Friday 20 December 2013

Amsterdam and Weaving up a Storm!!!!

Thought I would sneak in a final blog post of the year before I get caught up in the whirlwind of nut roast, crackers and sparkly lights that is known as Christmas!!!
So earlier this week I was in Amsterdam for a bit of a festive jaunt and to celebrate my birthday with some yummy stroopwafels, Dutch apple cake and of course a handful of GLORIOUS Vlaamse Frites!!!
I LOVE Amsterdam and my last couple of trips there over the years were work related and hectic so it was awesome to visit for 100% holidays and take some time to wander the canals, sneak in some shopping and roam around this lovely city!!!
Perfect timing to hit up the Christmas Market and I hope that my Dutch girls are proud that they taught me well as I trawled miles to grab the best Frites and Mayo in town!!!Lovely time of year to be there as the whole place was MEGA bejewelled with twinkly lights and everything felt magically festive!!!
Ooooooohhh and I just have to mention this little treasure on the left here.... my brother ( who is a magicallll furniture & product designer... you can check out his work with his collective, Psalt Design HERE!!) made  me a glorious hand crafted gift for my birthday.... a peg loom!!! Over the past couple of years I've dabbled in the occasional spot of weaving as part of my projects in Slovenia and Japan... mainly using a board loom and during my artist residency in Maribor I looked at the concept of utilizing the physical space as a platform for weaving upcycled textiles... so the idea of a peg loom is something I've been desperate to try out for a while!!!! So you can imagine my joy when he unleashed a sparkle encrusted box with this beauty and a bunch of rainbow coloured yarns!!!!
Super excited to get working on this~ I've started playing around and getting to grips with my lovely loom so can't wait to experiment with the possibilities!!!
Right so I will call it a day here now as there is a way over due Christmas cake to be baked that I really should have made weeks ago and some prezzie wrapping to be done!!! ... Can't wait for the festive activities to start.... personally I'm looking forward to some roasted chestnuts and a watch of 'Santa Claus the Movie'...can't beat a bit of Dudley Moore at Christmas!!!!
HAPPYYY HOLIDAYS AND JOYEUX NOËL~ Magical wishes akimbo for a Juicy Christmas and a glorioussss New Year!!!
Love and Sparkles,
Emma xxx

Monday 25 November 2013

NEW 'Blue Truckers' Digital Print!!!

Ooooh Hiya!!!
So recently I have been working on some new digital artwork to accompany my 'Tales from Blue Truck Island' project that I produced during my artist residency in Korea earlier this year. As you know the project involved a long term stay in a little, yellow bungalow on a remote and incredibly isolated, rural island called Baengyneong which sits in a somewhat precarious location in the middle of the Yellow Sea.... During my time there I was focused on conducting a lot of field research and seeking of influence from the special people, situations and experiences that I had through living as part of the Baengnyeongdo community... photography and illustration were a part of my daily journaling and research projects and as a result I have since been developing a piece of digital artwork that sits alongside the series of work that I developed in Korea. It features all sorts of elements taken from the themes and topics that I was exploring throughout my project... you can see the noisy roosters outside of the studio that cock-a-doodle-doed 24 hours a day... the corncobs that the Grandma in my favourite little, village grocery store used to give me and of course the Spring cherry blossoms in my neighbour's garden that I waited in anticipation for, for many chilly weeks and finally bloomed in my last few days on the island!!!
A few snaps from my island life days of beans on toast, giant spider dodging, starfish hunting and pebble beach, countryside adventures...

....The piece is titled 'Blue Truckers' and as you can see the print features on some brand new, limited edition T-shirts that are now available on my online shop!!! Yayyyy!! It's a one size fits all scenario~ high colour, full digital print on super soft cotton, a juicy over-sized piece and the garment is both printed and made in the UK!!! 
Also the online shop has had a bit of a revamp in time for some tinsel covered Christmas shopping~ bit of a switch up with a few items too and it's now got a whole new look and plenty of rainbow colours going on!!!! It's also more easy to navigate for smartphone and ipad users meaning it's super simple to place an order with your device woooooo!!!
So that's all for now~
Be sure to trot through cyberspace to check out the new 'Blue Truckers' piece!!!
Love and Sparkles,

Thursday 31 October 2013

Germany, Stuff and Happy Halloween!!!

