Using green screens has become very common today in video production. From the normal Youtube channels to eminent video producing companies like Independent Media Productions, everyone is using a green screen to make videos. We cannot deny the fact green screens have made the video production very easy. With green screens, people are able to experience a lot of incredible things.
Today audiences are able to witness some unbelievable things like people flying on dragons and a lot of other things. These are all possible because of the use of green mats. In this article, we will see in detail the working of green screens.
Green screen is one of the most important parts of the process called the Chromakey. Chromakey is the process of allowing the video producers to impose any kind of subject into the video in the virtual background, through advanced techniques. This procedure involves digital processing, which gives the editor a stable platform in which the background is removed easily. There is some special software that is specifically designed for this purpose.
Chromakeying is also called as color keying. It is the process through which a particular color is singled out in an image or a video. The software is used to make videos and images transparent. With the transparent image or video, any kind of animation can be added to it. By using this technique, anything can be done in a believable way.
This is one of the questions that have been lingering in the minds of the people for a long time since they came to know about the green mat screens. Green is generally used because it is easy for the camera to pick up the color. It is easy for the camera to pick up because of the colour contrast. It would also make the job of the editor a bit easier. Other than green, there are certain instances where blue is also used in the process.
The sensors in the latest cameras easily identify the color, and they are more sensitive towards it. It also requires less light and can easily illuminate and give a bright environment. The blue screens are used if the object needs to wear some light color costume. The best way to choose the color is to go for the one that will not be appearing in the screen anywhere.
Tips for using green screen
One of the important things that you need to follow while using green screens is to avoid shadows while shooting the videos.
Ensure flat screen surface
It is mandatory for the screen to be flat without any wrinkles. With wrinkles, it would be difficult to remove the color and impose the needed effects.
Turn of sharpening feature
While shooting the video, make it a point to turn off the image sharpening feature. It is because shiny things like glass might pick the color and hence there are possibilities that it might get lost during editing.
Watch for reflections
It is better to avoid as many reflections as possible. As mentioned earlier, shiny things tend to pick the color, and hence, it will be difficult to correct them while editing. In these situations, it is better to use a blue screen, or you can throw a magenta gel on the backlight.
The future is expected to bring monumental changes in the art and its business; we can expect to have more interesting things than we ever had. Since the end of so famous directions in the art, the art itself has been wandering a bit. With the innovation of new technologies, its concept has become mixed. The art we once imagined will seize to exist. New trends will play a big role, and in some way, they will determine the direction of the art. Out of all artist, we have around the world, maybe one or two will end up in history books. The main reason for such action is that trends will be shorter and shifts swifter. And the artists won’t have time to express themselves.
The paintings will return
Paintings haven’t been so popular lately, especially if we are talking about museums and galleries. The art collectors will likely revive the paintings and bring back its popularity. Most likely in the future, this will become one of the most popular mediums. People will start to see the difference and start seeing the hidden messages and meanings. Under the influence of this trend critics, painters, and museums will be forced to return to painting.
The art before 20th century will come back
These trends will slowly come back on the art scene, followed with some classical forms. This now might seem as outdated and antique, put artist will tend to find inspirations in old times. The modern world will become too simple and plastic for them. They will seek for something that has more meaning, something that has structure and form.
Gallery business will become more modern
Some of the outdated concepts that were rooted in gallery business will soon disappear. Galleries will need to become sophisticated and luxury places. The artist will also have major advantages from these changes. Galleries will have to stop producing exclusively clauses that can be found in their contracts. The artist will have more freedom. This trend already started on the Asian market.
Small galleries will disappear
This new age will be the age of large galleries and small ones which have specialized purpose. Galleries will have to make a major decision and go through under the huge process of reorganization. Whether they will decide to become large retailers, like Harrods, of they will become specialized selling shops. They will have two purposes, one: they will attract a large group of people, or they will become a specialist in only one niche. The one who does this job out of a hobby will soon stop to exist.
Photography and printmaking will become popular
Considering that a lot of armature artists have become so popular using a printmaking and photography, we can expect popularization of this art. Artists won’t spend too much time in making the art, but they will chase the right moment to take a picture. New forms and creations will appear. And they will be able to find the inspiration in almost anything.
