Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Letters of Note.

Based on a blog of the same name, this book is a compilation of interesting letters some written by familiar names, others by strangers. The letters range from funny and sweet to sad and moving. Definitely worth a look, particularly the one from JFK about Santa Claus!

Kurt Vonnegut to a class of high school students:
A final message from wife to husband:

E.B. White (author of Charlotte's Web) writes to his publisher explaining the motivation behind his famous children's book:

These are just a tiny selection there are many more (and transcripts of the ones above) on the online blog and of course in the book!


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

'Sly' new painter packs a punch! Sylvester Stallone the unlikely artiste.

A new artist has had his first exhibit in Russia this week, and his name might surprise you: Sylvester Stallone. Sound familiar? The ex-Rocky star has hung up his boxing gloves, donned some overalls and grabbed some paint-brushes. The results are pretty interesting. I think this story is fascinating because I think if I didn't know who painted them I'd be able to take the pieces a smidgen more seriously. It's easy to defame them once we know who they're by, but really, they're not much, if any 'worse' than some of the modern art on display at the Tate, or the recent Frieze art fair. Anyway, suspend your judgement, banish your pre-conceptions and have a gander: do they pack a punch? or fall flat on their face (couldn't resist a terrible pun).

The master and his work, just incase you didn't quite believe me!

Okay, Stallone may be no Andy Warhol, but he's giving it a go. Maybe there are more 'Sly' artists out there than we can possibly imagine (sorry, punning again!).


Monday, 28 October 2013

Words of the Week # 12

This week it's Anis Mojgani.

From the land where slam poetry developed and took off, Anis is a spoken word artist who has won back-to-back National Individual Poetry Slam in 2005 and 2006 and has also been the 2007 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion. His work, in particular "Come Closer", revolves around obvious themes such as love and unity but also he finds refreshing ways to describe the sanctity of of being a person both independently but also as a collective humanity away from our self-built differences and self-defeatist nature. .
So, tomorrow morning - make sure you ramp this up loud.

Come Closer

"....Come into this.
Come Closer.
There are birds, 
Beating their wings
 Beneath your breast plate,
Gentle sparrows who are aching to sing
From aching hearts...."

"....My heart was too big for my body
So I let it go.
And I have shaved off so many of my corners,
That I have felt at home only in a ball.... "

"....Walk through this with me.
Through this church of blood bone and muscle that is ours.
There is a door in front of us,
Put your hand on its knob and let it swing open,
Take a step forward....."

"....Walk through this with me.
Walk through this with me."
- Anis Morjgani

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Abandoned Spaces

Following our submission theme this term, Lost & Found, today we bring you Absence of Water - a series of photographs by Gigi Cifali, a London based artist, that explores abandoned swimming pools across the country.

In the 1930s large public swimming pools were at the height of their success, but over the past 80 years many across the United Kingdom have been closed or demolished due to lack of visitors or funding. Some of the pools are of great architectural note and survive now only as a time capsule to the past. Photographed from the perspective of a swimmer in the pool, the spaces found and photographed by Cifali are cold, ghostly and forgotten. You can view the entire series here.

French photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre have also been fascinated by places lost in time. Detroit, once a thriving metropolis in the United States, now has diminished population and many abandoned areas - following the decline of the automobile industry in the second half of the 20th century. In these eerie images, clocks have stopped, dust has settled and not a figure is in sight.

Marchand has said:

"Many times we would enter huge art deco buildings with once-beautiful chandeliers, ornate columns and extraordinary frescoes, and everything was crumbling and covered in dust, and the sense that you had entered a lost world was almost overwhelming. In a very real way, Detroit is a lost world – or at least a lost city where the magnificence of its past is everywhere evident."

You can view all of Marchand and Meffre's work here, which also explores abandoned theatres and Gunkanjima - an uninhabited island in Japan.


Friday, 25 October 2013

New Screen Printing workshop in Easton

Rolfe and Wills began printing a year and a half ago, creating colourful and original prints for all sorts of things- homeware, clothes, furniture. With their quirky little designs, these prints are great for cosy English homes and great gifts. Maybe you've seen some of their work in BS8 on Park Street? The rainbow zebra cushions definitely stick in my mind!

As that the business is going so well, Rolfe and Wills have found themselves a new space- an old garage in Easton that they have renovated into a shiny new studio, with a massive 900 square feet to use.

