Thursday, 8 October 2009

After my recent visit to the Kruger National Park I couldn't help but be blown away by this footage on You Tube. Imagine just driving along and spotting this. The battle between the Lions, Buffalos & Crocodile is incredible. I wont ruin the outcome but keep watching and I assure you, you will be shocked. It shows the true pack spirit of animals.


The Gherkin is one of London's most famous skyscrapers. The reason for the name is simply that it is shaped like a Gherkin. The conical shape and patterned harlequin-patterned glass makes it the most iconic building in London. Built by Norman Foster, this innovative building is supposedly the first environmentally sustainable skyscraper. It contains offices and a restaurant which is the highest restaurant in London. This building is aesthetically pleasing and also great to spot.

Simply Magical

Described as the most magical place on earth; a child's dream; for some a perfect wedding venue; and for some adults a chance to relive their childhood. The Magic Kingdom is the landmark in Disney World, also known as Cinderella's Castle. The Royal Blue roofs with gold spirals and the lack of bricks make this castle sleek and mesmerizing. For the 25th anniversary they redecorated the castle to look like a big birthday cake made of sweets. I'm sure everyone thinks the same when they see this...I just wanna eat it!

The castle is lit up at night for a spectacular fire work display. You can see the castle from miles around and stands out like pure magic in the pitch black. You can truly understand how this castle is any kids (however old) dream, including mine.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

My Idea of Idyllic Heaven

The Kruger National Park in South Africa is like no other place on earth. 19,000 square Km of nature and wildlife in their natural habitat not effected by the pollution of cities or of the enclosed zoos that so many animals are hostage too. From 6:00am till 8:00pm I explored the land in a Safari truck searching for animals. What was most fascinating was not the actual spotting of the animals but the watching of it in its natural habitat go about its day to day business. Below is a photograph of two elephants post fight, making friends. Amongst some of the highlights were seeing a hyena at night feeding her babies & watching Elephants pulling down trees for food.
The Kruger is so peaceful and fresh. Even though you are confined to your vehicle there is a vast sense of freedom. The rush of excitement of seeing something ensures you won't be board.
I travelled to the Kruger about 12 years ago just after the horrendous floods in Mozambique and it was amazing to see the transformation of land. Last time the trees were torn to shreds and the roads were flooded. Now it looks a lot more healthy, however due to the Hot Climate and lack of rain the agriculture looks slightly brown.

We managed to spot the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo); with 5 spotting of lions. One spotting looked like the scene from The Lion King when Simba is stood on the edge of a rock in the distance. The photograph above shows one of our lion spottings. She was so close and so beautiful.

Definitely in My Top 10 Favorite Books

599 pages in, at a guess, size 6 font made this book look like a scary history book that I definitely would not call holiday reading. However, half a dozen pages in and I was hooked! Exodus is a novel about possibly the most dramatic geopolitical event of the 20th Century, the establishment of the State of Israel. It all begins when Ari Ben Canaan, the heartthrob of the book, plans to transport Holocaust refugees from a detention camp in Cyprus to Palestine and follows right through until the establishment. Not only does this book tell of the courageous story of those individuals that fought for the state but it delves into their personal lives and their relationships with each other. There is the relationship of Father and Son, of 2 brothers who are fighting for the same thing but have a very different attitude of the method to be used, of lovers and of the friendship between the nurse and the children from the camp.
A gripping story where everyone is fighting for not only their lives but also their dreams.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


As Seen On Screen is an online site which has become a major hit with internet shoppers. At the click of a button you can have all the latest looks and styles from the stars. A new novelty on this website is the catwalk feature. You can view your item on a model and see how it looks in 3D and in movement. Typically the models used are all beautiful and skinny, therefore making all clothes look desirable and fabulous.

Street Art

The Wooster Collective global website celebrating street art and Freedom. This is a brilliant blog of street art from around the world. There is a vast range of material and one can spend hours browsing this site. It showcases some of Banksy's Work, one piece in particular that struck my attention was the image below on the Separation Wall in Jerusalem.

This image is ironic as it shows the most idyllic view which is supposedly on the other side. This is what people may think but in reality it is a country fighting with conflict and equality.
After subsequent research I found Banksy's Website which opens with a Pablo Picasso quote, "We artists are indestructible, even in a prison cell or concentration camp I would be almighty in my own world of art. Even if I had to paint my pictures with my wet tongue on the dusty floor of my cell."A strong open remark that reflects his attitude towards his art.

