Month: July 2015

Julie Alice Chappell Computer Bugs

Interview: Julie Alice Chappell | Computer Bugs

Most of us work on a computer every day but how many of us consider its inner workings and what happens to them when the computer has past its use-by date? British cook-turned-artist Julie Alice Chappell rarely sits at a computer but knows her way around e-waste and the discards of technology so well that she can see beauty where others see rubbish dump. After coming to art later in life, she has found her niche in creating beautiful bugs, butterflies and dragonflies using the remnants of unwanted computers. And now she has such a following and demand that her pieces get snapped up quicker than you can swat a fly! Even if you aren’t partial to a bug-eyed creature, you can’t help but be mesmerised by her detailed, colourful and realistic Computer Bugs and Circuit Board Butterflies. Here, Julie Alice talks about her work and her passion for protecting the environment. Tell us about yourself and your background and how you’ve ended up where you are today? When I was 19 I moved to Portsmouth to study …

Pintxos at Atari Gastroteka in San Sebastian

Photo Essay | Spanish Food

Whether you’re a foodie or not, you can’t help but become one when you visit Spain and in particular San Sebastian which is renowned for its gastronomony. Even a simple meal of tapas is a delight. So hold on to your taste buds and sample some Spanish scrumptiousnesss. In the Basque region, tapas are called ‘pintxos‘ (pronounced pinchos) and are rather like substantial canapes. They sit on the bar so you can choose which ones you want, and go back again and again and again! Seafood, egg and cured meats are common ingredients. They are typically available from lunchtime till very late and are constantly replenished. A fantastic dinner substitute if you haven’t adapted to Spanish dining hours and can’t wait until 9 pm (at the earliest) to eat dinner. The top image was taken in one of the most popular and renowned bars, Atari Gastroteka, in the old town of San Sebastian opposite the cathedral.  You can have a ‘proper’ meal as well but you need to book a table at busy times. You can even sit on the cathedral steps …

The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Photo Essay | Northern Spain

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you’ll have noticed my Spanish sojourn and over the next couple of weeks I thought I’d share with you some of what I saw. Starting in Bilbao at the northern tip of Spain in the Basque region, the Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry takes centre stage and must be visited, even if you only see the exterior and none of the modern art exhibitions inside. Artist Jeff Koons’ gigantic Puppy sculpture made entirely from living flowers announces your arrival with all the fanfare of a summer party. When I visited there was a retrospective exhibition on Jeff Koons’ wacky modern art such as this giant cerise Balloon Dog as part of his ‘Celebration’ series. More Jeff Koons’ shiny, happy installations. If you can’t get enough of Frank Gehry’s architecture pay a visit or, even better, stay at the Hotel Marques de Riscal in La Rioja. Set amongst the rolling vineyards of Spain’s famous wine region, the hotel, which is itself one of the oldest Rioja wineries founded in 1858, is magnificent. You can …

Architectural Pavilion for NYC Figment Festival

Upcycling for Good Reason

I may have titled this post ‘Upcycling for Good Reason’ as if some people upcycle for no good reason but it is more to highlight those who are doing it to make a bold statement or make a massive difference to others Fonderie 47 is one of the most dynamic and forward-thinking of the latter group. Founded by entrepreneur Peter Thum, Fonderie 47 turns weapons of war into beautiful pieces of jewellery and statement watches. Each piece is made from parts of an AK47 and funds programs to remove such weapons from circulation, creating a safer environment for aid and development. They say they’ve destroyed more than 40,000 AK47s and other such assault rifles in Africa. Each weapon is melted down and given to different artists to work their magic. No expense is spared nor technical specifications skimped (read more on the Inversion Principle AK47 Watch as a case in point). It’s estimated about 75 illegal guns are required to make just one custom-made ring. Wow. Then there’s architects Izaskun Chinchilla from Madrid who, for the Figment NYC outdoor festival (Summer 2015), have created a …