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Projects

How to set up your own podcast with Kate Whitaker

Meeting 2: 28 June 2020

This session we got to meet Kate Whitaker, founder and presenter of the ‘Navigating your Twenties’ podcast. Podcasting resonated with us as a collective because we are considering ways in which we can reach out to more young creatives and provide tools that will be useful to them. Assemblage was set up as a symbiotic group to share and create and a podcast would be an exciting way to extend our community. What’s more, Kate offered us some great advice and DIY optimism at a time when we all need some encouragement.

Kate’s impressive career path so far!

Most of the podcasts I watch are set up by already successful people with a guaranteed audience and plenty of funding so Kate’s decision and success in getting a podcast up and running by herself impressed me. I was not alone: another Assemblage member queried ‘how do you get over self doubt and believe what you have to say is interesting?’ Kate explained that most of us feel like we will be interesting at some point in the future but in reality many of us are brimming with experiences and ideas that connect with others and it’s down to us to find a way to share our voice. So she needs to look no further than her friends for interviews because they all have a story to tell that others want to hear. When she does want an unknown guest, she uses matchmaker.fm, an online platform for podcasters.

Of course, having something to say must then be backed by hard work, and Kate detailed how she solidified her ideas initially through creating a brand that would appeal to people. This involved finding her title, designing the visuals and producing a trailer that would give the flavour of the story she wanted to tell. The episodes themselves need structure and scripted questions for the interviewees before you consider what sound equipment to buy. This needn’t be extravagant (the free audio software Audacity works great and Kate got her mic for a tenner).

Once you have your brand, equipment, guests and of course, a platform to host your show, how to build up a following? Know your audience and market to them through consistent social media posts (use the hashtags) and get people to rate your show. This pushes you up the Podcast chart and gets you more visibility. Kate’s ambition is to be featured on the charts, interview some high profile guests and enter the British Podcast Awards. Fingers crossed!

While many of us tend to be quite single minded in our pursuit of success Kate’s story was a useful and prescient reminder (considering the uncertain circumstances right now) that there is not just one career route or destination and an idea that takes you off course can be more rewarding than a one-way road. Even apparent failures can be turned into successes: Kate’s Youth Music presenting gigs were cancelled due to the pandemic so she came up with new concepts that she could do from home. They liked them and this became her own series ‘Live in Lockdown’ in collaboration with Tiktok and Arts Council England.

What’s more, the failures of life at this early stage are a crucial part of the narrative of Kate’s podcast, so her final message was to ‘say yes’ to all opportunities- each one could carry the seeds of your ultimate success.

Check out Navigating Your Twenties in on Spotify & Apple Podcasts or follow @navigatingyourtwenties on Instagram and Facebook

By Joshua Von Uexkull

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artist response

Artist response: ‘NHS vs Covid-19’ by the Singh Twins

‘NHS v Covid-19:Fighting on Two Fronts’ by the Singh Twins

Plucked from the tapestry,
Of our happily forgotten past,
A golden dragon prospers.
With arms of steel and armour of plastic,
They press their pointed brow forwards alone.
They bare the brands,
We gave them,
And keep burning,
Into them,
With masked glory,
And in return we get,
The splendour,
Of culture and unending perseverance.
We can clap the studies away,
Until our eyes are happily,
Blind with gratitude,
And they will still save us,
Quietly,
Colourfully,
And at their own risk.
But we will exalt our hands,
To bloodied stumps,
Before we act with fairness,
And then they will lick our wounds,
Once more.

By Amy Spaughton

Categories
Projects

All about fashion with Ivanka Wu

Meeting 1: 14 June 2020

Ivanka Wu is a creative multi-specialist, including fashion stylist, art director, designer and collage artist based in Jakarta, Indonesia and has a strong background in fashion. 

We were delighted to have Ivanka speak to us about her work. During the talk, she shared many of her projects with us and its importance to her career. 

‘The Art of Contradiction’ was a project that refined her style and direction within the industry. I personally found her creative process really interesting; how she initially takes much of her inspiration from visual references, constantly referring back to this to avoid becoming lost. However, through trial and error, the outcome becomes strengthened, due to experimenting with materials and processes, with spontaneous things happening along the way. To add to this, an unplanned crack in fabric within this project resulted in a closer connection to her concept. So even through organising and creating mood boards to clarify ideas, the out come is always something spontaneous. 

Even with a contrast of planned and spontaneous approach in the creating stages, the concepts are usually contrasting as well, so the creative process becomes consolidated. Within ‘The Art of Contradiction,’ beauty and ugliness are mixed together in a very elegant, subtle, perfectly executed way, redefining what beauty is. The idea of beauty has been studied throughout the Renaissance period and early art, and still dominates as a significant topic in contemporary society today.

I was fascinated by the techniques Ivanka adopts, with draping being of great importance to her practice. This meets her intentions of flowing beauty and elegance, but also becomes highly relevant to all art practices. For example, the running of paint and the flow in a poem.

Another series, titled ‘Little Black Dress for Cartier’ created for Icon Magazine references Ren Hang, a Chinese photographer and poet, using the concept of twinning. It is visually strong and powerful, using the harsher properties of flash photography. It is clear to see that Ivanka uses very close attention to detail, creating clean shots. Not only this, but Ivanka explained how especially in the styling, a material’s position can greatly alter the feel of the work. 

