Friday, 21 December 2012

A house fit for a Hobbit

Once again another book adaption has hit our screens this festive season, with the Great Gatsby put aside until May, all eyes are on J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece “The Hobbit”. Lasting  a great 3 hours long, the book has been divided into three movies and has had an amazing turn over in the box office, with unbelievable visual effects and touching story the film is a must see for all fans of the Lord of The Rings franchise.  I finally got to view the much anticipated movie this week, the film had been hyped a lot with posters at nearly every bus stop and trailers popping up everywhere over the last few weeks so I was quite concerned as to whether it would live up to my expectations or not. As a major fan of Lord of The Rings I was delighted with the film and found the visual imagery stunning and the soundtrack as equally enjoyable.

Like most movies the setting plays a large part in the movie, for The Hobbit the viewer is transported into an entirely differently world full of strange creatures such as Orcs, Wizards, Dwarfs and of course Hobbits. One place that has always stood out to me since I first watched The Fellowship of the Ring was Frodo’s beloved Shire. In The Hobbit, The Shire is once again a place of great importance, it is fair to say that the cherished home of Bilbo Baggins is a familiar setting for any Tolkien fan, with its circular door, grass roof, and quaint wooden interior it is a cosy dwelling for any Hobbit and while The Shire may be hard to come across, it is possible to try recreate a room worthy of Baggins standard if the right approach is taken.

Below I have included some interiors that I think would suit any modern day Tolkien or Baggins who want a quiet and peaceful space to relax and read. 


Toni & Guy Style Event

Quite a lot has changed since my blog posts September, I am now a UCD Fashion and Design committee member and  I recently applied to become a Toni & Guy Student brand Ambassador for my college. I was successful in my application and was lucky enough to be selected as one of the five students to represent Toni & Guy at UCD.  As a first year student this is a great opportunity for me and allows me to help host Toni& Guy styling events in the Dublin branch store and also promote the brand by offering discount cards to my fellow students.

Our first style event was recently held in November, each major college from Dublin had their five ambassadors attending and each group of college ambassadors selected 15 -20 other students to attend the exclusive event. There was music and refreshments along with expert advice from the stylists. Everyone was free to chat with other college students making it a great way to meet new people interested in hair and fashion, the event lasted until  around 11pm and the after party was held in a nearby club. The next event will be held in January and will hopefully be just as successful. 

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Florence and The Machine's Farewell to 2012

Florence has been touring for 5 years now whether it is small town pubs, outdoor festivals, small indoor gigs or huge awards shows she has seen it all. It was announced that after this tour she and the band would be taking a year out. It was sad news but they deserve the break I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be working like that and have no solid home or routine for 5 years. I have always been a major Florence fan since 2009, I first saw her in 2010 in the Olympia Theatre Dublin where I had the once in a lifetime opportunity of her singing Happy Birthday to me in front of the entire crowd,  a moment I cherish and  will never forget.

I then saw her a month later at Oxegen on the main stage. Jumping about in the pouring rain outside  was a completely different experience to the first time I saw her, I was in the pit and with the risk of nearly passing out around a bunch of rowdy drunken strangers I had to be pulled out of there halfway through the set for the sake of my own safety. Never the less I was still in awe at her performance, her energy on stage and interaction with the crowd allow her to be a such a popular festival act, I only wish I had been old enough to go to Oxegen in 2009 to see her perform in one of the small tents.

The third time I saw Florence was last Summer at Phoenix park, it was an unbelievable gig, my friends and I were lucky enough to get to the front barrier at the pit, this time however the crowd was not as rowdy and I was able to fully enjoy the experience, I brought a poster with me and I was lucky enough to have it shown several times on the big screen.

It was during my first week of college that the tickets for the O2 date was announced, I had unfortunately missed out on getting tickets to her gig in the 02 last march and was determined not to miss it this time and I can honestly say that the concert was worth every cent. My friends and I made it to the front barrier and although it was part of the Ceremonials tour the entire gig was like the Lungs era. I have seen Florence and the Machine perform twice during the Lungs era and Twice during the Ceremonials era but last week was definitely a Lungs gig. They went all out in their performance and there were no boundaries.  Florence works best as a free spirit, most of her songs have not made it to number one but she has a massive fan base and has worldwide successful, I personally don’t think she works as a mainstream artist like Rihanna, during the release of Spectrum they over promoted and campaigned it on twitter and it reached number one but the video is so theatrical and publicised as some sort of “gay anthem” it has become one of my least favourite songs. Of course one of the great benefits of Florence becoming so mainstream is that I know get to hear her songs being played a lot in clubs, I adore Sweet Nothing and think everything about it - the video, the lyrics and collaboration with Calvin Harris is brilliant.

