ASFF Top Ten Films by Female Filmmakers

The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) opens in just over a week, and is a celebration of excellence in short film right across the board. As the festival is the brainchild of our fabulous editor, Cherie, we’re extremely proud of how many great female filmmakers will be screening at the festival, and as a tribute to them, here’s our top ten for this year’s festival. Take a look at the stunning stills from some of the films and be sure to look out for all the following films next week from 9 – 11 November across the City of York.

Nelli Palomäki: Sons of Nakhimov, The Wapping Project Bankside, London

The Wapping Project Bankside latest exhibition features Finnish artist Nelli Palomäki’s latest series Sons of Nakhimov for the first time in the UK, following recent exhibitions at Les Rencontres d’Arles and KulturhusetSons of Nakhimov is a series of large scale, black & white portraits of young pupils from the Nakhimov Naval Academy, a Russian military school in St Petersburg and opens on 9 November.

ASFF Preview: Drama Screening 13

There are still tickets available for the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF), and out of the 200 short films lined up to be screened across the City of York, Screening 13 is set to be on the more experimental side of the Drama genre. Along with masterclasses from members of Raindance, BAFTA, Warp Film and Channel 4, Screening 13 will make up an inspiring weekend of film in York. Running from the 9 – 11 November, Screening 13 will be shown at St William’s College. Aesthetica takes a look at what visitors can expect.

BFI’s Film Costume Archive at the V&A, London

Hollywood Costume, the V&A’s autumn exhibition explores the central role costume design plays in cinema storytelling. In collaboration with the BFI, the collection brings together over 500 of the most iconic movie costumes from across a century of filmmaking.

Arte Povera: The Great Awakening, Kunstmuseum, Basel

Arte Povera, formed in Italy with famous artists such as Alighiero Boetti, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz and Michelangelo Pistoletto. Characterised by the use of simple means and poorer materials such as earth, glass, branches, fluorescent or wax, it contrasts to the increasingly technological and environmental controls on the production mechanisms of mass culture. The Goetz Collection is one of the most comprehensive collections of this most innovative and effective arts movement and is exhibiting at Kunstmuseum Basel until 3 February 2013.


The ASFF Top Ten Highlights

It’s just 10 days to go until the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) opens. The City of York is gearing up to present a celebration of short film and the genius filmmakers behind them. Including masterclasses, the four day festival is one of a kind within the UK and the Aesthetica team have chosen their highlights, see the top ten here.

Art Toronto Opens Today

Starting today and running for the next three days until 29 October, Toronto will be submerged in art as it opens it’s premiere art fair. Art Toronto is Canada’s only contemporary and modern international art fair and will exhibit work from more than a 100 leading and emerging galleries from 23 countries. With over 20,000 collectors, curators, and art enthusiasts expected to arrive, this weekend is set to be an exciting moment for art in Toronto. Based on the theme, Focus ASIA, this is Art Toronto’s biggest fair yet.


ASFF Interview: Mark Davenport, Photoshopping

Featuring in the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) 2012, Mark Davenport’s Photoshopping is a film about fame, obession and cynicism. From 9 - 11 November Photoshopping will be screened with 22 other comedies at 1331 in the centre of York. The total number of films being screened at ASFF will be over 200 and will cover several genres, including music video, animation, documentary, artist films, experimental, drama and thriller. On 9 November York will also be home to eleven masterclasses from experts in the film field, including a discussion of art on film with Ed Atkins. We catch up with, Mark Davenport, to get the inside story on Photoshopping.


Interview with visionary filmmaker Ben Charles Edwards and his leading lady, Sadie Frost in his new film The Actress.

The Smallsa renowned short film community which supports and advocates independent filmmaking, and visionary filmmaker, Ben Charles Edwards have teamed up to collaborate on a short film starring Sadie Frost, Sally Phillips, Perry Benson and Morgana Robinson. The Actress is a story of a shooting star who refuses to fade away or go gently into that good night, tumbling from genre to genre in scenes taking in the silent era, film noir, ’70s sci-fi sexploitation and ’90s sitcom land, depicting the desperate attempt to outsmart and outrun the apparition of death itself. An intensely poignant short film, The Actress beautifully highlights the transient nature of the film industry from an actresses perspective. Aesthetica spoke to Ben and Sadie about the film and their plans for the future.