We are all aware that drugs have a powerful effect on human body. It causes hallucinations, sense of freedom, carefree feeling and out of the world experience. But, what happens when we connect art with narcotics. Based on some testimonies, whether they were urban legends or real life events, all the great artist used drugs to create their masterpieces. We have famous poet Edgar Alan Po, one of the representatives of symbolism, who used narcotics to write his best songs. Also, it is believed that Oscar Wild, while he wrote the Picture of Dorian Grey used narcotics. As we can see, narcotics have been present in the art for a long time, and many famous artists enjoyed in it.
Presence of drugs in modern art
We all hate when singers write songs about the drugs, the music industry is crowded with these type of songs. Still, we don’t expect that fascinations with drugs suddenly stops. The musicians, artist, painters will still indulge in them. But, what happens with their brain. Simply, if you don’t have an artistic side in you, you won’t be able to create art, no matter how much drugs you use.
Experts think that artists have one major problem when making the art and that’s creativity. They are under the constant pressure to create something new, original and never seen before. When creativity stops, that’s when problems begin. They are under the influence that drugs help them make better songs, better pieces, and better sculpture. In some way, this can be true because the brain is the powerful tool!
Remembering the front men of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis, in his autobiography, he said he wrote almost every song under the influence of drugs. That actually might be true, when you read the lyrics, they don’t have some special meaning, but they are catchy, and the melody is outstanding.
Various drugs influence differently on the brain
Depending on the drugs, they cause different behavior and different feeling. For example, LSD activates serotonin receptors better than serotonin itself. Connecting two barriers in the brain that aren’t usually connected. It causes a mixture of senses, increases creativity and the artist’s brain become more aware of his surroundings. They can find the inspirations in almost anything. Online you can find a process of making pictures of the artist who took some substance. Everything starts like a scrambling mess but ends like a masterpiece.
According to the Office of the National Statistics North East England has the second highest avoidable risk, with men on the forefront.
Looking at the recorded data in 2013, it has found out that men are more susceptible than women when it comes to avoidable deaths. Women yielded a 17 percent results, while men have 27 percent in England and Wales.
Cases that fall under avoidable death categories are those that involve lifestyle changes, good quality healthcare, and public health interventions.
Areas leading in this regard go as follow:
- North West has the highest for males with 325.8 per 100,000
- North East followed suit with 317.1 per 100,00
- And third came Wales with 316.2 per 100,00
Similar order was observed among females.
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause among the general public accounting 17 percent of the overall number in the year 2013. However, when the cases were separately examined it was found out that lung cancer accounted 15 percent among female group.
In the years between 2001 and 2013 the cases regarding mortality rate caused by cardiovascular diseases dropped by 52 percent, the greatest decline observed in any broad group.
Back in 2001, there were 317.3 deaths per 100,000 that fell under the avoidable category. This number declined over the years and in 2013 there were only 221.6 deaths per 100,000.
However, even though there was significant improvement on the death numbers in this sector, the ONS stated that they saw no significant improvement between 2012 and 2013.
Discipline’s Snowball Effect
Seeing this numbers there certainly is a sense of urgency to some people to change their lifestyle. But this is easier said than done. Experts in the field of human behavior often say that an individual trying to alter his bad habits is among the most difficult endeavor to see through.
Why though? Well, because most people rely on motivation.
Yes. Motivation is the pristine road that leads the traveller to precarious outcomes. Motivation, in its fundamental form, suggests that a person needs to be in a certain mental or emotional state to perform a certain task.
A fine example of this is convincing yourself that you need to listen to some music before you went about the task you want to accomplish. That right there is a form of procrastination.
The best path is to develop and strengthen self-discipline. That’s right. Discipline is consistent and doesn’t require a particular mood to get started on that project you’re working on. In discipline, you simply perform.
Discipline also has a snowball-effect and can generally be observe among people trying to get in shape. Doing that half an hour workout creates a sense of fulfillment, that you were productive during the day. This in turn leads to motivation which spurs a person to return to the gym the next day.
In short, discipline leads to motivation that cycles itself back to discipline and rolls back to motivation resulting in a circular path creating the snowball effect.
The City is packed with historic buildings and architectural delights.
