The Magazine Covers of 2012

Having set out on the path of work in magazine journalism this year, and with my interest in design, I am always one to take a keen interest in striking magazine covers. Here are a few that have caught my eye over the past year.

The Big Issue No.985 | January 2012

Not only an opportunity for homeless or vulnerable people, The Big Issue is unafraid and educative reading. Issue 985 from 30th January confronted us with war; and made us stare it directly in the face. That week both Coriolanus and War Horse were released so actor Ralph Fiennes and retired-colonel Tim Collins shared their insight into how war reflects contemporary society.

Interview (Russia) | February 2012

Lana Del Rey was our sultry and alluring musical sweetheart for 2012. With the release of her debut album Born To Die on 27th January the singer went on to grace the covers of Rolling Stone, Q, Vogue, NME, Glamour, GQ and Tatler – just to name a few.

Vanity Fair | July 2012 (Mario Testino)

The universality of Kristen Stewart’s fame was substantiated in 2012 with the conclusion of the Twilight Saga on film, her relationship with Robert Pattinson (its ups and unfortunate downs) and her appearance in other chart films including Snow White and the Huntsman (alongside Charlise Theron) and Walter Salles’ interpretation of Kerouac’s On The Road.

Town: The London Quarterly Issue 1 | Spring 2012

2012 was a BIG year of celebration for London, what with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and hosting the Olympic Games. This cover drew me in and I discovered a new magazine, Town – a quarterly publication covering all things London – about our capital. Having moved to my Kennington flat in July, I delighted in reading the coverage of food, fashion, art, culture and events in the city.

Elle | July 2012

Elle made publishing history when they featured David Beckham as the first ever solo male cover star, on their July 2012 issue. And who better to do it? The footballer, family man and Olympic Ambassador is a global heartthrob, style icon and inspiring role model.

BBC Music Magazine | September 2012

In July I began working as Office Assistant at BBC Music Magazine, and not long into the job we were discussing the cover for our exciting 20th Birthday Issue. This was the result and I love it for the use of metallic silver on white; and how much it stands out from other covers we produce.

Homes & Antiques | October 2012

In August I started working at Homes & Antiques magazine on a freelance basis. I instantly fell in love with the beautiful homes, product-shoots and lovely examples of antique treasures we write about. The October cover introduced Autumn with a soft colour scheme and stunning display.

Aesthetica | October/November 2012

One of my favourite arts and culture magazines, Aesthetica covered the Tim Walker exhibition at Somerset House, William Klein & aido Moriyama at Tate Modern and Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest existential study in film, Alps.

Wonderland: The Obsession Issue | November/December 2012

Wonderland‘s Christmas Issue was fronted by One Direction – the sickly-sweet shoot goes against the magazine’s usual edgy-cool aesthetic (on purpose, it would seem, with inspiration taken from the Christmas Jumper trend, and the ‘awkward family photo’), but really did work. I enjoyed discovering the extent of people’s obsession with the boys, as well as meeting Ke$ha in interview and devouring the (as usual) decadently luxurious fashion shoots.

i-D Magazine | Winter 2012 (Angelo Pennetta)

2012′s model-of-the-moment Cara Delevingne went wild in the winter issue of i-D. Angelo Pennetta’s shoot at London zoo produced this stunning cover: it takes a lot to show us beautiful and scared so well under pressure.

The Bruce Lacey Experience


The Exchange gallery in Penzance, Cornwall is currently hosting The Bruce Lacey Experience. First exhibited at Camden Arts Centre between 7th July and 18th September, it was fantastic to catch the installations in the far South-West.

Bruce Lacey is a painter, sculpter, and performance artist known for his eccentricity and humor. Lacey’s vision places him among the avant garde, as well as on stage with surrealist performers such as The Alberts and The Goons back in the day. He has a talent for mechanisation and has designed robotic assemblages for various projects and performances.

The exhibition begins with a collection of Lacey’s childhood memorabilia and moves on to a beautiful selection of oil paintings he completed whilst studying in the 1950s at Hornsey School of Art and Royal College of Art respectively. Various videos are placed around the space displaying Lacey’s performance pieces and communication with nature through personal rituals. Assemblages stand and move occasionally, whilst above our heads a giant cage-phallus ejaculates life onto the opposite wall. Altogether, an eccentric snapshot into a man’s existence.

'Boy oh Boy, am I Living!' 1964, | Photo credit: Angus Mill

The oil paintings | Photo credit: Angus Mill

The wardrobe of a true British eccentric | Photo credit: Angus Mill

The Bruce Lacey Experience, Camden | Photo credit: Angus Mill

The Bruce Lacey Experience will be exhibited at The Exchange until 5th January. An excellent exhibition of brightness in modern British visual art culture.
Posted in Art

On Natural Beauty: Art and Life

John Ruskin once spoke on the subject of iron in nature (February 1858), and how air transforms it – that in combining with air (i.e. becoming rusty), iron attains a greater beauty and a higher strength. But for usable tools in the modern world, man strives against this natural beauty. Iron rusted is noble and living, to Ruskin, and polished and pure, it is dead.

I have been reading Ruskin's ideas in 'On Art and Life' (Penguin 2004)

“You think that your iron is wonderfully useful in a pure form, but how would you like the world, if all your meadows, instead of grass, grew nothing but wire – if your arable ground, instead of being made from clay, were suddenly turned into flat surfaces of steel – if the whole earth, instead of its green and glowing sphere, rich with forest and flower, showed nothing but the image of the vast furnace of a ghastly engine – a globe of black, lifeless, excoriated metal?”

