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Friday 4 December 2009


art for kunst is an exciting new project, offering highly collectible and functional art pieces from established UK street and graffiti artists and the freshest new talent - Aida, Dora, Mac1, Juice 126, Dscreet, Faith47, Plimsoul and Zoot - all at affordable prices!

They will be bringing you a range of fabulous art throughout the year from both our website and at various pop- up market stalls across London. Having launched on 26th of November at The Old Truman Brewery’s ‘All I Want for Christmas’ market.

They will be selling 10 designs in special edition, limited run (50 per design) gift packs comprising an artist T-shirt (S, M, L or XL) and an A6 framed print. Each gift pack retails at £60.

The stall will be open from Thursday to Sunday for four weeks in the run up to Christmas:
· Thurs 5pm - 9pm
· Fri 12pm - 6pm
· Sat 10am - 6pm
· Sun 10am - 6pm (Final day de-rig 6pm - 7pm)

For more information - www.artforkunst.com

Aesthetica has teamed up with Art for Kunst to offer you an early Christmas Treat!

To win a Gift Pack (worth £60) – answer the following question: “What is the name of the artist whose work features on the current cover of Aesthetica Magazine?” Answers will be accepted for 24 hours. Please email Alexis at office@aestheticamagazine.com with “Gift Pack” in the subject line and your answer.

Image (c)Aida

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Club Brenda at Urbis

This evening, to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the award-winning Manchester club night, Club Brenda, Urbis is hosting a book launch of limited edition book, Strange Trees. Strange Trees is a unique concept and has been produced by Jayne Compton, the founder of Club Brenda, in collaboration with Northern Art Prize finalist, Rachel Goodyear, among other artists. The book takes the reader through the history of Club Brenda, using a series of classic narratives to form a dark urban fairytale, alongside a series of commissioned photography and artwork.

The launch will take place at Urbis, Manchester’s exhibition centre for contemporary culture in Cathedral Gardens, on Tuesday 1st December 2009 from 7:00pm – 10:00pm. The free event will include live bands from Jayne’s Switchflicker Records label, as well as a selection of DJs. There will also be the opportunity to purchase exclusive, limited edition artworks by Strange Trees contributing artists plus a free cocktail for the first guests through the doors so get yourselves to Manchester!

I caught up with Jayne Compton to chat about Club Brenda, Switchflicker Records and Strange Trees:

What inspired you to start Club Brenda?
Club Brenda began back in the 20th century – 1999 to be precise, after a drunken conversation between myself and the performance poet, Chloe Poems. We were on the night train back from Cream in Liverpool. We wanted to start a club that combined bands, poetry, performance art and a deliberately eclectic music policy. A place where Divine David and Chloe Poems could perform alongside lo fi bands and other performers.

How do you think Club Brenda has evolved over the past decade?
Its reputation has grown, it has launched some big Manchester bands like The Ting Tings yet it still feels underground. It’s minimally promoted and succeeds due to word-of-mouth from its misfit crowd. It is a genuinely uncompromising underground art-punk happening in the mould of Exploding Plastic Inevitable, Rabid at the Squat or Don Letts at The Roxy. The punters are as important as the acts. So is the feeling that everyone knows each other.

What is the concept behind Strange Trees and how did it come about?
Strange Trees is the visualization of Brenda – we had lots of artists and bands involved in Brenda who lurked in the shadows of the city, a book would be an additional format to showcase their work.

How did you decide what elements of Club Brenda’s history to include in Strange Trees?
We split the book into two parts, it opens with a series of classic narratives to form a dark urban fairytale, Instead of Jack and the Giant, we have Dirty Honky, turning vaudeville tricks for magic beans. Savage Wolf prowls through the ever-changing forest but isn’t quite the predator we expect, and the same goes for Holly Gore, who some like to call the witch… in the strange forest of Club Brenda, no one remains what they were…The second part is a series of commissioned photography, posters and artwork.

How did Club Brenda lead to the creation of Switchflicker Records?
When we started at the Star & Garter, People would just grab the mike and recite poetry. Anything could happen. Performers like Chloe Poems, Tracy Elizabeth, Fiona Bowker and Veba all contributed. This inspired myself and electronic artist, Mildmanjan to start Switchflicker records, we wanted to capture the best of these moments on limited seven inches. The first was Mildmanjan featuring Mark E Smith with Tracey Elizabeth and Veba on the flip.

