACT special guest Roberto Alborghetti from Italy who is the official biographer to Pope Francis, visual artist, best selling author and award winning environmental journalist.

During a 4 day organised program, a publicised event took place at The Garage / Gallery events venue at Bartons Chilwell on Wednesday 5th June – ‘The Ghost Bus 2019 – In Conversation with…Roberto Alborghetti’.  It was a fascinating and engaging evening hosted by native Italian journalist and Director-Producer, William Ranieri from TheLatestTV in Brighton.

As a visual artist Roberto had already started, nearly 20 years ago, a project called “Laser/Actions” focusing on images of natural cracks and scratches, urban and industrial tokens and materials.

Roberto explained about how, while touring the classic vehicles at Bartons during his first 2014 visit, he chanced upon the Ghost Bus, a 1956 URR 865 Reliance, which had spent 20 years slumbering in an open Suffolk field. He started to take macro photographs of what he ‘saw’ in the old vehicle – Lands, Horizons, Seas, Skies.

He left inspired to make a short film about the Ghost Bus which was premiered at Bartons March 2015 when the old bus was stage illuminated. In October that year, the film was shown in Piancastagnaio Tuscany during a week long ACT tour by eight Beeston friends. His Ghost Bus images have since spawned designs for fashion like The Volcano Dress, textiles and wine labelling.

The Ghost Bus ‘Roads’ Project is now touring.

Since 2016 Roberto has been collaborating with Beeston singer/songwriter Jeanie Barton to create visual and musical films including Colours of Nottingham Streets to “Can I Think of Love?” and Images of Beeston to “Soon”, featured on Jeanie’s newly launched CD album ‘Moments of Clarity’.

He talked about Pope Francis and latest best seller “Dining with Pope Francis” translated into 15 languages, food and food waste and his guide books for children – the ‘Social or Dis-Social’ boom and one about the use of smartphones and cyberbullying.  When asked about what Robin Hood means to him today, Roberto answered “…positive rebellion and courage.”

The Mayor of Broxtowe, Councillor Michael Brown said, “I was pleased to be invited to this event and was fascinated by the excellent work.  It’s delightful to see the creative community bringing events like this to our Borough.”

The whole conversation with film/music clips and stills was LIVE streamed and can be seen via https://www.facebook.com/artculturetourism/

For further information about Roberto Alborghetti and The Ghost Bus events please see www.artculturetourism.co.uk Email:  events@artculturetourism.co.uk .

https://robertoalborghetti.wordpress.com/

 

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“ART AND POLITICS”: SHEPARD FAIREY (OBAMA “HOPE” POSTER CREATOR) MEETS STUDENTS AT “SANTA FE UNIVERSITY OF ART AND DESIGN”

Launched in 2011 by the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Artists for Positive Social Change  is a “university-wide series of events, lectures, and performances that highlights one high-profile issue, artist or genre each year.” Inaugurating this five-year initiative, 2011-12 was the year of hip-hop and saw Public Enemy descend on the SFUAD campus for a free concert.  The school hosted a graffiti workshop alongside classes in writing rap lyrics, hip-hop music and breakdancing. The goal was to distill hip-hop as a significant form of communication, as an art form that at its inception “gave voice to voiceless people.” This first year of Artists for Positive Social Change also proved that SFUAD is kinda cool.

Now in its second year, the theme is “Art and Political Activism.” Behold Shepard Fairey, who came to campus last Sunday night (February 17, 2013) for a Q&A with SFUAD’s graphic design department chair, David Grey.  During the week of February 18, Fairey will also designed and painted a permanent outdoor mural on the school campus. This is the artist whose 1990s Andre the Giant sticker went viral before viral meant on the Internet.  It was a different kind of dissemination, one grounded in street art.  He created the sticker while attending the Rhode Island School of Design where his tendencies toward punk, skateboarding and other countercultures were sometimes disparaged by professors.  Fairey admitted that he never thought he’d be taken seriously as a fine artist. If he had, he alleged, it might have paralyzed him.

In 2008, Fairey designed Barack Obama’s Hope Poster, the very icon of Obama’s grassroots energy.  That poster is why Fairey typifies this year’s “art and political activism” theme.  Its impact was immense and although not officially affiliated with the presidential campaign, it alone must have mobilized hundreds of thousands of voters. In Fairey’s words, he is making art for the world he wants to live in.  That alone is inspiration for SFUAD artists.

The Hope Poster’s imagery evolved from yes, an AP photo, but also its subversion of visual culture. In all of his work, the artist pulls from Russian Constructivism, pop art, hip-hop, punk, skateboarding, and artists like Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, and Barbara Kruger.  He raids the cultural image bank and riffs on it, appropriating elements to change the way we see things and ideally even think about things.  ‘Fair use’ copyright battles aside, Fairey asks us to “consume with discretion” and on his website http://www.obeygiant.com/about sites Heidegger’s account of Phenomenology to “enable people to see clearly something that is right before their eyes but obscured.”

