Tag Archives: Uk

Female Force – Exhibition Opening Day

14 Apr

Female Force is the title given to a selection of photographs taken of statues by Najma Hush. These images been manipulated by the process of multi-layering, to modernise and re-present, a few and various neoclassical and classical sculptures, from the fresh perspective of a digital age. Currently exhibiting at Urban Coffee Company (Church Street,  Birmingham, B3 2NP.  UK. ), from April 6th – May 3rd 2014). 



Urban Coffee Company is a rather sophisticated cafe in the metropolis of Birmingham.  Not only do they boast great coffee, good enough to sate any coffee snobs passion, but they also hold many different live events.  Furthermore, their cosy upstairs arena , consistently rotates fine art and photography by artist from the city, which is organised by Alexandria Art, who provide exhibiting platforms for emerging  artist in various location around the city.   weblink - exhibition details

With the exhibition open day for Female Force, held last Saturday (12th April’ 14), Najma Hush hosted her very own launch event, having invited Poets and Musicians to also platform their own skills and celebrate her latest solo exhibition. Here is a short review, recording the events proceedings, including photographs of the poets and musicians who came to support this event with further links to their works, to make it easier for you to find them.

Guests at Female Force by Najma Hush

As the guests gathered.

The event started off with a small crowd and moved at a slow pace, fairly early for any Saturday morning,  but as the event proceeded more and more people joined to contribute a buzz to the initial relaxed atmosphere.  The show commenced, with a brief introduction from the artist about herself and the concept behind the exhibition, before she passed over the duty of hosting to Andrea Shorrick, a local poet and performer herself, who introduced the first public speaker, Kathryn Day from Women’s Networking Hub.  This organisation had shown much support for Hush’s exhibition open day, by promoting it through a lot of their internal sources, due to the close work they do with all kind of women in enterprise, connecting women with other women and essentially building a strong network of associations.    They also work closely with Malala Yousafzai to gain funds for her projects to eradicate social/gender inequality and so  Hush invited them to  invite the women present, to join their network.

Najma Hush

Poet and Photographer, Najma Hush at the exhibition opening of Female Force.


The first poet to perform was Dani Papamaximou from Greece,  who recited her own touching poems, translated from her native tongue to English.  With some dark overtones, her work was mainly refreshing and  light sharing personal experiences as a women.

Next up, a very talented poet and artist from Walsall, Neth Brown who shared a melancholy poem about her mother and experiences on the theme of gender traditions and female sexuality from the point of view of a young lesbian.

Nina Lewis,  was the following act, a Worcestershire poet who had actually written poems especially to go with Hush’s images.  Her poems were as impressive as usual as showed her dexterous skill with language. 

Next up was Sammy Joe, who humorously insisted on taking her coffee on stage, swigging and spilling it in a sleepy haze. But even before she had finished reciting her very short, blunt and feisty poem, in a fashion that was no less than fierce, she had trotted off again, sleepily leaving the audience wide awake and hungry for more.

The crowd was then greeted by the colourful personality of Saleha Begum, a poet and artist decisively stating that she would be reading her most intense works, from her book, Raptures and Fragments, which she did!

As the crowd deserved ‘A Pick Me Up’ after such intensity, that’s exactly what they got with Aysha Begum’s poem, ‘Just a Little Pick Me Up’, a poem which is also an entry in this years round two of Pangaea Poetry Slam.  

And just before the interval, Andrea Shorrick  left the crowd holding their breath during her performance, when she began to undress, stripping away her clothes solemnly, wrapping herself up in a street no entry banners and smearing her face with yellow paint as she recited her poem on domestic abuse.   

Open day of Exhibition Female Force

Najma Hush – Meeting and Greeting Guests

During the interval it seemed that a lot more people had woken up and the place became more alive with people.  The atmosphere was buzzing as the crowd was led back into the second half, where Najma Hush opened the show, reciting her own epic poem on social equality for women, just before she introduced the musical act for the event a very talented young singer song writer,  Jane James.  Her voice is emotive and she can switch her pitch going from smooth to boom!   

Jaden Larker, otherwise known as   Seasick Fist, who was also a speaker for TEDxBrum on International Women’s day (2014), was the only man who had been brave enough to perform his views on women, with his confident delivery,  he certainly knows how to keep the crowds attention.

With a hard act to follow, next up was Andrea Shorrick, only this time as her ultra ego,  Swingerella, with stories from her bed, which included chocolate hearts, pink bunnies, vodka in a tea pot and box of sugar puffs, to name…just  a few things.  It was meant to be funny, but again, the audience were holding their breath…

It was also a great pleasure to see and hear, Jasmin Gardosi perform her poem sultry poem on lesbian love and love bites. Gardosi is also a TEDxBrum speaker (2014) and she runs the official Poets Place.

