If you picked up issue 6 of Mushpit; firstly, congratulations you clever sausage and secondly, yeah, we know eyes-you-could-swim-in babe on the cover- that’s Grey’s Anatomy enthusiast, Grace Pickering, the latest addition to the clique.
Whilst Grace’s photography might make you feel like kicking your Kodak into the Thames (please, don’t) her documentary series of images are a nostalgic love letter to the great American road trip; speckled pictures of Gay Pride in New York City, dusty basketball courts, Venice beach panoramas and spindly Ferris wheels. But really we can’t imagine Grace anywhere else besides residing somewhere in a leafy garden in London Town. Her intimate portraits of girls in their bedrooms (think dusky light, cotton socks, flushed cheeks and mermaid hair) are an on-the-sofa, under-the-covers ode to English beauty and eccentricity and will have you re-thinking your largely MDF based bedroom scheme.
While we were busy with Bobby Greenland down at the leisure centre, Grace was busy in her school’s dark room, assembling and dissembling cameras. There she discovered ‘Nan Goldin’s images of her friends dying of AIDs in hospital beds, and young men and women enjoying a post coital cig. Richard Billingham's 'Rays a laugh' series showing his dysfunctional family with such care and tenderness and Testino's snapshots of the sexy untouchable elite smoke and mirrors life’.
Grace certainly wouldn’t approve of you ditching your camera and being so damned dour about your artistic prowess. Why do we know this, apart from being brilliantly perceptive? Ummm, because she runs online zine, Don’t Get Culty (duh) which plans to put an end to our generation’s tendency to write things off from the get-go and use the word ‘lame’ a lot, especially when it comes to discussing art. Don't Get Culty (the name came from late night chats with co-founder Joseph Sweeney while watching Sopranos and is a play on Paulie Walnuts’ immortal, ‘don’t get cunty’ line) isn't another spare-me 'creative platform' that you should name drop and seldom visit, as the tag line reads it's 'more conversational than critical'. Expect interviews with burgeoning artists, gallery profiles and exhibition reviews. Our favourite regular feature is Pickering’s Pix; a personal highlight is Grace’s infallible rating-scheme for cafés, based on the quality of their custard tarts. Amen to that.
When we asked Grace what her biggest career moment to date has been her answer was basically heartbreaking; "When I was 12, I used to love this French shop Jennyfer. It was a bit like Claire’s Accessories but very rural France. I was obsessed with the French girls of the campaigns, with their low-rise jeans and denim wristbands. This year I was shot for Jennyfer. The clothes were awful and we did it in my house, but I gave 12 year old brace-face-me a high five." Proof that if you keep fighting the good fight, you will get that Claire’s Accessories modelling contract. We die.