West Bank barrier Banksy artwork: Little girl frisking a soldier

He’s known for his creative stencil work in the most unassuming of places, but now Bristol-born graffiti artist Banksy has embarked on a project of a different sort. And what’s that? I hear you ask. Well, he’ll be internationally premiering his debut film at the Sundance Film Festival this coming Sunday.

The movie, titled Exit Through The Gift Shop, shows him speaking on camera for the very first time and is narrated by Welsh actor Rhys Ifans (you might remember him as Spike in the film Notting Hill).

The man himself has described the film as how he “set out to film the unfilmable – and failed”. Erm, OK.

Little is known about the plot of the 89 minute feature film– that too is on the hush hush. But the festival website vaguely reveals that the film is about French filmmaker, Terry Guetta, setting out to record the “secretive world” of street art, when he subsequently meets Banksy, and so the adventure ensues.

Banky’s appeal is in his anonymity and elusiveness, so unveiling himself seems, to me, a very unlikely prospect. If anything, there’s a greater possibility that he’ll leave audiences asking more questions rather than having any pending ones answered.

Have a look at the trailer below.

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n85497682086_3804I’ve returned home from what can only be expressed as a truly uplifting evening out. Tantalizingly described on Facebook by its organisers  as “vibrant spoken word, emotive, intimate live music and saliva-conjuring short films”, I had to ask myself: ‘how can I possibly say no to Writer’s Block?’.

The event, which was scheduled to start at 7:30pm, was held at Juno Bar in Shoreditch, East London.

My favourite performers included songstress Floetic Lara, hip-hop verbalist Breis (pronounced breeze), soul artist Martyna Baker, poet Deanna Rodger and of course the 7 piece band The Illersapiens.

Floetic Lara was truly delightful. Her ultra positive aura had me smiling throughout the whole of her performance. She freestyled so well with the band that it could have almost been mistaken as rehearsed. You can tell that this lady is doing what she loves: the passion, and spiritualism is infectious. The tone and balance to her vocals was so soothing that I just had to buy her album. Love, love, love.

Breis. I remembered his name purely because he spelt it out when performing one of his tracks called Identity (It’s da B to da R to da E to da I to da S…) Loved the song and loved his humour and free-spiritedness even more.

MB effortlessly played the guitar as her impeccable voice told a story so touching, I was almost moved to tears.

DR kept me so engaged that I almost felt as though I was right there, living her ‘Love Story’: her ups, her downs, her woes fears, realizations, and her tears.

The Illersapiens topped off the night with spectacular live music (and yes my right shoulder bounced along to the beat, as requested by the band’s frontman). The band’s singer has a beautiful voice and the MC was so on point with his flow, his content and his finesse.

That’s not to say the others weren’t amazing but these acts really stood out to me.The poetry was deep, conscious and inspiring. Admittedly, many of the acts put me in a trance and all the performers definitely gave me food for thought. I left the bar feeling somewhat elated and strangely wanting to rhyme every sentence and speak in iambic pentameter. I suppose that’s how I know the ‘writer’s block’ has had its affect on me. Can’t wait for the next event.




4957_1080077048434_1421546925_30227189_1062427_n4957_1080057007933_1421546925_30227096_6399668_n4957_1080061568047_1421546925_30227105_141753_n4957_1080062888080_1421546925_30227112_5350669_n4957_1080063648099_1421546925_30227115_3901506_n4957_1080065168137_1421546925_30227123_6343388_n4957_1080066368167_1421546925_30227131_2025785_n4957_1080075448394_1421546925_30227180_1487976_n4957_1080077448444_1421546925_30227193_4559119_n4957_1080074008358_1421546925_30227168_4822916_nPhotographs by Mark Bellot

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CE017614_429longNational Theatre logoLast week, I went with a close friend of mine to watch the critically acclaimed production England People Very Nice at the National Theatre.

The play, written by award-winning dramatist Richard Bean, is a three hour comedy about immigration over the centuries in East London, namely Bethnal Green.

To be honest, it took me a while to get into it, but after about 40 minutes I unknowingly found myself goggle eyed and chortling every now and again. It almost felt like a fun history lesson.

Despite some critics dubbing the play racist and offensive, I thought it was very well structured, and had the right balance of reality and stereotypes. After all, stereotypes have some truth in them. I suppose where things go wrong is when people become prejudice due to their own ignorance and generalisation of certain groups in society.

On our way out, my friend and I were amused when we heard a posh sounding lady say in a frustrated manner: “I didn’t quite get the satire”. Rolling my eyes, I thought: “You wouldn’t, would you?” I live in East London-only 10 minutes away from Bethnal Green, in fact- so could appreciate and understand the satire for what it was.

I personally enjoyed the play and would recommend it as a lovely evening out. It’s best to go and see it for yourself and make up your own mind.  You can go to the National Theatre website to buy ticke ts.


(Photographs: Tristram Kenton; Johan Persson; Johan Persson)


Levi van Veluw's photo series of a forest on his head and shoulders

23 year old Dutch artist Levi van Veluw turns his head into works of art. His creations include turning his skull into a forrest using tree barks, pebbles, carpet, hair and yoghurt.

When asked why he uses his body rather than canvas he said it’s because it’s ‘always available’ and a ‘very direct way’ to express his ideas.

Some of his self portraits take 11 hours to complete but his work has paid off, earning him international recognition and many awards including Photographer of the Year at the IPA International Photo Awards in America.

Out of sheer serendipity whilst researching Banksy on the web, I came across English chalk artist Julian Beever, whose pavement artwork creates the illusion of three dimensions when viewed from the correct angle. His trompe- l’oeil drawings, which he has been doing since the mid-1990s, are created using a projection called anamorphosis and appear to defy the laws of perspective.