The beautiful man

The beautiful man

Thursday, 30 September 2010


Had the first workshop at Leeds City Museum with Roundhay School, quite daunting and nerve racking but a successful day. The work is supported by the V&A and their push to have design taught within schools, using museums as a key resource within this process. Spent the morning creating drawings from the Heroes and Heroines exhibition and the afternoon doing a series of design work shops to show the potential for design within headwear and how you develop ideas. Working with Secondary and Primary schools is always so inspiring as the questions and ideas come with few preconceived beliefs.

What was also exciting were the range of head wear that was brought in as inspiration as well. Both the 1930's hats from Textiles and the Nigerian caps from the Other Cultures section. I love being in museums and it was particularly great to be there at 8.30 before anyone else.

New Arrivals

Monday, 27 September 2010

The Enchanted Palace

Kensington Palace has an exhibition on whilst 'they have the builders in'. I had heard great things about the exhibition and wasn't disappointed in the slightest except that you couldn't take pictures and there isn't a good book of the exhibition but those are my only quibbles, it was wonderful. I won't divulge any more in case anyone makes it down. Some excellent curating and creating moods and ideas.
Then for the science bit of the day off to the Science Museum as there was an identity exhibition on organised by Wellcome. Exceptional.
More stuffed creatures.

Lunch at Victoria and Albert Museum then a guided tour round Highgate Cemetery, what more can one ask.

V&A Late Night

Love the Victoria and Albert Museum and going in at 6.30pm was wonderful, really vibrant and full of people. I hope that the present government visits occasionally to see how key to society museums are. There were a lot of activities set up for Design Week , we attended a show on shoes with improvised jazz, I will say no more. I had hoped to be inspired by some ideas to develop the hat work, I now know how not to do it. The bee experiment was interesting and it was a good way to spend the evening.



Haunch of Venison

I had been eager to visit the Polly Morgan's Psychopomps exhibition after reading about her work several years ago,  also it is relevant to my Context work at MMU about looking at the identity that we give to objects in different places. There are only 4 pieces in the exhibition and a definite moth ball odour. The work is thought provoking and she does take taxidermy to a different level to make you think and look at the pieces closer. They were also reminiscent of the Isabella Blow piece created for the 'When Philip met Issy' exhibition and recently donated to the National Portrait Gallery created from rats, crows and a Manola heel.
The other exhibitions were 'I will survive' Joana Vasconcelos huge textile pieces and utilising a miriad of techniques and processes. Also the 'Loud Flash' British Punk on Paper which made me feel very old as I was 12 when most of the posters were created, all the people photographing the posters were definitely under 20........

British Library

Chose to wonder up to Wellcome Foundation Gallery along Euston Road so went to British Library as they have some interesting exhibitions, sadly the maps exhibition had finished but there was an exhibition on about design and the invention of ideas through solving problems. A wide range of ideas, from a 3 year old who created a double broom to a father who had devised a new eye test process that didn't involve needing eye drops after his son lost sight in one eye because he couldn't do drops, very humbling.
The exhibition at Wellcome was Skin. The way that they combine art and science was incredible, very thought provoking and a lot of ideas to take away about exhibiting and using materials in different ways. Sadly couldn't take photographs but worth a visit to the foundation as has a good cafe too.

Trip to London

Off to fill my head with as much as possible in as short a time.

Arrived in London at lunchtime, did 10 exhibitions before bedtime, bliss.

Went to Kings Place which is near the station to see photography exhibition at Guardian, photographs by Murdo Macleod. Whose work i have always admired in the Guardan and Observer, some stunning images and some quite creepy ones in particular Mr Blair.
Then next door to the Kings Place Gallery ostensibly to see the Cape Farewell exhibition, I had listened to David Buckland talk at MMU in July and it had really inspired me and is highly unsettling that people aren't hearing the demise of our planet. Lemn Sissay's piece is outstanding I am unsure how to add a live link so please look for the link below as it is breathtaking.

There was also a David Bailey sculpture and photography exhibition, interesting the prices a  piece of work can command if the individual is world renowned. The photographs of skulls were stunning but  £12,000. He did have some red squirrels so that was perfect for the research work. Not the greatest photos though, sorry.


Monday, 20 September 2010

Hat Completed

Finished the hats last night then got the email from the client this morning as to the mix she preferred! They are slightly different to her requirements but i think they are strong pieces and either will work really well with her Boden dress. Making them has made me consider seriously sorting out my web site properly and creating an Etsy page to get my work out there more.

Better get back to work admin to do and really need to get to grips with my MA context presentation as now have the deadline date of 4th November 9.45 aaagh. Good job off to London this weekend to catch up on the Taxidermy exhibition, Polly Lucas and the Enchanted Palace.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Rainy Day

Escaped the reservoir whilst my youngest is competing in his last Team 15 windsurfing event, (need to go back soon) to complete the pink and green hat. My experiments have produced about 5 different variations and unsure which is the best so waiting for the client's thoughts.

Friday, 17 September 2010

The September Issue

Busy creating a hat for the curator of a museum which is enjoyable, more pink though!! So sat sewing and cutting shapes from felt whilst watching the antics of Anna Wintour amd team at American Vogue in the film. Really illuminating and worthwhile watch for anyone involved in fashion/styling/media and definitely management! Grace Coddington her main stylist is a genius and the piece she does using Galliano's clothes is breath taking. Better finish the hat........

Friday, 10 September 2010

Christie's Hats

"You don't miss the water until the well runs dry"

Day at MMU

Went to Manchester to listen to the seminar on the visit made to China earlier this year. To make the most of the day I continued my search for taxidermy for my context presentation. First stop Manchester Art Gallery, on asking "Does the gallery have any pieces using taxidermy?" "Oh yes the frog's in the doll's house in the Craft Gallery"!! Yes there are a family of frogs in a doll's house in a tableau form,  very little information just the date it was made and that it was English.

I had intended then to see the real taxidermy at Manchester Museum but the Manchester rain and a broken umbrella dissuaded me so I went to the  Special Collections where an excellent exhibition is on called Pairings. Collaborations of 32 artists, textiles/ceramics, illustrators, glass makers etc. some very stunning work and inciteful to see the possibilities of practice and exhibition.

Interviewed Steph the curator at Special Collections about labeling and the process a curator follows to inform the viewer, key to the context work. Indulged in some artist's books too.

Went to listen to the talk about the China trip, it sounded wonderful and their exhibition "Power of Copying" was very good and a real feat as the space was vast and they could only take over so much work, considering my college is insisting that we look for international links it would be such a benefit and enriching as well. Next plan.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

I do have a table

The workroom is now tidy and ready to work in, or what will more realistically happen be filled with college bags of lessons by next July! I must not follow that same path and it is madness not to use the space when I have such a great view and light. New term resolutions to be made.

Friday, 3 September 2010

The Albatross

Sunny day so began the shed and must put it in writing that I do not need to buy any more material ever!! Or very quickly need to set up an internet selling site! As I am looking at the idea of protection in our use of hats I realised that protection takes many forms and hoarding of fabric is obviously one of mine.


Eight large boxes later, shed doesn't look that different but at least I remember my fabrics.


Well the shed is still a bit of an albatross so I cleaned under the bed instead. and thought I would share the wonders of old style packing boxes.