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    Do or DIY at the Whitechapel Gallery, London

    information as material's new exhibition, Do or DIY, has opened at the Whitechapel Gallery in London.

    Do or DIY is the culmination of a productive 12 month long residency at the Whitechapel Gallery for the Yorkshire-based artists' publishing imprint. The Whitechapel is a world leading contemporary visual art gallery in London's East End, and has held major exhibitions of work by leading contemporary artists ever since it opened its doors in 1901. 

    We've been working with information as material since we produced their last major exhibition, The Perverse Library, in 2010 and we have been proud to be able to support this latest exhibition. Back in 2010, when The Independent invited us to select ten of the top 50 UK museums and galleries, the Whitechapel was in our top three places to visit. Having 'one of our own' exhibited there is a serious cause of celebration - massive congratulations to the team at information as material.

    Here's the exhibition info, as published by the Whitechapel:

    Writers’ collective information as material present their two part introduction to the concealed history of do-it-yourself publishing, as undertaken by some of the most renowned writers in Western literature. Their essay Do or DIY runs around the two galleries. Part one, titled ‘History,’ is a collection of anecdotes about literary icons who published their own works. Part two, titled ‘Praxis,’ champions new approaches to writing for the digital future of publishing. A pocketbook version of the essay, published by the group, is available to read now or take away.

    Also on display are self-published works by Kathy Acker, Johanna Drucker, Ezra Pound, John Ruskin, Laurence Sterne and Virginia Woolf. Shown alongside them are mass-reproduced re-publications of their work, as well as fellow DIYers including Emily Dickinson, Martin Luther and Marcel Proust. 

    The exhibition runs until 15 April 2012 at the Whitechapel Gallery, London. If you are passing the Whitechapel, please check the exhibition out. If you won't be but do have friends in the Big Smoke then please let them know to drop by.

    If you do go, be sure to pick up a copy of the free pocketbook publication that accompanies the exhibition.

    View the full collection of images from the iam Whitechapel residency in our Gallery, here.


    Ellen & The Escapades X Hope & Social

    Check out this video from a recent session between two Leeds acts, the ace Ellen and The Escapades with the equally awesome Hope & Social

    It is always really interesting to see two bands collaborate and although we expected a lot when we heard they guys were hooking up, we were not left disappointed :) The track has already been getting airplay on BBC 6 Music and lots more in the Hebe office!

    Both bands have new albums out / coming out. Hope & Social with Cotton Wool and Knotted Wood, while Ellen and The Escapades launch All The Crooked Scenes at Brudenell Social Club next month. 



    Paul Fryer

    Image: 2012 © Carla Borel

    If Paul Fryer isn't a name that's familiar to you then it should be. For our money, Paul is one of the great success stories to come out of this city in recent times. We've been lucky enough to work with Paul on the Hebe produced Back to Basics exhibition at Leeds Gallery; his contribution is a sound sculpture, a portrait of the clubs promoter, Dave Beer, which has become the centre piece of the exhibition.

    The parallels that can be drawn between Paul and the man behind the Back to Basics exhibition, Dave Beer, are uncanny. Both freely admit to a fairly misspent youth, both attended but dropped out of art schools, both played a truly seminal role in reinventing the club scene in the north of England, both have committed a significant part of their lives to music, both are spiritually enlightened individuals (that's code for "have some pretty wild beliefs") and both have sustained an artistic practice, although their approaches and interests are wildly different.  

    Paul was born in Leeds and lived here until he moved to London in 1996. While here, Paul played an instrumental role in creating the influential Art-based Kit Kat Club in the late 80's, and the city's first multi-sexuality club night, Vague (about which a book is curently being written), which gave birth to what is now Speed Queen. On moving to London to peruse a career as an artist, Paul took up residence in a studio in East London, neighbouring with the artist Gary Hume, whose Flashback exhibition is currently on display at Leeds Art Gallery. This was the time before East London warehouses were transformed into luxury dwelling places, when a tight-knit, creative community had begun to form. It was through this community that Paul was introduced to the Creative Director of fashion brand Fendi, where he would go on to spend five years working as their Musical Director, responsible for curating the soundtrack for fashion shows around the world. In his first outing, naive to the logistics of coordinating models down catwalks, and sticking to his brief to create a precise 18 minutes of music, Paul was responsible for leaving Jodie Kidd naked (in audio terms) halfway down the catwalk during New York Fashion Week. Still, despite his oversight the crowed loved his work and so did Karl Lagerfeld who became a supporter of Paul's during his time at Fendi.

