Category Archives: Exhibitions

The day I gatecrashed Art

I didn’t mean to. Well, I did, but I wasn’t entirely sure it was Art. It was a group of innocent looking people standing around above the Turbine Hall in the Tate Modern. They weren’t talking to each other. They were just standing, on their phones or reading, leaning on the railings by the stairs. They could all have been just waiting for other people, but the smallest clue was that they were all facing the same way. There was no door or exhibition entrance or anything to queue for, but I’m British – I know a queue when I see one, so I went and joined it (at the back, obviously)!

Turns out, they were performers so I hope I didn’t offend anybody by joining in (apparently one of them gave me ‘a look’ as I walked away). I can’t have been the only one to do it, can I? Anyway, here’s why they were there:

Roman ondak – Good Feelings Good Times

gatecrashed-art

 

Art for all

Yesterday, I saw a clever and moving exhibition called ‘RE:FORM’. It is a collection of art (in all mediums including sound and poetry) by prisoners, offenders on community sentences, secure psychiatric patients and immigrant detainees. I haven’t seen it before but it’s the 8th exhibition in an ongoing partnership between the Southbank Centre and the Koestler Trust,

The pieces have titles and numbers but no names or details other than what the artist chooses to share through the art. There is no judgement to be made based on background or circumstances, just the work in front of you. Along with a (very informative) brochure about the exhibition, visitors are given a card and asked to write the name and number of their favourite piece and why they like it. These cards (you can write more than one) are collected together in a box and the feedback goes back to the artists.

You can find out more about it here but if you’re in London, near the Southbank, make time to visit the Royal Festival Hall (Spirit Level) – it’s free and is open daily from 10am-11pm.

Art by Offenders, Secure Patients and Detainees from the 2015 Koestler Awards

Art by Offenders, Secure Patients and Detainees from the 2015 Koestler Awards

Savage Beauty

Duck feather dress by Alexander McQueen from The Horn of Plenty, A/W 2009-10 Model: Magdalena Frackowiak represented by dna model management New York, Image: firstVIEW

Duck feather dress by Alexander McQueen from The Horn of Plenty, A/W 2009-10
Model: Magdalena Frackowiak represented by dna model management New York Image: firstVIEW

For those who aren’t familiar with this image, it’s from the Alexander McQueen exhibition ‘Savage Beauty’ currently showing at the V&A museum in London. I’ve seen it twice already but am happy to be going a third time to one of the late night shows they’ve added before it finishes on the 2nd August.

I’m not much into fashion but he was a genius. In his own words “You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.” You can see his Saville Row training, particularly in his early work, but then you see his style and creativity flourish. I’d wear most of it – especially the early, formal pieces and most of the tartan collection. And his armadillo shoes (see below). Not for every day wear but I’d love to try walking in a pair. The models didn’t seem to have a problem (apart from one or two who reminded me of Bambi).

Anyway, I’m not going to write about him as it’s been said better on the V&A site (link below). Just that he is inspiring and if ‘Savage Beauty’ ever comes your way, don’t miss it. Enjoy these extra couple of images, thanks to the V&A:

Jellyfish ensemble and Armadillo shoes by Alexander McQueen from Plato’s Atlantis, S/S 2010 Model: Polina Kasina, © Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE

Jellyfish ensemble and Armadillo shoes by Alexander McQueen from Plato’s Atlantis, S/S 2010
Model: Polina Kasina, © Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE

'Platos Atlantis' gallery by Alexander McQueen from Savage Beauty at the V&A 2015 Credit: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

‘Platos Atlantis’ gallery by Alexander McQueen from Savage Beauty at the V&A 2015
Credit: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-alexander-mcqueen-savage-beauty/

Black. And white.

This has nothing to do with dresses! davidbatchelorsign

This is about an exhibition we happened upon at The Whitechapel Gallery this weekend. It wasn’t the main exhibition (called Adventures of the Black Square which also sounds interesting) but the free exhibition alongside, called ‘Monochrome Archive, 1997-2015’. It’s by scottish artist, David Batchelor and is a series of photographs he calls ‘Found Monochromes’ – white (and black) blank spaces found in Cities he’s in. Watch the video of him talking about how it started and why (http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/exhibitions/david-batchelor/). I love this project – it’s an area that interests me – what is art and what isn’t. As he says, “…Is there a boundary between art and non art, or is it always negotiable? Is it always moving and a grey area? I think that’s an interesting place to be.”

If you’re near Aldgate in East London before the 3rd May (2015), do nip in and see it but if you can’t, here’s a link to the Whitechapel Gallery site and to David’s other work:

http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/

http://www.davidbatchelor.co.uk/

FoundMonochrome

Get out and get inspired

That was a great Friday night. I met a friend at the closing event of ‘Intimate’ by Miss Led at ThePrintSpace in Shoreditch. (Links below)

The exhibition has been on since the beginning of December but for this event, she was doing a live demo, sharing how she works with mixed media and some top tips on working as an illustrator. She had a selection of beautiful portraits on display and an opportunity to buy limited edition prints. What you didn’t get from the prints, of course, was the wall art extending out from each canvas, but they’re still nice pieces to have. Sometimes you just have to be there.

I didn’t get to talk to her as she had quite a circle of fans but it inspired me to go online and find out more.

I really like her site and her work but I particularly liked one of the projects she’s been involved in – Ted Baker: Live Portraiture. In flagship stores around the world, customers had their photo taken wearing an outfit from the new Ted Baker collection (2012). Then, 11 artists sat in ‘Ted’s Drawing Room’ at London HQ and chose the photos they wanted to illustrate. The day was streamed live across the internet and in stores, resulting in great publicity for Ted Baker and the artists involved. Plus 100 lucky customers received a signed and framed portrait created by one of 11 top illustrators. What a great idea. And the greatest result for the lucky customers chosen by Miss Led who received one of her original portraits.

Links: