Friday, 28 August 2009
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Down at the space again after a long weekend. Elph continues to work wonders on his azure and turquoise dreamscape, the centre-point a wizard-like long-limbed Bigfoot resplendent in the midst of a gaggle of imps, beauties and freaks. He is accompanied in a nearby corner by artist Ross Christie (a recent graduate of the ECA), whose ‘Bad Dudes: Here They Come’ is all neon pink and shocking blue with his trademark scowling semi-tribal masks and drunk-vision faces glaring out of the canvas.
Despite Elph’s status as graff royalty in Edinburgh and beyond, his totally humble and witty presence has been a delight and it has been so great to see a long-term, established artist enjoying his work and sharing it with the ‘go reborn’ revellers. He’s been keeping us entertained with weird and wonderful tales of late-night madness and cataloguing the graff culture of Edinburgh and beyond for us.
Ross is a pro-active and industrious man who has showered the space with his flyers and booklets that show off his artwork and also give great advice to folk wanting to set up small places. His ‘MilkTeeth/Bloodfeathers: guide to running you own artshows’ pamphlet is on sale at ‘go reborn’ and is a good intro. We like these self-publications that are also art leaflets – just the kind of thing that does well at ‘go reborn’.
Catch Ross Christie's 'Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja' at the Pageant store, Edinburgh from 20th October
Catch Elph @ Recoat in Glasgow this September
Monday, 24 August 2009
The word “hello” is less than two centuries old, my friends – but it might as well have been brand new at the weekend, so oft was it uttered in a kind of post-ironic shock (and weak-voiced wonder) at the fun we all had at the ‘go reborn’ party.
This two-hundred-year-old greeting is fitting, an archaic welcome to something so totally fresh as ‘go reborn’. We’ve taken the old, you see, putting stuff under one roof for your delectation, but we’ve infused it with the new – live on-site happenings constantly going on 7 days a week for that elusive pop-up feel. We’ll be sorry to disappoint when we have to close our doors and start on the next venture, but for now you have time left to pop-in and appreciate the lovely vibe that ‘go reborn’ has created on Calton Road.
The party, on Saturday 22nd, was to celebrate another week of busy times down at ‘go reborn’ HQ. With tunes and visuals from M.O.C & White Chocolate (from DoIt!), we cleared back the Godiva rails to make a dance floor and there were soon various dancing loons shimmying across the space. After various excellent artists having created some wonderful canvas work over the previous days, on the night we were wowed by the legendary Elph – his artwork verged on performance as revellers crowded round the canvas to egg on the genius.
As always, Auld Reekie did its bit by providing volcanic landscapes and dramatic Old Town horizons – and the Tattoo put on a free firework display and it might as well have been just for us.
Thanks to all our friends and faithful ‘go reborn’ crew for making it such a special night – we continue to receive a gaggle of visitors every day and urge you all to make ‘go reborn’ part of your Festival. The beauty of the project is that each day there is something different to see and do – it is a truly interactive experience and the perfect place to mop up art during the day, hang out in the mini-lounge, soak up rays in the hot room, watch our designers at work in the workshop or see our artists mid-opus on the canvases.
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Well done, Neil Perry!
See this and more at our spiffing gallery 'go reborn' at the Venue Studios on Calton Road....
Just been up at the space hanging out with Fraser Sim of General Standard, a truly nice guy and producer of some really popular prints at 'go reborn'. His efficient, enthusiastic and laid-back attitude is just the kind of vibe we love at 'go reborn'.
Otherwise, we have a new artist in situ, a young and talented illustrator named Matthew Swan who has fit in perfectly and his progress is already being documented by Godiva's Fleur Macintosh on the Ape Media vid-cam. You can also check out his stuff at the Owl & Lion stall at the 'go-reborn' gallery.
A soiree for 'go reborn' friends is in the offing this weekend, keep checking our Twitter account for up-to-the-minute information.
Monday, 17 August 2009
The launch party has been and gone like a whirlwind. ‘go reborn’ was packed with revelling punters. Andy Thoms and his girls Ali and Marie did us proud by supplying (and serving) their world-famous Bilgewater Gin to soon-merry customers, and Jamie and the girls at Red Bull poured rum and vodka cocktails with lashings of lime juice and ice. Photographer Dave Anderson was on hand to take portrait photos of the ‘go reborn’ crew and their fellow party-goers in various states of gin-fuelled joy. The dressing room was a busy flow of people trying on Godiva’s reworked dresses (many made on-site in our workshop) and our artists fared well; Solas Nicol and Tom Hutchinson both sold their photographic prints to keen and admiring art-fans; Elliot Neave’s video of Claudia Massie painting the skyline was a sped-up, jerky work of art in itself; in the hot room, Aberdonian Ricky Gibbs’ interactive video installation looked brilliant.