– John Ruskin, The Work of Iron, in Nature, Art, and Policy, 16th February 1858

It seems that in the 160 years since Ruskin’s rant, his rhetoric has proved prophetic. Much of the world is iron and steel and metal sheets for human proliferation. I find a beauty in manmade structures, but let’s go back to some natural beauty.

Edward Weston’s photography (a favourite of mine) demonstrates the beautiful forms that occur naturally. Portraits of shells and vegetables are metaphors for human forms. And his literal depiction of human bodies in all natural nudeness is stunning.

Edward Weston | Pepper, 1930

Edward Weston, Nude, 1934

Edward Weston | Cabbage Leaf

Edward Weston | Nude, 1925

As Oscar Wilde mused, life imitates art far more than art imitates life.

I like that.

My playlist this week is full of…

The Knife

The Swedish electronic duo of siblings Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer formed in 1999. Electronic beats and techno energy characterise their songs – there’s something of a 1980s vintage sound in there. The pair count David Lynch, Kate Bush and Southern hiphop among their influences. They eschew media contact and only began to give live performances in 2006, when they went on tour performing in Ventian masks. Their creations are unquestionably cool and we are lucky to be able to hear them through our speakers (and in the occasional live set.)

The Knife | Photo credit:

The Knife | Pass This On

///// See more on The Knife’s VIMEO

Bristol beckons: Clifton Village

Yesterday, my best gal and I stayed huddled-up in the warmth of my little flat; in hiding from the cold day outside. But by evening (being the nocturnal creatures we had seemingly become) we wrapped ourselves in scarves, cashmere jumpers and the warmest of coats and took a walk around Clifton Village, one of my very favourite parts of Bristol. We explored the gorgeous delis, vintage treasure-troves and quirky antiques sellers, and found ourselves meandering through elegant residential streets. In the dark we passed the illuminated suspension bridge and climbed the hill to the observation point to look out over the whole city, its outlines sketched by rows of lights. We dined at The Clifton Sausage, enjoying friendly service and filling platters of gourmet sausages and buttery mashed potato. It was a warm snack to carry us safely through the cold night home. We stopped in at 20th Century Flicks on Queen’s Road – with the largest collections of films in UK – to rent a movie. A cool haunt that is, and the guys offered us chocolates from a box they had been given.

Bristol Gorillas | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Clifton Arcade | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

The lit bridge | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Clifton Suspension Bridge | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

This Is The Kit / Buke & Gase / Rosie Sleightholme | Bristol

Tomorrow Rosie Sleightholme will be supporting This Is The Kit at the Polish Club in Bristol – visit Rosie’s Soundcloud to hear her latest songs and recent plays on BBC Radio Wales.

I shall be joining Rosie for the occasional little riff as usual, and look forward to catching up with the increasingly popular TITK. They combine primal beats and energetic textures in clever songs of unpretentious beauty. And the rhythmic folk vibe is always bound to get some feet tapping.

There will also be a set from Brooklyn-based Buke & Gase, the duo of Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez on hand-altered instruments (including the gase – a guitar/bass hybrid) who champion a fresh discordant punk aesthetic.

Photo credit: This Is The Kit

Buke & Gase | Photo credit: Grant Cornett

Rosie Sleightholme | Photo credit: Lucy Norris

COME ALONG /// it’s going to be such a fun night! CLICK HERE to buy tickets.

Doors: 7.30pm. Polish Club, 50, St Paul’s Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1LP.

Join the Event on Facebook.

Bristol beckons: Arnolfini

After a lovely brunch at Mackenzie’s on the harbourside a friend and I headed over to Arnolfini to take in some contemporary art.

Matti Braun is exhibiting exquisite silk screen prints that have layers of depth in delicate and confident materials, and display fascinating combinations of colours. Abstract explorations and uneven surfaces – including a pathway over logs sitting precariously in dark water – are designed to make the viewer acutely aware of the space around them whilst examining the silk screens. There are also textiles inspired by Indian culture, and beautiful ceramics.

Matti Braun | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Matti Braun | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Matti Braun | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Matti Braun | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Matti Braun | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Matti Braun | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Matti Braun | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Matti Braun: Sarah contemplates her route | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Matti Braun | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Matti Braun | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Matti Braun | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Also showing was Extreme Rituals: A Schimpfluch Carnival, which was disturbing and grotesque: disgusting visceral beauty. Rudolf created a platform for disturbing performance pieces designed to irritate and disgust. Arnolfini is displaying photographs and film footage from the project.

UNSUITABLE FOR CHILDREN | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Extreme Rituals | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

For light relief I enjoyed prints of the book covers from novels written in Andreas Juste’s invented language, Ido.

Ido literature | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Ido Literature | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

For more information about exhibitions, shows, talks and venue hire find Arnolfini on Twitter and Facebook.

Posted in Art

Random International: Rain Room

The Barbican Centre is currently hosting a sensory installation by Random International that allows us to experience control over rainfall. You are invited to watch the art from afar, or to pass through it, placing trust in the project that uses sensors to prevent rain from falling over you. The Rain Room challenges our experiences of expected outcomes and trust in a possibility that goes against the usual universal laws. It is incredible to walk into a shower of water that ceases to exist with the simple fact of your presence. The feeling of power over the elements, and simple awe at the creation was definitely worth a two-hour wait in the queue.

Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Photo: Rosie Pentreath

The Rain Room is open until 3rd March 2013. Entry is FREE. It is beautiful, so find some time to go and experience it.

Posted in Art