Sunday, 19 July 2015


It's taken me a while to get around to writing about my trip back to Europe a few weeks ago...but finally here it is!!
My one year anniversary with Seoul also marked a way overdue trip back to British soil to see family and friends and indulge in a few Euro joys such as bread, cheese and Cadbury's!! A year is such a LONG time to be away and not see people for but, in honesty time has whizzed by so quickly here that it didn't quite feel it had been so long. I was super excited to go back and see everyone and even do the simple things like be able to dye my hair without the fear of using Asian hair dye... a bit of shopping, grabbing a 'Boots Meal Deal',  seeing that little 'veggie' symbol on menus, decent cake and not having to struggle with the lingo!!! It was lovely!!!
Actually the first thing I did when touching down in Heathrow before flying up North to Newcastle was sprint into WHSmiths and grab a packet of Salt and Vinegar Discos and a copy of 'Take a Break'!!!
After only being exposed to Asian culture for so long it was strange to suddenly be surrounded  by voices that I could understand and not see the Korean quirks that I have become so accustomed to such as the old hand on the elbow when passing things or the occasional little bow of the head.
It was so nice to go back to visit!! My time in the UK was short-lived as I was headed off on a juicy Eurotrip with my family. So after a whistlestop visit of friends, family, new babies, Tescos, Topshop and the beach it was off to sunny Dubrovnik for some downtime and good coffee!!
We had rented a beautiful apartment in a 100 year old, traditional Croatian house in the little alleyways of Dubrovnik Old Town with this utterly GLORIOUS view!!! By far the best view I have ever woken up to in my life!!! One of my favorite parts of the day were the breakfasts on the terrace with these lovely blue skies!! Every morning would involve a trip to the local bakery to pick up warm bread and freshly baked burek- how I have missed decent baked goods here in Korea!!!
Totally made the most of the endless local produce and abundant supply of cheese!!!
Dubrovnik is totally dreamy, row upon row of orange rooftops, beautiful architecture and fascinating history. Totally fell in love with this place!!
During our holiday we also crossed the borders and traveled into Bosnia. I have been desperate to visit Bosnia for many years so was SUPER excited for this part of our trip!
We headed up to Mostar by way of Blagaj, Počitelj and Ston. It was by far one of the most awesome trips I have ever taken....beautiful mosques, wonderful rural landscapes, tiny villages and of course the famous super strength Bosnian coffee. It was such an interesting trip, especially to Mostar where so many of the buildings still bear the scars of the relatively recent shellings from the war. We had the most phenomenal guide, a lad called Dino, who was able to share so many stories from his personal experiences during the war involving him fleeing from Dubrovnik to Sarajevo with his Grandma. The best part of the trip was climbing to the top of the minaret of the Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque in a thunderstorm to cop a view of the Mostar Bridge!

We also took a trip over to Montenegro to visit Kotor and Perast which allowed us to see some beautiful views of misty mountains and lovely Boka Bay. The whole Balkan jaunt was one of my favourite ever adventures and of course sooo nice to spend time with my family after so long!!!
Lovely to have some European exposure to tide me over and to stock up on necessities such as Lavender Earl Grey teabags and a bit of veggie gravy!!! I also scooped up a whopper of a stash of Bosnia coffee and a beautiful brass džezva coffee pot to bring back to Korea with me!!
During the trip I also went to see Take That in concert, took a Sunday afternoon stroll along good old Tynemouth beach with my oldest chum, got to play boardgames with my little bro, meet the new Bell family cat called Ollie/ Nacho (no replacement for my dearest little lad, Tango of course...) enjoy a rainy British BBQ full of Quorn products, eat loads of extra mature cheddar, buy shoes without having to count in millimeters... such a magical trip!!!!
Obviously I was sad to bid farewell to home turf and everyone but, my consolation was that I got to return to a city that I love.
I'm excited be back in Seoul and looking forward to seeing what the upcoming year will bring.
This year I have vowed to see more of Korea and to learn more skills so I'm looking forward to putting these plans in action!!!
So I shall leave you with a parting shot of good old Tynemouth and a few snaps from my Balkan adventure!!!
Love and Burekkkk,


Sunday, 31 May 2015

NE1's Fashion Futures: Fashion Front Row at the Baltic!!!

Just a quick one to share some photos from a recent event I was involved in earlier this month!
I was super happy to be invited by the team at NE1's Fashion Futures to participate in their catwalk show hosted at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art back in my hometown of Newcastle in the UK.
I first showcased my work with them 2 years ago during Newcastle Fashion Week and was mega pleased to get back in the mix again this year.
Earlier this month they presented  NE1's Fashion Futures: Fashion Front Row catwalk show at the Baltic and I showed 5 looks from various projects.
The event itself was part of a 2 day programme hosted by NE1's Fashion Futures and included fashion talks from industry professionals including Henry Holland and British Vogue's Alexandra Shulman. The event showcased the work of North East designers and up
and coming graduate talent.
Such an honor to be invited to be part of such a wonderful
event back in my hometown!! 
I shall leave you with a few images courtesy of NE1's Fashion Futures.

