I happen to come across Philadelphia duo Lockets while searching for records online at Rough Trade. I always laugh when I discover American bands on British sites, but that’s exactly what happened the other day. All I had to read from Rough Trade’s description was, “stunning dream pop which aches with bittersweetness”, and I was instantly hooked. Lockets are vocalist Dani Mari and multi-instrumentalist Todd Mendelsohn and yes, comparisons to Cocteau Twins and Beach House are inevitable, but I still can’t stop listening. You can listen to and download their album Camera Shy on their website and pre-order the very limited vinyl (only 500 made) that comes out in the US on Dec. 4, 2012 on Beautiful Strange.
If you happen to be in or around the Philadelphia area, tickets are still available via Ticketfly for their show on Dec. 6, 2012 at the Barbary opening up for St. Lucia who I recently caught this past summer at the Echo in Los Angeles and loved! Check out the their latest video for Winter Light and pre-order their debut record here.
In thinking about time and the passage of it for the upcoming new year, I stumbled upon a really cool blog, Wachismo, that’s dedicated entirely to timekeeping pieces (clocks and the like.) He has a full section for memento moris clocks, a personal fascination of mine. The title translates literally to “Remember you must die,” and remind us of the iminence and swiftness of impending death. Yay! Some beautiful/strange/haunting clocks below.
Rebecca Jewell spent a year in New Guinea in 1982 and became inspired by feather artifacts and birds. She saw how important they were to the people there and was amazed by the beautiful feather headdresses people made. She went on to study anthropology at Cambridge University in 1985 and then gained a PhD from London’s Royal College of Art in Natural History Illustration. During that time she would work mainly in watercolor, drawing bird skins at the National History Museum and ethnographic artifacts made out of feathers at the British Museum.
All of these experiences came to influence the body of work she began to create using “ethically sourced” feathers to print on. Her work is based on careful observational drawing as a way of seeing, recording, investigating and analyzing. Through a process involving a photo-plate, ink, an etching press and feathers, Jewell creates beautiful and delicate works on feathers depicting birds. Of the pieces she says: “Over the past years I have drawn and painted feathers and birds, and explored how they have been used to enhance and decorate humans. I am also aware of the plight and precarious status of many species, which I wanted to represent in the delicacy of the image on the feather.”
An artist in residence at the British Museum, Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, Jewell creates work that explores the shared histories between people that create certain artifacts, the explorers, anthropologists and travelers who obtain them, and the museums that house them.
I don’t particularly consider myself an artist and certainly not a painter. But last week, I had the opportunity to be both when photographer & fashion designer Kandace Wilson invited me to participate as a collaborator in her ongoing horse painting project. Kandace grew up at the track, always around horses -the underlying inspiration behind building this body of work. The end products are a portfolio of stellar images of the painted horse, textiles created from the painted imagery, and fashion designs using those textiles. There were a host of constraints and challenges in the process that make the experience one-of-a-kind: time is your biggest challenge as you’re working with a large furry animal that gets bored quickly and requires both entertainment and breaks; the fur, in both color and texture provides a challenging canvas to work on; working on location requires a certain degree of spontaneity and creativity… but beyond the challenges came some sweet and unexpected rewards both in the finished product that begins to take on a living, breathing life of its own, and in the experience of working with this majestic animal. Kandace continues to search for, and looks forward to connecting with willing participants, artists (and horses) of any variety who would be interested in future horse-painting collaborations.
Every piece of James Hopkins’ work challenges the limits of human cognition. My favorites from his series (though they’re all really cool) are “Balanced Works”, many of which pieces in this feature various types of alcohol- drinking and balance? – good combination, and “Perspective Sculptures” containing erratically proportioned instruments that would make up a rock band.