Thursday, April 28, 2016

UK Blog Awards 2016 #UKBA16 Finalist Hookedblog

Those of your following Hookedblog on twitter may have seen us tweeting about reaching the final stages of the UK Blog Awards 2016. There were 2,000 blogs selected this year and the #UKBA16 team counted 73,352 votes that were cast during the public voting round in January. Thanks to everyone who voted for us in this round and helped us get shortlisted for not one but two categories this year, Best Art & Culture Blog and Best Photography Blog

It's now the second year that we have been nominated for the UK Blog Awards. Our 2015 nomination for the Art & Culture Blog category saw us make it through the public vote and Hookedblog was one of ten blogs in the category shortlisted for the award. On the night we unfortunately didn't win the top spot but we were Highly Commended by the judges in this category alongside Natasha Nutall's blog Graphique Fantastique.

With less than 48 hours to go the excitement is beginning to build at Hookedblog HQ, the #UKBA16 invite has finally arrived in the post, new suit and shoes have been bought and we have taken delivery of a box of business cards! All ready to go for Friday nights award ceremony where the winners of the 2016 UK Blog Awards will be announced. The award ceremony will take on Friday 29th April at the Park Plaza Hotel in Westminster, London and we will be live tweeting from the event for those of you on Twitter. You can also follow our evening on Snapchat at Hookedblog Snapchat. You can connect with us on Twitter at @Hookedblog and follow the hashtag #UKBA16 to find out what happens next…

Below are the other finalists who have been shortlisted for the 2016 UK blog Awards – Arts & Culture category as well as the photography category, have a look you might another blog of interest to follow.

Arts & Culture Individual Shortlist

Audit's Pen -
Blazing Minds —
Film Doctor —
HCMovieReviews -
Hello Emma Kay —
Shelley Makes -
Making A Scene -
Slmpickings -
Urban Kultur Blog -

Photography Individual Shortlist

Bea's Cookbook -
Lifestyle District -
Feather & Film -
Year of Nature -
Creepers and Cupcakes -
Explore With Ed -
The Urban Explorer -
SR Photography -

Hookedblog would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all who made it through to the final stage of the process, not just in the Arts & Culture / Photography categories but everyone else too and we look forward to meeting you all there. Once again we want to thank you guys our readers who voted for us, we hope you continue to enjoy reading the blog. And don't forget to follow us on Twitter at @Hookedblog for all the news live on Friday night.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Marrakech and the MB6 Street Art Project


Art and travel are among two of our favourite things so when an email came through inviting us to the Marrakech Biennale we were pretty excited especially as it was the Moroccan Tourism Board who were extending the invitation to us.

Morocco has been on our list of places to visit for some time now and after a pretty grey London winter our vitamin D levels were in need of a top up and some North African sun was just what was called for!

Just under a four hour flight from London and we were landing in the impressive Marrakech Menara Airport. Unlike many of the budget airline routes that see you landing in airports miles outside the city where sometime the flight is shorter than travel time from the airport, Marrakech airport is conveniently located just 15 minutes outside the city. Our arrival in this beautiful city coincided with this years edition of the Marrakech Biennale now in its sixth year. Founded in 2004 by Vanessa Branson, the Biennale has since grown to become an internationally recognised event with a thriving visual art and literature programme now ranking among the top 20 biennales in the world.


This year's core programme has been curated by Reem Fadda, currently Associate Curator of Middle Eastern Art for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project. For the first time since the inauguration, Street Art formed an integral part of its programme in a form of 'parallel projects'. The MB6: Street Art parallel projects curated by Vestalia Chilton of ATOLL Art saw eleven international and local street artists invited to Morocco to participate in the project.

