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An exclusive look at Boiler Room’s new series of short films, Science of Sound

Paolina-russo-aidan-zamiri-fashion-film-itsnicethat-list Work / Film Irony, sportswear and self-obsession: Paolina Russo and Aidan Zamiri's creative partnership

Fashion designer Paolina Russo and filmmaker Aidan Zamiri are a creative partnership – and real-life couple – who fuse their differing design backgrounds to produce work both individually and collaboratively. The pair both studied at Central Saint Martins (CSM) on BA Fashion Design and BA Graphic Communication Design, respectively and, although studying apparently opposing subjects, it was here that their impressive and intriguing dual practice first originated.

Stephen-isaac-wilson-film-itsnicethat-list Work / Film Stephen Isaac-Wilson's new film for Boiler Room remembers Manchester's 90s queer clubbing scene

In the mid-90s, Canal Street was the flamboyant heart of Manchester’s gay scene. Home to the city’s queer party lovers, Canal Street existed outside Manchester’s world-famous club scene, until, that is, 1999, when the characters of Russell T Davies’ Queer as Folk swaggered onto TV screens and kicked open the doors of queer nightlife to wide-eyed viewers across the nation.

Willhooper-idles-colossus-film-itsnicethat-17list Work / Film Filmmaker Will Hooper's new video humorously visualises being overwhelmed

It’s a dark and rainy Wednesday, your inbox is full, you’ve got back-to-back meetings, half your colleagues have just called in sick and, come to think of it, you aren’t feeling too great either – the weekend can’t come soon enough. Being overwhelmed is an experience common to us all and one that inspired Will Hooper’s newly released music video for Idles’ new song Colossus. The film’s protagonist, Joe, perceives each menial task as a crushing challenge, be it trimming a hedge or doing a crossword.

Listscreen-shot-2018-05-23-at-17.57.34 Work / Film Short film Krista demonstrates the power of drama to overcome trauma

From the horror of Weinstein to the strength of the #metoo movement, it’s been difficult to have a conversation about acting in the past year without the shadow of sexual harassment looming large. Tapping into this atmosphere, short film Krista by director Danny Madden explores the low-level threat constantly levelled at women and the empowerment that can come from reclaiming those experiences. The film tells the story of Krista, a high school student using her theatre class as catharsis. “The idea came from a combination of stories we’d heard from friends and that first point of realising that the world has teeth,” explains Danny. “It aims to show that helpless feeling of not knowing where to point frustration and anxiety, and how the theatre can create a space for releasing it.”
 
Peppered with powerful cut scenes between Krista’s performances and the emotional experiences she’s channelling, the atmosphere of the film is made all the more intense by its sound design. Foot stomps, claps and vocal exercises from the drama group’s warm-up were crafted into a rhythmic pattern which builds in momentum as the film progresses.

Mayafuhr-int-list Work / Photography Maya Fuhr’s sensual still lifes open us to a world of pleasure and vulnerability

It is not a secret that we are desperately fond of the nostalgic pastel photographs taken by Maya Fuhr, and her recent collaboration with Nox Shop has stolen our gaze. Making sex toys appear candy sweet, Maya’s recent series features soft, sensual still lifes that juxtapose dildo’s with idiosyncratic memorabilia. Excited by our interest in this project, Maya has drawn from her archive several other collaborations with sex shops. “I want to normalise using sex toys both in solitude and with partners, and create more open conversations among people in regards to what really pleasures them”, she explains.

Jane-stockdale-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Jane Stockdale's series Watching the World Cup released as book celebrating fans of the beautiful game

Jane Stockdale is a photographer we’ve championed again and again here It’s Nice That and, on multiple occasions, the focus of her work has been sport. From capturing cyclists with Rapha, Nascar drivers with Red Bull or the variety of athletes which make up the Kosovo Olympic team, her work is celebratory of every sportsperson out there.

List Work / Opinion Is design still a (cis)man's world?

In Design as an Attitude, design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn sets out to squash the stereotypes, by celebrating design’s ability to better the world we live in, especially in light of its currently tumultuous future. Arguing that design is a powerful force in all of our lives, she questions why it is often dismissed as a “manipulative commercial ploy”.

Clash-pub-int-list Work / Publication Individual and creative freedom is the lifeblood of the summer edition of Clash

Clash #108 is themed around freedom; “individual and creative freedom is the lifeblood of the summer edition of Clash”, creative director Rob Meyers tells It’s Nice That, “in this issue, we praise the inspiring artists that assert their own unique essence through inventive and distinctive means of expression”. The four cover stars traverse the four poles of what Clash represents musically — high profile pop music, hip-hop/urban music, independent music and a “next wave” artist, and each musician stands true to the theme.

