Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Benjamin – East London

I rarely receive messages via WIYB’s facebook page, so it was an unusual surprise when the very talented artist Benjamin Murphy messaged me. He sent me a mysterious picture of a spine hanging in the corner of a room, and said that it is part of his studio/bedroom. That’s all I needed to know and was immediately drawn by his offer to go and visit him. Not your usual boudoir by any imagination, it resembles more of a dungeon, but is completely appropriate for the nature of his work. His work is his main priority – he told me that he purposely wanted to make his space lack comfort, so that he wouldn’t get sidetracked and be encouraged to relax – his studio/bedroom is like a life size sketchbook. I find Benjamin’s work massively interesting and it reminds me of one of my favourite graphic artists, Michael Craig Martin – they both have a talent for making great pictures out of the 3D space.

Name: Benjamin Joseph Murphy.

Born: Ilkley, West Yorkshire.

Lives: Whitchapel, East London.

Job: Artist.

How long have you lived here?
In London, 2.5 years, in Whitechapel 6 months.

What does your bedroom mean to you?
Solace, creativity, distraction. 

Tell me about your artwork, the technique and the process?
I draw with electrical tape, by cutting, sticking, and cutting again.

How did that technique come about?
I did it when I was drunk once.

How long does it take to complete a picture?
It varies, from a couple of hours to a couple of days.

If you could tape up anywhere, where would it?
All the way up the side of The Shard.

What's the tooth you're drawing on going to be used for?
I'm making loads of sculptures of teeth and bones, and I'm going to make it into a hanging mobile for a three person show I've got coming up.

What inspires your creativity?
Classic literature, at the moment E.A.Poe, hence the teeth.

You skate, right? Where is the most bizarre place you have skated?
Inside an abandoned orphanage. It was a squat in Ilkley that we used to go to parties at back when I was 17.

What's your favourite colour?

When are you happiest?
When drawing, with Star Trek on in the background and a strong cup of black coffee.

When did you last cry?
I get welled up at films a lot, but the last time I properly cried was at my best friends Dad's funeral.

If your bedroom were on fire, what would you save and why? 
My sketchbooks – I've been keeping them since I was 16, they are like visual diaries.

What song do you always find yourself going back to?
Notorious Thugs by Notorious B.I.G.

Tell me a joke?
Nigel Farage.

Naked or bedclothes?
Naked. Always naked.

For more information on Benjamin go to his website – find him on Twitter @alldestructo

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Inspiring Women In Their Homes

Maxine Peake – Actress and Campaigner
(2012 TeamRock)

This collection of images has been compiled to celebrate International Women's Day. These women have and continue to inspire me.

Andrea Dunbar – Playwrite
(Don McPhee)

Katherine Beefheart – Artist
(Olivia Howitt)

Shelagh Delaney – Screenwriter
(Via The Independent)

Tracey Emin – Artist
(By the artist: Sometimes I Feel Beautiful – 2000, C-type print)

Patti Smith – Singer-songwriter, Poet and Visual Artist
(Annie Leibovitz)

Delia Derbyshire – Musician and Composer

Debbie Harry – Singer-songwriter of Blondie
(James Hamilton)

Marilyn Monroe – Actress and Model

Mary Quant – Fashion Designer

Friday, 28 February 2014

Luke – East London

Finding the rhythm of a new place is no mean feat, especially if that new place is in a city where the rapid pace of life is more than you are use to and the cost of living feels too high. But, there is always a silver lining and if you look further than your nose, you can make something out of nothing. Other people’s junk can be your treasure – it doesn’t take much to make a blank room, a sanctuary. After getting a job with Warp's distribution, Bleep, Luke moved to London six months ago from Stockport in the north of England, and made a home for himself in Dalston, East London. It was a bright (almost Spring) day when I visited Luke – we drank coffee and he played dub on his old stereo that he picked up whilst volunteering at Oxfam. His room felt like it had lots of little stories to tell – all of his things feel like they are meant to be there, rather than purchased to achieve a look – they are part of him, stuff people have given him, stuff he has found, stuff from the pound shop – comfort on a budget. In a big city where most things move too fast to compute, comfort is key.

Luke J Murray


East London, 'Central' Dalston, as it's otherwise known

Day job:
Record buyer for Bleep.com

Dream job:
I am not sure what my dream job would be, ever since I have been in my various roles of employment over the years more than anything I have always strived for a job where I could listen to tunes all day, my pops always says the most important advice he can give me is that I will spend my life working so I should always make sure I do something that makes me happy, as I will have to get up everyday and do it regardless so I may as well do something I enjoy, and now I am hugely fortunate and lucky to say that I am doing that now.

How long have you lived here?
I moved in around mid/late July 2013, summer was starting, the grass was green, the beer warm and the area was trendy. 

Who do you live with? 
Three people, a couple who I rent my room from and another chap who rents the room next to mine.

What does your bedroom mean to you?
It's somewhere to play my records, kip, read books, look out the window at the massive trees opposite and somewhere to stumble back to at the end of everyday and night.

What is your favourite colour?
Purple, and a maybe a bit of orange.

