THE ONLY WAY IS IRONBBRATZ: EPISODE 7 – Sunshine, something fishy, celebrations and supporting friends.

*ALL IMAGES ARE SHAMELESSY STOLEN FROM MARC G CAIRNS TUMBLR* Please do visit the original source and ‘Follow’ him – he actually made an appeal. 😦

Wow, so this is a crazy long title this week! I went for something that tried to sum up each of the main themes and it was super sporadic!

Of course the first one has to be SUNSHINE, in relation to the super surprising sunny days that have been upon us in the last week. It’s really been quite amazing that anyone has got anything done at all to be honest. It’s been too nice to stay in and some people have discovered that even if they have to be inside working, the sun’s reflection on their computer screens has made it damn near impossible.

The latter isn’t really possible for everyone to begin with, not that I’m bitter, as my studio being in the central rich heart land of Ironbbratz means that I don’t actually have a window. Or at least I don’t have a window to the outside world of Glasgow. When I wrote the previous sentence I realised straight away that actually I do have a window – only it’s more of a doorway – and instead of looking out onto the streets full of people I don’t know, it’s actually a window that constantly overlooks and interacts with the studio members at Ironbbratz.

My studio is positioned basically right in the kitchen and social space which means, if you ever visit, I will almost invariably pop up during your visit if you end up in the kitchen. Sometimes this is a mixed blessing for both parties – but a lot of the time it’s one of my favourite things about my studio. Well, apart from how little actual studio work I end up getting done some days because of this!

This week, I presume because of the sun, it’s been markedly quite quiet during the day times in the studio and so to get my social fix for the day I’ve ended up going on quite extended lunches with Pidgin Perfect and company!

I wish I could say I worked like a trooper and ignored the weather but looking back on it I think I might have gone out every single day this week for lunch!! On the first day of the sun I went to lunch with Marc Cairns, of Pidgin Perfect fame, and ended up staying out for 2 hours – looking at gentlemen and even squeezing in half a lager! Another day I went with Marc AND Becca (also of Pidgin Perfect fame) and spent £6.75 on basically a Panini eaten in a graveyard! It was all about the sun!

Never the less, we did still have some exciting efforts made in the studio by all of us – probably the most generously spirited of these achievements being that Becca Thomas and Tawny Kerr stayed in for a number of hours early in the week to finally finish the Ironbbratz communal space’s striped wall painting. It looks so beautiful with its hand-painted-with-a-brush outline style!

SO to celebrate the new look communal space we moved Erasmus, the new Ironbbratz goldfish, from the sunny window and into the slightly darker communal kitchen. Once again when I wrote that sentence I immediately became aware of how wrong it sounds and there have been a few other queries into the ethics of keeping Erasmus at the studio this week.

The beautiful Emily Sheppard told us of her childhood goldfish-trapped-in-small-tanks dilemma and did suggest that at some point, if it all becomes too much, she may still commit a mercy killing. To Erasmus, of course, whose tank size has been a worry to both Emily Sheppard and Aralene Adamson.

BUT on Thursday evening Will researched “on-the-internet” and the tank is beyond fine, so don’t worry too much, although despite this we are looking at clubbing together to get a bigger tank and get him some nice toys to play with. If you see the below image, I don’t know if it will soothe or scare you. This is Erasmus in his current living environment.

*Maybe we should do a poll about whether we currently think Erasmus is happy or sad? We want to make him happy and so I hope this text doesn’t get us in trouble with the RSPCA or anything!*

ALSO, to follow up on the water condition, Marc Cairns and I gave him and his water a proper clean just after this image was taken. It was like two teenage girls changing a fish tank – but one of them had a Scottish accent.

In other totally exciting news, Alan Campbell (Art) celebrated his First Ironbbratziversary this week and to commemorate the occasion he brought in A LOT of delicious cream cakes. Here is one of those teenage girls munching her way through a cream cake.

In related Telfer Gallery news the PDA Curtain Showroom looked very beautiful, but has already been taken down to make way for an exhibition by Antony Lakey (presented by the one and only Alan Campbell, of Alan Campbell Art fame). The exhibition opens on Monday so hopefully they’ll be in the gallery space right now on Saturday night working whilst I’m writing this.

I say hopefully because I’ve just remembered we’ve possibly forgotten to feed Erasmus today. Even worse is that we were all out on a picnic at Calderglen Conservatory and Zoo, of East Kilbride fame, where we looked at a lot of other animals in cages for the very reasonable price of £1.10.

I just had to send a Facebook message out to everyone in the hope that someone is still in Ironbbratz at 21.04 on a Saturday night. If not I’ll probably have to trek down into town and feed him. I totally appreciate the responsibility of having a fish and will totally go and feed him if I must. Even if it means walking back and forth up Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday night.

