Mandalas

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Amsterdam Noord, NDSM-Werf Graffiti and Art.

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Recently I took a trip over to the Noord of Amsterdam via ferry in the direction of NDSM-Werf. From speaking to my Dutch friends I was told this is a must see creative hotspot! They were not lying.

Until the 1980s there was a shipyard here.  Today the warehouses are a breeding ground for cultural entrepreneurs – like music channel MTV. I didnt actually go inside of these buidings but I had a walk around and got as close as the front doors. What brought me to the Noord however was its repuation for its amazing Graffti. Some of the art was amazing, so bright and vibrant! As I was walking around taking photographs I noticed an artist at work so I walked over and introduced myself.
We got talking about his work and the history of Noord and various other subjects, he was such an interesting character. He was telling me how its not exactly legal to spray paint the walls but the police turn a blind eye. I asked “Can anyone come and create art work here?” and he told me how “Anyone can but you would only spray over work that you think you can create better. Amazing artwork will stay on the walls for longer periods of time out of respect from other artists.”

I stood and talked with him for ages and I never even asked his name, oops!

Spuistrast squat houses and art in Amsterdam.

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Today I went exploring in Amsterdam to find some street art and learn more about its history.

History of squatting in Amsterdam
“Squatting in the Netherlands became big in the 80s, when a serious lack of housing caused young people to move into abandoned buildings.
Squatting in Holland soon turned into a political ‘movement’.
This Amsterdam squatters movement (‘Amsterdamse krakersbeweging’) turned militant and clashes between the squatters and the riot police became a regular sight. The squatters war ended in the 90s, when the Dutch government legalised squatting in 1994.
The new law stated that people are entitled to live in buildings if they had been empty for at least one year. The owner of the building could evict the squatters only in court and by good reason.
For almost 15 years the squatters movement in Amsterdam flourished, setting up artist workplaces, stages for performing artists and organising alternative events.”

As squatting is such a big part of history in Amsterdam I wanted to visit some of the famous squat houses. The art painted on the outside of the buildings is amazing. As you can see in my photographs the colours are so vibrant and bold. I really admire what they have done with the buildings, making it into a visible issue to the rest of the country opens up the eyes of the public to the cities history.

Vintage fashion love

Why do I love fashion so much? Other people love sport, gardeing and food. What is it about vintage fashion that I love so much?
To me vintage clothing is a form of self expression, history and individulity. Fashion enables me to portray my quirky personality to the world without a single word. I enjoy being different and not conforming for the media. I dont aspire to be like anyone else but myself.
As well as using fashion to express myself I also use it as therapy. Whenever im stressed or have has a bad day I find myself in my closet vintage shop browings through rails and rails of endless clothing. Even if I dont buy anything, I still feel a sense of relaxsation leaving the store. On a blog post I have recently read about this subject a lady named Alexandra said “Fashion is an art and a form of self expression for the ones who create it. But it is also a form of self expression for the ones who wear” – See more at: http://styleheritage.com/2013-08/fashion-as-a-form-of-self-expression/#sthash.IbK2oWZY.dpuf.

I completely agree. Maybe thats why I love fashion so much as its so closely linked with my other greatest love in life… Design.