What would you save if your bedroom were on fire?
Probably some of my dub LP's as they were a present with a wealth of history behind them, and maybe some of my plants, maybe the rug also as it is apparently highly flammable, but that would just be to try and stop the fire getting worse, actually fuck it I'd leave the rug, its really bloody small and its demise would force me to buy a decent sized rug.

What makes you sad? 
The knowledge that one day I will die and I won't be able to listen to music anymore*

*(This is a completely honest answer, it may make me sound like an idiot but it's honestly something I sometimes think and it makes me think fuck, but then you know what, fuck it)

What makes you happy?
Music! Records and books. Coffee, alternative comedy, my friends – all the usual stuff.

Music is a big part of your life, but what song do you always find yourself returning to?
My favourite record of all time is Another Green World by Brian Eno, (I am in fact listening to it while I write this) and bands like Joy Division, Felt, The Fall and groups/producers like Basic Channel, Prince Far I, Joe Gibbs, 4Hero all the classic stuff, outside of work I would say my main listening habits revolve around listening to lots of dub, post punk, techno and jungle.

Vinyl or download?
Vinyl with a download code!

Tell me a joke?
Two crabs walk into a bar, the barman says 'you can't drink in here!' they reply 'why not?' and the barman goes 'because your mate was in here earlier giving it all that!!'*

*(It's a visual joke, while saying the punch line "giving it all that" you snap your fingers and thumb like a crabs claw, haha, it's a classic!!)

What do you wear in bed? 
Tracksuit bottoms, baggy t-shirt and a hoodie, with the hood up.

You've kindly created a bedroom mix for WIYB, what was your inspiration? 

I just wanted to get across a range of the records I listen to in my bedroom of an evening/morning – tunes that make me happy and they are all records currently on rotation in my bedroom.

Track listing:
Eno – Another Green World
Mika Vainio – Ensimmäinen Valo
The Detroit Esculator Co. – Sil Lum Tao
Jane Weaver – Intiaani Kesä Part 1
Robbie Basho – Blue Crystal Fire
Felix K – Flower Of Destruction #3
John Maus – Hey Moon
Tropic Of Cancer – Court Of Devotion
Cut Hands – Belladonna Theme
Luboš Fišer – Message From Marek
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – We Know Who U R

Follow Luke on Twitter: @lukejmurray

Monday, 23 December 2013

Ellie – Buckinghamshire

Like mother like sister, yesterday I featured Ellie's mum's bedroom and back in 2011, I featured her sister's, Jerry, all of whom have a brave interior style. Ellie's bedroom is a feast for the eyes – she's not scared of colour and it seems has a bit of an obsession for skulls and Gremlins.

Full name: Ellie May O'Sullivan.

Born: Aylesbury.

Lives: Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. 

What do you do?
I'm a student studying for my GCSEs.

What would your dream job be?
I really have no idea, which is quite worrying really . 

How long have you lived here?
I have lived here for 14 years. 

Who do you live with and tell me a bit about them?
I live with my Dad, Danny who's a mortgage broker, my mum, Julie who's a taxidermist and my shi tzu Pixie. My brother and sister also used to live here but now have moved to live and work in London.

What does your bedroom mean to you?
My bedroom is an area that is completely my own, so it's a place where I can relax, listen to music, draw and express myself.

What inspires your home style?
I can't really pick out a single thing that inspires me, but my mum and sister have always collected things and I guess I have followed the family trend really – I just like to surround myself with colour and lots of things to make my room my own.

You have a lot of interesting things in your bedroom; tell me about your favourite object?  
There are so many things I love in my room and it's so hard to have a favourite, but definitely one favourite is my small vintage Steiff penguin, Peggy, who's a bit tatty round the edges but is really cute and fuzzy.

Where is your favourite place to pick up interesting things for your home?
I seem to acquire lots of my things from presents and  when I go out and about with my family to Brighton and London.  

Favourite colour?

What makes you sad?  
When elderly people are alone, stress, illness (I have a cold at the moment).

What makes you happy?  
All the usual things, friends, family, food and furry animals.

What is your earliest Christmas memory?  
Sadly my earliest Christmas memory was when was about 4 and I was so ill that i didn't even want to open my presents.

Mince pies or Turkey?
Turkey all the way.

Tell me your favourite thing about Christmas?
I like spending time with my family and I like all the decorations and lights. Then there's the obvious of getting presents, but I also like picking things for other people too.

Santa or Rudolf?  
Santa?... Rudolf? Both?

What Christmas song will you be definitely be playing this year?
As always Fairytale of New York by The Pogues.

Christmas film of choice?
I'm slightly obsessed with Christmas films at the moment, watching nearly every one that's come on the TV, so I'm not picky, but my favourite has to be either the Muppet's Christmas Carol or the Grinch. 

If your bedroom were on fire, what would you save?
That's way too hard to decide on one thing, I would probably be burnt to a crisp trying to decide what to save if there actually was a fire.

What do you wear in bed?
Pyjamas and hopefully I'll get some nice fleecy Christmas pyjamas this year.

Find Ellie on Instagram @elliemay105