Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Buy iconic rock images from the '70s and '80s

Howard Barlow began his career photographing the bands of the 70's and 80's for NME and Melody Maker. His iconic images of The Ramones, Queen and Iggy Pop are now available to purchase online here. For more information on Howard and to see more of his photos click here.

Book recommendation: 'Day for Night' by Frederick Reiken

Heads up for Day for Night by Frederick Reiken which is a beautifully written book spanning the course of both the generations and a huge variety of people's lives. With a collection of first person narratives it subtly reminds us of the connections that there are between us which can often go unrecognised. A global village where memory, experience and intuition collide on so many different levels. This is what Henry Hitchens had to say in the Financial Times:

"Day for Night, for which fans have had to wait a decade, the New Jersey native seems set to become a literary star rather than merely a cult author … we may be reminded of David Mitchell’s novel Ghostwritten, and also of those modish films that explore chance and causality through multiple, related plots: Crash, Pulp Fiction, Amores Perros, Babel. This is a novel of considerable ambition and Reiken skilfully marshals a cast of complex characters across a variety of locations. Reiken is a soulful writer as well as an artful one, and the confidence with which he proceeds is remarkable … there’s no denying the essential force of his vision and the precise intelligence of his prose".

Lecture on that snail and that bottle of giner beer

Heads up for a lecture by barrister Matthew Chapman for the Incorporated Council of Law reporting on the historic case of Donoghue v Stephenson. It's at 6pm on Wednesday 7 July in The Great Hall of Lincoln's Inn. Tickets are £5 but are free to law students and barristers and solicitors within three years' of call and admission respectively. To get a ticket, just fill out the form here. Matthew is also the author of the book The Snail and the Ginger Beer: The Singular Case of Donoghue v Stephenson.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Book recommendation: 'Surfing Brilliant Corners' by Sam Bleakley

Surfing Brilliant Corners is a beautifully written book by Cambridge-educated multiple European, British and English longboard surfing champion Sam Bleakley . It follows his surf travels in the last ten years and is accompanied by some stunning photos from top surf photographer John Callahan. It also uses the metaphor of jazz both for surfing and ultimately I guess, life itself. It packs in some incredible trips which are well off the beaten track from the likes of Oman and Haiti to to China and Liberia. A great read and a wonderful contribution to the increasingly rich library of literature by British surfers from Andy Martin's Stealing the Wave and Walking on Water to Tom Anderson's Riding the Magic CarpetGrey Skies, Green Waves and Chasing Dean and Alex Wade's Surf Nation.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

'Scribblings from the Surf' - Devon Life 7/10: Modern Artists in North Devon

The thirteenth in a series entitled 'Scribblings from the Surf'. For more information on Devon Life, click here. To read the article, see the text below or click to enlarge the pictures of the original article below that. To see the whole series, click here.

Two groundbreaking and highly collectable artists have chosen North Devon as their base, writes Tim Kevan
Modern art is often seen as something which is perhaps only understood by a small clique in the big cities and inaccessible to the rest of us. Whatever the truth, Conor Wilson and Gethin Wyn Jones are two such artists in North Devon who defy this stereotype by embodying a synergy between pushing forward the creative boundaries and gaining their inspiration from among other things, the natural world.
Conor Wilson 
Conor Wilson was born on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, two degrees south of the equator. He lived there until he was three in a house on stilts that would rock with the earthquakes. The beaches were volcanic black sand and when his parents were at work the local villagers would look after him and his sister. After this they spent several years living in the Middle Eastern states of Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Oman before coming to the UK to be schooled from the age of eight. This upbringing has instilled a passion for travel which has led him on many a wild trip through the backwaters of India, Thailand and Indonesia, providing a rich source of sensory experience that has been channeled into his creative life. 
But after such a varied upbringing, he ended up studying in Birmingham. He spent his time skateboarding, sketching, painting and learning. Having built up a collection of drawings he then needed a medium by which he could paint on the scale that he wanted and a local graffiti artist friend lent him an airbrush and compressor. He took to this quickly and in the Summer of 1996 some friends set up a groundbreaking street art exhibition at The Custard Factory Arts Center. It was an ambitious event and was planned alongside Ideal Skateboards’ fifth anniversary and Conor’s work was exhibited alongside thirteen other of the finest graffiti artists in the country. This led to huge interest in his work. However, on the second weekend of the show he had an accident in the exhibition space that left him needing surgery on my right arm and at the time the consultant thought it unlikely he would regain movement in his fingers and wrist. Yet whilst he was in hospital and facing the very real possibility that he might never paint again he was contacted by Uri Geller of spoon-bending fame. He had chanced on the exhibition and wanted to buy all of Conor’s paintings. Thankfully Conor recovered and for the next couple of years Uri acted as his agent, securing commissions with British Airways, introducing him to the people that mattered and setting up a show in New York.
By 1998 he decided to go it alone and has since established a successful creative career that has flowered in many different directions. A passionate surfer, snowboarder and skateboarder he also decided to move to North Devon for the surf and now exhibits not only at the JC gallery in Braunton but also has a permanent exhibition space at the Blue Groove restaurant in Croyde. He paints in a variety of mediums and styles, with subject matter ranging from acrylic airbrush portraiture, to landscapes in oil. He is also well known for his popular 2-d sand relief work. He has painted many interior and exterior murals from cable cars in the French Alps, to shops, bars, and restaurant interiors throughout Europe. His deepening passion for oil painting also led to a series of landscapes based upon sketches, plein air studies and photographs of the North Devon coastline in which he hopes to capture the mood of the moment in a looser, freer style.

