Artist of the Week: Saffy Paget

“I started photography because my dad is a photographer for some massive brands and I wanted something I could bond with him over . He lent me a camera and I took a few snaps and realised this is something that I really want to do.”

Saffy Paget is 17 years old and a photographer and videographer from Cambridge. She is now a content creator for a brand created by Vodafone, VOXI, as well as a photographer for modelling agency ‘Milk’.

“I only started doing art a few years ago and it’s just exploded for me from there ; I just want people to see and appreciate my work”

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She also comments how her supportive friends, who buy her zines and give her feedback, is a huge help in moving forward.

“I’m currently applying to study fashion photography at UAL, and then I’m hoping to move on and be a photographer for magazines like Dazed or iD, that’s the dream really.”

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Saffy’s zine is available on the link below!

www.fuckquick.bigcartel.com

 

Artist of the Week: Dom Lord

“I respect realism in art, but I find it so boring; why not take a photograph instead? So for me, art is about getting stuck in and expressing yourself.”

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Dom is from Blackburn, Lancashire, and has recently started his third year doing Graphic and Communication Design student at the University of Leeds.

“Similar to a lot of my friends on the course, I’ve taken third year out to gain experience by interning at Graphic Design studios. I’m currently interning at a small studio close to home.”

Dom started doing art at an early age. Spending most of his time developing his style. Dom mainly focussed on two things; portraiture and album covers.

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“When it came to the end of college, I felt art just wasn’t enough for me. I had also studied Graphic Design for two years at College, at the end of the two years I finally realised I wanted to pursue Graphic Design, whilst implementing my own art and style.”

As Dom looks back on his college work, seeing how far he’s come in the past four years, he grows excited for the years to come, to see the development and improvement in his work.

To check out more of Dom’s work head to his website at http://www.djnl.co.uk

What is Frankenstein Even About?

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is up for public debate. Following the death of Shelley’s mother, feminist legend Mary Wollstoncraft, it is valid to say her novel is largely motivated by this event. Moreover, the deeply psychological and religious motivations within the text help shape our view of the novel’s main characters, especially Victor. Whether it be an exploration into parenthood, death or lamentation, Frankenstein is a novel that has instilled great debate in my mind and the wider world of literature.

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The absence of a maternal figure has left Shelley questioning what motherhood entails. Exacerbated by her several miscarriages, the disassociation with maternal feelings seems to surge through Frankenstein. Victor mirrors a birthing scene as he animated his monster in his lab, portrayed in Kenneth Branagh’s adaption with a womb- like ambiance. This shows Shelley exploring the science of motherhood, with the awkwardness and consequent neglect a result of Shelley’s own feeling of disconnection from both a mother and child. Therefore, the entirety of Shelley’s novel can be seen to be an exploration into what it is to be a parent, and Victor’s subsequent failure at this through abandonment and lack of nurture. This is supported by Frankenstein and his monster’s poignant goodbye towards the end of the novel, whereby, despite their conflicting hate and vengeance towards each other throughout the novel, there is an essence of love and lament. This reflects the unconditional familial love one feels towards their child or parent, drawing a conclusion to Shelley’s question regarding what it means to be a mother.

A modern reader could diagnose the novel’s protagonist, Victor Frankenstein, with an assortment of mental health problems. His depressive state continues throughout the text, with contemplations of suicide and extreme isolation. The juxtaposition of these depressive states with those of jubilance also suggests the chance Victor suffers from Bipolar disorder; in his periods of mania and depression, Victor channels pathetic fallacy to mirror his state of mind. This is supported by his flouncy attitude to his love interest, Elizabeth Lavenza and the jump from extreme motivation to animate his creation, to utter seclusion from mankind and his love of science. The underlying mental health references are possibly a reflection of the anachronistic taboo attitude to mental issues, where someone would simply be committed to a mental asylum; could this be the authority-critical voice of her anarchist father William Godwin shining through?