And to close the show in class one of the final special guest was, Charlie JordanBirmingham Poet Laureate (2007 ) – representing our city –  with some groping poetry, in a style, solely unique to her.  The event then came to a close with the first ever Female poet laureate of Birmingham, Julie Boden and current Poet in residence at Symphony Hall who wowed the crowed with 10 minutes of such beautiful poetic magic.

Here are the photographs of all the above performers:


Female Force

8 Apr


Female Force is the title given to a selection of photographs taken of statues. These images have been manipulated by the process of multi layering, to modernise and re-present a few and various neoclassical and classical sculptures, from the fresh perspective of a digital age.

Although this set has not been created in any attempt to be authentic in its artistic content, it appreciates beauty making accessible elite works in art, otherwise unobtainable as the ideological emphasis is upon ‘possession’ (based upon John Bergers theories in his book Way’s of Seeing (1972) ).

Each piece displays a keen interest to celebrate femininity and the female form, as Najma Hush offers a short interpretation on womanhood through the study of sculptures and in doing so, she presents the female archetypes that have inspired artists to create; images that have been repeated again and again and ones we still see and know in our society. What’s most interesting about Female Force is that these archetypes are still recognisable and ideals that we in society, still aspire to posses.

Female Force is only on exhibition at Urban Coffee Company from the 6th April to the 5th May 2014 in association with Alexandria Exhibitions.  All prints are limited editions, as no more than 25 will be produced of each one. Also, each piece comes with a unique certificate of authenticity signed, numbered and dated by the artist. For further info  or to purchase, please email Najma on photogiraffe@live.co.uk.

Female Force by Najma Hush

The official open day for the exhibition will be held at Urban Coffee Company on Saturday 12th April at 11am – 1.30 pm with live performances from poets and musicians, so stay tuned here to read more about that event …



Blistering Bargains at the Birmingham Bazaar.

19 Dec

A PhotoGiraffe Live Art Christmas Special .

If you haven’t yet already heard about the hottest place to purchase your extra special Christmas presents this year, then let us be the first to point you in the right direction.  If you are a Vintage Diva, absolutely fierce for exclusive hand-picked Vintage fashion, then make your make your way up to, The Festive Pop-Up Bazaar.  It’s an independent retail event which supports local businesses, in association with the Fine Art students at the Birmingham City University; but you had better be quick as there are only four days left until it closes.

With just over 35 stalls of independent vintage fashion and accessories along with retro homewares from 1930 – 1980,  it is a creative celebration of local Artists, Illustrators and Crafters –  all under one roof at the fabulous location of New Street, Birmingham City Centre (next to Cafe Rouge).  With the hustle and bustle of  The German Markets right outside at their door step, The Festive Pop-Up Bazaar offers a great service to all stallholders and great product for all buyers who are out and totally up for a wonderful way to spend their day and their dollars!

To uncover the most precious finds at the bazaar, we sent non-other than our very own fashion correspondent, the very stylish Fashion photographer PhotoGiraffe Live along with Model, Sunshine Delight to seek out the most exclusive, quality buys that you girls can get your mitts on.  We hope that you will enjoy our very festive Christmas PGLA Special, and if you think you are too far away from Birmingham, UK – well you could always buy online.

Click the Gallery bellow to see PhotoGiraffe’s shots with Sunshine Delight, modelling some of the most luscious purchases that are in store now.  Look out for PGLA Recommendations as we will only show you what’s uber-cool!  See what PGLA hand picked for their own sexy wardrobe and be sure to keep scrolling  all the way down  as we reveal all the links to the all hottest  buys, boutiques and vintage dealers!


If you are going to buy at least one thing sited here on PhotoGiraffe Live Art, then we recommend you buy from  these star designers, as we know you won’t find anything like this anywhere except from these Trendy-Wendy’s who are producing these goods; we are happy to state that they are innovating fashion not intimating wooden style from high streets shops or cat walks.  And at great affordable prices, the jewels from these designers can make highly desirable gifts for any style concious fashion queen.

PGLA Recommendation: Designer Jagged Mirror Earings £10

Evol Hiest

Unique designer jewellers EVOL HIEST are all about smoke and mirrors.  Their jewellery is not so much about vintage style but rather futuristic fashion.  It’s original, fun and Uber-Cool.  Stay on the cutting edge of fashion, visit their website and buy their jewels today!