Gethin Wyn Jones
Think modern art and one of the first names to spring to mind is that of North Devon resident Damian Hirst, officially the most expensive living artist in the world. So it’s a huge honour to be working for the great man, particularly when that work involves painting. That is exactly what Gethin Wyn Jones does in his day job. Not that it’s a particular surprise given that in 2006 whilst he was studying fine art and painting at Bath University he won the prestigious Nationwide Mercury Prize Art Competition. This was basically one of the leading student art competitions in the country and led to Gethin not only being presented with his prize at the Mercury Music Awards ad hob-nobbing with rock stars but also to his artwork appearing on the cover of the album for those awards. All of which is not too shabby for a lad who hails from Bangor in North Wales.
His own work explores the relationship between colours and different systems or situations and he has been using a computer to study the interaction of colour. In other words he’s taking a scientific approach to how each colour reacts to another one as they sit alongside each other. This has gradually led him to study the construction of a virtual two dimensional space. His intention is to make this ‘virtual two dimensional space’ seem vast and is fascinated with how he should present this space on a computer screen. One way of doing this is through geometric landscapes whose hard edges he not only finds to be clean and perfect but which also allow him to differentiate very clearly between the colours. They also allow him to play with how the eye looks at things, sometimes providing the appearance of an optical illusion.
He’s driven by a passion to make the world look a little bit better, a little less drab and though he hesitates to say it, even a more beautiful place. For this he takes his inspiration from a huge range of sources including architecture, computer games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Sim City and Command and Conquer and the mountains of his native Welsh homeland. He also finds particular inspiration in the countryside and sea of North Devon. He’s inspiring to listen to and you get the feeling that he’s ambitious at some point in the future to really change the way people look at things through work that might even be considered seminal. What this means in practical terms is spending hour upon hour experimenting with his art and creating some wonderful pieces in the process.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Corner Bistro in Braunton: Update

I previously posted about The Corner Bistro in Braunton here and you can also see what I had to say below. I'm delighted to say that they continue to go from strength to strength. To see samples of their various menus, click on the following links: breakfastlunchtea and dinner

Previous post
Whether you're after eggs benedict for breakfast, a quiet coffee or a delicious evening meal, then look no further than The Corner Bistro in Braunton, North Devon which is both a wonderful, down to earth and friendly cafe during the day as well as an incredible restaurant in the evening. Run by Emma and Andy who also enjoy surfing, you can find out more information at their website here. Oh, and they make the best bacon sandwiches in the world!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

DNA testing iPhone app from Cellmark

Great to see that businesses that service lawyers are now turning their sights to iPhone apps. One such is that produced by Cellmark who do DNA testing. The app is called iDNA and "is designed to provide you with the information you need before you decide to undergo DNA relationship testing" and includes a facility that "offers existing customers the opportunity to check the progress of their DNA testing case", whether they be lawyers, doctors or private individuals. It also includes "details of the wide range of different types of DNA relationship testing that Cellmark offers". Cellmark Marketing Manager Paul West says: "The key thing for the legal community is that it provides an aide memoire about DNA testing – offering advice on the effectiveness of each type of testing and also provides videos about the key issues and for existing customers of Cellmark they can quickly and simply check on the progress of a case."

Hat tip to John Bolch at Family Lore. Please note that whilst Cellmark sponsor my site, I am not being paid for this post.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

LawDonut - legal resources for business

Heads up for LawDonut which provides lgal resources for business. They also have an excellent blog covering practical and topical legal issues for your business.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Riverside Italian restaurant, Braunton

Heads up for The Riverside, a wonderful new Italian restaurant at 30 Caen Street in Braunton. It's run by River Cafe-trained top chef, restaurant manager, surfer and all round good guy Steve Cave who also has an excellent food blog called The Dinnertime Allstars.