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Article magazine explores distance in issue nine

Posted by Grace Wang on Wednesday, June 28 2017

Editor Kenny Ho on the ups and downs of making an independent magazine

Article is a magazine celebrating British arts and culture. But instead of a proclamation of patriotism, it’s more interested in looking at stories from an independent perspective, highlighting remarkable individuals who live, work or have immigrated to the country.

It’s a beautifully made title, with stitch binding and lush, thick paper stock — the kind of printed matter you want to savour slowly on a weekend morning. Their ninth issue has just been released, so we asked editor Kenny Ho to let us in on what it was like to make it…

Article-magazine-issue-9-cover-russell-tovey

In the making of this issue we:

Explored…
The idea of distance. Britain occupies a tiny part of the world, but it casts a giant cultural shadow. So we were interested in stories that challenged the usual ideas of British identity, particularly from an international perspective. We were fascinated by Peter Dench’s photography, which documents the hardcore, alcohol-fuelled culture of the 21st century British package holiday; we were impressed by the way that former and current students of the Glasgow School of Art came together from around the world to pay tribute to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s iconic building after the fire that almost destroyed it; we were intrigued by Peter Harrap’s detective work, which illuminated John Constable’s Brighton years; and we were moved by Ann Ravens’ very personal story, contrasting two generations of immigration in her family.

Watched…
The Deep Blue Sea, Terence Davies’ (below) adaptation of the classic Rattigan play, with Rachel Weisz as a woman driven to the edge by a passionate love affair. It’s a classic Davies film; painterly, slow-paced, lyrical, and subtle yet emotionally charged. In our latest edition, we spoke to the director about his forty-year career, and his body of intensely autobiographical work — a series of films that have had a powerful impact on the collective memory of modern Britain.

article-magazine-9-Terence-Davies

Got sidetracked by…
The BBC’s The Big Painting Challenge, a talent search aimed at uncovering the nation’s best amateur artist. Our eye was instantly caught by Pascal Anson, one of the show’s mentors — an artist whose default uniform for the series was a bright red boiler suit. It turns out that Anson has been obsessed with all-in-ones and boiler suits for years, and has amassed a large collection. We tracked him down to Shoreham, to understand where this fascination began (and to rummage through his wardrobe…)

Went to…
Lanzarote (below), to shoot this issue’s fashion story. Most people go to the Canary Islands for the beaches — but the lonely, volcanic terrain of the island’s interior provided a dramatic backdrop to our shoot, and added a distinct narrative unexplored in our previous issues.

article-magazine-9-Lanzarote 1

Learned…
Something new about London’s East End (top image). We were introduced to the area’s many Jewish cemeteries (some dating back centuries). Sadly, most have been abandoned for decades — an inevitable casualty, perhaps, of a community that’s gradually dispersed. Today, they lie hidden in plain sight, in the heart of the modern city. But they’re still there, cherished by some vocal local champions. And they provide a fascinating insight into a lost world.

Met…
Artist Mark Wallinger at his North London studio, where he reflected on his extraordinary, genre-hopping body of work. From dressing up in a bear outfit to creating powerful video installations and thought-provoking sculptures, to his latest series of large-scale paintings, what remains consistent is his skill at challenging our notions of identity.

article-magazine-9-mark-wallinger

Lost sleep over…
Rescheduling our cover shoot with in-demand actor Russell Tovey. An emergency meant that our photographer had to cancel the original date at the last minute. As Russell was in the middle of a hectic rehearsal schedule for Angels In America at the National Theatre, we didn’t have a back-up option – but he generously gave up one of his rare days off to do the shoot, which took place 48 hours before the whole issue had to go to print…

article-magazine-9-Will-Martyr

Was amazed by…
The work of artist Will Martyr, our ‘Circular Project’ (above) collaborator for issue nine. Each issue is punctuated with a series of images, created by an artist to reflect the issue’s overall theme. Previous collaborators have ranged from Martin Parr to Richard Hoey to Vaughan Oliver — and Will’s work, with its powerful colours and dramatic architectural compositions, was perfect for an issue themed around the idea of distance; each image conjures up an evocative, placeless utopia.

Couldn’t stop laughing at…
How long it took (and how many different trains we ended up taking) to get from London Kings Cross to the Yorkshire spa town of Bridlington (below), to take photographs for a story about Tristan Cheong — the doctor behind Artefact, a new line of Bridlington-made vegan healthcare supplements. After missing our connection at Doncaster, the journey took us over five and a half hours. Luckily there were plenty of jokes to keep us amused; laughter is the best medicine, I guess!

article-magazine-9-Bridlington-beach

And everyone should buy a copy because…
Britain is full of extraordinary stories. With every new issue, we’re constantly being surprised by the remarkable lives and incredible talents our contributors seek out — and we strive to celebrate these stories through in-depth features that are both visually engaging and fascinating to read.

Grab Article’s issue nine on the magCulture online shop

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