I'm Kristen and I'm living in Crawley, Sussex (hoping to return to my beloved Brighton 'n' Hove when my ME/CFS allows). I drink a lot of tea, ride a lot of buses, go in a lot of charity shops, draw, sew and knit (and attempt to crochet), take a lot of photos, spend a lot of time sleeping, read a lot of history books and follow Jesus Christ. <3
Email: busstopgirl (at) googlemail (dot) com
So, the Brits were still fairly dull despite the reintroduction of alcohol. Only two good things: Gwen Stefani's fabulous red tuxedo-style catsuit with bellbottoms and trailing bustle, and the half-arsed rendition of Lovecats by Jamie Cullen and Katie Melua reminding me how fab the original was.
I'm through with love hangovers
It's best that I stay sober
No rolling in the clover
No Gretna Green to Dover
No honeymoon in Paris
I only feel embarrassed for the
The charmed kittens
Both smitten by the love songs that he's written
Caught in the sights of a
The magic piper of love...' Edwyn Collins
Winged tiara; crystal and chalcedony set in gold; by Henry Wilson; English; c. 1908 (c) V&A
I am exhausted and CROSS. My back is really hurting and the ibuprofen I've been prescribed for it is giving me acid which is making me gag. So I'm shovelling Rennies down me too. My feet hurt and my excema has given me splits and cracks all over my hands, which makes washing, picking things up and doing crazy stuff like eating salted crisps real fun. I really wasn't in the mood to be navigating the V&A Museum.
The V&A is a treasure house of WONDERFUL things. I know and appreciate this fact. I was there today for the launch of a fantastic exhibition, which I'll talk about later. But having stood for two hours already (note to press office: please provide chairs) it was perhaps unwise of me to attempt to find other far-flung parts of the building - particularly the Jewellery Gallery.
First, you have to spend some time with the not-entirely-intuitive V&A visitors map - this eventually reveals that you need to be on the 3rd floor. So, let's find a staircase or a lift. BUT: it's not that simple. Not all staircases go to all floors. After some hiking about (and a stop-off at the Fashion Gallery to look at the wonderful Ossie Clark display) I eventually I found one, and ascended. Now in Decorative Ironwork, I walked the length of the building again trying to find Jewellery, only to find that the bit of 3rd floor I was on isn't connected to the bit of 3rd floor I was after.
So, downstairs, along a bit and upstairs again... down the side of the building, through Textiles and... Jewellery! But there are steel barriers stopping you going in from one direction - I only found this out after being watched trying to get in by a silent gallery steward. When I turned to her questioningly she just said, 'You have to go in the other end.' So back through Textiles and at last, I got there.
And it was worth it. It's a stunning collection - jewels you'll not believe exist. Expensive stuff, ancient stuff and even modern costume jewellery. Intricate, inventive, breathtaking... I need to learn some metalwork skills!
And I did get a little nostalgic over all. Walking through Fashion, picking my way through crowds of students sitting on the floor, drawing the same dresses I'd drawn ten years previously. Sniffing the air in Textiles - dust, carpets, old lace. Spotting old friends in Jewellery - the Slim Barrett tiara, the earrings made from pencil shavings - and remembering how over-the-top I was about recording allmost every item in my sketchbook - afraid of missing something which might prove important for college. These days I'm more selective, or just have less patience. But am still unavoidably drawn to sparkly things...
Speaking of artists whose work I immediately fall for... whilst at the Crafts Council last night for the launch of Boys Who Sew (more on that later) I wandered into the shop and spotted jewellery by Grainne Morton. Grainne (pronounced Gronya, Grahn-yuh or Graw-nyuh according to which website you consult - my knowledge of Gaelic pronunciation is pretty shoddy) produces beautiful, unusual jewellery with found objects and a bit of silversmithing magic. Anyone who knows me (and my handbag) will see why I'm drawn to this stuff - it's like what I try to make but a hundred times more skilful!
Look at her button charm bracelet - I ask ya! And the bracelet with all the different charms! It's lovely stuff, and not overpriced considering the work which goes into it. Still out of my price range though, sadly. Still, I'm 30 in December, so... Daaa-aaaad? See more of Grainne's fantastic work at the Velvet Da Vinci site.
Doing my daily trawl of museum press pages, I came across the Susie MacMurray exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery. Their website only has a photo of her Flock installation, but there are good pictures of her pink balloon dress on a private gallery's site here. Her own website has fantastic photos of her stunning installations and multiples, mainly built with balloons or feathers. Those woven balloon pieces look irrestible. I'd have to sit there squidging the surface with my fingers. (Perhaps I should keep that to myself...) I just love it when hear of someone I hadn't heard of before whose work really pops my cork!