List-img-accent-mag Work / Publication Accent Magazine on mocking, mimicking and surpassing the mainstream

Since its launch as an online photography journal in 2013, the look, feel and approach of Accent Magazine has been constantly evolving. In its fourth print issue, which launched last month, Accent editors Lydia Garnett and Lucy Nurnberg, and art director Luke Tudor Griffiths, are doing their own spin on the celebrity gossip magazine, drawing inspiration from the likes of dentist-waiting-room-giants Hello! and OK!

List_climbing_the_ladder_2018_oil_on_canvas_40_x_55cm Work / Art Mia Wilkinson’s unapologetic nudes are a study of how women are sexualised on and offline

From Marlene Dumas, to Jeff Koons or even Titian, the line between what constitutes art and what is porn has been much debated over the centuries and rarely has a simple answer. With their voluptuous, fleshy figures and expressive brush strokes, Mia Wilkinson’s depictions of the female form are an exploration of this malleable line, using her joyous, powerful and sometimes grotesque portrayals of the female body as a method of challenging male objectification and reconfiguring the gaze. “I love the female form because it’s an interesting shape, it doesn’t all look the same. There are so many different bodies out there,” she says.

Ally-cappelino-list Work / Advertising David Lane and Agnes Lloyd-Platt go back to school for Ally Capellino’s AW18 campaign

Photographer Agnes Lloyd-Platt and creative director David Lane, of Lane and Associates, have teamed up once again to bring us the latest campaign for accessories brand Ally Capellino. Each one is set in a distinct and authentic world (you might remember last season’s which was shot in a garden, or the previous one set in a restaurant kitchen) and this is usually determined by the founder herself. “We tend to take whatever Ally is obsessing about and run with it” explains Agnes (who is also Ally’s daughter); the concept for the SS15 campaign, for instance — which paired models with different pastel-coloured shades of hair, with accessories in corresponding colours — was inspired by the fact Ally herself had pink hair that week.

Diary_july_724x474 Regulars / Diary July diary: this month's must-see events and exhibitions

Summer is officially in full swing, and we’re enjoying the long evenings and our fair share of ice creams here at It’s Nice That. It’s not just the sun that’s getting us excited for July, however, as there are a host of art shows and exhibitions taking place around the UK and the rest of the world. From Michael Jackson’s impact on the art world, to an investigation on how Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighbourhood has changed over the last 20 years, check out the It’s Nice That team’s top picks for July below. h3. Michael Jackson: On the Wall
28 June — 21 October 2018
National Portrait Gallery, London

Hellocollective-art-int-list Work / Art Hell’O Collective paints poetic nonsensical worlds inspired by mythology

Hell’O Collective is an artistic duo composed of Jerôme Meyden and Antoine Detaille; the friends met over graffiti, but soon left “spray paint in favour of paper” and painting. Currently on show at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Mons, a Belgium city where they both studied, is a presentation of their “last, or first” ten years of work. Too young for it to be called “a retrospective”, the duo describe it more as a “state of play”. Being their first museum project, it features a diverse range of mediums — drawings, paintings, sculptures, videos and murals. It illustrates the collective’s evolution over the course of the last ten years. “Homogeneity is one of the most important things we have developed” Jerôme and Antoine explain, “it is not easy for a lot of people to work together, but for us, it’s easier than working alone; after all these years we’ve found almost the perfect combination”.

Holliefernando-12--photography-itsnicethat Work / Photography An exclusive look at Hollie Fernando's series documenting her brother's pre-teenage years

Over the past year, London-based photographer Hollie Fernando has been taking the most thoughtfully candid portraits of her younger brother, Max. Hollie’s brother is 12 years younger than her, but the age gap and a sibling in-between (who is also a regular muse of the photographer’s) the two hasn’t stopped the pair from being close, incredibly close really.

Steve-smith-animation-itsnicethat-list Work / Animation Steve Smith's music video for Moaning references the chaotic energy of 90s MTV idents

Sometimes it only takes a few seconds before we’re completely sold on a piece of work and that was definitely the case with Los Angeles-based animator Steve Smith’s latest video. We last wrote about Steve in February of this year where he explained how his work is inspired by “Home Depot and his dog, Shoe” and we’ve been hooked ever since.

