Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Semiconductor

One of many highlights of Arrivals was the commissioning of Time out of Place a film by Semiconductor (aka Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt)

The Kings Cross area in London is rapidly transforming, creating a city in flux. Semiconductor captured this moment in human history by documenting the day to day happenings in a short moving image work. The linear nature of time makes us have a very fixed experience of it; constantly stuck in the present. To break free from these constraints Semiconductor devised a process where by we see the past present and future simultaneously. This act of seeing time reveals a different visual landscape then we are accustomed to, as multiple patterns of motion emerge to reveal a new rhythm to the city. Bearing witness to these events we perceive a place in transition, beyond our everyday experiences

The film premiered at the Arrivals opening party at the Big Chill House and could be viewed there over the whole festival. It then received a cinema screening with other artists films by Andrew Cross and Minnie Weisz at the new cinema in Birkbeck College : a lovely intimate space to watch films with great sound and visual projection.

Time out of Place rewards repeated viewing as different things are revealed every time. Do you remember the souls streaming from bodies in Donnie Darko? Semiconductor create a very similar effect beautifully and it transforms ordinary commuter and passers-by into ethereal beings, and another world is fashioned from the King's Cross rush hour...
http://www.semiconductorfilms.com/root/TimeOutOfPlace/TOOP.htm

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Takeaway Shows


Fancy being an extra in a unique music video ?!


Julie Tippex Productions present the British premiere of Takeaway Shows - a French live podcast project that has featured Arcade Fire & The Shins, filming musicians performing in unusual, urban environments in single shots which can then be downloaded. For this special Arrivals edition filmed by la Blogotheque, Take-Away Shows invites a diverse and eclectic range of French and British talent to perform impromptu sets around Paris and London: Serafina Steer (harp, London), former This Heat member Charles Hayward (percussions, London) and Neman (drums, Paris) and Etienne Jaumet (Paris).


Further information3.30-5pm St Pancras International and Kings Cross, London
For more information visit
Julie Tippex's site or Arrivals2007.org.uk

ETA - this weekend


ETA is a huge celebration to mark the end of Arrivals. Join the parade this weekend and find out what's at the end of the magical mystery tour.
Meet at Battlebridge Road, at 7pm, (parade leaves @ 7.30).

Friday, 16 November 2007

L'Arrivee at St. Pancras - Saturday 17th Nov 2-5pm


Been down to the station yet? Seen the amazing Barlow shed? Marvelled at the beautiful replica clock? Yes, it's all very interesting, but you ain't seen nothing yet. Come down tomorrow for when the real fun starts with L'Arrivee...

To whet your appetite, in front of your very eyes, culinary gypsy band Taraf Goulamas will prepare a dish of snails in their portable kitchen, without even stopping the music! Catch the hilarious antics of award winning French Compagnie Joe Sature et les joyeux osselets presenting the UK premiere of “Out Of Service” a glimpse into the world of silver service waiters, choreographed with style and panache. Watch world famous illustrator Quentin Blake create a large scale drawing exploring the world of travel with assistance from the audience. And step, if you dare, into the barber’s chair and get a make over from Spanish hair art company Osadia who will be creating magnificent sculptures to drive away bad hair days!


Plus music from18 piece orchestra La Fanfare Jo Bithume - a cross between a philharmonic orchestra and a Dixieland jazz Band!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Community Lens - part of Arrivals

Camden Arts and Film takes great pleasure in inviting you to the premiere screening of films made by budding filmmakers from Islington and Camden communities around the themes of identity and the changing environment of King's Cross St Pancras. For more information about the event and to book a place contact the Arts and Tourism Team.
Email: Arts.Tourism@camden.gov.uk
Free – 11:00 am, 17th November 2007
The Renoir Cinema, The Brunswick
Closest underground Russell Square and King's Cross St Pancas

Without Limits films
A collaborative project between the London Boroughs of Camden& Islington and Film London Borough Challenge Fund. Local young people are assisted in making their film by professionals from Guardian Films and Sci TV.RKX A short film on the theme of Arrivals and young people's hopes for the future of their home - King's Cross St Pancras. Produced byThe Place and directed by dance filmmaker Michelle Kettle. History KX A short film created by young people with Shake Ur Arts in partnership with Somers Town-based youth music facility The Shed.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

New Art Club - The Visible Men


New Art Club
The Visible Men
29th October at The Place


'Close'……………... 'Open' the instructions given to the packed audience at various intervals during the performance last night at The Place. The audience were given the rules of the game at the start of the show, on hearing the word 'close' the audience were to close their eyes and on hearing the word 'open' they were to open them again. An ingenious idea from Pete Shenton and Tom Roden who create the winning partnership called New Art Club. The Visible Men is developed from the original idea for New Art Club's 2004 Place Prize piece The Short Still Show which involved strategically placed blackouts. The essence of the idea remained, the importance of the invisible, the things we cannot see, but are none the less essential elements of a dance performance. This was a fascinating look at the unseen in performance, while breaking a few fundamental laws of physics, and revealing our true colours in the process.

When asked by Pete who had ‘cheated’ and opened their eyes, the vast majority of the audience admitted to this, including me. I had the desire to see the invisible but upon seeing it, much like a card trick explained, the magic disappeared. I therefore decided to revert back to ignorance, which for this game was bliss. There were moments where I opened my eyes and thought ‘how did he get there?’ Of course you assume that Pete or Tom had run across the stage while your eyes were closed, but without witnessing this, how did you know?

As ever New Art Club’s brand of dance philosophy was humorous yet thought provoking. I left the performance with aching eyelids, a smile on my face, and many questions. Another triumph for New Art Club!

