Aug 22, 2010

Guest blogging over at Gypsy Girl's Guide

Today over at the Gypsy Girl's Guide I write about my move to London from Madrid, my tactics for coping and how I quieten the uncertainty with unexpected magic.

For those you not familiar with GGG, it's a wonderful resource and inspirational site for bohemian women with a passion for travel. I'm currently doing an internship over there, resizing images, researching, editing content, putting up & scheduling posts, and liaising with contributors. Alessandra, the original gypsy girl's guider, has gathered a formidable tribe of talented and interesting women around the globe. It's an awesome community and I recommend you have a visit.

love on the wall

Aug 20, 2010

Fashion Street E1 Graffiti

Fashion Street Graffiti
Fashion Street Graffiti
Fashion Street Graffiti
Fashion Street Graffiti
Fashion Street Graffiti
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of Fashion Street's graffiti in Spitalfields!

Happy Friday! Have a good weekend!

Photography by Shehani Kay.

Aug 15, 2010

Hands of an Angel

Hands of an Angel
While wandering around the fairly unremarkable cemetery of St Giles the Abbott in Farnborough, I made this remarkable discovery - a beautiful wailing angel draped upon a tomb. I love the poignant pose of her strong hands.

For some reason this photo evokes for me the lyrics of an old Smiths song, I Know It's Over:

It's so easy to laugh
It's so easy to hate
It takes guts to be gentle and kind
Over, over...

What does it evoke for you?

Photography by Shehani Kay. St Giles the Abbott Cemetery in Farnborough, London.

Aug 13, 2010

Great Eastern St Wall Graffiti

I was wandering down the street from Brick Lane towards Old Street when I was struck by the calibre and beauty of this collection of graffiti on the walls of this squat in Shoreditch.
Shoreditch Social Centre Wall 1
Shoreditch Social Centre Wall 2
Shoreditch Social Centre Wall 3
Shoreditch Social Centre Wall 4
Shoreditch Social Centre Wall 5
Shoreditch Social Centre Wall 6
Shoreditch Social Centre Wall 7
Shoreditch Social Centre Wall 8
Shoreditch Social Centre Wall 9
Shoreditch Social Centre Wall 10
Shoreditch Social Centre Wall 11
Shoreditch Social Centre Wall 12
Sprung from the site of the Foundry, an infamous grimy bar and gallery space that was closed down in June because the building is slated for the demolition ball, the Shoreditch Social Centre is a 'free for all' arts community centre run by squatters who aim to shows how easy it is to create an art for all space by hosting a variety of events. [resource]

As an avid urban art documentarista, London is an awesome town to be in!

All photography by Shehani Kay. Shoreditch Social Centre. Great Eastern Street, London EC2. Aug 2010.

Aug 12, 2010

Around town: faces in windows

Samuel House Residents, Hackney
I first caught a glimpse of these portraits while on the Haggerston train, heading for Brick Lane. What's that about? I wondered.
Samuel House Residents, Hackney
Curious about these giant faces covering windows, I returned via Regent's Canal Walk yesterday while the fickle sun was shinning.
Samuel House Residents, Hackney
Turns out these photographs of residents have replaced the orange boards that were used to cover the empty flats in Samuel House of Haggerston Estate in East London. The estate is currently being redeveloped and using these portraits is the brain child of I Am Here, an arts project initiated by artists who are themselves long-term residents of Samuel House. They say, I Am Here "shows the faces of ordinary people so often excluded from the visual material produced to market an up-and-coming area by estate agents, developers, private landlords, local councils and other stakeholders."

Their aim is to humanize a piece of architecture on its final journey by challenging onlookers to ask questions. In this they have succeeded. As I sat on a bench along the canal in front of Samuel House, writing in my moleskine, I heard several people passing by wonder what these photos could mean as I did. What great street art! It certainly compelled me to investigate the meaning behind this piece and with a little googling, all was revealed.

Photography by Shehani Kay. Samuel House is located alongside Regents Canal in between Kingsland Road and Victoria Park in Hackney, London.

Aug 9, 2010

New dawn, new day, new life, new blog

As promised, I've revamped my blog. What do you think? I figured since I'm now in a new city, I ought to change my look, use my name and broaden my scope. Special thanks to my brother, Reza, for his mad pro skills and advice in the redesign process of this blog! Couldn't have gotten it looking so slick without his feedback and design expertise. Big besos to you bro!

This last month in London has been a mind boggling, surging swirl of new experiences, hopes, disappointments, magical moments, possibilities, impossibilities and the raw excitement of the unknown. I've been riding the wave of uncertainty and trying hard to find solid footing on which to build my sandcastles. Things are crystallizing slowly. I've got new projects on the go that I'm thrilled about. More about those plans later.
All Tarted Up
I suppose the question I get asked a lot is how London compares with Madrid. In fact, one cheeky reader suggested that Madrid still has what London lost years ago, which I find baffling. Of course you can compare cities superficially but the whole point of relocating to a new place (and not simply being a tourist passing through) is learning what is unique about each city in a more profound, day-to-day way and besides, places are often charming for very different reasons. Madrid has lively street culture, fabulous nightlife, and a 'no pasa nada' easygoing attitude. But London is huge! You can find everything here (it's light years ahead of Madrid in the cosmo, multi-ethnic, open-minded department). Whereas Madrid is still quite Spanish in their tastes (especially for food) which is charming, London embraces all cultures and you can find pockets of every type which is charming in a different way. Dining out here is really an amazing experience with a multitude of delicacies from all corners of the globe on offer. London is also beautifully green and filled with parks and wildlife. Then there's the water. I love the water. The mighty river and the snaking canal. Both wonderful. Madrid may have many fiestas but it's dry and the poor narrow/shallow excuse they call a river is just pathetic. This is not to say that I don't miss Madrid. I miss my villagey Lavapies with the intensity of an estranged lover but I know the time had come to move on, to grow, to flourish in ways I no longer could in Madrid. Now, Brick Lane and Spitalfields promises to satisfy my craving for alternative, gritty, hip street culture. And in the end, I think London offers me opportunities and adventures I can find no where else. How exciting is that!

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me

Photography by Shehani Kay. Cake shop window in Brighton.

Aug 3, 2010

Richmond upon Thames

Rosebay Willowherbs in Richmond upon the Thames
Wild Rosebay Willowherbs line the bank along the Thames in Richmond near Richmond Bridge. There's a lovely tree lined path along the bank around here with plenty of benches. Ideal for strolls, cycling, or a bit river and bird watching.

Photography by Shehani Kay
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