Introducing Fotofringe – a new photography festival for Cardiff

Lucy Purrington a
Credit: Lucy Purrington

Last year saw the first edition of Ffotogallery’s festival Diffusion. The festival featured photographic artists from all over the world and showcased Cardiff’s ability to stage a heavyweight arts event is not limited to Artes Mundi or Womex.

This year, one of Cardiff’s most outspoken photographers is organising Fotofringe, a festival of his own. This time however, Jon Pountney isn’t aiming for international renown, but simply trying to showcase some of south Wales’ most original photographic talent.

“We didn’t want to do a ‘state of the nation’ type of show,” says Pountney, who is best known for his work on Cardiff Before Cardiff. “Other groups, such as ‘A Fine Beginning’, are doing a great job of that. Therefore the first show is probably not what people expect. We hope so anyway!”

Fotofringe 2014 will kick off at the end of May in the CardiffMADE gallery, and will continue through June and July at a variety of venues like Porters and Sherman Cymru.

Fotofringe has grown out of a series of collaborations with Rebecca Wyn Kelly (SomethingCreatives, Milgi Lounge) called Art in the Warehouse (AITW)which has showcased some very early work by a series of very emergent artists.

“The first Fotofringe was held as part of ‘AITW’ last May, in three different settings, giving over 20 photographers exposure in an unconventional and stimulating way,” says Wyn Kelly. “Work was shown in a pub skittle alley, the Milgi warehouse, or postered directly onto city street walls. Interaction with the community was key, and many people who would not normally visit a gallery enjoyed seeing the work in this way.”

The first show of this year’s festival begins Thursday 22 May at CardiffMADE.

Lucy Purrington b
Credit: Lucy Purrington

Cardiff student shortlisted for D&AD New Blood award

Cardiff School of Art & Design student Alex Bull has been shortlisted for a D&AD (Design and Art Direction) New Blood award.

His entry, Welcome to Our World fulfilling the brief set by D&AD, the prestigious design organisation, on behalf of DCM, the cinema advertising agency.

Alex’s explanation of his work reads:

“When watching a film at the cinema, you can sometimes feel disconnected from the real world; the power of cinema can be so immersive that it feels as though you are removed from the cinema seat and into the film. This ident intends to illustrate where your mind can be in comparison to your body when you’re lost in the world of film.”

Alex is the latest in a long list of students from Cardiff Met’s Graphic Communication courses led be Olwen Moseley (also of Cardiff Design Festival), to be shortlisted for D&AD awards. CSAD graduate Julian Wiedemann received second place in the D&AD Yellow Pencil award in 2011 for his Body Shop work.

Flamingods join the Shape Records roster

Flamingods, one of my favourite new acts, have joined the Shape Records family and are set to release their new album Hyperborea on the local label in July 2014.

The band, a peculiar mixture of Eastern music and traditional indie feels, is a really exciting act to listen to and it’s great to have them being released by a Welsh label.

Congratulations to Shape and to Flamingods.


New short film shows Cardiff Barrage with wonderful vision

Natalie Clements is a director and producer who creates video content for broadcast, web and multi platform projects. Recently, she turned her attention to Cardiff Barrage.

“Project ‘Barrage’ has been undertaken for free in my own time, a project I have wanted to undertake for a while having spent a lot of time in the space,” she says. “I want to acknowledge the areas ability to be both visually stunning and welcoming to all those who set foot upon it.”

Clements is now showing this video as a way for people to see some of the hidden and unreachable areas that they might normally not.

See more of Clements’ work here

Welsh band going global thanks to funding

Photo: Victoria Schofield

Photo: Victoria Schofield

Catfish and the Bottlemen, a Llandudno act, have been all over the music press recently and from 2014 onwards, they’re also going to be all over the world.

They’re one of the first acts to benefit from the Music Export Growth Scheme which was set up by BPI – who also organise the BRIT Awards show and the Classic BRIT Awards show. The scheme will help the band to promote themselves globally.

“As the record industry changes, labels have less resources to support touring as they have in the past, but still need to get the band in the US territory. The BPI fund will prove a great solution for this,” says Neil Simpson of ATC Management.

The act are one of the first 14 to receive the funding. They received help from the Welsh Music Foundation who encouraged them to apply in order to build on the success of WOMEX, which happened last October in Cardiff.

Catfish and the Bottlemen were among 100 other acts applying for the fund.

“The Music Export Growth Scheme funding is a much needed initiative which will be of huge benefit for Catfish and the Bottlemen. It’s vital that acts have the necessary support to export their work internationally, as we encourage all emerging acts to think globally,” said WMF chief executive John Rostron. “The Welsh music industry continues to mirror the growth of the sector in the UK as a whole, and we are seeing success both creatively and commercially.”

Rostron also said that WOMEX – which is estimated to have contributed over £3M to the Welsh Economy throughout its duration – ‘was a watershed moment for Welsh music.’

But enough of the news – we’ll let the band speak for themselves:

Lust List: Adam J. Kurtz Internet Gift Shop

Adam J. Kurtz is one of those rare people who has managed to keep his own style and identity on the internet. While other designers and artists are following trends, making everything look incredibly sleek, Kurtz – who works and lives in New York, New York – has avoided the hype and concentrated on making the best representation of himself in web form.

And if his website is anything to go by, he seems kind of great.

Although his clients include The New York Times, Urban Outfitters, Warner Music Group, AARP, TheStreet, and more, you are able to get a little piece of his individual psyche/work by logging onto his ‘Internet Gift Shop’ and paying just a few dollars.

Here are three of my favourite pieces:

Good job at still being alive


Now you can have a medal for still being alive. It’s a tough task. It’s sold out at the moment but $5… you know.

Index Cards


I laughed a lot at these. My desk and wall is filled with short stacks of index cards that I have written ideas, quotes or drawn pictures on – mostly, they’re self congratulatory. So, this would be perfect for me.

Brain Subscription


Look: Rent is really high in New York. Help Adamjk out and try to buy one of his brain subscriptions where he’ll send you all sorts of interesting things four times a year. Sold out due to demand on his brain, but in the future, maybe you’ll be able to have a piece.

See more of Adam’s work and life here:

Yasiin Gaye: The Departure – Free Download

“I remember hearing Mos Def rhyme the alphabet
I just sat there in silence
As a sign of respect
I knew what I had to do
And that’s what happened next
I rhymed the periodic table to stay one step ahead”

— Scroobius Pip, Development

Let’s face it, Scroobius Pip is kind of cool. But he’s no Mos Def. For years, I assumed being able to rhyme the periodic table was really great and when you hear him do it, it’s pretty impressive.

But Mos Def wrote The Ecstatic. Track after track of pure genius. From opener ‘Supermagic’ to less popular but none the less formidable ‘The Embassy.’ That’s just one of his albums too.

But better than Mos Def is a mashup album of Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) and interstellar soul brother Marvin Gaye.

Better still is when it’s free.

If you need me, you know where to find me: