Aren’t we all just elements?

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Today, we take a quick look at ‘Elements’ the short film by Maxim Zhestkov. Playing with animation and physics, Zhestkov creates a world in which small spherical objects build, cascade and fall over one another. These small particles, once collective, can convey emotion and narrative.

His short film explores the relationship everything has with one another. How everything is affected. How even the smallest elements can be arranged forming complex structures that seem poles apart from where it began.

Personally, we love the simplicity of it, whilst in fact it is far from that. When you think about it, emotions, movement and life itself is all so complex. But in reality it’s just little elements; atoms really, flexing under tensions beyond our control.

A great short and captivating film!

Take a quick look and let us know what you think…

Follow him @zhestkov

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The Beauty in Sleep Paralysis

Firstly, we’d like to introduce you to our brand new contributor, Natasha Meek, an up and coming writer in Leeds. With a natural flare and true passion for writing, you’ll she why she’s now a great addition to the VinyOctopus team!


 

‘Two things for me were unusual, as I opened my eyes and tried to sit up I couldn’t move an inch; it was like I’d been superglued to my bed. And the second thing, I wasn’t alone’

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Research around the globe suggests that most people struggle with sleep paralysis at least once in their life. Episodes of sleep paralysis can occur when falling asleep, or even as you wake, leaving one fearful and paralysed for a short amount of time. This is the nightly norm for one teenager from Leeds.

“I think for me, my sleep paralysis started around the age of 14. I was a pretty ordinary teenager on the exterior; inside I was a nervous wreck with awful anxiety and what I understand now to be post traumatic stress disorder after I was sexually abused through my younger years. Now it’s an experience that I’m used to each night I have it – it shape-shifts and is equally as terrifying as the first night. I remember going to bed as usual the night it first happened, tired from the day, but as usual with insomnia that kept me awake into the early hours. Sleep paralysis is when your brain isn’t yet asleep though your body is. Everything felt so horrifically real as though I had woken up in the morning ready to get up for school. Two things for me were unusual, as I opened my eyes and tried to sit up I couldn’t move an inch; it was like I’d been superglued to my bed. And the second thing, I wasn’t alone, he was there holding me down pressing down my chest until I couldn’t breathe. Now usually, in the real world if this happened you would kick and flail and scream and yet I couldn’t do any of these things. I just laid there unable so move, so sure that it was real I could almost smell his aftershave, tears rolling down my face, feeling yet again absolutely powerless until my mum woke me up for school me still crying and hyperventilating. Now I’m a little older I’ve come to realise why I have sleep paralysis, what it is and essentially how to break out of it. I still lay there in bed crying wishing and wishing that I could move; and that somebody could save me from this monster trying to wiggle my toes and fingers even the smallest amount to free myself. I’ve read a lot about sleep paralysis now and it’s common for some kind of demonic figure to be present, mine is no different; I’m just facing my own demons.”

Throughout history many artists have created unnerving artwork to help them deal with their sleep paralysis. One of the most famous artworks about this condition is The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli, painted in 1871. Fuseli depicts a woman unable to move as an angry demon-like figure stands over her.

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‘The Nightmare’ – Henry Fuseli, 1871

Nicolas Bruno is a modern day Fuseli who uses photography to portray his own episodes. Around the age of 14, Bruno began to deal with sleep paralysis almost every night. Speaking to Vice, he says that a teacher suggested he could ‘start sketching’ his intense hallucinations. Now, photography has become his ‘go-to’ in dealing with sleep paralysis; aiming to ‘create that sort of purgatory’ he feels.

Bruno’s work is a menagerie of dollhouses on fire, dark water and ladders which all combine to create a strange, whimsical place outside of what we know.

The media of photography allows Bruno to have full ‘curation of what goes into the pieces’. Considering that sleep paralysis is usually something he doesn’t have control over, this media allows him to regain power over his own torments.

Figures within his photos usually have their heads covered which acts as a visual representation of not only sleep, but as a reminder of his experiences with mental purgatory.

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Much like Fuseli and other greats, art remains a way to express our deepest fears and thoughts.

If you’d like to see more of Nicolas Bruno’s work take a look at his Instagram @nicoladbruno

Have you dealt with sleep paralysis before?

Let us know….

