See also: Samuel Palmer: Vision and Landscape - review by Andrew Graham-Dixon in The Daily Telegraph, 13 November 2005.
See also: Samuel Palmer: Vision and Landscape - review by Andrew Graham-Dixon in The Daily Telegraph, 13 November 2005.
Look what I made - it's a foldable pop-up diorama! I went to a workshop (in December - yes, am crap at getting posts finished!) at Hove Museum run by lovely local artist Lizzie Thomas, who is part of the Unravelled group of craft-based artists (also lovely - the ones I've met anyway!).
Lizzie showed us several samples she'd made using the same basic principles, and although they looked scarily complex, she explained everything so clearly we all came away after two hours with complete and fairly fancypants versions of our own! All just from some pieces of card and careful scalpel work.
Mine is a secret garden. (I must re-read 'The Secret Garden'...)
A great tip from Lizzie was to cut all or part of the back of the diorama away and cover the aperture with artists' tracing paper. Then you get a lovely effect with diffused light shining through. You even place in in front of a candle if you were VERY careful. Maybe one of those fake LED candles would be better!
Since I did this I've made a few more, mainly as birthday cards, so I'll post some photos of them shortly. This is a fascinating craft, I really want to explore it further!
* SONG OF THE DAY: Dawn Penn - The First Cut Is The Deepest *
Just complete a simple registration, then upload your own image (I've used my 'Duck House' design here), and the site will reproduce it as a patchwork pattern in your choice of 5, 10 15 or 20 colours, either in basic squares (either 10x15 or 20x30) or in squares and triangles (24x36), in a downloadable PDF which includes your individual colour key and tips on how to create your quilt.
You could also use your pattern as a cross stitch chart. I might try making my pattern up as a paper collage using colour torn from magazines. Thank you V&A!
The Klencke Atlas, 1660 © 2010 The British Library Board.
A tasty Culture24 Picture Special: Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art at the British Library
Screen Search Fashionis an online resource which provides a guide to aspects of 1920s and 1930s fashion and dress as depicted in non-fiction film from the collections of Screen Archive South East(in collaboration with the Royal College of Art.
You can see what people wore on holiday, or at the summer fete or carnival. There's also a section dedicated to work clothes, including unforms. It's great to see original garments wore by ordinary people in real life - something even the best-researched costume drama can not do.
The clips are accompanied by photos of relevant items of clothing from local museums. It would be fantastic if, in turn, the clips could be screened within these museums' displays. I love looking at fashion collections in museums but nothing can compare to seeing how garments were worn, what they looked like in motion, and for which occasions they were worn.
It's a fascinating site to explore - I hope that over the next few years they're given the resources needed to extend the site to include film from the 1940s to the present day (so long as that doesn't include any of my family's 1970s home movies!).
Back in Crawley to see my folks a few weeks ago, I went to a 'Japanese Cultural Event' at Crawley's lovely new library. I have more enthusiasm for, than knowledge of, Japanese culture. Mainly the tradional stuff - geisha, kimono, graphic prints - but also modern phenomenon such as cosplay, especially the sort of outfits worn by the 'Harajuku kids' made famous by street fashion magazine FRUiTS. So it was great to get a good introduction from a Japanese person who lives in Britain.
Akemi Solloway is a lecturer and consultant on Japanese culture, and leads study visits to Japan. She started by explaining that she wears kimono all the time - she had her train ticket tucked in her obi! What really surprised me was that everything else she needed - purse, keys, etc - she kept in the long 'pockets' of her kimono sleeves. She also explained that while the fan she had on her was wooden, she sometimes carried a metal fan which could be used for self-defence if walking alone at night!
Akemi dressed a volunteer in a summerweight cotton kimono known as a yukata, and tied an obi round her waist which she finished with a big bow. The lady said it was likely wearing a corset - rather tight but good for your posture!
Then Akemi took us through part of the tea ceremony. Along the way she told us loads about Japanese history and modern Japanese culture, and told us about the two-day Japanese Art Festival she runs in Richmond every year, which includes art, music and food. This year it's 27-28 February, and it's FREE! I really hope I can get there.
Johanna is a fashion knitwear designer from the Faroe Islands – a small group of islands in the North Atlantic Sea, famous for having twice as many sheep as people and a strong tradition for knitting. Her garments are made by women from the Faroes and the Ukraine, where knitting is also an important part of the heritage.
Just look at the unihibted use of colour and pattern - great styling on this shoot, too. It makes me want to go and raid my cupboards for an outfit full of clashing colours and textures - or maybe chop up three patterned jumpers from the charity shop to make myself a new sweater dress... mmmmmmm!!!
All images (c) Steinum.net
I've finally done it. I've learnt to crochet!!! I'd tried learning from a book and ended up with a right mess, so I figured I'd be better off learning from a real person and booked up for a 2-hour 'Learn To Crochet'' workshop at Hove Museum. And here is My First Granny Square!