I have just returned to Seoul following a visit back to Europe so once the jet lag and tireness had subsided I  shall update on the joys of my time back on home turf and a burek infused Balkan jaunt!!!

Emma xxx

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

My One Year Anniversary with Korea!!!

Hellloooo/ 안녕하세요!!!!!
Last week I celebrated my one year anniversary with magical Korea!! I CAN NOT BELIEVE I HAVE BEEN HERE FOR A WHOLE YEAR?!?! The time has flown by, it really has...I still feel as if the whole experience is still new and to be honest there hasn't been a day when I've felt like the novelty has worn off or haven't appreciated being here. That's not to say that there aren't things that I miss about the UK, namely family and friends (and things like crumpets and salt & vinegar crisps!!) but, all in all this past year has been one of my favorites so far!
Moving to Asia was something that I had set in my sights for many, many years. Much as I loved living and working in London for several years, once I started taking on more work overseas and traveling a lot with my artist residency projects I knew that I needed to dedicate myself to giving somewhere totally new a shot at calling home. After spending a few months in Korea in 2013 working with Incheon Art Platform during my time as artist in residence on Baengnyeong Island I knew that magical Seoul was the place I wanted to be!
One reason for deciding to move to Korea was to be able to devote some serious time into researching and seeking creative influence as well as learning about new methods, techniques and heritage crafts. One thing I love here is experiencing such a diverse arts scene in Seoul. There is so much going on and there is a tremendous value placed on creativity here which means there is always something new going on whether is be exhibitions, seminars, workshops, artist talks or community projects so I find the environment here really inspiring and encouraging in terms of generating my own new pieces. Being surrounded by a total cultural contrast to my own has equally pushed me in new directions with my own research and approach to my creative ideas. My focus on the upcoming months is to learn more about traditional Korean textile methods, specifically natural dyeing and canvas folk I'm excited as I embark upon the upcoming year or so here to add some new strings to my bow as there as so many interesting little workshops going on! My most recent workshop that I attended was learning how to make a paper lotus lantern which I did at a temple taught by a wonderful volunteer who was a bakery teacher and a Japanese major!!!
It's also been an awesome year for food too! I have NEVER seen so many independent cafes as I have in Seoul! Cafe culture is a huge thing here and the European coffee experience is massively popular so everywhere you turn there are cute cafes and an abundance of 'Afternoon Tea' sets, mountains of macarons and dainty little tarts and cakes!
A couple of my friends here are equally into good cake as I am and love searching for new cafes and cute tea houses, so we have been on a mission exploring the cafes and coffee shops of Seoul, one slice at a time! 
We have found some amazing places!! Probably the best afternoon tea of MY life was at Garosugil's 'Salon de Thé : Mon Chou Chou'... it came with tiny little lemon meringue pies, cheese scones, violet macarons and teeny cream puffs!! AMAZINGGGG!

Being a vegetarian in Korea is not always an easy feat. The majority of Korean dishes are packed up with meat or fish, staple kimchi included which means eating out and about always takes some forward planning!
I have however found some AWESOME veggie and vegan places around Seoul and it seems as though more and more are popping up so it's always fun to track down a new veggie eatery!!!

I also really LOVE cooking here. I miss having a big kitchen and a proper oven but, it's amazing the things you can do with a tiny £20 toaster oven and minimal surface space (that includes squatting on the floor to grate carrots onto a plate to whip up a carrot cake!!)
I love to visit the traditional market as they have so many weird and wonderful vegetables that I've never seen before in my life so it makes kitchen experiments fun... I have now mastered how to cook kohlrabi and daikon...also there is an unidentifiable vegetable at the market I have my eye on so that may be my next challenge!

I would be here all day if I were to try to sum up an entire year of what has gone down here in lovely Korea. It's been a busy and exciting year and I feel that I've really got to know Seoul~even after a whole year I've never felt like I've exhausted the city and feel there is still so much I've yet to experience!! I've been lucky to make some wonderfully talented and inspiring friends here and I love this place more and more as each day passes....yayyyy excited for more adventures and exploits here in magical Seoul. I am so grateful to have this chance to be able to live in such a country that continues to interest, challenge and inspire me so much meaning that I'm super conscious of making the most of every precious moment that I have in this awesome country!!! So in a nutshell this past year... cherry blossom festivals, road trips, beautiful countryside, Korean language lessons, urban hiking (!!! in ballet shoes!!!), endless exhibitions, parks and forests, cakes and bibimbap, lotus blossom tea, bungeoppang, bingsu, climbing fortress walls, magical mystery bus trips, Korean borders, riding to the end of the subway line, trips to watch the ballet, picking persimmons,  jaunts to Japan, reunions in Hong Kong, dressing up in Hanbok, climbing 'mountains', old prisons, candyfloss on Wolmido Island, sweet potatoes in Yangpyeong..... ahhh so many memories!! Anyway, I will cease rambling on and leave you with some of my favorite snaps from throughout the year including some from my travels to Japan also!!!
Happy Birthday Korea~ !!!
Love and Sparkles,
Emma xxx