The Wisdom of WRDSMTH


Now, I am an official lover of words. I talk lots of words, write lots of words and think lots of words. I’m a kinda wordy girl. I am also a known lover of street art and probably my most favourite street art is when it uses words. Phrases, sayings, messages; I love them, I seek them out deliberately. I adore how cities and towns can have words physically written on them, tattooed onto walls and buildings. How brilliant it is when an artist has felt so compelled to say something that they write it big, spray it large, shout it out for others to read, there’s a gorgeous passion and sincerity there. Like little modern love letters publicly proclaimed, there’s an intimacy with the artist and the reader each time it’s read. Words on a wall can provide a smile, a pick-me-up or a quiet confirmation to you in a crowded and uncommunicative city. So, when I started seeing the work of LA based street artist and writer WRDSMTH pop up in places I just fell loopy in love with his work. And, I mean, he uses an old typewriter font too – which I OBVS love as this font has been my business branding waaay before it was cool  for the last 10 years – so, when you add up all the parts of this guys work…it totals something that seriously gives me heart eyes. Born in Ohio, WRDSMTH gave up his day job to move to LA and make his dreams real, to become a Writer, and he did it, he writes. He is a scriptwriter and a published Author. He took up his moniker and began putting words on the street to get him away from his computer screen whilst still using his passion with words. He’s pretty much anonymous as are so many street artists, and his signature style uses a screen print of an old typewriter and then words on a page wheat-pasted onto the wall. He leaves his mark in cities he visits and although most of his work is in LA, he has words in Philadelphia, Paris, Vegas, San Francisco and London.  His words are beautiful. Inspiring, positive, reassuring, gentle, and sincere. I adore everything he does. W3YES
















Dismaland. The Delight of Disillusionment


“This is not your average sugar-coated fantasyland selling scrapings from the Hollywood floor. No, we couldn’t afford the license for that. Instead this is an attempt to build a different kind of family day out – one that sends a more appropriate message to the next generation – sorry kids. Sorry about the lack of meaningful jobs, global injustice and Channel 5. The fairytale is over, the world is sleepwalking towards climate catastrophe, maybe all that escapism will have to wait.” – Banksy

When word spread that Banksy was to open an exhibition in the form of an anti-theme park in the grounds of Tropicana – a derelict lido, walled like a prison ground, on the sea front of Weston-Super-Mare – it was pretty obvious that people would be scrambling to visit. And rightly so. This Bansky event, the most grand scale thing he has done to date, is one of the most invigorating and exciting things to happen in the UK this year, let alone in Weston-Super-Mare. Deliberately placed in the dreary surrounds of a British seaside, Dismaland is a brilliantly curated ‘bemusement park’. Giving you the absolute antithesis of ‘Disneyland’ and all of that which you are promised about the world as a child; there ain’t no saccharine sweet dreams coming true here. This is the flip side, this is as bluntly realistic as it gets, it is a pessimist’s paradise.The staff, wearing Mickey Mouse ears, are trained to be fed-up fun killers, scowling, bored and snappy. “Oi, no entering until you lose the smile”, “leave your expectations at the door” I’m told as I head through the cardboard cut-out parody of an airport security. “Have a crap time” they say to another visitor. The whole thing is done perfectly. From the dead plants in every corner to the rusting disused penny rides and the warped Hawaiian music being continuously piped through the speakers. The overriding sensation here is one of being underwhelmed; but in the most brilliant way possible. If you know the work of Banksy, and you get his mischievous humour, his ridiculously clever take on the world and the anarchic, unapologetic statements that his art makes, then, you enter Dismaland with nothing but a big fat smile on your face. And, ironically the excitement of a child in a wonderland, an irony which is never lost on his audience.

Dismaland has loads to see, it’s crazy good value for the meager £3 entry fee, another nod from Banksy towards money grabbing brands that overcharge you to believe in a false dream. There are over 50 artists contributing here from all over the globe, most of which have never even met Banksy, but whose work was all hand selected by him. There’s an indoor exhibition, a huge scale apocalyptic miniature town, a Damien Hirst sculpture and the main outdoor area which has so much to see that your tummy gets tense with excitement, well, mine did. There’s a beautifully constructed sculpture of two huge American lorries dancing together into the sky, an old rust ridden big wheel, a horse made from scaffolding poles bucking up into the skyline, an old shabby caravan which you can get strapped inside of and spun like an astronaut, wall art, a carousel and a ‘hook-a-duck-from-the-muck’ which references all the birds killed in oil spills. Banksy’s own pieces include the mermaid, the police van, the woman being attacked by seagulls and the skeletal, gothic fairy castle. This acts as the obvious centerpiece, housing a Disney Princess dead in her carriage whilst being snapped ferociously by the paparazzi. As Banksy states, with this piece, the sculpture is only complete when there are crowds of onlookers snapping pictures on their phones to send to their mates; here, ‘the audience is the punchline’.