The West Country city’s medieval buildings were props in the Johnny Depp and John Malkovich film The Libertine and also the British comedy Hot Fuzz. But you need to see the city first hand to experience the full wonder of some of England’s finest medieval buildings.
Wells sits at the foot of the Mendip Hills in Somerset and grew in Saxon times around the wells, which gave it its name, and church. It became the seat of a bishop in the ninth century. After the Norman conquest, the Saxon church was replaced by a stone Cathedral and the city rebuilt in stone.
The Cathedral of St Andrew’s was built in the 12th century on the site of a Saxon church. It was one of England’s largest and most impressive cathedrals dominating the city and surrounding countryside.
The west face is a particular delight with its many statues of kings, queens, saints and martyrs. When built the whole Cathedral was painted in bright colours of white, green, blue and red. Behind the statues is the singing gallery where on festivals the choir would sing to the crowds outside while being hidden behind the statues. The combination of colour and singing would have made for an awe-inspiring spectacle.
Inside there is one of the oldest clocks in Europe with its original face of moon and stars. There is the mechanical figure of Jack Blandiver, presumably a local dignitary, who strikes the clock bell on the quarter hour. The original mechanism is in the Science Museum in London.
There are also many carvings, tombs and chapels. It also has a remarkable architectural feature of a huge stone figure of “8” buttress. When the cathedral was finished, the master masons noticed that the tower was too heavy for the walls of the building. Their ingenious solution was to build a figure of “8” buttress, which would take the weight of tower on to the top part of the “8” and redistribute to the lower walls. The buttress was a success as the original tower still stands today.
The Cathedral is still used so you may see a choir at practice or people at prayer.
Just beyond the cathedral’s cloisters is the Bishop’s Palace, which was built by Bishop Jocelin in the early 13th century.
The first thing that strikes you is the huge moat and walls, it is more of a castle than a Bishop’s residence. There is a drawbridge with gatehouse that leads to the main grounds of beautiful lawns, flowers and trees. There is also the palace itself and a ruined banqueting hall for entertaining the bishop’s guests.
Behind the palace is the wells that give the city its name, several large pools – one being the pool of St Andrew – that bubble up to feed water into the moat. Also the wells provide the water that runs down the sides of the main streets of the city, in medieval times the water acted as a drainage system and provided fresh water for the city’s inhabitants. There is also an arboretum near the wells.
The Swans in the moat are trained to ring a bell by the drawbridge when they want feeding.
The Vicars’ Close is a cobbled residential street hidden away behind the Cathedral. Its claim to fame is that it is the oldest continuously inhabited row of houses in Europe. There are some Victorian touches such as the gas lamps but the houses are far older with their tall chimneys. The close was built in the 1360s for vicars who sang in the Cathedral’s choir. At one end there is a wonderful medieval gateway onto the cathedral grounds and above that a bridge from the gateway to the Cathedral itself.
The medieval market place was the site of the shoot-out in the British comedy film Hot Fuzz, although you never saw the two great stone gateways that lead to the Cathedral and Bishops’ Palace.
The water fountain and the buildings housing the shops were built in the 15th century. Markets are still held here twice a week.
The city has other delights such as shops, cafes. restaurants and pubs in addition to plenty of accommodation in the city or in the surrounding area – which itself an area of outstanding natural beauty of hills and wetlands.
Wells is also near the Roman City of Bath and Glastonbury with its legends about King Arthur, the Holy Chalice and the great ruined Abbey – arguably the oldest Christian site in England.
If you’re on the internet on a regular basis, it’s likely that you have heard about Zayn Malik leaving One Direction. Thousands, if not millions, of their fans have been grieving over the news. But this article wouldn’t be focusing on the London-based band. Instead, we’ll turn our attention to those who are affected, and the disturbing trends that has crept its way to this current generation.
The trend among teens
It is understandable that young girls who have followed One Direction’s success are bawling their eyes out about Malik leaving. What’s disturbing, however, is the way they’re acting upon this grief. Self-harm.
Over the years, self-harm has been a rising trend among teenagers in expressing their frustration and strong negative emotions. Today, as the news breakout about the most popular boy band in the internet age, a circulation of tweets and pictures have made its round on the web where fans of the band were harming themselves in an attempt to capture their idol’s attention while encouraging others to do the same.
