Friday, 3 October 2014

#instaartist – Skulls, Dots and Skateboard Decks

Original Post:

I started using Instagram, according to my first post, 63 weeks ago! I find Instagram really useful for sharing your art work with the world quickly and easily, and it is also a good way to find other artists and inspiration from all over the globe. Also the need to post a photo, my aim at least one daily becomes slightly addictive, and notably receiving some likes and a collection of super awesome comments from other Instagrammers is always great and a really good source of motivation.
Below I have a selection of posts from my Instagram, starting with the most recent a pointilist skateboard that I have been working on. As you can see from the photos below, I like to show the process behind the pieces and give my followers a little insight into how I work and how my pieces develop and come together.
If you want to see more just pop over to Instagram my username is @karenbuckley_

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Writing on the Wall – Charting Londons Early Graffiti Scene

 Original Post:

I recently came across an article on Vice entitled ‘London’s Original Graffiti Artists Were Poets and Political Revolutionaries‘, I have a strong interest in graffiti and street art and really enjoy looking into its history and exploring and learning more about what graffiti used to be, and understanding how street art and graffiti as we know it now has shaped and influenced by the past.
The article explores a collection of images ‘charting London’s early graffiti scene’ which were taken by the photographer Rodger Perry (1944-1991) during the early 70’s. The book was printed back in ‘76 and has unfortunately been out of print since. But George Stewart-Lockhart an art historian and publisher, alongside Kate Bindloss, Perrys widow, currently has a Kickstarter up and running which is incredibly exciting, in order to get his 1976 book republished! At the time of me writing this post his project still had 20 days remaining and has been pledged £8,240 of his £6,500 goal, which is awesome and I think it’s pretty safe to say that his project will be successful and I definitely want to try and get my hands on a copy when its published!
Below is a bit of information on the book which will be entitled ‘The Writing on The Wall’ from the Kickstarter page and I recommend heading over there to read the rest, and also have a read of the Vice article if you can and by all means if show some support and give a donation!
“The original book of London graffiti. Out of print since 1976, now reissued and expanded, with new text and unseen photographs.
After 38 years out of print, Roger Perry’s unique survey of London graffiti of the mid ’70s is finally going to be available once more. Just as relevant nearly forty years on, Perry’s book is as much a cultural history of London at the time as it is a graffiti book. Before the ‘wildstyles’ of New York came over to this fair isle, graffiti was the reserve of poets, comedians and counterculturalists. The graffiti in this book has more in common with Blake than Basquiat. Through Perry’s lens, we are offered a glimpse of a Notting Hill that gave rise to the counterculture movements and underground press of the ’70s.
The high prices commanded for original copies of the book, coupled with the opportunity to really do the photos justice through the use of modern printing technologies, were the main drive for getting this project launched.
The Writing On The Wall is a book of London graffiti, last published in 1976. The main body of the book is made up of Roger Perry’s black and white photographs of ’70s London. It’s a unique glimpse of a multicultural London, with narratives told through poetic statements daubed on squatted houses and corrugated iron fences. These statements would be forever lost to decay and demolition if it weren’t for Perry’s obsessive documentation of them.
The book was originally published just as graffiti books were beginning to be in vogue. Norman Mailer and Jon Naar’s The Faith of Graffiti had just come out, covering the scene in New York at the time. The Writing On The Wall, though, was the first one really dedicated to London graffiti. The majority of the graffiti here could be described as ‘Pre-Renaissance’ in many ways. No one would be describing this stuff as ‘art’ until Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant’s Subway Art made it across to these shores in 1984. This work was mostly anonymous, and to paraphrase Marshall McLughan, the medium was the message. It wasn’t important how it had been written, it was simply the fact that one person felt it important enough that it should be painted on a wall for all and sundry to see.”

4f09ba55792643e46b7479e4ab5550cb_largeThese photos have been taken from the Vice website and from The Writing on The wall Kickstarter page, all rights go thier owners.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Art VS Machine.