There was a raddled atmosphere of shouts and cheers as folk perused the ‘go reborn’ project; a glaring success, certainly, and more importantly a happy ambience of like-minded folk brought together by the ever-glamorous Fleur MacIntosh and her ragtag collective of futurists.
We at ‘go reborn’ are so happy to have presented our vision to Edinburgh. After the party on Saturday the space was gleaming and bright again and there was a steady flow of curious guests. Sunday at ‘go reborn’ and the sun was shining, Grace Jones was singing ‘My Jamaican Guy’ on the in-house system and her strident tones filled the space. The ‘go reborn’ scribe was still suffering from the after-effects of too much Bilgewater but the gallery continued with a steady trickle of hangers-on, customers and admirers.
Next week we’ve got lots of new things to look forward to – artist Neil Perry will take a break as his totem masterpiece has reached finishing point, and Matthew Swan and Kate McKay (an Edinburgh printmaker) will be in tomorrow to start some new exciting stuff.
More photos of the launch party can be found here:
Thanks to Rom for the snaps.
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Is Neil Perry the first artist to place an octopus on a totem pole? His strange and marvellous interpretation of Native American tribal art continues apace, with dream-like rabbits ghosting across the canvas and the aforementioned grotesquely comic totem pole squat and menacing in the centre of the piece. Neil has really integrated himself into the ‘go reborn’ collective and is a pleasure to have around – and importantly, his work is monstrously good.
ECA graduate Ali Thoms’ ‘Albal’ collection arrived today – an extensive hand-printed range of screen prints, devore and box art that is filling another corner of the cavernous space that is ‘go reborn’. Ali has been selling her handprinted scarves in Godiva Boutique’s Grassmarket store for years now and has had great success.
Each hour the space seems to put out creative feelers – the workshop and the gentle humming and clacking of the sewing machine, Neil’s quiet concentration as he creates his post-modern totem, AwareInjustice’s Jaco Justice keeping it all together, talking people through the process and building up his technological wizard’s corner day by day, stacks of laptops and printers and wires and drawing boards.
I’m sitting in the Armchair here on the other side of the turret contemplating the Crags. A massive bank of cloud is building up behind the volcanic rock, but Edinburgh is dry for now, the sun slicing through and picking out bright faces and glinting window-screens and white gulls flocking inland.
Day Three is literally the quiet before the storm, as tomorrow is the launch party when the ‘go reborn’ opens its’ doors to the curious people of Edinburgh and plies them with Bilgewater Gin – look out for our strapping doormen dressed by 21st Century Kilts, and the musical lift that will take you up to the wonderful, weird and wacked-out world of ‘go reborn’.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
‘go reborn’ has been a hive of activity all day. Claudia Massie has spent the day painting our tremendous view of the Old Town, all moody red-grey skies and endless arching bridge in luscious deep acrylics and spray paints. Amazingly she has created this piece in a matter of hours, buoyed up by an espresso doppio from one of the numerous nearby coffee bars. Karen and Susie have been busy in the workshop; Karen (a graduate from Galashiels Arts School) has already reproduced some blouses from her own collection and Susie (junior designer at Godiva) has been recycling Godiva vintage. Neil Perry from Owl & Lion has started a graff-pen design on an enormous canvas which he will be continuing over the next few days and doing live at our launch party on Friday 14th August. Neil spent some time chatting to author Ron Falconer, a Pacific island castaway who was passing through (check out his book on the Caroline Atoll on
AF Giles’ blog here). Solas Nicol arrived with his fashion and festival photography prints which look stunning alongside Kate McKay’s illustrations. Rachel Barron’s (ECA) cut-up love story and urban-inspired artwork set it all off very nicely.
This pop-up space is consistently evolving, and over the coming days many more artists, photographers, designers and misfits will be gracing us with their presence.