Images of devastated young, female teens exploded on the Internet showing cuts on their wrists and bruises on their bodies. Along with the images were messages like “The faster you cut your wrists, the faster Zayn will come back.”
Another said that if her tears aren’t enough, perhaps her blood will. A chilling thought coming from 15 year olds.
A deeper problem
For most this is just a subject for mockery, seeing the acts as teenage girls merely seeking attention and validation among their peers. But for psychological experts, this is a deeper problem that has burrowed its way into today’s society.
According to Health Behavior in School-Age Children, the popularity among teenagers hurting themselves has tripled since 2005. And while parents are floored by this trend, these youngsters see it as a form of a badge, much like a soldier’s stripes.
But what exactly is the root of this?
It could be problems from school, family, or confusion of their identity – a common occurrence among teens. People have asked why chose self-harm as an outlet.
Experts explain that the act of cutting their skin provides a vent for suppressed emotions. The pain inflicted is then countered by the brain through the release of endorphins resulting in a temporary high; providing a momentary relief to their decrease emotional state.
It is also a warning sign of underlying causes like low self-esteem and distresses felt by the child. Psychological experts suggest that parents be more observant about their kid’s behaviors.
While it is quite difficult to separate normal teenage mood from deeper emotional disturbance, watching out for warning signs like wearing long sleeve shirts and wearing excessive jewelry on their arm might be an attempt to cover up the cuts that were inflicted.
Social media is also a fuel of this kind of behavior. Teenagers follow what’s currently popular even if it means endangering themselves in the process.
It’s quite terrifying to be in a society where a member leaving a band can trigger teenagers to seriously hurt themselves. Parents should be more vigilant than ever. Talk to your child, be attentive at furtive behavior, and ensure that they aren’t alone, that there’s a family that’s there for them to lean to in times of need.
Queues stretch around the building. A quickly augmenting atmosphere of hysteria and mass panic sits in. The young and weak seem to be pushed to the ground as we see a tangible demonstration of social Darwinism taking place. No this is not another Northern Rock scare, nor even is it the release of one of those vampire books which everyone seems to be talking about, this is the day that Krispy Kreme doughnuts open their doors to the public of Sunderland for the first time.
For those of you who have perhaps been living under a non-hollowed out rock for the past few years, Krispy Kreme is an American doughnut shop which has sailed over the Atlantic Ocean and invaded our green and pleasant land. The opening of the Sunderland branch has followed on from a new Metro Centre store and there will be a new franchise in Newcastle city centre in the near future.
The tangible excitement for many is plain to see as these new distributors of fattening food arrive in the north east. One such thrilled member of the public has tweeted, ‘kirspy kreme in sunderland from today .. I know where our pitstops will be from now on #nomorechillenos.’ The Krispy Kreme mania has extended far beyond simply a new place to rest on long journeys however. Indeed, people have raised the snack on to dizzyingly high pedestals with tweets pushing for Krispy Kremes to run in the current American election. ‘KRISPY KREME #Twenty12 Presidential CAMPAIGN T-Shirts on SALE NOW,’ an example of one such tweet.
Indeed the seriousness of the problem is only just starting to sink in, as people are coming down with cases of krispy kremitisus, which is a condition that has left sufferers with the desire to burn holes in everyday items in attempts to replicate their passion for the aforementioned snack. In order to try and halt the spread of this condition, it is advised that all circular shaped objects should be locked out of sight.
As I stand here and watch the mad flocks of people descend upon these stores up and down the country, I find myself asking, why are these people so intransigently intent upon devouring more and more of Krispy Kreme’s doughnuts? Before I am accused of the usual cynical hatred of anything which more than a handful of people confess to like, here is a list of things that I enjoy: the Olympics, bacon sandwiches, Mila Kunis, Adele, the cold side of the pillow… I could go on but I’m sure you get the picture.
So now you know that I am not simply refusing to enjoy Krispy Kreme for the sake of doing so, and that I do have a soul, what could be possibly my reasons for avoiding the masses on this one? Could it be that I see the store as representing yet another wave of corporations amassing more and more control and power over the world market and thus causing economic inequality and in turn destroying the environment? Or could it be that I see them as another brand of ubiquitous American fast food coming to our country in order to fatten our bellies and raise our cholesterol? Well, no.
