Tag Archives: Art

Short and Sweet- Call for Performers

Short&Sweet are running their first big night in Manchester and are looking for performers. The night is called FOOL and will be held on Friday 1st April at Victoria Baths, an ornate, victorian, empty swimming pool- a beautiful large space called the Gala Pool.

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Short & Sweet runs as a continuous series of 3 minute performances all in response to one theme. This time the theme is ‘Fool’. Wise, tragic, naïve or reckless the fool has privilege to violate taboos. Art is foolish. Theatre fools and deceives. Short&Sweet is a evening that originated in Montreal, Quebec where it has been running for over 3 years and we look forward to bringing it over the seas to Manchester. Short&Sweet invites proposals from artists of any discipline for a three minute slot.

Feel free to respond to, rebel from and rework the starting point in any magical way that you wish. But you MUST stick to the three minute limit. We are open to a very varied mix of performance e.g. dance, comedy, theatre, live music, video, singing, circus are just some ideas but something different would be exciting too.

Each performer will get a rider and documentation of their work.

To apply, please email us with your name and an idea of what your performance could be. Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1678876949048986

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 12th March 2016 (midday)

Email: short.sweet.night@gmail.com

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Sorcha and May

An interview w/ Chris Knight aka Cervo: Inside Banana hill, the local scene and music

It’s always good to catch up with the purveyors of the left-field  and subcultural music scene to find out what’s happening in and around our town and this guy plays a hand in  pushing music of the world around the northwest and beyond. In a couple of week’s he’ll be gracing the Ask My Bull Ep launch with his vinyl collection, so we thought we’d get to know him that little bit more ahead of this.
So Chris (aka Cervo), what can you tell us about your music events career so far?
Well we started very small doing live music & trying to DJ in a tiny bar in Sheffield, and sort of developed it from there. It doesn’t really feel like career as such, more of a thing that we like to do in our spare time! None of us rely on it as an income so it gives us a bit of freedom to do interesting stuff without worrying about profit margins and things like that. We certainly didn’t set out with any notions of being able to run big warehouse parties in different cities and flying artists in from all over the world but somehow it’s turned out like that.
Any you DJ too? What kind of music styles
Yes, it took me a long time to learn the basics (shouts to everyone who came to early Banana Hill parties and endured the countless clangers) but it has become a big passion of mine. I really enjoy being able to develop different styles so it’s constantly changing but is broadly pinned down by a love of classic & contemporary African & Latin American music of varying styles, combined with soul, hip hop, disco, house & electronic music.
chrisknight
 
When and how did you start getting into music as something that you do in the public eye?
I was in a band for a few years from when I was around 16, so I guess it started around then that I began to ‘perform’ in front of other people and music became a big part of my life.
 
What can you tell us about Banana Hill? 
So Banana Hill was originally a music blog set up by Jack (JVC), named after a small grass verge near his house in South Manchester. We met in the first week of university in Sheffield, instantly found common ground with a lot of music and ended up doing a weekly show together on the student radio station – initially a pretty odd combination of both our tastes, ranging from hip hop, grime and bass music to post punk, garage rock and disco. The nights followed this pattern, so were at that time a little bit haphazard in terms of direction – which was totally fine, but it was during our 2nd year that we discovered what it was that we both felt massively passionate about and that kind of set out where Banana Hill has gone since then.
We were helping with a fundraiser club night for a hospital in the DRC, and set about finding Congolese music to play on the night – which is amazing it it’s own right – and this opened up doors to a load of music we’d never heard before. The stuff that caught our ears initially was the high tempo kuduro coming from Angola  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWr-sJDXbDghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpzzWukSNYw), afro-house and the crossover styles of producers such as Batida.
We started learning all we could & pushing those sounds, along with a whole load of other African music styles on the blog, in our DJ sets and at our parties, and that’s kind of carried on until now.  Alongside this we got heavily into the warehouse party scene in Sheffield that I feel is more prevalent than a lot of cities due to a huge number of disused industrial spaces – we wanted to combine those settings and the house & techno that you’d tend to find there with more wide-ranging sounds from around the globe.
bananahill
 
Who’s been integral to your progression in the events and music scene?
As with a lot of art & music scenes, the community that you become part of is so important. Sheffield is such a good place for that, and venues such as The Harley and the people working for them were really helpful and are still ace to work with. There’s a network of promoters, DJs and artists there that all help each other out – sharing advice is essential for events in particular, dealing with booking agents, what to do when stuff goes wrong etc. In Manchester working with Soup Kitchen has been amazing, and we’ve started to find a great set of people to work with over here.
 
