Archive | November, 2012

LGBT+ Arts Night Part Two: Meet the Visual Artists!

17 Nov

Yesterday I told you about our speakers and performers. Are you ready to meet our totally amazing artists!?

Audrey Bishop

Audrey Bishop is a fellow Australian undercover, and for that she is rad. She obviously knows this — her Twitter handle is @audreyisrad. Audrey has set herself the task of completing 200 portraits. This has fittingly been termed the ‘200 Portraits Project‘. In her last project of a similar nature, Audrey completed 31 different paintings in a month, one for each day. Which is pretty incredible if you think about it. We’ll have two of her paintings on display and they are rather dashing if I do say so!

Just by the by, if you’re interested in getting involved in the 200 Portraits Project, email a picture of yourself to Audrey.

Emma Thomson

In art, Emma Thomson enjoys imperfections; with her collages, she “tries not to try”. She likes art that can unsettle you, hence why she sleeps next to a Francis Bacon print. Her interests include roller derby, ethical taxidermy and cats. She’s made some pretty fantastic pieces especially for the event, and they just happen to be for sale (so bring your pennies!).

Sylvia K

Sylvia K was born in a foggy and sleepy Italian town, in the last year of the 80’s. She illustrates simply because she couldn’t imagine not doing it, albeit her literary studies. She has shown her works in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, and collaborated with a handful of musical artists; among them her “patron” Amanda Palmer, who has made her part of her last artistic project for the album Theatre is Evil, showing two of her works in Berlin, London, New York, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Sylvia K likes Victorian literature, ethnic food, old French movies, the smell of second hand books and melancholic indie-pop. We’ll be showing five of Sylvia’s prints which will also be for sale. Hooray!

Paul Knight

From the very first day that Paul meet his partner, Peter in 2009 he started taking photographs. From that first meeting, he has images of the first time that they had sex, the first meal that they shared and the first time that they rested in each others company. Since then, Paul has chronicled their shared life.

This work depicts a couple in a very frank and intimate manner, capturing all the moments that make up the spectacular and banal within the everyday. This work is a quietly political offering to the history of the family snap-shot. It seeks to displace the chronological time-based narrative typically found in diaristc work and instead present a narrative formed via volume. It seeks to pull the bitter-sweat realisation of love and potential loss into the matter of the everyday – creating a realm where appetites offer themselves so that photography can feed on some of the objects of it’s obsessions.

Sina Sparrow

Sina Sparrow is a gay cartoonist and artist whose work deals with personal identity, emotions, sexuality, love and loneliness. His work is so amazing and personable and I am just so happy that he agreed to be a part of our arts night! If you can’t make it (though no excuse is a good excuse, really), his Tumblr is definitely worth a look.

Claudio Bindella

If you’ve seen Claudio Bindella’s work before, you’ll know why I am pleased as punch that he’s sending us over some of his work. His stuff is very very Gay and very very Cool.

…So what are you waiting for?

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LGBT+ Arts Night Part One: Meet the Academics, Poets and Misc. Speakers!

16 Nov

Hey you guys! It’s really happening! The LGBT+ Society in the University of Surrey, in partnership with Appleseed Bookshop (the greatest bookshop in the world!), are holding a night of poetry, music, art, literature and academic talks.

And I’m working at the event.

AND I’M HELPING TO ORGANISE IT!

PLUS I’M DOING A POETRY READING!

I don’t know what the point of working in PR was because I am terrible at promoting things, you guys. I’ve been walking around campus and town like, “Take my flyers. TAKE THEM!” But none of the local galleries or theatres seem to want to advertise our totally awesome amazing super cool event. Their loss.

But I know I can count on you, internet! You have never let me down. (Except for that one time when you couldn’t find me any cute pictures of baby greyhounds, that was a sad day.)

If you can’t see the image at the top of the page, the event is taking place on 4 December at Appleseed Bookshop in the University of Surrey (which is in England). Here is the Facebook page for the event. It’s free entry, but we are taking donations if you feel particularly prosperous on the evening because we have little to no budget and it’s actually effing expensive to organise a night like this and transport art. Who knew?