Oooooh Hiya!!!
Ooooopppss....where has the time gone?!?! eeek...been wrapped up working on a few bits and bobs, namely a print/ textile project and some freelance stuff, hence the lack of updates on the old blog recently...yikesss!!!

Ok, so firstly... last month I was working over in Germany for a few days with superstarrrrrr stylist Alexis Knox. We whipped over to beautiful Cologne as Alexis was unleashing her magical skillzzz and styling the AWESOME band that were performing with Miley Cyrus on German TV show, 'Schlag Den Raab'.
The band looked SUPER HOT,  and the show was phantasmagorical ~ great team to work with!!! Aside from heavy duty German sewing machines there was also a whole load of pumpernickel and a late night peep at the exquisite Köln Cathedral involved in the whole shebang!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So that was the German action...

In other news the second leg of the 'IPAP Sea of Peace'exhibition that I have been showing my work at, recently wrapped up it's presentation at the 'Tri-Bowl' culture space in New Songdo City, South Korea. 
So I've talked a lot about this particular project as a massive chunk of my work, focus and collaborations this year have been linked to my posting as artist in residence with 'Incheon Art Platform' in South Korea a few months back, so I wont go into the full speile again!!! But, it's been awesome that the works and research documentation that I began when I was based over there have had the opportunity for so much movement and exposure and it's been really great to be involved with the Peace Art initiative and the exhibition as it's such a fascinating project. The work I have been showing is from my 'Tales From Blue Truck Island' series and the second leg followed the exhibitions' debut on various venues on Baengnyeong Island throughout the summer.

Another bit of EXCITING news, my collaboration with super talented animator, Will Adams, titled ' The Whistle-Stop Diaries' will be screening again here in the UK~ mega happy that it will be showcased as part of Skwigly Magazine's event at 'Bradford Animation Festival' next month!!!! Yayyyy!!!! 
So I'll give you further info on that soon for anyone interested in  checking it out!!!!
Right so this post is beginning to turn into an I will save the other updates for next time as there is a pumpkin sitting waiting to be carved~ proper excited for the Halloween delights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
oOOOOOhhhh and before I forget....I finally hopped on the Instagram bandwagon....yes, about time I hear!!! So there you can find a mixture of work related stuff and other randomness like novelty teapots, textile glory, fashion things, dreamy travel joys.....general nonsense! You can find me @_emma_bell so I will see you there!!!!!!!!!!!
Ok.... so until next time!!!!!!!!!
Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday 28 August 2013

'The Whistle-Stop Diaries' Screening in Bristol, UK~TONIGHT!


Exciting news, in that tonight 'The Whistle-Stop Diaries' ( my recent collab with superstarrrrr animator of dreams, Will Adams) will be screening tonight in Bristol, UK.
The animation, which is all about the tiny South Korean island of Baengnyeong, will be featuring at Skwigly Magazine's Animation Showcase!!!!
The event will be hosted at 'The Looking Glass' as part of the fringe programme of the 'Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival'.
So, if you happen to be in Bristol then pop along and check it out! It's a free extravaganza and starts at 7.30pm tonight (28th August 2013!)

'The Looking Glass'
39-40 High Street, 
Bristol, BS1 2AW.

Love and Sparkles,

Wednesday 7 August 2013

IPAP 3rd: 'SEA OF PEACE' Exhibition~Baengnyeong, S.Korea.