Friday, 19 October 2007

Arrivals Fringe - call for submissions

If you haven't heard of Arrivals yet, where have you been hiding? It's a fantastic programme of events to celebrate the opening of St Pancras International and the new Eurostar terminal. There's a whole lot on the regular programme already - check out the Arrivals website - but the team are now looking for other great projects for the fringe programme:

UNDERCOVER: The official Arrivals fringe programme

www.arrivals2007.org.uk

The Arrivals programme of events, running from 14th-25th November 2007, celebrates the opening of St Pancras International and the arrival of the first Eurostar train.

It’s the beginning of a new era not just for St Pancras but for one of central London’s most vibrant areas, a place of transformation, regeneration and change. This is an opportunity to venture into the unknown, explore the eclectic range of artists, venues and hidden gems that make Kings Cross St Pancras so unique!

The Arrivals website is now ready and waiting to showcase your events on Undercover, the official Arrivals ‘OFF’ programme. Whether you have an exhibition, a gig, a club night or play, we’re interested in hearing from you.

Fringe events must
- fall within the duration of Arrivals’ event programme – 14-25th November,
- be located within the King’s Cross locale, and
- take some inspiration from Arrivals’ themes of meetings, journeys, change and community

If you have an event which you would like to submit for consideration, you will need to provide following information
· summary of the event (no more than 100 words)
· location (street address with post code)
· date of event
· time of event
· ticket price and box office information, if relevant
· contact email and phone number

All submissions should be sent to Arrivals Production Coordinator, Claire Horan:
claire@createkx.org.uk

Deadline for all submissions will be 9th November 2007

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

The Bloomsbury Festival


This weekend hosts the second year of the Bloomsbury Festival, which takes place in (and outside) various venues around Bloomsbury. There's loads going on and I plan to be there, camera in hand, to prove it. Here's a bit from the website, to give you an idea of what the festival is about:
The three day programme will be drawn from leading national organisations, museums and galleries, and individual artists, designers and creatives located in the area, as well as a number of responses to the area from practitioners invited into it.

The festival will be open to everyone and the majority of activities within the programme are free.

With almost all its events and courses free, and funded entirely by local sponsorship, the Bloomsbury Festival aims to create a local network that is cross-disciplinary, and celebrates every aspect of life in this unique neighbourhood.
Check out the website for full listings, and to download your own brochure.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

New Architecture for the X

I recently went to the opening of the exhibition for King's Cross Charette, at NLA - New London Architecture. The exhibition was the culmination of a one-day design exercise for 20 young architectural practices, challenged by Argent to come up with an innovative design for a King's Cross Central site. They were given a wedge-shaped site adjoining the railway lines and given just seven hours to come up with an urban-design solution.

The resulting exhibition is a rough and ready colourful array of ideas and concepts - on card and paper. One of the participating offices likened it to 'an intellectual Scrapheap Challenge'. It was fascinating stuff - It would have been even more exciting if the winning paper design could have been offered the opportunity to be built in bricks and mortar. Instead this was healthy competition for the sake of it.

The exhibition is open til 29th September, and I would urge you to go along to it. However, even if you are busy for the next consecutive 16 days, it's still worthwhile making the journey to NLA at any time. They have a rolling programme of compelling exhibitions, not to mention a huge model of Central London which had me enthralled for a good 20 minutes. And not just because I like the cute model trees!

Monday, 20 August 2007

Shuffle @ Finsbury Town Hall


On Saturday I went to Finsbury Town Hall to see a very interesting, and unique performance by a group of musicians collaborating with Christian Marclay. It was a celebration to launch the publication of his new work, Shuffle.

Shuffle involved a large group of graphic designers sourcing and photographing images on written music from around the work, and culminated in Saturday's launch performance which used these notes in order to create a new and totally random piece of music. I use the word music in a loose way. Really the effect was a very peculiar, and loud, and enduring, cacophany of noise. When trumpet, double-bass, piano, trombone, theramin, flute and more conjoin in a gallimaufry of noise, the effect is quite striking. Especially to the ear drum. As the performance continued, and the musical cards were shuffled and swapped, my interest was drawn to the actual audience: Was this an experiment in viewing capacity and audience behaviour rather than music? One woman was doing her hair, another was playing with her mobile, but most of the remainder were - although slightly fidgety - attempting to look (or perhaps they really were) enthralled by the piece.

My non-artsy boyfriend (brought along under forbearance) was not so difficult to read: He found the experience quite hilarious for the first 5 minutes, and then utterly tedious for the remaining 55. And I have to admit that - spontaneously unique and exciting as it was - we all made our escape in the interval between the 1st and 2nd set. I do wonder how many people made it back out of the bar and into the theatre for the remaining hour...

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

TranSylvania @ The Renoir Cinema


TranSylvania, a film distributed by locally based Peccadillo Pictures Ltd, opens this Friday at the Renoir Cinema in the Brunswick Centre. I'm totally sold on the blurb and director's intro, below, so plan to be there at the ready with my bucket of popcorn and dancing shoes!

And I thought I'd include a couple of Brunswick pics (curtesy of the Brunswick Centre), just in case you've been on a desert island and haven't seen it since the grand facelift...

After her lover is deported to his home country of Romania, Zingarina flees France with her friend Marie in order to find him. During a surrealistic pagan festival devoted to Herod in a small Romanian town, Zingarina is finally reunited with the man she loves. However, nothing is as it seems amidst the confetti and revelry. In the madness, the noise, the music and the inebriation of the celebrations, she learns that she is alone in the world. With no bearings, no mooring, she cuts herself loose from all connections and propels herself headlong into the Transylvanian countryside, to the very edge of sanity and back, and meets a man on her journey who, also without borders nor house, decides to give Zingarina a home.