William Klein: Paintings Etc, Review, HackelBury Fine Art, London

William Klein, an American who has spent most of his life in Paris, can be compared to the Lost Generation expatriate artists and writers such as Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Man Ray who flocked to the city in search of creative fulfilment and the bohemian lifestyle infused throughout its bars, cafes, and studios. He found a second home in the city, and it was here where he embarked on his artistic journey as a painter, film-maker, and photographer. Klein’s early paintings hint at an influence of the abstracted figural and still life works of Picasso, and by the graphics and designs of Bauhaus and Mondrian that later led to his mural paintings; while his fashion photography encapsulates the raw energy exuded by the streets of Paris.

ASFF New Trailer Out Now

With less than a month to go the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) has just launched it’s new trailer. Featuring clips from a selection of the 200 films set to be screened, the trailer provides an insight into the innovative collection of short thrillers, comedies, documentaries, dramas, experimental pieces and artistic films. Running 8 until 11 November, Friday 9 will play host to several masterclasses across the city of York. One of these will be the Panel Discussion, an industry masterclass discussing the subject of Film Criticism, with Jason Wood, contributor to Sight & Sound Magazine, Matt Bochenski, Editor of Little White Lies, and Professor Ginette Vincendeau of King’s College London. Those with an interest in journalism, academic criticism or writing more generally will benefit from the expertise of these highly respected figures as they engage in discussion with likeminded writers and filmmakers.

ASFF, 8 – 11 November, across the city of York.

Film courtesy of Aesthetica Short Film Festival.


Review of The What-ifs: Fiona Ni Mhaoilir, Platform Arts Belfast

The What-Ifs exhibition at Platform Arts in Belfast examines the interconnectivity of art in society and it’s relationship with the built environment. In addition the artist Fiona Ni Mhaoilir employs humour to parody the preconceptions associated with the reverence accorded to academic theory. The exhibition runs until 27 October.


ASFF Announces its Artist Film Programme for 2012

The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) will opening in venues across the city of York, UK, from the 8-11 November this year. Hosted by Aesthetica Magazine, the international arts and culture publication, this year’s ASFF will exhibit the festival’s strong links with the world of contemporary art, showcasing an enticing and varied line-up of Artists Films and related masterclasses that will allow new audiences to experience the latest developments in this increasingly prominent medium.


Review of Frieze Masters

The differences between Frieze London and Frieze Masters are undoubtedly the atmosphere in which they are housed and the context and authorship of the work presented. The luxurious serenity that one is greeted with at Frieze Masters means that there are fewer and more intimate crowds catching up and working in a secluded manner. Prevailing all around is a great sense of maturity as a calm wave of reflection and consideration infects the people and the space. The galleries here are not so much interested in selling and examining their standing within the art world but merely to allow a serene appreciation of the work they have to offer. Unlike Frieze London, Frieze Masters is a showcase for art from history. Surprisingly a great deal of the work is Pop Art which unstably cushions itself within the established spiritual silence constructed specifically for the benefit of the viewers as they perpetually gaze into the uncontested works of genius. This allures to the question: can Pop Artists be considered “masters”? The titling of the fair appears to heavily reference Old Masters, who were European and worked before the 19th century. This will inevitably split audiences, but intriguingly one cannot deny Pop Art’s importance and transgressing nature within the history of modern art.


ASFF Interview: Leanne Welham, Nocturn

Featuring in part of the Drama stream at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) Leanne Welham’s film Nocturn is a piece about insomnia and suburbia.  From 9-11 November Nocturn will appear in multiple venues across York, at the Mansion House and St William’s College. Aesthetica speaks to Welham about her innovative film and the inspiration behind it.

Celebrate 20 Years Of The BFI Film Classics

To mark the 20th anniversary of the BFI Film Classics series, BFI have teamed up with a variety of rising stars from the design world to produce a limited edition, collectible set of twelve books on some of the most iconic films ever made. The set includes popular titles from the BFI Film Classic series including Citizen Kane, The Wizard of Oz and Vertigo as well as some exciting new additions such as Snow White, The Conformist and La Regle du Jeu.

