Leicester artist to paint 100 skull paintings in eight-day live art installation Memento Mori

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Tim Fowler wanted to challenge himself artistically and created the live art installation Memento Mori.

By Sophie Sandberg

A Leicester artist has started painting one hundred different types of skull paintings last week and aims to finish painting on Friday, November 30, as a part of a live art installation to inspire people to not take life for granted.

Tim Fowler, 33, challenged himself artistically by painting one hundred different types of skull painting over the course of eight days and invited the public to come along and watch his art come to life.

The Leicester-born artist got the inspiration for this live art installation named Memento Mori, Latin for remember the dead, from a German art curator he met in London.

Mr Fowler said: “I met a German curator when I attended an art fair in London and he bought a skull painting from me and explained the concept of Memento Mori and that really inspired me.

“Memento Mori means remember the dead and is all about not taking life for granted.

“For the past few years I have mainly painted portraits, but I’ve felt that the person in the portrait became a distraction.

“A skull for me is sort of a default portrait, it could be anyone but it’s still a portrait.”

Mr Fowler used to class himself as an architectural painter until he started drawing portraits. He then realised that was no longer just an architectural painter but a painter.

Throughout his eleven years as a professional painter, the 33-year-old has managed to make a name for himself by his bold use of colour and abstract elements.

The artist believes the Memento Mori project was a chance for him to challenge himself as an artist while sharing his art with the people of Leicester.

“Different colour combinations are what inspires me more than anything, which this art installation is really a testament of.

“I also wanted to give people the chance to watch an art project like this come to life and the different stages it goes through.”

The skull paintings will be showcased at an event Mr Fowler has organised at the LCB Depot in Leicester on Friday, November 30.

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Art exhibition to be hosted in De Montfort University student’s house

By Alex Leadbitter

A De Montfort University student has decided to host an art exhibition inside her own house next year on Friday, January 11, showcasing works of art from art students and residents of the house.

The exhibition will be called ‘Head Space’ and will feature works that represent mental health, drugs and alcohol.

Hannah Rowe-Blackman, 20, a second year fine art student, is the organiser of the unique exhibition that will be displayed throughout her entire house.

She said: “I want the artwork to be put up everywhere. In the living room, the bedrooms and all through the hallways.”

oliver art

Oliver Asbury shows off his sculptured armour and weaponry made of beer cans.

Miss Rowe-Blackman came up with the idea of hosting her own exhibition as part of her course where she has been tasked to show her work in a collaborative way.

She continued: “This is part of an ongoing project that I’ve been working on about exploring professional areas, so I thought why not make my house into one?

“I’m really interested in curating work from different artists so I may as well bring them all to my house and create a welcoming environment for them to be shown.”

She added: “I have to be harsh with what I allow to be exhibited because this is all being marked for my final grade.

“Still, everyone on my course is really talented so I have no doubt that they will all bring amazing work to be shown off”

One of the students who will be presenting their artwork will be Oliver Asbury, 21, a third year journalism and English student.

He said: “Its such an amazing thing what Hannah has done because it gives students a great opportunity to curate and showcase their work.

“A lot of students hope to find a place to perform or show off their work and this is a really cool and unique way of doing it.”

A Facebook events page will be set up where selected students and tutors will be able to attend the exhibition.

Conservative MP at DMU Brexit debate admits she never wants to see another referendum

By Tyler Arthur 

An influential Conservative MP admitted she never wants to see another referendum, as she attended a Brexit debate at De Montfort University (DMU) on Friday(NOV23).

The Be The Change event hosted by DMU’s Vice Chancellor Dominic Shellard invited Conservative MP Nicky Morgan and Labour MEP Rory Palmer to speak to university students and staff on the complicated topic of Brexit.

Mr Shellard led the discussion and asked questions to the two visitors based on their personal and political experiences and opinions, before opening the floor for students to ask their questions.

During the debate, Mrs Morgan, MP for Loughborough, declared: “If I had it my way, we would never have a referendum ever again.

“We’ve come to a point now [within Brexit], where I believe representatives of the country should be trusted to make the decisions.”


Left to right: MEP Rory Palmer, Dominic Shellard and MP Nicky Morgan

Students had to apply for tickets to the event, entitled ‘BREXIT: What Next?’ which was held in the Trinity House Chapel on the DMU campus.

Mr Palmer, a member of the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, and ex-deputy city mayor of Leicester, opened the discussion by explaining how the other nations of the EU feel during this time.

He said: “The mood has started to shift slightly. There’s always been a bit of sadness in Brussels [after Brexit, but] the mood now is a real sense of frustration. People are tired of this.

Mrs Morgan expressed how good the Be The Change event was and how positive it is to see this dialogue.

She said: “It’s great to see these types of debates and discussions. It’s a shame that it took for Brexit to happen to open up this public discourse.”

She continued, addressing the students: “It’s amazing to see people being passionate about politics. You are all the future, and that future is a bright one, but for now the question is what happens in the mean time?”

The students and staff were also able to ask questions to the two politicians and make comments during the later stages of the debate.

One staff member suggested that there should be a second referendum, as the country couldn’t possibly get any more divided anyway – to which both of the visitors disagreed.

