Issue 173
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"Andy Lesley's knees are made of Blu-Tack. Pass it on." The last time we were making a paper collage was in junior school and instead of paying attention we were spreading this probably untrue rumour. If Stirchley-studioed artist Mark Murphy had been the one we were whispering to, you can bet the Queen's paper that he wouldn't have passed it on. No sir. He was paying attention. And it's paid off.
A graphic designer for more than twenty years, Mark's move into hand cut paper collage began in the last five — with all the challenges of creating art where you can't simply click "undo" if you make a mistake. Seeking out wonderful and weird books, prints and paraphernalia, Scottish Onsen (pictured, above) comes from Mark's personal experience of Japan, a charity shop book on the nation's culture and a seventies text on British landscapes. "Look at the colour of the sky" points out Mark. "If I can see a book with an over-saturated scene like that, I don't care what's in it — landscapes, faces, scenes — it's about capturing a time, and colours rarely reproduce like that any more."
Sometimes abstract, sometimes figurative, often humorous, Mark's collages shake up the senses with graphic composition, space, scale and surrealism. "Another idea that recurs is what happens if you take away the content of an area and replace it with something else", Mark continues. "I've produced a series of doorways, like New Neighbours (pictured), doing exactly that, with strong juxtaposition often influenced by travel, with what you can't see through the doorway often being as important as what you can." 
Still happy to use to his computer for the right opportunity, Storm in a Teacup is a digital collage that places a tumultuous Dutch painting into an old Japanese cup. "You can repeat something without ever really thinking about what it would look like but as in this case, sometimes a phrase will propel an idea."  Submitted in response to a call by Photomediations for image creators around the world to produce mashups from the free to use archives of museums, Mark didn't completely realise he'd entered a competition until his piece was selected by the judges of world-renowned galleries as the overall winner.
Back in the hand cut world, So From Here I Can See You Talkin' was created for Humilitism, a group exhibition at Gamma Proforma, looking at social media and the quest for 'likes'. Centred on the sort of piece of machinery our Dad showed off to anyone who'd listen, Mark's focus was on the idea that we take modern technology for granted. "By looking at a vintage phone that really isn't that old in the whole scheme of things, I started to consider the tracking of the flow of information and how it is eventually projected — a big issue right now." 
Until June, see Mark's work at Yorks' new Ikon-based pizzeria, opening on a slightly non-specific imminently kind of a date. Enquire about prints or commission a-here.


Sometimes good news comes in threes. And sometimes it doesn't. A duo of delightful also known as OPM and Baked in Brick are both popping-up at Quarter Horse next week. For the organised amongst your number, the latter is putting on a BBQ five-courser which takes place on Saturday, March 18 and includes dukka mackerel, sous-vide and charred 45-day aged beef rump and smoked cinnamon pineapple. It's £35 a whirl and tickets are available now. For everyone else, you need only show up to get the gloriousness that is OPM grilled cheese in your life. There's cheese with beetroot chutney, cheese with braised ox cheek, cheese with American cheese — it's actually physically hard to control how we feel about cheese. More


Picture yourself on any Sunday of the year, waking up groggy after a few too many gins in tins. You could go outside and savour the dewy morning, or – far better idea — you could hide under a duvet and enjoy something undemanding. Perhaps something with an absurdly overqualified cast – like, say, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, John Goodman and John C Reilly – doing battle with some enormous monster – like, say, a giant gorilla. You would definitely want bursts of action every ten minutes, goofily retro design, and a surprisingly dark sense of humour hanging over everything. Kong: Skull Island isn't going to win things, but it is destined to salve many a challenging Sunday. Times & trailer


When it comes to friendly facades Huan Gate has some work to do. The imposing, ever-closed, giant red door in southern China Town ain't exactly the 'Welcome' mat we're most susceptible to. So make like Adrian Mole and stick April 6 in your diary because we're manning up and crossing the threshold, and you should join us. Particularly if you're Tarantino-partial. The filmic folk of Flatpack present an immersive screening of Kill Bill Vol.1 in Huan Gate's equally imperial interior that immediately invokes the Crazy 88 scene of said samurai flick. There'll be movie appropriate tuneage, finger food and our ads guy has promised to kung fu the ghou-ghanglies out of anyone who's up for a tussle. Tickets are £18 but we've only gone and got you a £5 discount. Enter the coupon code SILLYRABBIT at the 'apply coupon' stage. Code can be used once per user. 
Venue: Bulls Head, 38 Bishopsgate Street, B15 1EJ; website
Choice: A Davenports Dog (£10) Chooser: Openings manager

If you know our deputy editor, you'll also know that she's not exactly a hot dog and fries kind of a gal. So we of course sent her to try exactly that, as well as a truly excessive selection of the new pub menu at Davenports Brewery's lovingly restored first opening, just off Broad Street. And the outcome? The Lashfords 12 inch pork dog, served in a brioche roll and sprinkled with crispy masala onions is a destination dawg. Dunk it in Davenports' smoky BBQ sauce — which has the team's dry hopped red ale as its base — for a mouthful of very, very yes. The Dirty Fries (£5) are even more substantial than the price tag would suggest and the final word in what to get with your Friday night beers, loaded with masala beans, cheese and spring onions. At every turn this simple sounding menu gives you a little more than you were expecting.
  • "City of Stars, are you shining just for me?" And that's how La La Land's refrain got back in your head. Embrace it with a showing of the movie plus live orchestra on September 24. Tickets on sale at 10am
  • Two Cats is up to something, and what we know is that it's got nothing to do with Baltic cuisine. Find out what in the bejesus is going on by booking between March 23 and 25. Call 0121 2120070
  • Crufts is at the NEC this weekend. We're not sure how we feel about that, though as we're out Saturday night, I guess we all know what we'll be watching Sunday afternoon
  • We've got a thing about professional laugh maker, Hal Crutenden. He just gets us. Get him at The Bramall on March 16. Tickets (£11)
  • The St Patrick's Day Festival is on Sunday. We've never made it in time for the fun run, but we're reliably informed there is one, as well as the Digbeth demolition which is the parade. Best of luck to you all
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"Those of you lucky enough to have your lives, take them with you. However, leave the limbs you've lost. They belong to me now."
- The Bride, Kill Bill Vol.1
WORDS: Katy Drohan, Andrew Lowry, Tom Cullen
IMAGES: Google Earth (Huan Gate)

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