Our tutor was Jan Eaton, who has written loads of books about crochet. She was great, and explained the mysteries of foundation rings and turning chains, making them much less scary. I made another square when I got home, but I went wrong - didn't put enough stitches in the corners - see?
But the good thing was that using the pattern and diagrams Jan had given us, I could identify the mistake and correct it! It was so great to have learned a new skill - obviously I'm doing the crochet equivalent of playing 'Chopsticks' on the piano, but it's still exciting seeing a granny square take shape!
I'm hoping to crochet myself a granny square blanket to put over my sofa (if only if came out like Lucy at Attic 24's!). And I've got Debbie Stoller's book Stitch and Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker to move me on to (slightly) more complex projects - it's got a lovely light-hearted feel to it which helps to make learning the various stitches seem far less daunting. Look Mum, I'm a hooker!!!
Mum's really interested in Queen Victoria, so for her birthday I knitted her this doll of old Victoria in her mourning clothes. Once again I based the doll on Jean Greenhowe's Little Gift Dolls pattern, using the skirt from the Christmas Tree Fairy and the cuffs from Miss Valentine. The widow's cap I made using the veil pattern from the Summer Mouse in the Knitted Animals booklet.
I made Victoria necklaces of pearls and crystals, and pearl earrings, and a mourning brooch with Albert's cameo on it. The crown was knitted in silver crochet thread, using Jean Greenhowe's 'picot hem' pattern, and I sewed on crystal beads. Does her face look amused?
All images in this post (c) Kristen Bailey 2009
* SONG OF THE DAY: The Divine Comedy - Victoria Falls *
There's a chap reading a newspaper, seated next to a lady with a flask of tea...
... and a kissing couple!
I love automata. I enjoyed making the sheep automata for my mum, and I'd like to learn how to design one myself. I'm not a woodworker so I'd like to see if I could make a fabric one - over an armature of some sort I guess.
Rob Ives' Paper Engineering and Pop-ups for Dummies looks like it might be a good starting point.
* SONG OF THE DAY: The Rolling Stones - Start Me Up *
The LEGO shop had a really detailed model of a hotel in its window, and I thought it must be a special display item, but when I went in I found a whole range of these premium models, available as kits. They're expensive but would be really fun to make (but a bugger to dust)!
I love fairground imagery. There are some lovely things on Etsy, including gorgeous prints of carousels and helter-skelters. For a treasure trove of fairground images, check out the National Fairground Archive at the University of Sheffield.
* SONG OF THE DAY: Dead or Alive - You Spin Me Round *
Via the Simply Knitting newsletter: A traditional wooden boat in an unusual knitted coat will be on display at The Customs House, South Shields, from 12 Jun - 21 Jul 2009. Artist Ingrid Wagner worked with Esen Kaya, visual arts development officer at the Custom House and lots of knitters to create the fabric to cover the boat.
School children, college kids and knitters of all ages and abilities have been busy working on all sorts of accessories for the boat. Over 300 knitters have been involved with the project, both locally and from around the world. The boat was built by the Northeast Maritime Trust. On 12 July it will be launched into the Tyne! More...
Excerpt from 'Soft Options: The Knitting Kaleidoscope' - created in 1985 for The Knitting Craft Group of the British Handknitting Association; now in The Knitting & Crochet Guild Collection.
She has her own website, and a Twitter account, from which she'll be passing on her top tips for making the most of limited resources during the recession, including how to patch clothes, darn socks, unpick old jumpers to reuse the yarn, and how to adapt old clothes for new uses.
It's £120 so a bit out of my reach, but maybe if manage to save, or get a surprise commission, I'll be able to make it mine! Or I could treat myself to a mosaiced letter 'K', like this £45 letter 'E'.
I went to a mosaic workshop at Hove Museum run by Anna a few years ago, and she helped us all make something we were proud of - but I still really really want a Tilson original!
Also: MADE: Maker of the Week - Anna Tilson
It's 150 years since Brighton School of Art was founded, in 1859, and there's an exhibition opening soon at the current Faculty of Arts & Architecture at the University of Brighton to celebrate its history and students. And - hooray! - it's right on my doorstep! I haven't been able to cope with day trips to London since I developed M.E. so I've missed a gazillion exhibitions I'd have loved to see.
Exhibits will include fashion, textiles, 3D, illustration, fine art, architecture, performance art and graphic design items, with contributions from famous alumni such as Julien MacDonald, Quentin Blake, Alison Lapper, Rachel Whiteread, Keith Tyson, Antony Gormley, Emily Gravett and Raymond Briggs. It runs from 16 January - 14 March 2009.
