Mario Testino

Last night The Sunday Times Style magazine held a lecture at the London College of Fashion with Mario Testino. The lecture was a conversation with fashion journalist Colin McDowell.
The first 5 to 6 rows were reserved, so all his assistants were in the front row and behind them were a few celebrities and other people from the industry like Lucinda Chambers.
The early part of the lecture was really about where he came from, then it was onto his career. He talked about his big breaks i.e. Diana Princess of Wales, Anna Wintour, Tom Ford and Carine Roitfeld among others.
The evening gave a great insight into the life of one of the worlds superstar photographers and the industry on which he has built his success.


Antony Gormley at The Hayward

You might not be the biggest Gormley fan, but there is something quite eye catching about the 'Event Horizon' installation of 31 sculptural casts of the artist’s body dotted around the tall city skyline. The grassy building seems a rather laboured affair. Watching them desperately water its decaying form seemed to highlight the fact that grass really does not grow well up the sides of buildings and was starting to look, well, mangy.

But that aside, there are two top moments to be had in the exhibition. Firstly the aptly named 'Blind Light', a luminous glass room filled with dense mist. So dense that when you walk into it you feel as if you shouldn't be able to breathe. The air is surprisingly damp, so all those nightmares about suffocating in a fire go out the window. It's more like feeling you are on the top of a mountain, not even able to see your hand stretched out in front of you. Apart from all the incidental groping, watching people touching the glass from the outside, trying to navigate it yourself is quite as experience. You do get lost and it takes a brave person to walk straight into the middle. Hours of fun. Click the link in the title to see more.

But on a more serious art note, not being an avid Gormley enthusiast, the Space Station installation was all a bit too Borg for me, the figures dangling from ceilings or clambering down walls; expected.

What impressed me was the final room I visited showing figures tumbling mid-air with honeycomb structures emanating from them. They really are worth seeing as they are just so striking, but just remember, photography is strictly forbidden and I did not take these. Erm, yeah.


Miles Aldridge

Miles is the son of art director Alan Aldridge. He is without doubt one of the most interesting fashion photographers working today. His images are always packed with glamour, surprise and suspense. The colours in his images are incredibly striking, i dont know anybody who uses colour in the same way.


Type Specimen Books

There's nothing nicer than flipping through old specimen books, especially ones that are letterpress printed. There are some great resources on flickr if you want to look through them. Sadly the library in the press I visited was too cold to stay in so I only photographed three books. But a quick look on Flickr reveals comprehensive albums of them. It makes me wish St Brides had the resources to digitise some of its treasures so more people could have access to them.

Here are some of Flickr


Getting Your Hands Dirty

Here are some pictures from a recent letterpress adventure


Ettore Sottsass

It's not too late to go and see the Sosstass exhibition at The Design Museum. I went again just to enjoy the great Ollivetti designs he created. Oh how I wish I hadn't sold my Valentine on the school white elephant stall. But at least you can sit down and get to bash out a few unkempt letters on the sample typewriters they have there. It really does feel like being in the dark ages. They were a great idea to put in the exhibition. It's on until June 10th.

In honour of this rekindled typewriter passion I have ordered this book: Olivetti: Design In Industry.


Jonathan Ellery

Unrest: Brass, flickering numbers and collected ephemera by Jonathan Ellery of Brown's fame
Location: Wapping Hydraulic Power Station.

The office trip to sample the culinary delights of the Wapping project restaurant and the shiny brass delights of Jonathan Ellery was a resounding success. Three conclusions were drawn:

1. There is a very good reason people do not eat chocolate fondue's every day
2. Brass + Light + Dark makes for great reflections
3. A small ticket placed in a large white frame on a distressed wall is every designers secret self indulgent dream come true.

We all went home to fumble through our collections of bits of paper.


The Drawbridge

Editor: Bigna Pfenninger
Creative Director: Stephen Coates
Picture Editor: Millie Simpson
Drawings Editor: Paul Davis

This broadsheet size publication is one of the most interesting independent publishing projects around. The Drawbrdge is a quarterly literary project funded by Giuseppe Mascoli proprietor of the Soho club Blacks. Members of the club such as Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, Hugo Chavez and John Berger are a few of the high profile names that have contributed so far.
Each issue covers one topic, so far they have been, Failure, Home and The Impossible City.
Although Drawbridge is quite word heavy, it is mixed with free standing illustrations and photographs. So far contributors have included Paul Davis and Toby Morison and photographers Roberto Polidori and Larry Sultan to name but a few.