In essence there is no logical explanation for my severe dislike of Krispy Kreme, I am just left utterly perplexed at why so many of my friends and countrymen are so obsessed with, well, just doughnuts. I don’t hate doughnuts, I just think of them as a mediocre snack that I normally associate with Homer Simpson. But I do hate the seemingly never ending talk of how desperately I want to go to Krispy Kreme or my inexpressible delight at the new opening of a store in my town. So the next time you find yourself in a human stampede to enter one of the nationwide Krispy Kreme stores, why not ask yourself, is all this worth it for what is at the end of the day, just a doughnut?
Kelly Richardson’s something of a paradox in the North-East arts scene. An artist who’s name is mentioned across the globe, and has exhibited her work in places like Albright-Knox in New York, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington (not that Washington), the CaixaForum in Madrid, the Pompidou in Paris, and been selected for the Sundance Film Festival, she’s still yet to stage her own show anyway in our fair corner of the world.
That’s going to change though, imminently. A residency with the Tyneside Cinema’s Pixel Palace has led to a 12 metre panoramic instillation, which imagines Mars a few hundred years from now, in Whitley Bay’s historic Spanish City dome launches in August. Handily though, Sunderland’s NGCA is putting on a retrospective look at her previous work this July to help us all get a feel for Whitley Bay’s most famous Canadian.
You’re an internationally renowned artist who was born in Canada, so what was the attraction of living and working in Whitely Bay? It’s not traditionally a hotspot of artistic residence…
I actually came to live in the north-east before receiving most of the significant international recognition. There are a number of personal reasons which brought me here originally but I stayed for what I found. It’s a brilliant place to make work, simply put. There is enough happening culturally to hold my interest but not too much that it risks impacting on my work, which is incredibly time consuming and requires a great deal of focus. It’s easy enough to access London or Glasgow or hop on a plane for exhibitions elsewhere. I’m tapped in without being stripped of time and energy which bigger cities do, unfortunately. I love it here.
Can you tell us a little bit about the Mariner 9 exhibition? Where does an idea like that come from and how difficult is it to make it a reality?
Over the last few years, I’ve been increasingly interested in the function of science fiction through which we can experience what life might be like. Scientists and futurologists can speculate on what the future might look like but artists are capable of visualising those futures, making them tangible. If hindsight is always 20/20, experiencing these potential futures offers us a window through which we can view our present time and direction with some measure of clarity. Mariner 9 is a huge video installation consisting of a panoramic view of a Martian landscape set hundreds of years into the future, littered with the rusting remains from various missions to the planet.
Despite its suggested abandoned state, several of the spacecraft continue to partially function, to do their intended jobs, to ultimately find signs of life, possibly transmitting the data back to no one. That search for life, to know that we’re not alone in the universe is interesting on many levels but it’s also an endearing endeavour, particularly for a species seemingly hell-bent on destroying the vast majority of life we know to exist as we continue to consume our planet at a truly alarming rate. Within all of my work including Mariner 9, I’m interested in creating a kind of contemporary or future sublime: landscapes which are arresting and beautiful but equally unnerving.
Mariner 9 is by far the most difficult video installation I will have made to date. I’m no stranger to production difficulties as with each new work there is a substantial research and development stage along with long render times. But Mariner 9 will have been an epic achievement when it is finally complete. Usually the works are created by filming existing locations and then altering them digitally but as this was set on Mars that wasn’t possible. So, this is the first piece that I’ve produced which is entirely constructed and as such, I’ve had to grapple with new software (in this case, Terragen) to attempt to create photo-realistic terrain. The skill to do that alone, to a very high standard, is incredibly tough and that’s just one element of this work. We also had to create 3D models of spacecraft we know to have made it to Mars and also speculate on what future vehicles might look like which we chose to do in another new software program which we had to learn, Lightwave and last but certainly not least as it’s one of the toughest things to pull off well, we had to create a dust storm – yet another effect which we have never done before.
