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Watching What We Did On Our Holiday, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled upon an episode of Outnumbered with a slightly different cast. It starts out much the same – a stereotypical middle class family with three young children, struggle to get everyone packed and ready to leave their house in suburban London. Instead of the school run however, they are embarking on an epic car journey to the Highlands of Scotland.
The parents, Doug (David Tennant) and Abi (Rosamund Pike), are living apart, but trying to keep up appearances for the sake of Doug’s terminally ill father Gordie (Billy Connolly). They decide to visit him together for his birthday, aware that he may not have many left. Their children are instructed to keep their parents’ separation secret, and are not entirely happy with being asked to lie.
While it has much in common with Outnumbered, having the same writer-directors (Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin), What We Did On Our Holiday is in fact a brilliant and moving film in its own right. Despite having a similar concept to the TV series, it has transitioned well to the big screen with an excellent cast and script. People were laughing and crying in the audience, and while I won’t give away the central joke of the film, it’s enough to say that it is both hilarious and sad in equal measures.

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Bearcub Gallery

Every now and then, I find myself asking what is the best way to spend an evening. I am still searching for an answer, but spending a couple of hours at Bearcub Gallery, and looking at some great artwork for free, comes pretty close.

If you haven’t visited the latest event by Bearcub Gallery, I strongly recommend it to you. Not only is the artwork presented amazing, but the ensemble of talented artists is breathtaking.

The name of the event is “The Ark”. That’s right, the idea is more or less the same as what Noah had in mind. Each artist was presented with a challenge to come up with two artworks promoting a red listed endangered animal, in the hope of raising awareness of their plight. The people at Bearcub Gallery have not missed a note; it’s all there, from Louis Masai’s sentimental and innocent painting of tigers, to the dark stencil creations of Snik depicting the now endangered gorilla.

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Fraser, Richard and Charlotte, the curators and organisers of the show, have done a marvellous job with this gallery. When I talked to them, their passion was transparent, and it was easy to see how much work they had put into this event.

I feel like I should also mention the work of the wildcard Matt Crump. I must confess his artwork of Turtle Power was immaculate. His collage was a maze of a thousand tales, that in the end told a rich story in so many ways.

Chemical X, the headliner of the event, also had two works on display that shared the same sense of irony and humour of his previous work Love and Death & Taste the Rain. For those who are not familiar with his work, he uses ecstasy pills, and not just one or two. It is his favourite element to convey his message. True to spirit, his work is only priced at £5 per pill. At least you know what to do with the artwork when you want to make an unconventional connection to it.

 

Photos to follow very soon!

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Love_is-_the_Drug_(sq)Before you read this article I want to tell you that this is unlike anything you ever heard or seen, so never ever attempt doing it as your own work or spend bulk of money buying such works pecially when they turn out to be illegal.

 

An exhibition has been axed from a London gallery because of fears that the artworks featured thousands of illegal drugs.

The Ecstasy of art showcase-which features two pieces made up of more than 12,000 multicolored tablets was supposed to go on display Soho this week.

The work by the artist known as the Chemical-X were pulled at the last minute after the gallery had to consult lawyers who were concerned about the legal implications of using illegal drugs.

 

The artist Chemical-X is known for the designing the ministry of sound logo more than 20 years ago, having worked with people such as Snoop Dogg, DJ Paul Oakenfold as well as brands such as Disney and MTV.

One of the works that was supposed to be featured “Love and death” 6ft skull and cross follows an asking price of 100,000 and the other work the multicolored piece called Taste the Rainbow is on sale for 75,000 were supposed to go on display but apparently Chemical-x has been asked to look for other venues.

 

Director of the galley Lawrence Alkin said “we were under the understanding that they were fake. He said this week they are not fake. We spoke for our solicitors and we can’t have anything illegal in our galley”.

He also said;”I am disappointed but I am not surprised because I was not really sure that the art republic were going to go through with it right to the very end, but I understand their position”.

 

The thing worrying about the artworks were that fact that are constructed in the way that the actual tablets were sealed  inside the artwork itself, so you would have to destroy the pieces to get them and you could go and buy those things for much less.

 

Mr Wood land also added the purpose of the work was to challenge people’s perception of the drug. He added; “it’s your perception as how you value them”.

 

Therefore all this would mean that the perspective buyer would be given the option to replace the tablets with fake ones and that would be something critical.

Chemical-X however is currently looking for other London venues to stage the exhibition but he says that if he is unable to find one he will look at holding it in either Bristol or Amesterdam.

 

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I just watched a documentary directed by Lee Hirsch called “Bully“. As the name suggests the film looked at the problem of bullying across US schools in a somewhat anecdotal way. There were individual stories of kids being bullied across various states in the USA. Tragically, some of these bullied children had chosen to take their own lives.

It was quite shocking to see the systematic failing of the school system and the community in dealing with the problem of bullying. The undercurrent attitude towards bullying seemed to be that it is shameful to be bullied, rather than it is shameful to bully. In one instance the mother of Alex, one of the bullied children, asks her son in an accusatory tone, if he enjoys being bullied. His father also tells him that his younger sister might get bullied when she joins the school because Alex lets kids bully him. The father does not seem to realise that he is putting even more pressure on Alex, or that he is making him ashamed of being bullied.

I have always been amazed by the level of cruelty some kids can show even at a very young age. In the film, bullied kids are beaten, stabbed with pencils and called names. I am not a child psychologist, so I cannot give any theories about the reasons behind such a display of cruelty, but the consensus seems to be that a mixture of learned behaviour and genetics can play a major part in the creation of a bully.

The documentary does a good job of showing the complexities that the victims of bullying go through, and it certainly highlights the failings of school administrations in dealing with bullying. It was quite shocking to see the indifference of school administrations to these bullying incidents. On the other hand, it was great to see that some grassroots movements were taking place against bullying which, little by little, might push people and schools into taking stronger action against bullying.

 

Do have a look at this inspirational video about bullying

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