A Word from the Director – Tony Gatlif
Ever since I was a child, chance has often made me a spectator of events tied to exodus, political, economic and racial expropriation. I’ve seen families forced to leave their land and their countries in haste: the departure of the Pieds Noirs from Algeria, Algerian immigrants, Gypsies from Jaen in Andalucia or from Adriani in Transylvania after the progrom in their village.
During a recent trip to Transylvania I, once again, witnessed the pain of expropriation and exodus in the peaceful ancestral village of Rosia Montana. Western engineers and geologists had discovered a gold mine under the village and immediately a company, directed by foreign capital, despoiled the inhabitants of the village, buying the houses through preemption and leaving the occupants homeless.

In writing this script about a young Romanian musician who had emigrated to France, I was inspired by real events. The story was of Florin who, only through his talent as a violinist, was able to keep his family alive. Before long, however, Florin was torn away from the young Frenchwoman whom he loved in Paris and found himself expelled from the country.
The love story of the prodigious violinist Florin fused with the story of Rosia Montana and its cursed gold mine to inspire the script for my new film, TRANSYLVANIA.

“AN EXTENDED EXPLORATION OF ROMANY GYPSY CULTURE AND MUSIC… BE READY TO DANCE” DAZED & CONFUSED

“IF YOU ONLY SEE ONE INTERNATIONAL FILM THIS YEAR, TRANSYLVANIA SHOULD BE IT”MYVILLAGE.COM LONDON






Friday, 27 July 2007

Internship Position @ CreateKX

Intern: Events

Our Events Internship will provide practical training and experience in programming and coordinating a diverse range of events: Skills and business development seminars, creative networking events, high profile advocacy events and creative showcasing. This position is ideal for people interested in event development and management, particularly within the creative and cultural sector.

Key areas of responsibility

• Assist with planning, coordinating and implementing events; including skills development workshops, seminars, networking events, and events within the CreateKX remit of the Arrivals programme

• Assist with monitoring and evaluation of events

• Provide clerical and office support, including mailings, copying, telephone, and collating materials in support of the events programme.

• Updating Website

• Researching and assisting the creation and distribution of the CreateKX newsletter

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Experience and a proven track record in

• General administration

• Skills in Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, Powerpoint & Outlook. Website editing experience (desirable)

• Events co-ordination experience (desirable)

Knowledge/Skills/Attributes

• Excellent communication skills, speaking and written

• Self-motivated, with a practical, hands-on ”can do” approach

• Commitment to equality and diversity

• Interest in regeneration and the creative economy

• Interest in the creative and cultural sector in London

Term of appointment: 3 months, at 2 days per week – to start early September. Please note that, due to the nature of event work, you will also be required to work a number of evenings.
Salary: We offer no salary for this post, although lunch and travel expenses (zones 1-4) will be covered.
Location: CreateKX, the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB

How to apply

Applications should be sent by e-mail to sian.james@bl.uk, or in hard copy to the above address, attaching a c.v. and letter of application explaining how you meet the requirements of the job.

Closing date: Thursday 9th August 2007
.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Picture perfect

The CreateKX website is currently being redeveloped by the genius minds at Atticmedia. I've had a sneak preview, and it looks pretty impressive already. Our designer, Pete is after images of KX city/landscapes to incoporate into the sight. Has anyone got suggestions of places to snap, or heights to get a great view of the area from?

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

A county fair and a bit of history







The KX County Fair was lots of fun...
on a day when the rain stayed away and the sun shone. I took my 21 year old cousin along, who was less interested unfortunately - although she was temporarily distracted by a delicious cream puff from the Chinese food stall. We were also both very impressed with the Coram Fields' goat, who was quite undisturbed by the variety of bands and MCs on the nearby sound system.

Last night I was back in the same area, visiting the new exhibition at the Foundling Museum. The museum commemorates the first hospital established for abandoned children. Foundling Lives. The exhibition explores the lives of children who were cared for by the hospital over several generations. To make the exhibition all the more personal, I met a very interesting gentleman called Ted who was a foundling graduate himself. His story, and those of the other children exhibited on the walls, illustrated how attitudes to child welfare have changed over time. I'd recommend a trip down to the Foundling - it was also London's first public art gallery, and offers a wealth of British art including Hogarth, Gainsborough and Reynolds, as well as a fascinating insight into Britain's social history.

Friday, 13 July 2007

COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION

Cross Section Magazine and CiF have launched a competition to co-incide with the Arrivals festival and the opening of St. Pancras International. Read on for more info:


PICTURE THIS
postcard competition

An invitation to everyone living, working and studying in the King’s Cross neighbourhood (Camden or Islington) to design a postcard portraying

KING’S CROSS / ST PANCRAS
PAST, PRESENT, OR FUTURE


Cross Section Magazine and Communities in Focus are hosting the competition as part of ‘Arrivals‘, an exciting events programme taking place in November to celebrate the opening of St Pancras International Station and the arrival of Eurostar.

We are looking for high quality and imaginative entries in any 2D format i.e. photography, painting, drawing, printmaking, digital media, or cartoon.

Eight designs will be selected by a panel of arts professionals including the artist Richard Wentworth and the director of Camden Art Centre Jenni Lomax. These will then be reproduced as high quality postcards, presented together within a specially designed folder … yours could be one of them! 2,500 commemorative packs will be produced for distribution, and an exhibition displaying the eight winning designs alongside other selected artworks will take place during the Arrivals event.

SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Artwork/photographs should be no larger than A4
Digital images will need to be CMYK, submitted as 300dpi tiff or jpeg files
In addition to the artwork please send in a title for your design, and a short statement about you and your relationship with the King’s Cross / St Pancras area

DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES IS MONDAY AUGUST 27TH 2007

Please send entries marked ‘Picture This’ to Cross Section, 80 Cromer Street, London WC1H 8DR. Enclose an SAE if you wish us to return your original artwork


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

tel: 020 7812 1444
email:
catherine@cross-section.org

‘Arrivals’ is produced by Create KX in association with St Pancras International.
‘Picture This’ is funded by Create KX and London Borough of Camden




Sex, Murder and a County Fair in KX

I took advantage of the flukey non-raining weather and walked up to Sadler's Wells on Wednesday to see The Car Man. I took a really nice route past Corams Fields, then Goodenough College and Dickens' House on Calthorpe Road - I felt cultured by osmosis even before I got to the theatre.

The ballet itself was excellent: Very beautiful, but also totally gripping in places - with images of bloody violence spliced with passion and sex. And my boyfriend didn't fall asleep, which is always a great compliment to the performance.
Taking a walk past Coram's Fields reminded me that this is the weekend of the King's Cross County Show, taking place on Saturday from 12-5pm. I can't find a website with listings, so I guess I'll just have to pop down and check it out for myself!

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

we love local

While I'm on the subject of keeping it local, I must introduce my new obsession: www.welovelocal.com. As everyone in King's Cross knows, this is an area with a whole wealth of great places waiting to be discovered. Our friends at eMomentum, who helped CreateKX go live with their website a few years back, have launched an excellent 'local service reviewing/ social networking + more' site. It's pan-London, but I'm going to concentrate on reviewing services in this area, so I can treat myself to lots of exhibitions, food, wine and shopping all out of selfless love for KX. I wonder if I can expense it....

Evenings Out


At the weekend I ventured up to the Cross Kings for a bit of light entertainment: A friend of a friend of a friend was playing a gig in this relaxed and intimate venue. I felt no guilt as I sipped on my 3rd (ok 4th) alcoholic beverage, knowing this was providing real support to a local independent King's Cross institution.

While I was there I discovered that they hold a whole series of events, from theatre and music to art and performance poetry. Tomorrow, Wednesday 11th, there is: Le Salon des Abandonées hosted by the Hanging Gardener of Babylon
Described as ' abandoned people, performance poetry, music , salacious undertakings, Virtue, Terror, difference, entertainment like no other. Surrender to abandon for an evening.'

Unfortunately I'll be otherwise engaged tomorrow - for reasons I will disclose in a minute (I know all about literary suspense), but I will be following their future calendar of events with interest. I enjoyed my night at the Cross Kings so much that I never made it to the Cally Festival the following afternoon. Let's just say I got a bit overenthusiastic in my support of local, independent institutions. I really regret not getting there as it promised to be a great community celebration - in the sunshine no less. If anyone out there did make it down, please do let me know how it went.

When I undertake the gargantuan task of composing the monthly CreateKX newsletter, I also have the difficult task of choosing the events to which I can go. One of the easiest selections this month was The Car Man - Matthew Bourne's interpretation of the classic Bizet opera Carmen. It's playing at Sadler's Wells over the next few weeks, and I am eagerly awaiting tomorrow night's performance, which I have tickets for. I'll give you a full round-up on Thursday.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Getting to the Heart of It


Ok - save the best til last thing on a Friday. Or a case of blogcrastination. Either way, I'm back online to add a few thoughts to what I missed over the past few weeks.


On the 15th June CreateKX organised a walk of King's Cross - Getting to the Heart of KX - led by oral historian extraordinaire, Alan Dein. I was hoping to be able to provide the blog with a podcast of the tour, but technology being ever contrary, photographs will have to suffice.
After meeting at the British Library forecourt, Alan took the group on a
whirlwind tour of the cross, stopping off at KX station, St. Pancras Old Church, the German Gymnasium - which surprisingly was a German Gymnasium in its original carnation, St Pancras Old Church and the Hardy Tree.
There were about 30 people on that tour, so if anyone of you is reading this - I'd be obliged if you could take me on a re-run.
While on the subject of KX's heart, Will Perrin, of King's Cross Environment blog has recently set up an 'I Love King's Cross' facebook account. It's already got quite a few members, and it's proving to be a great source for KX chat and information. Come on - join in like the rest of the world with facebook mania.


Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Great Stuff!

Thank you so much, Lauren for your fantastic posts.

After 2 weeks away from the 'hood, yours was a much more welcome back to King's Cross than my crammed in-tray.

Once I've ploughed through my inbox I promise to post a much more interesting entry. But for now - thanks again Lauren; I hope you'll agree to come back for another KX visit sometime soon!

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Wellcome Collection: The Heart

Wellcome Collection
183 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE

Distance from Kings Cross Station:
approx 1.6 kms or 1 mile.

Distance from Euston Station:
approx 400 metres or 1/4 mile.



Well, after many moons of being veiled behind closed doors, the Wellcome Collection is open, after refurbishment. And according to this resident artist, it is definitely well-worth the wait.

As far as the actual building goes, I didn't get much of a chance to really get indepth with the whole place, but it seemed to be very accessible and just as easy to spend half a lifetime in there as it is to zip in an out for a quick peek. Even the toilets are cool! And believe me, this matters.


Wittgenstein writings on the wall, above the mirrors in the ladies loo. i got busted by someone taking this and did the worst job at acting cool about the whole thing.



