the FFAF Curators Interviewed October 5, 2010

Yesterday we posted about all the cool stuff going down at the Manchester Free For Artts Festival this week. Here is an interview with two of the three curators, Helen MacDonald and Lois Collett.

What inspired the Free for arts festival?

We realised that we knew lots of motivated and creative people and wanted to bring everyone together to exhibit and try their ideas out at the same time, which is beneficial as everyone gets talking to one another and we could all promote each others shows. Taking part in independent exhibitions throughout Manchester made us realise the potential in the city and when needs must, create things yourself.

Read more ⇒


Ema sorts Sidney Street August 26, 2010

Between Sheffield train station and Decathalon Sports store is Sidney Street. By all rights this should be the coolest street in Sheffield. There are empty warehouses, a handful of galleries, some artists studios, a dodgy boxing club, band rehearsal rooms, vacant lots, and it is all centrally located! Unfortunately, a total lack of shops, pubs, bars, cafes, clubs (although Niche used to be here), there is not much to do. What with Urban Splash having their hands full redeveloping Park Hill, the likelihood of Sidney Street becoming the new Northern Quarter are slim.
Fortunately a few people (Kid Acne, Phlegm included) are putting it to good use. Sidney Street is quickly becoming The Place for Sheffield graffiti. Central location, warehouses and complete civic disinterest in the area make it a prime spot.
Recently, French born, formerly of NYC, and now Paris based artist Dr.Ema has been putting up some excellent mustachioed teardrop paste ups. I’ve been cycling past them for the past couple weeks and thought it was time to share.


Sci Fi and Shopping. Meadowhall and Logan’s Run March 27, 2010

When you were small, did you ever get assigned to write a story about being trapped in a shopping centre overnight? After you finished the one about being shrunk to the size of a fingernail, or washed up on a desert island, it was all set to be your runaway bestseller.

In spidery Berol letters you set forth the horror of the urban shopping centre by sundown. ‘Nightmares In The Shopping Centre!!’ was the proposed title, and it was sure to reel in all the “Good Try” stickers from your teacher’s desk.

Back then, maybe, the English shopping centre was the stuff of nightmares. Good honest nightmares that didn’t pretend to be anything else. A windowless, airless hall of mirrored escalators, where fried food outlets encircled shoppers like vultures, discoloured tiles stuck fast to the surfaces on which they had long been laid, and an overhead hanging bulb or two tarred the whole scene with a nasty yellow light. Read more ⇒


Issue 11 February 13, 2010


Sheffield Top 5 - February February 10, 2010

Oh my days, there is a lot coming up this month. Once again, sorry for this blog post coming up late. We try to be on it. Anyway, better late than never. Here’s Article’s Sheffield guide for February.

1. Love Bytes -  Sonic Materialities

The city wide festival of digital arts kicks of this month. There are all sorts of interesting treats of varying geekyness to look out for. In particular, Friday Feb 12 the Millennium Gallery will see sound art perfomances by artists Francisco Lopez, Russell Haswell, and Mark Fell. Oh, and its free. Check their website for more.

2. Dead Ends - The Moor

If you’ve walked up the Moor any time in the last year, you will have noticed the empty shop windows being used as exhibition spaces. A new installation on the Moor is by photographer Theo Simpson. Dead Ends explores the position  of unemployment by looking at slips thrown down at the Job Centre.

3. Bloc Projects Presents: Bloc International Billboard: Peace Near the Black Sea

Turkish artist Ipek Yeginsu, Peace Near the Black uses photography to “pay tribute to the lost fishermen, to the lonely hearts missing their beloved ones, and to the Black Sea’s grandiose past full of heroic myths.”The billboard is up until the 28th of February.

4. Nocturnal by Brown Owl

Showcasing the work of poster designer Brown Owl, the Nocturnal exhibition at the Forum will feature a limited edition screen prints. Check it. Boom.

5. Kid Acne South Yorks T-Shirt

Stand up, be proud. Like most men in their early twenties, we love t-shirts designed by street artists. This is no exception. Sweet.

