April round up

On a recent trip back to the Northern Wastes, our resident Yorkshireman James decided to take his family on a cultural tour (or did they take him?) starting with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and then on to Bradford’s Industrial Musem.

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park

For those of you who don’t know, the YSP is actually an art college nestled in the grounds of a stately home just South of Wakefield.

Rolling fields and public bridleways surrounding the park give way to a strange combination of cows, ramblers, and Henry Moore sculptures. In the gardens themselves permanent (and some temporary) installations can be found, from the likes of Hepworth, Gormley and other local artists or resident students.


What’s particularly special at the moment is an installation by the New York artist Kaws. Playing on the familiar theme of pop-culture and cartoons (especially by the likes of Disney) Kaws’ tongue-in-cheek pieces mimic familiar forms and characters with a sinister twist.


Always recognisable by his signature crosses for eyes and balloon like skull & crossbones heads, the figurines might remind you of the kind of cute vinyl figurines often seen in designery gift or skate shops… however these are super-sized. A trek across the valley to the Longside Gallery reveals more colourful sculptures (ranging from large to humungous) and some canvasses that hark back to Kaws’ graffiti roots.

Bill Viola

Thought provoking, haunting and inspiring, Bill Viola’s video installations in the Underground Gallery portray various people immersed in what could be interpreted as blood, water and fire. His first UK exhibition in over 10 years is something special that should appeal equally to die-hard fans and the curious accidental visitors.

So if you’re in the area before the 12th June the YSP is well worth a visit. If you don’t make it in time, go anyway as there’s plenty of permanent works on display for a great afternoon out. It’s not all ‘grim oop North’.

Bradford Industrial Museum


Continuing the Yorkshire theme, the next stop on James’ Northern jaunt was Bradford Industrial Museum. Moorside Mills, just on the outskirts of Bradford isn’t quite as imposing as the more famous Salts Mill in Shipley but packs in several floors of steam engines, vintage vehicles and milling machinery. Amongst all this is a large room full of vintage printing presses surrounding the museum’s very own operational printing gallery; a representation of a victorian printing office.

The mind boggles when you take in the ingenuity behind the original Linotype and Monotype machines, not to mention the old Heidelberg presses of various shapes and sizes collecting dust. If you’re lucky enough to visit at the right time on a Wednesday (James wasn’t) then you could take part in the printing workshop and have a go at letterpress printing yourself. If you get inky enough you might be given a souvenir bookmark to take home. So should you find yourself heading towards Bradford on a rainy day with nothing to do, give the Photography Museum a miss and go here instead.

Capturing the Capital on Camera


Whether you’re capturing the hustle and bustle of busy central squares or snapping stylish shots of iconic Thames-side landmarks, London’s photographic opportunities are endless. For quite a while now, our senior designer Sarah has been looking for a way to push her keen amateur photography skills to the next level… she found it last week in the form of an evening photography class just around the corner from our London Bridge studio in Borough. Here are Sarah’s thoughts on her night by the river.

I met my tutor Nigel in the National Theatre one freezing night recently and, following a brief intro, set off along the Southbank with camera and tripod in hand. There were about 10 of us in total, all with a decent understanding of aperture, ISO and focal ranges, and all with a keen desire to improve our skills behind the lens.

As the evening progressed we walked along the banks of the Thames, stopping along the way by London’s famous bridges to capture the views on camera. From the stark, utilitarian beauty of Blackfriar’s Bridge to the vibrant illuminations of London Bridge, we listened as Nigel shared his knowledge and took shots we’d never have dreamed of before.

The final challenge; Tower Bridge. “It’s like Kate Moss…,” he said, “You can’t take a bad shot of this bridge!” …and he was right.

Charlie the pot head

photo 1

Our account manager Charlie was throwing some shapes this month, not on the dance floor but with clay on a pottery course over at Stepney City Farm! Charlie had high hopes dreaming of jugs and salad bowls, however what came out of the kiln was rather smaller and simpler…! As with most creative processes it was a labour of love and time.