Original Post:

Recently while at 100% Design I met and exhibited alongside two incredible designers who work together under the moniker Lucky Escape. One half of which also a recent London Metropolitan Graduate, told me that they were going to paint a section of the Shoreditch Art Wall on Great Eastern Street. This is certainly a wall that I had heard of before and from what I’d already seen painted there on passing several times and the style of Lucky Escapes work and their level of creativity I was looking forward to seeing the final outcome!

Shoreditch Art Wall hosts Art Against Machine
22nd September 2014 – 4th October 2014
Self-taught artists, graduates, students and professional craftsman have come together to produce a public Street art with a 3D Twist.
Art Vs Machine the Shoreditch Art Wall will feature: Fine Art, Illustration, Recycled Jewellery, light and 3D Design.
Art Against Machine (ARTAM) is an East London collective designed to engage public, industry and artists. We are a not for profit collective of cross disciplinary artists with the core desire to build a sustainable and flexible portfolio that is adaptable across arts industries.
Come and support this free community event. Visit: 17-19 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, London EC2

Alongside Lucky Escapes ( ) you will find work by illustrator Bea Kovesi ( ), light box art by Dijon Hierlehy (), jewellery design by Yolanda Benitez and poetry by Annameka Porter-Sinclair, curated by Roxanne Reynolds. There are some photographs below for you to enjoy and hopefully you will manage to find some time to take a trip down to Shoreditch and have a look for yourself and as Art Against Machine recommend catch the works light during the night! : ) Enjoy!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Fashion East.

Original post:

A while back I completed an internship at Fashion East, its an amazing company run by the amazing Lulu Kennedy. I really admire the support that they provide new designers with and I admit I’m not always 100% clued up with whats happening in the whole Fashion Week circle but I do like to take some time to have a loook at thier london Fashion Week collection and have a look at what new deisgners they are supporting!
Heres a bit about Fashion East from thier website,

“Fashion East is a pioneering non-profit initiative established by the Old Truman Brewery in 2000 to nurture emerging young designers through the difficult early stages of their career. It receives sponsorship funding from Topshop, TOPMAN and The Greater London Authority.
Each season we offer three womenswear and three menswear designers the opportunity to present a catwalk collection to the international press and buyers attending London Fashion Week. Designers receive a bursary, free venue and complete catwalk show production, professional catwalk photographs and video. Designers are also given mentoring, guidance and in-house PR throughout the season from Lulu Kennedy and her team. Designers are selected by Lulu Kennedy and a panel of fashion industry experts. Successes include Richard Nicoll, Holly Fulton, Jonathan Saunders, House of Holland, Gareth Pugh, Marios Schwab, Louise Goldin, Roksanda Ilincic and Meadham Kirchhoff.
In 2005 the team behind Fashion East initiated MAN, an identical support scheme for emerging menswear designers, sponsored by TOPMAN. Successes include Cassette Playa, Christopher Shannon, James Long, JW Anderson, Katie Eary and Jaiden Rva James. Since 2009 we have staged menswear installations on menswear day at London Fashion Week, giving up to ten menswear designers a platform to showcase their collections to UK and international press and buyers. Designers we have worked with include H by Harris, Husam El Odeh, Mr Hare, SIBLING, Lou Dalton, Mattew Miller and Gosha Rubchinskiy.
We also take our designers to a sales show room in Paris each season, giving them the opportunity to showcase their collections to top international buyers.”

Heres is a few snaps of thier latest collection at LFW, and also the show review from Vogue…

“EXPERIMENTAL and free-range, the designers on the Fashion East line-up are known for their boundary-busting creations. The Fashion East alumni reads like a who’s who of London Fashion week talent; Meadham Kirchhoff, Roksanda Ilincic and Jonathan Saunders have all been cooked up in the design incubator that is Fashion East by its founder Lulu Kennedy. And so, to spring/summer 2015, and the trio of designers who are next up to showcase their collections.

Helen Lawrence: Textiles designer Helen Lawrence hit a home run with her taped and stitched pastel jumpers last season, and her collection this time around was a neat follow on. For spring she played with latex layers on jackets and capes, her signature giant stitching still evident, meshing together hems on tops giving the clothes a deconstructed DIY appeal.

