Saturday 21 December 2013

April Felker & Lulu Allison - Are You Going to the Vagabond Palace…?

As we edge ever closer to the end of our journey of social discovery from the view points of many creative minds we find ourselves introducing two more new artists to our collective. Web creative and designer; April Felker and fine artist; Lulu Allison offer us perceptive and unique ways introducing thought and questions to our daily lives and the world around us.

April Felker sitting proud on the
runway of the Southbank
We find Aprils' answer to the cardboard city callout perched on one of the many slick lamp posts dotted along this part of the river leading up to Southwark Bridge - reuniting her with familiar territory having worked until recently as Head Creative to one of the local businesses. But April hasn't always been so closely connected to our Social Advent trail - another of our International contributors, April was born in Canada and at a young age relocated to New York, where she carved out a successful career, designing for some of the biggest names in business.
Her sense of design however isn't limited to these impressive
Opening the Door on April Felker
accolades - with an eye for design and as a keen photographer April keeps her 'eye in' on a daily basis and speaking from my own personal experiences her abilities to work with interior space and observe the world around her only adds credibility to her work outside the office.
This image of a clear question or statement, photographed on the streets of New York by April shows us the kind of questions that we ask ourselves on a daily basis before going about the usual routines…
Where are You Going? - by April Felker
But seeing it like this, for every passer by to observe or ignore brings this type of reality hurtling to the fore and perhaps it's our own response to it that finally cements the pending question in our head? One thing is clear, we are in a perfect position to be asking questions and if we don't get the answers first time - we find another way of asking…….

So from one diverse and creative question to another and as I mentioned another new name to add to our collective community interventions. Travelling to Southwark bridge and beyond we go underground, or at least ground level to find our next artist;
Ruins of Winchester Palace

Lulu Allison:
Walking through the maze of passages that run along this part of the redeveloped river walk as we stumble across the much forgotten Palace of the Bishops of Winchester, one of the largest and most important buildings in Medieval London. It is here that we release our latest offering to Cardboard City in the form of Lulu Allison.
From one Palace to another

Lulu is a visual artist working with many different mediums, often found describing her work as "feral", which can be seen as another interpretation of site-specific but for me it has undertones of earthiness and grit. The latter descriptor are certainly evident in Lulus' project creation; "Twice the Speed of Dark":'Twice the Speed of Dark is an attempt to grasp the reality of ended lives, delivered as bald numbers in a newscast, people who die by outrage, attack and war crime. The method of making them real is to invent. I know nothing of the people behind the numbers, the news doesn’t deliver that.  But by imagining them I hope to make their loss tangible to me, to us, the distant news consumers.  The dates and events are real.' 

Vagabond Palace 2 - by Lulu Allison

Lulus' recreation and references to her Vagabond Palace series explore our understanding of what palace means to us in terms of placing it in other contexts, such as; home, dreams, aspirations, mistakes and ideals? 'I am interested in the way built things hold traces of both human intent and natural entropy, eventually leading to decay and desolation'.
It is this desolation Lulu communicates so effectively through her choice of materials - here installations are skilfully created using less permanent materials like newsprint and bamboo.
Opening the Door on Lulu Allison
There's something about this image of contrasting beauty and sincere observational undertone, presenting something more purposeful, that resonates with me. Perhaps it's because of the temporary solution Lulu Allisons' Palaces bring with them that offers wonder with one hand and pending despair with the other - a profound juxtaposition indeed and one that reflects aptly our current social climate.

Until tomorrow, when advent 22 brings 2 more creative offerings to the brink.


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