February 2015 visual trends: 5 things you must see this month

Here are the five things you must see this month: including two exhibitions, an indie comic app, a local art mag and 80,000 free videos and photos.

Collective Quarterly

Somewhere in between Boat magazine and residency programme The Jaunt, this itinerant new magazine is an unusual take on travel journalism.

Its authors travel to a different city each time – Absaroka and Livingston, by the Yellowstone National Park for issue one – and spend time with local makers, artists, and those with plenty of local knowledge in order to dig below the surface of a place.

Even more excitingly, the team also arrange for several creatives to undertake a week-long residence in issue’s location then commission them to produce an item inspired by their trip, which is then sold on the online shop: such as this Horseback baseball cap produced in collaboration with Montana hat maker FairEnds.



Running from 25-28th February, this Manchester-based arts and technology festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

This year’s event is split into several parts: a two-day conference jam-packed with digital artists, writers, inventors and scientists will deal with the themes memory, ownership, democracy and the weird and wonderful, and a live programme featuring a roster of artists that rivals most electronic music festivals.


Magnificent Obsessions

This Barbican show is dedicated to the collections, using the objects that a group of post-war artists have lovingly assembled – or in some case hoarded – as a jumping off point to talk about their work.

The show, which opens on 12 February, features African art and samurai armour owned by Arman, Andy Warhol’s cookie jars (shown), skulls and medical equipment belonging to Damien Hirst and British postcards collected by Martin Parr. With so many rare and unusual items on display this will be a hugely inspiring show for set designers, illustrators and any other creatives that use objects in their work.


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Nobrow Comics for iPad

So far few publishers have tackled the challenge of creating graphic novels and comics that match the potential of the iPad. Enter Nobrow. Its new app allows two views for reading: you can see each panel side by side or a lot larger one by one.

What’s most exciting is its layers function that with a quick swipe allows you to see initial sketches and plans for each page. A huge technical feat and a brave step for the artist that reveal their processes.

Read more about the Nobrow digital comics app here.

The Public Domain Project

Tracking down copyright-free imagery can be pretty painful but new online venture The Public Domain Project is a treasure trove of 80,000 video clips, photos, sound recordings, and 3D models that anyone is free to use.

From Georges Méliès' 1902 film A Trip To The Moon and vintage photos to pictures of Barack Obama stroking a huge cat while David Cameron looks on, there’s a huge amount of material to inspire a new creative project (or just boggle at), and everything has been extensively labelled so there’s not too much wading through to do unless you want.