The artists who were invited to take part in the project included Mad C (Germany)(Previously on Hookedblog), Dotmaster (UK), Giacomo Bufarini aka RUN (Italy)(Previously on Hookedblog), Dag Insky (France), Kalamour (Morocco), Alexey Luka (Russia), LX.ONE (France), Lucy McLauchlan (UK), Remi Rough (UK)(Previously on Hookedblog), Sickboy (UK)(Previously on Hookedblog) and Yesbee (UK) who created murals in key public spaces which included the rooftops of the souks in the Medina (‘Gallery in the Sky’), the Bahia Palace area, the walls around Gueliz, the new part of Marrakech and in the city of Essaouira.

MADc_HOOKEDBLOG_7637_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEYMadC. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech 2016.

LUCY_HOOKEDBLOG_7559_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEY Lucy McLauchlan. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech 2016.

MAR01_HOOKEDBLOG_7555_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEY Alexey Luka. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech 2016.

REMIROUGH_HOOKEDBLOG_7616_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEY Remi Rough. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech 2016.



We were guests at the Sofitel Marrakech Palais Imperial during our Marrakech stay and we would like to thank Faical at the Morroco Tourist Board who hosted us during our Marrakech visit. We visited Marrakech on the 18th February, the Marrakech Biennale runs until the 8th May 2016. Stay tuned for the second part of our coverage of the MB6 Street Art project.

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ALL GOOD IN THE WOOD mural by London artist Ronzo in Wood Street, E17


East London — Woodstreet Walls have been giving their neighbourhood a fresh lick of paint throughout their month long Paint Your London event (Previously on Hookedblog),  an initiative to provide affordable work spaces for artist in East London.  The festival has seen them transform a number of bland and dreary buildings across Walthamstow, Leytonstone, Leyton & Chingford into colourful works of art. They have been achieving this with the help of some of the best local and international street artists, 20 in total who they have enlisted to help transform multiple locations over the duration of the event.

Hookedblog have already featured a number of the artists who have worked with Woodstreet Walls painting murals in the neighbourhood for their Paint Your London event including Louis Massai (Previously on Hookedblog), Remi Rough (Previously on Hookedblog) and most recently Maser (Previously on Hookedblog).

Artist and longtime friend of Hookedblog,  Ronzo was also among those invited by WoodStreet Walls to contribute to the event. Well known for his character design, Ronzo's monster characters and urban pigeon sculptures (Previously on Hookedblog) can still be seen hanging around Shoreditch. The artist worked on a number of ideas for his E17 mural located just a few minutes walk from the Wood Street train station next to The Duke pub. For his finished mural he chose to paint this fun masked urban fox character wielding a spray can, perhaps taking inspiration from the urban foxes that are now common sight here in London. Ronzo sent us over some of his initial sketches along with a making of video of him at work on the mural which you can check out below.

Some of Ronzo's initial rough sketches for his E17 urban fox character. (Image — ©Ronzo)

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Upfest partners with Mr Men Little Miss to create Mr Graff

Everyone favourite childhood story book characters Mr Men & Little Miss have officially partnered with Bristol based street graffiti festival Upfest to introduce a new member to the Mr Men family, check him out it's Mr Graff!

As part of Mr Men Little Miss’s 45th anniversary celebrations, the Mr Graff character has been designed by Bristol based graffiti artist Cheo who took inspiration from the festival and Bristol’s rich graffiti and street art scene. Plans are in place for a large scale version of this new character armed with a spray can to be painted live during the Upfest festival this year set to take place on 23rd- 25th July in Bristol.

Upfest Crowdfunding Campaign

Now in its 8th edition, Upfest have launched it's second crowdfunding campaign (see the video above) through to raise an additional £15,000 to help the festival team pay for the infrastructure to manage the 30,000 expected visitors. This will also enable the crew to give away additional materials to the festivals 300 attending artists who support themselves with flights and accommodation over the duration of the festival. Working with the venues of North Street, Bedminster Town Team and other festival supporters, they have already managed to secure £45,000 towards the festival production and are looking to festival fans for their support to make this festival even more epic!

