Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Back to the Future

Irina Werning created the 'Back to the Future' photography project last year, and she's done it again this year! The project is a remake of a childhood photograph, with people from all over the world. Have a look at the 2010 & 2011 projects here,

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Music and Life...

Matt Stone and Trey Parker, best known as the creators of South Park, would not often be thought of in relation to modern philosophy. However their animations bring to life some short extracts from the work of Alan Watts, best known for his role in popularising Eastern philosophies.

This short extract (and there are many more worth listening to) shows Watts at his best, critiquing many people's modern blinkered lifestyles.


Monday, 28 November 2011


Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go 
As if to win them back. Instead, bereft 
Of anyone to please, it withers so, 
Having no heart to put aside the theft.

And turn again to what it started as, 
Long fallen wide. You can see how it was: 
Look at the pictures and the cutlery. 
                                                                                            Philip Larkin

The Little House, Walt Disney

Fractal Surrealism, Larry Carlson
Hansel and Gretel, Kay Nielsen
The Little House in the Prairie, Michael Landon
Wooden Bird House, Cuba Gallery
The Garden of Earthy Delights, Hieronymus Bosch
The Garden of Eden, Michael Stern
She's Leaving Home, The Beatles
The Abandoned House at The Sea, Anne Weirich
Country Musician Sitting, Fred Price
The Pianocktail, Boris Vian
Body Painting Vase, Anonymous

N.M & J.D

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Bristol At Night Through The Real Odd Shutter

So the nights are arriving earlier and lasting longer. I took this chance to try and capture some Bristol scenes in the serenity of the night, with the help of some long exposures. If you have a SLR, whack the exposure up to 15 to 30 seconds and some sort of tripod (or conveniently placed wall/sign/bollard) and go shoot some photos. Here are a few that I have taken over the last week:

Bristol's forgotten corners: Interview with Simon Hopkinson

Local artist Simon Hopkinson uses his painting to explore the areas of our city that he believes have been left behind, gone unnoticed, or simply glanced at on a daily basis but never thoughtfully observed. Many of the parts of Bristol Simon relishes in are those that others may consciously avoid, or those through which we walk hastily with eyes cast determinedly downward, choosing to gaze at the pavement instead of the city. Artworks like Simon's help us to recognise the people and places that effect our perceptions and constructions of home, even if their contribution is never consciously acknowledged. Over the past nine months Simon has been showcasing his work around Bristol, attempting to draw our eyes to the corners of our own city that we may never have noticed, or may even have willfully neglected. He aims to expose those shadowy places that we can be so quick to ignore but in which he believes we can find a distinct beauty, a unique charm that can come to define a city like ours. The success of these exhibitions has led Simon to produce new paintings for an upcoming exhibition at Bocabar to expand his portrayal of Bristol's unpolished beauty.

Helicon recently had a chat with Simon about his perceptions of home in light of his exploration into all of Bristol's hidden corners.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Kaleidoscopic Art

Andy Gilmore:
He is a New York based designer, take a look at some of his beautiful 
drawings and kaleidoscopic digital art.


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Live Poetry - Boston Tea Party - Park Street

Massive poetry night coming up and its f-f-f-f-f-freeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Top poets and a great chance to see how the contemporary scene is kicking it right about now. Get there early, it's gonna get busy!

Park Street Poetry
More information below.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Nitin Sawhney

You probably shouldn't listen to this song until you have good speakers or at least decent headphones.
But when you do I think this is quite an audio experience.


Monday, 21 November 2011

LISTEN: Shabazz Palaces

'If Bedouins herded beats instead of goats and settled in Seattle
 instead of the Atlas Mountains, this would be their album.'

That's how Sub Pop describes Black Up, the debut album of first hip-hop act ever signed on the legendary label.  Shabazz Palaces.

Helicon Poetry Workshop

Just wanted to thank the folks who attended the poetry workshop! I really hope you found something to benefit your progression as poets and young writers. I certainly feel like I benefited from the workshop and want to thank you all for sharing your work with the group. We'll have to do it again soon (December perhaps).

Until then, may the muse be with you!


Sunday, 20 November 2011

Boss of this house and of all the world, known and unknown.

This short story by Dave Eggers, featuring none other than the beloved Max from Where The Wild Things Are, recently got me thinking about the idea of home and comfort. 