Louise Alsop: Tailoring seen through a Nineties prism was the vibe here, even the belly chain made a comeback. Long skater shorts and halter neck dresses got a rework with skull prints and fishnet fabrics. Matted dreads and kohl black eyes completed the trip back in time.

Ed Marler: All hail the reign of the show off, Ed Marler closed the Fashion East show with an army of vampires; opulent in bandana crowns, sunglasses dripping in jewels and crucifix festooned Victoriana dresses, with thigh-high splits and lace-trimmed trains – this was the highlight. “


Friday, 19 September 2014

The Art of Skateboarding.

Today while hanging out at The Cass stand at 100% Design I did a bit of research to find out what other interesting things were happening as part of the London Design Festival. While exploring some Instagram hashtags I came across an exhibition taking place at Goodhood London as part of the LDF and in conjunction with Long Live Southbank. Called The Art of Skateboarding, Goodhood provided a number of artists with a blank skateboard deck and told them to let thier creative juices flow with only one restriction, that the outcome must be strictly monochrome. You can see some of the work below.
I also found out from the Long Live Southbank website the fantastic news that Southbank has been saved which is awesome,”Following talks that have taken place over the last three months, Long Live Southbank and Southbank Centre are delighted to have reached an agreement that secures the Queen Elizabeth Hall undercroft as the long-term home of British skateboarding and the other urban activities for which it is famous. The agreement has been formalised in a binding planning agreement with Lambeth Council. In the agreement, Southbank Centre agrees to keep the undercroft open for use without charge for skateboarding, BMX riding, street writing and other urban activities.” – See more at:

The Art of Skateboarding

A monochromatic exhibition

“With our roots lying in subcultures, one of which is skateboarding, we pay homage to a culture that spawned a generation of creatives by asking leading artists and designers to contribute to the creation of a series of skateboards.
Guests are welcome to bid on the artworks through a silent bidding process either in store or by filling out the bidding form at the bottom of this page with your details and maximum bid. If you win we will contact you to make payment. All proceeds from the auction will go to the Long Live Southbank Charity.”
All photos below have been taken from the Goodhood website, link above!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

100% Design

Original Post:

A selection of Cass Graduates, including myself, are currently exhibiting a selection of work at 100% Design as part of the London Design Festival.

“100% Design is officially the UK’s largest design trade event with over 27,000 visitors including architects, interior designers, retailers and designers. The event is held between the 17-20 September and is the biggest event during the London Design Festival. 100% Design is expected to attract over 30,000 visitors in 2014.”
Here are a few snaps of our exhibition space, if your about do some and say hi!

Stand IP602
Earls Court Exhibition Centre 2
Warwick Road
United Kingdom

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Dephect is a product of the lifestyle.

Original Post:

As part of my final year dissertation I completed a bit of research on one of my favorite London based brands Dephect. Dephect is an awesome brand, with some really interesting designs and they provide a number of artists and designers with a really good platform to show off their skills and showcase it on some great quality apparel. I decided to post about this brand at this time, as during the hustle and bustle of fashion week we need to remember the smaller brands!! Here is a bit about the brand below taken from their website, and some information about some of the amazing artists they support. :) Have a read, appreciate, head over their site and show some support!
“Founded by friends from London in 1999, Dephect is a product of the lifestyle and culture that has inspired us from a young age. Growing up as skaters and listening to Hip Hop in the 90’s paved our way for a love of underground art, music and sport, and a passion for drawing, painting and graphic design. While remaining under the radar of the masses, Dephect is now an international brand in its own right, progressing via collaborations with unknown and established artists alike.”


“The crew section is dedicated to the people that are connected to Dephect, from international artists and DJ’s to underground beat makers and up and coming skaters. They are a combination of friends and people that we respect and have come to know over the years, and above all they are passionate about what they do. Take a look at their profile pages for a sneak peak at their skills and an insight into some of the inspiration behind Dephect.”