The latest issue of Crafts magazine has a lovely piece of Su Blackwell artwork (Wild Flowers, 2007) on the cover. I first saw her work in the V&A Museum Shop. It's gorgeous stuff - delicate "book-cut sculptures" of mindboggling intricacy. She takes a scalpel to a secondhand book and creates other worlds within its pages.
As with Rob Ryan's papercuts, you have to wonder - what happens if you sneeze while you're cutting a tricky bit? There's a great interview with Su, with lots of great images of her work, on the My Love For You blog. She has an exhibition at Long and Ryle in London from November 26th - December 20th, 2008.
Poster for the Hacienda's Hallucienda Monday night slot. © MoSI
Via 24 Hour Museum:
"The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester is hosting an event designed to capture the memories of clubbers from the Haçienda."The Museum's exhibition Fac 51 The Haçienda runs from 3 April–30 June, on Tues and Thurs from 10.00am–4.00pm. Urbis will also be running a Haçienda exhibition from 19 July 2007.
* SONG OF THE DAY: A Guy Called Gerald - Voodoo Ray *
A great day out today has really lifted my spirits. Good company, a change of scene, some culture, some shopping and some good food have done me the world of good.
Sarah, the Blonde and I went up to the Big Smoke to see the Kylie show at the V&A. I'd already seen it but it's free and they wanted to go so I didn't mind seeing it again at all. Lunch at the V&A wasn't cheap but at least the £7 sarnie the Blonde and I bought to share for economy reasons turned out to be huge and delicious.
Then we snuggled on a Surrealist sofa in the foyer...
Then off to Tottenham Court Road to lose myself in the wonders of Paperchase, and on to Oxford Street Topshop so Blonde could enlarge her sock collection and drool at anything with skulls on. I picked up a couple of David Shrigley cards for my wall - this one cos I've always loved it and this one to make me smile in the face of necessary medication. And, one trip to Schuh later, the Blonde had happy feet.
We headed over to Wardour Street (having warned Sarah about the loos) for lovely Thai food, but stopped off first at Soho Square so I could see Kirsty MacColl's memorial bench - every other time I've looked for it the place has been too crowded, so it was lovely to find it and have my picture taken sitting on it.
After dinner there was an unplanned stop for a crepe before getting the bus back to Victoria, very very full and completely knackered... but happy.
"Find out how and why a revolution in camouflage occurred during the First World War; how teams of artists and designers were employed to conceal and distort everything from soldiers to battleships and how camouflage concepts and designs have influenced contemporary art and fashion from street-style to couture."
This has sent me off Googling to find the snazziest camouflage items I could find. So far I've found loads of Camouflage stuff on Etsy.com, camouflage duvet covers (sand, blue or pink), camouflage undies, a toilet seat, baby clothes, some bitchin' shoes and knee boots and this rather tasteful party frock. Classy.
Get Closer To Kylie with this snazzy little interactive on the Kylie section of the V&A Museum's website where you can examine some of her stage clothes in more detail. The Kylie exhibition opens next week.
I get to go to the press launch for work (yes - I'm so lucky, lucky lucky!) but it's bound to be a crush, and I've also booked to go again with the Blonde and Sarah at the end of March. This should be an altogether more civilised visit, as we plan to include Thai food in Soho (taking care in the loos) and sock shopping on Oxford Street in our schedule.
"Take a look at London as you have never seen it before. This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition brings to life London’s lost lanes and landmarks, parks and palaces, riots and railways, towers and temptations.There's a book out too - London: A Life in Maps by Peter Whitfield. Looks tasty - have I mentioned that I love maps?
Maps, views, letters, and ephemera from the British Library collections, show the city’s transformation from a Roman outpost to the huge, heaving metropolis of today - and look to the Olympic and post-Olympic future.
In a series of magnificent maps and panoramas, London’s growth spreads before you through disease and fire, property booms and commercial expansion, war and comprehensive redevelopment. At the same time lesser-known images will enable you to see why and how these changes happened, and to catch a glimpse of Londoners’ lives and values, hopes and fears, preoccupations and aspirations through the ages.
Discover the ‘lost’ London’s you never knew - the great estates and the workhouses, the palaces and prisons, the grand churches and vast dockyards, the ancient villages and vanishing fields."
Susie MacMurray has done another large-scale installation - this time at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex. For Shell, she has covered the walls of an 18th century stairwell with 20,000 mussel shells inlaid with velvet:
"I’m my own worst enemy in that I often use things that can’t be easily bought or made. To get 20,000 joined, partially open mussel shells required weekly trips to a local fish restaurant in Chester to collect their rubbish. For over 3 months I spent 3 days a week sorting, discarding, scraping, bleaching, boiling and stacking what I calculated should be enough shells to cover two walls of the stairwell. Finding 100 metres of the most opulent red silk velvet possible was comparatively straightforward, involving internet research and a trip to Berwick Street in London to haggle with different shops to get the best price."Read on to find out the ideas behind the installation and how it was put together.
