Sheffield the safest city in the UK? MY ASS!!

Those select few of my 156 viewers a week, readers – who may or may not be from the UK – should know that if you are planning to live, study or even just visit Sheffield it is renown for its safe environment and very low crime rate- especially considering tha it is a city in an extremely deprived area, from the collapse of the steal works.
Now I don’t take statistics at face value, I never have – On the contary, I HATE statistics (with this too famous quote, “People only say statistics when they get backed into a corner…” – this indeed is also true) I don’t think that they are truer facts – and if I was doing a piece of research I might look at statsitics – but i’d much rather go for the qualitative research methods as apposed to quantitative which statistics are part of.
Now I haven’ decided to blog this just to give you a gcse social studies debate on the relativeness and usefullness of research methods – But to WARN all people in Sheffield and the world in general – and to use my lil fustration (not much to be honest) productively, slightly. (she says bloggin instead of doing artwork at 11:50pm)
Last night my studio art group wanted to give me a belated birthday celebration which included a drink at this pub that resembled something off the old, retired BBC sitcom? drama? show called, “Goodnight Sweetheart”. This pub, the name escapes me now, is just across fro the Access Space art studio and on the same road as SHU union and the Showroom. Inbetween the showroom and this pub, and across from the Union is some bike racks. So in my poor unemployed state – and with one of my new years resolutions to be more fit and bike places instead of catching the bus- I decided to take my bike believing that Sheffield center was pretty safe- espcially in that area and since it had a nice bike lock on it- should be fine. With it could get stolen in the back of my mind.
Well we went 2 watch a movie, but it had sold out so we headed to the Odeon to find it latest showing started at 8:30 and it was now 9:10. So we settled to chillin at Bears and Bungalow’splace on Division street. It was ace. a nice night out and I discovered an alcoholic substance that was real nice- Sailor Jerks and Coke- try it sometime!
It came to 12ish and some people decided to go, and i decided to go with them. But they were all going the opposite way, i neede dto get my bike near teh Showroom so alone I travelled along the empty dark streets of sheffield( I always thought taht a city would be more packed) I got to the top of the street and I could tell that my bike had been stolen, i could see the bike racks empt. Not even my chain left. Fook.
Then like a movie, it just started to rain as I stood alone, cold, in my none-waterproof hood and had to walk 0.6 miles back to my place in china town in the dark, in the rain – feelin fooked off at a theif.
But never mind, perhaps it was a sign??
Anyways this is a lesson to be learnt. Don’t be a tight ass! I could have got the bus for 1.10 (rip off) and then walked home with some(still in the rain though) Instead I will now have to pay £60 insurance excess or even worse £300 for a new bike.
So you’re all thinking, well. That doesn’t really proove that its actually unsafe or whatever. Here is what happened to some of my friends – since October of 2006
One friend got broken into – at our student accomdation! and had his laptop, weed and £50 stolen.
Someone else at our place had a brick thrown at/through her window
Someone tried crowbarring our door open to the accomodation
Another collegaue had their bike stolen, which also was chained up outside our place, stolen
Another friend of mine got beat up by randoms near Waitrose supermarket.
Not forgetting there is a road somewhere behind us that 3 people had been raped on last year alone.

And there’s more but thats only a small thing.
So is Sheffield the safest city in the uk? MY bum, yo. Hell No. I don’t believe anybody who tells you otherwise. if any of you guys have a suspension bike that you are wanting to sell or give away. please contact me on myspace. thelink is at the side. Thank you very muchoooo

I am sure that everybody wants to know that it is indeed my birthday. Well it was in UK time, still is in the US of A.
So we ate mexican food- i carted my new SLR camera around to document such an event with my “back in the day” hommies. However my batteries died on me and I dunno whether Lithium are indeed rechargeable and I don’t want to take the risk that I took with recharging normal Batteries. (This was indeed where they exploded leaking battery acid on my arm! and damaged the plug socket whilst also making the battery charger unusable again – the explosion took a while for me 2 click on what it was so i sat up scared most of the night. thinkin a ghost was about! there were other moments too – like when i put normal batteries in the mobile phones within the house- that was fun)
So i shrugged and carried on my normal day. I got to uni- and having already handed in my log books the day before didn’t ahve that to worry about. The night before I had watched I Shot Andy Warhol. I thought the movie was pretty awesome and now inspired to read s.c.u.m Manifesto. Brilliant. my uni friends bought a hell alot of Coca-cola for me which believe it or not was exceptionally grateful and suprised! (having expected 2 get nothing).
It was ace chilling with my old friends. Kezwilla is always a treat
espeically when shouting out racial ignorance even louder than normal due to headphones and the echo of a doorway! Although anyone who didn’t know kezwilla, and if we weren’t in Doncaster, a normal person walking casually down the street would be excessively shocked by kezz’s ignorance. She even has her own KKK – aka – Kezwilla’s Kool Klan.
I have assesments on Tuesday next week. i feel like i have hardly done anywork. when inreality i have done some. it would be fine for A level. Im not sure of the work content for a degree but i am assuming more! lol so its time to get my art on – i’d have way more having i not had a job for the last 4 months. lol.. oh well

