Archive for March, 2009

LeftLion Issue 28

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

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ISSUE 28 of LeftLion magazine is currently in the hands of the printers and due to hit the streets on Friday 27th March. This is my first issue operating solely as Art Director, with our new designer, Tom Wingrove, taking over page design duties. After the initial editorial and planning meetings, we agreed on the visual ideas for each page and then I left him pretty much to his own devices, offering only minimal advice beyond the necessary technical info.

This was partly due to a hectic personal schedule, but also to see what he did of his own accord without too much input from me. He has done a grand job, designing the mag with a very different personal style to my own. For one, I am big lover of The Grid and white space, using these as the basis for (almost) all my page layouts, designing through the subtleties of harmony, balance, restricted colour palettes and careful font choices; letting the content take precedent.

This issue shows a departure from this approach, with denser, much more varied layouts and use of images. It will be interesting to see in print and I’m also intrigued to see what our readers make of the new look. Ironically, the cover is one of the simplest and cleanest we have ever produced, which stands in contrast to the busy look of the interior pages.

The cover boasts an image of a record-wreath retirement present, styled by Rikki Marr, as a tribute to one of England’s greatest independent records shops, Selectadisc, which is closing its Nottingham branch after 43 years of business. Fact fans take note: the shop began as a market stall before expanding to become a real brick-walls-and-door shop with a branch in London which was immortalised on the cover of Oasis’ LP, What’s the Story, Morning Glory.

This cover is the second in sucession which uses a lot of white space, something we haven’t done traditonally, but I think we were totally right to on both occasions.  I can’t imagine the wreath on this cover having the same stark impact if it sat on a coloured background. Besides, despite what some people say, I think white space will always have a place in magazine design, as it allows the content to breathe on the page in such an inimitable way.

BBC Interview

Monday, March 9th, 2009

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BBC Nottingham have an interview with me here giving more info on the exhibition and the artists involved.

LeftLion Exhibition: Our Style Is Legendary

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

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A BIG THANK YOU to all of the artists who have contributed work to the LeftLion exhibition currently on show at the Malt Cross in Nottingham. I would also like to extend this thanks to anybody who came down to the opening night on Thursday - it was awesome and had a real buzz about the place.

We had two frenzied nights getting the exhibition ready but somehow we made it, with just three pairs of hands on call for the setup and hanging sessions. Massive thanks to Alan Gilby And Rebi for all their hard work and dedication.

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In the end, we have over 90 individual pieces on display by over 25 artists and had over 200 people through the door on the opening night. Thanks for all the positive comments - the art is pretty densely packed on the walls and with all the meeting and greeting it was difficult to take it all in with the attention it deserves.

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Rikki Marr also did some sterling work for charity, raising money for Comic Relief by doing live portraits of willing visitors in the bar.

Some of the works in the gallery have already been sold and plenty of people have visited since the opening night, so I think it’s fair to judge the exhibition as a great success.

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Our Style is Legendary: The Art of LeftLion is open every day until Sunday 15th March from 11am-6pm and will be open until 11pm from 11-13th March. If you are in town during this time, come down and check it out - it is conveniently located at the bottom of St.James’ Street, just off Market Square.

A scaled down version of the exhibition will be on show at the Golden Fleece from 21st March, but if you want to see the original canvases and installations, hit the Malt Cross this week while you have the chance.