15 July 2010

Community Service #11 - We Sink Ships

I first met Heidi and Neil, aka 'We Sink Ships' at the start of this year at a gig they were putting on at the 13th Note to celebrate their launch night. Really nice folk they were too, I tend to think that anyone that puts up with my drunken ramblings must be nice. It turned out that it was Neil's last proper night in Glasgow as he was disappearing off to live in Poland. I'm always amazed by the lengths that some folk go to just to get away from me. Since they've been going for quite a while now and they have a big fancy event planned at the end of this month I thought it was time to drag Heidi in to do some 'Community Service'. Also, in case you were wondering, I have deliberately not said what We Sink Ships is/does, as I think that Heidi is able to put across more eloquently than I ever could....

In your own words describe what We Sink Ships is/does

We Sink Ships is Neil, who is a Scottish photographer and musician living in Poland, and Heidi. I’m a Finnish photographer who is living in Scotland. We Sink Ships organises online photo exhibitions which are sometimes accompanied by music. Some of the exhibitions feature work from several photographers, some are solo shows. All group exhibitions are focused around a theme. Some of the previous themes include books, music and travelling. We also present a weekly podcast on Radio Magnetic. We are known to put on few gigs too. We also do our own music/photography projects involving our own work, such as Elements which is 5 online exhibitions featuring photos, music and poetry.

What was it that motivated you to start We Sink Ships?

Neil and I met because we were Flickr contacts and pretty quickly discovered mutual love for certain style of photos and music. Working together came quite naturally as we both are inspired by other people. WSS was born in spring 2008 and has steadily been growing and developing ever since. I’m still not sure where it is going but that is part of the fun. The WSS Gallery started because I had and still have this dream of having my own gallery, a place to showcase other people’s work. Doing it all online seemed like a good way get a bit closer to that dream.

What would you say has been the best thing to happen since you started it?

So many great things have happened since spring 2008, but I have to say that meeting and talking with so many incredible people along the way has been the best thing. Talking to photographers taking part in exhibitions, interviewing people for podcasts, and meeting everyone who has come along to the gigs has been inspiring.

For you personally what artist/band has excited you most over the past 12 months?

This is a difficult one. If I had to choose just one, then I guess it has to be Conquering Animal Sound which is a duo from Edinburgh. I have to say that The National releasing High Violet was pretty exciting too.

For all the folk out there that haven’t heard an episode of We Sink Ships, why should they give you a listen?
We try to feature different things to cater for, maybe not everyone, but a wide variety of people. First Tuesday of the month is a feature on something Neil and I love and want other people to find out about. So far our features have included record labels, a gallery, a New York based artist, Executive Producer of Creative online community, a promoter... This feature is followed by music mix made by Neil. Second Tuesday is all about a guest we’ve invited to choose music. Guests have included bands, DJs, promoters, musicians, artists... Third Tuesday is dedicated to TOP5s and my favourite music at the moment. My music taste is quite varied so my mix can include just about anything. The fourth Tuesday is just Neil playing his musical finds and music from a label he is planning to launch later this year.

You have a gig organised at this years Edinburgh Art Festival, can you tell us all a bit more about what you have planned for the event?

The event is called ‘We Sink Ships: Elements’ and will include screening of a short film and live music from eagleowl and Conquering Animal Sound. Elements is a series of exhibitions that are on our website. Each exhibition is inspired by one of the classical elements (air, water, fire, earth and aether) and features photos by Neil and I, music written by Neil and poetry by Rhys Baker from Wild Dogs in Winter. All of this material has been put together with archive and his own footage by Sleepysoul, Scottish, London based filmmaker. The event is on Saturday 31st July and it is held at The Wee Red Bar at the grounds of Edinburgh College of Art at 74 Lauriston Place in Edinburgh. The doors are at 7pm and the gig will be finished by 10pm giving everyone plenty of time to get back home, or go out afterwards. Tickets are £5 and available from WSS Bandcamp. When you buy a ticket, you also get one of the Elements songs from the film. I’m really looking forward to the event. It is an honour to be part of such a big visual art festival.

“We Sink Ships: Elements” takes place at the Wee Red Bar on the 31st of July as part of Edinburgh Art Festival 2010. The night will feature a screening with accompanying music from eagleowl and Conquering Animal Sound. Tickets are on sale here for the very reasonable sum of five pounds.

We Sink Ships
Radio Magnetic

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