Ooooh Hiya!!!
So I'm currently showing my work as part of a new exhibition that opened over in South Korea last week.
The 'Sea of Peace' exhibition launched for it's third annual series featuring the work of 60 international contemporary artists and writers. The exhibition is part of Incheon Art Platform's 'Peace Arts Project' initiative and it is currently making it's debut on the island of Baengnyeongdo across several venues including the hospital, underground emergency shelters, Baekryeong cathedral and in the public space. The work I am showing is of course from my 'Tales from Blue Truck Island' series that was produced onsite during my time living on Baengnyeong island as part of the 'IAP Peace Art Residency 2013'. Really excited to be showing as part of the exhibition and it's really awesome that all of the works are shown on Baengnyeong itself. I shall update soon with more juice about the exhibition!
Love and Sparkles,
Emma xxx

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Collaboration with Manchul Kim!!!

So thought I would unleash a peek into a recent collaboration that I did with the super talented photographer, Manchul Kim, during my time as artist in residence in South Korea. We worked together, alongside a wonderful team, on location in Suwon shortly before I left Korea. It was a really fun collaboration and awesome to join forces with a bunch of great, Korea based creatives as well as work against a really exciting backdrop! I wrote about the shoot on my blog a while back and about our time at the Korean Folk Village, which you can read about HERE!!!
The clothing pieces are from my latest collection of wearable art works that were developed during my most recent project as artist in residence with the 'IAP: Baengnyeong-do Peace Arts Residency' programmed by 'Incheon Art Platform'. The collection of garments are titled 'Tales from Blue Truck Island' and you can read more about those alongside the accompanying exhibition and animation collab HERE!
So here is a look at one of the images from our project together!!!!
Image Credits:
Photographer: Manchul Kim.  ( )
Make-Up Artist: Dahae Kang.
Photo Assistant: Yangpa.
MUA Assistant: Changhyuk Yim.
Model: MiHee Yun.

Was so great to get to work with Manchul and his crew whilst I was over in magical Korea!!! I will be popping some more images from the shoot shortly so keep an eye out!!!
Love and Sparkles,
Emma xxx

Tuesday 9 July 2013

'The Whistle-Stop Diaries' Screening in London TOMORROW!!!!

Ooohhh Hiya!!!
Just a quick one to spread the word on this tropicalllllyyy hot, summer evening that my latest collaboration with the super talented, animator of dreamzzzz Will Adams will be screening in the UK for the first time, tomorrow evening....
From Baengnyeong-do to Shoreditch, you can catch 'The Whistle-Stop Diaries' as part of 'Screen Social' 
hosted at 'The Book Club'... Check HERE to see a full run down of what's on the agenda!!! 
Doors open at 7pm/ July 10th 2013~
'The Book Club',
100 Leonard Steet. London, EC2A 4RH.

Love and Sparkles,

Monday 24 June 2013

Heyri Art Village and Bye Byes!

Oooo hiya!!!
So a couple of weeks ago I waved farewell to magical Korea.... I was super sad to leave as I had such an awesome time there and working on this project has been both mega challenging and amazing... so although I didn't want it to come to an end, I'm glad that I left with a bunch of such special memories and got to experience so many incredible/scary/fun things!!!!
So in the whirlwind of installing the exhibition, wrapping up the projects, farewell parties, last minute shopping etc.... I never had a chance to share this weird and wonderful place that I visited during my final few days in Korea... 
I'd heard of this place before I'd even actually arrived in Korea and I had my heart set on going whilst I was over there and finally I found the chance to go, just in the nick of time, before I said 'Bye Bye' to kimchi land!!! This little gem is called 'Heyri Art Village' and lies on the cusp of the DMZ~  unusual location as you have this crazy little art village and cute cafes and then a few yards away you have armed border guards, views over North Korea and mile upon mile of barbed wire, so an interesting area to see~ but to be honest, after similar backdrops on the island for such a prolonged period, I was more into the Toy Museum, weird giant Daikon sculptures and strawberry cream cakes!!!