Who’s been you favourite act that you’ve booked?
This is tricky…I don’t want to single anyone out as we have been lucky enough to meet so many artists who have become good friends. If I can dodge the question like a highly skilled politician, I can say the most interesting act (both in terms of music and looking after them) has to be Nozinja (Shangaan Electro) and his dancers. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHgBZ-60i7k)
 
Any one out there you’d like to virtually salute on their efforts in the scene?
Sorry if this a bit of a long list…
In Sheffield – The Harley, Hope Works, Bungalows & Bears, promoters & people like Lunar, Thrillhouse, NLR, Pretty Pretty Good, No Uniform, Bunga Bunga, Tramlines, Semi Detached, Huddle, TTC, SoulJam, Don’t Look Now, Funk Drunk etc.
In Manchester – Soup Kitchen & Dan Hampson, Hidden, promoters & people like So Flute, Heads Up, Hi Ku, Inside Out, John Loveless, Meat Free, Reform Radio, Zutekh, Contours & Werkha etc, and of course M20 Collective.
On a wider scale the crews who are doing amazing stuff include Mawimbi in Paris, No Globe in Glasgow, Samedia Shebeen in Edinburgh, Fiesta Bombarda, Kitchen Street, Africa Oye, No Fakin & Abandon Silence in Liverpool, Brotherhood Sound, Butter Side Up & KMAH Radio in Leeds, Highlife, Huntleys & Palmers, Wormfood, Turf, Tessellate, Lunatick Records and loads more in London. Sorry for everyone I’ve inevitably missed.
 
How do you think the visual arts and music scene can come together?
I think it is and will continue to do so – the two complement eachother so well. There are some artists such as Lone who insist on touring with a visual artist which I really like. We work with an artist called Bethany Porteous who does our poster art and decor on some of the bigger shows, and we’re currently looking at doing more projects to bring both elements together.
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Above: Artwork by Bethany Porteous
What would you do next if you could do anything, either in the local community or for yourself?
Closer to home, I think something that everyone has noticed over the past year is the amount of homeless people on the streets in the UK – this stems from a whole host of cutbacks across social care and public services that are massively starting to bite. So I guess it would be to make everyone think about other people a bit more – particularly that waxy-faced bastard who calls the shots these days.
 
Anything exciting coming up?
We’ll be working with Thristian from the Boiler Room a lot more closely this year, and I have my first release coming in June. And plenty of shows in Manchester, Sheffield and London 🙂

JOIN THE BBC THREE PLAYGROUND

BBC3 and Latimer are looking for you creative lot to get involved with this exciting collaborative project. M20 collective love this idea and are supporting the project by giving our followers the news. The team at Lorimer got in touch so we could spread the word on how to get involved, its your last chance with 48 HOURS TO GO. So read below to find out more and show them what Manchester have to offer!

It’s time to have fun and #JoinThePlayground.

Are you eager to have your voice heard, ideas seen and the chance to get your content commissioned? Then you need to #JoinThePlayground. The Playground is BBC Three and Latimer’s pioneering creative network, set up to help young creatives, all sorts of talents included, develop their work and put it out for the world to see.

In the Playground you’ll be set weekly live briefs based on content broadcast on BBC Three, to which you should respond with complete creative freedom. Upon receipt of your content, you will get weekly feedback from BBC Three and Latimer.

So, whatever your talent may be, we’re looking for it:

Film
Fashion
Comedy
Music
Tech
Design
Content creation
Writing

and everything in between!