“You say we cannot get any more divided, but I say we can, and it could turn to violence,” Nicky Morgan responded.


WHAT NEXT?: Screens beside the debating guests advertised the #BeTheChange tag recognisable to those who follow @dmuleicester.

During the debate, the Conservative MP urged people to support Prime Minister Theresa May’s current Brexit agreement, while her opposing Labour MEP said that there are many flaws in the current strategy being proposed by the government – as well as several mistakes over the last two years which he identified.

Although the two politicians debated throughout, they both agreed that a ‘no deal’ Brexit would be a bad outcome, with Mr Palmer describing it as ‘an abject failure of the government that a no deal is even still an option at this point.’

Even though she supports the PM’s proposals, Mrs Morgan admitted: “No deal is absolutely possible, it’s about 50/50.

“A no deal would be catastrophic,” she concluded.

The Vice Chair of the DMU Labour Society, Thom Chapman, 20, who attended the event, said: “I really enjoyed the debate and I thought it was a very interesting discussion.

“To have two different politicians from opposing parties almost agreeing on how disastrous Brexit has been really shows the impact it will have on society.”


SAY CHEESE: MEP Rory Palmer grabs a selfie with his fellow guest for the debate and Vice Chancellor Shellard.

Before leaving, the two guest speakers stayed behind for a chat, and Mr Palmer suggested that they take a selfie for his Snapchat, before he left Mrs Morgan with a final goodbye.

“Best of luck over the next few weeks,” he said as he shook her hand, “do your best to stay sane.”


Council invests in city parking


By Olivia Mumby

An investment of £800,000 into city parking facilities are being planned, Leicester City Council has announced.

The investment comes as the latest phase of the Council’s Parking Improvement Programme, and the work is to take place between now and March 2020.

It aims to improve road safety outside schools, improving car parking on housing estates, improving air quality by decreasing traffic congestion, exploring future residential parking permit schemes and tackling problematic pavement parking.

Peter Soulsby, Leicester City Mayor, said: “This money is the second phase of work which began in 2016/17 to look at parking issues citywide, and what we could do to improve the situation.

“In many cases these overlap with wider concerns such as traffic congestion, road safety near schools and air quality, all of which are addressed in these latest schemes.

“We are currently consulting on introducing controlled pavement parking in Harrison Road, and brought in a similar scheme in Braemar Drive, Rushey Mead in 2017, which has helped ensure there’s enough space for both cars and pedestrians to use the area safely.”

The council is also hoping that the investment will be beneficial to its ‘shop local’ agenda by encouraging customers to use local businesses by providing adequate parking.

The investment is being split amongst six projects, with school safety receiving the largest share at £350,000.

£250,000 will be spent on creating parking laybys in outer estates across the city including those in Queensferry Parade, Tolcarne Road, Sunbury Green and Kashmir Road.

£150,000 is set to be spent on controlled pavement parking pilot schemes in Rushey Mead, along with ongoing feasibility assessments for Aylestone.

Evington road will benefit from a £25,000 controlled pavement parking pilot scheme, which it is hoped will encourage shoppers to visit. There will also be a review of parking for shops located in Green Lane Road.

Residents of Herschell Street, Evington will benefit from a £20,000 investment in ongoing feasibility work and consultations on parking in the area.

The remaining £5,000 will be spent on parking strategy activities aimed at cutting congestion as part of the wider Air Quality Action Plan.

For more information, go to www.Leicester.gov.uk

Leicester students react to news of new university accommodation

By Matthew Chandler

Opinions have been divided among Leicester students about the news that 125 new student flats will be built in the city.

The developments, which were approved last week, will take place in two of the city’s historic areas.

A New Walk building will be made into studio apartments, while a two-storey office block near Leicester Castle will be converted into five floors of flats, costing about £10 million.

The second of these developments will be overseen by Victoria Hall Management Ltd, who also built the nearby Victoria Halls accommodation.

Alex Blackwell lives on Narborough Road and believes the company are being unruly at the residents’ expense:

“It’s unfair on the residents and is another example of a big firm taking advantage of their power and abusing residents who cannot hold them to account.

“Being from Leicester, I am all for new housing for more students as it adds to the city, but I am not a fan of it being a negative and affecting the local residents.”

marydecastrochurch.pngThe other site will be built near St Mary de Castro church

Another student disagreed, though, saying it is better to add students to an area where they are already well-populated than to create new patches full of them.

Adam Clarke, living in student accommodation Queen’s Court, said: “There’s already students in the area so I don’t see why more would be a problem.

“I get that students can be annoying but it’s not like it’s a quiet area they’re adding students into. They are already areas with students, so more won’t really affect it too much in my opinion, and students have to live somewhere.”

Meanwhile, Derry Keary, who also lives on Narborough Road, generally agreed that residents should not stand in the way of what he considers further improvements to the city, and believes such change in a place like Leicester is inevitable:

“When you are a student city like Leicester, developments will always come around like this. Sometimes it’s just unfortunate they are on the sites of something really special. It’s just modernising the town.

People can get hung up on history sometimes; you have to let new history be made. Where there was great historical value, there can be the space to let students discover and learn and go on to do great things. If it’s at the cost of something we’ll never have again, there has to be a balance.”