Fans who support the crowd funding campaign will have the opportunity to get their hands on the exclusive festival print from Gemma Compton, hand crafted Upfest Oscar cans courtesy of Czee13 and other stunning works donated by Guy Denning, Inkie, Louis Masai, Oli-T, Rob Wass, SHOK-1 and Spzero76 to name but a few. An exclusive limited edition print of Mr Graff by Cheo will also be available as a reward until the 17th May.

Upfest 2016 Artist Line-up

The line-up will include 2016 festival artist Gemma Compton, city favourites, Inkie, Jody, Cheba & Cheo, the distinctive Spanish duo Pichi&Avo, the phenomenal Dutch 3D floor artist Leon Keer, non-conformist urban/stencil artist Fin DAC, the incredible anamorphic graffiti artist – Odeith, the Pioneer of Aerosol X-ray Art SHOK-1 (Previously on Hookedblog), Dutch abstract graffiti artist Mr June in search of the perfect form and London based artist Louis Masai (Previously on Hookedblog) who͛s distinctive creations have been described as a form of environmental activism painting alongside 300 other artists including;

310squad (Russia), BirdO (Canada), Caiacom (Luxembourg), Chinagirl Tile (Austria), Copyright (UK), Cosmo Sarson, Dale Grimshaw (UK), Dan Kitchener (UK)(Previously on Hookedblog), Danielle Clough (South Africa), DinDin (Belgium), Diogo Galvao (Brazil), DON (UK), Fake (Netherlands), Fanankapan (UK)(Previously on Hookedblog), Goin (France), Key Detail & U-baba (Belarus), Mas972 (Israel), Mr Cenz (UK)(Previously on Hookedblog), Majilina (Italy), Nomad Clan (UK), Pulso (Argentina), Rob Wass (UK), Rocket01 (UK), Sallaikonen (Finland), Sarab Jokhadar (Syrian), Sokar Uno (Germany), Spent1 (Greece), Spzero76 (Bristol), TakerOne (Hungary), Tankpetrol (Poland), T.wat (UK), The Orion (Romania), Voyder (Bristol)

For more information visit the festivals website and to donate to their campaign visit

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French female street artist Annabelle Tattu hits the streets of London

Annabelle Tattu Pasteups, London.

French female street artist Annabelle Tattu re-visited London last month leaving a series of new works across East London. We have previously seen some of the multidisciplinary artist's unique pasteup works which caught our eye around Shoreditch. With printed/photocopied street art pasteups all to common in London and beyond it is refreshing to see a series of hand drawn works from Tattu with no to pasteups alike in the new series.

According to Tattu, her dreamlike and fantastic universe is built from the dialogue that she establishes with her characters. She gives them life, creating their stories, multiplies and transforms, while they invade her mind and her space; formed of impulsive traits they seem like their own guide.

She continues to say that, "each work, drawing or painting, combines attention to detail, spontaneity of the line, gaiety and brightness of colors to express her emotions without restraint. Her oeuvre, unmatched in the urban art scene, brings new energy, sensitivity and poetry to a current scene still dominated by men"

Below are a selection of Annabelle's works we discovered from this visit.

  Annabelle Tattu Pasteups, London.Annabelle Tattu Pasteups, London.We could be mistaken but this character on the TV looks a lot like British sitcom character Mr.Bean!Annabelle Tattu Pasteups, London.Annabelle Tattu Pasteups, London. Annabelle Tattu Pasteups, London. Annabelle Tattu Pasteups, London.Annabelle Tattu Pasteups, London. Annabelle Tattu Pasteups, London.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Miniature sculptures on the streets of Ostend by artist Isaac Cordal for the Crystal Ship Festival


Belgian based Spanish artist and one time London resident Isaac Cordal was one of over 20 international and local artists invited to Ostend, Belgium to take part in the first edition of The Crystal Ship Festival with a project curated by the Nuart Festival (Previously on Hookedblog).

We first became aware of the artists work while he was based in London, running into him on the street one afternoon after we spotted him installing one of his miniature sculptures high up on a wall on Brick Lane in East London. We learned from the artists that these miniature interventions were part of his on-going series called Cement Eclipses which has seen the sculptures installed in public spaces around the world.

