Bergen & Street Art

Happy Monday-ing (and thank goodness it’s over!) To start the week I thought I’d post some street art – always puts a smile on my face, and makes me keep an eye out for more in the rest of the week!

One of the things I always keep an eye out for (aside from bookshops and libraries!) when I’m in another country is street art, because it’s such a beautiful universal thing which you don’t need to know the language for. Below is some street art which my husband and I found while we were in Bergen, Norway last year, which caught my eye because of some of the messages in the pictures – I think my favourite is the one with a panda and it’s mobile phone though!

Hackney Wick Street Art Galore

I recently had to visit Hackney Wick and was delighted to find myself surrounded by walls and walls of street art in the area. I love that there are so many artist’s works in the area, and that there are so many humorous, satirical and beautiful pieces all over the place. So of course I got a little snap-happy and got to know the area. I spent quite a while wandering around and still don’t think I saw all of the pieces, but I did enjoy exploring!

I’ll let the images speak for themselves below – I love that this is such a colourful area, with plenty of art studios and projects nearby, which is perfect inspiration for any artist : )

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Lumiere London 2016: Lighting up a city

My sister and I were lucky enough to see all the beautiful lights which were set up last week for Lumiere London, one of the country’s biggest light festivals. We managed to see most of the light installations – out of 40 of them we only missed around three or four.

I won’t describe them too much because there were so many, and because the pictures looked amazing – the lights were looked beautiful in the night and there was such a nice atmosphere of tourist and Londoners all out at the same time exploring the different streets with installations.

Mayfair and Bond Street

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Regent Street and Carnaby Street

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Pall Mall and The Strand

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Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square and Westminster

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Kings Cross

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We spent about four hours walking around all over London, but it was great fun and we managed to find spots of London we hadn’t been to before!

You can see more pictures on my sister’s blog, and also on my instagram account too. Did you manage to see any of these?

The 8-Bit Movie Gifs by Dusan Cezak

I love seeing 8-bit interpretations of stuff (like this), so I really like these 8-bit gif by Slovakian animator Dusan Cezek, who took his love of movies and re-drew them as a gifs series called ‘Pixelwood‘. I adore all of these (although my favourite is quite possibly The Avengers one) – the movies are instantly recognisable, despite how concise and simple the gifs are. I really like seeing art like this – it’s cute, clever and shows a mix of two of my favourite things, art and film.

You can see more of Dusan Cezak’s 8-bit comic-themed gifs here and the rest of his work here.

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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissouc01963390b3a97ce9a640fd80355ca46

Nacho Libre5748f5e7cfeb0747586e2a5249e38723

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District 988e03b3c7dfddd3ab9085cbf13692919

Shaun of the Dead628a788fff49f7432351a561d9c529b1

Pulp Fiction777fb9a87154b06c4433515ee841d61a

Evil Deadedbea56254d9f3708b7cb8c2552eb82d

The Avengers8ea467520bbec472737b6aed05912d3e

The Fifth Elementce8476a5750ace5d19811c836fc45a9b

Fight Club293154e83ae32b10b478e85a679839ce

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Superman: True Brit

Superman: True Brit is a silly, tongue-in-cheek satire about what life would have been like for Superman if he landed in Britain instead of the USA to live the American Dream. This book is a part of a series of ‘Elseworld comics which take DC Comics superheroes and takes characters out of their normal settings to theorise their alternative lives (for example, there’s another Superman novel called ‘Red Son’ about Superman landing in Ukraine to become U.S.S.R’s hero!)

Superman: True Brit is more of  a silly, light-hearted version of the story, with puns and plenty of poking of fun at the old British boys – although that’s to be expected with a graphic novel co-authored by the writers from Monty Python! So here’s a quick review-slash-recap of the graphic novel (*be warned, there’s spoilers ahead!*), I enjoyed reading this graphic novel simply because the idea was pretty funny, and it has crossed my mind a few times that Superman may have been a different person in a different country, rather than the all-American boy.

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So we start off with an alien baby landing – in all places – in the heart of the British Empire (or not quite), Weston-super-Mare, where he is found and brought up as Colin Clark; taught to mind his manners, suppress his powers and not scare the farm animals.

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His adoptive parents play their part, satirising middle-class British values (perhaps in the 1900’s, can’t say society is like this today!) with a social-niceties, paranoia about the neighbours and reminders to always wear clean underwear.