by the way, anyone know of any cheap sites for flight to new york – i’m gettin home sick ;o)

monkey shizzle

Uk artist Peter Jones loves monkeys. I like monkeys as much as the next person does however He is probably the monkey lover master, seeing as his amazing paintings dedicated to them are far more impressive than your average obsessive individual. Whatever, it’s the thought that counts, right?

Peter says “Monkeys know how to be funny and provocative, how to amuse and entertain with their sparkling wit and that famous monkey magic. They are honest, imaginative, motivated individuals, and can easily sympathise with other animals so even the most shy creatures open up to them.”

You know, if you replace the word “Monkeys” with the word “I”, you are pretty much looking at my cover lettter. No wonder I’m unemployed.

top 10 tips for tourists

1. Before you go, learn the language. At least to the extent of knowing, Hello, Yes, No, Please, Thank you, Toilet, Beautiful, Beautiful Toilet and No, I really hardly speak any at all, but thank you.

2. Never try to recreate someone else’s holiday in any but the broadest way. ‘Marrakech is wonderful, especially in the Spring’ is advice to follow. The nightmare scenario is: ‘There’s this fantastic restaurant down an alley with no name in the middle of a maze of streets which only opens on days which contain a letter from the owner’s son’s middle name… now, what was it?’ Do not attempt to locate this fantastic restaurant.

3. Take a taxi from the airport to your hotel or wherever you’re staying. Even if you’re budget travelling, it’s worth the extra cost of this to arrive unstressed (traffic allowing) and in some style.

4. On the way, ask the taxi driver if there’s anything going on locally worth seeing. Whatever he says, take as an anti-recommendation. It’s bound to be some heinous tourist trap where his cousin rips ticket stubs.

5. On day one, get lost. Deliberately. (Probably the most important tip of all.) Turn right out of your hotel and keep walking. Or turn left.

6. Use all your senses to find interesting places. On day two, be guided by smells.

7. On day three, visit the tallest building you can find. If it’s near enough, walk there from your hotel. This is far better than any map. You will also see where the green spaces are, the apartment blocks, the graveyards.

8. Don’t read the guidebook. At least, not until you’ve visited the place. Better still, don’t read it until you’re on the plane home.

9. If you are in a strange city looking for somewhere to have lunch, and already feel hungry, go into the first place you come across, however unprepossessing (fast food outlets excepted). There’s no point trudging until you’ve found five or six cafés from which to choose. The first is just likely to be a delightful surprise as the labouriously sorted out and vetted fifteenth.

10. Accept that you are a tourist and therefore occupy an indefensible and hateful position. You are the ones dithering at the top of the up escalator. You are the ones walk slowly, three abreast, down the narrow pavement. You are ones who distort the local economy until all it can do is satisfy the desires of more and more tourists. You are vulgar both in your quest for show-the-folks-back-home bargains and your conspicuous consumption in places too expensive for locals. You will never understand anywhere you have been. Your guilt at all this is part of your pleasure and if it’s not, you’re missing out.