Manchester's Very Own Ski Slope

During my trips to school on the school bus there was lots of hype around the construction of this 'ski slope'. Was Manchester really going to have its own dry ski slope? Well you can imagine the disappointment of my fellow school goers to discover that this building was actually going to be a museum.
The Urbis Museum which opened in 2002 in Exchange Square is in my opinion one of the most visually pleasing building of Manchester's new Millennium Development. Designed by Ian Simpson, it is supposedly modeled on the Flatiron Building in New York. The building stands out, gets people talking and truly modernizes the city It is a 'twin-skinned glass building with a pre-patinated copper roof'. Manchester is proud of it, it's pointed out to tourists with pride.
The purpose of the museum is to exhibit the history and future of global urbanisation. It exhibits a variety of aspects of city culture. It is not simply an art museum but focuses on urban development, music, graffiti, architecture etc. The exhibitions are interactive and suitable for all age groups.
The Urbis is one of Manchester's true success stories.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Change The World For a Fiver

A brilliant, quirky book with illustrated ways to make a difference. Each action is simple with graphics to convey the messages.

Above are examples (going clockwise); use a mug and not a plastic cup, turn the tap of whilst brushing your teeth, get fitter; feel better, spend time with someone from a different generation, give your change to charity, turn your thermostat down by 1 degree.
This book is great for all ages as it shows the simplicity of what you can do in your everyday life without to much effort whilst adding a fun effect.

I LOVE...!!!

Possibly one of the most internationally recognizable logos. Created by Milton Glazer in a rounded slab serif typeface; American Typewriter. It was initial created to promote New York tourism but has now become used as an worldwide brand. Apple used it to promote their first store in NYC by changing the heart to the apple logo.

I think in every country across the world you will find different takes on this logo, whether it is I (heart) Paris, London, Africa or the newly invented Michael Jackson with his famous pose in the heart. I am not the biggest fans of rip-offs of other brands and think that all the fame has lead to it being quite cheap and tacky.

Coco Before Chanel

The true story of the rise of Coco Chanel, originally Gabrielle Chanel. She started off life with nothing but her confidence to be herself and not conform to the crowds of rich ladies of lesuire led to her success. Behind the high success of her fashion label lies a heartbreaking love story ending in tears. A powerful message that success and money is nothing without love. A heart-wrenching story behind the glam and fame of such an elegant label today.

2010 World Cup

After spending a couple of weeks in South Africa I couldn't escape the hype behind the 2010 World Cup. The whole country is being transformed ready to welcome the world. The official logo is symbolizing the advancements Africa has made within sport with the energy flowing upwards.

Zakumi is the official mascot. A leopard dressed in the colours of the national team. ZA represents South Africa and Kumi is 10 in various African languages. Zakumi is there to ensure that a hospitable, friendly atmosphere is created.

The 2010 brand is unfolding slowly and I'm excited to see what else is to come.

Welcome to Manchester

This recent advertisement from Manchester City has been the talk of Manchester. The controversial poster of Carlos Tevez former Manchester United player plastered across the main street in town in the colors of his new rival club Manchester City. The poster has been nominated in Ad Week's Buzz Awards. It won the award for 'the best brand media integrated campaign that catches fire'.

Anti Apartheid

During the Summer I visited the Anti Apartheid Exhibition at The Museum of London as part of research for a summer camp I was planning. After previously visiting Robbin Island (where Mandela was imprisoned) and the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg I thought I had seen it all. However this exhibition took a different stance on things and showed through imagery the campaign from England. The campaign used every means of medium possible including badges, posters, rally's, concerts, stickers, T-shirts, mugs, photographs etc.

For it's time this campaign was extremely impressive. The Posters were clever, powerful & consistent. They targeted the big businesses of the time such as Barclays and Tesco. This negative advertising caused the companies to suffer however much they tried to push their own positive advertisements.

At the end of the exhibition was a wall of drawings on paper T-shirts of people thoughts and opinions of the content of the exhibition. I thought this was a nice finishing touch and I certainly enjoyed my visit.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Design You Own Google

Google have pulled it out the bag again with another cool added feature. Rename your google search engine to whatever you please. Google MyWay just gives your computer that added slickness and is sure to impress any fellow computer geek.


