Jade Ratcliffe

Jade RatcliffeSeptember 23, 2015


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Joana Groba Casillas, 23, has just completed her masters’ degree at Chelsea college of Art and Design, displaying a piece titled Identitatis at the postgraduate summer show. As migrants attempt to find safety away from the current warzone in Syria, it has touched the hearts of many, and inspired Joana to show the other side of the ocean. Born in Columbia but residing in Madrid throughout most of her life, it is a passionate topic for her. She tells Chelsea Monthly all about her recent exhibition, the inspirations for it and what’s next for her conceptual work.

Can you tell us a bit more about your piece?

The piece that I did was for the MA fine art show at Chelsea. It’s an installation, which has two pieces, a video and a mural. It’s adapted to a specific space of 5mx5m and one of the walls has a mirror vinyl attached. The projection of the sea is projected into that mirror and reflected back into a mural made out of concrete.

How did you come up with that idea?

It’s a whole year investigation; I started researching about identity and origins of ethnicity. And I ended up with the concept of migration and identity on the migration. Especially with the whole situation in Spain and the south of Europe with migration and the constant cases of people travelling and passing away trying to cross the ocean. Because I live in Spain, I go to the coast quite often. I guess the concept of the sea is quite different and I was able to interview someone that was in contact with that situation. His concept of the sea was completely different; he would say that the sea was a graveyard and because he was there helping people get out of boats, I guess that was strong imagery. Most people don’t see that, they see a relaxing environment, peaceful even. When it actually doesn’t completely reflect that.

You can tell that a lot of thought has gone into your piece; you even incorporated the seawater that contains the DNA of deceased migrants?

I mixed the water of the Mediterranean with the cement, so the actual cement would contain that water and it would be concrete. The sea that is projected is also the sea of the Mediterranean.

How did the exhibition go?

I think it went pretty well, the preview on the first night was pretty full. I think that was the worst night for people to actually see work because there were too many people. But I had really good feedback, even to the last day there were quite a lot of people coming through.

So, this piece has taken you a year to complete along with the idea?

This concept was a bit more recent because I had been exploring more of the concept of ethnicity and classification.

Have you come across any struggles with this exhibition?

Oh, yes! First of all the size. This was the first time I’d actually used concrete. I had serveral problems with the ratio of water and because its sea water I guess the hardness varies, so you have to do several trials. And then once you do there’s the weight, to move it around and find a wall that’s strong enough for it to lean over.

Are there any artists that inspired this idea?

It’s not so much the idea, but the way of portraying all of this, its conceptual rather than literal. For Adrian Piper, Santiago Sierra and Dora Garcia, its more about the concept than the actual idea, I guess any artist that works in this way was a big inspiration.

What’s been your favourite piece that you’ve worked on?

I have several different lines of work; this is all about identity and origins. And I did several urban interventions for Space, public space and the concept of exclusion, where I take ground and reconfigure pathways. That was fun because you get to see the reactions of people when they avoid or play around with those marks in the ground.

Are you working on anything right now?

I quite interested in continuing working with the cement. But its not like I follow a pattern, my pieces don’t have similarities in the materials from one piece to another, it’s more about the concept that actually flows.

Do you have any more exhibitions aligned for the coming months?

Well right now I’m looking forward to moving back to London mid October time. I’m staying with a couple of MA students to curate a show outside of Chelsea, but that would be around November time. But yeah any show that comes up really. We’re also working with Chelsea salon.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I would want to project myself, seeing myself working in Madrid, well not working but establishing Madrid by producing more for either London or New York. I would probably like to be associated with a particular gallery and push myself like Oscar Murillo did.

Is Oscar Murillo someone that you look up to?

Yeah, he’s a young Columbian artist, that made smart choices enabling him to become well recognised. He was selected by one of the most influential curators at the moment, Okwui Enwezor for the Venice Biennale 2015.

What enticed you to come over to London for your postgraduate degree?

There is more opportunity for showing work and exhibiting, but also its more open to a younger market. It’s a big city, which is constantly alive. The vibe pushed me to want to go to London.

Have you received any negative feedback that may have deterred your ambitions?