There’s a great sense that you are in on the joke with the artists here, but the underlying messages are massively provocative beneath the satire and we all know it. What this art is talking about, whether it be government greed, the horse meat scandal, global warming or immigration, the audience know that it’s extremely important, and that’s why it is done SO damn well. It screams that change is possible, that we can ‘un-fuck the system’ rather than sit in ignorance and fear. I love the fact that there seems to be no arrogance in Banksy’s work, not in my mind anyway. That may be helped by his infamous reluctance to reveal his identity, you feel this isn’t ever about his ego in any way. Interrupting the eerie music at regular intervals, like a concentration camp announcement, are quotes by Jenny Holzer such as “ambivalence can ruin your life”. As you leave Dismaland, rather than clutching dreams of a magical make-believe world where nothing bad ever happens – like a kid skipping out of Disneyland – you leave here with a solemn consciousness and a gritty drive to help make the real world just a little bit less bloody rubbish.

dis15dis13dis8dis5dis7dis17ftftftdis18dis2dis9htrhtrhtdis19Dismaland closes on the 27th September 2015.


An American Adventure

I’m back! Back from a holiday that was brilliant beyond words! Having had our shop in Norwich for so long, James and I had to always take separate, if any, holidays and so finally we got to take one together; and my goodness it was good! We decided we were gonna take a holiday to celebrate James’ big birthday and then when our beautiful friends who live in NYC announced that they were getting hitched in the middle of Moab Desert in Utah, we decided that a road trip through USA was the only way to go! We flew to San Francisco and spent a few days staying with my long time bestie Kristin, and then picked up our hire car, a Jeep and headed out to the desert! Going via Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Las Vegas and Escalante before hitting Utah for the wedding! Then a few more days of exploring, through Beaver and back to Vegas before flying home!

I was brought up, very fortunately, with lots of emphasis on travel and so I’ve spent much time visiting USA before as well as having spent time there studying for my Degree, I ADORE America, that place truly has my heart and this trip was a pure delight! My eyes saw things they couldn’t quite believe, the scenery in Utah was other-worldly and the heat was insane…45 degrees in the desert!! Wooosh! The trip was mind-blowing and then the wedding of our brilliant friends made it even more special! A beautiful glamping weekend wedding with the heat and the backdrop of the desert, it was so very magical I cannot even try to describe it. Simply luminous with love.

The trip cost us money we don’t have and I feared James and I would drive each other crazy in a car for two weeks, but, it was worth every cent and squabble, what a wonderful adventure we had, a perfect start to our new non-shop chapter of life! I’m pretty snap-happy with my iPhone when travelling and seeing new things, so I documented the whole trip on my Instagram; lots of you appeared to enjoy sharing my journey with me, such fun! These are just a few highlights, if you wanna, you can see all my holiday snaps here!

What a ride! Now back to reality and pretty dresses! xx

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Life is Beautiful says Mr Brainwash

Sitting on a London bus the other month, my eyes were caught by the face of Kate Moss, huge billboard size, pop art style Moss. I made a mental note to head back to Holburn to photograph it one day soon, and that day came last week. I knew from investigating, that it was the work of Mr Brainwash to advertise his first UK show. As far as I knew the show ended in August, so I headed up there with just the expectation of seeing a larger than life Miss Moss, and nothing else. Lordy how my heart leapt when I saw that the show was still on, and it was free. Yipeeeee.

Mr Brainwash, (moniker of Thierry Guetta) delights and intrigues me. Parisian born, he was living in LA running a vintage fashion store whilst having an obsession with both street art and making amateur films. Most famous for being in the Banksy film ‘Exit through the Gift Shop’, Brainwash has always been clouded by controversy… he an elaborate prank of Banksy’s, is he Banksy himself unveiled, is he just a Banksy copycat? I like the fact that through a film that started out as a documentary about Banksy; street art’s most notorious and secretive character, a new street artist was created and is now more accessible and talked about than Banksy himself. Sceptics may debate that Brainwash only got where he is via Banksy and that he has very little to do with his own art except for the initial ideas, which are merely carried out by his creative team. This, is modern art, I like it, millions around the world like it, and Brainwash himself says he is “Banksy’s biggest work of art.” In a way he subverts the very genre he is a part of as well as art from the past. He takes iconic pop art and defaces it into a new message, he takes classic, fine artwork and puts the faces of modern icons in place of the Royals. He puts art that is meant for the street into an organised indoor area, he has moved street art on and offered it to the mainstream. Some may think his work is pretentious but I think it is the complete opposite. The show is free, you can take photos till your hearts content, there are no titles or wafty explanations, the artist himself is there to chat with and the art is just there for you to look at. End of. Of course I also love that Kate Moss features heavily in his work.

The old sorting office is the perfect location for this show, the massive bare industrial space looks ace littered with his pops of colour and humour. Oversized installations, stencil work, galleries of icons and Mr Brainwash himself was there on the day I visited, a great atmosphere was evident. The uplifting slogans and the bursts of colour that this show prescribe are perfect for an autumn day in London, I was having a particularly frowny day when I visited and it put a sense of cheer right back into me. Yay.


 The exhibition was reopened due to popular demand in October 2012, until further notice.

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