My partner (Mark Jobe) and I have been working on this full-time since October, 2011 and it’ll be ready just in time for its premiere at the Dome. By the time it’s done, we will have pulled off effects which are usually reserved for massive budgets and achieved by large production teams with access to render farms to speed up the process. There are just two of us working on this on two computers. In truth, it was pretty insane to think that we could have achieved what we have. Not going to lie, my nerves are pretty shot over the worry of pulling it off but it’s very much within my sights now so get ready – we’re going to Mars in August!
“Given the effect the North-East has had on my work over a substantial period of time, when I’m asked by museums and galleries where they should state that I am from I say Ontario, Canada / Whitley Bay, England”
Being a resident of “the bay”, how aware are you of the dome’s history? How exciting is it for you to be able to exhibit your work there?
I’d say I was reasonably aware of the Dome’s history before all of this came about, helped by Novak Collective’s projection mapping project ‘Diversion’ which brought its past back to life for the Shimmer event in Whitley Bay. It’s really exciting to be able to show there. It’s really a perfect venue for this work in many ways, particularly in its current state of disrepair which mirrors some of the ideas within ‘Mariner 9′. After its premiere in the north-east, ‘Mariner 9′ will tour to other venues around the world and of course, it’ll look great within a clean gallery setting but I suspect it’ll never look quite as good as it will at Spanish City.
You’ve been so well received throughout the world, but is exhibiting in a new territory like this a cause for worry or excitement?
There is always a certain anxiety about exhibiting work anywhere as I think most artists, including myself, would like their work to be well received but it’s more exciting than anything as I finally get to show the north-east what I’ve been up to all of these years.
The region seems to be abuzz with new art projects at present. Is this something you’ve noticed and how much would you put that down to things like the Turner Prize coming to the region?
I think it’s more than likely due to a number of recent successful exhibitions, festivals and events such as the Turner Prize, AV Festival and Yvette Mattern’s Global Rainbow to name a few. The North-East has always been abuzz from my perspective though with almost consistently interesting projects happening here.
The work is described as “highly-charged, hyper-real cinematic installations”. What is “hyper-real”?
Hyperreality goes back to Jean Baudrillard and very basically means a simulation of something that has not and does not exist. Umberto Eco defines it as the authentic fake. Both suggest that if simulations can be convincing, how can we identify the real. If we can’t distinguish between simulations and reality, then it’s impossible to define reality.
With my work, I’m always after a convincing fake. For the most part, people are aware that the scenes they are looking at have been constructed but it’s not always obvious which elements have been added or manipulated.
Are there any particular phrases you find people using to describe your work? What’s the oddest critique you’ve had?
I can’t think of any particular phrases at the moment but I’ve certainly received many odd critiques, many of which stem from certain expectations people have when viewing moving image. With traditional film and television being quite prescriptive in its meaning and delivery with a clear beginning, middle and end, I think people automatically expect that with not just my work but with video art on the whole. Last year when I was giving a talk at Artpace in Texas someone from the audience asked “what else do you do to hold people’s attention?”. As I attempted to answer the question (badly), the curator piped in with “a sculpture, painting or photograph doesn’t have to “do more”; why should video art?”.
I simply don’t deliver traditional narrative with what I do, that’s not at all what I’m after. Rather, I’m trying to create situations where the viewer can lose themselves in the work. They operate in a similar way to watching a sunset or ocean waves as I often find people doing in Whitley Bay (and incidentally, I’ve never heard anyone say “come on nature, is that all you’ve got?”). There are narratives in the work but they’re collapsed into a kind of calculated ambiguity, giving the viewer plenty of room to unpack the work in a somewhat personal way. When people allow themselves to do that, that’s when the magic happens.
How does putting on a retrospective piece like Legion differ from a new one? What considerations are involved when picking from 15 years of work, do you go for the strongest possible pieces, or do you try to weave something of a narrative between them?
As an artist friend warned me after she did a retrospective “it’s like living in the past” and there is a lot of truth to that. It’s been quite a challenge to put my mind back into the head space of when I made a work 15 years ago, for instance, to fully appreciate what it was that I was exactly after with that particular work at that particular time and how all of that then relates in the bigger body of work. It’s tough. Each of the selected works in the end, contribute to an overall narrative so they weren’t selected simply on their strength but what they were individually communicating. The order in which you experience them is another significant consideration as well. At the NGCA, it’s been possible to curate the works in a way in which you go from experiencing the present to potential futures.
