‘Coverlook photoshoot’ at Elite studios

Free, free, free! I have to admit when I, like most people hear this word I have one of two reactions. Yes, I’l do it/I want it or er, this can’t be for real.

Next time this word is thrown around in a conversation, I’m going to think long and hard before I respond  no matter how exciting the prospect seems. The reason?

The ‘coverlook experience’ by Elite photo studios. I got a call from Elite photo studios one day asking me if I wanted to take part in a ‘promotional photoshoot.’ First reaction: No.

Then my friend did make an appointment with them and asked me to go along with her for a day of free pampering. They promised professional hairstyling, a makeover, session with a photographer and one free photograph. It sounded tempting and I had an enthusiastic friend for company so I agreed.

One fine thursday morning, with four dresses changes, hair freshly washed and faces scrubbed free of make up we went over to the studio, very fancily located near Oxford street.My friend had paid a deposit of 70 pounds for both of us. It was disaster averted when we found that the studio was real, legitimate and had people walking around inside.

The first thing we were asked to do was fill in a sheet giving names of ten of our friends so they could get an opportunity to be a part of this experience and we did this gladly under the allure of a free goody bag. (Which never came!) An hour later, we had been made up by extremely professional artists and we were ready to walk the ramp, anywhere. At least thats how beautiful we felt.

Three hours of posing for a woman who used us as the sounding board for her life’s problem’s and contouring my body into more shapes than a pretzel, I was just about ready for my one free photograph.

Thats when the mini-bomb fell. Between the two of us we only got one photograph. This one photograph being ‘promotional’ and ‘free’ can be best used as a passport sized one. Albeit a very glamorous passport sized photograph.

If you want to purchase any of these photographs they costs 75 pounds each and the more you buy, the cheaper they become and since we were students they were kind enough to extend us the courtesy of paying in installments.

All in all,  to me it was a disappointment. I spent four hours in the place and I didn’t even have a single photograph to show for it. Not even a passport sized one. So the next time you get offered something free, think about it once, twice or even three times !

Click here for Stefanie Soehnchen’s coverlook experience.

Published in: on March 31, 2011 at 9:09 pm  Comments (1)  

Disinformation’s ‘Origin of Painting’ exhibit

A darkroom and soothing music playing in the background. At first, you barely notice the music as it washes all over you like the first drops of rain. Then it engulfs you much like the heavier downpour with grey clouds in the sky that overwhelm you into darkness.

It sounds ethereal and eerie at the same time, peppered by random voices spewing words at intervals. It’s almost like the music is coming from beyond the grave.

Once you’ve adjusted to this strange sound your eyes turn to the incandescent images in front of you. The wall is full of graffiti and shadows of human figures. A flash of bright light, a click that sounds like a camera and the feeling is that you’re being watched.

This is at Joe Banks ‘Origin of Painting‘ exhibit at the Usurp Art Gallery, Harrow.  Inspired by a poem by William Hayley that talks of a woman who is enthralled by her lover’s sleeping form. By the light of a lamp his shadow appears on the wall and she traces his portrait.

This exhibit is a very interactive painting installation that was created using sound and light.

Art can be difficult to define, interpret and even more so to create. When an art exhibit gives visitors the unique opportunity to be a part of the art and help create it, the understanding follows.

It seems basic enough. You get a device that allows you to draw on the walls. You hear the camera click and position your body against the wall and in an instant your image is up there for everyone to see but in truth this exhibit is a delightful combination of science and art. The music is electromagnetic noise.

The soundtrack basically catches electromagnetic activity in the lighting that illuminates the exhibit. It consists of synthetically created radio chatter and even picks up stray radio voices that account for the words that come up in the soundtrack occasionally. They lead a ghostly air to the ambience.

The way that people’s images are captured on the wall is interesting as well.

Its not just about waiting for the flash to go off and positioning yourself against the wall, the mechanics of it are more complicated than that. It’s a live painting fashioned with 35,000-volt electric discharges.

The effect is disarming. The darkness overwhelms you and the power to create your own image even more so. It also brings you face to face with what would happen if you vanished, as visitors’ watch enthralled as their own images disappear in front of their very eyes. Watch a video here to get a taste of this exhibit.

‘Disinformation’ was first created in 1995 using electromagnetic noise as the basis for art and music installations and has been a part of more than 70 art exhibitions, 11 solo exhibits and played at numerous concerts.

Tucked away in a tiny lane of London, Usurp was launched in Harrow only in 2010 and prides itself on being an artist-led not for profit art collective. It specialises in supporting contemporary art endeavours and anything that challenges norms.

It’s for everyone and anyone that has a love for the arts.

Writers, sound artists, painters and anyone that calls themselves a creator has been showcased at this gallery.

Past exhibits include ‘Whispers in shallow window’ which was a combined effort of a live musician, photographer, video artist and writer. Usurp is anything but mainstream instead it’s a bit eccentric, modern and Disinformation fits right in.



Published in: on March 28, 2011 at 11:18 am  Comments (1)  
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