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In the meantime, Colin meets his girl-crush, Louisa Layne-Ferret, a Page 3 girl and ambitious journalist (with a convenient resemblance to her American cousin Lois Lane, who we also meet later on!), and has a fe20131117_125344w mishaps at school (such as playing cricket a little too fiercely and impaling a school-fellow with a cricket bat. Oh dear).

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Soon after (and inevitably), Colin is unable to suppress his powers and finds an outlet for them instead – in his alter-ego, Super Man, dressed in disguise to appease his parents while saving the country from disasters.

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Soon however, he is set three challenges by the skeptic public and his less-adoring fans – which of course turn out to be typical British complaints (and also satirical comments about British society!) The first task turns out to be to make trains run on time – Superman solves this by speeding up the trains and introducing the train staff to schedules (“Radical thinking!”)

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The second task turns out to be to reduce waiting times for hip operations, which Superman ‘solves’ by advising surgeons to play less gold and work more. Of course.

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The third and last task is challenging Superman to raise the quality of BBC programmes – which he resolves by scaring BBC executives into less ‘dumbing-down’ of television and more shows for  under-30s age gap.

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Despite all of this, poor Superman falls into more trouble, with the Bat Man out to get him (the previous victim of the cricket bat incident), the editor of the Daily Star out to defame him, and worst of all, his parents trying to run away from the embarrassment of their son being Superman.

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On top of this is the news that the ‘Three Impossible Tasks’ that he apparently succeeded in have had some negative results, meaning that Superman has to pay fines, gets further bad publicity, and his love life is not working out with Louisa quite how he wanted it.

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Eventually though (although slightly predictably, and in a very Monty-Python-ish way!), there’s a happy ending to be had, and Colin Clark reveals himself as Superman to avoid being black-mailed, and urges the public to stop supporting both the Bat-Man and the slimy editor of the Superman-hating newspaper. I loved this comment at the end, where Colin resolves to change his name – to Kent Clark.

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And Superman goes back full circle to say he is emigrating to the US for new opportunities (not before some references to The Rutles and a few digs at British society), changing his British-flag costume for a more recognisable one, complete with a Christopher Reeves-ish hair-curl.

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Overall, this graphic novel was certainly a lot less serious than the other DC comics I have read – and certainly, it’s not meant to be taken seriously. I liked the humour of it, but found it a little clichéd at times when it came to British traditions (I can’t help but wonder whether Americans still view us British at tea-and-crumpets-with-the-Queen types, although I did like the depiction of Queen Elizabeth in wellies and a crown!)

This is certainly something for Superman fans to read, especially if they want to get away from the dark tales that Superman sometimes comes across (and even Batman fans, which has plenty of dark humour and depressing stories!) Although this may not be to everyone’s liking, and some may find this a little patronising, it’s good for a few chuckles, and it certainly gives a good send-up of British media and culture.

Quirky Elephants, Tea Parties and Poodles

These beautiful papers belong to my niece, but I couldn’t help taking a few pictures of them to post because I though they looked amazing. I love the bright quirky drawings, the mix of colours with uncoloured black and white, and the cute characters (like the expression of the owls!)

I think this would make amazing craft paper, for some pretty cards or stationary, or even as inspiration for for anything crafty! Personally, I’d see this as inspiration for for drawing animation and comics (although I’m not sure where cute poodles and owls come into comics, but still!)

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Writing on the Wall: Geometric Art

I have no idea what this is meant to be, but it reminded me of those complicated Maths problems with lots of shapes and angles. (I also love the fact that this is right next to the Inner London Crown Court – nice sight before you go before a judge, hey?)

The colours in this are just lovely, and this image reminds me of a colourful, half-completed origami model. It’s a bit random, I know and probably won’t mean much to a lot of people, but I loved this splash of colour during a working day, not to mention some quirky, foldy abstract art.

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Stik Family Art

Stik art – literally an artist who draws bright, colourful and oversized stick men with a message. I like the simplicity of this artist’s work, and like Banksy, his work is in random places, the artist is elusive, and usually has a message. This is one that I saw of a Stik family in Whitechapel on the corner of a road (next to a dessert place, may I add!), although I don’t think there was a so much of a political message with this one. I was annoyed that it had been spoilt a little with random tags and stickers, although I suppose that’s what happens when it’s street art.

You can see another Stik piece that I saw a while back here on the door of a pub, which I LOVED, although I’m keeping my eyes peeled for more!

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