"Quentin Blake has selected twenty beastly works by some of the country’s finest living illustrators. Sara Fanelli presents us with some wonderfully monstrous images from Greek mythology, Emma Chichester Clark provides strange creatures to accompany Roald Dahl’s songs and verse, Axel Scheffler’s Gruffalo makes an appearance as does Raymond Briggs’ Fungus the Bogeyman." (Via www.bath.ac.uk/holburne)
Fantastic Mr Blake has also produced a series of pictures for the walls of Kershaw Ward, a ward for older adults at South Kensington and Chelsea Mental Health Centre.
"The ward environment has now been transformed with the installation of a series of sixteen pictures – some of them as much as eight feet long – showing scenes of people of his own generation enjoying themselves in a world of Quentin's characteristic wit and optimism. The patients on the ward have been describing the pictures as 'an absolute joy!' or saying 'they make me smile'!
The works in the ward are enlarged facsimile prints from the artist's originals, which also allows them to be used in other hospitals. An exhibition at the Mental Health Centre (will) run until 8th September... Opening hours and other details of the exhibition are to be found on www.nightingaleproject.org." (Via quentinblake.com)
The Nightingale Project: Quentin Blake's pictures transform mental health ward
Bookmark - books and disability issues: The Quentin Blake Award gives children a voice
The Guardian, December 20, 2005: Children's author of the month: Quentin Blake
Quentin Blake Europe School, Germany
Toonhound: Gentleman Briggs - A Raymond Briggs fansite
The Guardian, December 20, 2005: Bloomin' Christmas
I first heard about ganseys - knitted jumpers (usually navy blue) traditionally worn by fisherman - when I was looking through a book of photographs of Whitby in Yorkshire, taken by Frank Meadow Sutcliffe a century ago. A little Googling threw up the website of Flamborough Marine, who still handknit ganseys to order, as well as patterns and yarns to enable you to knit your own gansey.
Ganseys (or guernseys) were knitted in the round, so they were seamless and more durable, and had distinctive patterns knitted into them:
"Many of the stitch motifs used to decorate the ganseys were inspired by the everyday objects in the lives of fishing families. Some of the best-known designs represent ropes, nets, anchors and herringbone. Other patterns are based on the weather, echoing the shapes made by waves, hail or flashes of lighting. Some patterns had more complex symbolic meanings. One of the traditional Filey patterns, for example, is a zigzag design called 'marriage lines' which represents the ups and downs of married life.I found more info and some wonderful photographs of gansey knitters and wearers in the online archives of UK museums:
It was even possible for fishing families to recognize from the pattern of a gansey, which fishing village, or even which family, the wearer came from. At a time when the loss of a boat was a frequent occurrence, deliberate mistakes or the wearer’s initials were often incorporated into the design in order to help to identify a body recovered from the sea. As the gansey was was traditionally worn tight-fitting and close to the skin, and with no seams to come apart, it could not be washed off in the water."
Flamborough Marine: Gansey History
*The David Morgan Rees collection at Sheffield Hallam University: Mrs Ethel Richardson of Old Whitby, a fisherman's wife, using the traditional four needles to knit a 'gansey'
* University of St. Andrews's Library Photographic Archive:
- Cox[swain] David Fenton, RNLI, St Andrews (larger version)
- Lowestoft fisherman (larger version)
- Fisher Lad (larger version)
* Tyne & Wear Museums - Memorynet: Dave Graham talks about his gansey
* Tyne & Wear Museums - Fish Tales: The Fishermen's Ganseys
* Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service: Ganseys
* National Museum of Photography, Film and Television: Frank Meadow Sutcliffe (image gallery)
This fab bag is in the collection of Brent Museum in London. You can search Brent Library, Museum & Archive Catalogues online.
"A major fashion retrospective of the work of John Bates, who designed under the name Jean Varon from the 1960s to the 1980s...Also:
John Bates was acknowledged as one of the big four names of British fashion in the 1970s along with Jean Muir, Bill Gibb and Zandra Rhodes. Nowadays, however, his name is less well known amongst the fashion conscious, although ‘Jean Varon’ is a name with which women of a certain age will be familiar. John Bates has not, so far, been acknowledged and celebrated in fashion history. This exhibition will redress this imbalance.
John Bates’ intention was to produce good fashion design that could be afforded on a secretary’s wage. This exhibition will showcase 90 ensembles which bear out the designer’s words. From the Empire line styles and daring see-through mesh dresses of the mid 1960s to the bright prints, floating chiffons and couture clothes towards the end of his career, this is a must-see exhibition for everyone, young and old, who is interested in fashion of the 1960s and 1970s."
