Listening Party: Nocturnes 'The Soft Animal'

The nice thing about being somewhat involved in a label is getting sneak previews of upcoming releases. I've been listening to the new album from Pearse McGloughlin's new project Nocturnes (a collaboration with Enda Roche) for a few weeks now, called 'The Soft Animal'. The songs are sparse and warm and haunting, and the whole record hangs together as a unified 'piece', as proper albums should. It's a beautiful record, thanks in no small part to the production skills of Sacred Animals' Darragh Nolan.

The album will be released on July 29th on Bluestack Records and Urchin Music. See Pearse's website, here, for more info, including upcoming live shows.

Pearse held a listening party in Homebeat's bright-and-airy homeground café Thirty Four (on Lennox St) last night for a small gathering of friends and friends-of-friends; here is a selection of shots from the evening.

Katie & Maud

It was a pleasure to work with local business Katie & Maud recently on producing these images of her new product line. I'm a great believer in the power of mindfulness when it comes to maintaining good mental health, so Johanna's products caught my eye when she first took a stall at Strandhill Market. I love the idea of these door hangers - a simple way to create a bit of space for yourself in a busy household.

Aliquo S/S 2016 (BTS)

I've worked with Alice on shoots for her handmade jewellery brand Aliquo for a number of years now and it is always such a fun experience. It was also great to shoot with model Alicia again - she did a really great job. (The last time we met she had just done her Junior Cert, which makes me feel pretty old..!) Orlaith from Emma Farrell Makeup did a fantastic job on hair & makeup too. Here's a few outtakes from our shoot last week.

Hitting the Books

I'm spending a fair bit of my time in Trinity College these days, indulging my fascination with science by pursuing a degree in it there. I'm not about to stop shooting, though. Here's astrophysicist Prof. Brian Espey speaking to PhySoc last month, under the watchful eye of Nobel prize-winning physicist Erwin Schroedinger.

Biggles Flys Again

I'm lucky to share a band with Conor Deasy, the man behind Biggles Flys Again. We took a short break during rehearsal on Tuesday to take advantage of the mid-morning light in one of the artist studios above our practice space and get some new press photos for BFA. (There's talk of a new single out soon...) This is my favourite:

And while I'm at it, here's my favourite Biggles song, from the first album, 'Remember Saturday':

Locks & Lace - "Hair, Hats & Happiness"

I got the opportunity to peek inside the studio of Sligo hair and millinery outfit Locks & Lace last month, and shoot some images for a feature in Sligo Now. It's a beautifully bright and airy studio, full of light and colour and useful storage space. Each headpiece is hand-shaped, hand-stitched and hand-crafted by Strandhill-based owner Emma Murphy, using quality materials like fur felt and real feathers. She sews the linings for her pieces on her mother's vintage machine, and attaches each bead by hand with a needle & thread. It's brilliant to see such a dedication to craft and quality in a small local enterprise.

You'll find a few of these photos in Emma's feature in this month's Sligo Now, which will be in the usual local outlets from tomorrow (Friday).

Noelle Healy - Twoodlepip Illustration

I got to work with another of Strandhill's talented creative types last week. Noelle Healy's illustrations are beautifully drawn, adorable and often wickedly funny. I took some product shots of her brand-new calendar for 2015, which is both Chinese Year of the Sheep (certainly relevant to Sligo) and the Irish Year of Design.

You can order the calendar and lots of other gorgeous illustrations from Noelle at noellehealy.com, or, if you're local, you'll find her at the market in Strandhill every Sunday.

Product Photography for Salt of the Earth

Salt of the Earth is one of my favourite local design studios. Run by Sligo-based lovers of the great outdoors Elizabeth and Barry, their pieces feel natural and earthy and are beautifully, simply designed. Elizabeth called me last week about shooting some product photography for their upcoming website, which launched today. I don't think a project has ever come together so quickly! I built a small studio* in the spare room, Barry dropped over the pieces the next morning and I was able to send on the finished images to Elizabeth the following day. Here's a small selection:

Their new website is located at saltoftheearthstudio.com. You'll also find their products in Shell's Café, Strandhill and the Irish Design Shop, Drury St, Dublin.

* I used a shower curtain rail & a roll of Fabriano drawing paper, propped up on a chest of drawers and old base for a single bed, for the backdrop. The room is a converted attic space so the low pitched ceiling does a great job of diffusing light. Then I just had to set up my SB600 remote flash on its stand with my trusty Lastolite umbrella. It's not the most professional-looking setup but I'm very pleased with the results.

Friday Night Social - November Edition

Last Friday was probably our busiest Social yet. Welsh artist and activist Tracey Moberly gave an hour-long talk about her career and experiences thus far, inspiring the audience with footage and photographs from her often tongue-in-cheek campaigns (for example, she's raced barbie cars outside the Saudi embassy in London to protest the Saudi women's driving ban). She's currently training for an expedition to the Pole of Inaccessibility (!) in the Arctic. It was brilliant to get the opportunity to meet Tracey, and for a small Sligo crowd to hear about her experiences.

After Tracey's talk, new film-and-discussion group Hidden Channel launched in The Model's Education Room with their first screening, Ladislas Starevich's 'Fétiche Mascot' (Duffy the Mascot, 1934), a Russian stop-motion masterpiece about a little marionette puppy that comes alive. (It was surprisingly un-creepy.) As ever, The Model Café served up plenty of tasty food options throughout the evening and the folks at Vinyl Culture kept the music going.


The Future of Vinyl

Vinyl records are beautiful. Just wait 'til 20 years from now, when every home has a high-resolution 3D printer and independent labels can release files for download that let you print records yourself as soon as they're released. Artists could make their own printable vinyls using a simple conversion tool and share them with even the smallest fanbase. Surely that day is coming..?

In the meantime, you can share vinyls by coming along to Vinyl Culture in Furey's in Sligo every Friday and getting them played. Just drop us a message here or here.