If one thing was clear from listening to Fairey talk, it’s that he knows his culture.  From band trivia and blogging to politics and economics, this guy knows what’s up and he probably has an opinion about it.  He quoted Led Zeppelin, wore a black Ramones t-shirt, spoke openly about “selling out,” patience, his process and how it’s changed with time and the Internet, and when prompted, admitted to being arrested 16 times.  The Greer Garson Theatre was packed with students and community members who lined up for a Q&A that could’ve lasted all night.  Luckily, students have the opportunity all week to ask Fairey questions as he painted an indelible public artwork on the SFUAD campus.

http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/News/NewsRoom/Shepard-Fairey-To-Paint-Mural-On-SFUAD-Campus.aspx

http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/About/ArtistsForPositiveChange.aspx

https://www.facebook.com/santafeuniversity

www.youtube.com/user/SantaFeUniversity

http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/RSS/SFURssFeed.aspx

“THE LOST WARHOLS”: TWO IMAGES PERSONALLY SENT TO ME BY KAREN BYSTEDT

 PHOTOS BY KAREN BYSTEDT

“THE LOST WARHOLS” – PHOTO BY KAREN BYSTEDT

Three days ago I posted an article about the first limited edition print of Karen Bystedt’s “The Lost Warhols” (www.KarenBystedt.com) collection at the Amber Lounge Grand Prix Charity Fashion Event. That post – without images of the event – is still gaining a lot of traffic and it’s at the top of my views. So, in consideration of this huge attention, via e-mail I kindly asked  Karen Bystedt for a pic about “The Lost Warhols” Collection. She personally replied forwarding me two images, that I’m glad to put on line.  Someone said: “Don’t be afraid to ask”. I did so…

I’m so grateful to Karen Bystedt for this wonderful gift which I’m very glad to share with my readers and fellow bloggers. Thank you so much Karen! Your kindness is up to your enchanting and passionate art!           

ABOUT “THE LOST WARHOLS”

Bystedt’s photographs, taken at “The Factory” in New York when she was 19 years old, are some of the most unique images ever captured of the famous pop artist.

“THE LOST WARHOLS” – PHOTO BY KAREN BYSTEDT – IMAGE BOUGHT BY PRINCE ALBERT AT THE AMBER LOUNGE EVENT

In 1982, Bystedt was a film and photography student at NYU. After seeing pop art icon Andy Warhol in a Barney’s ad, she envisioned him as the ultimate male model and decided she wanted to photograph him. On a whim, Bystedt called Andy Warhol’s office, known as “The Factory”, and to her surprise, Andy himself picked up the phone. She told him about a book she was working on featuring the top male models in America, which she subsequently published, called “Not Just Another Pretty Face” (Plume/1983). After hearing about some of the famous male models she had in her roster, Andy was flattered and agreed to be pose for her. Andy’s secret desire was to be a model. Bystedt captured Warhol as he had never been seen before, posing for the camera and becoming the subject rather than the creator. Along with her photo session, she sat down with Andy for a candid interview where they discussed everything from fashion and politics, to Andy’s personal hopes, dreams, and icons. Commenting on the state of the world, Warhol told Bystedt, “In this country right now, since there’s no war on, everybody’s a beauty. It’s really scary. They’re here because they are not in the army.”

Bystedt kept her Andy Warhol photographs hidden from the world until now. Their sensational debut and the acquisition of one of the first of her rare prints by The Prince of Monaco has set the stage for collectors and fans of Andy Warhol all over the world. Bystedt is offering 44″ x 44″ limited edition prints and 24″ x 24″ box sets of “The Lost Warhols” that include ten unique prints as well as a proof sheet and quote sheets from her interview with Andy.

Please visit www.KarenBystedt.com to view “The Lost Warhols” Collection.

ABOUT KAREN BYSTEDT

Karen Bystedt is a photographer and author based in Los Angeles. What sets Bystedt apart from other celebrity photographers is her unique ability to see stars before they have risen, roles before they have been played, and to support those manifesting their dreams. In 1993, Bystedt published “Before They Were Famous”, a collection of intimate photographs and candid interviews with actors such as Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Sandra Bullock, Robert Downey Jr., Courtney Cox, Lawrence Fishburne, Laura Dern, Patrick Dempsey and many more. She continues to work in print, editorial and advertising in Los Angeles.

DAPHNE HUGHES ABSTRACT: EXPLORING MATERIALS AND SURFACE TEXTURES

  

 

I knew Daphne Hughes during last Parallax AF in London, at La Galleria (October 2011). She was one of my fellow exhibitors. “Regenerations” was the title of the works she showed there. Daphne presented me a book – “End of the line, A painters journey” – in which she tells her experience in Art. Daphne lives in the South East of England (Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire). She is a Contemporary Artist creating large Abstract paintings based on her photography.

I was really struck by her works. Daphne loves to explore the minute details of surfaces inherent in objects that surround us. She captures images and exposes their complex surface textures, observing and translating these qualities into paintings. She uses to create large scale fabrications of texture or movement. Each painting is unique and original with strong visual qualities, and by their nature create a tactile response by the use of mixed and diverse mediums.

Daphne worked on a series of large paintings inspired by the discarded object and corroded materials in the environment. She interprets and captures the spirit of their unconventional displacement and existence into paintings in her own unique style.

Daphne Hughes says: “I am a Contemporary Artist passionate about my work. My paintings are predominately abstract with rich surface qualities. I have a strong interest in Photography, and my work is based on the exploration of minute details of surfaces inherent in objects that surround us. I capture images and expose their complex surface textures and their comprehensive and intrinsic worth, observing and translating these qualities into paintings. From the photographs I take their descriptive values and compositional potential which I then interpret into paintings that encapsulate their unintentional beauty. It is the translation of the original images that promotes and manifests. A response and a passion to paint an enhanced physical version, intensifying the original qualities”.

 www.dh-abstract.co.uk

 busby_54@hotmail.co.uk