"Susie was commissioned to respond creatively to the interior of this beautiful medieval deconsecrated church. The evocative piece is the latest work by MacMurray following on from successes such as Flock at Manchester Art Gallery... She has also worked in York before, recreating Flock at York Art Gallery...24 Hour Museum: Echo Installation Transforms Church Of York St Mary's
'As a place of worship that has existed for nearly a millennium, St. Mary’s contains a wealth of history built up over the centuries. Archaeological and social histories can be pieced together by sifting and extrapolating, but intangible and equally significant things will also have taken place there. Untraceable sounds, experiences and emotions that science cannot pin down will have existed in the space and a kind of ephemeral essence remains. Echo is a response to St. Mary’s as a kind of vessel for the traces of profound contemplation, sound, memory, history and human faith.'
The materials chosen by Susie for this installation are hairnets and the discarded rosin covered horsehair from violin bows. Hairnets were chosen for their delicate nature and their metaphorical connection to the human body. The violin bow hair was chosen because of its former role in the intense and emotive human experience of making music...(more)"
"The kids laughed at me this week when I mentioned the word Moygashel. They'd never heard of it and accused me of making it up. I told them it was one of the words bandied about in my childhood home all the time. My father was in tailoring so there was a frequent backdrop of phrases like: "Well, of course 'e's going potshop! He ordered it in cavalry twill and when it came in, workshop had done it in gabardine. No, we've none left... unless we do it in barathea and hope he won't notice the difference."...and the second with the appealing possibility of retaining a spontaneous and curious nature in old age (aided and abetted by the bus system):
My mother was also a rampant materialist. Rare was the day when she didn't have a swatch-based decision to make before sundown, concerning a choice between the moire with the gimped edging or the doupion with the slight watermark that wouldn't show, or the grosgrain with the slub trim..."
"My iconic friend Elsbeth had her 95th birthday party last week... We heard that each morning Elsbeth waits by the bus stop near her home. If the no 9 comes first she goes to the Royal Academy and if the 19 comes first, the National Gallery. You don't have to be a seer or a sucker to see that it's her endless curiosity that keeps her alive."
Guardian: Maureen Lipman, May 15, 2006
"He did the words, she did the pictures. Together they made the whole book, cover to cover. Like tennis players they battered (sic) the words and pictures back and forth between them till the game was over, the book finished. And when one was done, they began another; 37 books in 20 years. What's in the Book? celebrates the Alhberg's creative partnership and explores the wonderful books they made. Discover where they got their ideas and how they turned them into highly original books that are clever, funny and have massive appeal to both children and adults. Rub shoulders with classic characters like Burglar Bill and Mrs Wobble the Waitress. See beautiful original illustrations from favourites like Each Peach Pear Plum and Peepo. Listen to poems and rhymes. Write letters for The Jolly Postman. Share Ha Ha Bonk jokes and tell your own. Win a prize and enjoy sharing Janet and Allan's best loved books."
Burglar Bill was the first book I really loved, at about 4 years old. It's a great story and I was engrossed by the intricate detail in Janet's illustrations. Last year I bought it for my friends' daughter for her third birthday. Turns out she loves it too: "...'That's a nice tin of beans,' says Burglar Bill. 'I'll have that!'..." What's in the Book? is on until January 2007. Penguin: Janet and Allan Ahlberg Children's Poetry Archive: Allan Ahlberg (inc interview) Amazon.co.uk: Janet's Last Book
It's ten years since an IRA bomb blew up in Manchester city centre. It causes widespread damage - but no fatalities. Every Cloud: Ten Years After The Manchester Bomb is on at Manchester's Urbis until December:
"Every Cloud is an installation of work recalling the huge dust cloud thrown up by the impact of the bomb, re-created by Manchester school children, constructed from 80,000 pieces of paper.The IRA bomb went off just at the end of my second year at uni. It was a Saturday morning and I was in my student house in the Higher Broughton area of Salford, about two miles away. Suddenly, *BOOM* - the whole house shuddered and the windows rattled. I raced to the window expecting to see a lorry crash at the crossroads at the top of our street.
The exhibition also presents recorded testimonies and impressions of people who experienced the events of that day. "
We were gobsmacked when we heard what had happened. One of our friends worked at Marks & Spencers (the bomb was in a van just outside the store) and they'd all been evacuated to Victoria Station about an hour beforehand, when the warning call was made. I think even over there they had had casualties from flying glass.
The rebuilding of the bombed area went on throughout my final year at uni and continued long after I'd left. I've got vivid memories of the damaged buildings - M&S, the Royal Exchange and the massive hole in the side of the Arndale - twisted girders and cables, water dripping from broken pipes - being able to see right inside to shops and offices.
Going back for the first time in years a couple of months ago I hardly recognised that part of town - all tarted up with designer shops, bars, a big screen and an observation wheel - only the area around the cathedral felt familiar.
I was glad to see that the post box outside M&S, which survived almost unscathed while everything in the surrounded area was devastated is still there, and now wears a plaque commemorating its history.
