Centurions – Urban Dandy’s 100th Post

Our Hundredth Post – About Urban Dandy

Urban Dandy Truth

In the heart of the Urban Dandy is the fate and the conflict of the bohemian, to become preoccupied with the things he/she shuns – materialism and money. They must survive, after all. They mustn’t be a burden, they must contribute, they must identify and add to the chorus when injustice is uncovered.

Identifying with the downtrodden, the poor and the dandies, the human, those who won’t back down and those that capitulate under pressure. The Urban Dandy embraces the contrasts and colours that create a fully vibrant city-scape of peoples.

The eyes of the Urban Dandy look deep into the spectre of failure. The integrity of the work takes our energy, likes and hits, fame and fortune do not. It’s a slow-rise, an awakening, a connecting of voices: I hear you, you hear me…

The scope of the Urban Dandy is local and global. Big Ideas. Not anti-capitalist, or pro-socialist; not dogmatic, pro-truth. Art of word, authenticity, not glorifying poverty, glory in human beings, looking at context, our area. Not vacuous superficiality…Wholesome. You too, our ears, your thoughts. The truth you can say. Word is bond. Life in motion – Truth again.

The style of the Urban Dandy is irreverent, light, heavy…

The conversation of the Urban Dandy is theatre, art, food, spiritual practices, addiction, terrorism, refugees, interviews, spirited resistance, local businesses, local artists, local area, gentrification…

Urban Dandy is a safe refuge for words.

The Urban Dandy knows that today’s media adds as much pepper to a story as they can to gain a reaction, ultimately seeking readership. This is not us. We will go the long route and grow organically, rather than compromise our ethics. Words are important and the lips from which they departed deserve for those very words to be received exactly as they were intended.

If the Urban Dandy holds an opinion at all it will be clearly stated as our own and never merged with the words of a trusting interviewee/interlocutor. It’s possible to share an opinion but never a mouth. 

 

 The Truth of the Urban Dandy

My name is Truth

I have stood since times beginning

Outside the hearts of man

Waiting for the invitation

a few will let me in

I am searched for by the flawed, the weak, written about by the poor

For only in humility

Can I enter through your door

Yet I can free you from delusions, false hope and empty dreams

From the world’s chicanery

All its crazy schemes

I am the small voice in the wilderness

A whisper in the breeze

be still, quiet, listen

For with me comes liberty…

 

 

Poem by Mark Bolton

Electric Breakfast

Venue: Electric Diner, Portobello Road

Meal: Breakfast

Rating:

3.53.5/5

It’s 11.45am on a Tuesday in March and I’ve just come back to Portobello after moving some things into a Brentford storage unit.

Heavy work, so you’d think a full English carb fest was on my mind. Not so, here’s why…

…So, we get to the door of the Electric Diner on Portobello Road, only to be greeted by our regular (Antonio Banderas looking) waiter.  I may have appeared a bit rude as I zipped past him fully aware of the clock ticking away on our 50% local discount deal as it fast approached 12.00. I rushed past into the ready and waiting waitress. “Will you still honour the discount as it’s not yet 12 O’ clock”?  I said in a half couldn’t care less way, without revealing the fact that her answer was a remote control to push an invisible button to send me away or make me stay, just like a puppet”. ” If you order before 12.00 it’ll be fine”. She said. You’ve never seen a person sit down so quickly.

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It was about 11:52 when my guest: sweet Juliet ordered her poached eggs on toast with  avocado and a bit a lemon on the side, accompanied by a pot of mint tea to kill the chill. Note below, the avocado’s succulence. Continue reading

Eastern Philosophy for Your Western Life: The Three Gunas

By Tom Charles

For Rob – “Hold it lightly”

Walking down a busy London street, having just done one task, another to do, plus my whole life to sort out, my mind was on repeat: I’m gonna do this, gonna do that; I’ve gotta do this, gotta do that. It was not a welcome state of mind.

Another day, same grey stretch of road, a feeling of heaviness is on me, and the same fraught thoughts of what-to-do; dis-ease. Earlier that day I had been fine and dandy, so I wondered why this disquiet had attached itself to me again.

I couldn’t name the sensation and the confusion only made it worse. If I’d known what was going in, I wouldn’t have minded so much. Then I remembered something that was explained to me many moons ago: The three gunas. I understood my agitation immediately.