Manchester has a great history of music and club nights; how much influence has the city and its history had on you and your projects?
Brenda was inspired by Hulme’s after-hours shebeen ‘party’ scene. When all the various clubs closed, the after party would continue in Hulme until the early hours of the morning. Brenda came from this same spirit - just people coming together to party in spite of their musical or cultural differences. The vibe was ‘lay down your weapons; have a good time’.

Club Brenda blends music, art, poetry and performance. How do you feel that these inform one another and how has this diversity added to the atmosphere of the club night?
It all adds to the atmosphere because no one is ever sure what to expect.

What do you hope for Club Brenda in the future?
To find more new spaces in Manchester to host it, to work with performers from further a field as well as local artists and to take Brenda’s club format to the theatre.

Stellar Network Re-launches

Have you ever wondered why people in the creative industries sometimes behave like teenagers at a school disco? We usually stick with what we know, as a rule of thumb that sort of defines the human being. Well, well, along comes Stellar Network, who work across the theatre, film, television and digital media industries. The Network is designed for directors, writers, actors and producers to meet and collaborate. That’s very much in the vein of Aesthetica, we too believe that the arts are interdisciplinary, and when we start to collaborate, that’s when moments of serendipity and innovation occur.

On 5th November, Stellar Network, led by Sam Howey Nunn, re-launched with its new aims and objectives. These include: bridging the gap between the many talented mid level individuals in the industry and the decision makers at the top. And with Patrons including Sir David Hare and Alan Rickman and an advisory Board that includes Marc Boothe, Peter Kosminsky, Jane Wright and Hannah Minghella, Stellar Network certainly has the support of established professionals to ensure those in the Stellar community achieve their ambitions. The next 4 weeks will see a variety of new activities, including last night's ‘Off The Record’, a talk and Q&A with David Lan, Artistic Director of the Young Vic, which attracted over 60 delegates. Next up is Pitch Up! co-produced with Channel 4 and a panel of industry execs (including ITV Drama commissioner Benjamin McGrath) to provide a platform for people to pitch their great TV ideas.

Jane Wright, Managing Director, BBC Films and a Stellar Network Board Member said: “A growing number of multimedia projects, greater movement of creative people between the industries, and the opportunities afforded by digital media represent the increasing integration that is driving the need for a network like this. The Stellar community members will be supporting each other to sustain their creative careers in this fast changing arts and media landscape. I am delighted to be involved with such a forward-thinking organisation.”

For more details on membership and to attend a Stellar event visit:

Gregory Nash at The Point 9.09 photo by Janice Bruce

Monday 30 November 2009

Aesthetica's December - January Issue Out Now

Exploring the creative zeitgeist, Aesthetica editorial is engaging and offers new perspectives on contemporary arts, looking at the art in relation to the social, political and economic.

Issue 32 of Aesthetica explores many of these topics; from the V&A’s major exhibition Decode: Digital Design Sensations looking at how raw code can be used to create art. Also a follow-up on the Lyon Biennale looking at Hou Hanru’s has curated The Spectacle of the Everyday. Barbara Kruger’s retrospective, Paste Up opens in London, which provides a timely reappraisal of her early works and wry social commentary of vast consumerism and the making of identities. Finally, a look the imagination of Tim Burton, a show at MoMA showing over 700 images of the filmmaker’s work, exploring the cross-pollination of art forms.

In film a chat with, Yojiro Takita on his Oscar-winning film Departures, a tender look at the universality of the human condition. The Brothers McLeod share their hints and tips in a practical two-part series providing a step-by-step guide to becoming an animator. As well as a Q&A session with film programmer, Philip Ilson about this year’s London Short Film Festival. In theatre an exclusive preview of I am Yusuf and This Is My Brother, opening at the Young Vic this winter, looks at the personal vs. the political.

While in music, an examination into the creative strategies that bands employ to get ahead today, and a catch up with A.A. Bondy on his new album. And to conclude, a chat with Simon Robson and an extract from the fantastic new book Diamond Star Halo by Tiffany Murray. With all the best exhibitions, productions, music and new releases of the coming months, Aesthetica considers the creative exploration of today’s most exciting artists.

Christmas Gift Subscriptions Are Now Available

Also available, the Aesthetica Creative Works Annual

Championing new talent in the genres of visual arts, photography, poetry and fiction, the Aesthetica Annual is a publication, which will stir your imagination.

Whether you're a budding poet, superb sculptor, storyteller or an arts enthusiast, the Aesthetica Annual provides a platform to gather inspiration and to get those creative juices flowing.

The Aesthetica Annual reflects art's greatest power: to comment, debate and analyse the times in which we live. Inside this collection there are 96 artists and writers that span nationality and age, offering a true insight into the creative zeitgeist of our times.

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