London Mela

Yesterday I went to the London Mela in Gunnersbury Park, not far from where I live. It's a massive event lasting just one day, focusing on the culture of the Indian subcontinent. There were several music stages offering everything from the more popular bhangra styled stuff, to the "Indo Electronica" stage, where I briefly saw a slightly odd laptop/vocals performance, to Asian hip-hop, traditional dancing....

...and the tent where I spent most of the day: the classical heritage stage. Here we were treated to a performance on the sarod by Gurdev Singh, a number of fuller pieces by the Samyo South Asian Youth Orchestra....

....and finally some live Qawwali from Haji Armeer Khan Qawwal, which really drew the crowds in and had a bit of audience participation in the form of clapping to the rhythms.....

Just prior to the Qawwali session there was a performance piece by a guy called John-Paul Zaccarini from Company FZ. I got a few pictures of his performance from my place in the audience just below his position.

Restraint

I recently helped out a friend (Helena Domenech) with an art project called "Restraint". It involved having her torso restricted by a plaster of paris "garment" that we had to create by wrapping her up in wet plaster, and then walking around town. My function was to capture images of her and those observing her. It was a very hard day for both of us. Me, because I was carrying my camera, camera bag, another bag of my own stuff and a bag of her stuff. Her, because her body and arms were prevented from moving freely for several hours.


The reactions of people were interesting, especially as from a distance the plaster clothing could be mistaken for normal clothes, and it was only when they got closer or noticed the streaks of plaster that had run down and dried on her forearms that they realised something was a bit odd. We went to Tate Modern to take some shots, and then made an unsuccessful attempt to have people sign her cast on Millennium Bridge. Unsuccessful because the felt tip pens we had wouldn't write on the not-fully-dry plaster.


We picked up some permanent markers on the way to Leicester Square, where she was much more successful at getting some tourists (the ones she convinced weren't being asked for money!) to scrawl a message.


First post, testing 123

I've set up this page so that in case anyone should happen to be interested in being informed about new mixes etc on the ARCart.org website, they can subscribe to this blog's feed. I expect activity to be minimal, given that we're now in August 2008 and I've only put two mixes up this year so far. We'll see....