Tim Walker: Story Teller, London Somerset House

Photographer Tim Walker’s new exhibition, Story Teller, supported by Mulberry, opens today at Somerset House in London. Mulberry managed to get inside the exhibition a day early to take shots of the exhibition and give you an exclusive look.


Review of Shelter: Rashid Johnson, South London Gallery

South London Gallery has given “Shelter” to New York-based artist Rashid Johnson’s first solo exhibition in London, running until 25 November. Visiting Johnson’s “salon” (created to mimic a psychotherapy practice) encourages contemplation and reflection  of the definition of art objects and the meaning behind cultural experiences. Johnson’s artworks, which have been identified with the post-black art movement, meditate on the cultural phenomena that shape African-Americans as a social group. Inspired by a diverse array of visual artists, actors, musicians, writers, activists, and philosophers, including W. E. B. Du Bois, Joseph Beuys, Joseph Cornell, Parliament Funkadelic and Sun Ra, Johnson engages with questions of personal, racial, and cultural identity through his work, producing an amalgamation of historical and material references grounded in art and African-American history.

Dazed & Confused: The Art Issue

Iris Apfel, the iconic 91-year-old fashion muse, is on the cover of Dazed & Confused’s new art special. Shot by Jeff Bark at Apfel’s home in Manhattan and styled by Robbie Spencer in Rei Kawakubo’s 2D Comme des Garcons collection, you can watch this incredible film and now pick the mag up from shops everywhere.

ASFF Comedy Preview: Cockatoo

Featuring in less than a month at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival  (ASFF), Cockatoo is part of the Comedy screening. Produced by Ninja Milk and directed by Matthew Jenkin, Cockatoo has already proved immensely popular and scooped up a handful of awards including Best Original Screen Play at Flickerfest, Best Foreign Director at Outbox International Film Festival and Audience Favourite Award at Blue Mountains Film Festival. Ambigiously described as, “sometimes it’s best to let sleeping birds lie…”, Cockatoo will be screened alongside 22 other comedies, and 200 other films at ASFF on 9-11 November in York. Besides the films there will be several masterclasses, including It’s Never Been a Better Time to be a Filmmaker hosted by Chris Jones, Director of London Screenwriters’ Festival.

Aesthetica Short Film Festival, 8-11 November, across the City of York.  

CHANEL in London: The Little Black Jacket

CHANEL’s photographic exhibition dedicated to Karl Lagerfeld’s latest book, The Little Black Jacket: CHANEL’s classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld, opened at the Saatchi Gallery in London on 12th October. 

Review of Roads to Wigan Pier, Impressions Gallery, Bradford

That short walk from Bradford Interchange to Impressions Gallery takes the visitor along a stretch of streets lined with 1960s, somewhat brutalist, “typewriter” edifices interspersed with, at points, decaying testaments to Victorian, industrial, textile zeal and innovation. While those decaying columns and arches seem to foreshadow one of the themes at play in Roads to Wigan Pier – the effects of de-industrialisation – the almost clinical sterility of that 60s architectural brutality seems to augur another: the alienating effects of impersonal domestic dwellings. An island of positive hope emerges at the end of this journey: Centenary Square. Here, we find the excellent Bradford Town Hall facing a terrace of bars and eateries with outside seating complete with parasols to satisfy the aspiring civility of our contemporary quasi-Mediterranean sensibilities. Housed above a portion of this terrace is the gallery. In November 1972, Impressions Gallery began as an above-shop room in the City of York. It moved to Bradford in 2007. To mark the gallery’s fortieth year, as a vital promoter of photography in Britain and beyond, a highly potent and thought-provoking exhibition from the archive is currently being presented. First shown in October 1984, Roads to Wigan Pier consists of the work of six then newly graduated students. They took Orwell’s seminal work, The Road to Wigan Pier as their starting point and documented social aspects of the North of England.