Now that this studio is all set up, Rolfe and Wills will be offering workshops before Christmas to give everyone a chance to do their own screen printing onto things like T-shirts, totes, cushions and tea-towels etc. Sounds like good fun and useful for Christmas presents!

We'll let you know when Rolfe and Wills have some dates for these workshops so watch this space.

Check out their website here


Thursday, 24 October 2013

The very best places to be lost or found

CABIN PORN! Don't be put off by the name...this website just shows the most beautiful, original little houses and cabins that are in the middle of nowhere and completely cut-off from almost everything. Each photo is as idyllic as the next, and I thought for our theme of Lost & Found this would give some good inspiration! Keep those submissions coming, the email is

It would be so good to just be lost in one of these places, have a little holiday away from the usual busy life, and cut off from technology. I can never decide if I prefer the ones by the water, or in a wood? The treehouse ones are so cool, but then maybe you could catch your own fish if you were by a lake!

Here a few of my favourites, it's impossible to choose though, there are pages and pages on the site!

Stucco shed in San Diego, California, USA.
Submitted by Rachel Bellinsky.

A-frame near Hellnavegur, Iceland.
Contributed by Zach Klein.

Thatched cabin on The River Test, England.
Contributed by Richard Gorodecky.

Cabin on Lake O’Hara, Alberta, Canada.

Cloud Chamber for the Trees and Sky, a camera obscura structure built by Chris Drury for the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Contributed by Matthew Gluf.


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Lost & Found: Thinking about the theme.

To get all those minds thinking about the new issue's theme of 'Lost and Found' I thought I'd share an article I read a few weeks ago in The Guardian.

Experience Sep 14 2013: Mimi Ferry

This touching story demonstrates the two meanings of the words 'Lost and Found': the lost items that are discovered by strangers in sometimes likely places and the idea of losing a person and perhaps coming to terms with that kind of lost. It also might be interesting to consider the significance of items themselves: how might a lost item reflect the personality of the owner?

Hope this has got some ideas going!

Friday, 18 October 2013


It's the first day of the Frieze art fair 2013! If you're going to see the fair I am very very jealous, if you aren't, why not take a peek at a few select pieces of art (being exhibited at the fair, right now) that I've lovingly hand-picked. This is a very heterogenous selection, and my choices were mostly motivated by colour. I adore the delicate shades of Dee Ferris' 'Blue Milk' and 'Lounge Lover', the brilliant colour pops of Ohtake and Heftis' pieces, and the intimacy and subtly of Kasten's black and white photographs. Enjoy!

Raphael Heftis 
Ukowski Vorhang
Hans Hartung 
Dee Ferris 
Dee Ferris 

Meiro Koizumi

Kon Trubkovich

Shrino Ohtake

Barbara Kasten 
Barbara Kasten

For more, visit the Frieze website -


Thursday, 17 October 2013

The Williams Sisters and their Sports Cheeses!

These Bristol based illustrators, together named the Williams Sisters, came up with the ingenious idea of merging of 90's sports brands with...cheese? The artists, Chris Wright and Richie Moment, describe their work as 'an athletic homage to the fromage'. Since their initial success with Briebok, the pair have found huge popularity not only online but at the Graphic Arts festival Pick Me Up with these witty, colourful designs.

Have a look at the their blog on the link below, it'll make you smile - I think my favourite is 'Tommy Hilfeta'...


Words of the Week # 11

It’s a new year for Helicon and in this first “Words of the Week” we thought we’d remember some of the poets that have left us.

Today it’s “Digging” by Seamus Heaney.

 I won’t say anymore.


Between my finger and my thumb  
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound  
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:  
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds  
Bends low, comes up twenty years away  
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills  
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft  
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.  
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.

-          Seamus Heaney (1939 - 2013)

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Submit work for this term's issue!


Helicon is back for the Autumn term and we are excited to announce the theme for this terms magazine. We would love you interpret Lost & Found in anyway you like, and in any creative medium of your choosing.

Send us your poetry, creative writing, art, photography or any creative idea to before 4th November to be considered for publication in our Winter issue.

To get some ideas brewing, here’s a dose of inspiration…

Rediscovering objects from childhood...

Hidden places found...

The rediscovery of something you used to love...

Collections of found objects...

Lost letters...

Derelict spaces and ghost towns...

... Or objects put away for someone else to find.

We really look forward to seeing your submissions!