We just like to take this opportunity to thank all those while we involved in this piece. We are incredibly grateful for all their brutally honest testimonials

Kiss with Pride

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Absolut has always held strong links the the LGBTQ community. (In fact, the first thing that springs to mind for me is their sponsorship of RuPaul’s Drag race but that probably says more about me than anything else). However, the Kiss with Pride campaign has been created not only to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, but also to spread an awareness of the 72 countries where homosexuality is still illegal.

Photographer Sam Bradly expressed his interest believing it simply to be ‘pure idea’. Additionally, although it was an advertisement campaign it also felt ‘natural and true’. This was reflected in the aims set out by Absolut to allow people to express their freedom.

The advert itself will be place in news and lifestyle magazines all over the world. However, they have also created the #kisswithpride Snapchat filter which will donate £1 to Stonewall every time it’s used.

This campaign was sparked by their short film ‘Equal Love’. Check it out below…

#bleedingwhiletrans

Transgender rights have been at the forefront of the media of late, with a lot of negative aspects surrounding equal rights. Subsequently, today here at VinylOctopus we thought we’d take a look at barriers concerning the transgender community being broken down [instead of put up].

Washington artist Cass Clemmer identifies as being transgender and non binary and recently posted a photo of ‘free bleeding’ online which sparked controversy. The image, uploaded to Instagram, depicts Cass sat on a bench bleeding through their trousers whilst holding the sign ‘periods are not just for women’ followed by the hashtag #bleedingwhiletrans.

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This explores the taboo of transgender individuals menstruating and hits this particular stigma head on. In addition to this, Clemmer had created the Instagram character of ‘Toni the tampon’ which aims to tackle the issues people face understanding their bodies and to avoid the conflicts they at feel with themselves over the issue of gender.

We believe Cass is working towards addressing a really important issue here and really have to commend them. Keep up the good work!

Sex Sells

Fashion has always been at the forefront of pushing boundaries within society. However, some could debate it sometimes goes too far.

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Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta of fashion brand Eckhaus Latta caused a stir with their 2017 Spring/Summer campaign. This depicted real images of couples having sex with strategically blurred out sections. Eckhaus Latta explains that they wanted to explore the connections between sexuality, relationships and fashion, whilst mirroring the age old notation that ‘sex sells’.

Furthermore, they wanted the images to look as true as possible, explaining that the sweat you see between the participants is exactly that, not oil or a camera trick, but exactly what it appears. They go on to elaborate that the only intervention they had throughout the shoot were small things, such as moving hair or an arm so the ‘sex’ could be seen clearly.

They go in to explain one of the hardest parts was finding people to take part with people struggling to see the relation to clothes.

What do you thing about their advertising campaign?
Did it grab your attention?
Would you buy their clothing?

Let us know…

Abandoned Art

For years it has been known for graffiti artists to take advantage of abandonded places. Their work, often shunned by the mainstream art world, finds solace in a blank canvas left by others. This notion in turn, provided the starting point for Rehab 2 Festival in Paris.

This involved invited 100 graffiti artists to the, then vacant student residence of the International City University in Paris. Once in, the artists then had free reign across the entire interior to produce whatever they wished, to which the results were stunning.

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The building was then opened to the public. However, unfortunately, this visiting period was limited to a single month before the building was commissioned to be demolished. However, the event was well photographed and provided the general public with a chance to truly immerse themselves in a form of art that possibly went against any preconceived ideas they may have had.

We truly think it’s a shame that the work produced here only had a short life span but it’s beautiful all the same.

 

Tiny Suspended Worlds

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Here at VinylOctopus we love an intricate piece of work and there no exception with today’s artist, Dutch born Rosa de Jong. Much like a ship in a bottle she handcrafts beautiful, delicate minute worlds inside long slender glass tubes. These tiny land masses supporting various elements such as tress, buildings and tents, whilst they appear to suspend in mid-air; lending a sense of tranquility to her work.

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Titled ‘Micro Matters’ her pieces actually require zero planning, with De Jong stating that she often wings it and simply places this where they look right. Usually taking on average a day to complete, she uses various elements such as sticks and bark bought into the house by her cat.

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Overall her work aims to look at what we call home and how it compares to the entire world, reflecting on how small and comfortable our own tiny world can seem in the grand scheme of things.

If you love her work as much as we do, take a look at her instagram @byrosa we’ve already followed!