I recently discovered the work of Swedish artist Markus Åkesson. Since last month he has had an incredible looking exhibition hanging at the VIDA Museum in the small Swedish city of Borgholm. The work on display is beautiful. For me, his paintings show moments of stillness and calm, but they also have a great sense of darkness and mystery about them.
In painting’s like Psychopomp Club (The Rat) and Psychopomp club (Chicken Skeleton) (both pictured above) we get to see girls looking at animals at a natural history museum. These images seem to be about life being confronted by death in someway yet Åkesson doesn’t make these moments brash or threatening, instead the moments feel meditative, calm and even serene. There’s beauty in these moments and Åkesson captures it perfectly. More of his work can be seen online here.
New Works by Markus Åkesson currently runs at Borgholm’s VIDA Museum in Sweden until the 30th of September.
The LA Shorts Fest took place earlier this month and it saw a number of wonderfully talented folk pick up awards in a variety of categories. One such winner was director Bob Harlow who picked up first place in the Music Video category with his promo for Rudimental‘s ‘Feel the Love’.
Filmed on the streets of downtown Philadelphia, the video takes a look at the lives of members of the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club – a youth group that has been running in the community for over 100 years. It sounds like a wonderful (and much needed) initiative and Harlow’s video gives a great insight into the lives of its members and the things they get up to. It’s pretty incredible to see horses riding through the streets of downtown Philadelphia. Congratulations to Bob Harlow on his award, the video is fantastic!
Verdens første ballongferd (The World’s First Balloon Flight) is a newly released book for children written by Lena Lindahl and illustrated by Rui Tenreiro. The book is about of the world’s first aeronauts and it tells the true-life story of two brothers in 18th century France who set about building the first hot air balloon. The illustrations really looks terrific and wish I could speak Norweigan just so that I could read this.
It’s illustrator, Rui Tenreiro, is a Mozambican author, artist and editor. Dividing his time between Sweden and Mozambique he creates wonderful illustrations filled with detail and character. Some prints from the book will soon be available from Rui Tenreiro’s online shop while the book itself is currently available online here.
This week London is currently awash with design fanatics as the annual London Design Festival takes place. As part of the event the Irish Crafts Council have put together an exhibition that gives a glimpse into modern Irish design and craft. The exhibition is called A Place To Gather and to mark it the directing duo of Jamie & Keith have put together a beautiful video that looks at Irish crafts-people in action around the country.
Ireland currently has over 5,700 people working in craft today and the video gives a brief portrait of just 5 of them. They are Horizon Furniture, Studio Donegal, Kathleen McCormick, Jerpoint Glass and Derek Wilson. One of the nicest things about traditional handicrafts is the process of making them yet it’s this part that we rarely get to see. Fortunately videos like this one really give a great insight into the process and help promote traditions which are well worth continuing and celebrating. It’s a beautifully filmed piece and one which is well worth watching.
For those lucky enough to be in London, A Place To Gather will be running from the 18th until the 23rd of September at 12 Chance Street, London, E2 7JB. More details about the exhibition can be found on their website here.
While Andy Beck may be better known for his portrait and figurative work, it’s his paintings of city streets which really catch my attention. Originally from Coventry, Beck moved to London almost ten years ago and it’s clear that the city has played an important role in inspiring his work.
Looking at his paintings you can almost feel the weather in them. You can sense the cold, crisp air of a winter’s morning or you can see how the sun shines right after the rain. His paintings show a great understanding for how these moments feel in a city and he paints them with such beauty. You can view a complete gallery of Beck’s landscape painting on his website here.