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Patternity Leave: Stripes and Delights in Shoreditch Show

Patternity Visuals from Website compiled by Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own

Last Thursday was cold. It was very, very, cold. It even snowed (on the 4th of April, forchrissake). I’d promised my buddy Emily of Atticus and Finch fame that I’d accompany her to some new fashionable opening up on trendy-as-you-like Redchurch Street, in Shoreditch’s beating heartlands. I tried to bail, but she was insistent, and promised me a pitstop at a venue serving the best coffee in E2 en route. So reluctantly I pulled on my faux-Ugg(ly) boots and one of the boyf’s cosy jumpers (shhh!) and made the commute.

Wow. If anywhere is worth getting soggy toes in freak Siberian windstorms for, it’s here (though touch wood we’re passed such weather-based silliness now. Please?!) I’m always somewhat wary of cool new pop-ups in hipster hotspots – I was born significantly pre-1992 for a start, my hair’s not asymmetric enough, and did I mention the unfortunate footwear? And whilst Patternity is undeniably hip (there were rumours of ‘Minimal House’ being played at the opening night – I had to Google) it is deeply, genuinely, fascinatingly interesting for anyone who enjoys looking at, well, everything.

Photos from Patternity Event by Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own

Based on the hugely successful Patternity blog founded in 2009 by Grace Winteringham and Anna Murray, their aim is to encourage both readers and visitors to view pattern as much more than “just” a man-made surface design; as something that is all around us, anywhere and everywhere, wherever we adjust our viewpoint enough to see it. Their highly addictive compilation of images and objects covers a range of subject matter that knows no boundaries, each on a level playing field – a snap of some shadows created by railings is equal to a highbrow fashion image, for example. To clarify the concept, the exhibition focuses solely on stripes, with the first room stripping away all forms of colour and showcasing a strictly monochrome arrangement of images and objects, designed to allow each visual to stand up in its own right. Subsequent spaces feature a myriad of hues however, as well as pairing objects not necessarily considered objects of pattern, or even design: a cast of human vertebrae, a traffic cone and a jacket constructed from striped ‘do not cross’ tape make unusually intriguing bedfellows.

Patternity Shop Products by Alex Booker and Richard Brendon compied by Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own

If all that culture has whet your appetite, there’s also an on-site cafe, serving up brews from ceramicist Richard Brendon‘s reflective platinum teacups on striped saucers, produced in collaboration with Patternity, and even a shop selling (natch) a carefully curated selection of striped goodies. The fun continues with interactive video and workshop spaces, and a number of speakers, activities and workshops will be held within these hallowed stripy walls throughout the show’s duration (I’m booked onto Block Printing with Alex Booker and Clay Coil Pot Making with Matt Raw – book your own activities here!) so look out next week for the fruits of my labours.

Pattern Power Superstripe: A Cultural Festival of Pattern Exploration is on from 6th – 21st April at Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP.

{Images: top six images all courtesy of the Patternity website (zebra crossing and zebra neck images copyright Getty Images); middle set of images all taken by me within the Patternity exhibition at Redchurch Street; bottom image features block prints by Alex Booker and teacups by Richard Brendon}

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Low-fi Video Delights: What to do with 288,000 Jelly Beans, three projectors and a laser

Sugo Tokumaru Katachi Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 1

I’m not normally one to pay too much attention to video art (is it even called that anymore? “Video” sounds so Granny these MP3-days). But I do enjoy creative, interesting visuals, the comedy of Adam Buxton and casually mocking/deriding poor grammar and spelling. So as all these elements combined last week at Mr Buxton’s cult comedy night, Bug, I revelled in the opportunity to laugh my proverbial socks off at the accidentally-side-splittingly hilarious comments posted by the YouTube community, whilst sitting rather in awe of some of the artists, too. Here’s three fab ones you should definitely pay a virtual visit to.