There has been heaps about the new exhibition written in the dead tree press, which is great for the Collection, the area and cultural tourism in London. Not so great for comparisons to this teensy post.

This exhibition has planted itself firmly in contemporary curatorial practice in its wholistic approach to the theme. The broadness of the theme could have been the death of it, but the show manages to have a perfect mix of general and specific. The show is a compilation of 2D, 3D, moving and sound works, which I think is vital in creating an all-encompasing experience for audiences. The musical responses to the heart (mostly about broken ones, actually) gave me a little tickle of joy and, combined with the heartbeak soundtrack of a healthy heart vs mitral regurgitation, I was able to really soak up the atmosphere of investigating the heart.


sketchings from the heart. note the poxy sketch of the heart seats you sit on to listen to 1+1=1



There was a great mix of historical and contemporary, anatomical and symbolic, objective and subjective. There was also a nice balance of the icky and the not-so-icky. I had to accept that while I could totally enjoy Jordan Baseman's 1+1=1 sound work about heart and lung transplant recipient, I couldn't do his Under the Blood video of open heart surgery. I was just too squeamish. Although, strangely, I loved the gory (but not quite so realistic) images by Ana Mendieta and Raymond Pettibon (c'mon, who doesn't love Raymond), which centred around using anatomical images of the heart, blood, veins to convey the pain and intensity of love.

Curators Emily Jo Sargent and James Peto have done a fantastic job of bringing art and research together for the purpose of enlightenment and understanding, without being too patronising or too high-falutin'.



Ms CreateKX is back tomorrow after a fantastic holiday, so that's it from me as your resident gal-about-town.
Thanks to the galleries, museums and architectural edifices of Kings Cross for having me. I might pop in every now and again to say hello (if Ms CreateKX lets me) and make sure you continue to go and support your local creative output. It's good for the soul.

Lauren

Friday, 22 June 2007

a few things to check out

Will, from over at Kings Cross Environment, has directed me to a community art project happening on Caledonian Rd:

'While controversy rages about some young people destroying the Bemerton Estate London N1, other young people have taken up the challenge, in a very tough climate, of reversing the negative connotation of the label “Hoodies.” Young people at the CYP ArtFlat have been working on sculpture which demonstrates their activities and interests.

The aim of the work is to challenge the Hoodie stereotype and to show that it is possible for a young person to wear a hood and still aspire to succeed, find their voice, and want to be taken seriously.'

Through the ArtFlat Window
First Exhibition by the CYP ArtFlat at Cally334

Opens Wed 27 June,
6.30- 8pm

and continues thru 27July 2007, Mon- Fri 10am-5pm
see http://www.kingscrossenvironment.com for more details.

and then, of course there is the big re-opening of the Wellcome Collection:

"Something new will happen in Wellcome Collection every week from 21 June. Events vary from intimate discussions about issues such as organ donation, to provocative debates about religion and medicine and live shows from leading British performance artists.

Most events are free and take place in our dedicated events space, the Forum, on the first floor. Look out for occasional large-scale thematic events that make the most of the whole building."

more info at http://www.wellcomecollection.org"


I'm hoping to check out both of these later this week, but I encourage you guys to get along too!

Gagosian Gallery: Jeff Koons

Gagosian Gallery
24 Brittania St
London, WC1X 9JD

Distance from Kings Cross Station:
approx 800 metres or 1/2 mile.

Right around the corner from the Thameslink end of Kings Cross station, on Brittania St lives the Gagosian. A name well known in the international art world, hailing from across the Atlantic in New York and bringing London some great works. At the moment, Jeff Koons, king of post-modern is exhibiting works in a series called Hulk Elvis.

The other day I spoke about the mash-up of Kings Cross architecture. Well this exhibition reflects that mash-up well. There are about 20 huge paintings which are a compilation of modern imagery. Amongst the whole show the paintings featured, in some way or another a mix of:

blow-up kids toys,
reversed screen prints of Andy Warhol's Elvis,
tracings of Popeye (which tie-in nicely to the sculpture show in their other London Gallery),
loads of dot screens (the modern alphabet, really)
outlines japanese drawings
a frequency curve
trees/traditional landscape
a drawing that may or may not have been a picture of girls' bits (i'm not sure how appropriate the v*word is here)
and loads of colour.

If the works could be any more garish, they would be. In fact, aspects of it reminded me of images of graffiti, the overworking of image upon image that happens when one artists throws a piece over the next and it all becomes one image.

I ordinarily am not that into Koons' work - I can kind of take it or leave it, but I did really enjoy checking out the show, putting it all in context with other artworks and to be inspired by seeing such bold statements on such an enormous scale.
And whether you're 'into it' or not, if you're a creative type and especially if you live in the area, do go and check out the work, it's fantastic.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Architecture in 'the Cross'

*I spent 13 years living and working in Sydney. We've got a Kings Cross there too and believe me, it's not nearly as cool as the one that's in London. We call our 'the Cross'.. in that funny way that Australian's shorten and define everything.







I apologise for the lapse last week. It has been a very busy week, going to Swan Lake at Royal Albert Hall and Interesting 2007 at Conway Hall. Neither really within the bounds of Kings Cross (but if you're into creative stuff, you should check them out anyway).





So, today, when visiting one of the galleries in the area (which I'll post about tomorrow), I decided to check out the architecture in the area. Architecture is the large-scale way in which we, as humans, identify our area to everyone else. We have a close, yet distance relationship with architecture and the more we engage with it, the more intimate we are with our area. Oddly, the more graffiti there is, the more creative craving there is and subsequently, a fantastic resource for dynamic creation.