Greater Manchester Police: Manchester bombing footage
Manchester Evening News: City museum marks bombing
BBC: On this day - 1996: Huge explosion rocks central Manchester
BBC: Manchester bomb: in pictures
BBC: Manchester bomb: where were you?
Handsworth 2000 Carnival Queen Costume - Boot © Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery
I love that part of my job involves spending time on museum websites - some of them have the most wonderful digitised collections online for you to browse through (and drool over). These amazing boots are from BMAGiC - Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery's online database:
"These boots are part of an entire carnival costume - skirt, top, shoulder 'pads' and headdress - made in Birmingham by a Caribbean designer called Professor Black.
Hundreds of years ago Catholics in Europe celebrated the start of Lent with a wild costume festival. The festival tradition was then taken to the European colonies where the slave trade was established. In the Carribean, ancient African traditions of parading and moving in circles through villages in costumes and masks were combined with vibrant African music and dance.
The result today is a rich expression of artistic achievements and lots of fun. Carnival in Handsworth started in 1984."
There's also a great collection of monochrome photos - self-portraits of residents of Handsworth taken in 1979. Fascinating to browse through - who are they, what are they wearing, what are they feeling, how have they chosen to pose, what do they look like nearly thirty years later?
I love Rob Ryan's beautiful papercuts - especially when he does then in red (ooh look, a kinky cushion!). They've popped up in several magazines over the past year or two - there was even one in Vogue, illustrating an article about insomnia (I think). There are loads of examples of his work on his website - so intricate, I don't know how on earth he does it.
Also (via Cool Hunting - great pics) it seems that Rob's been working with Paul Smith and has had an exhibtion at one of the designer's London stores. Over now though, boo.
Trawling for Rob Ryan links, I found a great bunch of papercut-related posts on Handmade Life.
Cover art for Lucinda Williams Live At The Fillmore - I think that's a papercut!
Béatrice Coron's papercuts
Red button bag by Edson Raupp, suitcase-london.com
Mmm... a beautiful Edson Raupp handbag from the Crafts Council's Well Fashioned: Eco Style in the UK exhibition, which I've already posted about.
Many moons ago, when I was a Saturday girl in a haberdashery, I used to look at the kimble (tagging) gun we used and think, "Wouldn't it be cool to use long kimble tags to attach loads of sequins to curtains?" But kimble guns were beyond my budget, so that idea never came to fruition.
So it's cool to see this bag - and I love that he's used red kimble tags to match, and in all different lengths. Although it's probably best I don't own one - I'd doubtless end up getting constantly tangled up with doorhandles (and members of the public).
There's a lampshade in Habitat which has small pearl buttons all over it, attached by kimble tags. (Slight pause while she Googles for more info.) Ooh, turns out it's by Tracy Kendall, who does all that fantastic wallpaper.
On at the Met Museum in New York from May 3 2006 – September 4 2006, AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion:
"AngloMania focuses on British fashion from 1976 to 2006, a period of astounding creativity and experimentation. Over the past 30 years, British fashion has been defined by a knowing and self-conscious historicism. In their search for novelty, designers have looked to past styles with an appetite that is as audacious as it is rapacious. Focusing on their postmodern, historicizing tendencies, this exhibition presents a series of tableaux based on Britain’s rich artistic traditions. The irony of satirical prints, the romance of landscape paintings, and the glamour and bravado of grand manner portraits are evoked through a wide spectrum of British designers."
John Lydon has a few interesting things to say about it on his website.
Telegraph: Eclectic, electric – the Brits take Manhattan by storm (with photo gallery of the celeb guests, including Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy and John Lydon)
Western Mail: Americans snub Welsh designers at British fashion show
The Times: Punks and peers fashion an Anglophile evening
Forbes: `AngloMania' Keeps British Humor
A Passion for Fashion: A Liverpool Lady's Wardrobe is on from 29 April to 30 July 2006 at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. This looks wonderful - 130 items selected from the wardrobe of Emily Tinne, an ordinary (if middle-class and prosperous) Liverpool woman, donated to National Museums Liverpool by her daughter.
The exhibition is displaying clothing, shoes and accessories worn by Emily Tinne and her children between about 1910 and 1940, along with info about where many of the items came from and what shopping in Liverpool was like in this era. Sadly I doubt I'll get to see this - it's 250 miles away and I'm not planning to head up north again this year. It looks so good though - am salivating just looking through the online photo gallery.
I love this type of exhibition - where you can see the clothes and accessories of one person, and note how their taste changed (or didn't) over time, and what styles and colours they favoured over the years.
Of course, this sort of collection relies on the person stopping wearing things before they wear out, and hanging on to stuff which they've gone off, or grown too big or small for, AND having the storage space - which usually means someone middle or upper class.