After a glowing recommendation from a friend I sat down to watch eduKators. To my utter shock the 2hour long film was in German with subtitles. The film is about 3 activists who are trying to make a stance against capitalism and do so by breaking into people houses. The main twist is that they don't actually steal anything, they simply rearrange the house and leave a note questioning the morality of the wealthy owners. Things go slightly against the plan when one of them returns home during a break in. The plot unfolds and of course there is the love triangle to add some spice. The message behind the film is brilliant, however the film is dragged out and boring in parts.

Who said Vampires aren't real?

I am not a fan of the supernatural nor am I a believer. So the Twilight Saga is definitely not normally up my street. However, after a lot of persuasion from my friends, I decided to give it a go. I am completely and utterly hooked! Taking an average of 3 days per book I fell in love with Edward Cullen, a vampire who is described as possible the most perfect human being. The supernatural story is made highly realistic and after discussing each and every event with my fellow fans on holiday I felt completely engrossed in the plot. Not to give to much away, the saga is about a girl who falls for a vampire. The four books relay there life together and the romance between human and vampire.

The 1st film, which has received countless awards, has been released and it truly lives up to the high expectations from the book. Edward Cullen is beautiful and successfully has become a heart throb to girls all around the world. Winning best kiss at the MTV movie awards simply sums him up. I ask you to please read the books before seeing the film as the in-depth descriptions from the book are needed to help with the imagination of the perfection of Edward.
The second Film New Moon is out in November and I certainly will be at the first showing. The only thing that slightly confuses me is that during my summer job in a local primary school I discovered the 11 year old girls to all be reading it but I think that this book is for a slightly older age group or at least they could never appreciate the shear romance of the relationship.

David Tartakover

An award winning design by David Tartakover, 'Children are the rhythm of the world'. A thought provoking image of all the companies which use child workers whilst implying the connection to children and the gun industry. Can Micky Mouse and McDonalds really be classed alongside guns and heavy machinery.

'Bring the Settlers Home' is another of Tartakover's famous pieces. It addresses the issue that most Israelis are opposed to Jewish Settlements in the Occupied Territories. The Mobile home, painted in the Israeli National colours is being directed towards Palestinian Land as shown by the arrows in black, red & green, the Palestinian national colours.

Most of Tatakover's Work is conveying a political message in his country. He lives by the moto "Freedom of opinion is not a right but a duty". He is one of Israel's most prominent graphics desginers.

His most famous work has to be the 'Peace Now' Logo, which was the first political bumper sticker in Israel. "The movement activists liked the logo," Tartakover, 62, recalled this week. "But they thought there should also be a symbol. I told them it wasn't needed - this is the symbol. It took time until they understood that this was the first political sticker in Israel." It remains the most famous and recognizable political message of the country today.

Know Hope

After walking the streets of Israel this summer this graffitied 'Know Hope' was recurring on most street corner. The grammatically incorrect spelling caught my attention and it was clear that there was a statement being made. Was an individual's cry for help? After some research the artist is described as Israel's very own Banksy. The secrecy of Know Hopes identity is a talking point but the message behind the artist is that we all have something to say and everyone has a right to voice their opinion.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


The Museum on the Seam is
“a unique museum in Israel, displaying contemporary art that deals with different aspects of the socio-political reality. Through the works of artists from Israel and abroad, who respond to the stress and tension between and within groups, the museum invites the visitors to examine the degree of influence of the social environment on the individual and vice versa. The message of the museum calls for listening and discussion, for accepting the other and those different from us and for respect to our fellow man and his liberty” (Museum on the Seam, 1999).

The museum hosts many exhibitions that deal with issues of human rights alongside their main coexistence exhibition. After visiting several times I find the work has a strong impact. Dealing with these issues is always difficult but I feel that the graphic design portrays strong messages and poses questions to the viewer. However the Museum on the Seam mainly deals with issues that apply globally and not specifically to Israel.

These are some of the most famous images found in the Museum. They are simple yet effective.

In Canpbell's Soup Can

I went to see an exhibition of Celebrity Portraits From The Andy Warhol Factory at the Tel Aviv Museum of Arts. I particularly enjoyed Carl Fisher's piece of Andy Warhol in the famous Campbell's Soup can. I later discovered that this was done before Photoshop was invented and therefore is an ingenious piece of art.