Today, as I wandered around just a small area near Kings Cross/St Pancras Station, there was such a hodge podge of architectural styles, with more development happening all over the place. I think this signifies the real mash-up of the area, which is really exciting, although I can imagine difficult to really get a handle on. [In fact the show I went to is a perfect match for the area, given that]



I saw the highly utilitarian design (but oh, so beautifully coloured) of the estate, the amazing grandeur of the developing St Pancras (and the station) and everything in between.



In fact, when I was at the Building Centre on Store St last week, I noticed that Kings Cross is targeted for a whole bunch of revitalisation, shopping areas and development. This will be interesting to keep an eye on, especially as some of the city's great design firms are getting on board.





I think the key will actually be to take into account this mashup of current styles and either try to bring something consistent to them, or to take advantage of the diversity and range of identity and keep going on that trajectory.

And don't forget - The Wellcome Trust opens this week.. I'll be checking it, so don't forget to do the same!!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Doing it for the kids


William Hogarth, Moses before Pharaoh's Daughter from 1746
Courtesy of the Foundling Museum.


Foundling Museum
40 Brunswick Sq
London, WC1N 1AZ

Distance from Kings Cross Station:
approx 800 metres or 1/2 mile.


In trying to source out some cool places "within 2kms radius of Kings Cross Station" (which is the definition of Kings Cross I've been given), I discovered the Foundling Museum and it's amazing! It comes with an array of very impressive credentials:

*Britain's first public art gallery to exhibit British artists,
*Its first governor was none other than William Hogarth
*Britain's first model for 'philanthropic charity' i.e runs on private funds.
*Houses a stack of Hogarths and other amazing historical works, including portraits of Thomas Coram and Hendel.

A 'hospital' that looked after, housed, raised and educated the city's abandoned children, Foundling Hospital was started in the early 18th Century and while parts of it are 1930s replica, the Museum is a shrine to a century of children's charity, which only moved out of London last century.

The highlight of the visit for me was the Court Room and Hogarth's Moses before Pharaoh's Daughter from 1746. A grand painting slightly in the vein of the History Painting, but reflecting the nature of the Hospital's charity. The painting holds court (literally) in the centre of the western wall and is breathtaking. In fact, the rococco design of the whole room is amazing. Who needs to go to the Wallace Collection, when you've got the Foundling Museum on your doorstep!

On Brunswick Square, not far from either UCL or Euston Station, it's at once a chance to absorb some culture steeped in altruism and humanist care, and a chance to connect with the idea of childhood innocence. Hogarth set out to improve the image of 'the child' to that of innocence and naivete, which had previously been as a carrier of their parents sins and reputations.

And, if you've got children, it's a great place to find some activities for the kids. Especially with the summer holidays coming up, the Foundling are focusing on kids' creative space, with a whole months' work of free art activities and concerts, continuing the tradition that the great British Master set up of nuturing children's minds in order to produce 'outstanding citizens'.



** Tea update: While I didn't get a chance to have a cuppa there, there is a cafe attached to the museum, so if you're a bit thirsty, hungry or tired, there's something there for you.

Monday, 11 June 2007

resident artist, reporting for duty.

Hi blog kings cross readers! I'm very pleased to be able to do a bit of guest posting here while Ms CreateKX is away, sunning herself and enjoying a well-earned rest.

I will be here, holding the fort for a short while, and, as previously mentioned, taking you on a trip as part of my mission to go to a gallery per day. Now, I'm not going to subject you to the whole thing, but while I'm resident artist, I'm going to make sure I visit at least 2, if not 3 cool gallery/museum places in Kings Cross each week over the next fortnight to include with my other gallery jaunts.

I'm hoping to uncover a few gems that you've got hidden in there, to make sure I get to the main attractions and I'll post them here and on my other blog.

And if you guys feel like helping out and suggesting some good places to get a cup of tea while I'm on my travels around the area, that would be much appreciated. Unfortunately, my trust gallery guide doesn't include them.

See you soon!

Lauren

Thursday, 7 June 2007

A holiday and a mission

I'm outta here. almost. 2 weeks of sunshine and beaches and relaxation. And I'll come back spiritually cleansed, relaxed, bronzed and glowing. Or just red and hungover. While I'm away Blogkx will be culturally enriched by its own resident artist.

She describes herself as an 'australian installation artist wannabe who swears alot'.

This should be interesting.

Lauren has her own blog... actually two. Her latest one 'Gallery per Day' follows her mission to, erm, visit a gallery per day. She's agreed to take BlogKX along for the, slightly exhausting, ride for a couple of weeks.

Lauren - thanks and have fun.

see you in a couple of weeks...

Adventures on the Euston Road


I had a conversation not that long ago with someone who expressed a fondness for the Euston Road: They saw it as London's jugular - a fundamental component of the city, feeding people around its bulk. The poetic language doesn't do anything for me when I'm stuck in the central reservation every lunch hour, trying to get from one side to the other. I can't be the only pedestrian who suffers from road rage.

To calm myself down I pop into St Pancras Church - the big church
with the pillars of Grecian-urn looking ladies which sits on the Euston Road. I'm not a religious girl, much to the unhappiness of my
Catholic mother, but even the most rigorous athiest would find peace in St. Pancras Crypt. The Crypt is a very popular exhibition space, with a steady stream of artists exhibiting here. There is currently a beautifully curated exhibition by sculpter Emily Young, which beats the hell out of the Euston road's central reservation.








Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Cockpit arts open studios

My oft-abused bank balance was relieved to see that I restrained myself and did not return from my cockpit visit with any goodies: Because at the last minute I wisely left my checkbook at home. I did however bring my camera with me.