It’s been a few years since we last caught up with artist and friend Isaac Cordal and it was great to hang out with the artist during our time in Ostend. We were fortunate enough to be allowed to tag along while he was scouting locations and capture some images of him installing a number of his 25cm high characters high above the streets of Ostend part of a series titled “Isolated In The Modern Outdoors”. Have a look at some of the works we captured with the artist as well as a section we discovered ourselves while crossing the city shooting some of the other artists attending the festival.

Issac_Cordal_HOOKEDBLOG_5854_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEYIssac_Cordal_HOOKEDBLOG_5790_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEY Isaac Cordal capturing one of his installed works. Issac_Cordal_HOOKEDBLOG_5986_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEYIssac_Cordal_HOOKEDBLOG_5988_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEYIssac_Cordal_HOOKEDBLOG_5997_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEYIssac_Cordal_HOOKEDBLOG_6000_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEYIssac_Cordal_HOOKEDBLOG_5942_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEYIssac_Cordal_HOOKEDBLOG_5979_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEYIssac_Cordal_HOOKEDBLOG_5980_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEYIssac_Cordal_HOOKEDBLOG_5934_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEYIssac_Cordal_HOOKEDBLOG_5895_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEYIssac_Cordal_HOOKEDBLOG_5905_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEYIssac_Cordal_HOOKEDBLOG_5908_PHOTO_©2016_MARK_RIGNEY

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Belgian Artist Roa's Mural in Ostend for The Crystal Ship Festival


Last week saw us here at Hookedblog visit the beautiful coastal Belgium city of Ostend for the first edition of The Crystal Ship Festival, a contemporary street art festival with a focus on art in public space. The festival began on the 28th March and officially opened to the public on the 10th April 2016 with an opening party at the Crystal Ship HQ in the city centre. An all star line up of 25 international and national artists decended on the city to create large scale murals and installations which have formed an artistic trail right across Ostend.

While we were in Ostend we managed to catch up with most of the artists taking part in the festival with the exception of Belgian street artist ROA(Previously on Hookedblog). The artist chose to roll into town the week before the festival opened, quietly working on this mural over a number of days and completed work on this large mural pictured before the eyes of the global street art community were focused on Ostend.

The Belgian muralist painted this mono chromatic stack of sleeping / dead animals pictured featuring a selection of animals we have previously seen from the artist and includes a rabbit, a squirrel, a hedgehog, a mole a mouse and an animal we can't quite identify, maybe a rat! If anyone has an idea on what the third animal is the stack is please feel free to share it with us.


ROA's animal mural proved to be a hit with the locals of Ostend, and it saw a steady crowd of visitors stopping to admire and photograph the work during the official opening party on the 10th April 2016. The  Crystal Ship Festival murals will stay up for two years according to the festival organisers so plenty of time to visit the coastal town and see the works. Other Artists taking part in this first edition of the Crystal Ship Festival included:

1010 (DE) - AGOSTINO IACURCI (IT) - CYRCLE (US)(Previously on Hookedblog) -DISORDERLINE (B) - ELIAN (AR) - ELLA & PITR (FR) - EVERSIEMPRE (AR) - FAITH47 (SA)(Previously on Hookedblog) - FINTAN MAGEE (AU)(Previously on Hookedblog) - GUIDO VAN HELTEN (AU)(Previously on Hookedblog) - HERR SEELE (B) - JAUNE (B)(Previously on Hookedblog) - JAZ (AR)(Previously on Hookedblog) - LOCATELLI (B) - MISTER FIKSIT (B) - NOIR (B) - NUART PRESENTS BIANCOSHOCK (IT) & ISAAC CORDAL (ES) - PIXELPANCHO (IT)(Previously on Hookedblog) - POL COSMO (B) - ROBERT MONTGOMERY (UK) - ROA (B)(Previously on Hookedblog) - SIEGFRIED VYNCK (B) - SMATES (B) - ZIO ZIEGLER (US)

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