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  • Gemma Speakman

TRASHY ART


'This week I’m channeling the art vibe but I feel the need to add some trash. So to kick off on a bit of a subversive tip before we get all serious and cultural, let’s put the end of the night at the top of the page. Some trash food. The inspiration dubbed ‘Midnight Cowboys’ caught my eye in a new mag I’ve started to write for (more of this at a later date). So I’ll ask you this: you’re tipsy, the takeaway is closed, the cupboards are almost empty, you’re starving and need soakage, what do you concoct? This little mind game need not be accurate, true or even happen but you might find out some trashy food secrets your mates had that they hoped you’d long forgotten or that lie dormant in them still.

A winning concoction put forward in the original feature was the 'home made' doner - crumpets, spam and wasabi. For me the staple was a fried egg staleish bread sandwich with lashings of HP (total winner any time, any place and better with fresh bread). A horseradish sauce sandwich (this happened regularly but mostly when very desperate or after an abundance of malibu ’n’ coke, to ‘counter’ the sweetness if you will), tinned sardines in tomato sauce with a bombay spice side crunch topping or cold baked beans served from le tin. Other times, egg or glass noodles with piccalili or mint sauce, Chicago Town Deep Dish pepperoni (sometimes served with the polystyrene under carriage baked and intact) or perhaps chocolate digestives with wafer thin ham and squirty cream (a sordid SOBER reality back in the 90’s for my sister). I am sure your list is as colourful.

Pretend the bacon's not in the pic because it wasn't in the fridge

What you eat when it’s planned and organised and when the take away is open is quite civilised in comparison to this. The utter lawlessness alcohol and desperation breeds when it comes to food is quite telling. The bottom line being that when there's stuff in the cupboard that you have to make do with, you’ll basically eat anything within reason with absolutely no need whatsoever for a modern day pompous ‘jus.’ Let's remind ourselves it's part of our wonderful human survival instinct.

Taking flowers to another level with Trashy Flowers? Yes please!

Trash Art of the week

Something that really struck me this week and made me smile a lot was an artist I stumbled across who turns rubbish bins into works of total, immersive floral beauty.

Lewis Miler and his team have a rich catalogue of very ordinary looking rubbish bins (trash cans), that he feels are worthy of displaying his art (note, not all are worthy). He chooses his vessel very carefully (and very early in the morning usually following the bin men so the installation starts in a clean(ish) bin) and then he gifts flowers to New Yorkers. His self proclaimed motivation to be to want to ‘create an emotional response with flowers.’

Exhibition of the week

YSP in Wakefield Yorkshire opened a new exhibition in January called Revolt & Revolutions. A broad exhibition into the subversive counter culture that showcases how art as a movement can and has been instrumental in trashing the ideas and beliefs held long and hard in the establishment with the bigger vision to forage change. This celebrates and recognises the artists who sought both on a personal and a global level to ‘give a voice to the unheard, give power to the vulnerable and celebrate the human capacity for positive action, even in adversity.’ Punk it up. Until 15 April.

Constable Haywain, (c) Peter Kennard. Cruise Missile with a classic anyone?

Photographer of the week

I stumbled across the photography of Dorothea Lange a few weeks back when I was researching the film Mudbound. The synonymous simplicity and complexity of her images struck me. We all the know the saying that a picture speaks a thousand words but here it really resonates. When I look at this woman’s face I think I could easily write a thousand words of her life story so far and what she is thinking right there in that moment. That’s what makes a powerful and evocative photo - the romanticised unknown that wavers and is never fully ascertained in the beholder is where the power lies over and over. This lady is not trying or posing or taking her umpteenth selfie of the day and living a false life through social media. She trashes all that. She doesn;t even know about all that, she's just trying to make it through her day to day life and make sure her kids are ok. Ok, so this was a long time ago but the principles are the same.

And on a lighter note, remember life’s niggling problems have been around a lot longer than us - this poor lady’s having money, car and baby trouble. Familiar anyone?!

Quote of the week that you'll probably trash

The god of innovative brain that walks amongst us (unless he’s zoomed off to space with his mum), Elon Musk has this week notched himself yet higher in my brain ladder with his affirmation that we are, in reality, the subjects of an advanced civilization’s video game housed within a giant computer simulation. We just ‘think’ we’re flesh and blood participants in a physical world. I’ve known all along since Jim Carrey in the Truman Show told me! Seriously though, this keeps me awake at night. I wonder who’s watching us - what do they look like!?

It could be you. It could be us...

Trashy Fashion of the week

Ok hands up, I cheated here and just typed into search engine google the words ‘trashy fashion’ and this came up. I have no idea what is trashy about this image - it’s interesting, it's complex, she’s seriously ovedone it in so many ways (ribbon, glasses, ribbon and two tones of mismatched plum), plus the weird sheep/poodle embellishment atop skirt). Hugely interesting yes, but trashy? More like de-ranged Morris Dancer who got lost in the mid-West, non? PS tan colour jazz shoes are NEVER ok (especially served with vanilla socks - puh-lease).


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