Despite this being your first UK solo show, people refer to you as “one of the region’s most talented artists”. Why do you think this is, and do you class yourself as a North-East artist?
At a guess, they may say that because of the success I’ve had elsewhere. While I’ll always be Canadian (you can take the girl out of the country…), I’ve spent nearly a decade in the north-east and made the majority of what I would call my most important work here . Nine years (almost exactly) is a long time in anyone’s practice. It constitutes roughly two-thirds of my mid-career retrospective, to put it into perspective. Given the effect the north-east has had on my work over a substantial period of time, when I’m asked by museums and galleries where they should state that I am from I say Ontario, Canada / Whitley Bay, England.
This all seems like a lot of work to coming out so close together, were they all developed and nurtured at the same time or have some of these ideas have further reaching roots?
I have been working on this exhibition with the NGCA for at least two years now. When Pixel Palace approached me last summer with the idea of doing a residency and potential commission, my first thought was to try to launch the new work alongside the survey at the NGCA as a way of showing even more work simultaneously. The National Glass Centre then contacted me a few months ago and I pushed to produce a new work for them as well with the hopes that all three exhibitions would not only be complimentary, but offer the largest collection of work possible – a proper survey with the addition of new works.
Kelly Richardson’s ‘Legion’ opens at NGCA Sunderland, 5 July – 29 September. Mariner 9 opens on Friday 3 August and runs until Sunday 19 August at Whitley Bay’s Spanish City. Admission is free.
Nearly six years ago Electric East emerged on New Castel’s market like the phoenix from the ashes. It is something new and refusing, offering dishes from the Asia. This restaurant experiments with different types of cousins and spices. On their website, you can find a variety of dishes from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. How big their success has become shows the fact that they have managed to land on Michelin guide.
When you first enter the restaurant, you will see the long room with communal tables and benches. Typical Asian style, with a lot of posters and ornaments. The colors are vivid and bright; it gives away positive vibes. The style doesn’t have a lot of in common with the name, but definitely, can pass as a cheerful office party.
The waitresses are very efficient and accommodating. Once we took our places, she brought us a menu and asked for refreshments. I hate when personnel is nagging and standing there while costumers decide. Well, I like to take my time to think. We didn’t have that kind of troubles here. Once we decided what we are going to order, it took them 15 to 20 minutes to prepare. Which is a reasonable time and I was pleasantly surprised because I’ve expected more? What I liked about this place is that everyone is smiling. They have given me positive vibes.
Considering the food, it’s not something that we haven’t seen before, but what’s different is the preparation. I think this is one of the best lunches that I had and I felt sorry to eat because of the decoration and arrangement. You can say, that is Electric. The food is tasty; I have noticed they like to experiment with the spices. The vegetables are so crispy, but still well cooked. The first thought that crossed my mind is how they have made that. I enjoyed my lunch here.
They have a variety of prices, depending on which meal you order. But, there is something for every pocket. Of course, If you want to order something more decadent, like a lobster, you will have to pay more money. But, considering regular meals, this restaurant is very affordable. What I liked about this restaurant is that you don’t have to order the whole three – course lunch, you can just order soup and go away, no one is going to look you funny.
Nowadays, gig promotion companies are like arseholes, too many people remember mine.
But that shouldn’t stop us straightening our posture and paying attention whenever a new one pops up, especially when they might be built around the loving warm core of a good idea.
K Squared (they actually use the little number 2 symbol but I couldn’t work out how to type it) had gathered together 5 local acts for a night of tuneful regalement at old favourite The Head of Steam. Speaking to its founders Kirsty- Louise Attwood and Kayleigh Richardson before the gig, they worded what they were up to thusly…
“A lot of bands tend to stay within their little cliques, so we like to marry bands together who wouldn’t normally have met and mix things up slightly. This is our third gig and we’ve had ten different bands on in that time, we’ve got one a month between now and Christmas and it’s all different bands with them as well. It also gives people a chance to see bands they might otherwise never have heard of.”
It might sound a little bit like a cross between an after school club and an exercise in networking, but one look at how well inter-connected the boys and birds at the top of the region’s musical tree are shows how valuable expanding your contacts could be to those slightly nearer the bottom. Not bogged down with the clichés of championing a cause or painting somebody else’s bandwagon, they might actually be onto something here.