The work on display was beautiful and inspiring, and peering into different studio doorways through the maze of corridors satisfied even my rampant curiosity (nosiness). I visited the studios with a friend of mine called Becca who is in her final weeks as an MA student down the road at Central St. Martins: As a creative who is about to
leave the safety of academia, this visit offered her an uplifting insight into the avenues of support for artists setting out on their own.

I took a few shots of the work - and artists! - on display.


Tying in quite nicely with this visit and the decisions facing contemporary artists, CreateKX and Cockpit Arts have an
event next week which explores the current arts climate for
artists and craft-makers:

Making the Move: Art or Craft Market
@ the British Library Business and IP Centre
5-8pm, 12th June 2007
Tickets £5 in advance
for more info and to book, register for the event on the CreateKX website
Becca was most put out that instead of coming to her MA show I would be sunning myself on the Spanish coast, but this shouldn't stop you going along to check the talent: It's a fantastic opportunity to see tomorrow's leading designers, performers and artists before they all get rich and sell out! The degree show - BA and MA - will be exhibited at the Central Saint Martin's, Holborn site from 16-21 June '07.

Images of artworks courtesy of:






Friday, 1 June 2007

Goodbye and Hello


I do hate goodbyes. So instead I’ll say goodluck and goodhunting to missbloggerkx, who I can still faintly hear singing that birdy-song. Besides, I have a feeling she’s not going too far…
So as I hot foot it into the hot-seat I realise it is Friday. And, for the first time since the weather heard it was Bank Holiday season, the sun is shining. So I thought I’d follow bloggerkx’s advice and check out the wonders of Chalton Street market, a Friday institution in King's Cross.
Although I was sorely tempted by the bumper packs of jammy-dodgers and wagon wheels, my favourite stall featured trees of underwear.
My weekend will feature artworks of a rather more deliberate nature, as the Summer 07 Cockpit Arts Open Studios takes place. Cockpit is the largest creative hub for designer makers in the UK, with studios just down the road in Holborn, as well as another site in Deptford. A visit to their open studios is a great way to land yourself a unique piece of fine art or craft, or just explore the artistic talent which is flourishing in London today. I hoodwink myself into believing the latter, then emerge sheepishly a few pounds lighter but, ahem, artistically enriched.

Cockpit Open Studios: Friday 1 to Sunday 3 June, 1 – 7 pm

Entry £5, valid for all four days.
Cockpit Yard, Northington Street, London, WC1N 2NP

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Swan Song


Having midwifed this blog into being, it now falls to Miss Blog KX to hand on the candle for representing Create KX to the next worthy blogger.

In the meantime, Miss Create KX will be caretaking all things Blog KX-ish.

Miss Blog KX thanks those of you who have tuned in and those of you who have posted.

And she looks forward to seeing Blog KX Version 2 in the near future.

Stay tuned - rumour has it that new birthings are on their way.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Why blog?

I just heard from a most interesting artist: the sculptor Richard Aumonier. When I checked out his blog, I noticed he had written:

"I started blogging as a way of responding to the escalation of development here in King's Cross. Taking photographs, recording the changes has helped deal with the disorientation."

I like that. Blogging as a way to help deal with disorientation.



Friday, 11 May 2007

Face of King's Cross

If King's Cross were an artist (any genre, any era), who would she or he be? And why?

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

CreateKX Web 2.0 event

Apologies for the blog-jack, bloggerkx, but I just wanted to remind you - should in-laws and pets have distracted your attention - that tonight is CreateKX's event on The Wonderful World of Web 2.0. We need you there to prove that we CreateKX is just as 2.0'd as the rest of them! You never know - even an experienced, accurately timed blogger like yourself might pick up a few tips...

Friday, 4 May 2007

Out of the darkness, the light

Earlier in the week, I promised an interview with Lightmaster Laurent of Creatmosphere and here we go... in the most charming of French accents, Laurent has kindly answered my nosey questions about his work and the KX area.

Ms KX: Blog I believe you are based in King's Cross. What brought you to the area in the first place?

Laurent: Its very strategic central location (you can go anywhere in London anytime..), the new Eurostar arrival (I’m french!) and we found with my partner a nice quiet place to live not far from the canal!

Ms KX: What excites you about King's Cross as an area?

Laurent: Its very rich history reflected through architecture buildings and environment, the diversity of people living around here and the challenge to turn the bad reputation of the night time economy within KXs in an area safe where light highlight the beauty rather the nasty and grim!

Ms KX: Is there a building or space or environment in King's Cross which you find particularly inspiring?

Laurent: Saint Pancras chambers of course but also all the area around the gasholders, the canal, the water tank, the canvas derelict buildings, the wildlife park (Camley St natural park) and Saint Pancras Hospital gardens and square and church with the big London planes!

Ms KX: Are there any other local artists whose work you admire in the area? Who are they and what do they do?

Laurent: I have moved in recently and not connected much with the local people yet which I’m trying to do through Create KX now. I’m interested to meet other multimedia artists and develop collaborations. I’m very interested to find out what will happen with the new King’s Place building on the music front and hope to work with their foundation on light and sound projects... I’m also interested to meet with the people who are behind King’s Cross Voices and integrate sound archives in a project.

Ms KX: What is the most exciting idea that you have for bringing your art to the King's Cross area?

Laurent: Illuminate the gasholders or Saint Pancras chambers would be such a statement!