According to Hindu philosophy, the three gunas are the three aspects of energy that are everywhere; within us, surrounding us, defining everything here on Earth and beyond. They are qualities of being, said to underlie all natural phenomena. They are rarely spoken about here in the UK, but they are an effective way of describing the full spectrum of emotions and states that we encounter.

The three gunas are known as:

Sattva, the guna of light, in both senses of the word. It provides enlightenment to a person’s mind and it also increases light heartedness. In these ways Sattva is associated with happiness, creativity, bliss, inner stillness and alertness. You can never have too much Sattva.

Rajas is the guna of movement. In a human, it could refer to body or mind. We all need to move, anything we do requires rajas, but as we gain momentum, rajas can become too strong and we become agitated.

Tamas is the guna of heaviness, resistance, fatigue and inertia, counteracting rajas. A surfeit of tamas means sloth, boredom or atrophy.

I’d been told about the gunas some years before my satori, and had occasionally thought about them, identifying a scenario and then asking which guna best described it. After a big lunch – tamas; commuting – rajas; writing, drawing, connecting – sattva.

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Uzoma, ‘a fusion of all 3 Gunas’ by OddKinCreate

 

According to Hindu philosophy, the gunas come from the divine, or the unmanifest, oneness, no-thing, the absolute, God or insert whichever name is appropriate. The gunas are in all beings and in all nature. The three are always present in combination, but one will predominate at any given moment. Continue reading

Digital/Artist Junior Tomlin

After meeting The Kitchen Table Collective as they completed their array of Artistic expression, we stayed local and spoke with artist Junior Tomlin about art, the area and his own unique cyber style, which is on display at Vinyl Cafe, 273 Portobello Road until early 2016.

Picture from westlondonartfactory.com
Picture from westlondonartfactory.com

UD: What was your intention with the exhibition at Vinyl Café?

JT: I knew the owner Jake 20 years ago. We were looking at each other like we knew each other, and when I told him my name, he said ‘That’s it! You did a party flyer for me’.

After that, he invited me to show my work at the venue.

I sometimes call this particular set ‘From Paints to Pixels’. It’s not quite a retrospective because the much older stuff isn’t displayed; it’s all the digital stuff.

I started out working on game packaging artwork, went on to designing rave flyers, then art for music and digital colouring for cartoons.

This is the first time I’ve shown in Ladbroke Grove, where I live. There have been a few pop up galleries in the area, and a show at Selfridges of the original rave flyers. I put this art on display in Wales, at the Kickplate Gallery in Abertillery. I’ve brought it back home.

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UD: Was art your first love?

JT: Yes and it’s nice to make a living from what you love. Sometimes I want to draw more, but I have to make a living too and making money depends on how many people see and love your art. Sharing the work is one thing, selling it is something completely different…

When you have a fan base, other people get to see the work and become interested. Local support and committed art lovers both help.

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UD: What is the scope of your expression?

I can paint, gouache and acrylic, as well as my drawing and my digital work. With painting you start with a blank space, and then you gradually obliterate the white with your ideas.

Sometimes I get so transfixed on the computer that I forget my paints are right there waiting for me. But I got so tired of doing art for people and not getting it back from promoters, so I prefer computer because all I’m sending them is a file by email and I can keep what I do.

UD: How do you like to categorise yourself?

JT: (Smiling) Digital/Artist.

When you’re in a freshly made building, it hasn’t become its own building yet and you can tell. It needs time. It can be the same with art. Using a computer can create things that look great, but I like to leave traces of pencil marks, so you can tell I’ve done this, it’s not just a computer, it’s not one dimensional.

Continue reading

‘WE ARE’ ….at The Ugly Duck

 

After months of planning, The Kitchen Table Collective, who previously gave us 1x Tab Breakfast, poached egg, no mushroom 1x sides, sausage: New Stories from the Tabernacle, have expressed a touching and thought provoking exhibition through the eyes of immigrants.  The incredibly diverse quintet of Artists including Emma Mudgway, Claire Tipy and Alexia Villard successfully gave us a very personal look at the alien experience in the UK through their art.  ‘We Are’ can be seen today at The Ugly Duck Gallery at 47-49 Tanner Street in Tower Bridge.

We are here until the afternoon collecting great thoughts and insights to see what it feels like to be an immigrant.

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We’re going in.

 

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Claire Tipy and Sarah Tilotta’s collaboration, ‘Where Do You Think I Was Born’, seen in motion. Each actor contributed their own heartfelt monologue and drew us totally in. Continue reading