In a similar vein but higher up the social ladder is Brighton Museum and Art Gallery's Fashion and Fancy Dress: The Messel Family Dress Collection 1865-2005 (on until 16 July 2006), an exhibition of gorgeous womenswear from six generations of the artistic and aristocratic Messel family.
Killerton House in Exeter has opened 'an evocative exhibition of frothy dance dresses, glittering evening clothes and gorgeous accessories' from their costume collection:
"The displays will include 19th and 20th-century gowns for special occasions – sumptuous dinner dresses, glittering cocktail and ball gowns and elaborate stoles and evening mantles. Accessories such as fans, gloves, shoes, bags and artificial flower corsages will also feature."It sounds gorgeous... if only I knew someone in Devon who could put me up! Shall We Dance? is on till October 29 2006.
24 Hour Museum: Dress To Impress At Killerton House Gown Exhibition
Thanks to Jonny Baker for flagging up Hosts - an interactive video installation by Martin Reiser and collaborators which has been showing in Bath Abbey. Reiser drew his inspiration from the Jacob's Ladder motif on the West front of the Abbey:
"Vertical screens are placed at strategic opposite points of the space. A visitor triggers the presence of a variety of unfocused and evanescent video characters through the use of positional detection devices (Chirpers) and interpretative software. Individual characters appear at random and smile, beckon or otherwise indicate that the visitor[s] should follow them and pass onwards from screen to screen, keeping pace with the visitor[s]. These 'hosts' will be of a wide range of ages, gender, social types and races, but will always appear singly to the participant. A 3D audio landscape of footsteps, acapella tonal voices and breathing sounds will accompany the visitor between the screens and form a tangible changing audio landscape... If a visitor stands for more than a few seconds in front of a particular screen, the figure will turn in the direction of the viewer and return the visitor[s] stare. The video sprite will look the visitor up and down, or turn away in distraction and then speak a series of poetic aphorisms, also seen as animated text on the screen. The piece is a reflection on human life and death, presence and absence. The 'hosts' may be taken to represent a variety of presences: from the angels of Jacob's Ladder, to the spirit of people who have inhabited the same spaces, or seen as fragments of an individual psyche... On the last part of the installation will be pictured two vertical ladders, placed on opposite sides of the space, and disappearing beyond the screen edges. On one ladder the characters are continuously climbing upwards and vanishing. On the second ladder they are climbing downwards from the top of the frame and walking off screen."
Hosts ends today at Bath Abbey but I'll keep an eye out for it touring - I've love to go and experience it. Seeing these video screens hanging in a church building reminds me of seeing Bill Viola's moving and evocative video installation The Messenger, which I've posted about before:
"Bill Viola's work fascinates me. I'm not really into video art, but his work just seems to resonate with me. It has spiritual connotations - he uses a lot of water and I'm a Baptist! I'll never forget seeing his The Messenger at Fabrica in Brighton a few years ago. After its debut in Durham Cathedral, The Messenger had toured around the country for years (and so had I) but we'd never been in the same place at the same time. Then there it was, in a gallery two minutes away from my office. Fabrica is a converted chapel, and the video screen (which was about 20ft high) was hung behind the altar. The room was pitch black but for the light from the screen, and filled with the booming breathing of the man on the screen, descending into and rising from deep water. I used to go every day and watch for 10 or 15 minutes, watching him descend, getting smaller and more blurry, then slowly ascend, getting larger and sharper until he broke the surface of the water with a desperate, roaring gasp for air which ricocheted round the room."
I got to see The Messenger again when it was included in the Prescence: Contemporary Images of Christ exhibition at St Paul's Cathedral in 2004, which I reviewed for the 24 Hour Museum website. I hope I get to see it again one day - I don't think it could fail to move me no matter how many times I see it.
Stills from 'The Messenger' video installation by Bill Viola (1996) - click on the images for larger versions
Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli was an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art back in 2004. However, the museum's website still hosts a great online resource celebrating the work of the surrealist couturier. Most fun is the Kids Zone, where you can play in a dressing room full of Schiaparelli clothes and accessories.
Candida Martinelli's Italophile Site: Schiaparelli (great pictures)
The official Schiaparelli website
Fashion-Era: Elsa Schiaparelli
Wikipedia: Elsa Schiaparelli
Arts.Telegraph: Chic Value - Elsa Schiaparelli
Contained Obsessions is at the Crypt Gallery, Lewes until 4 March 2006. It includes the work of Liz Padgham, which "encompasses the contemporary, even quirky uses of traditional craft forms such as knitting and stitching. It incorporates found and domestic objects and uses a variety of media, including textiles."
