Launch party!

To celebrate Eleanor being the Isle magazine cover photographer we’re holding an event at the Vortigern gallery this Thursday, where Eleanor is currently exhibiting. We’ll also be officially launching Indigo Squid.

It’s a chance to see examples of our work and find out what we can do to help you as an artist, consultant or small business. Also, to enjoy refreshments (including fine wine, and craft beers courtesy of Gadds‘ Brewery); to network; meet the staff of Isle Magazine and come away with a goody bag filled with hand-crafted goodies, and of course the new Isle magazine – hot off the press!

A limited number of tickets are available on Eventbrite, or contact us, if you’d like to join us.

Isle magazine Cover Photographer

We’re proud to announce that Eleanor is the cover photographer for the next issue of Thanet’s award-winning Isle magazine. It’s a simple photograph taken of a striped beach hut – a constant feature in the Kiddie Corner on Margate beach every summer. But we like to think that it’s eye-catching enough to grab people’s attention from the coffee tables around Thanet; while also being a much-loved representation of the spring and summer season.

Funnily enough, the beach hut has been replaced since the photo was taken, with a new very similar version, but not quite the same….. We were just wondering if the old one had been consigned to the beach in the sky when we happened to bump into a previous owner, Terry of Margate’s HunkyDory-24 vintage shop, who filled us in on its history and whereabouts.

“My cousins, Austin and Adam, run the kiddies’ Corner and deckchair hire business. When they replaced the two huts they offered me the old ones, so they ended up in my garden.  Unfortunately when I moved house I had no space for them, so the huts came with the property.”

Apparently the house was bought by folks from London. We hope the new owners appreciate that they have inherited a piece of Margate history. Terry tells us he made some changes, such as adding some little windows. We like to think that the one pictured is still in use today, and has been transformed into a garden bar or cool wendy house maybe? Can anyone fill us in?

For Margate residents, the arrival of the beach huts and the kiddie’s corner is the first sign of the new summer season’s imminent arrival, while their removal is met with a collective sigh that winter is on its way. Terry informed us that the set-up date is always a bit of a gamble, as the Council permits them to be in situ for six months exactly. Start the season too early and they could find themselves frustratingly dismantling everything during an Indian summer heatwave!

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So, after the recent surreal sight of Kiddie’s Corner and the beach huts in the snow, here’s hoping for everyone that a scorcher of a summer is just around the corner!

The new addition of Isle magazine is out on Thursday 22 March and can be picked up for free around Thanet. We’re also holding a launch party at Vortigern gallery in Margate where copies will be available, hot off the press! If you’d like to attend please get in touch for an invitation.

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Happy birthday William Henry Perkin!

In 1856, the precocious scientist William Henry Perkin failed in an experiment to synthetically produce quinine, a chemical that helps treat malaria. Instead of quinine, his beakers were left filled with a dirty brown sludge. But something amazing happened when Perkin, who was only 18 at the time, cleaned out those beakers with alcohol. The brown sludge became a bright purple dye. This accident was the first discovery of a synthetic dye, which Perkin named “mauveine.”

Before Perkin’s discovery, dyes and pigments had to be sourced from plants, metals, minerals, or organic materials, often at significant cost and effort. You can make indigo, a natural purple-blue dye, from a subtropical plant, but it’s a lengthy and difficult process. These natural purple dyes also faded rapidly. Mauveine was a more permanent stain. The discovery changed everything, beginning a long chain of chemistry advances that would make bright, inexpensive synthetic color available to the masses.

Today would have been Perkin’s 180th birthday. So, as fans of the colour purple, we raise a glass of Gin and Tonic to you, Mr Perkin!