Monday, January 31, 2011

The Art of Christmas is over

Camille Pissaro, Foxhill Upper Norwood (1870)

The thing about Christmas, is that it comes and goes so quickly.  Shopping for presents, food, finishing off the last bits of work before the break and parties to go to, there is never a chance to take anything in that isn't on a list of some kind.  So that's why I'm glad that the Christmas windows of Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly were still on display into January.

Changing with the seasons, the Fortnum & Mason windows reflect some of the most intricate and artistic displays in london. Chief Designer & Visual Presentation Manager, Paul Symes and his team collaborated with the National Gallery to create Art of Christmas; 3D versions of some of the gallery's most famous masterpieces, with added elements of Christmas.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

QuickLook: The A-Z of Typography

Urk, from Bangkok Thailand has been experimenting with speakers, cornflour and what I can only imagine as lots of black food colouring.

The texture, depth and contrast of the black liquid against the white letters makes them seem to be enveloped out of nowhere and leave no trace on the surface once they are gone.

If it hasn't been used for the titles of a film already, I'm sure it will be soon.  So keep a look out.

Watch the video on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Brit Insurance Design Awards nominations announced

Nominated in the graphics category: Homemade is Best, Forsman & Bodenfors

The Brit Insurance Design Awards nominations have been released and the competition, now in it's fourth year, looks set to be the best yet.  

Across seven categories, this years nominations take in the best international designs from architecture and transport to graphics and interactive media.  There are many of the more well known nominations, Apple's iPad in the product category and several apps to accompany it in the interactive category including the apparently addictive Angry Birds and the Guardian's Eyewitness together with the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme (more commonly known as BorisBikes) in the transport category.

Particular lesser known nominations to look out for are Karo Architekten's Open Air Library in Magdeburg, Germany, the UK Pavillion for the 2010 Shanghai Expo designed by Thomas Heatherwick Studio and Irma Boom's minature epic Biography in Books.  

A final nomination to take note of is Forsman & Bodenfors' Homemade is Best, featured on LookSeeNow in October as a cookbook not meant for cooking.

All the nominations will be on show at the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year exhibition at London's Design Museum from 16 February to 7 August  2011 with category winners announced on the 28 February 2011 and overall winner announced 15 March 2011.  Look back here for more as it happens.

Image source Agent Bauer.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Favourites from Selling out on Venice

Canaletto, The Entrance to the Grand Canal, looking West, with Santa Maria della Salute (about 1729)

Each week in honour of #PhaidonFriday I pick one of my favourite features from the Agenda.  Today it's Alastair Smart's article Selling out La Serenissima: has Venice been lost to the ad men?.

Far away from the beautiful scenes found in the National Gallery's recent exhibition- Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals- the centre of Venice is now at risk of being covered, dome to gondola, in advertising all the name of funding the restoration of the sinking city.  But don't just take my word for it, read the article here.

Venice: Canaletto and his Rivals finished at the beginning of this week but you can see what you missed if you didn't get a chance to go in the gallery accompanying Alastair Smart's article on

Image, courtesy The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The Robert Lee Blaffer Memorial Collection, gift of Sarah Campbell Blaffer.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

QuickLook: Inside Outside Tucson

Photographer, Eric Thayer, arrived in Arizona in the wake of the Tuscon shooting.

Together with his photographs, he describes the scene for Reuters: "Arriving at the scene of the Tucson shooting, I really didn’t know what to expect. There is always a nervous energy driven by adrenalin. You know you have to be there. You know it’s going to be bad, but you know you have to be there. Someone has to tell the story. Someone has to show it to the rest of the world."

You can see the full article on the Reuters Photo Blog.

Image sourced from

Monday, January 17, 2011

Big Bangs, Big Bucks

Geoffrey H. Short, Untitled Explosion #6CP (2007)

This week saw the opening of Big Bangs, Big Bucks (14 January-12 March), an exhibition of works by New Zealander, Geoffrey H. Short (a recent nominee of the Lacoste/Elysee Photography Prize) and Russian, Nikolai Ishchuk at Diemar/Noble Photography just off Oxford Street, London.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Favourites from Hella Jongerius

Each week, in honour of #PhaidonFriday I pick one of my favourite features from the Agenda. This time it's the video of Hella Jongerius's Special Collectors Artwork of 300 Unique Vases from just before Christmas which I think deserves a second look at. 

Dutch designer, Hella Jongerius specialises in creating hand crafted objects with unique design features and brings them to a broader audience by producing them on industrial scales (with help from Ikea, Nymphenberg and Kettal over the years).  A limited edition of 300 unique vases has been produced to accompany special signed and numbered collectors editions of Jongerius's book, Misfit

This video goes behind the scenes at The Netherlands: Royal Tichelaar Makkum, for a tour of the beautiful factory with Managing Director, Jan Tichelaar, to see where the vases are being made. The production, depth of field and light used in this video makes it one of my favourites. The details that stand out and the colouring which fits so well with the feel of the book. It's definitely worth a look even if you are not normally one for ceramics.

Jongerius has an exhibition by the same title of her book, Misfit at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Netherlands until the 13th February 2011. You can see more Hella Jongerius features at including a gallery of selected works from the book Misfit which I will definately be using my employees discount for! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Once it's over, it's over: Photography with Elizabeth Fleming

Elizabeth Fleming, Earth (2008) from the series, Life is a series of small moments

New Jersey based photographer and mother Elizabeth Fleming is not one of those 'I photograph my kids in black and white and put them smiling on the wall' kind of mother/photographers.
Having had work published in online magazine f-stop and this month features in New Directions 2011: Moments of Being- an exhibition curated by photographer and editor, David Bram- her photographs are not your average family snaps.

LookSeeNow spoke to her about her photography, what she looks for, or doesn't, the unintentional ingredients in her images and how her photography is changing as her children grow.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Photographic Wars

World Press Photo Winner, Adam Ferguson talks with Simon Robinson, Thomson Reuters' Enterprise Editor for Europe the Middle East and Africa about being a war photographer on assignment in Afghanistan in a discussion at the Frontline Club in London.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lower their voices,
 And raise their minds

Rafael Neff, Admont Abbey (2008)

Here is where people,
One frequently finds,
Lower their voices

And raise their minds.
(Library, Richard Armour)

Libraries seem to be a popular subject over the last few months, they have have been cropping up on the net, in galleries, on my travels and I've even managed to find some books I want to read in my local.
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