If your application is successful, you will gain unprecedented access to a national youth network of brilliant young minds, have the chance to be mentored by industry professionals, and get your voice heard, all whilst co-creating the future of content for BBC Three.

We welcome applications from young people from all social and economic backgrounds, regardless of your race, gender, sexual orientation or religion we want to hear from you. So if you think you can rise to the challenge, the gates are now open for YOU to share your ideas and get the feedback and creative mentorship you deserve.

To apply, please send an email with the following:

Name

Age

Gender

Location

Main interests

Ethnicity 

Social media

Contact number

We also require a response to one simple but open-ended phrase:

“I am me because…”

You have creative control over how you respond to the statement above – we want to see videos, photos, print designs, the whole sha-bang. So think big, creative and surprise us!

Send applications to talent@latimergroup.org

You must be between the ages of 16-25 and based in the UK.
Application deadline: 18th December 2015

If you are successful you will be required to attend an exclusive launch event at the BBC in London on Monday 11th January.

PARADISE NOW: THIS FRIDAY 25.09.2015

M20 Collective: PARADISE NOW Press release

Daily we live and abide by a set of rules. Rules of law, rules set in place by those who govern us. Rules set in place by each other and society: Rules that go unnoticed, sometimes un-governed and sometimes un-questioned. However what happens when we begin to truly break down these rules? Can we achieve a sense of truly being in today’s society? What happens when we express ourselves outside of the rules? Out with the constraints of right and wrong and articulated through a community of contemporary artists.

In June 2015 M20 Collective submitted an online artist call out with a creative brief formed by one MMU Fine Art scholar. 13 have been chosen to part-take in the PARADISE NOW showcase.

On the 25th September 2015, M20 collective will bring together 13 Artists who have produced a range of pieces from photography collages to installations, international film screenings and illustration. This dialogical exhibition contains a select choice of creativity from Manchester and beyond. Alongside this array of visual provocations, three unique live acts including  headliners Ask My Bull, will stimulate your auditory senses with music that plays outside of genre boundaries and overlooks  the norms of the dominant music scene.

ARTISTS: Alex Lowther-Harris, Alex Webb,Cerys Thorne, Emily May, Daisy Preece,Joao Merinhos, Gemma Nethercliff, Kyle Cartilidge, Leo Robinson, Natalie Wardle, Ray Martin, James Sanders, Peter Silva and Corin Silva (Remoraflims), Alyxandra Press (Pairodocks films), Sian Leyshon and Vicky Clarke.

Curated by Rachel Ferguson and facilitated by the M20 community leaders Joel White and Yemi Bolatiwa, this evening is set to be an exciting group production; where diverse art forms are brought together to communicate one concept: PARADISE, NOW!

A £3 entry fee give will you access to this collaborative event at an impressive arts venue: The Wonder Inn, 29 Shudehill Manchester M4 2AF. Contact m20collective@gmail.com for more details.

/ t: @m20collective for further details and follow the progression #PARADISENOW .

Local Literature: ‘List of Lists’

Allegorical piece by Fandango Hack; a list of the weird, the beautiful and the atrocious things that make up the world

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The bath, the stainless shovel, the mask, the cat, the bastard and the brothel

The sloth, the slowly sinking, the dogman in the doghouse drunk and slowly drinking

The cot, the dripping tap, the cobra and the Bearn with cradle cap

The nag, the reigns of brass, the hands retracting from the chance to clasp

The mole, the focal point, the oil slick and dripped drawn to anoint.

The eldest, dead and dying, the trier God would love giving up trying

The prayer, the prongs of forks, the damsel in distress popping the cork

The window, the tubby fucker, the golden punishment for copper suckers.

The world, and all its raging wrong, the sorrow in the truth of every song.

The tape, the worm escaping, the lacerated shapes, the plates that Greeks be breaking

The sand, the flooded earth, the man, the battle and the bloody birth

The heart, the tumour clock, the startled pecker pecking and the strangled cock

The news, the bloated leader, the reader of bad blues, the filthy minded bleeder

The grass, the meadow strung with deaths own tinsel, the tooth, the biter of the bitten pencil

The fruit, the guardian of all unknown, the beauty bought and battered cloaks a clone

The worms, the worms that guide us to the core, the claws that burrow, the bully come a bore.