In conjunction with the psychoanalytical debate, Frankenstein’s monster can be seen to be a mental concoction of his id or a possible dissociative personality disorder.  The whole ‘animation’ scene could be perceived as a spiritual awakening of Victor’s repressed violence, explaining the deep connection Victor seems to have with the monster’s actions. Alike gothic phenomena ‘Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde‘ the theme of doppelgangers and doubles are extremely common in Gothic literature of the period, mixing horror and terror with psychological and physical discomfort.

Shelley’s involvement with the Free Love movement suggests that there must be some essence of homoeroticism somewhere in her one and only novel. The relationship between Victor and Clerval is questioned to be more than good friends like a contextual reading would interpret it; their close relationship and Victor’s reliance and acceptance of his company within his deep feelings pf desolation, may depict a kind of homoerotic relationship between the two. This is enhanced by Victor’s seeming disinterest in marrying Elizabeth, and his more intense reaction to Clerval’s murder than his bride-to-be.

In reality, we will never actually know what Frankenstein’s moral is, or what Shelley’s intentions were when writing her masterpiece. The ambiguity in so many fields truly creates a mysterious air around the text, leaving us as the reader bemused and questioning; that is the true nature of literature.

Angel Witney

@angelxwitney

 

Alex DeLarge: a Tragic Villain

The dystopian, ultra- violent world Burgess’ ‘A Clockwork Orange’ has created withstands his legacy as a novelist. The contextual flavours and stylised use of historical and societal concepts is beautifully embellished by Kubrick’s film adaptation of the book, whereby the upturned version of British society is brought to life in moving picture. I have found it difficult to determine whether I prefer the film or novel of ‘A Clockwork Orange’, provoking me to come to the conclusion that I have ultimately fallen in love with the story.

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The dichotomy of a charming and nonchalant protagonist, Alex DeLarge, amongst a world of corruption, violence and rape creates the feeling of discomfort and insecurity as the reader ponders as to whether they even like the persona of the book. This is further enhanced when Alex is a subject of the ‘Ludovico Technique’ after he is charged with murder. The confusion instilled in the reader presents the conflict between sympathy and justification for the torture inflicted upon Alex, therefore challenging the reader’s perception of the main character and his motives. Kubrick embodies Burgess’ sense of audience sympathy and justification through Alex’s initial self-aggrandisement to his vulnerability in the end of the film. It can be seen as an attack on youth culture through the manipulation of audience sympathy; using Alex’s youth as a justification for his violent acts and abusing his vulnerable portrayal to make the audience forget why he is being tortured in the first place. This manipulation is ultimately due to Burgess’ writing and the creation of a story where the victor becomes the victim by his own accord, and embodies the literary tragic villain.

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The use of ‘the old ultra-violence’ in a very visual, graphic sense encapsulates the reader by shocking them into the reality of this British dystopia. The gruesome descriptions of Alex and his droogs’ violent acts, and the vivid rape and torture in Kubrick’s film, forces the audience to become comfortable with it and therefore lulls them into immersing themselves in what society would be like tolerating ultra-violence. Having been written in the 1960s, I can be said that Burgess’ aim when incorporating ultra- violence was to foreshadow how society would degrade with the swinging 60s liberal revolution, enthused by his Catholic background. This is supported by the influence of London’s ‘Teddy Boys’ in the creation of Alex’s ‘droogs’, suggesting that societal violence will increase with growing liberalism. Juxtaposing the use of serious, harmful violence with the created language of ‘Nadsat’ mutes its atrocity and restores the sense of normality when one compares it to the use of Cockney in London. This also adds to Alex’s charm and makes the reader excuse his evil actions. Kubrick interprets the violence in Burgess’ novel perfectly with no censorship or sugar coating, instilling that shock and discomfort that set the atonal thrill and intrigue ‘A Clockwork Orange’ creates.

