Archive for the ‘Sweet Streets’ Tag

Burning Candy on film

Anyone living in London or who has visited London in the last few years would have to be aware of Burning Candy, the prolific graffiti crew who have made a speciality out of painting both on London’s walls and shutter doors and on top of its rooftops.

Check out the peg by Gold Peg and the monkey face by Mighty Mo, high above Oxford Street

It’s a large crew, both male and female writers, with a huge range of ages – as one commentator said, there aren’t many crews where some of the members are old enough to be the parents of other members… Each member has developed an idiosyncratic style, so that individual works are immediately recognisable: you can walk around London for hours and spot works by Mighty Mo, Dscreet, Cyclops, Cept, Gold Peg, Rowdy, Sweet Toof, Tek33, LL Brainwashed, . Each member has a particular icon or device that they repeat in their works – for example, crocodiles (Rowdy), teeth (Sweet Toof), owls (Dscreet), pegs (Goldpeg) and so on. The crew members also do works together, marrying their individual styles into huge pieces that have become iconic works in London street art culture.

Members of Burning Candy are being featured in a film called Dots, which is being made by the crew themselves, and as such is an intensely authentic piece of work. The premise behind the film is that each featured member travels to another country to discover links between their own art practices and the art practices in other cultures, often involving an investigation of the meaning of their chosen icon: thus Rowdy travels to Australia to discover the meaning of the crocodile in Australian indigenous culture; Cyclops travels to India to see his inspiration in situ (Indian street signs)…

I’ve been lucky enough to see a trailer for this film, and it’s clearly going to be an amazing piece of work. If you are heading to the Film Night of the Sweet Streets festival in Melbourne on 14 October, you’ll get to see some of Dots then. You can read more about the film on its official website here.

But Dots is still a work-in-progress, and funds are needed to complete it. It is being funded by the sales of a boxset of Burning Candy works – selling art (the prints) to support the making of art (the film). Purchasing a box set doesn’t just gain you an amazing collection of prints: it also gets you a co-producer credit and percentage in the film.

Images to Live By isn’t really intended for the promotion of particular exhibitions or books or artists: the line between promotion and commentary is a fluid and flexible one but I try to stay on the commentary side rather than get into the promotion of particular events or people. But I did want to mention the need for funding assistance for Dots because I think Burning Candy have had such an important impact on London street culture and have been such an inspiration for many other artists all over the world… The film looks like it will be fantastic and I hope that enough funds can be generated to help the guys finish it. Funding strategies such as these have been used by other artists and film-makers (for example Todd Chandler’s Flood Tide, which arose out of Swoon’s Swimming Cities projects, read more about that film here) and it seems like a great way to circumvent the strictures and constraints of conventional funding options. So if you are interested in street art and can consider purchasing a boxset, take a look at the website… If the boxset is out of your price range, there’s a cool T-Shirt too!

And whatever you do, don’t miss the chance to check out Dots at the Sweet Streets Film Night in Melbourne on the 14th.

Sweet Streets

I’m back in Melbourne, arrived a few days ago and still propping my eyelids open to combat the jetlag, but at least the weather this weekend is helping me get used to being in the southern hemisphere again – Melbourne looks its sparkling best, bathed in sunshine and with one of those amazing clear Australian blue skies….

But also helping me keep awake is the knowledge that Sweet Streets is on…. The erstwhile Melbourne Stencil Festival has been re-designed to take account of the huge range of street-based art activities that we find in Melbourne and in other cities, and the result is Sweet Streets. During the Festival, you can find exhibitions of some brilliant artwork, both local and from overseas; workshops on everything from stencil-making to yarn-bombing; and some film-based visual enjoyment too – the DVD of Exit Through the Gift Shop is being launched during the Festival, and there’s even a dedicated Film Night, showcasing some amazing looking documentaries.

Check out the Festival website for further details….