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Stockholm Fringe Festival

Thursday, August 1st, 2013
Posted in: Blog, Events
Posted by Spike Dennis

Stoff_Poster

We are delighted to have had our “Running with Wolves” project selected for inclusion in this year’s Stockholm Fringe Festival programme.

The Stockholm Fringe Fest mission is to shape a creative platform hosting artists from all over the world. Stoff welcomes the young, the old and everyone in between. The Festival is for those who want to explore, criticise, exchange, question, enjoy, be surprised and for those who simply want to be a part of a thrilling atmosphere where anything is possible.

What slightly differentiates STOFF from a traditional Fringe Festival is that our current primary focus is on promoting performance theatre and installation art; the new, the innovative and the cutting edge. As STOFF grows we hope to be able to diversify further and become a fringe festival open for all forms of artistic expression.

A number of our Wolves will be travelling to Stockholm this summer where we will be delivering mask making workshops as a part of STOFF in the Kulturhuset Stockholm building. These workshops will culminate in a daily procession around the venue and into the streets of Stockholm.

You’ll be able to join in with our mask making activities daily and there will also be opportunities to get involved online too so do bookmark our project page on this website for further information and updates or follow us on Twitter.

In the meantime check out the STOFF website for all the latest news from the fringe.
keywords: stockholm, fringe, festival, stoff, performance, art, sweden

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Changing Night Spots by Faye Scott-Farrington

Thursday, July 25th, 2013
Posted in: Blog, Inspiration
Posted by Spike Dennis

Changing Night Spots by Faye Scott-Farrington

Some of you may have come across Faye’s man-skin rugs as a part of the Once Upon Again exhibitions that took place earlier this year in Cardiff and London. The rugs were inspired by Faye’s own re-interpretation of Rudyard Kipling’s The leopard Who Changed His Spots which is in itself a work of art. I hope you enjoy her tale…

Changing Night Spots

In the mornings when it was time for work, Best Beloved, the Businessman went on his way to the City of London. ‘Member it wasn’t Southwark, or Islington, or Knightsbridge but the ‘sclusively professional, stylish, shiny Square Mile, where there was much money and posh cars and ‘sclusive bars.

The Trader and the Banker and the Cityboy worked there too; and they were ‘sclusively dressed like they had money and posh cars and could get into all of the ‘sclusive bars, but the Businessman was the best dressed of any of the people in the financial district, and he fit in best of all in the flashy bars, with his flashy car sat outside. This was very bad for the Trader and the Cityboy; for he would lie in wait in a ‘sclusive flashy bar with an expensive drink and his platinum card, and when the Cityboy or the Trader or the Banker came by with a nice looking lady-friend he would cock block them right out of their one night stands. He would indeed!

After a long time – men live for ever so long when they have access to botox and hair-transplants – they learned to avoid anything that looked like a well-dressed, monied Businessman; and bit by bit – the Cityboy began first because he was a bit more of a geezer – they went away from the Square Mile.

They searched for weeks and weeks, pub crawls in all of the London districts till they came to Camden Town, ‘sclusively full of cheap restaurants and market stalls selling ‘handmade’ crafts and neon sunglasses and ironic t-shirts and vinyl records; there they found live music bars and dim-looking pubs, in these they hid; and after another long time, what with hanging out in dim-looking pubs and listening to live music and buying vinyl records to impress the middle-class, skinny-jeans-clad ladies in their new locals, the Cityboy grew a shaggy beard, and the Banker grew anti-capitalist political ideals and the Trader began a fairtrade, organic baby-grow enterprise.

They wore non-prescription thick-rimmed glasses and skinny jeans, and had their hair cut with a bowl, and began shunning their usual personal grooming regimes; and so, though you could hear them talking about their new fixed-gear push bike and smell their greasy hair, you could very seldom work out which one they were amongst the throngs of alternative ‘individuals’ at the bar. They had a beautiful time in the dark, sweaty basement bars of Camden Town chatting up girls with art degrees and trust-funds, while the Businessman drove around outside trying to find a place to park his BMW that would be safe from groups protesting the use of fossil fuels, wondering why he couldn’t get a chance to make a move on one of these girls with famously low levels of self esteem.

At last,he was so desperate that he ordered call girls from numbers he found in telephone boxes, the Businessman, and then he had to visit the GUM clinic. When he was in the waiting room, he read a Vice magazine – ‘the Definitive Guide to Enlightening Information’, which was quite the most excellent source of news about all of the bands he had never heard of.

Thought the Businessman to himself whilst reading Vice magazine; “How can I get a girl who wears high-waisted skinny jeans and brogues to speak to me?” – and Vice magazine’s Do’s and Dont’s section fluttered open, it knew.