But also creating a light trail around all the sites I have mentioned before, would be a good way to make people discover King’s Cross treasures in a new light! It would also allow some community projects to take place on the subject relating history and social context to light art and the story it can tell us about a space! I’m open to look at any brief which relates to this subject...Light can change perception you have of an environment, space...it brings emotions, create experiences and remain as a very good moment in your memory. I want to bring that magic to people so they think positively about KX and its change. I’m looking forward to those moments...

END OF INTERVIEW

Postscript of Ms KX: I *heart* artists.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Seeing the light

Hurrah! Today I have news of beautiful things in King's Cross. They're not here just yet, but they're on their way.

At Tuesday night's Create KX event, I met the charming Laurent Louyer, a light artist and the founder of Creatmosphere. You can see many of his previous light installations on the Creatmosphere website, but for a preview of Laurent's ideas about installations in King's Cross, you'll have to keep your eyes peeled to this blog.

In the coming days, I'll be interviewing Laurent about the area and asking him how the magic of light can bring emotion and excitment to all the many nooks and crannies of KX. For now, he's given me a sneak preview of how he may turn the railway arches into a lightfest... And I can say that not only would I no longer feel scared to walk under those arches, I'd actually be rather excited.

Monday, 30 April 2007

crunch time

Your knowledge reaches into the very bowels of King's Cross: We are impressed.

Throughout this week-long bloggerview your spirit, your knowledge and your creativity have been tested... not to mention your typing skills. You have proven yourself a worthy candidate, and to this effect, we would like to offer you the esteemed position of BloggerKX.

Your first official duty will be to attend our CreateKX partner event, at the Big Chill House on Tuesday 1st May, from 6.30pm. This will be a valuable opportunity for you to investigate what those other KX creative people are up to. I may even join you in a cocktail.

Well done and good luck!




Always raises a smile

My favourite place in King's Cross? Well, there is only one place which is always guaranteed to raise a smile. It's that pavement stone in Cartwright Gardens on which Camden Council have etched an image of a dog with a steaming poo behind it. Why does it make me laugh? Well, apart from the steam on the poo (a little bit too much detail there!), there's the fact that this notice is totally ignored by Camden dogs. In fact, I think they seek it out... perhaps in dog land this is the symbol for a lavatory?

Anyway, that paving stone amuses the same part of me which giggles at Carry On films. And, by the way, did you know that Kenneth Williams was born on Bingfield Street just off York Way? I think there should be a special 'Mmmmmmmmatron' festival to celebrate him this summer.

Question 7

A timely allusion to The Gossip: The sound of a fat lady singing signifies the end of your interview.

Almost.

One last question to determine our final decision:

Question 7

Beth's pits aside, what is your favourite place in King's Cross?


Sunday, 29 April 2007

A visit to the pits of KX

What is the one thing I always said I'd never do until I ended up doing it?

Er, answering a bloggerview question two days late!!

Then there's a fair bit of stuff I thought I'd never find myself doing until I ended up doing it. For instance, I never thought I'd find myself standing outside Superdrug in Camden taking a photo of
a picture of a woman's armpit. But then since I've started appearing in this blog, I've found myself wanting to share moments of local discovery. So for those of you who appreciate the 'sod the establishment' flaunting of armpit hair, enjoy the fabulous Ms Beth Ditto above the Electric Ballroom...



















... with her armpit in a starring role...




















Now, from a personal pit perspective, I'm still in two minds about whether or not to throw away my Gillette Venus. Along with all the other characters, there's a Beth Ditto inside me somewhere too. But she's competing with the fragrant world of Cath Kidston where ladies definitely shave their armpits. Perhaps a compromise can be reached through a Nigella approach. I reckon she does shave them, but she doesn't worry if the intervals between shaving occasions are infrequent enough to allow for some visible regrowth.

Friday, 27 April 2007

Question 6


As createkx personified I cannot be seen to be taking part in mob culture. or listening to disco.
However, as Sean would assert - never say never...

Question 6

What is the one thing you always said you'd never do, until you ended up doing it?


Thursday, 26 April 2007

Clowning Around

What would I put in the time capsule?

The red nose of one of the clown doctors I read about in this morning’s Metro. Those doctors are based in Pentonville Road and I want to be one! Perhaps I can be... some years ago I did do some clown training with the excellently-named and inspiringly-foolish Didier Danthois. I have been inducted in the ways of the red nose.

Oooo, I’m having an idea, Miss Create. Why don’t we organise a flash-mob in the British Library forecourt where everyone has to wear a red nose and roller skates and dance to a
disco anthem?

Will you come?
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Question 5

If London is your heartland, and King’s Cross is the epicentre, I am curious as to what would be at its core.

Question 5


If you had to put one KX object into a time capsule, what would you choose?



Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Multiple nationality disorder



Great pic you used in your last entry, Miss Create. Is that you spinning your wheel there?

You ask me what the best prize I have ever won is. My Dad always used to say that he had won the best prize in the Lottery of Life by being born an Englishman
. This comment used to drive my (normally apolitical) Swedish mother crazy.

I do think there’s something though in what he identified about prizing the riches of a cultural background. I have lived in some amazing cities in the course of my life: Lagos, Moscow (in the incredible Dom na Naberezhnoi), Stockholm, Dusseldorf and now in my beloved heartland London.

I love London and Londoners because of our diversity. Everything is all jumbled together. And King’s Cross is a brilliant epicentre for all that. Sacred & secular. Filthy and fragrant. Light & dark. Happy & sad. Frivolous & serious. Old & new. Clever & obtuse. Quiet & loud. Green & grey. Grand & grotty.

On these streets, I can be every ‘me’.

And that’s definitely a quality prize in the Lottery of Life.
 
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