In the same exhibition was Mick Jagger, 1970, photographed by Gerald Malanga. Malanga worked very closely with Warhol during the mid-sixties. This particular image is one of his most famous photographs and is internationally recognized. Having grown up in a Household who idolizes Mick Jagger I feel this iconic picture conveys the genius photographer that Malanga is.

Silence Over The Abyss

The librarian at The Tel Aviv Museum recommended that I look at the following 2 artists: Miki Kratsman & David Reeb who were both contributors to this project which look at the silence of the Israeli public in face of Oppression. Miki Kratsman is a photographer and photojournalist who's imagery comes from the occupied territories as from within Israel. Her powerful scenes reflect impossible conflict and human conditions.

Combat 2008, Israel, 2008, is just one example of how his images relay morality and courage. He is definitely an artist which I find inspiring and I'm going to be exploring more of his work this year.

Ziv Koren

Ziv Koren is a famous Israeli PhotoJournalist for over 15 years. His photographs are of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. I recently picked up his book 'Louai Mer'i, A Sergeant Is Going Home', which is a photographic documentary of a wounded soldier who has lost both his legs. This project shows the world about those thousands of people who are living with the result of conflict. Ziv Koren touches on many sociological and political issues such as the Separation Wall in Jerusalem, Immigrants being forced to sell there bodies, war & conflict.
The photographs convey a powerful and moving message and each one tells its own little story. I am looking forward to researching more of his work.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Whilst on Holiday in Tel Aviv I took the opportunity to visit the Museum of Art. The galleries were varied and jam-packed. The Museum had a modern feel and the sloping walkways connected the different exhibitions. You could find anything from Picasso to ancient Jewish art to acrylic collages on calendars to Andy Warhol photography. There was defiantly something for everyone.
The Helena Rubinstein Art Library was fascinating. The women running it were charming and very helpful. On mentioning my Dissertation topic a mountain of books were presented to me. I discovered some very interesting Israeli Artists and a will definitely be making a return visit.

Happy 100th Birthday

This is the official logo to celebrate Tel Aviv's 100th Birthday. "Erupting Centre", which was designed by Baruch Naeh. This logo gives off the energy vibe which is so dominant in the 'city that never sleeps'. The use of geometric shapes is symbolic to the Bauhaus architecture which is frequently found in Tel Aviv. The use of the circle for me symbols the unity which is being strived for. The use of English as well as Hebrew reflects the large population who flood to Israel from around the world. A successful celebratory logo!

There Are No Labels

This advertisement for Absolut Vodka was plastered around Tel Aviv. As well as being cocky I found it quite ironic that it is advertising a more expensive brand of vodka when its message is that in a utopia brands/labels don't matter. However the use the Absolut font and the wording make it a huge success.

Asaf Lifshitz

I saw this Asaf Lifshitz sculpture outside the Azrieli Centre in Tel Aviv. Untitled was constructed in 2002 and is made of stainless steel. I found it very interesting that this sculpture of a warrior at war would be outside a shopping mall as if he his taking a break from war to rehydrate. What I also found very strange was the use of water in a country that is so short on it.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Azrieli Center

The Azrieli Centre is 3 sky scrapers in Tel Aviv, made up of a circular tower, a triangular tower and a square tower. It was designed by Eli Attiyah and developed by David Azrieli. The towers contain offices, a shopping centre, a train station and a cinema complex. At night the towers are lit up magnificently. The view from the top floor is spectacular, you can see the whole of Tel Aviv. When driving into Tel Aviv from the airport and seeing these sky scrapers I know I am home in Tel Aviv. They really are iconic buildings.

August Rush

Evan Taylor grows up in a home for boys. He believes his parents are still alive and that he will find them someday through his music. He can hear music in everything. Through flashbacks it shows how his parents met at a party and had a one night stand. His father, Louis, is a guitarist and lead singer of a rock band, and his mother, Lyla, is a famous concert cellist. Due to Lyla's father the couple were not allowed to ever speak again. Lyla falls pregnant and her father tells her that the baby died at birth when really he put it up to adoption.
Evan who runs away from the home meets many musicians along the way and eventually gets recognized as a child musical prodigy. I will not ruin the plot but all I can say is that this film reveals the most amazing story of love. If you like a good cry this film's final scene is one of the most moving endings I have ever seen. A truly remarkable story, with incredible emotion and brilliant music.