Then the Businessman began to read this part of the magazine, it said; “Mate, get a grip, the financial district is no place these hipster chicks want to be hearing about, seriously what are you trying to compensate for with -that- car? These girls don’t want to know what your chin looks like and you dress like her dad, sort it out”

So the Businessman left his BMW at home one evening in order to explore Camden Town, taking the tube there instead, which took ever so many days; eventually he saw the piss-stinking tube station and emerged onto the street which was full of head shops and piercing shops and market stalls selling faux leather, all ‘sclusively inhabited by punks and mods and androgynous people wearing their grandmother’s jumpers and skinny jeans and ironic t-shirts. (Say that quickly aloud, and you will see how very alternative Camden Town must have been.)

The Businessman went into a pub and sat down at the bar, there he tried to find a young lady to buy a drink for. “What is this,” said the Businessman to himself, “that is so ‘sclusively dark and so incredibly sweaty smelling, why would anyone wish to drink here?’ Before he could finish his thought, a girl with a blunt fringe and thick-rimmed glasses took a seat beside him.

“Hello,” said the Businessman, reaching for his platinum card, “ I have lots of money, let me buy you a drink”

The girl ignored the Businessman and, turning herself away from him, ordered her own drink (she was a feminist, you see). The Businessman was shocked and surprised, never before had his advances been so ‘sclusively rebutted. Shortly afterwards, another girl – this time one wearing her dead grandmother’s 1950′s summer dress (or at least one that H&M had made to look like that) and brown brogues, sat down near the Businessman; this time he approached with great caution.

“Hello, can I buy you a drink? Maybe I could take you shopping for some new clothes too, the ones you are wearing appear to be very dated”

The girl looked at him and, with perfect annunciation (which belied her many years of speech and drama training), “Piss off, you corporate wanker.”

The Businessman had never been so confused in all his life, normally offers of new clothes and the chance to spend on a platinum card had ladies falling at his feet, he thought that leaving the BMW at home would have been enough to bag a girl in one of these dive bars until he saw the Cityboy approaching, all shaggy bearded and looking as though he had been dipped in glue and kicked through Oxfam.

The Cityboy alighted upon the barstool next to the girl dressed so ‘sclusively in her vintage clothes and began to woo her with talk of independent label bands and radical politics; the girl was wooed almost instantly and began to run her fingers through his enormous ginger beard.

The Businessman remembered the Cityboy from past encounters in swanky bars of the Square Mile, where he had been clean shaven, dressed sharply and would throw his cash about like a drunk juggler; the Businessman also remembered the innumerable times when he had taken great pleasure in cock blocking the Cityboy, exactly as the Cityboy had done him just this instant.

“Well,” thought the Businessman to himself “isn’t this a fine situation, beaten at my own game. This simply won’t do… I am going to take Vice magazine’s advice, I must hide my chin beneath an unkempt beard and dress like I have found my clothes in a bin; only then will I be able to get my own back on the Cityboy and the Trader!” (The Trader, incidentally, had copped off with a girl wearing thick-rimmed glasses and her hair in a blunt fringe, who may or may not have been the girl of the Businessman’s earlier failed flirtation attempt, he couldn’t tell as they all looked alike)

The next day, which was a Saturday and his day off, the Businessman took himself to Shoreditch for an explore and to buy some truly horrible clothes then, over the next few months, he cultivated a rather impressive (to girls trying to upset their fathers) beard. From then on, he would visit Camden Town on a Friday night, after going home from work to drop off his BMW and to change into one of his many new outfits (bought ‘sclusively from charity shops), to woo many a girl with tales of rare vinyl record finds and how he discovered his gluten allergy and by showing them the moustache tattoo he had on the inside of his index fingers (which he meticulously re-applied with marker pen each Friday evening before leaving the house).

And so he lived happily ever afterward, Best Beloved, always sure to go back to their place after last orders of course, lest they discover his BMW. That is all.

by Faye Scott-Farrington

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Exquisite Corpses

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
Posted in: Blog, Work in Progress
Posted by Spike Dennis

Exquisite Corpse - Layla Holzer illustrator

Exquisite Corpses

Whilst at Winns Gallery last weekend with Layla and Marie we took the opportunity to collaborate and produce some new drawings. We followed the exquisite corpse method of taking it in turns to draw a part on the paper before folding it to conceal that part of the drawing, and then passing it to the next person for a further contribution. We retained the same media for each drawing to allow an element of consistency; one drawing was produced with indian ink, one with gouache and one with fine liner pens.

The exquisite corpse technique was invented by Surrealists and is similar to an old parlour game called Consequences in which players write in turn on a sheet of paper, fold it to conceal part of the writing, and then pass it to the next player for a further contribution. The name is derived from a phrase that resulted when Surrealists first played the game; “Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau.” (“The exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine.”).

Exquisite Corpse - Marie-Louise Plum illustrator

It was great fun to produce these drawings and it was fascinating to note similarities in some of the imagery we produced despite not being able to see one another’s work. For example, Layla and I both drew mid-sections showing wolves in the womb whilst Marie and Layla both drew faces with beak-like masks reminiscent of those worn by the plague doctors in the middle ages. It was great to see that the themes and ideas that underpin much of our work criss-cross in this way.

