Tuesday, 30 June 2015


Long post incoming!! I went to the V&A this saturday and thought I'd share some pictures of the things I loved.

It is absolutely enormous and even though I spent about 4 hours there I think I only saw about a third of everything in the museum! I was going to go to the Alexander McQueen exhibition but seeing as there were timed slots I decided not to go and to wander around the museum instead. Which was a good decision as I saw so many amazing things! First off, just look at this for an entrance. The Rotunda Chandelier by Chihuly is an amazing sight. And it weighs more than 1500 kilo's!

From the main entrance I went to see the exhbition What Is Luxury? which was very interesting. There were some really good installations and I loved finding out why the artists had created them and what they were made of. The highlights for me were the Fragile Future Concrete Chandelier by Studio Drift and the Jellyfish installation by Steffen Dam.

Real dandelion seed heads were harvested before opening into 'clocks' and individually applied to LED lights to make this chandelier. To avoid wiring , the lights are powered by an innovative three-dimensional bronze circuit which conducts electricity. This fusion of nature and technology is a poetic comment on the possibilities of uniting two seemingly opposite systems.
Steffen Dam is fascinated by the air bubbles, ash marks, soot residue, cracks and crookedness that appear in the glassmaking process. In his work he enhances the aesthetic and illusory qualities of these unexpected and unpredictable irregularities. Here he combines impurities with layers of carbon and siilver foils to create hyper-realistic jellyfish forms within the solid glass 'specimen jars'.

Another really cool thing in the What Is Luxury exhibition was this;

Hair Highway speculates about future sustainable materials. As the human population continues to grow and the world's natural resources diminish, human hair could become an increasingly viable alternative. The objects on display are made from a combination of hair and bio-resin, creating surfaces which evoke rare and endangered materials such as horn and tropical hard woods. The project resulted from research into the Chinese hair trade and alludes to the ancient Silk Road, a trade route for goods and cultural values.
The texture of this immediately caught my eye as I thought it was really pretty. it was only after watching the film that accompanied it that I realised it is made of HUMAN HAIR! How fantastic is that?! The installation is called Hair Highway and is made by Studio Swine. 

 I wandered around for a bit on the ground floor and then took the glass lift all the way to the 6th floor to see the ceramics collection. Which was amazing! I love pottery and ceramics and the colours and designs of some of the plates, bowls and vases were beautiful.

Basin with hare and artichoke. Italy, Florentine area, about 1450.
 This plate stood out so much for me! I can't believe how old it is as the style reminds me of something you would see in the shop now! I researched the symbolism of the artichoke and it says online that it is eaten at easter in Italy and shows the exuberance of the green nature and holiday feasting after the long winter, so I'm guessing this would be an easter plate! I wonder if the hare is the easter bunny of the 1450s..

Dish with man and two lilies. Southern Italy, 1250 - 1300.
The use of yellow in this design suggests north African influence.

Lustre dish with woman. Italy, Gubbio, 1500-10, painted in blue and lustre.
This dish illustrates the new Renaissance style adopted about 1500.
It is inscribed in Italian, 'He who has time, does not sleep'.

Dish with rocky landscape, Japan, Arita  1650-80.
And hello refelection!
Dish with peas, Staffordshire, around 1820, Minton's factory.
I don't know why but I thought the dish with peas was incredibly funny. It made me chuckle out loud which caused some irritated looks by some very serious old ladies.

Detail of a wall of Dutch tiles! Very recognisable. I love the style of illustrations of these.
I can't remember what the name of the artist was but it depicted a wale hunt!
Tile, Lambeth England, Royal Doulton. Made ca. 1900. Thompson M.E.
Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells, 
and pretty maids all in a row!

I loved the grace of the girl in these Doulton tiles, reminds me of Mucha's ladies. It's a bit kitsch but it is really beautifully painted.

After looking around the ceramics collection I took my time looking at the paintings, stained glass windows, photographs, tapestries, theatre costumes and the shop. This may sounds like a lot but there is honestly so much more to see! I really want to go again!

Millefleurs with a unicorn - around 1500. Southern Netherlands (Flanders), cut down from a larger tapestry.
Millefleurs means a thousand flowers. The name conveys the floral profusion that covers the meadow or forest floor in this very popular style of tapestries. Millefleurs tapestries often included small creatures which could be symbolic. The unicorn represented chastity, since only a virgin might tame it, and invulnerability, as its horn was an antidote to poison.
 This tapestry was HUGE, it was really hard to photograph so you can't really see how big it is I'm afraid. It does show you better on the V&A site here though!

I love Turner's work, I could look at them for ages, the colours are just magical and I love looking for the little details. Like these little crabs that I spotted in the top picture (part of the 1st painting). At least I think that is what they are, it definitly reminds me of walking along the beach and finding bits of crab shells in the sand. And just look at the light in the waves and sky on the other pictures, from far away it is hard to see but from close up it looks like there are about 30 different colours and tones in that one small bit.

All in all another great museum trip! I really loved the V&A and hope I'll get to go again before I leave on the 13th. But even if I don't, it's not going anywhere and I'm definitly going to be back! 

I've got a busy week this week, it's the last week of my internship at Rob Ryan and this weekend my brother and his girlfriend are coming to stay which I'm really looking forward to. I am planning on doing another sketchbook post though so keep your eyes peeled for that.

WELL DONE IF YOU HAVE READ ALL OF THIS! 10 points to Ravenclaw! 

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