Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Thursday, 3 March 2016

I'm not sure if I ever posted about this or not, just before moving from London to Margate a friend of mine, Martino asked me to be in his fantastic exhibition. I may be bias, but as it was one of my favourite shows of recent years I'm happy to remember it.
Martino Gamper: design is a state of mind brought together a group of Martino's friends & colleagues, old and new. Asked to submit items from a personal collection, items that inspire and drive them. Displayed on a menagerie of classic shelving systems; every one a design classic or from Martino's own collection, old and new.
I loaned pieces from my workshop/studio, which was rather hard as most of my possessions were already boxed up ready for my move from the city. The 11 items above were intended to be representative of my interests and thoughts at the time. The exhibition was very successful and toured around Europe, well over a year later a box was returned to me. For sometime I didn't want to open the box and some of the items still remain unpacked today. I think this is in an ongoing effort to avoid becoming a hoarder by trying to detach myself from material goods. I would like to be able to learn from objects, handle them, work out how things are made but without the need to keep them for ever, I want to be able to learn without having to own. Most of my collections are picked up because other people don't want them anymore, in skips, car boots, on the street, I collect mostly unwanted worthless junk, sometimes items become valuable, others waste away. Sometimes I assemble collections and pass them on to others as if my work is done. The goal has always been to collect with purpose, this is why I make a point of regularly rotating collections and keeping my habits in check. But I want to make sure that at the end of my time on this earth, my life of collecting isn't left behind on the floor at the end of a flea market, I would rather not own anything now. Perhaps I enjoyed this exhibition so much because I could see into the minds of many of my respected peers, learning from these objects, habits and how these item's relate to artist's and designer's practices without having to own all these things myself, passing through the mind can sometimes be better than passing through the hands. Is collecting a disease?
above: unknown origin object of mine in the show, photo by Ally Capellino
1. Oak tree effect ridged foam cooler bought in Belgium as a child
2. Render fragment with mosaic tiles, shopfront in New Cross
3. African handmade figure found in a shed
4. Marble object with phoney story from a car boot sale
5. Concrete/Paint fragment saved from the demolition of CSM graphic design, Long Acre
6. Marble container, pre waterjet
7. Clock, powder coated pressed steel and clock movement, Romford car boot
8. Unknown wooden object from house clearance, Brick Lane
9. Metal framed cube, shop closure, Deptford
10. Unknown perspex/threaded object, Des, Brick Lane
11. Deed box of 1920s cast aluminium workshop salesman's planning samples

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Modern Margate : Midcentury Ironwork

welcoming double gates at a former hotel during current renovation
Whist out regularly wandering the streets of Margate, I've found that familiar sights are rapidly changing and around this time of the year the pace accelerates towards the summer season. As business owners and developers let panic set in, many great details are lost and standards sometimes comprimised in the rush for quick cash. Many of my favourite places, properties and memories have already disappeared. Margate keeps evolving and I wouldn't want it any other way, but in an effort to record some details which i believe will be entirely overlooked by local historians I will be featuring some of my favourites here. Starting today with midcentury ironwork...
above and below: pictorial ironwork in commercial locations, no one goes to this effort anymore  

above: 80's remake of a 60's design on the seafront 
 above and below: Classic 50s/60's Zig-Zag railings all over town replaced the victorian beauties that were claimed during the war. The design of post-war replacements reflected the tastes of the time and did little to work in harmony with the architecture, Britain was becoming Modern, Margate moved on. Often made of simple, cheap welded sections of prefabricated steel in fun graphic designs they sadly just don't stand the test of time in construction unlike the heavy duty cast iron Victorian designs many of which can still be seen, they remain in locations where it was deemed too dangerous to remove them, but sadly even the remaining victorian railings are disappearing through poor maintenance as the sea air attacks them.
above: this property has an imposing sweeping corner railing in this design, soon to disappear as the property is currently being redeveloped from one property into many
above: rather odd mix of victorian style posts with 60's infill and later handrail.
As i notice them, I will continue to record disappearing details. keep looking.


Friday, 26 February 2016

Roald Dahl Shed at the Royal Festival Hall

A Design/Build retail display 'shed' project to accompany the new Roald Dahl exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre. I was asked to build something inspired by Dahl's own workspace/shed but not to replicate it, using new and reclaimed elements i built a large open framed shed structure using only a few key shed details. here are a few work-in-progress photos...
above: the metal framed Crittall window similar to the one in Dahl's own shed was salvaged from a huge pile of fly-tipping in Margate
...work in progress photos, frame combines hanging rails, shelves, hooks, walls
above: the staggered wooden shelves were made from floorboards salvaged from a property in Sandwich, fixed to the white painted framework with very basic diy shelf brackets, classic shed chic.
below: the roof sections, painted cladding sanded and cleaned up, originally salvaged from the scenic railway at Dreamland, Margate
 below: i found a 1930's door identical to the one on Dahl's shed but it was just too heavy for the structure so i made up a simple tongue and groove shed door and fitted a vintage door handle with display hook to the inside...
 ...hopefully i'll get to see the exhibition soon

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Shed Project at the National Maritime Museum

I was asked to design/build a series of 'shed' structures for the retail space to accompany the Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution exhibition at the National Maritime Museum. Here are a few work-in-progess pictures from the project...
above: my workshop ceiling height wasn't tall enough for this project so i had to make everything as a giant jigsaw. three main structures, red, white and grey.
...delivery day, spot the van
above and below: some images of the structures in place before product placement, the third grey structure is out of shot around the back of the lift...
designed as simple frames with window and door details for people to wander through with build in hanging rails, shelves and free standing tables
 below: a detail picture with some product in place, fire of London buckets and ladders...