This is one of the reasons I think I was so happy to see Florence perform such a Lungs era manner. They all had dressed up as Clowns for the concert and she was dressed in the famous clown suit from the original “Dog Days Are Over” video, the first ever Florence song that I ever heard. I remember hearing it on the radio several times but it took me a week to find out who actually performed it after that I was hooked.  During the performance she threw several pots of glitter into the crowd and encouraged people to “take it off” by the end of one song there was about twenty pieces of clothing on the stage as people frantically threw shirts, bras and headpieces in a hope that she would pick them up, like Lungs era she was drinking on stage and progressively got more drunk throughout the gig in true Florence style. At one point her and Isa started wrestling, knocking each other to the ground followed by them both jumping the barrier into the crowd and crowd surfing to the dismay of security who had to rush to the barrier and drag them out. Throughout the performance of “No Light, No Light” the members  of the support band HAIM ran out to the barrier and started dancing along and shaking hands with people standing at the barrier, I was one of those lucky few who got to clap hands with Este, the bass player as she danced about with her sisters. During the encore of the set about 20 people ran onstage in full costume and started dancing and the reality of this being the final show truly hit me. It was both amazing to watch and really sad, Florence shed a few tears as they ended the show in true Flo style full of glitter and madness.

I can honestly say it is going to be really strange for Florence and the Machine to have a yearlong break and I’m really going to miss them touring about the place and making covers and new music. They have become such a big part of my life and I hope they enjoy it , today Isa tweeted about crying leaving the studio and only a few days ago Florence was spotted at the front barrier of The XX dancing along with The XX fans so I look forward to hearing the ups and downs and what they get up too, I believe  they will be back as they recently tweeted days  before the end show “this isn’t it”, but  for now I have my Lungs and Ceremonials albums and since I saw a guy film the entire Dublin gig I can only hope for a DVD release of the tour. 

Changing The Way You Think

I think its important for a person to have an interest in literature , whether it be from a book, poem, newspaper or magazine article we can learn a lot from their simple messages. I enjoy stumbling upon new quotes and thoughts in everyday media. Below  is  a collection a few favourites of mine; some the sayings belong to unknown authors while others range from writers,poets,painters to musicians and  even fictional characters.

"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost" - J.R.R Tolkien

“When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don’t seem to matter very, much do they?”  - Virginia Woolf

 “ One day, you’re 17 and you’re planning for someday and then quietly without you ever noticing, someday is today and then someday is yesterday and this is your life.”  - John Green

"Humans have a knack for choosing precisely the things that are worst for them."- Albus Dumbledore

“Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall

“Just remember that sometimes, the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are.” - John Green 

 “That’s the thing about art, see - if its done right it will make you question everything you are”

 “Well now if little by little you stop loving me, I shall stop loving you little by little. If Suddenly you forget me do not look for me, for I shall already have forgotten you.”

“That’s not writing, that’s typing” – Truman  Capote

"And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too." - The Kite Runner  

"I can’t just have one painting—I need to cover the wall in paintings. It’s the same with my music. I want to mix everything together to create more." - Florence Welch 

“There are worse things than being alone but it often takes decades to realise this and most often when you do its too late and there is nothing worse than too late”

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead to an understanding about ourselves." -Carl Jung 

An Artist's Sanctuary

According to Leonardo Da Vinci “An artist’s studio should be a small space because small rooms discipline the mind and large ones distract it.” Over time I think this concept has changed a lot but one things for sure, you can definitely tell a lot about an artist by simply observing their work environment. I have always been fascinated by art studios, in my opinion they are strongly connected to the artist’s work and can often reflect their style.


For instance, Francis Bacon’s studio [Fig.1], is full of clutter and collections with paint buckets and newspapers discarded all over the place, the viewer passes through into a world of disorder. I may not be a fan of his art but his studio is quite fascinating, an interesting focal point of this insane paradise has to be his circular mirror which shows Bacon’s fascination with circular shapes. He is known to have featured a lot of circles in his work so it is no suprise that he would display such a mirror in his studio. His loose brush and unusual subject matter can easily be associated with this hectic studio. The Studio itself has been relocated piece by piece to The Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin and is well worth the visit for anyone interested in interior d├ęcor and art.   


Other artists’ studios that have intrigued me include Louise Bourgeois’ cosy home studio in New York [Fig. 2] and Pablo Picasso’s vast studio space in France [Fig.3].



Along with famous artists I also like to see the areas that other modern artists work in, I believe that the area you work in can affect the outcome of your art so it is important to set up a comfortable place suitable for your needs, by searching the internet I have found some beautiful work spaces and below are a few examples of my favourite studio spaces.


Monday, 8 October 2012

Little Talks

                                                            Of Monsters and Men -Little Talks

Its been a while since I got a chance to update this blog things have been pretty hectic and exciting recently, I have just finished my first month of College at UCD  in Dublin, I have now moved from studying Fine Art and Illustration to English and Art History ( I also study psychology and Film Studies as my electives) , its a big change in my many ways the college is a lot bigger, the course is completely different and I am now living four hours away from home.

I have always loved Dublin and I am really happy that I made the decision to come here, there is so much things to do and I was lucky enough to meet new people and settle in so soon...since I stay up here a month at a time it makes me appreciate my hometown a lot more when I go home. My Summer ended quite abruptly once I got my offer which meant I never got a proper chance to celebrate the end of Summer with my closest friends which I was quite disappointed about, luckily most of us are all addicted to Facebook and Twitter and barely sleep at night so we're able to keep in contact on a regular basis.

 I probably wont be posting my own art on this page anymore but intend to keep it up to date with some of the artists Im interested in along with  fashion, films and music as usual. This song "Little Talks" in particular is my favourite song at the moment, its such an autumn song and I was convinced it was Ellie Goulding singing when I first heard it.