Paul Kemp

“Paul Kemp (aka Keshone) co-founded Dephect back in 1999.
I first got into graffiti at school when I was 14. There was a group of guys in the year above me that were really into the scene at the time, I think that’s what fuelled my ambition to go out and try it myself, and since then I’ve been hooked. Through graffiti I started to explore new mediums and that’s how I got into graphic design and illustration.
I love playing around with different concepts; like merging nature with technology and robots with instruments. I’m always drawing and trying to develop new ideas along these lines, but I get inspired by most things in my day to day life, taking in my surroundings, buildings, people, lighting, different textures and plants etc.”
I also recommend that you head over to the Dephect YouTube page, and watch a few of thier videos, 

Monday, 1 September 2014

Hang-Up Collections

Original Post:

I recently came across a gallery called Hang-Up while exploring the ever great world wide web. It is located at number 56 Stoke Newington Highstreet and I have decided to share it with you guys as they currenty have an exhibition on called ‘Hang-Up Collections’ which seems pretty interesting.

“Hang-Up is a London based contemporary art gallery located in the vibrant and bohemian neighbourhood of Stoke Newington. The gallery presents a dynamic exhibition program of fresh and forward thinking work from our roster of artists, photographers and makers. We show both young artists at the early stages of their careers alongside established names from the art world. We tie it together by seeking out and showing only those who are inherently creative, artists whom in some way break the mould from the traditional, pushing the boundaries either in terms of their work, their message or both.  
Hang-Up Gallery is delighted to introduce the launch of a new series of exhibitions entitled ‘Hang-Up Collections’. Expect to see key works from leading international urban and contemporary artists alongside super-fresh releases and exciting rare finds from the Hang-Up artist roster. 
Adopting a slightly unconventional approach to the traditional exhibition format, new work will be added and removed throughout the exhibition duration allowing it to evolve and change over the weeks.  Whether it’s straight from the artist’s studio, a unique and rare piece from Banksy or from the gallery’s own private collection, Hang-Up Collections will promise to bring you something new, different and exciting each time you visit. 
The first ‘Hang-Up Collections: Volume 1’ will exhibit previously unseen work from talent such as Stanley Donwood, Mark Powell, Lauren Baker, Joe Webb, Russell Marshall, Magnus Gjoen, Mason Storm and The Connor Brothers, as well as rare pieces and one-offs from artists including Banksy, David Choe, Futura, Faile, Herakut, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Jeff Koons and Sir Peter Blake.”

I competely love finding new galleries, visiting interesting exhibitions and discovering new artists; especially in such an interesting part of town. So, hopefully I will manage to get around to the exhibition before it closes! Below are a few peices of work from Hang-Up’s website and they should be able to give you an idea of what sort of stuff you can expect from the exhibition.

Russell Marshall, Elvis Gun Cheque on Canvas.

Mark Powell, Carbon Emotion (KAR-ben).

Banksy, Toxic Mary Unsigned.

Chapman Brothers Supreme Skate Decks.


The Connor Brothers, End of a Dream


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Give Smile Pussycat!

Original Post:

I recently picked up the latest issue of Very Nearly Almost Magazine, widely known as VNA, it is in my opinion the best London based art and design managine you can buy!

‘Very Nearly Almost is a UK-based independent magazine printed quarterly which features interviews with some of the world’s best urban artists, illustrators and photographers. Launched in 2006, VNA tracks everything from the wheatpastes, paint and stencils out there on the streets through to gallery shows and events that bring together artists from around the world.
Each issue brings you in-depth feature articles and interviews with the biggest names on the scene, as well as up and coming artists. Previous cover artists include Shepard Fairey, Retna, Invader, Eine, Sickboy, ROA, Insa, Anthony Lister, Conor Harrington, The London Police, D*Face & Kid Acne.
VNA gets up close and personal with the artists we cover – we document recent work, visit artists’ studios and provide sneak previews of new work.
Everyone involved in VNA has a shared love of street art and the culture that’s grown up around it and we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoy putting it together.
Distributed globally, with a print run of 7,000, you can find VNA at a range of stockists.’