Interview: Rupert Blanchard on

London Designer and maker Rupert Blanchard creates bespoke furniture from discarded drawers, secondhand pieces and scrap material, but is adamant that his work should not be considered part of the upcycling trend. In 2011 Blanchard won ‘Best Product Design’ at The British Design Awards, and during London Design Festival he opened up his East London studio as part of the Shoreditch Design Triangle. Blanchard takes on a day out to visit some of his favourite local haunts around London’s Brick Lane and Bethnal Green including a welder, a junkshop and a scrapyard and let’s us know why sneaking out of the house as a teenager inspired his future career.


Toby Ziegler, Q-Park, London

For ten days, during Frieze Art Fair, contemporary British artist Toby Ziegler in association with Simon Lee Galley, has installed a site specific exhibition in the basement of Q Park, a car park space accessed by lift and concealed fourteen floors below street level on Old Burlington Street.


Hilary and Marcus Hammond: Regrouping

One of the first things Marcus Hammond did when he bought a church in the middle of the “wrong side of town”  in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, was paint its front doors hot pink. The deconsecrated church – built in 1880, and turned into one of the region’s largest dedicated arts spaces in 2006 – sits like a shipwreck on the shore of Gainsborough’s suburban streets. A town whose “regeneration” catch cry has weakened under recent economic hardships, and where “art” is considered a curiosity. But that’s the way Marcus Hammond Co-Director of BendInTheRiver likes it.


The Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Opening in Less Than a Month

There is now less than one month to go until the opening of The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF). The festival will present a sparkling selection of screenings, premieres and masterclasses in venues across the city of York, UK, from the 8-11 November this year. The programme can now be found online at, where tickets are also available.

Multiplied Fair 2012, London

Featuring a carefully curated selection of 41 international contemporary galleries, Multiplied opens today and will run until 15 October. Christie’s, South Kensington, will be home to the UK’s only contemporary prints and editions art fair.


Frieze Art Fair, Review

With over 175 of the world’s contemporary art galleries exhibiting under one roof Frieze art fair is notoriously exhausting and fair fatigue can quickly set in. Somehow this year it didn’t, which is quite a telling point for the success of the fair so far.

ASFF Interview: David Fairhead, Long Journey Home

The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is opening in just over one month,  Aesthetica takes the time to interview the filmmakers screening films at ASFF this year. David Fairhead is the man behind The Long Journey Home.

Moniker Art Fair, London

An installation based exhibition, the Moniker Art Fair, will be running in Shoreditch, Village Underground,  from 11 until 14 October. Each artist takes up a designated space to showcase and advertise their work. Refusing to sit within the usual art fair format, each space will be individually curated, presenting creativity across the board. Moniker continues to develop the integration of contemporary and urban art worlds, giving guests exposure to a diverse array of artists.

40th Anniversary Exhibition: Roads to Wigan Pier, Impressions Gallery, Bradford

In November 1972 Impressions Gallery opened in a room above a shop in York with their first ever exhibition. As one of the first specialist photography galleries in Europe it has gone on to play a vital role in championing photography and has had a huge impact on the development of the photographic culture in Britain. To mark this occasion Anne McNeill, Director of Impressions, has selected from the gallery’s archive an exhibition first shown in October 1984.

Steve Lazarides: Bedlam, Old Vic Tunnels

Gallery owner Steve Lazarides’ latest exhibition Bedlam in association with HTC at the Old Vic Tunnels runs until the 21 October. The Lazarides Gallery relishes in fusing art and the experiential, and this show perhaps one of the gallery’s darkest to date. Inspired by a historic mental asylum just 500 yards away from the underground venue, Lazarides has used the tunnel’s atmosphere to display the work of artists such as Doug Foster, who’s hypnotic virtual mandala projected onto the tunnel’s celling can gaze at whilst lying on a fake bed of grass. Now a resident exhibitor at Lazarides shows, Antony Miscallef’s mutilated self-portraits dismantle the dark depths of the human psyche. Bedlam exhibition runs until the 21 October.

Franz West: Man with a Ball, London

Man with a Ball, is opening tomorrow at the Gagosian Gallery, London. Running until November 10, this major sculpture exhibition was prepared by Franz West up until his untimely death earlier this summer.  Refusing to accept the passive relationship between artwork and viewer, West focused on the development of Actionist and Performance Art. West’s work is imposing and intense and yet still light-hearted and full of freedom, work where form and function complete one another- rather than being mutually exclusive.