Heyri is about an hour north of Seoul so it was a fun little day trip and chance to see another part of Korea.... bit of countryside action in the mix and all that!!!! It's basically a compound of art studios and independent galleries dotted with parks, woodland sculptures, houses, bookstores, bakeries...It's home to over 400 artists and writers and acts as a place of inspiration in an isolated creative environment....the architecture is particularly exciting as each and every building is totally different and I loved how around every corner there was something really a ramshackle, old red bus and a rogue mushroom house sitting atop a building?!?!? Really bizarre place....LOVED IT!!!
It was such a fun day...we spent hours trawling a few different museums and sampling several of the cafes....we seemed to be stopping for a snack every 5 minutes!!!! It was also in Heyri Art Village that I found the best 'Patbingsu' to date in Korea... basically when it started getting warmer during my time in Korea my ever favourite 'Bungeoppang' red bean fish started becoming less frequent around the markets and ice sherbet aka Patpingsu/ 'Popping-Su' started taking it's place... I was quite excited about this as I always love an Asian shaved ice dessert and I guess this Korean version is kind of like a fancier variety of Japanese Kakigori... As those last few weeks were pretty warm and humid, I found many excuses to sneak in a patbingsu here and there and 9 times out of 10 the best combos were from the tiny back alley food joints as they threw ALLSORTS in there...anyway.... as I said...the best one I found was from a little kiosk in Heyri Art came with the standard: ice/condensed milk/red bean/mochi combo but was packed to the rafters with cocktail cherries, pistachio ice cream, fruit salad and CORNFLAKES!!!! eeeesh AMAZING!!!
Yeah, so all in all an interesting day out....the place is surrounded by greenery and mountains and then you have this strange mix between super kitschy and conceptual which is interesting.... super slick eco-structures sitting alongside a fibreglass Minnie Mouse and life~size Blues Brothers statues...weird and amazing.... one of my favourite little trips whilst I was in Korea!!!
So, then I guess that brought me to the end of an awesome 3 months living in Kimchi~Land!!! it's over it seems to have flown by but, it seemed like such a long stretch, especially when I was living it up rural style on the island.... it's probably been one of my favourite projects to date just because it was so varied in terms of the different aspects from the field research, making of the garments, the photography collaborations and the animation....not to forget teaching the textile workshops and working with the women from the school on the island! I guess it was also a special trip in that it gave me a chance to get a broad insight into Korean culture as a whole from spending time in the city in both Seoul and Incheon and then really getting back to basics in the isolated realms of Baengnyeong-do...Working on the island was tough in parts, mainly because of the gigantic, horrible spiders and of course because of what I was seeing on the news during that time, not to mention the fact I have zero experience of living somewhere so remote and cut off.... but, it was also awesome...had I not had the opportunity to do this residency I would have most likely, never ever, EVER in my lifetime had the chance to go to Baengnyeong-do so it was really amazing to get to see and totally experience such a place!
Yeah, Korea was super fun from start to finish and I got to meet some magical I will miss it and hopefully will find myself back there sooner rather than later!
There are so many things that I am missing already.... sweet potato latte, awesome underground markets, constant K-Pop, cute cafes, glutinous rice donuts, street snacks, hanging around Hongdae and drinking bubble tea daily....too many things...but luckily I brought back a hefty supply of green tea with brown rice, endless sachets of matcha latte, my super special Bungeoppang pan, whopper stash of Korean facemasks and plenty of treats ranging from weird items of clothing to cute, new bento boxes and an outrageous amount of accessories and that should see me through!
Don't forget if you happen to be in Seoul or Incheon, there's still  chance to catch my exhibition, 'Tales from Blue Truck Island' at Incheon Art Platform until the 30th of June!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Emma xxx


Wednesday 12 June 2013

'The Whistle-Stop Diaires'

Thought it was about time that I showed you my magical collaboration with the super talented, animator, Will Adams!!! This was a project that began around 3 months ago at the start of my artist residency with Incheon Art Platform.
The idea was to work together in creating a visual diary based upon experiences on Baengnyeong-do... you can read the full speile below but, firstly you can have a little watch of the animation in all of it's rainbow coloured glory!!!....

