Dana Bubulj: Sculpture, Film, Shadows, Art

Their work, words and wonder

Category: The World

Game Mini Review Roundup

Hi All, Taking a break from the #sheltercenturion before Webster and I revisit them properly. But thank you all so much for donating – as of this post, we have raised over £500. I’ll do a proper write up of that shortly, until then you get a random roundup of various games I’ve been messing with recently, from Humble Bundles and elsewhere, on Phones and PC.
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Poetry-Art Charity Centurion

In lieu of dusting this blog off, I’ve instead got some news to paraphrase from the lovely James Webster:-

With Britain in the grips of a housing crisis (not enough homes being built, ever-increasing numbers of homeless households, both house and rent prices spiralling up out of reach) and with a government promising further cuts to vital services, we wanted to do something to help.

As an artist and writer who’ve collaborated before on projects (including a work published in Issue 1 of Verse Kraken), we knew we wanted that help to involve putting our creative output to some concrete use.

So, inspired by the efforts of previous poets who’ve completed the ‘100 poems in a day challenge’, we are setting ourselves the task of creating 100 pieces of poetry/prose infused art in the space of a single day: Saturday 16 May.

If you’re able to spare anything at all to sponsor our efforts, we would be incredibly grateful. If not, then tweeting us some support during what promises to be a very long day would also be fantastic.

1. Sponsor us! The Justgiving page is here. All support would go to Shelter.

2. Share us! The more people you tell, the more support we get and the more people will see the creations on the day.

3. Inspire us! That is a lot to create, so we need prompts and things to base the pieces off! We can be contacted both on our blogs and elsewhere on the wires (@websterpoet and@pinstripeowl).

We’ll most likely be blogging about the work as well, so do keep an eye out for developments.

Trains in the Night

There are lots of posts in the planning stages on my desktop. I’ll put them up once they’re written to a degree I would let them out. But a friend reminded me of how lax I had been with this site.

I saw this last night in the park near my house. It runs next to several large train lines. The light is rather beautiful, particularly in the Winter evenings. The clip is 24 seconds long, and I’ve removed the sound. Reminds me tangentially of Viking Eggeling’s Symphonie Diagonale (1924), which is a lovely thing.

Train (After Eggeling) from Pinstripeowl on Vimeo.

“Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner…”

“That’s an interesting accent, where’re you from?” – every stranger who talks to me on the train, ever.

I’ve always found the question far too complicated, in that I don’t feel great ties to either the land of my passport or my surname. The closest thing to nationality that I have ever felt is a fealty to London. It is the city in which I was born, where I grew up in an interstitial suburb of nowhere in particular and taught to commute at an early age in search of interesting things.

What I like about the city comes out whenever I’m talking with people from other parts of the UK: London’s a patchwork marvel where should its inhabitants want something new or different, they could go to the other end of town. Or even the next borough over, if that. Hell, there’s that road off Liverpool street where the sheer glass literally gives way to smoggy bricks. So much variation in its pockets of people and buildings. Cultures meshing together and going about their day to day, or not, as the case may be.

A while back I read Kate Griffin‘s Matthew Swift books. They’re one of the best pieces of ‘urban fantasy’ that I’ve read for many reasons, most mainly because it engages its setting. It’s been a while that I’ve read a book that truly, deeply, cared about London. Yes, books are set here, but they don’t breathe its geography. There are many books more developed at its denizens and communities, but for sheer personality of the city’s nooks and crannies itself, Griffin is unparalleled. It’s funny, actually, because I read them after Ben Aaronovich‘s recent detective series, which amused me mainly because it was specific in its name-checking of streets that I knew (down to a chase down Richmond’s George Street). But it doesn’t necessarily engage to the extent of the Swift books, which understand the city better (as they should, given the central character derives their power from it).

But the city is troubling too. The spectre of upcoming events that seem to have trademarked every possible word from their SEO (which will be horrific to enforce and quite frankly seems idiotic), its stranglehold on transport and business and oh, I don’t think I can deal with Johnson’s voice on the Tube. It does make me despair a little.

Map of the London postal district in 1857,
from Illustrated London News, 17 January 1857 p.46
(nicked off Wikipedia, for my shame.)

Sunrise from the other side

There’s a certain something to watching the world wake up: the slow creep of sun through the blinds making the lamplight look strangely hollow; outside waking and making the alarms seem so much harsher without the dampeners of sleep.

I often wonder where time went, when it got so late as to be early, whether I’d been busying myself with anything useful. I also notice, at times like these, if a date has snuck up on me, stealth mostly through my inattention.

Time to put the kettle on.

The Lightbulbs were hatching, light spilling from their centres like poached eggs.

Night Owls and Music Halls

Oh I do seem to work best when the world is silent ‘cept for skitters and the odd animal yowl. It’s at that time that my brain lets loose the energy it needed distractions to help build up, like going into gear from an enforced neutral.

Today I am going to make a quiet film: using the story as narrative over waves and footage I shot in Leigh. I was thinking about Derek Jarman’s Blue the other day and want to see if that would work for something less contemplative and with dialogue.

If all else fails, it might just turn into a narration from Bagpuss.

On Saturday I was at Wilton’s Music Hall for the Hammer and Tongue Poetry Slam Final (will link to review once it’s up). The building is beautiful, all the more so for its unassuming façade hidden away in a back alley off Whitechapel. It’s the oldest music hall in the world, apparently, and the last functioning one. I’d like to see other events there and bask in the life the place has yet.

Fabulous columns

Wilton's Music Hall, taken from the side of the main hall, facing away from the stage.

Looking to the Sea

I forget, sometimes, that I should look to the sea itself.

This weekend I went to Leigh-on-Sea with a group of friends. We participated in an Abbey Night, turning off all our electrics (barring the fridge) and stocking up on candles. It was a great night, although I’d argue that with great company it was easier to break the bond with technology than were I alone. I may attempt to institute one of those for myself; if nothing else it’ll help me get more reading done.

But I digress.

What I wanted to talk about was the view. I borrowed someone’s phone to take photos, near blind by the sun so that I only had the vaguest notion of where I was aiming, and how they turned out. Predictably, the framing could be better.

At around four in the morning, we decided to visit the sea-front. Walking down to the shore past the empty boat-yard, laughing all the while at horror-film tropes. But when there, faced with the cold lapping of the water, we grew silent, staring out into the distance.

We were surrounded by sparse sounds of faded boats, their ropes swaying, knocking, against their masts and hulls. Vestiges of sea ghosts lingered on the sand, lending their translucence to the speckled debris.

It was quite a thing.

Leigh-on-sea: vast expanse of sky with boats on the water

Photograph taken in Leigh-on-Sea of boats under a vast expanse of sky