The latest VNA, issue 27, featured the four man graffiti crew Broken Fingaz from Israel, I have been aware of thier graffiti for quite a while after seeing some of thier work around the Brick Lane area. Broken Fingaz create art work which to say the least, ruffles a few feathers; VNA explained in their article that TBFC’s work ‘often appears to tell a story – generally involving naked chicks, skeletons, fat dudes and other outlandish characters’.
As you will see from the examples of thier work, they have come under attack for being sexist and sexually objectifying women. Their work definitely ticks one massive box of what I like art to do, and thats provoke a reaction. It raises and highlights an issue, which like many we face in modern society still plays a massive part in our lives and in my opinion is often overloooked and not taken as seriously as it should be.
But then on the conitary as highlighted in this really awesome post on Vandalog, TBFC’s murals don’t exactly depict men in the best manner either, showing them as skeletons and ultimately ‘brainless’ or as ‘fat dudes’. I’m going to try not and rant too much about my veiws and opinions, but I do urge you to go and take a look at some more of The Broken Fingaz Crew’s work and if you like it, and fancy offending some poeple on the tube, go and grab a super sexy TBFC T-shirt from Ghostown.

Also heres a little snippet of that Vandalog post,
Defacing two walls and writing “Kill all men” over BFC’s work is not a route I would promote, but the dialogue it provoked is important. Much like the commenters on BFC’s Facebook, my knee-jerk reaction was to write this act off as an overly-aggressive reaction from a radical feminist. In all likelihood, “Kill all men” is a derivative of the Twitter hashtag that was turning heads last month, which feminists were using as a space to vent their experiences with misogyny. Yet in closer consideration of this particular incident, this person isn’t saying anything that BFC didn’t say themselves first. Why should we take offense from the statement “Kill all men” when this was written on top of a BFC mural that literally depicted a group of dead men having sex with women?

Peace and Love,,,,

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Low Tolerance Level for Bullshit.

Original Post:

“Would you say that the unfortunate events that happened in your childhood were one’s that are highly influential, as well as visible in your art nowadays?
I’d say that having both my mother and only brother both pass away before I was 18 definitely gave me a hyper-awareness for the brevity of life, so yeah I’d say that those events were highly influential. My mom had cancer and was sick for most of my childhood (or at least the part I remember) and she passed away when I was 15. My brother died two years later from an asthma attack.  As a result I have a really low tolerance level for bullshit. Life’s short. Do your thing at all costs and never give up. As far as those events being visible in my art I’d say there’s probably some truth to that. The characters in my drawings and paintings definitely look like they’re carrying some heavy weights."

I have began this post with a question from an interveiw I read once on a blog called Nephew Marcus, it was published quite a while back in 2012 and you can read the whole interveiw here. If you haven’t already guessed from this posts cover photo, the amazing talent at the centre of this post is Michael Sieben.  The first time I saw a skateboard deck with Siebens work on I was instantly attracted to it, I love his use of line and the overall incredible, instantly recogniseable style of his work. Then when I read about Sieben’s childhood and learn’t about his work values, my respect for him began to grow further beyond his aesthetic creations. Enjoy!

“Was working in the skate industry a goal of yours from the get-go? 
Yes. It has always been a dream of mine to work within the skateboard industry. As I get older I have dreams of working on projects outside of skateboarding but that probably has to do with the fact that I’m almost 40 and have a love/hate affair with my skateboard at this point. I love to play skateboards, but I just wish my skateboard cooperated with me that way it did when I was younger. I feel like it’s just a battle these days. But a battle that I love.
Thrasher didn’t come along until 2004, which was five years after you graduated.What did you do before you landed a job over there?
Made tons of zines, got a full time job, opened an art gallery, got married, skated tons of ditches, got a tattoo, and cried a few times.”

The examples of Michael Siebens work below have been taken from his website,

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

It's a Stick UP!