So, what about the bands themselves then? Well first off we had Nick Gladdish. Ever since the likes of James Blunt seemingly took a shit on the rug and died, well-meaning singer songwriters seem to have all but vanished from the popular conscience. Now you’re not allowed to take the stage all on your lonesome unless you’re either “about the message, man” or intend on using a loop pedal to make grown men cry.
Wor Gladdish is neither. Performing his own keyboard accompaniment to songs that are both well-rounded, well-polished and stylistically echoing very, very early Elton John, he just about manages to fill the stage on his own collapsing in under the weight of his own rhythm. A delightful little listen.
Next up were Unstable Tables, a band who wear their history on their sleeve almost as unashamedly as they wear their influences. Initially riding the crest of a wave that the juxtaposition their proceeding a solo performer inevitably causes, they essentially came across as an experiment in whether or not catchy tunes can ever disguise bad poetry. Which it can’t.
Comprised of four blokes, three of who still worship at the altar of Clash-esque first-wave punk, and refuse condemn the Jackson Pollock look to an autumn car-boot sale, their inclusion of a much younger Fugazi fan on lead guitar gives them simultaneously both a much needed contemporary edge and a glaring identity crisis. It’s musically confused at times, but not quite enough for it to sound deliberate.
The term “dad-band” was also getting thrown around but I think this does them a slight disservice. They’re much too tight as a unit to induce any cringing, it’s just that the hard work of the instruments is profoundly undermined by the lyrics.
Then of course there was Charles’ Hat, unarguably the band of the night. Lavishing us with the sort of raging finesse normally only in the possession of a Deftones in full stride, they reverberated around the venue and very nearly stripped the Head of Steam’s bizarre new paint job from the walls.
Despite my initial impressions being that they were going to lash out half arsed post-hardcore for people with Topshop loyalty cards, they ended up providing the sort of set that fills both stage, mind and probably a few people’s pockets in years to come. The only complaint I could possibly have, and it’s technically more of a pondering than a complaint, was how, on a Bank Holiday Monday, these lads could play a gig in the early evening and not bring a big crowd with them.
Following that was never going to be an easy task and it was one that more or less sank Kamikaze Greenflies before they’d even had the champagne smashed off their hull and turned the engines on. Four lads who look and sound like they’re straight out of next door’s garage made every effort to continue the momentum but, packing an arsenal of power chords and borrowed riffs, found the bar had been raised beyond their current reach.
On their own merits though, which is ultimately where they should be judged, there’s a perverse pleasure to be derived from their set. In a “scene” where every single band appears to be having some form of originality bun-fight, to hear group of lads who clearly all share a common musical grounding just go out and pay a naked and unabashed homage to their contemporaries is actually quite refreshing. There were no covers, but Little Man Tate, Nirvana, Weezer, Arctic Monkeys and some antiquated Foo Fighters all make an appearance in one form or another.
They were also the only band who managed to get anybody up to dance, so they’re already streets ahead of most indie DJs.
Finally, we had My Other Life, a band that I have to say are a bit of a musical conundrum. They sound like they should be terrible, as you listen to them you can already hear somebody from a relatively major label going down their Scouting For Girls checklist and ticking every single godforsaken box along the way. It’s the sort of music you’ve probably spent most of your adult life complaining about, changed the channel for and dived headfirst across a crowded room when you realised it was your iPod that had shuffled embarrassingly.
You get all set to slate them and then you realise that your foot is tapping and there’s a smile creeping into both corners of your mouth. True musical power through the medium of well honed and unashamed pop that even this, a relatively restrained crowd, couldn’t help but clap long to. Enthusiasm on the floor begat delight on the stage and the whole process repeats itself.
If My Other Life ever release an album, I guarantee you’ll buy it as a Mother’s Day gift and then “borrow” it when she’s not looking.
So all in all, a good night for music. 5 aspiring bands of wildly differing style and quality got to play in front of audiences who had probably never heard of them before tonight. Whilst this may all seem like small potatoes, in an age when The Kooks reckon you’ll pay £22.50 (plus booking fee) to see them live, getting all this music for fractionally more than the cost of a pint is something that’s to be roundly applauded.