Sugo Tokumaru Katachi Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 2 Sugo Tokumaru Katachi Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 3 Sugo Tokumaru Katachi Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 4

Created entirely as a stop-motion film by director Kijek/Adamski, this quirky video, Katachi (which roughly translated means ‘shape’ in Japanese) was made out of around 2,000 silhouette pieces extracted from PVC plates using a computer controlled cutter. Meant to represent “an everlasting chain of convulsive memories”, I just, um, liked the nice shapes and bright colours.

Sugo Tokumaru Katachi Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 5 Sugo Tokumaru Katachi Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 6 Sugo Tokumaru Katachi Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 7

(Video above: Shugo Tokumaru – Katachi. Do also  check out the making of it here)

Willow - Sweater Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 1 Willow - Sweater Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 2

Next up is Willow with Sweater – not sure if the song title actually refers to the very Sarah Lund-esque knitwear the lead singer is sporting, but either way this video is an extremely clever bit of projection – the entire piece is shot in one set, with a treadmill and three beamers projecting a series of moving images (stairs, trains, the tide, a bizarre underwater world with day-glo sea creatures) in which our leading man reacts appropriately. Go watch it, it’ll make more sense then.

Willow - Sweater Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 3 Willow - Sweater Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 4 Willow - Sweater Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 5 Willow - Sweater Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 6

(Video above: Sweater by Willow)

Kina Grannis - In Your Arms Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 1 Kina Grannis - In Your Arms Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 2 Kina Grannis - In Your Arms Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 3

And last but certainly no means least, this frankly amazing video featuring American Singer/Songwriter Kina Grannis and made by the most patient man IN THE WORLD, director Greg Jardin, who together with his team and over 288,000 Jelly Beans, painstakingly created a three-and-a-half minute stop-motion video containing 2,300 individually composed frames. Over TWO YEARS. And I can barely concentrate on finishing blog posts…

Kina Grannis - In Your Arms Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 4 Kina Grannis - In Your Arms Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 5 Kina Grannis - In Your Arms Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 6 Kina Grannis - In Your Arms Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 7

(Video above: In Your Arms by Kina Grannis – and click through to The Making Of while you’re at it).

Kina Grannis - In Your Arms Video - Stills as blogged on Stylist's Own 8

{Images: All screengrabs taken from each artist/director’s individual videos – see links above}

Superdesign

It’s been at least five minutes since there’s been a major interiors event in London Town, so luckily one sidled up just in time to fill the gaping void. Superdesign, billing itself as a Design Art exhibition, featured specially commissioned studio pieces by both well known and emerging designers which managed to straddle the gap between form and function. This show was all about statement pieces, and showcased a pleasing mix of technology and craftsmanship, which both managed to metaphorically lie together in one super-stylish bed: think simplistic chairs embossed in intricate ethnic patterns, lights formed from flat sheets of plastic and slabs of wood and marble meticulously configured into tactile, perfect, defy-you-not-to-stroke-it shapes.

My favourite pieces (all below) included the Cinderella table by Demakersvan – the most interesting, whimsical use of marble I think I’ve ever seen, the Samurai chandelier, which beautifully combined ancient craft techniques to provide an extremely modern end product, and the vibrant Blooming Spark light, one of the few technicoloured pieces on show and constructed from neoprene, acrylics and UV paint to produce what its makers describe as “a bouquet of alien botany”. I also found the use of ‘light transform flats’ (aka light-up glowing sheeting) extremely interesting – a concept I was first introduced to earlier this year by Show & Tell Design, with their prototype Lampada flat lamp which featured on BBC2’s Britain’s Next Big Thing and went on to be stocked at Liberty’s. I suspect we’ll be seeing rather a lot more from this stock.

Ethno Eames chair, Paolo Giordano

Manta chair, Giuseppe Arbore

Samurai chandelier, Phillip Baldwin & Monica Guggisberg in collaboration with Best & Lloyd

Digit Linear by Emmanuel Babled

Floor light by Michael Anastassiades

Blooming Spark by Hsiao-Chi Tsai & Kimiya Yoshikawa

Plug light, Marcus Tremonto

Cinderella table, Demakersvan

T36 stool, Paolo Giordano

{Image credits: All copyright Joanna Thornhill}