We’re hoping to produce more drawings like this in future with a view to it leading to further direct collaborations between not just the three of us but other Wolves too.

Exquisite Corpse - Spike Dennis

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Exhibition Installing at Winns Gallery

Monday, July 1st, 2013
Posted in: Blog, Exhibition
Posted by Spike Dennis

Marie Louise Plum at Winns Gallery, Walthamstow

Exhibition Installing at Winns Gallery

Last Thursday and Friday Marie, Layla and I headed to Winns Gallery in Walthamstow, London, to install our latest exhibition.

Once Upon Again at Winns Gallery in the second iteration of of this exhibition which was conceived by Layla and originally exhibited at Milkwood Gallery in Cardiff earlier this year. Work on show explores some of the darker undertones within fairy tales that were once so much more apparent in these stories.

The installation was a challenge as the gallery came equipped with it’s own hanging system and we were banned from putting any screws or nails directly into the walls. After much practice and tweaking we finally got to grips with it and the work on show is at lot less wonky than it appears in the picture above. Pop down to the gallery this week to see for yourself.

This second outing for Once Upon Again feature more work from Layla and Marie as well as a video show reel which shows of the puppet shows that we performed live at Milkwood Gallery back in March.

Click the thumbnails below to view some more images from our exhibition installation last week.

Installing at Winns Gallery, WalthamstowInstalling at Winns Gallery, WalthamstowInstalling at Winns Gallery, Walthamstow

Layla Holzer drawing at Winns Gallery, WalthamstowMarie-Louise plum Installing at Winns Gallery, WalthamstowInstalling at Winns Gallery, Walthamstow

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Punch & Judy Puppet Show

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
Posted in: Blog, Puppets
Posted by Spike Dennis

Punch & Judy Puppet Show

This is a recording of the Punch & Judy puppet show performed at Milkwood Gallery on the 2 March 2013 as a part of the Once Upon Again exhibition.

The puppets were made by Layla Holzer and Spike dennis and the voices were provided by Peter Hathaway and Amelia Johnstone.

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Puppet Show Spoilers

Friday, March 1st, 2013
Posted in: Blog, Work in Progress
Posted by Spike Dennis

Puppet Show Spoilers

These sound bites are just a couple of clips from our Punch & Judy puppet show. We will be performing this show at Milkwood Gallery in Cardiff on Saturday 2 March 2013 as a part of our Once Upon Again exhibition which is currently showing in the gallery.

The voices for the show were kindly performed by Amelia Johnstone and Peter Hathaway. Peter provided the voice for Punch whilst Amelia created voices for other characters in the show including Judy, Joey the Clown, the policeman and the Hangman.

The show is sure to have the audience in fits of laughter as a result of Punch’s anarchic clowning around so don’t miss out.

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Puppet Theatre Building

Friday, February 22nd, 2013
Posted in: Blog, Work in Progress
Posted by Spike Dennis

Puppet Theatre Sketches

Puppet Theatre Building

Our Layla Holzer is busy at work building a theatre for our puppet show performances on Saturday 2 March at Milkwood Gallery. We will be performing a classic Punch & Judy show along with a shadow puppet version of the Jabberwocky.

As a result Layla has developed a theatre design that will allow for both a shadow play performance and a ‘glove puppet’ type performance as well.

The theatre is looking rather magical already. If you’d like to see a sneak peek I suggest you head over to Layla’s Instagram page to track down some pictures of the build in progress.

I hope we’ll see you at Milkwood Gallery though on Saturday 2 March for an evening of puppetry and fairy tales.

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Snow White

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
Posted in: Exhibition, Work in Progress
Posted by Layla Holzer

Last week, myself and Glo collaborated on some photographs for the Once upon Again exhibition, with myself modelling and Glo photographing and editing. Two separate set of photographs/themes were done, this is a cheeky preview of a Snow White themed photograph that’ll be hung in the show.

Snow White Queen

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Once upon Again progress!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
Posted in: Exhibition, Work in Progress
Posted by Layla Holzer

A few ‘in progress’ photos from my exhibition pieces for Once upon Again. I’m focusing on the The Swan Maiden, Briar Rose, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, and their transformation from child to woman.

All these pieces have been firstly painted with gouache and then cut out. They will be assembled into larger 3D layered pieces.
The Swan Maiden

Rapunzel Briar Rose Little Red Riding Hood

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Svankmajer’s Punch & Judy

Saturday, January 12th, 2013
Posted in: Blog, Inspiration
Posted by Spike Dennis

Svankmajer’s Punch & Judy

We’ve been looking to the work of Czech animator Jan Svankmajer for inspiration as we prepare for our puppet shows as a part of our forthcoming exhibition at Milkwood Gallery.

Svankmajer’s Punch & Judy particularly grabbed our attention and we’re now thinking of presenting our own take on the classic Punch & Judy routine. You can join us at Milkwood Gallery on the 2 March to see these performances. If you can’t make it we will no doubt post some photos and videos online so keep your eyes peeled.

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