The chilling tone shadowing the events throughout the novel is ultimately inflicted by the irreconcilable identification of a villain. Although Alex’s transgression is formidable, it can be argued that he is simply fulfilling an overbearing addiction, and is in some sense a victim. Similarly, the doctors involved with the Ludovico technique are presented through Alex’s eyes as torturous and evil, but perhaps they genuinely feel like they are curing Alex or are the book’s heroes by giving him his just desserts. These question remain unanswered, which in my eyes is the beauty of Burgess’ novel and the unique affect it has.

Angel Witney

@angelxwitney

 

Artist of the Week: Luan Barber-Norton

“Hmmmm a paragraph about me? I am luan. I’m 19 goin on 9.  I am an illustrator.

luan 5Luan studied interactive media at bury college , where she tried different art styles such as photography, film, graphic design and, in the last year, finally started to experiment with illustration.luan 4

Gemma Correll was a huge inspiration for Luan in her college years because it is important to Luan to incorporate humour into her illustrations.

“I just want people to look at my illustrations and feel a bit better”

Luan now studies at DMU in Leicester and came out with a first after year one.  Uni has really helped Luan develop her style and skills.

“On the first day of uni I turned up with one fine liner and a pencil, having no clue what the fuck to do and only knowing how to draw funny cartoons.”

Towards the start of university Luan became more and more interested in Frances Cannon.

Luan also designed and drew the logo for Cult Clash!

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“Her and her art have given me a lot more confidence within myself and my art work. From the 2 years studying illustration I’ve discovered making people feel better about themselves is what I want to do. I want people to feel good when they look at my art. And that’s what I plan to do for the rest of my illustrator life.
Thanks for listening *drops mic*.”

Artist of the Week: Shannon Pinnell

“At first, I had no plan as to what aspect of youth culture I wanted to focus on, I just took my camera out with me and shot anything.”

 

Shannon Pinnell is a photographer from Bedford, England. ‘Growing Pains’ is a photography series based on youth culture and friendships formed during our teenage years.

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When I looked back at all of my images, there were way over 100 photos so I kind of just put them all into separate groups and this group was the one that stood out the most.”

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Friendship and closeness stands out straight away. Whilst being candid, those in the photos seem completely open around each other, even in shots there are people just by themselves in the frame; the photographer is still there on the other side of the camera who they have some sort of relationship with.

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“I arranged the photos so gradually it gets darker, people get closer and people become more intoxicated even to the point where the camera itself doesn’t actually work properly anymore.”

 

Shannon is inspired by artists such as Chloe Sheppard, Richard Billingham, Cindy Sherman, Corrine Day and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

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Shannon is currently at her second year of Bedford College studying photography and hopes to go on to UWE in Bristol next year to study fashion communications.

Artist of the Week: Liv Jarman

I feel that photography is an escape from the real world for me. I can capture people through the beauty I see them in.”

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Liv Jarman is an inspiring young portrait photographer from Birmingham that is currently exploring different aspects of photography. At the age of 17, Liv has done photography around 6 years in and outside school, as well as currently studying art.

“The one thing that I truly value about photography or any art form is that there are no boundaries for what you can do with it.”

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Liv was surprisingly inspired by the modelling industry to start photography.

“I found it compelling and captivating how photographers such as David Bailey and Corinne Day captured the purity and gracefulness of the models.”

Liv hopes to study photography at Manchester university next year.

Find Liv on twitter @livv4everr for more of her work.

Nolan’s Dunkirk

I sat down in the cinema on a dreary afternoon with a tube of Pringles and Dr Pepper from Tesco, because as if I am going to spend a fiver on popcorn and diluted Pespsi. I was surprised that my friend and I were the only audience members under the age of 50; it then struck me that not everyone had come to see Dunkirk for the beautiful young male cast, but in fact for the infamous story.