Max At Sea
Dave Eggers

Max knew that a bunk bed was the perfect structure to use when building an indoor fort. First of all, bunk beds have a roof, and a roof is essential if you’re going to have an observation tower. And you need an observation tower if you’re going to spot invading armies before they breach your walls and overtake your kingdom. Anyone without a bunk bed would have a much harder time maintaining a security perimeter, and if you can’t do that you don’t stand a chance.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Jack Davison

Friday, 18 November 2011


Helicon has been around for over ten years, yet not everyone knows exactly who we are or what we're about. So, for all those new to Bristol University or those who have stumbled across our page, here's a quick guide to who we are.

Helicon is an online platform and printed magazine brought to you by an editorial team of students from the University of Bristol. Dedicated to showcasing new talent and keeping you up-to-date with local events and exhibitions, we are, in short, all about bringing together Bristol's ever-growing creative community. From its humble beginnings over ten years ago, Helicon has evolved from a photocopied pamphlet put together by a group of English students, into an award-winning publication expanding into ever broader ventures...


Helicon is a termly magazine compiled of student submissions in art, photography, poetry and prose, as well as features put together by the editorial team. Every issue follows a new theme, which we encourage submitters to interpret as wildly and creatively as their imagination will carry them. We want to hear from everyone, and are always keen to see new work and hear your new ideas - yes, yours! All our submissions can be sent to and one of our editorial team will contact you.


This blog, and our Facebook page, make up Helicon as an online platform, each of which are updated daily by the editorial team. Bringing you upcoming events, reviews, interviews and features, the blog encompasses everything from Bristol’s local scene to the creative world at large.


Over the last year or so, Helicon has established itself as a creative society, providing our members with a place to meet other like minded students and share their work. We have also endeavored to expand ourselves as a platform for student talent, leading to regular Helicon open mic nights to which musicians, spoken word poets and stand up comedians are all cordially invited to share their work with others. We're always looking for new performers to grace our stage, email if this applies to you!

Further to our open mic, we provide workshops for members, an evening of fun and creativity that gives you the opportunity to share your work either in a group or one-on-one with our editors and receive critical feedback.

To become a member, go to and sign up. We aren't open exclusively to students - anyone can sign up to our mailing list. Simply email with 'Add to mailing list' as the subject.

We look forward to hearing from you!

With love,


Lydia Greenaway, editor

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Ezra Pound's Imagism Manifesto

The pluralism we enjoy in contemporary arts has left no space for the universalising manifesto but there is something about Pound's dogmas that I find useful when writing poetry. Of all the grand aesthetic statements offered by the modernists its probably a credit to Pound's conciseness that his had the most enduring impact.


1. Direct treatment of the "thing" whether subjective or objective.
2. To use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation.
3. As regarding rhythm: to compose in the sequence of the musical phrase, not in sequence of a metronome.

Re-make project

I recently came across this wonderful project on art blog Booooooom where you could submit your own photograph remake of an iconic painting or piece of art. Submissions have now closed and Booooooom have compiled all the pieces of work they received. Amongst them, these were my favourites. What would you remake?

"Bedroom in Arles" by Vincent van Gogh, remake by Joshua Louis Simon

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Poems an' Ting

I thought it best to offer some poems including one I've been writing in response to the theme. I've tried to be as liberal with the platform as possible and hasten to add that these are works-in-progress. Princess Caraboo's fascinating story provides the vehicle for an ironic comment I'm trying to develop about 'home' at the nationality level. I happened across Bird's portrait of the impostor princess in the Bristol Art Gallery next door to the Wills Building and couldn't stop pissing myself (on further research I discovered there was a mediocre attempt at a film, which I was a little gutted about since I thought I'd made this great discovery for a muse) [Note to self: you will probably not make any great discoveries, settle for reinterpretations of old shit]


Capturing what America is and what it is to be American has long been an obsession of American artists.

Monday, 14 November 2011

The Antlers Winter Shop

The nomadic art gallery Antlers have been cropping up around Bristol for a year now. You may have spotted them on Whiteladies, Park Street, the Christmas Steps or perhaps in Quakers Friars (Cabot Circus). 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Bring me home ...

Whether a fashion connoisseur or not, you probably have heard the name Hussein Chalayan before.

The internationally regarded fashion designer, graduate of Central Saint Martins, is indeed famous for his innovative and experimental use of materials and technology.
Some of his shows have featured naked models wearing dresses based on the Islamic chador, or decomposed silk dresses that he had buried and exhumed.