*Maybe we should do a poll about whether we currently think Erasmus is happy or sad? We want to make him happy and so I hope this text doesn’t get us in trouble with the RSPCA or anything!*

(OH THANK THE LORD Alan Campbell (Art) just got straight back to me to say he had been fed.)

So Erasmus is fed and in clean water and the pump is working and we even gave him an artificial light. We’re going to style his house up a lot more as soon as we can. That sounds a bit loose and non-committal but we really know we have to, before Emily Sheppard commits a mercy killing.

Now as previously mentioned, this week absolutely everyone has been wildly influenced by the sun in their working focus. I think. Or at least I really have and I’m actually so pleased I did because I worked so insanely hard over the last eight months that I think it’s okay for me now, for a while, to have some beautiful long lunches while the sun is out. (I’m currently too scared to check my bank account.)

I think this way of thinking has been slightly influenced by the theme of this week’s Ellie & Oliver Show >COMPRIMISES<. (Ellie & Oliver Show is a wonderful weekly radiobroadcast I make with my flatmate Ellie Harrison!)

BUT the price you pay for the experience of pleasure can often come at the cost of working hours. I’ve been in the studio working, but I’ve also been out in the town (and zoo) playing. Luckily though instead of presenting you with the next instalment of Dr. Dele (we’re saving it up for a week or two). I am able to use this episode to promote a video currently out online by THE ONLY WAY IS IRONBBRATZ regulars and favourites, Pidgin Perfect. I think it’s like totally part of a competition on something? I promise I’ve watched it and Dele (not to be confused with Dr. Dele) can be my witness!

So to celebrate Pidgin Perfect and promote their cause, possibly to win something or something (them not you), do watch their beautiful and wonderful video. Which I’ve already watched and LIKED and I mean both in terms of enjoying but also clicking the like button 😉


I think it’s definitely a competition or something, but anyway here’s the link to the really great and beautifully narrated video. The video actually isn’t narrated by me, but it was probably for the best when we’re talking big business.

Also to support another friend I thought for some reason I should also mention that Emily Sheppard is doing an exhibition at The Telfer Gallery later in the year. Hopefully it won’t be called Mercy Killing.

AND YES! FINALLY In the very present, on Friday 6th there will be a closing party for Anthony Lakey’s exhibition Life is Life, Kind is Kind presented by Alan Campbell (Art) at The Telfer Gallery from 6 – 9pm. I think it’s going to be a really nice night with some lovely drinks.

Personally I’m looking forward to spending some time with Natalia Palombo, of Palombo’s fame, who I have spoken about here before but never feel that she gets enough show time. She’s currently a bit of a woman of mystery on The Only Way is Ironnbratz, but not at all in reality. I always want to spend time with Natalia, she’s beautiful and very cool. God, not even to mention all the others who currently aren’t getting enough show-time! I don’t want to mention names because I’d end up having to write everyone. But HELLO Olga & Annalisa 😉

I don’t want to end of that note because actually there really are lots of other names of people I would love to mention too! There are so many great people in the studios right now! I think we only maybe have one spare studio? Even that space is being used temporarily by a girl called Caroline who I think we would all agree could fill a whole episode of TOWIIB!

Oh but if anyone is looking for a studio, on a sober note, you are totally welcome to come up and view it – it’s really fun up here. Click this link to find contact details. Oh and of course to discover for yourself why THE ONLY WAY IS IRONBBRATZ!!!

I’ll just post this Pidgin Perfect video one more time in case you missed it in the middle. (This is nearly 2,000 words, there’s no way you’ll have got to this point!) But watch it and like it, woo!


Oops, finally, finally, finally: Next week will really be quite a sad episode I think, but with also some really wild revelations and earth shattering news near the end. So we can look forward to that!


About Oliver Braid

Oliver Braid is an artist based in Glasgow selected as one of Scotland’s most promising new visual arts practitioners as part of Collective Gallery’s 2011 New Work Scotland Programme and currently based at Ironbbratz Studios. He studied Fine Art at University College Falmouth and Glasgow School of Art, where he completed the Master of Fine Art programme in 2010. Over the past twelve months he has presented solo exhibitions of his work at The Royal Standard, Liverpool; Collective Gallery, Edinburgh; The Mutual, Glasgow and BBC Scotland, Glasgow. Throughout 2012 he is co-hosting a weekly pop-philosophy radio show with the artist Ellie Harrison, The Ellie & Oliver Show, through Culture Lab Radio, Newcastle and is involved with the artist’s therapy group Artist Anonymous.
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