The first half of the night will feature talks from our guest speakers.

English Department’s Churnjeet Mahn will be delivering a talk titled ‘Lesbians: Commodity and Censorship’. Churnjeet is my favourite lecturer ever (sorry other lecturers) and I think this is going to be really interesting. She’ll be looking at a few ways the word “lesbian” is used in contemporary cultures.

Psychology Department’s Peter Hegarty‘s talk is called ‘A Rebel’s Butterfly: Rebecca Solnit’s observations on the Natural History Museum in Dublin’. It’ll be around California travel writer Rebecca Solnit’s observations about Roger Casement, the Natural History Museum in Dublin (from her travel book about Ireland, A Book of Migrations).

Michael Bedo is a PhD student at the university and he’s going to do an exploration of gay men’s experience in the Victorian era and how this relates to literature which came out of that period.

The second half of the night is going to be a bunch of performances and readings by really cool people.

Molli (with an i)

Cheryl Moore is the creator of mythological Unbound Boxes Limping Gods, from which she will be reading. Her characters, though flawed, are complex and beautifully drawn (figuratively and literally) and her storylines are so well-planned and intricate, she’s definitely a star waiting to be discovered.

Her style is experimental — on one’s initial visit to her website it can be difficult to navigate the story lines. But after a little bit of exploring, it’s clear that Cheryl writes sci-fi micro-stories remarkably well. We’re so glad/honoured that she’s happy to be involved in our little night and she is one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met!

Unbound Boxes Limping Gods is the first in a series of speculative fiction manuscripts for which Cheryl is seeking publication. I can totally picture her books next to Neil Gaiman’s graphic novels or something. Here is a really awesome review of her work.

Stephanie Davies will also be reading but oh wait that’s me. I think I will be reading from my already existing stuff, but I might write something special for the night. My poetry is twelve kinds of mediocre but you should totally stay for the rest of the performers!

Because…

Next up is a reading by Stephen Mooney. Stephen is the University of Surrey’s poet in residence .

This is not Stephen Mooney.

Stephen is a Real Poet and is thus very good at what he does. I suggest you just come witness it yourself in person. (I’ve seen what he’s going to be reading and it is pretty mind-blowing you guys.)

Chloe Mercer is going to be doing an acoustic performance I think. I don’t know much about her but a little Facebook stalking shows me that she likes to dress up. Maybe you can look forward to that!!

XXStein aka the artist formerly known as Tommy Monroe of the Charming Thieves aka my super hot, super talented partner will be closing the night for us with a little musical performance. Frankie is a music and conceptual artist exploring gender, counter culture, punk rock and the radical left.

XXstein

(c) Claudia Moroni

Stay tuned for Part Two when I’ll introduce you to the visual artists who’ll also be involved in the night!

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Sunday Crafternoons: Make Your Own Salt Dough Sculpture

11 Nov

Making salt dough is really really easy you guys! It’s not just for Kirstie Allsopp. You can use it to make Christmas ornaments, pretty roses, buttons, jewellery, and to create cute hand-prints of the infants in your life. Baskets seem popular too.

But those ideas are totally boring! Why not bust out the seasonal cookie cutters and make some awesome skull and snowflake decorations for your grandma? Or spell out your favourite swear word? Or, with a little bit of paint and glitter, you can make your own internet meme like me!

♫ nyan nyan nyan-nyan nyan-nyan-nyan-nyan-nyan ♫

Ingredients.

  • A cup of salt
  • A cup of flour
  • A cup of warm water
  • Paint, glitter etc. for decorating [optional]
  • Varnish [optional]

Method.

1. Mix the dry ingredients. (This isn’t that hard you guys. There are two.)

2. Gradually stir in the water until it forms a doughy consistency.

3. Knead your dough for a few minutes. At this point your dough should look like dough, and you’re ready to make some awesome stuff!

4. Cook your dough. I put mine in the oven at 180° until they dried out, but apparently you can blast them in the microwave for a couple of minutes and that works too.

5. You’re freaking done!

Can you guess what my favourite word is?

I told you it was easy. Now you can decorate them, varnish them, or, if you don’t like how they turned out, eat them!