''The Whistle-Stop Diaries' is a collaboration between Emma Bell and animator, Will Adams based on observations and experiences on South Korea's remote and most Northwestern island, Baengnyeong-do.
The concept was to mirror the practice of storytelling with reference to the idea of folktales as a method of communicating values and interpretations through sharing and 'passing on'. The process was to relay stories, interactions and personal impressions of Baengnyeong-do between Emma as the 'teller' and Will as the 'listener' and translate these ideas into a visual journal, presented as an animation.
'The Whistle-Stop Diaries' is a reflection of first hand encounters with the island's communities, landscape features and environmental characteristics with a focus on dialogue and exchange with the people of Baengyneong-do.
The animation was showcased as part of Emma's project titled, 'Tales from Blue Truck Island', developed during the 'IAP:Baengnyeong-do Peace Arts Residency 2013' and exhibited at Incheon Art Platform, South Korea May-June 2013."

Animator: Will Adams.

Original soundtrack by:
Sandy Martin & Matt Bradley.
Soundbook Studios.

This was such an awesome project to work on...and of course it also shows many of the special memories I have from Baengnyeong-do alongside some of the special people that I met there....from the woman snacking on the mountain herbs in the garden to the nun in her little, yellow bus and my mate with his sparkling golden Marines ring!!!
You can see more of Will's work on his website:
Don't forget if you are around Seoul or Incheon you can also go and watch the animation screening in Hall H at Incheon Art Platform until the 30th June 2013!!! 
Hope you enjoy!!!
Love and Sparkles,

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Exhibition at Incheon Art Platform!!!

Where does the time go?!?! Got a few bits and pieces that I need to whip up on the blog but, this past couple of weeks has just flown by and things have been so busy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So last week my solo exhibition opened at 'Incheon Art Platform' which was really exciting as I have been working in preparation for this over the past few months! My exhibition is called 'Tales from Blue Truck Island' and it will be running May 28th 2013-June 30th 2013 in Building H at Incheon Art Platform, South Korea. The exhibition features several aspects of my project that were developed during my time as artist in residence with the 'IAP: Baengnyeong-do Peace Arts Residency'.

Showing at the exhibition are the series of images of the wearable art works produced in collaboration with Seoul based photographer, Jessica Berggrun, and also screening is the animation collaboration titled, 'The Whistle-Stop Diaries', developed with animator, Will Adams. Also exhibited is some of the photographic documentation of the interactive elements of my project conducted with the community on Baengnyeong Island. 
I will be whipping out a separate post all about the magical animation and it's themes....but for now here are a few images from the current exhibition....if you happen to be in Seoul then please pop in and check it out, it's open 9am-6pm daily!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love and Sparkles,

Monday 27 May 2013

'Tales from Blue Truck Island'

Oohhh Hiya!!!
Thought I would share the results of my latest collection produced during my residency with Incheon Art Platform, here in South Korea! As I've mentioned (about a million times!), I have been based here for the past 3 months working between Baengnyeong-do, Incheon and Seoul working on my new series of wearable art works and developing a whole load of field research which has included teaching textile workshops, collaborating on an animation and working with creatives based here on various photoshoots!

My new work is titled 'Tales from Blue Truck Island' and is based upon the themes of cultural identity and community interaction with the residents and visual aesthetics of Baengnyeong Island.... You can find the full information and details about the project and it's influences on my website by clicking HERE!!!
I've loved working on this project, it gave me a whole load of new inspiration from places that had I not been working on this artist residency, I probably would never have got to experience, IN MY LIFE! The final results of the 'Tales from Blue Truck Island' include the series of wearable art works, a photography collaboration and an animation.... the animation is coming soon so keep your eyes peeled!!! And tomorrow my exhibition here in Korea I will be also updating on that!!!
So the images were produced in collaboration with the super talented, Seoul based photographer, Jessica Berggrun and a wonderful team of magical people!
I will leave you with a select few images from the project and you can see the full series of photography and read all about the project HERE!!!!!! 
Image Credits:
Photographer:Jessica Berggrun.
Make Up Artist: Natalia Che.
Models: Sera Haith & Correen Bo.
Assistant: Sarah Kim.

Catch you laterzzzz!!!
Love & Sparkles,
Emma xxx