With self professed, ‘rockability’Bow and Cross Bones have an impressive collection of kitsch and vintage styled

Vintage Styled Jewellery

Bow and Cross Bones

jewellery, along with accessories that will have you bubbling over with excitement, like a glass of champagne.  You can buy thier goods online and if you quote “BC310”, you will be entitled for a 10% discount off your first purchase.  Bow and cross Bones also deal wholesale.  Check out there V.Stylish website:  www.bowandcrossbones.com

And finally, PhotoGiraffe Live Art would like to wish our readers a very Funky Christmas and Classy New Year!  See you in 2012 folks!

Links to the products and dealers sited on PGLA:

 http://www.evolheist.com/  (Sited, Smoke and Mirror Designer Jewellery)

http://festivepopup.tumblr.com/ (Sited, Festive Pop-up Bazaar website)

http://lauralovesboutique.com/ (Sited, vintage sequinned jacket and button necklace)

http://www.bowandcrossbones.com/  (Sited, vintage styled designer jewellery )

https://www.facebook.com/mad.elizabethvintage   (Sited, genuine 1950’s Jacket )

https://www.facebook.com/groups/vintagehideaway/  (Sited, genuine mink and fur coats)

PGLA Blogspot recommendation:

In style with Make-up Artist Betty Flowers (She may make you blush!)


Snublic: A Portrait of an Artist, as a Young Man.

15 Nov

Colin David McAllister, is young Artist living in Colchester, England.  As a trained cartoonist and an illustrator, McAllisters Art work is an impressive feat to look at; along with its great intricate details,  he also gives his viewers a great deal to think about – as his work speaks loudly about the world we live in. PhotoGiraffe Live Arts correspondent Najma Hush, caught up with McAllister in his home in Colchester to find out more about the work he calls  ‘Snublic Drawings’.  She was amazed and fascinated by what she learnt, as he really opened up and honestly told her about his artistic pain, strife for truth and  the implementation of his own unique philosophy.

Night Owl: (Copyright Snublic Drawings) A self portrait of an artist, made marginally smaller than life in the contents of his bedroom, at the time of drawing

What does being an Artist and creating Art mean to you?

“It’s my Passion (from the Ancient Greek verb πάσχω (paskho) meaning to suffer) as I suffer, particularly back pain for the love of my art – but I still love it. Though I studied animation and computer science, drawing has always been a part of me, I have always liked to draw what I see and doodle what I think and sketch out rough concepts and storyboards but after deciding not to pursue a career in the rat race that is ‘Animation’, I started to focus more on drawing as a possible career.”

What do you mean when you talk about pain? How does your Art make you suffer?

“I never work at a table, strange habit of mine, partly born out of a lack of available space wherever I live to work at a proper table, also before I started using Indian ink I used to draw mostly on the move, friends sofas, park benches, cafe’s, trains and get lots of nice feedback from passersby.”

“Though I’m kind of house bound now I still always draw off my lap or over a knee, as the Nightowl picture portrays. I tend to work on one area of a drawing at a time very close up and make up whatever fits and inch my way across the page till it’s done, to the complete detriment of my spine. I also lose all sense of time and sometimes miss meal times as I’m caught up in the creation, it’s a kind of “sustained intensity” to quote Miles Davis that allows me to work without sleep, food or stretching my muscles for ages, until I come back to reality and realise I do need those things, so that’s the suffering for art.”

So, what are you working on at the moment?

Ancient Barrack (Copyright Snublic Drawings).

I am a cartoonist and illustrator and have been since I could hold a pencil, but my Artistic pseudonym (or trademark) as recognized today is ‘Snublic Drawings’ .  It began in 2006 and I’ve been busy with that professionally for about five years.  At the moment I am working on some illustrations of my home town, inspired by Rembrandt, Alessandro Magnasco with my light and shade tutor and friend Richard Gilbert. I am also reworking old masters paintings with a view to putting my own spin or angle on the subject, inspired by my cartoonist collaborator Daniel McCallum and various cartoons of a satirical, geo political nature, inspired by the likes of Michael Parenti, Noam Chomsky and William Hogarth with his ‘modern moral subjects’. And my website http://www.snublic.com is awaiting renovation, restoration and updating, whilst I catch up with the work load as is.”

 “My day job is as a support worker and custodian of an art gallery in Colchester, I work for an Art Cafe charity set up to help adults with learning disabilities and I help out in the art department. I do all the promotion, run the art gallery and as of this summer tend the local allotment with the guys to harvest fresh veg for our kitchen. It’s one of the most laid back day jobs imaginable and the people we help, most innocently bereft of the concept of sarcasm are the sweetest I ever expect to meet, so that’s not too bad, but it still eats into my drawing time, which in turn eats into my leisure time, which is pretty none existent as most people would consider it.”  