So yeah, I am an art student. Here’s some art shizzle

S1 Art space. Members only show. 14/11 – 10/12, Sheffield

I quite liked this space as a space. Because it was quite small, Sheffield based and there were quite a lot of artists work on exhibit it seemed to give an impression of an artistic community/family between the artists that use the studio, which reminded me of what our studio at university has.
The works were rather small between each artist. Some pieces stood out more than others, however I believe that this was due to my own sentimentality of pieces of art in general. I believe that I don’t understand sculpture that well. I have concluded this because the majority of pieces, especially Ricky Swallows sculpture in LON (see more about that later)I dislike. At first I thought that it was a valid reason as to why I seem to dislike sculpture, but I realised that the majority of sculpture has me feeling cold and negative towards it. Unless of course it brings something different to the table, as I will discuss also later. I’m more of a meaning behind a piece of artwork or an audience’s response to a selected work person, not a person who is attracted to a piece of art because it looks anaesthetically appealing to the eye or that if it is excessively well constructed/skilful. Naturally if the work has both then it is indeed flawless for me.
But in the essence of the exhibition I found that I didn’t particularly dislike any of the work within it. Quite the contrary. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Naturally, some pieces stood out more for example; I excessively enjoyed former Sheffield Hallam student Tony Hines work. His meaning behind the portraits of people, which is about social identity in the relation to capitalism and people’s constant need for brand labels which then influence our very own brand identity is close to the meaning that I am keen on exploring within my work so unsurprisingly I connected with the work instantly. It was not only just the meaning which I loved but the execution of the work and how well it communicates its meaning to the audience. I love the illustrative style within fine art. It shows progression and freedom in a sense.
His illustrative style shows how Hines is taking portraiture works to a new level. In the words of Pollock when he was asked to explain his approach to painting, he said that when society itself changes, traditional artistic methods aren’t sufficient any longer, and a new language is needed to communicate and resonate with people in this new age. To borrow Pollock’s sentiment, Hines work tends to be raw in its emotion, and resonates with the same energy that exists in the heart of street art, which is a heavy influence on my art and life in general.
Another piece of work that stood out for me was the animation although I can’t remember the artist. Animation is something that has always fascinated me from a young age. It was animation that then led on to a fascination with street art culture as it is linked in my opinion. This animation was funny, revolutionary and at the same time held a magical naivety. Not only that, animation is possibly one of the only art forms that can reach every age demographic of an audience.

Matt’s Gallery, London – Jimmie Durham, Building a Nation 1st Nov – 17th Dec 06

I didn’t particularly enjoy this exhibition totally. However I still enjoyed some small elements of it.
The actual exhibition itself was a large-scale sculpture, which included small intimate performances within it. Durham used manufacturing materials such as wood, glass and metal in a combination together along with selected quotations from famous Americans about Native American Indians.
The composition of the exhibition means when the viewer walks around and through the sculpture they are presented with reflections of themselves walking through doorways and such whilst they read ridiculous quotations that cause racial tensions against the Native American Indians. The idea itself I think is amazing, to explore something that is still rather ignored in today’s society.
Ironic and shrewd, his work responds to the scepticism of Western culture for different beliefs and lifestyles with the recovery of materials and found forms: a plastic tube or a stick are not a serpent, but they can act as one, as they give new life to the situation they are placed in. Man is surely a part of nature that includes everything.
However this was the downfall of the exhibition in my opinion. In post modernity couldn’t the artificiality of certain materials that are integrated in his objects, the flirtation with kitsch of the common idea that one has of Natives and their culture, the history of the grouping form, and the cross-reference with the “primitivism” of 20th century art, be keys to the irony with which Durham looks at himself as well? And doesn’t this turn the prospective upside-down in a sign for the future instead of an impossible search for roots that are too buried by time?

White Cube – Mona Hatoum – Hot Spot – 24th November – 22nd December

I should have been amazed by this exhibition, especially since it was the first well internationally known artist opening party I had attended. However this was not the case. When we first entered the White Cube we turned left to find a piece of sculpture that was lit up like a neon virgin mega store in times square mixed with a universal studio’s logo.
It was a bright red lit up globe that spun round slowly whilst its light penetrated the gallery. The energy off the piece of art was intense making it feel hot and radiant. It even felt hazardous. I absolutely loved the idea itself with its politically charged meaning within it. The electricity made it give off a radiant heat, which maintains the audiences attraction to it and emphasis the title, “hot spot”. Admitted though, the best part of this piece was the reflection the globe made on some glass on the ceiling-, which I don’t think was supposed to be part of the work, as it never mentioned it in her press release. I absolutely loved the idea of boundaries in the world and its conflict and unrest, which it represented clearly and communicated it towards its audience.
On the wall, which was across from the globe, was a picture of the world, slightly like an atlas. The method of it made it look like land mass in true proportion. This piece of work functions like a piece of media because the viewers must virtually adapt the work to suit themselves, inevitably supplementing them with their own emotions and ideas when approaching it, which I enjoyed.
However downstairs in the exhibition Hatoum created a sculpture that looked similarly like a spiders web with drops of dew made of glass. I couldn’t decide whether the web itself was about the sculpture or the shadows it created on the walls and space surrounding it. The shadows were the best part of this sculpture because of the shapes they created seemed more interesting and overwhelming to the viewer, ultimately making it us more involved.
The worst part of the exhibition was a cage, which was ruined because of its place within the exhibition. It was placed in a corner out of the way loosing its significance and even the depth of its meaning. It was put completely out of context.
The irony of this exhibition was certain elements of pieces that weren’t part or weren’t as emphasised in the exhibition worked the best.