The gas, the flame, the poisoned budgies feather, the world that went to war over the weather.

The world and all its rarest rights, the joy found in the truth of every fight.

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read more at:www.fandangohack.tumblr.com

Ray Martin – Artist

I managed to grab a few words from fantastic local painter Ray Martin on his journey with art and his inspirations.

studio

                                                 (Above recent work by Ray)

Tell us a bit about your journey with art?
I believe art is inherent, although, until nurtured cannot become more than that. There are many forms of expression, from literature, to music production from which any person can choose to pursue, but personally, I am satisfied most by creating visually. That is not to say that I always knew I was going to end up creating the paintings I do now, and that is also not to say that I will be creating the paintings I do now in fifteen years time. Creativity, in my eyes, is very much a journey. An exciting and surprising one at that. I came to art school 5 years ago, fresh and also naive about the world. Art school is a brilliant place, because it has few rules. It gave me the time and confidence to experiment with my creativity, to learn more about the world outside of Chester (my hometown and shell), and to meet wonderful people. It was quite late on in my degree that I started to paint, and although I have always been drawn to, and created 2D images, I felt for a long time that it was less exciting than some of the other things going on around me. I began to work in sculpture, performance and installation in my first years but I wasn’t truly satisfied until I picked up a paint brush. It wasn’t an immediate fit though, there was a lot of frustration and a stack of terrible work but at some point it did click. I remember the breakthrough painting very well, I was sat at my space, surrounded by a huge (and horrific) mural painting I had created from one of my dreams and I was also working on a small board I had primed the wrong colour (a bright, thick orange) at the same time. I was lazy and didn’t cut the board down to the right proportions first, so just masked it off and started putting in a few loose landscape-y marks. I had a group crit. soon after and unsurprisingly the mural was ignored. There was something much more interesting in this small painting that I had approached, unintentionally, unconventionally. My eyes were opened a little bit wider from then. Since then I have been discovering more and more about the technique, the history of and my personal language within painting. Every new painting, or series is an education for myself and I can’t wait for the next time my eyes widen.

How would you describe your style of art?
My paintings place themselves in the middle of different area. They not entirely figurative, nor abstract. They depict the natural landscape but appear very unnatural in their use of hard-edges and overly-saturated colours. Some are the size of a post card, and others I have had problems removing from buildings. It is the meeting of different visual languages that I find most intriguing.

raymartin

Can you name some things that inspire your art, pieces already finished or works in progress?
The landscape imagery I use is found online, in books or magazines I pick up in charity shops. I guess I am initially inspired by these images; the placement of the photo on the page.

Are there any characteristics of Manchester and its scene that inspire or influence your works?
That’s a funny one as my worked actually stemmed from a rejection of Manchester. I don’t deal with the grey weather too well, so my escape came in the form of my resource books. Don’t get me wrong, Manchester has a beautiful, subtle lighting but I’m not one for translating subtleties. It’s also quite hard to find a place to yourself here, it’s a vibrant city. Back in Chester I used to have a few places I’d go to and know that I could have time alone. On top of a 5 story car park, or a mile down the cycle path. At the time, I didn’t know Manchester so well, so felt claustrophobic. I guess that has something to do with why I moved away from painting people and urban spaces. Even though I rejected Manchester’s scenery you cannot help but take influence from small things that surround you. I get a great deal of my colour choices from shop fronts, peoples clothing or posters around the city. My feeling of Manchester have changed since. I’m intrigued to see how this changes my work.