(Check out the link below to follow the progress of the Level Best Art Cafe’s gallery shows in Colchester  http://levelbestartcafe.blogspot.com/)

Tell me more about your Tutor?  Who is he and what does he do?

“My tutors name is Richard Anthony Gilbert and he signs his pictures RAG. He is 40 years my senior though we’re very close friends who met at a life drawing class in 2006, I was blown away by the way Richard deflty sketched out the model with pencil or charcoal and only did what was needed to get a complete feeling for her personality and made you forget you were looking at a an abstract collection of lines, light and shade. Mr Gilbert’s back story is as a commercial artist on fleet street in the mid 60’s drawing and designing book covers and he managed to do one for his favourite childhood book, The Time Machine, by H.G Wells which are still doing the rounds on Amazon.”

Portrait of Richard (Copyright Snublic Drawings).

What is Gilbert teaching you that you didn’t already learn at University and why is it so important?

“The main point he made to me after my request for supervision was that my light and shade skills were none existent and academically I was fucked without it! Not sure if you’d like to substitute that word for something else but it was one of the points I immediately liked about him after he’d said it. So we arranged arbitrarily to meet every Thursday and spend a few hours going over the basics of light and shade that I’d missed not taking art seriously at school.”

How does he teach you?

“Every week he sets up a still life scene for us and we draw it for a number of hours, usually with a 6B pencil, his preferred tool. I’ve been visiting Richard for 4 years now and he has imparted wisdom upon me very subtly over this time, commenting on my efforts less and less as he likes what he sees and he put me onto the likes of Ruben’s and Rembrandt whom he calls ‘the master of light and shade’. ”

” I have now filled countless sketchbooks and am still learning, but have managed to achieve a level of light and shade sophistication in pencil to be proud of and make a point to draw something every day. More recently another close friend of mine has joined the drawing classes and both myself and Richard are able to tutor him whilst we drink rum, smoke pipes and roll ups and rant about the news on radio 5 live or listen to Elvis and Bob Dylan on vinyl. My hope has been that I will be able to marry up my detailed drawing style with my new found respect and appreciation for light and shade to change my style for the better, I’ve yet to consider including colour to the mix but I’m told it’s something he might be willing to move onto soon, so I’ll wait and see.”

  • Tower of Babel (Copyright Snublic Drawing).

What is your work really about and how do you think you are benefiting others by sharing it?

“Our society rewards stupidity and robbery on a grand scale whilst hiding basic truths about why people sacrifice their lives. Our society is based upon debt and endless consumption and the majority of people are unskilled compared to previous generations, we celebrate a very narrow mainstream and willingly give away our civil liberties, we attack people who offer a different point of view or simply try and point these facts out. I have developed an appreciation for the macro picture of the global scene and feel our society compared to many others has a fair bit to answer for. I try and represent the oppressed stories and people of the world with my drawing and hope I can educate people who otherwise will not have considered or heard of some of the points I allude to.”

RECESSION (Copyright Snublic Drawings).


Why does your work have so much angst?

“ “Angst is often confused with anxiety; it’s a transcendent emotion in that it combines the unbearable anguish of life with the hopes of overcoming this seemingly impossible situation. Without the important element of hope, then the emotion is anxiety, not angst. Angst denotes the constant struggle one has with the burdens of life that weighs on the dispossessed and not knowing when the salvation will appear.” ~ A bit of Nietzsche there for you…”

” But going back to my own work, I always draw my pictures in pencil first to get it grounded then go over it in pen or Indian ink and I work on one bit of the drawing at a time not knowing how the finished composition will completely look. When I begin a project I spend a week or so researching it and finding photo references to work from, then generally spend a month drawing every day as much as I can stand till it’s done. I certainly don’t draw things simply because they look cool, it has to have something to do with something and hopefully in keeping with my developing philosophy, but generally because I do not feel I have the right to coerce any individual opinion I let the drawing do the talking – but as Bob Dylan points out in his auto biography, which I am currently reading, ‘everyone’s going through their own battles’ and this is mine.”

House Of Commons One (Copyright Snublic Drawing).

So there you have it folks, remember where you heard it first!  PhotoGiraffe Live Art would kindly like to thank Colin David McAllister for his time.  And, to all you readers, we strongly recommend you to keep a look out for more of McAllister’s Art.   Buy it now whilst it’s still relatively cheap because – guaranteed – you will be hearing much more about it through critical acclaim, in the near future.  But before you do anything else, why not check out more of Colin’s Art work on this site in the gallery and also by following the links bellow? I’m sure if you do, you will be delighted!

A PGLA recommendation:





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