In 1999, he famously came up with the idea of a remote-controlled dress made from aviation-strength fibreglass, with panels gracefully lifting at the flick of a switch to reveal gathered tulle petticoats.  

Poetry Workshop Sunday 20th November: Study Material

Below are some examples of contemporary poems. I hope you enjoy them.

Take your time reading them and if you could consider,

  • what you think the poet was hoping to achieve with the poem,
  • how you as the reader have interpreted its meaning,
  • the nature and inter-relatedness of the key images employed,
  • the structure and form,
  • the style, language and voice.
  • any interesting voltas, dramatic modes, metaphors and analogies, subtext.

Think Local

After spending time thinking about the idea of home and how it is we perceive and construct it, I was very interested to discover that one of the upcoming exhibitions at the Peoples' Republic of Stokes Croft New Gallery explores this very idea.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

You're invited...

For more info, go to our Facebook event page!

An argument for solitude

Have you ever wondered about how accurately language allows us to describe our experiences? Of course, those less limited in their vocabulary have a broader inventory with which to convey their thoughts and emotions, but aren’t we all limited by this to some extent, even those of us articulatorily skilled enough to fabricate convincing-sounding adverbs?

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The Fascinating Sky

What is it about the sky? It seems to have such an impact on our emotions, the pathetic fallacy of our day-to-day lives. It can be awe-inspiring, frightening, depressing, and has been a huge source of inspiration for writers, artists, explorers, dreamers. There are some really beautiful time-lapse photographs and videos of the sky... take some time out for this one...

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Crises of capitalism animated...

RSA have created a series of animated lectures, which are definitely worth a watch. Rather than being bored to death by endless slides, you are presented with an informative and interesting lecture, enlivened by a set of annotated doodles and cartoons. So whether you want to learn about the credit crunch or the renaissance, RSA are a good place to get a general understanding.

This one is a particularly good one on the crises of capitalism.


Sunday, 6 November 2011

an idle Sunday afternoon

If you're looking for a way to fill your Sunday afternoon in Bristol and are still hanging on to the spirit of halloween, head down to College Green to have a look at House of Paper's exhibition celebrating the traditional Mexican Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead...

Saturday, 5 November 2011

sit in a darkened room and watch

2012 Posters

Yesterday the series of 12 Olympic and Paralympic posters, designed by leading UK artists including Tracey Emin and Turner prize winning Chris Ofili, was unveiled in London. It is the first time artists have been asked to create the posters since 1972, previously graphic designers and advertising agencies were contracted. 

The images will be displayed in a free exhibition at the Tate Britain next year, held as part of the London 2012 cultural festival. The artists were encouraged to celebrate the Games coming to London and to look at the values of the Olympics and Paralympics.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Day of the Dead

During the first days of November, Mexicans celebrate a yearly tradition called the 'Dia de los Muertos' or 'Day of the Dead'. This carnivalesque and colourful remembrance of departed souls is one of the oldest and universally familiar festivals.

A wander to the M Shed to see Martin Parr

A few weeks ago I went down to the M Shed, a new gallery down by the harbor, to see an exhibition by British photographer Martin Parr. Here are a few photos I took on my way there.


Hello all,

For those of you who haven't sent us work before, we are not just a blog, we are also the University of Bristol's Creative Arts Magazine. We publish a printed magazine each term, the content of which consists solely of our readers' submissions. (That means you!) To guide you in your creative endeavours, the editorial team selects a theme for each issue, which can be interpreted through various creative pathways - art, photography, poetry, prose, or even a written feature. We like to keep it as open as possible. Even if you don't make it into the magazine,  'the best of the rest' will be published on our blog. 

Thursday, 3 November 2011

As I walked out one evening,
   Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
   Were fields of harvest wheat.

flirting with fantasy

Here are a few photographs from British fashion photographer, Tim Walker.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Part-Beaten Cartesian

 you can avoid the imperfections -

 incorrect use of inflections

 accidental misdirection),

1910 in colour

Although colour film only became available in the 1930's, a number of photographers were experimenting with colour years beforehand...

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Is it art?

To ask 'what is art' may seem like a slightly silly question. However if taste is subjective, then art is too, so what deserves the classification of art? I'm sure everyone has at least once walked round a gallery and been baffled by the exposure given to some works which seem to have taken minimal skill from the artist and translates little emotional value.