Any artists (of any genre) right now that are catching your attention in the wider culture of arts? UK, Europe or the rest of the world?
I found a really exciting Parisian painter online recently, Matthieu Clainchard. He employs the palette and formal qualities of video test screens into large public and gallery installations. The work is interesting to me, as it highlights how images can manipulate our perceptions.

matthieu-clainchard

(above Matthieu Clainchard art)

Are there any movements, events or projects going on in manchester right now that you would recommend for local aspiring or working artists in the area?
Check out the ‘Real Painting’ exhibition at Castlefield Gallery, on until the 2nd August. I loved it!
“the exhibition emphasizes the essential grammar of painting, considering not necessarily what a painting means but what it ‘does’”…(Castlefield Gallery)

Do you have any particular or personal goals that you are aspiring to right now with your work?
Absolutely, I’ve used what time I’ve had since graduating to really evaluate what kind of artist I am. I’ve had to remind myself that although I may not be in the studio every spare minute, painting, it’s okay. At the end of the day, graduate life is difficult for a creative. Creating a way of working that is sustainable is very important, as I want to be doing this for a long time to come. I am currently researching ways I can be involved in arts education, whilst applying for funding to work on my own practice. In terms of my work I have realised I need to be more delicate with my surface prep, like I was in university as it makes an enormous difference to the quality of work I make. I also need to use more brown. I don’t use enough brown.

Are there any exhibitions coming up that will be showing your work at?
Yes, I have a show at Sugar Store Gallery at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal in November to coincide with the Kendal Mountain Festival.

Interview by Yemi Bolatiwa

Artist call-out: PARADISE NOW

Attention ARTISTS, PERFORMERS, PHOTOGRAPHERS, FILM MAKERS, WRITERS, THINKERS, ILLUSTRATORS! M20 Collective and Rachel Ferguson have joined forces to curate an exhibition to take place this summer. AND WE NEED YOU!
the brief

The exhibition is titled Paradise Now. We are looking for creators who question/agree with the following statement:

Daily we live and abide by a set of rules. Rules of law, rules set in place by those who govern us. Rules set in place by each other and society. Rules that go unnoticed, sometimes un-governed and sometimes un-questioned. However what happens when we begin to truly break down these rules? Can we achieve our sense of being in today’s society?
Don’t eat on the bus
Say please and thank you
Don’t take off your clothes in public
Why isn’t that person allowed to stay here?

Are we living to achieve social acceptance? Has our basic mammal instinct for curiosity been flattened by being told not to touch the wet paint? Or hasn’t it?

In the 1960s radical theatre group ‘The Living Theatre’ ran a show called ‘Paradise Now’. During the performance they shouted a series of questions at the audience: ‘Why can’t I travel without my passport?’ ‘Why cant I smoke marijuana?’ ‘Why can’t I take off my clothes?’ The performances took place in Manhattan. The performance would always be shut down by the police at the point of removal of clothes. They threw simple questions at the audience, which aimed to set in motion in the ‘common man’ a thought process: ‘wait? Why am I doing this? This is my world. This is my reality’.

THIS IS AN OPEN CALL. We would like to curate an exhibition finding creators which deal, question, and are inspired by any of the above or further afield. All neo-liberal, political, social commentary and documentation, any and all art which poses a question, which makes us question how we exist. Which makes us ask how we create our own ‘paradise’ how we create our own reality. QUESTION EVERYTHING.

DEADLINE: 24TH JULY FOR ALL SUBMISSIONS

PLEASE INCLUDE: Tech Spec for your work in your submission.

NB: M20 Collective will be providing you with the space to exhibit, unfortunately we do not have public funding for this project and therefore no budget for artists, but will facilitate the sourcing of resources that we can get for free and support all collaborators as best as possible in the run up to the show including any hospitality for the vent itself and general planning support and liaison.

Please send all submissions to the following email address;
curation.rachel@gmail.com and cc: m20collective@gmail.com

The Haworth Prize for Young Landscape/Cityscape Artists

New £4,000 prize for a northern English landscape or cityscape by a young artist from the North of England.

The NEAC seeks submissions of northern English landscape or cityscape by young artists living in the North of England.

The shortlisted works will be exhibited alongside the New English Art Club Annual Exhibition at Mall Galleries.

The Haworth Prize is sponsored by The Haworth Charitable Trust

Who can submit?

