FREELANCE STRUGGLES: ADVENTURES IN THE 9 TO 5

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by Sara Harrington

Read Part One of Freelance Struggles here; part Two here.

This series aims to vocalise and explore the realities of working as a creative freelancer in amongst a world of ‘nine to five-ers’. By collating a diverse array of stories from a variety of creative professionals Sara hopes to contextualise the working art world and give space to discuss what it really means to become your own boss.

“Great, welcome to the team”

A decisive hand offers a qualified handshake as I go to leave. It’s brisk and practiced, a clear powerplay perceptive to all those who encounter its efficient grip. Escorted down the stairwell and out of the premises, the automatic doors swish shut, the carefully constructed professional demeanour and gentile phrases I cultivated for the occasion are left behind. I’d got it.

But this is the story about how I quit my grad job after just three days.

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GINKGO – ART, TRAVEL, AND ETHICAL CLOTHING

by Carmina Masoliver

On a recent trip to Hanoi, in Vietnam, I wandered the streets to see where the day would take me. This included going into lots of little art galleries, all housing incredible oil paintings and photography. In L’Institut Français de Hanoi, there was an experimental installation where a series of life-size photographs leaked onto the floor, and a white sculpture hung down from the ceiling like a cloud. Upstairs there were lots of neat illustrations from a range of artists. There was one smaller gallery that stood out from the rest where the eccentric art dealer with short turquoise-dyed hair spoke about the meaning behind each painting, telling me about Vietnam’s history with lacquer paintings as I admired a large glittering image of space.Continue Reading

FASHION AND FOOD: THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT ATTACK EATING DISORDERS HEAD ON

by Jess Howard

While some may see it as a separate entity altogether, fashion is unquestionably a form of art. From the creative process that designers progress through to create high fashion pieces, to the advertising campaigns used to sell them, fashion design influences the masses. But this is where the industry often encounters conflict: thousands of people are being diagnosed with eating disorders each year, and many are pointing their fingers at the fashion industry, for its insinuation that thinness represents the epitome of beauty.

In an attempt to combat this, France recently passed a bill stating that fashion models must prove they are healthy weight in order to appear on runways and in advertising campaigns. Failure to comply with this new ruling could lead to up to 6 months in prison and a £54,000 fine. Further more, magazines and advertising campaigns will now be required to make it clear to consumers that their images have been retouched. The purpose of this bill is to attempt to dramatically decrease the percentage of people in the country who develop anorexia, but is this going to work?Continue Reading

‘ONLY HOPE CAN WIN’: LABOUR NEED TO GO ON THE OFFENSIVE – ELECTING CORBYN IS THE FIRST STEP

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by Alex Hort-Francis

There’s an exchange in the original 90s British version of House of Cards (it’s on Netflix and just as good, if not better, than its US counterpart) that goes like this: the Conservative prime minister asks an advisor, “How do you rate the performance of this Government?” The advisor replies, “You’ve got 46% of the people, and that means you can afford to ignore the rest. The opposition has no chance because it’s got no powerbase. Most of the ‘underclass’ aren’t even registered to vote. You’ve virtually destroyed the two-party system.”

Some things apparently never change.Continue Reading

THE MET GALA: A DEMONSTRATION OF WEALTH OR IGNORANCE?

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by Jess Howard

Disclaimer: article discusses sensitive topics — features forced abortion.

The annual Met ball returned to New York this week. Held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the event charges ticket prices from upwards of £900, all in aid of The Met Costume Institute that opened in the 1940’s. The event is best known, however, for the guests that frequent it. Beyonce, Kim Kardasian and singer Lady Gaga all graced the red carpet. Draped in designs that supposedly followed the designated theme — ‘China: Through the looking glass’.

Celebrity interpretation was ‘interesting’ and, in some cases, borderline racist. For instance Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson chose to accompany her Chanel Haute couture mini dress with a bag by the same designer. However, far from being a fun and exciting piece of couture, the bag featured a Chinese woman with stereotypically fine slits in place of eyes. As if Chanel, and indeed Johnson, were unaware of the thousands of Asian woman undergoing plastic surgery for the sake of achieving the western eyelid shape.Continue Reading

WOMEN FASHION POWER: NOT A MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION

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by Carmina Masoliver

For an exhibition with such an empowering title, I was intrigued to see what was being shown. Displayed at the Design Museum, it presented a timeline of women’s fashion until the present day. That said, the question of power was up for discussion, from the tiny corsets that squish women into an hourglass (arguably, the most dominant shape shown to be desirable throughout history), to the laughable early swimming costumes that showed an aversion to exposed flesh (it was simply a waterproof outfit).

On one hand, I couldn’t help but feel that aspects of fashion should be questioned and critiqued. In the Victorian period, women cinched in their waists with these corsets, and added fabric to their hips to emphasis the same shape that women are now striving to achieve through cosmetic surgery and Gok Wan’s cinch belts (the former sometimes having led to deaths). Surely, our bodies are not simply a fashion statement?Continue Reading

BE NON-COMPLIANT – A BITCH PLANET REVIEW

by Alex Valente

In February, the Image Comics/Milkfed Criminal Masterminds Inc. series Bitch Planet reaches its third issue in an ongoing series (tentatively, out of 30). Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel, Pretty Deadly), drawn by Valentine De Landro (X-Factor), coloured by Cris Peter and lettered by Clayton Cowles, the book features a wonderful design by Rian Hughes (covers and title) and Lauren McCubbin (backmatter) and is tightly edited by Lauren Sankovitch. There will be no invisible labour here.

After three issues under its belt (depending on when this piece is published), it feels a little strange to write a review — so this is not a review, not exactly; this is an appreciation.

The Story

DeConnick uses her writing to build a dystopian setting in which patriarchal structures have reached such an overt manifestation of power that the rulers — the New Protectorate — are a bunch of old men who call themselves The Fathers. A society whose constant, obsessive message is ‘You are broken, you are fat, you must obey, you must comply’, a society that has rejected the idea of Mother Earth (‘Earth is the Father’) and created the Auxiliary Compliance Outpost — affectionately referred to as Bitch Planet – as a space (‘the Mother’) penitentiary for non-compliant women.Continue Reading