Thursday, 30 December 2010

Parkour was invented by Mary Poppins...

...not cool French boys.

I rest my case.

New old Soviet fairytale 1.

Sea of ground
Hovering towers made me realise
I did not know you could walk on water

Flicked stones - no echoes
Windows impenetrable
To acts of casual vandalism
Searching for princesses
I think you knew
That one was captured

Prison of grey sky reaching
Bridges with eyes
Too many to avoid
Unless blurred with aching distances

You walked
Legs like paper animation
A desert metropolis
With no foundations
For the upcoming years

Robots of concrete and glass
Are brittle
Crumble where mechanics can’t
They rely on each other
Grumble in static frustration
As you get away

Hair disguised as wires
Shoddy electricians job
It would have been dangerous
To take a guess
And climb braided ladders

Tears of flaked frustration
Glazed her eyes
In lens thin shards
If you’d only looked up
Second window, sixth floor, third building
As you walked away
On solid water

Like a fairground automaton
The vehicles weren’t ready to chase you

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Somewhere in dreamland...

All I want for Christmas is trees that grow 1930s dresses and a carousel made of cake please.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Skateistan - to live and skate Kabul

I found this via my friend the lovely Elle

SKATEISTAN: TO LIVE AND SKATE KABUL from Diesel New Voices on Vimeo.

Such an amazing project... Never underestimate the potential future importance of giving kids a chance, however small, to reclaim their streets...

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Friday, 10 December 2010

Aesthetica Creative Works Competition and Annual

I was recently very excited to discover my poem "Forgotten Holiday" was specially commended in the Aesthetica Creative Works competition. Here's the press release from the lovely folk at said organisation:

'Local Artist Beats off Competition from Thousands to be commended in the Aesthetica Creative Works Competition 2010.

Local artist, Alice Maddicott has been commended by the Judges in the Aesthetica Creative Works Competition 2010.

Aesthetica is a British-based art and culture publication that engages with contemporary art and culture both in the UK and internationally, combining dynamic content while exploring the best in emerging and established contemporary arts and design. Established in 2002, Aesthetica Magazine is stocked in WH Smith, prestigious locations such as Tate Modern, Serpentine and National Portrait Gallery, and in March 2008 the company added a second publication to its fold, the Aesthetica Annual.

The Aesthetica Creative Works Annual 2011 is available in galleries and independent retailers nationwide and will showcase the very best in new artistic and writing talent. The Annual has been comprised of the winning entries of the Aesthetica Annual Creative Works Competition, which received an astounding 4000 entries.

Now in its third year, the Competition attracts entries from across the world, and engages with 4000 writers and artists, providing them with the opportunity to showcase their work to Aesthetica’s readers, and Alice Maddicott will enjoy this exposure having been commended for their artistic contribution.

Aesthetica Editor and one of the judges, Cherie Federico:

“This year’s competition was incredible. I was thrilled by the quality of entries, equally, I had to make some tough decisions, and I spent a considerable amount of time contemplating each piece of work. Being commended in the Creative Works Competition is a fantastic achievement as there were only 50 commendations for each category.”

With three categories for artwork, poetry and fiction, the Aesthetica Competition was judged by Cherie Federico, Creative Writing lecturer Dr Kate North, and writer and editor Rachel Hazelwood. Cherie Federico says: “I think I can speak for all the judges when I say that the entries were of an extremely high calibre. We actually had to extend the judging period for a week and a half because whittling the works down proved a huge deliberation, but it’s really encouraged me to continue championing new talent and encouraging creativity in everyone. There was huge potential in so many of the works which Rachel, Kate and myself saw and I would like to urge all the competition entrants to continue developing their considerable talents.”'

You can buy the annual here

Thursday, 9 December 2010

My Tree, My Community - The Eden Project

Photos of our tree decorating at The Eden Project. Our tree was inspired by talking to the elderly residents of Indian Queens at a tea party at the school. We were fascinated by the discovery that the majority of the guests at our tea party, instead of a traditional Christmas tree when they were younger, collected branches of holly to decorate. We wanted to recreate this idea by creating our own sparkling branches. We were also inspired by how, when asked to design their dream tree, many of the class created a tree that was dressed up as something else or looked alive. This led to the idea of dressing our tree up as a holly tree. We also wanted to incorporate Christmas memories and stories, both of the class and of our guests at the tea party as we learned so many interesting things. Therefore inside our holly tree "clothes" there are fragments of stories, ideas and descriptions to act as a written memory museum of Christmas past and present - each leaf is a little book in which to share our discoveries. There is also a secret surprise if you look closely, really bringing our tree to life! Friendly Christmas tree monster anyone?

Thanks to everyone at The Eden Project, the super creative children and the lovely Miss Fugler at Indian Queens school.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Telling-Grandon Scrapbook

I've been thinking a lot about scrapbooks recently. Partly to do with new projects I'm doing with friends such as the pen-pal work that will hopefully end up as part of The Car-Boot Museum, but also in terms of images and memory and how we organise these things - the invisible lines that link images together and trigger thoughts that could be completely different to the image displayed. I like the idea that everything is linked almost on an invisible washing line. Actually I really like washing lines as a display tool for words and images... But I digress!

The Telling-Grandon scrapbook is part of the Louisiana Digital Library - an amazing resource where you can browse hundreds of wonderful images. In the words of the library "The Telling-Grandon Scrapbook is a 28-page scrapbook/diary containing photographs and ephemera collected by an Evanston, Illinois group during a visit by train to the New Orleans Carnival of 1903. The New Orleans section includes brief references to Begue�s Restaurant, Fabacher's Restaurant, Christ Church, Metairie Cemetery, St. Roch Cemetery, Tulane University, the French Opera, the U.S. Mint, the Young Men's Gymnastic Club, U.S. and French battleships in port, Royal Street, the French Market, and the Rex and Proteus parades. While the scrapbook has no single author, several of the entries are signed by individuals within the group. Two of the more prominent among these were an Irving Telling and Willie Grandon; thus the title of the collection, Telling-Grandon."

I am fascinated by diaries as well as scrap books and the Telling-Grandon is a rare chance to see text as well as archive images. I also love the atmosphere of the photos - the creepy carnival outfits to the old balconied buildings that really remind me of Tbilisi! Here are a few to look at, and you can look for yourself here

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Tree house of the day... The Chene-Chapelle

... and it's also a wooden church! I am happy. The Chene-Chapelle in Allouville France is located in an oak tree over 1000 years old. Truly beautiful...

I have a new book on treehouses of the world I bought whilst working at The Eden Project yesterday. Perfect accompaniment to chilli and lime chocolate and Saturday afternon tea...
In other treehouse news I am thrilled to discover that the supreme court has saved this fabulous treehouse in Clinton, Mississippi. Read more at

Japanese ruined themepark

I can't believe I never posted these before. I discovered these photos about 5 years ago and thought I was in dream world bliss... Japan has lots of amazing ruins - I think these ones are in the north of the main island...

I have a thing for ruined themeparks - ferris wheels seem to dot the landscapes of my ex Soviet travels a lot... The bottom one is one in Sevan, Armenia that we drove past, and the top one is in Armenia too...