Artists aged 35 or under, who are resident in the North of England in the following areas: Cumbria, Northumberland, Durham, Tyne and Wear, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cheshire

What to submit?

Paintings, drawings or prints that depict the landscape or the towns of the North of England.

DEADLINE: Friday 13 March 2015

For more info and how to submit

As We Are Away: 20th-30th November

Natalie Proctor previews the nous magazine/As We Are Away festival, taking place around the city 20-30 November

How lucky we are here in Manchester to have so much creativity on our doorstep! No matter what the artistic genre, there is always something going on in this vibrant northern city. This diversity of talent is something that self-established Nous Magazine champions. The magazine is a relatively new enterprise, which has a unique focus on ‘contemporary mind culture’. In collaboration with As We Are Away, the magazine has created a mini-festival for all things arty. AWAA is an art project with a difference, focused on overcoming the cultural stigma around mental health. The festival hopes to inspire us to think differently about mental illness, and learn to become more open and understanding about something that affects thousands of people across the UK.

The event, which goes on until the 30th November, will host a variety of acts throughout the creative sphere. Each night focuses on a different collection of some of Manchester’s finest artists, poets, musicians and directors. Whatever you may have an interest in, the AWAA mini-Festival will surely have something to spark your creative interest.

What makes this event even greater is that it’s free! Although donations are extremely appreciated, and do go on to ensure that these kind of fantastic events may continue. You can even buy an 11- day ticket that gives you access to all the events running for just £5.50. That seems like a bargain to me! We here at M20 would also strongly encourage you to make this donation, as we fully believe it is vital to support the arts to the best of our ability. Without such contributions we would find it hard to maintain the wealth of opportunities on offer for Manchester creatives.

So what’s on? Well, if you’re interested in poetry, there is Tea Hour Poetry on 25th November, which is sure to offer a plethora of new and old talent; including established writers like David Hartley, who we interviewed in October. This will be taking place at the trendy Northern Quarter café The Koffee Pot. Certainly not one to miss!

There is also a lot to offer in terms of music. On Thursday the 27th, the night As We Are Here will host some of Manchester’s most exciting up and coming bands and artists. The live music will continue into the evening at the Eagle Inn, and there will be a variety of sounds from the likes of Second Shepherds, POST and Locean.

If you fancy a little slice of the Cannes Film Festival in Manchester, then why not head over to the concluding night of the festival, curated by Cultivate Film Art. This evening will present some critically acclaimed foreign films, which may perhaps may a nice change from the outlandish Hollywood blockbuster. The documentary film ‘Black Sun’ (2005) by Gary Tarn tells the dramatic story of French artist Hugues de Montalembert who finds himself blinded after a violent attack in New York. It is a moving piece of cinema that is sure to strike a nerve. Also showing is the 1970 film adaptation of the novel ‘Valerie and Her Week of Wonders’. This erotic horror is somewhat otherworldly, and definitely different to what’s out there in the box office!

The festival has plenty more to offer so check out the website for a full list of the events coming up. And remember, the festival ends on the 30th November so don’t miss out. Keep supporting the arts.

Natalie Proctor

Email: hej@nous-magazine.de
Website: www.nous-magazine.de
Facebook: www.facebook.com/nousmagazinemanchester

Black & BLUE with Beckie Stewart

Ahead of the publication of REVOLUTION on Bonfire Night, we talked politics, pamphlets and people with Black & BLUE editor Beckie Stewart

It took just a few short years for Black & BLUE to establish itself as one of Manchester’s top contemporary literary exports. Founded in November 2011 by Dane Weatherman and Alex Marsh, both students of University of Manchester at the time, Black & BLUE has now grown to be a five-strong editorial team (plus designer). They host exhibitions and readings up and down the country and bring the works of artists and writers from around the world together in original, beautifully curated print publications/print journals and political pamphlets. Though the Black & BLUE founders are now based in London, there’s still a strong Manchester presence maintained through Beckie Stewart, one of the Black & BLUE editors, who has stayed in the city and continues to contribute to its creative scene.

