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‘My Hobby’: Comedian Harry Hill’s secret life as an artist

An exhibition of artwork by comedian Harry Hill, has opened at the Edinburgh Art Festival.

Called My Hobby the exhibition includes Hill’s paintings of TV celebrities, such as Philip Schofield and Chris Tarrant, trapped in bizarre, nightmarish landscapes,  which Hill described tin an interview with the BBC as:

‘...depicting a parallel universe where nature, celebrity and surrealism collide.’

Some of the work is reminiscent of artist David Shrigley, who encouraged Hill to have the exhibition.

Best known for his multi-award-winning series TV Burp Hill claims he paints as a means of ‘winding down’, and has been painting in secret for 20-years. Over that time, Harry had amassed so many of his own artworks he thought it was time to get them out of the house.

My Hobby runs at White Stuff, 2nd Floor, 89 George Street, EH2 3ES, from 4 August – 2 September 2012, and includes a newly filmed interview between Shrigley and Hill.

Here is a selection of Harry Hill’s art, including some on show in Edinburgh.
A few more peaks at harry Hill’s art, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher
08:46 pm
Joyce D’Vision: the world’s first drag queen Joy Division tribute act

So, dear readers, this is one of the things I do when I am not busy scribbling and posting here on DM - I am part of a Joy Division tribute act called Joyce D’Vision. As the name would suggest, it’s not just any run-of-the-mill tribute act - it’s a drag queen tribute, fusing those two quintessentially Northern English traits of woe-is-me miserableism and end-of-the-pier transvestitism.

Before you ask, no, I am not Joyce D’Vision herself, but rather Noel Order, keyboard whizz extraordinaire and Bontempi aficionado. Joyce is played by the very talented Joe Spencer, and we are often joined on stage by other queens such as Sheela Blige, Kurt Dirt and Sahara Dolce. Joyce has been lucky enough to share the stage with British queer performance legends like David Hoyle (The Divine David) and Scottee Scottee (Eat Your Heart Out), but those were just warm-ups for what happened last week…

A few months ago Joe took part in a reality competition show May The Best House Win, where Joyce and friends had a cameo near the end. The program was finally broadcast last Tuesday, and seen by the comedian Harry Hill, himself a fan of Joy Division. Harry hosts a show called TV Burp, which looks over the best bits of the last week’s telly, and he invited Joyce and her friends to London to sing live on the show. Joyce performed as the final segment on the final show of the series, which was broadcast right before X Factor. Meaning that this went out on a Saturday evening, just after dinner time when everyone’s getting ready to watch the biggest show of the week. Seriously - that’s prime fucking time.

The reaction since (mostly gauged through Twitter) has been interesting - some people really get it, while others have stated that Ian Curtis would be rolling in his grave. I like to think Curtis would have seen the funny side, as would Tony Wilson I’m sure, and we have heard through the grapevine that there are even Joyce fans in the New Order camp.

Joyce D’Vision is not done out of hatred of the band or the man, but rather from love - and a simple desire to deflate the pomposity that surrounds JD and their legend, as perpetuated by magazines like NME and high street stores like Primark (currently selling an Ian Curtis t-shirt). So while the idea (and sight) of a fat, bearded man in a wig singing a boss nova version of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” is definitely going to rub some people up the wrong way, I’m pretty sure our readers here at DM can handle it:

For more info on Joyce, visit her Facebook page.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
09:52 am