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West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
The Juice Magazine is a new publication being brought together by a group of young graduates and students, with a background in the arts. The focus of the magazine is to represent and support the growing community of emerging artists in Leeds and the wider area of West Yorkshire.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Love 'im or hate 'im.

It's hard to escape the preconceived ideas we all have about Damien Hirst. He's one of the Marmite-ien artists who have the public divided between genius and tosser.

My own ideas come from going to the same school as him, hearing from my art teacher about the kind of pupil he was, remembering the preserved moles, puppy embryos, insects and hyena head we had in the old wooden science blocks...

It also comes from living in Leeds. Feeling a sense of fondness when Look North runs a story about the 'Leeds born artist' exhibiting a 14ft shark in formaldehyde.

So when we attended the bloggers evening for Hirst's exhibition in Leeds Art Gallery, I was expecting to see the old favourites, butterflies, skulls, spot paintings and some sort of formaldehyde animal.

All were present in the first room we saw. We also saw a huge cabinet of medical dummies and paraphernalia, a sculpture of an angel with its insides exposed and light box images of pills.

There was also a picture taken of Hirst as a 16 year old, smiling next to a bloated human head from the pathology unit at Leeds University. Curator, Nigel Walsh, described this photo as a self portrait. But I struggled to see it as anything more than a teenage joke, a chance opportunity to be a bit silly next to a dead head. Had it been taken now it would probably have been his facebook profile picture.

But images like that are part of what Hirst thrives on. The eternal question of what qualifies as art? The picture certainly fitted in with the rest of the show, giving us a glimpse into his fascination with death and preservation, but I don't think it was taken with the intention of ever been exhibited..

The second room we were taken into was the recreation of his famous Notting Hill restaurant, Pharmacy. As it was still being installed we stepped into a nostalgic (for some) room with flashing neons and medical/religious print wallpaper. Match boxes that are probably worth more than my house adorned the walls and lay temptingly in ashtrays that were waiting to be set on the tables. A cabinet full of 'PH' wine (vintage unknown) standing proudly above them.

It was exciting to see it in it's unfinished state, the most ambitious piece in the exhibit. It was as though the room before was an introduction to Hirst, showing us all what we expected to see and this recreation was saying 'but look what else he can do'.

When a living, functioning, public art work is recreated for an exhibition, it's hard to capture the original spirit. The way the audience experiences the work is going to be completely different. The interaction has to come from their imagination and relies heavily on the visual impact it makes and a hope that they can sense those that have been here before.

I'm thrilled that Leeds can finally welcome back it's celebrated son and hope that everyone whether they love or hate his work will get to Leeds Art Gallery between July 15th and October 30th to see what will surely be a rare opportunity to see this giants work in his hometown.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Coming Up!

We're working hard on Issue #02 of The Juice Magazine, so here's a little teaser of things to come....

Helen Shaddock

Jonny Packham
Luke Steers

As Jimi Hendrix sat in the recording studio he plucked freely at his guitar strings. The notes that came out constructed a raw yet beautiful melody which those with an ear for a tight bit of blues rock would appreciate for it's divinity. The question is, how did this guitar great compose such delicious riffs? As Leonardo Da Vinci stared at his empty canvas, what inspired him to construct a painting such as Mona Lisa? The answer is they tapped into their inner creativity. An attribute of the soul, of our imaginations, engrained in our human fibre....

I hope these tasty morsels have wetted your appetite for the second issue!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Lucky Bloggers

On Wednesday night I was sat in the tiled cafe eating pie with people who I usually address with a prefixed '@' symbol...

A collective of us lucky blogger/social media types were invited to the 'Behind The Scenes' event at Leeds art gallery, to preview the Northern Art Prize, midway through it's set up process. We were greeted with complimentary wine and our number was divided into 2 groups and the evening was split into 3 stages.

Our half took the group discussion first and topic of conversation covered the basic logistics involved in organising the Northern Art Prize as well as evolving into a debate about the effects of social media for artists. How they can use it to engage and attract their audiences, to display progress on a piece of work and for everyone's favourite activity, 'networking' and its bohemian cousin, 'schmoozing'. The influx of so many online outlets for creative types can be a way to express your artistic work in the best possible medium, but can also create a conflict of interest whether your choice is personal taste or commercial gain.
It was a conversation that as a fairly recent art grad I've contemplated and discussed with others at various stages and one that on the night forced us to The Victoria afterwards for further contemplation...

Secondly the entire party was reunited for the prestigious honour of tasting and voting for our favourite pastry based dish in 'The Northern Art Pies'. It was an enjoyable interlude to the evening and if some witty soul had piped up with 'who ate all the pies?' the finger of blame would certainly be pointed towards The Juice corner of the table..

Finally, it was our turn to take the tour of the gallery, with the four shortlisted artists work mid-installation. It was a strange experience to be viewing partially completed installations without seeing a distressed and tired artist sat amongst it all on the verge of a breakdown after that one light fitting just wont stay in position even though you've tried every conceivable way of fixing it... although maybe that was my own personal experience as I felt slightly transported back to the days of art college. There was a similar air of anticipation and the busy feeling of a team pulling together to create a show.
Although the artists work comes from different places and perspectives it was interesting to discover that they had slight ties and connections within their themes and that their layout was based around these ideas. Being told about the artists work whilst we saw it in progress was a brilliant way to engage our minds in the thought processes behind the work and continued to open up the idea that all most people need to start engaging with art work is a little communication.

I'd be hard pressed to say who my bets are on for the final prize but overall I felt impressed with everything I saw. Someone raised the point that none of the artists have been from Leeds. I sometimes think that we're on the cusp of a cultural uprising, every year more and more of us feel Leeds is the place to open a new gallery, run an artistic event or set up a new magazine. We need these things to start to gain confidence in Leeds's cultural identity. We've had a fantastic creative year so far and The Northern Art Prize is a brilliant way to end it.

Many thanks to Leeds City Art Gallery and Culture Vultures for coming together to bring this event to us and to Alec Finlay, Lubaina Himid, David Jacques, and Haroon Mirza for allowing us to to view and photograph their work on the night.

Article : Lois Whitehead
Photography : Nick Collins

Monday, 6 September 2010


Hello All!

I am writing to let you know about the launch night of our finished magazine, and would like to invite you all down!
If you have submitted work, advertised, advised or are just interested in the Leeds art scene then come down and dig your teeth into a brand new copy for free!

15th of September at The Roast Cafe (1 Whitehall Riverside).
19:00 - 23:00

Also if you would like to get involved as a performer or exhibiting artist or you know anyone that would then please let us know ASAP!

Click on the link for the event for more info or drop us an email.

Join the Facebook Group and Click to attend the Event
Follow us on Twitter and Blogger
And keep up to date with everything we're doing on our beautiful website

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Advertise for free in The Juice!

Calling all local (Leeds and Yorkshire) artists and companies, would you like some FREE advertising? Of course you would, it's free!
Well at The Juice we have saved a page for promoting local arts and businesses and we need you to get involved!
Send us a couple of lines about you, your products, your services etc etc... and we'll put it on the pages of our lovely Leeds based art magazine.
Send any info to (or email us for any more info!).