Beckie describes the people behind Black & BLUE as “an odd handful of people, each with really diverse tastes, political views and backgrounds but with one aim: to provide a space for new writing as a counterpoint to what we view as the ‘traditional’ literary scene”. This patchwork of people and ideas is reflected in the genre-crossing nature and variety of the work they produce: annual journals of creative writing, images and art; political pamphlets; blogposts on art and words – there’s no one rule. They’re tackling as many art forms and inviting as many collaborations as possible in their attempt to re-imagine literature.

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When I asked Stewart what Black & BLUE are looking for, she noted that they are “openly political…because everything is political”. Black & BLUE believe that “no one can speak from a position of neutrality anymore” so embracing the highly political nature of society through literature is what seems natural to this group of creatives. What this means for the submissions Black & BLUE want is that they are eager for “fresh writing that speaks to everyone; we want to make it accessible and break down the walls of what surrounds poetry and creative writing” – they want to challenge people’s assumptions about literature and the forms it can take in the modern day.

Talking about how Black & BLUE want to represent themselves, Stewart referred to co-founder Weatherman who saw representing younger writers as a main focus of the magazine. They wanted to “make a break from outdated literature promulgated by archaic university lecturers” which is something I’m sure a lot of students can relate to and appreciate at least some of the time (I know I certainly can!). This focus on newness and energy is in everything they create, every issue of the Black & BLUE journal aesthetically and thematically unique.

one  fire  city

That being said, as you look at the Black & BLUE catalogue there is an underlying current that links it all. Beckie points out that the issue CITY ended on the lines “you have no idea what you are doing, that you are merely wandering the earth, no particular reason for being there, no particular place to go” (from a piece by Louis Jenkins). The Black & BLUE team felt that this could not be left on a cliffhanger – they had to pick it up in the next issue and “it was only natural the theme of REVOLUTION followed, considering pieces in CITY like Robert Montgomery’s billboards denouncing high capitalism, tweets encapsulating the rise of UKIP… it drew our attention to this shift, this un-settling.”

REVOLUTION is Black & BLUE’s boldest issue to date. To be published on 5th November, the edition features poetry, prose, art and thought that is in itself revolutionary, or is inspired by what is. A dedicated Twitter feed set up during the submissions process gave people a chance to share that exciting experience of reading what revolution means for different people around the world. Beckie talks excitedly about it as “a strong collection of writers” having received phenomenal submissions – the main problem she encountered in the process of making it was finding space in the magazine for it all! “It’s a shame we can’t feature more of it, there’s a huge pool of creative writing out there and it’s so exciting to provide a platform for some of that”.

Turning to the future of Black & BLUE I asked Stewart what we could expect from the publication.

“Much like M20Collective, we’re all for collaboration in all areas of arts – Black & BLUE work with the basis that the more people involved, the more inspired we can be and the more we can accomplish”.

This has already been a key focus for Black & BLUE in 2014: in June they put on a London-based exhibition, Illuminations, showcasing textual forms of art. The success of this project has spurred on hopes for more in the future with a pop-up gallery and other collaborative plans in the pipeline. We can also expect a follow-up to the brilliantly received political pamphlets Black & BLUE released last year and Beckie revealed that the group is “hoping to do a series of lectures”.

For anyone who wants to get involved with Black & BLUE, and we can’t push this opportunity enough, Beckie is eager to find new collaborators and submissions to the Black & BLUE body of work. After all, collaboration “is how the most progressive and beautiful things in life are formed”, she says. The contemporary, collective Black & BLUE way is certainly progressive and a great platform for future developments as yet undiscovered.

Alex Webb

REVOLUTION is A NEW ANTHOLOGY OF REVOLUTIONARY CREATIVE LITERATURE IN SEVEN PARTS: FATHERS| CHILDREN|FUCKERS|WOLVES LIBERTINES MONSTERS|THE DEAD|NO PLACES|PLANTS & FLOWERS. Pre-order now to receive on bonfire night [051114]

Like Black & BLUE on Facebook
Follow them on Twitter
If you want to get involved email them at revolution@blackbluewriting.com
Read some of Beckie’s work in the creative corner…