Within the styling and art direction, I love the careful placement and arrangement of images and then how the viewer interprets this. To expand upon this, Ivanka compares nature to the human body, perhaps comparing the beauty of the two, exclaiming that beauty is natural and can come within different forms. In the image above, the chin was represented as the vase and the eye as the flower.

Furthermore, I found Ivanka’s styling for brands useful in understanding the role between the creative and the brand, as well as maintaining the balance between adding your personal style whilst meeting the clients needs. Within her work for ‘Sanne studio’ (above) a minimal approach was used with pastel colours. This idea of simplicity of only a few objects and a minimal colour palette is certainly seen across many of her works.

Another way that Ivanka inspired me is again in the process stage: documenting creative ideas in a journal to strengthen personal branding and development, because ideas can happen anywhere at anytime.

Additionally, Ivanka also spoke to us about her collage work. Like her other works, she uses trial and error, with knowledge of composition and balance to meet the concept and appear aesthetically strong. I love the many materials and textures she uses, that are perfectly attuned and balanced within the collage. 

Having reflected upon Ivanka’s work, it is important to note that although Ivanka grew up in a small town during her childhood with limited resources, she now sees this as an opportunity to become more creative as it forces you to use what you have in more open-minded, experimental ways. I think that this is relevant to many now in the current situation, such as photographers using FaceTime shoots to connect with models due to distancing. 

You can check out Ivanka’s work via Instagram @ivanka.wu @vanarte.studio or via behance.net/ivankawu

By Charlotte Dobson

Categories
artist response

Artist response: Tehching Hsieh one year performance (1980-1981)

Born in Taiwan in 1950, Hsieh is best known for the one-year performances he undertook while living in New York from the 1970s onwards. One of these performances, Time Clock Piece (One Year Performance 1980–1981) 1980–1981, involved punching a time clock every hour for a year.

Focusing on notions of productivity and unproductivity,

Hsieh, writes Ash Dilks, ‘has taken art to the limits of what is feasible and possible’ through his attempts to collapse the boundaries between what Hsieh calls ‘art time’ and ‘life time’ in his mentally and physically demanding one-year performances

Another significant theme that the artist took up is time. Hsieh outlined the premise which forms the basis of each of his one-year performances: that a fundamental ‘precondition’ of all life is the passing of time, or that ‘life is a life sentence’.

(https://www.tate.org.uk/research/research-centres/tate-research-centre-asia/event-report-tehching-hsieh) 

For me during lockdown, I felt this pull of unproductive/productive questioning what the time I was spending at home was doing/saying/expressing – was there a pattern to my day? Was there something I wasn’t seeing as time wasnt as easily documented. How would I come to remember this day from that, or this whole period?

I started with polaroid photos (one everyday for the first month of lockdown so I have around 70 of those but I wanted to examine my time further than one snap a day – I wanted to see hour by hour.  So, I migrated to 72 hours of waking life documented on digital camera which is the response you see below. 

Guided by the ideas:

In my own house, how was I still performing and what was I performing? How did observation of the hours turn them from unproductive to productive? 

I modelled this hourly approach on Tehching’s, he was very much the inspiration. However mine was very much waking hours!

By Tara Griffin

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artist response

Artist response: Homage to the Lungs

In response to Rinko Kawauchi’s dreamy works http://rinkokawauchi.com/works/, I worked in collaboration with Iryna Pustomytenko to create a video that explored human connection with nature and light as Kawauchi does, whilst specifically focusing on the breath. 

In slowing down and appreciating the beauty and complexity of nature, human processes are clearly seen in connection with those natural processes. A nostalgic emotion is created in heightening these themes. Humans and nature are tightly interwoven/ connected with similarities. 

Similar elements to Kawauchi have been used such as the sea, raindrops and light. A reference to her spark images has been used subtly at the end too with the credits.

The video can be viewed here:

by Charlotte Dobson

Categories
artist response

Artist Response: Gustave Doré

Sister of Charity Saving a Child, Episode in the Siege of Paris, 1870-71

This painting shows the awful human cost of the Siege of Paris, when the French capital was encircled by Prussian troops after Napoleon III’s surrender on 2nd September, 1870. Some artists fled, but Doré, as did James Tissot, joined the National Guard to defend the capital. Here, painting that winter, he seems to be recording a scene that he had actually witnessed. He depicts a nun carrying a child to safety along a snowy, blood-stained street, by a wall which might belong to the religious house where she hopes to take the child. A part of the city burns behind her, and someone sprawls wounded on the pavement further back. Ahead of her, a jagged piece of shrapnel lies on the snow, and at the side appears to be a large bloodstain. Curator Caroline Corbeau-Parsons writes, “Whether painter or illustrator, Doré remained above all a wonderful storyteller whose compositions were genuine theatrical scenes”.

Cerement

Amidst the swarm of blacken’d heathen
Two sacred spirits tender weaken
As floating embers coax the stars
From seething flames that reminisce
The wounds of time that once hath pass’d

Wavering under trampled cloaks
Glints a ruin of dreams and hopes
That swell in ashen blood and ice
Where pools of death reflect its glimmer
And deepen shrouds of nightly shimmer.

‘Cerement’ Automated Poetry Performance #1:
https://soundcloud.com/f-e-r-a-l/cerement-automated-poetry-performance-1

By Haris Ashraf