With my work they usually don’t tell you. Someone recently said it was too conceptual. But art is changing a lot, it’s diverting into that art that is commercial and conceptual. The work that is shown for the experience of watching or seeing, whereas others are made to observe as it’s hanging in your living room.

What made you want to study art? Has it always been a passion?

Yeah, there was never a moment I doubted that this was what I wanted.

Do you have any advice for other budding artists?

Apply to everything you can, every contest, every residency, everything you can. most importantly always be honest with everything you do!






Jade RatcliffeSeptember 21, 2015


Vinyl bar, Turntable is trendy, swish and known for hosting unforgettable events with world famous DJs. On Thursday 24th September former Radio 1 DJ and Cream resident Seb Fontaine, will be performing at stylish central London bar and restaurant from 6.30pm-1.00am.

Over the summer Seb has been in high demand, being pulled back and forth between venues on the festival front. But it’s no wonder he’s the name on every ones lips! Last year he orchestrated after-parties in Singapore for Aerosmith and CeeLo Green, as well as recently playing at Twickenham to a record breaking 78,000 fans at the World Sevens.

Seb has held numerous high-profile House residencies at prestigious clubs including Hanover Grand, Ministry Of Sound and Cream. On top of releasing several best-selling compilation albums and over 50 hits, he opened for J-Lo in Dubai at the Meydan World Cup. You may remember him from presenting a weekly show on Radio One or DJing at ‘The Brits’ after party for Sony Music earlier this year.

His musical enthusiasm and knowledge blends a fabulous mix of styles both old and new, which makes his Turntable show a must-see. Dine on a succulent two-course masterpiece and quench your thirst with a delicious glass of wine, before discovering music to your ears with Seb’s world famous electric house grooves in a one off event.

Due to popular demand you’ll have to act fast! Tickets are on a first come first serve basis and are selling like hot cakes. Get yours now for just £39, which includes a two-course meal, glass of wine and night to remember.

Seb Fontaine is playing at Turntable 7-9 Norwich Street, EC4 1EJ on Thursday, September 24 from 8.30pm-10.30pm.

Turntable restaurant is open Tuesdays-Fridays noon-3pm and 6.30pm-11.30pm, with the bar open from 5pm-1am Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 5pm-3am Thursdays and Fridays.

For reservations please call 020 7112 9179 or email reservations@turntable.london









Jade RatcliffeSeptember 21, 2015


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maldivesThe Maldives is known for it’s famous white beaches and clear blue seas. A place of tranquillity, romance and luxury, almost 100,000 Britain’s chose to escape there every year. But it hasn’t always been the haven that it is today.

This year the Republic of Maldives celebrated their golden jubilee of independence, after their defence pact with Britain came to an end.

Dunya Maumoon
Dunya Maumoon

During the Second World War the country supported Britain by giving them a strategic outpost, helping to protect them from the threat of the Japanese attack. In return Britain would pay £2000 a year and take control of the foreign affairs for the island, protecting them from colonial expansion.

Now, 50 years later both countries are at peace and continue to
give mutual respect. Instead of using one another’s islands as protectorates, they’re put to
use as luxury holidays and new homes.
Former senior minister of state for the foreign and commonwealth office, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi said “When I was the minister of Pakistan in government, I saw both the respect for the Briti
h position as it is now, but also a real understanding of the history of the partnership that those countries have, and I see that same respect and understanding when it comes the United Kingdom and the Maldives.”

“The partnership between the UK and Maldives has enormous potential and can be of mutual benefit. Encountering terrorism, organised crime and other non-traditional security threats, I strongly believe that our partnership can be further expanded and consolidated in these areas in the coming years and we very much look forward to working with the UK in this regard.”- Current minister of foreign affairs for the government of Maldives, Dunya Maumoon commented.

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Baroness Sayeeda Warsi

This year also marks the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta (Great Charter), one of the most important documents of medieval England in regards to the legal system. Written in Latin and signed by King John, it is considered one of the leading advancements taken towards establishing parliamentary democracy and equality.

The Magna Carta is still used to this day; the basic human rights and freedom can be seen in every constitution and political party.

Dunya Maumoon stated, “The last constitution in 2008, set in motion a multi party political system with several independent institutions, these institutions are still young and require careful nurturing and the support and encouragement from everyone concerned in order for them to gain the maturity necessary for a fully functioning democracy”.

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