The film explores the evacuation of soldiers during World War II from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, in the north of France, between 26 May and 4 June 1940. Christopher Nolan adopts this heroic tale and intertwines all attributes to this tremendous success by showing the evacuation from the point of view of the Air force, British civilians and soldiers. The fluid interchange between each narrative voice was beautiful, and portrayed the cohesive efforts of the evacuation perfectly. Furthermore, the various storylines mirrored each other in their emotional journey by having everything go sour crescendo into a universal triumph. This embellished the audience’s emotional journey and created the intense atmosphere.

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Not only was the concept infamous, the cast was pretty impressive too. Britain’s much-loved Tom Hardy presents the role of a spitfire fighter, encompassing both the focus and fear of a World War Two pilot. These were the most aesthetic scenes to watch; with their extreme realism, I genuinely forgot it was not real flight footage. Mark Rylance is always a treat to see on the big screen. His portrayal of a humble Englishman sailing to Dunkirk beach was as moving as it was engaging, especially his scenes with Cilian Murphy’s washed up shell-shocked soldier, where we see the brutally honest repercussions of war. Harry Styles’ movie debut was more impressive than anticipated as he presents a British soldier alongside the film’s protagonist Fionn Whitehead,  where we see the youth of some of the war’s victims.

Nolan presented the atmosphere of war beautifully with lengthy silences and minimal dialogue between characters, contrasted with the overpowering sounds of gun shots and bombs. This dichotomy kept the audience engaged and on the edge of their seat throughout. My favourite aspect of the film was how the cinematics communicated the story without requiring copious amounts of speech; the dreary grey sky, rocky waters and vast open stretch of land presented the chill of isolation. Moreover, Harry Styles eating jam on toast was really a sight to behold.

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The soundtrack to the film mirrors the intensity perfectly. With rapid string overtures over the film’s energetic scenes, everything seemed so incredibly heightened and added to the realism of Dunkirk. The classic orchestral flavours mirrored the film’s context and immersed us into the historic quality of the storyline. Similarly, the simplicity of the background music did not overpower the picture at all, and complimented the ambiguous, tense vibe Dunkirk amplified.

My favourite part of the film had to be (and yes, spoiler alert) the end shot of Tom Hardy standing next to his ablaze spitfire, facing the German front as they dragged him away. It was honestly heart breaking to see the reality that the war’s heroes sacrificed themselves for their country.

By the time the movie had ended I was in awe. I really was not expecting the film to emotionally affect me as much as it did, not to mention those around me in the cinema. The whole audience was in floods of tears and applause, truly a breath taking piece of cinema and an insanely heroic story.

Angel Witney

@angelxwitney

 

Artist of the Week: Grace Patey

“In a nutshell my work is self obsessed and pretentious. I think it’s important to always think you’re the coolest person in the room and I’ve worked very hard at manifesting this because as all work is a form of self portraiture I can’t see why anyone would want to look at anything that wasn’t the hippest most happenin’ piece in the gallery.”
Sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll is a part of it, self discovery and personal growth is another but Grace’s main aim is to document his experiences as they happen in some kind of language that only resonates with himself, that no one else will ever fully understand.
“I’d be lying if I said I even knew the full extent of what my work means, not until months later at least.”
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“Manet’s painting of Olympia was a massive turning point for my work, the idea of this secret handshake that has passed from artist to artist for centuries which then in turn prompted the same running theme with The Kiss – and even more recently The Thinker, gave many, many works some elite high culture snobbery to them and I wanted in.”
Grace is quite the fan of Banksy’s Picasso slab which reads something along the lines of ‘the good artists borrow but the great artists steal.’
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“The universe likes to play with me, and I only entertain it. There’s a time and a place for heart wrenching work but I’m not one to dwell on negativity, but I’d like to think my work keeps people on their toes because I am the universe and I am laughing at you in the same way the universe is laughing at me.”
Find more of Grace’s work on her website https://youthpleasure.wixsite.com/gracepateyartist