6. A Mapplethorpe Response: Toilet Tour

Not sure what this is, but I think you get to graffiti the toilets of the following places on these dates:

The Lescar- Tuesday 16th February

Varsity- Wednesday 17th February

Corporation- Friday 19th February

More info on the link

Please forward anything you might think should be listed to: [email protected]


Introducing Genrecore, Tweecore, Authentocore,and WTFcore January 13, 2010

If you were cursed with an XY chromosome formation in the womb, then you’re fucked when it comes to fashion. Girls, your splendid array of halternecks, juliette sleeves and tapered hems leave me seething with rage. You hog the fashion smorgasbord and leave boys with nothing but discarded remains. As far as our torso’s go, we can choose between T-shirt and shirt. That’s it. You all sicken me.

Given our limited options, design is everything. So here are the T-shirts most likely to amplify your personal brand in 2010.


Christian-blip, fish n glitch, shoe-rave – all legitimate trends for the discerning twenty-tensy music consumer. But how to let people know exactly what you’re buzzing on without looking like one of those fold up n’ draw three-people-draw-three sections-of-a-man-game? Enter Hipster Runoff to pull you out of this puddle of discontent. From Sufjan-house to Pitchforkcore, it’s all there. In any relevant dive-bar you won’t even need to open your mouth to let people know you’re surfing on the crest of an epic cultural wave.

As the above diagram shows, in 2010, ambiguity is out. Increasingly shorter attention spans are going to lead to a new-wave of litero-style. Look out for Article magazines new snow-boots featuring a constantly updating ‘ most played’ list embossed on the sole. If you’re gonna leave a footprint, at least make it say something about you. Read more ⇒


The Fargate Wheel, a Fun Fair in the City December 16, 2009

The Fargate Wheel, something more people take photos of than actually ride  

I’ve noticed a trend lately in British city centres. Alien architectural forms have been appearing amongst the dirty sandstone Victorian halls and glass and steel redevelopments that make up the 21st century urban centres.

When you’re arriving in Sheffield by train from the North, as you skirt the old steelworks and mills in the basin of Attercliffe, you get a view of the central skyline that has something very out of place about it. Amongst the familiar shapes of the Arts Tower swathed in plastic, the top of the Town Hall, the bright white rectangles of Hallam University, the brick red smudge of the Moorfoot Building and the grey spires of churches, the smooth circular crest of the ferris wheel on Fargate emerges clearly above the mass of the city. This bizarre shape came by itself, but recently the whole centre has periodically found itself filled with fun fair rides, appearing apparently out of nowhere and disappearing just as suddenly.

City centres have always used their public spaces as places for recreation and leisure, but before recently the garish and noisy excitement of the fun fair was never allowed to enter the heart of the city. This trend probably began with the London Eye, but since then almost every city centre in the country has hosted it’s own ‘eye’ for a while, and brought a host of other carnival rides with it, presumably to keep it company. Read more ⇒


FrenchMottershead: Shops - Interview December 12, 2009

Shops, currently exhibiting at Site Gallery, Sheffield is the culmination of a two year project by artists Rebecca French and Andrew Mottershead. The artists have travelled extensively in this period, investigating the communities and relationships that are formed around shops. The gallery show is a presentation of some of the material they have amassed, ranging from formal photographs of shops and their customers to documents of their process and interviews with shoppers around the world.

Article - Lets start with your current exhibiton. What will someone see when they walk into it?

Rebeca - They are looking at traces of events that have happened in local shops around the world. So in each case we have worked with local shops by asking them to invite their customers to do a sort of performative event in front of the cameras that somehow represents our experience of being in that shop. The end result could be a photograph, it could be a video, it could be a text or a publication.

In a way, the shops are almost incidental. Rather, in a way what you get is a sort of portrait of an element of that country or that city, or some kind of values or some kind of community that exist around shops. Shops are a kind of filter for us, rather than the main focus. The focus for us is more people and places. and the identity of the people around those shops. 

Read more ⇒