Original Post:

So what exactly is it that makes the sticker so alluring to the creative type? You see an influx of creative’s in a specific area, because of cheap rent and large spaces or whatever it may be, and you will inevitably see the clean street signs alongside pretty much any flat surface, become collaged with a myriad of adhesive backed printed paper and vinyl.
Street stickers have obviously been around for way longer than I have even been alive, so I’m not going to sit here for starters and claim to be some kind of sticker bombing assassin, but more just explore the idea a little and look into how it all started and how it developed. I find it quite interesting and hopefully at least one other person who is remotely interested in street art, skate culture or design will too!
 So I’m going to begin with Shepard Fairey. It seems that almost everybody on the planet is aware of Shepard’s work, even if they don’t know about the whole Andre the Giant revolution they would definitely recognise the Obey logo. Shepard explained in his book ‘Supply & Demand’ that as a youngster with an interest in punk rock and skateboarding he found the occasional sticker sighting as ‘an encouraging sign that there were more dedicated proponents of punk and skate culture lurking in the city. Stickers were a sign that I wasn’t living in a total void. I wanted stickers as badges of my culture.’
 Stickers can give you a feeling of belonging and allow you to share or even force your interests and the type of stuff that you like onto other people, especially in aspects to graphics related to punk rock and skate culture, which is something that is still not completely socially acceptable, even though it is becoming a lot more commercial. Plastering the front of your shiny new nondescript branded laptop or whatever personal effects with an awesome collage of stickers suddenly differentiates your stuff from all the millions of people who have that exact same one, it also looks totally awesome and makes you feel pretty cool, individual and slightly rebellious.
Going back to the Obey stickers here is Shepard fairey’s Obey ‘manifesto’.
Have a read, its really interesting stuff.
A nonsensical visual pleasure or an underground cult? I urge you to go buy Shepard’s book, or do a good bit of research on the internet (theres a number of really interesting documentary’s about Shepards work) because theres so much more interesting stuff in relation to Obey that I can’t even begin to cover in one blog post and then you can make up your own mind!


“The OBEY sticker campaign can be explained as an experiment in Phenomenology. Heidegger describes Phenomenology as “the process of letting things manifest themselves.” Phenomenology attempts to enable people to see clearly something that is right before their eyes but obscured; things that are so taken for granted that they are muted by abstract observation.
The FIRST AIM OF PHENOMENOLOGY is to reawaken a sense of wonder about one’s environment. The OBEY sticker attempts to stimulate curiosity and bring people to question both the sticker and their relationship with their surroundings. Because people are not used to seeing advertisements or propaganda for which the product or motive is not obvious, frequent and novel encounters with the sticker provoke thought and possible frustration, nevertheless revitalizing the viewer’s perception and attention to detail. The sticker has no meaning but exists only to cause people to react, to contemplate and search for meaning in the sticker. Because OBEY has no actual meaning, the various reactions and interpretations of those who view it reflect their personality and the nature of their sensibilities.
Many people who are familiar with the sticker find the image itself amusing, recognizing it as nonsensical, and are able to derive straightforward visual pleasure without burdening themselves with an explanation. The PARANOID OR CONSERVATIVE VIEWER however may be confused by the sticker’s persistent presence and condemn it as an underground cult with subversive intentions. Many stickers have been peeled down by people who were annoyed by them, considering them an eye sore and an act of petty vandalism, which is ironic considering the number of commercial graphic images everyone in American society is assaulted with daily.
Another phenomenon the sticker has brought to light is the trendy and CONSPICUOUSLY CONSUMPTIVE nature of many members of society. For those who have been surrounded by the sticker, its familiarity and cultural resonance is comforting and owning a sticker provides a souvenir or keepsake, a memento. People have often demanded the sticker merely because they have seen it everywhere and possessing a sticker provides a sense of belonging. The Giant sticker seems mostly to be embraced by those who are (or at least want to seem to be) rebellious. Even though these people may not know the meaning of the sticker, they enjoy its slightly disruptive underground quality and wish to contribute to the furthering of its humorous and absurd presence which seems to somehow be antiestablishment/societal convention. Giant stickers are both embraced and rejected, the reason behind which, upon examination reflects the psyche of the viewer. Whether the reaction be positive or negative, the stickers existence is worthy as long as it causes people to consider the details and meanings of their surroundings. In the name of fun and observation.”
Shepard Fairey, 1990, WWW.OBEYGIANT.COM (go check it out!)

All images used are Copyright© 1989 - 2014. All Rights Reserved by OBEY GIANT.