List09_sha_svaneti_georgia_full_3500_2016-4416 Work / Photography Natasha Sharapova on shooting the last two inhabitants of a rural village in Georgia

Svaneti, an area in the north-west of Georgia, is a place quite unlike anywhere else. Tucked in the rare habitable pockets of the Caucasus mountains (sometimes even clinging to the sides), its villages are a patchwork of higgledy-piggledy dirt tracks complete with free-range cows, bear-like mountain dogs and the hairiest of pigs. Medieval defensive towers punctuate the landscape, built as places for the whole village to wait out enemy invaders – a tactic that worked so well that the Svan language, polyphonic singing style and many of its unique customs (blood feuds included) were just as impossible to conquer as the mountains themselves. The nearest town Mestia is between three and five hours of stomach-churning roads away, and in the harsh winter metres of snow damage this one road so completely that it needs to be laid again every spring. Here you can try to domesticate nature, but it has a will all of its own.

Listthe_twins_220x190_oil_on_canvas_2018 Work / Art Francisco Rodríguez’s eerie paintings combine his childhood diet of cartoons and industrial landscapes

Growing up in Santiago, Chile, artist Francisco Rodríguez loved watching cartoons from the US and Europe but especially from Japan. “Japanese animation was extraordinarily famous during the 90s in Chile, maybe because they were cheaper to buy,” Francisco tells us. “Throughout my childhood, I was very influenced by these cartoons – it makes me think this could be one of the reasons why my paintings are quite graphic with solid colours and very delimited drawings.”

Listioanna11 Work / Photography Photographer Ioanna Sakellaraki's Aidos series explores the importance of shame in Greek culture

“With regards to Greek culture, shaming is a lifelong tradition for positioning someone in society,” says photographer Ioanna Sakellaraki about her decision to focus on the emotion of shame for her series Aidos. “I felt this was a big part of my education while growing up back home. I was aware of it then but was only able to observe it while living abroad and visiting the country sporadically. Photography helped me question this and better understand it.”

Ashleyarmitage-advert-int-list Work / Advertising Photographer Ashley Armitage directs the first-ever shaving advert to feature female body hair

It’s no secret that female product commercials tend to recycle the same, tired clichés. Shaving commercials feature women pointlessly shaving already hairless armpits and unrealistically stone-smooth legs. Chicago-based photographer, Ashley Armitage, has teamed up with Billie, a female-first shave and body brand, to produce the first ever advert to feature women’s body hair. Long overdue, the commercial sees girls reclaiming and celebrating natural beauty. Set to Princess Nokia’s “Tomboy”, Ashley describes her directional debut as “dreamy, playful and lighthearted”, and it appreciates women for what they are, rather than pushing them towards unrealistic, ridiculous ends.

Amandaeliasson-snowwhitecologne-animation-itsnicethat-2list Work / Animation Amanda Eliasson's powerful animation reflects on the painful reality of drug abuse

Channel 4, The Barbican and School of Life; these are just some of animation director Amanda Eliasson’s clients. With her vibrant style and abstract compositions, it’s no wonder Amanda has attracted attention from some of the creative industry’s most respected institutions. Despite graduating with an MA from the Royal College of Art in 2017, animation wasn’t always on the cards for Amanda. Initially, the young animator applied to train as an air traffic controller but sent an application to Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm on the side. It was during her time at the Swedish design school that Amanda fell in love with animation and the exciting narrative opportunities it offered her.

Listpg_13 Work / Publication Dark Igloo’s book Centerhold celebrates the hand modelling of Playboy magazine (NSFW)

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Playboy was having a moment. Yes, there were tits but there were also excellent writers (Doris Lessing, Vladimir Nabokov, Ray Bradbury) and interviews with the likes of Miles Davis, Malcolm X and James Baldwin. The rigorous attention afforded to its literary output also extended to its art direction, with set designers and stylists creating lavish Renaissance-style backdrops for its models to lounge in.

Michaeljamesfox-plastics-photography-itsnicethat-7list Work / Photography Michael James Fox's latest book is an unlikely celebration of plastic bags

Plastics is the unlikely celebration of plastic bags and, more generally, plastic objects that have caught photographer Michael James Fox’s eye over the years. Michael spent his childhood reading skate magazines and watching videos of peers with similar interests. Michael’s interest in photography was sparked when a friend gained access to a VHS camera. As time went by, Michael’s attention shifted from film to photography, the latter of which continues to interest him today. “Video making led me to photography when I was 16,” Michael tells It’s Nice That. “At that time I was obsessed with MC Escher and Dali, I wanted to create surreal images of my own. In the darkroom I sandwiched negatives together, experimented with blurring and even painted on prints.” It is safe to say that abstraction continues to be at the heart of Michael’s practice.

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