Review of Artist Rooms: August Sander, Leicester

Women, hands, men, tools, children, meandering rivers, eyes, mountains, mouths, the sky, distant homes, artists, death, power, poverty, ignorance, loneliness, circus people, smiles, suits, frowns, overalls, coats, ankles, shoes, frocks and souls. August Sander’s photographs encompass all emotions and circumstances that have long been endured by people of both disadvantaged and privileged backgrounds alike. Now all those endured emotions and circumstances, precisely 175 photographs, are at the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in the heart of Leicester waiting to be internalised by the art-lovers of the 21st century.

Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, National Gallery of Art, Washington

Think art, think primary colours, think thousands of tiny dots and you’ll conclude with the definer and refiner of pop art, Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997). For the first time since his death, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, are presenting the largest exhibition of Lichtenstein’s paintings, drawings and sculptures. Over 100 works will fill the exhibition, providing an overview of Lichtenstein’s influential career. Opening on October 14 and running until January 13, 2013, A Retrospective spans Lichestein’s expansive legacy, including his classic early pop art paintings, his distorted versions of paintings by the modern masters, and a series of Brushstrokes, Mirrors, Artist’s Studios, Nudes, and Landscapes in a Chinese Style.   


Necrospective Review, Grand Union, Birmingham

As the heated embers of the summer sun are suddenly dashed with September’s miserable icy rain an unexpected feeling of excitement and elation is bestowed upon the city of Birmingham. Perhaps, this is due to influx of young fresh faced students at the start of a new academic year? Possibly. However the sudden rise of the Birmingham art scene has, with multiple projects and collaborations, become extremely successful. New exhibitions are being launched on mass and have stirred up a frenzy of artists and curators descending upon the derelict factories and industrial spaces to spearhead their ideas in to realities. It is here that one of the lesser known, and thoroughly underrated galleries operates. Grand Union is an artist run non-profit exhibition space. Their current exhibition NECROSPECTIVE, is an examination of violence and acting out within today’s society and how this is further portrayed within new age technology and the media. However the underlying theme of violence and conflict is beautifully orchestrated and pushed to the limits with the relationship between mediums and space.

Turner Prize 2012 Review

Huge, intricate, graphite drawings of suggestive landscapes housing strange architecture… a film weaving together the life of Scottish Psychiatrist RD Laing and the life of the artist himself… a video and sound installation of eerily synced music, sound samples, visuals and archive, and a ritualistic theatrical performance featuring an oracle in the form of a mandrake root plus an inflatable slide. This is The Turner Prize 2012, in the year of royal jubilation, sport spectacle and debt, where all eyes are on London. Expectations, as always, are high as the four finalists’ works are revealed at Tate Britain, London.

Interview with New Sensations Curator, Rebecca Wilson, London

New Sensations is due to open on October 9. Showcasing the best in graduate talent, New Sensations, developed by the Saatchi Gallery, is aimed at shining a light on the best emerging artists. Alongside the exhibition will be Channel 4′s The Future Can Wait, an ambitious presentation of young artists offering an alternative experience to the traditional gallery and art fair systems. Together, the two shows make up the largest exhibition of developing art to take place during London’s Frieze Week. Aesthetica speaks to the New Sensations curator, Rebecca Wilson.

830 Sign, The Italian Lifestyle Brand

Founded in 2008, 830 Sign incorporates streamlining trends with a modern take on classics. Always inspired by arts, architecture and anatomy, the collections appeal to versatile and avant-garde minds who truly understand their own sense of style.

Interview with Helen Stalker, Curator of Hockney to Hogarth, Whitworth Gallery, Manchester

Hockney to Hogarth, running from 6 October until 3 Febuary 2013, brings together the works of 18th century artist William Hogarth, and contemporary artist David Hockney, who both completed a series of works entitled A Rake’s Progress, with Hockney being inspired by Hogarth’s earlier sequence. It also features musical performances from Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, and a series of specially-commissioned poems. Aesthetica talks to the curator of the exhibition, Helen Stalker, in anticipation of its opening in a week’s time.