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
'go reborn’ is officially open! The Godiva workshop is up and running and our designers are already hard at work customising and altering vintage wear for your delectation. AwareInjustice frontman Jaco Justice has been hard at work littering the space with highly collectable design pieces and works of art. Ape Media nu-media expert Elliot Neave has set up a mini-studio in the space. ‘go reborn’ stalwarts Virg Morley and Sarah Stephen have created a funky garbage dressing room for those trying on the dizzying array of Godiva ready-to-wear and have made the space look glorious. Other ‘go reborn’ members are lying about the place recovering from the Big Chill and filling the space with witty banter and laughter as we look out over the Crags and revel in the Festival atmosphere. And finally you get me, A F Giles, your daily blogging troglodyte, hidden up in the heights of the ‘go reborn’ turret and tapping madly away on the keyboard as I blog all that I survey. We are only minutes from Princes Street and a short trot away from Waverley Station. Feel free to pop-up anytime – look out for our sign beside the renowned Ingleby Gallery and just buzz on ‘go-reborn’, and a whole new world of pop-up art and design will be revealed on the 3rd floor of the Venue Studios.
Come in, pop up and go – reborn….
Monday, 10 August 2009
'go reborn' and its white loft walls constitute the perfect space to welcome artist Juano over the Festival. Renowned in the UK for his daring and often erotic portrait work, Juano's presence at 'go reborn' has us very excited and delighted to have him on board. Keep checking the blog this week for bios of 'go-reborn' artists and remember - 'go reborn' scribe A F Giles will be blogging every day until the 31st August to keep you up to date with the ever-evolving pop-up space that is GO REBORN.
Sunday, 9 August 2009
Saturday, 8 August 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
Quick note from 'go reborn' - one of our artists Claudia Massie is exhibiting from TODAY at the Flaubert Gallery in Stockbridge alongside another well-known Scottish artist, Camilla Watson. Please head along to see her work. Otherwise Claudia will be performing live canvas work at the 'go reborn' venue as of the 11th August (until 31st). See you all there.
Thursday, 6 August 2009
Edinburgh is heaving. I've just bumped into some muscular Asians with enormous banners for a samurai dance-off. Various puggle-heads are leaping around with wigs, painted faces and flyers aplenty. The Royal Mile is like Venice Beach midsummer - a motley crew of freaks desperate to please - and it's hard not to arrive home with a fist full of paper and a sweaty, uncomfortable feeling. Edinburgh locals are famous for hating the Festival but this year with 'go-reborn' in full swing it has taken on a new and memorable sheen.
Day 2 of the blog and I want to give you some of the history behind the 'go reborn' name. I was hanging out with my nemesis AwareInjustice watching a favourite film, The Misfits with Marilyn Monroe (in her 'dark' film, and final role), Clark Gable also in his final role, and the beautiful Montgomery Clift. The film's screenplay is by Monroe's husband Arthur Miller, and it is directed by legend John Huston. It tells of Monroe's decision to leave her boyfriend ("If I'm going to be by myself I'd rather be on my own") and go on a film-long bender with first Gable and then later joined by Clift surrounded by a majestic all-American landscape.
These three are the misfits of the title and all of us at 'go reborn' identify with that desire to search for something better, something bigger, something freer and something MORE. The Misfits embark on a wild journey of discovery and love and desire via honky drinking holes, hardcore rodeo blood fests and a final, heart-wrenching wrangling scene in a moonlit desert in Nevada.
At one point during the film, Marilyn is flushed and drunk after a heroic and hilarious ping-pong bet she wins means she has a bra-full of dollars. A weasel-faced religious woman stalks her, muttering oaths and demanding money in the name of God. Despite Gable's desire to keep all of those damn dollars Monroe in her happy frenzy slips the ratty nun a ton and with a pious glance she dismissed our Misfits with these immortal words: "Go reborn!"
And go reborn they do, into the starry, mental night, with only a lassoo and a bottle of Jack to keep them on the right road.
A F Giles
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
The Twig furniture is looking great - those girls have got kinky minds and their finished pieces are just the kind of stuff go reborn is about - beautifully and professionally finished pieces with depth and intelligence. I can't wait for you all to see it in situ.
Fleur is whirling about with Godiva stuff and the workshop is going to be excellent. If you aren't already familiar with this girl's flair, check it out at Godiva Boutique. The space has just the kind of polish that will show off her one-off pieces at their best.
As the sun sets on a beautiful day up here in Scotland, the sky is immense and red and filled with promise for the go reborn initiative; only five days to go until opening and it is going to be quite some Festival this year.
A F Giles