"Padgham takes domestic objects and encases them in knitting. She believes that every line in the fabric contains a memory. There’s a rather pop-arty feel to her work, in the way it makes us re-examine every day objects." Viva Lewes
Until 7 May 2006 at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney (something tells me I won't catch this one)... Kylie: The Exhibition - over thirty of Kylie's costumes (including the white muslin dress from the I Should Be So Lucky video and yes, those gold hotpants). It's touring from the Arts Centre, Melbourne (the exhibition draws from over 300 items donated by Kylie to their Performing Arts Collection).
"What I imagine people will want to see is the wear and tear, the ingrained makeup after fifty shows, where the audio-pack rubs – these are the things that for me, bring costumes to life."
The exhibition also includes photographs, costume designs and audio-visuals. A free podcast tour is available - it's meant to be used while walking through the exhibition, but maybe I'll try listening to it whilst browsing the Arts Centre's online exhibition, or by finding each outfit, as it's mentioned, in my Kylie: La La La book.
We went to see Kylie's Showgirl gig at Earls Court the week before she announced she was suffering from breast cancer. She was amazing - I'd never been to a huge stadium pop concert before and it more than exceeded my expectations. It was camp and colourful and glamourous - feathers, sequins, diamante - the whole shebang! (I'd love to be involved in styling costumes for a show like this.)
She changed outfits about eight times, the sets and lighting were stunning, the dancers were fantastic and - blimey - Kylie can really sing! I don't mean that nastily - it's just not what she's famous for - but she's got a great, strong voice. My favourite bit was near the end when she got the whole of Earls Court duetting with her on Especially For You - our half of the lyrics appearing in lights behind her.
Sydney Morning Herald, May 16, 2005: Behind the feathers with Team Kylie
The Offical Kylie: Showgirl site
BBC, January 13 2006: Kylie cancer treatment continues
Help fund free mammograms at the Breast Cancer Site
Raiment for Receptions: A Japanese Bride's Last Furisode is on at the Kent State University Museum until to March 12, 2006:
"The furisode, or "swinging sleeve" kimono, is traditionally worn only by women before marriage. The last time a Japanese bride wears these long, swinging sleeves is at her wedding reception. On this occasion, elaborately embroidered furisode, called uchikake, are worn over a matching kimono and serve to display the family's status as well as to keep the bride the visual focus of the reception party.
In The Story of the Kimono, Jan Liddel (1989) writes that during the wedding reception "the bride changes at least two or three times. This astonishing fashion show is designed to entertain the guests and parade family status, and it usually presents a mixture of traditional and Western-style clothing, such as evening dress. At least one furisode will be worn, which may be rented, as the bride will never wear this long-sleeved robe again."
The Japanese bride's traditional apparel usually consists of a white kimono called shiromaku (shiro meaning white and maku meaning pure) worn for the wedding ceremony, or for a wedding photograph if she has decided on Western dress for the ceremony itself, and then at least one colorful and elaborate uchikake during the reception. The seven richly ornamented garments in this exhibition, all from the Silverman/Rodgers gift to the Kent State University Museum, are examples of uchikake worn as part of such wedding festivities."
The Entwistle Gallery: Works by Conrad Shawcross
The Walker Art Gallery: Interview with Conrad Shawcross
The Observer: How I Work: Conrad Shawcross (which mentions these BBC2 Christmas 2005 idents)
The Observer: Portrait of the artist as a young boffin
The Telegraph: In the studio: Conrad Shawcross
Kimono for a woman. Machine-spun pongee silk woven with stencil-printed warp thread (meisen) Japan, Taisho period, 1912-26; Kimono for a woman. Figured silk crêpe (omeshi chirimen) brocade-woven with lacquered threads (rama-ire) Japan, Taisho period, 1920-30.
On at the V&A Museum in London until 1 May 2006, V&A - Fashioning Kimono: Dress in early 20th century Japan.
"These boldly patterned and brilliantly coloured kimono reveal the dynamism of Japanese textile design in the early twentieth century. This was a period of economic prosperity and cultural expansion. Although western-style clothes were gaining popularity among women, the kimono continued to be worn. The traditional cut of the garment remained the same, but the motifs were dramatically enlarged and new designs appeared, inspired by western styles such as Art Nouveau and Art Deco... These vibrant kimono styles remained popular until the 1950s."
I hope I can get up to London to see this - just browsing the photo gallery is making me drool...
The Victoria & Albert Museum's Christmas Tree has been designed by knitting and needlepoint maestro Kaffe Fassett. It's covered in pleated paper fans in shades of pink, red and orange, and crowned with a star made by Louise Lusby. Instructions for making the fans are available as pdfs here and here.
The Natural History Museum's Flowers and Fashion webcast features botanist Sandy Knapp and fashion photographer Nick Knight.
"Flowers are perhaps nature's most flamboyant display; but it's not only bees they attract. Humans have long been drawn to their colours, forms, and scents, and used them for our own decorations and advertisements... find out about cross-pollination between the worlds of fashion and nature."