Institution of contemporary arts – Alien Nation Dec 2006.

This was one of my favourite exhibitions of the whole London Trip. I love the ICA as a gallery as it always has artwork that I seem to like. I also like to check out the films on there when I go.
The title itself was amusing and connected instantly on my level. This unique exhibition presented work by a series of artists who have used the language and iconography of science fiction to explore questions of race, immigration and that of the outsider. Media stereotyping of asylum seekers as a threat to security and identity is a particular target, which was genius in my opinion. The idea of the amplification of deviance is not explored enough in contemporary art.
The piece that deserved the most attention, in my opinion, was Mario Ybarra Jr’s mural Brown and Proud. It’s a pot-purri of images and themes related to the idea of what it means to be Mexican in today’s society. Flying Mayan pyramids with multi-eyed zapatista revolutionaries sit alongside a Chicano rapper with a sombrero and a furry animal copied from that other verse to infantilism: Star Wars. What Ybarra manages to show us is the multifaceted idea of identity, its juxtapositions and possible permutations. Again, this is an idea, which I am following closely within my own work. This specially commissioned mural had certain flamboyance to it, irreverence and a grown up sense of humour that makes sure we know that this piece of artwork has real depth not an infantile fan based piece of fantasy art aimed at a mass audience.
In the Upper Galleries the British artist Hew Locke takes us back to the Star Wars theme with his Golden Horde, an over-elaborate fleet of space ships assembled with a modern day debris of toys, particularly guns. It’s difficult to discern what it is about, apart from some juvenile but equally ancient idea of what an invading and threatening fleet from outer space might look like. I also believed that he was commenting on post modern society and the debris like of the toys and its tackiness showed the viewer a lack of culture and fragmentations which is a characteristic of post-modernity.
However although I enjoyed the exhibition thoroughly it strikes me as not being essentially clear to the viewer. Although very timely and occupied with a topical theme, what Alien Nation seemed to be saying is, ironically, that contemporary art has very little to say, or indeed show, when it comes to the explore notion of otherness, alienation, difference and integration. On the contrary it was quite comical.
Perhaps this is the result of a positive – maybe the reason that this exhibition fails to move or resonate is down to the fact that we have learned so much about assimilating the ‘other’ and appreciating difference which I think gave the exhibition an edge.

Berlinde De Bruyckere: schmerzensmann – Hauser + Wirth London 10th November – 16th December 2006

Now as an individual who dislikes the majority of sculpture with a scary ignorance this was one of the exhibitions which sculpture was my favourite part.
The exhibiting space was amazing in itself, an old bank. Having to go into an old bank’s safe to look at some clumsy lack of atmospheric paintings made it all worthwhile. It is worth taking note that the exhibition space may have taken the emphasis off the paintings or that the paintings themselves looked weak incomparision to the ambigious, vunerable yet powerful sculptures on the level floor as we walked in.
Developed, concise, iconic (in ideas, as well as image), these are the works of someone who should have decades and decades of art-making behind them, not a forty-something who has only sparingly exhibited outside of her native Belgium. Her style is so fixed, and her output so focussed, that these works exude a real sense of importance, a sense of personality and decisiveness that you seem to only find with much-exhibited contemporary giants.
The title of this exhibition is ‘Schmerzensmann’ (‘Man of Suffering’) and cunningly (and not at all incorrectly) posits Berlinde de Bruyckere at the end of an artistic trajectory that she so obviously belongs to. Her suffering creatures–limp corpses (?) that cling to rusting poles in a deliberate and beautiful play-off between strength versus weakness–borrowed from a wealth of imagery that stretches back to Michelangelo’s stuff.
The clarity of the subject slips and slide in her sculptures: from one angle, it looks like a human being, walk a metre to the left, and it becomes a fish, then an ox. Viewed from above, and it’s just a mound of wax. One minute they can seem immensely real, then dreadfully inanimate. Sometimes hideous, then beautiful. It isn’t difficult to get excited by these works, compelled, as you are to propel around them, absorbing them from each angle. The way she plays with the human form is both unsettling and intoxicating.
To continue a tour round the exhibition, one is guided down to the vault room, where there are some watercolours of the sculptures. I don’t know whose idea this was, but they were a totally unnecessary, perfunctory addition to the line-up. No one ever seems to know what to do with this room at Hauser & Wirth, and this is undoubtedly one of their worst uses of the space.