    Following his five years at Fendi, Paul decided to return to his studio practice as an artist, leaving the world of fashion to develop his own work. It has since been shown at leading galleries around the world including Tate Britain, White Cube and The Royal Academy in London as well as public and private galleries in Paris, Berlin, Venice and Dallas, Texas. Whilst much of Paul's work is realised as sculpture, he has also published a series of books including a book of his own poetry. He has also collaborated with a number of key curators and artists, including fellow loiner Damien Hirst.

    Paul's work is currently on show in Leeds, Florence and a new solo show, The Electric Sky, is due to open at Pertwee Anderson Gold in London on 23rd March 2012. As the press release for The Electric Sky explains:

    "Paul Fryer is noted for working with electricity in all its forms; from lightning machines propagating millions of volts to particle accelerators generating tiny superheated plasma stars with temperatures measured in the millions of degrees. His recent sculpture, Revelation (rain), is a machine which permits the casual viewing of cosmic rays arriving on earth as flashes of lightning in a glass box and Fryer has even recreated the environment necessary to produce the subtle patterns of an earth-bound Aurora Vitralis in a bell jar."

    "In his latest show The Electric Sky, Fryer investigates the connections between life on earth and astronomical phenomena through the motif of lightning, creating multiple images and representations of this dynamic electrical energy in both two and three dimensions, exploring both existing and new theories of the fabric of the universe."

    It's been a pleasure to spend some time with Paul, and hear about his career in fashion and the arts. We'll be heading down to London to check out The Electric Sky but, in the meantime, for anyone who wants a taste of Paul's art, his sound sculpture will remain on display at Leeds Gallery until 17th March 2012.


    James Steward & Asobi Fashion @ The Leeds Library

    As part of our work with Trinity Leeds we recently produced a photo-shoot featuring the work of Leeds designer James Steward and Leeds Fashion Show Emerging Designer award winner, Shi-Yuen Li of Asobi Fashion. The shoot took place at the beautiful Leeds Library. The shoot was styled by our very own Head of Fashion Shang-Ting Peng.

    We had always planned to showcase one of the winners from Leeds Fashion Show in a special photo-shoot for the Trinity Leeds Facebook Page and we thought it would be pretty cool to team up Shi-Yuen's work with established Leeds designer James Steward and see what we could create. 

    We worked with our friends at Bond, photographer Warwick Stein and make-up artist Nicki Swain and their fantastic models, Paige Moore and Eliza Tate and we also worked with the ace Hasselblad and, a behind the scenes video is on the way to show how the shoot went down. 

    We hope you dig the photos and we will leave you with the official line from Trinity Leeds...

    "Trinity Leeds is committed to supporting emerging fashion talent in Leeds and as part of our 'Taking the T' into Leeds campaign, Trinity Leeds sponsored Leeds Fashion Show 2011. At the show we were introduced to designer Shi-Yuen Li who won the 'Emerging Designer' award. We recently invited Shi-Yuen and prominent Leeds designer James Steward to take part in a photo-shoot staged at our near neighbour The Leeds Library on Commercial Street. The shoot was styled by Shang Ting Peng and shot by Leeds photographer Warwick Stein. 

    We hope our projects will provide moments of inspiration and surprise, and reflect the city's past, present and future as a destination for fashion, food, film and culture."

    Stay tuned for the 'making of' video shot for Hasselblad and a guest blog post from a special Hebe work-experience guest on the shoot :)