Fairytale 20/20 | body portal theatre

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Reviews, Theatre

Aug 16-30 | On Demand | Greenside @ GreenScreen | Get Tickets

 

This beautifully made short film examines exactly what it means to live ‘Happily Ever After’.

Choreographer, Sarah Lee, and actor, Ella Jung, are looking to produce their Fairytale show for a performing arts festival, but quickly realise, coming from the world of theatre, they have no idea how to make a film.

Considering this they have successfully managed to make a documentary meets storytelling extravaganza packed full with stunning content and superbly put together.

Interweaving their process into every step of this film body portal theatre takes us through external workshopping their ideas to creating a series of tales reflecting both what they’ve learnt and their own opinions on the meaning of ‘Happily Ever After’.

They use innovative mask work, flowing costume and simple choreography to tell these modern folk stories with the gorgeous settings of Hawaii as a backdrop, you can’t help but feel positive after watching this! They may not have known how to make a film but they have most certainly nailed it.

 

The Arts Business Top Tips:

  • If you don’t know how, just give it a go. Sure you can sit around discussing it until you’re blue in the face but that’s not actually going to create any work (unless you put it in the documentary like body portal theatre have). We live in a golden age of technology and online education so if in doubt Google what to do or check out a YouTube video. Then get your work out there! And you might just make yourselves a little gem of performance art, a new entity in itself, carving out your own path and developing your own techniques for your own work, like Fairytale 20/20.

Ain’t No Female Romeo | Lita Doolan Productions

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Reviews, Theatre

6th-30th August | On Demand | YouTube | Get Tickets

 

An experimental one-woman show exploring the moving journey of a woman ghosted, reaching out on Instagram to find their lost love.

Lita Doolan really pushes what a monologue is in this production integrating every art form under the sun into this performance, mixing photos and film clips with video selfies to tell the story of a woman looking for answers.

The image work is beautiful juxtaposing street scenes with abstract moving patterns filmed from life. By retaining the sound of each piece of film the footage is edited in a jarring way to reflect the emotional rollercoaster taken by our heroine.

This modern interpretation of Romeo and Juliet employs quotes from the original text alongside Instagram hashtags to aid with the storytelling together with really poignant monologues and spoken word style performance.

Doolan demonstrates there is a fine line between love and obsession, as she seeks (or stalks) her Romeo and gets to the bottom of her parting with such sweet sorrow.

The Arts Business Top Tips:

  • Taking William Shakespeare as a starting point means you’re already creating a talking point with a pre-existing audience, he is of course arguably the most prolific playwright of all time. There will always be people interested in the Baird so there will always be people interested in modern-day retellings or reinterpretations. After all, everyone remembers 10 Things I Hate About You.
  • Incorporating art forms from film to photography or parlance to poetry can only add to your performance and overall vision. Ain’t No Female Romeo may not use the latest editing techniques or the highest quality film but this only adds to the overall themes found within the show. So, don’t be scared if you’re not a tech wizard, or there’s only one of you to run the entire company, you can still create something magical.

As if by Magic, the Shopkeeper appeared: Goldmark Gallery

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Art, Education, Marketing

There’s not success or failure…there’s just doing – Mike Goldmark

 

Deep in the idyllic countryside of the East Midlands in the small village of Uppingham lies an unassuming art merchant: Goldmark Gallery.

But this is not just your average gallery, it’s an art trading, ceramic selling, exhibition hosting, magazine publishing, television producing, gallery shop.

It’s a family run business, founded by Mike Goldmark, which had been going for over 40 years and now holds more than 50,000 items in stock ranging from the affordable to the pricey, but always of the highest quality.

Mike Goldmark started his working life as an employee for Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer learning the art of selling and the principles of business.

The key philosophy? Buy a product that people want and sell it for a profit, pretty simple right?

He moved onto working briefly in fast fashion but felt trends moved on too quickly. Although artistic merit can be found in fashion, he believes it is too fleeting to be widely appreciated as a true artform.

This led Mike to open his own shop. In the 70s, now knowledgeable in all things business, Mike began to trade in second-hand books. His store ran successfully until the rise of the internet when books could be sort out online for cheaper than he could afford to sell them.

In the meantime, however, his book sales’ success meant Mike was able to open a gallery in 1985 and, due to his extensive knowledge of books, in 1986 launched a publishing house. Knowing what type of books work and sell would have lent itself perfectly to this natural business expansion.

Since then, he has expanded his business to include prints and framing, a reference library, an artist programme, a music performance venue, film production and has introduced functional ceramics, all of which is curated with love, care and expertise.

He has spent years unteaching himself the traditional rules laid out to him by corporations, challenging himself into finding products that people don’t want and figuring out how to sell them anyway.

Take his unique method of ‘try before you buy’ ceramics, for example. Ceramics are made to be held so Mike tells his customers to pick ‘em up n’ chuck em’ round, rather than the traditional look but don’t touch method.

He takes artists under his wing like other galleries, however where others may have hundreds on their books, Goldmark Gallery has a small selection of potters, currently sitting at twelve. This ensures a higher quality of artists who have a higher level of attention paid to them by the gallery staff. The more time and effort put into each potter is beneficial for both parties as it creates a wider awareness and understanding of their work, leading to more sales.

Since the start of the pandemic, Goldmark Gallery has also been creating films about potters, artists and the gallery itself. It allows customers to see the gallery action from their homes and improve their understanding of the artwork but allows artists to remain focused on their creative flow and developmental work without distraction.

These films have a huge reach and are all free online. ‘Why no charge?’ I hear you ask. Simply, it’s great PR, and Mike has found the return on investment (ROI) makes it completely worth it.

Mike believes as a society we do our best to put education and selling into different categories. Of course, he isn’t arguing with every child’s right to free education, but he’s saying these shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. You should learn and be sold, kinda like a museum ending in a gift shop.

Additionally, Goldmark Gallery shares the work of artists, using art to maintain a sense of community, which is being lost through the rise of online media and, of course, the pandemic. He is proud of his town of Uppingham which maintains a mainly independent high street. This is thanks to Mike buying up property in the 80s and then renting it to independent shopkeepers.

Customer service remains at the heart of his work. He aims to make people feel welcome and settled in his space. From making customers a cup of coffee to enjoy as they looked for purchases to inviting them from lunch whilst they learn about the artwork around them and the team that’s made it all possible.

 

But despite all of these great business skills and money-making methods, for Mike it’s not about being rich and famous, it’s about working hard, and utilising any profit to provide gainful employment to as many people as possible which in turn supports all the other goals of the gallery: welcoming customers, building community and educating people.

 

If you want to learn more about Mike Goldmark and the team then head over to the Goldmark Gallery website or check out his interview on The Practical Creative Podcast

Has your business branched out in unique and creative ways? Tell us about them in the comments!