places I was never meant to be anyhow….

this idea was inspired by chinaka hodge, who was inspired by the actual book:
places I was never meant to be anyhow..

-Angelou, Maya: “still singin’, ‘cuz ya’ll motherfuckers won’t lift this goddamned cage.”
-Baldwin, James: “I’m so glad I’m not openly gay now.”
-Bradbury, Ray: “give agatha Christie my poop-infested regards.”
-Carrol, Lewis: “I believe r Kelly is a ringtone in your junior high.”
-Chomsky, Naom: “and they say the white man is invincible.”
-De Sade, Marquis: “it’s all moving and cumming on the internet.”
-Faulkner, William: “Louisiana is inherently controversial, governor.”
-Fitzgerald, F. Scott: “your beliefs are decadent.”
-Flaubert, Gustav: “I’m French. all my shit becomes classic.”
-Frank, Anne: “next they’ll be banning puppies from puppy town.”
-Franklin, Benjamin: “your welcome, ingrates.”
-Golding, William: “wait a minute. I hear my Oscars calling.”
-Hawthorne, Nathaniel: “it’s not like they even read me.”
-Heller, Joseph: “you go fight a war and try to write perfumed chapters afterwards.”
-Hemingway, Ernest: “I’d punch you in your guts if you had any.”
-Huxley, Aldous: “i’ve sent my response via CGI.”
-Joyce, James: “if you’d like to starve, be my guest.”
-King, Stephen: “what? for carrie? firestarter? for b movies kids see on Halloween?”
-Kundera, Milan: “if you don’t get the hat, you obviously aren’t literate.”
-Lawrence, D.H.: “I’m sleepy. go away.”
-Lewis, Sinclair: “wrap your precious filet mignon in bacon and top it with béarnaise, for all I care.”
-Machiavelli, Niccolo: “who is this tupac, and what is a stock market?”
-Marquez, Gabriel Garcia: “but the bible stays?”
-Maugham, Somerset: “thanks for giving me more reasons.”
-Miller, Arthur: “you should know these definitions by now.”
-Miller, Henry: “what’s really underneath your appliqué sweater?”
-Nin, Anais: “how can you, with the football team’s dicks in your mouth?”
-O’Neill, Eugene: “try something new, you’re boring me.”
-Orwell, George: “I predicted all of this shit.”
-Plath, Sylvia: “eh. suit yourself.”
-Pound, Ezra: “please wheel me to civilization.”
-Rice, Anne: “graphic like the inconsistencies in your textbooks?”
-Rushdie, Salman: “I survived death threats, motherfucker! what?!”
-Salinger, J.D.: “accurate portrayals no longer in vogue?”
-Sartre, Jean-Paul: (French words making you feel stupid, because you are.)
-Shakespeare, William: “let me take back those words you be usin’ in your everyday speech, then.”
-Shaw, George Bernard: “your god would tell you to do this.”
-Sinclair, Upton: “more than inconvenient, am I?”
-Stein, Gertrude: “I’m gonna shove this pussy so far up your ass…”
-Steinbeck, John: “‘america,’ just sounds like a tourist attraction these days.”
-Tolkien, J.R.R.: “have you seen my ancillary income?”
-Tolstoy, Lev: “you are weak.”
-Twain, Mark: “I had suspicions, but no confirmations, until now. you are, in fact, a douche bag.”
-Vidal, Gore: “hypocrites.”
-Vonnegut, Kurt: “excuse me. I made, ‘wear sunscreen.’ famous.”
-Walker, Alice: “what’s next? slavery?”
-Whitman, Walt: “it’s your summer blockbusters what should be banned.”