290615 – Bowes Museum – Durham
Barnard Castle, a French Chateau in Durham, now the Bowes museum. Sadly we were a few days too early to see the Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition: Style is Eternal but we did get to see The Silver Swan, a musical automaton and icon of the Museum along with the permanent collection of Canaletto’s, Turner’s, Courbet’s and El Greco’s. An interesting collection of early nineteenth century dresses meant that I never really was on holiday. There is too much here for the short visit our schedule allows and a focussed day would have been very useful.
280615 – Oddness - Sheffield & Chesterfield
Wortley Hall. It is hard to imagine that this stately home hotel is now part of the co-operative union. The underlining grandeur of days past is still visible. Once the home of the Earls of Wharncliffe dating from 1165 the Hall has been left derelict on numerous occasions prior to its conversion into a Hotel and company in it’s own right. Very odd indeed.
280615 – Tapestry - Hardwick Hall, Durham
Gideon Tapestries. So the road trip begins with a visit to Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire, an architecturally significant and leading example of the Elizabethan prodigy house. Built between 1590 and 1597 for the formidable Bess of Hardwick, it was designed by the architect Robert Smythson, an exponent of the early Renaissance style of architecture and renown for its brave use of glass. Hardwick also houses the Gideon Tapestries. The images below capture the intense and detailed workmanship of the tapestries used to line the walls of the stairwell and main hall and are themselves a virtual addition the enclosed space.
270615 - 3D Print - Royal College of Art, Battersea, London
Student summer shows, today visiting the final year show at the RCA today, some interesting work. The use of 3D printers is prominent at pretty much all the degree shows this year, and across all subjects. Love its use in recreating these collars and cuffs from the around the 16th Century, as contemporary pieces.
200615 – Interiors – London
St James the Less 1858-61 by George Street in the Gothic Revival style and the Brompton Oratory 1880-84 by Herbert Gribble in the Italian Baroque. London has always been uniquely mad. An Italian Baroque church begins in 1880 mid build up pops a Gothic Revival church in the same city.
150615 - Simon Costin – At The V&A London
As part of the talks associated with the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty show at the V&A Museum Simon Costin presented various projects and collaborations as a jewellery designer and creative set designer and more recently his role in setting up The Museum of British Folklore. For me Simon’s work for brands such as Hermes and his collaboration with the photographer Tim Walker were most inspirational in regards to my work at Vivienne Westwood in creating specific theme based ideas.
120615 – Pleasure And Pain – V&A London
Today we are at the V&A for extremes in footwear featuring Westwood, McQueen, Hadid and many historical equivalents.
060615 – Alexander McQueen v2 – V&A London
We are back at the V&A for a second visit to the Alexander McQueen exhibition. It is a member only early viewing. We arrive at 8.00am and unbelievably the exhibition is empty. We head straight for the Cabinet of Curiosities. We have the room to our selves for an hour, luxury. Breathless.
060615 – Patek Phillipe – Saatchi Gallery, London
The Patek Phillipe exhibition had the feel of an exclusive retail outlet. There was a lot of glitz, huge expense and often sadly very iittle taste. Classics win every time with the pocket watch a favourite.
010615 - Katy England – At The V&A London
Working with McQueen on his third catwalk show, Katy England quickly moved into the role of Creative Director. Previously working as a stylist for various magazines, she and McQueen in her words instantly hit it off. Her Q&A conversation with Jefferson Hack gave an insight around how she and McQueen worked together to create specific outfit looks from catwalk shows to magazine covers with initially no funds and just a group of friends to help out. In one image she is famously sellotaping shoes onto models. Katy’s husband Bobby Gillespie, Primal Scream’s front man and her full family are sitting directly behind me.
310515 - Central St Martins Summer Show - Kings Cross, London
Fabric draped and then set in resin offer a surreal illusion, the folds and drapes suspended seemingly without support. This is a medium that could be pushed further and that has much potential. We were lucky to meet Christine Hawley at the show. It was good to see her as it has been a long time since we last taught at The Bartlett UCL, fond memories indeed.
260515 – Leigh Bowery – A curious invitation, Café Royal, London.
Tonight we are at a rather informal expose, given by Sue Tilley about her relationship with the Australian performer Leigh Bowery. Bowery is considered one of the more influential figures in the 1980s and 1990s London and New York City art and fashion circles. His influence reached through the fashion, club and art worlds to impact a generation and influenced amongst others, Alexander McQueen, Lucien Freud and Vivienne Westwood. Tilley, who later became known as ‘big Sue’ by artist Lucien Freud, is probably best known as the subject of his painting Benefits Supervisor Sleeping (1995). Tilley is the author of a biography of Leigh Bowery titled “Leigh Bowery, The Life and Times of an Icon”.
250515 – Elephant Man - Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London
Bradley Cooper's metamorphosis into the Elephant Man began with him entering the stage and taking a position next to a large projection screen. Through the use of images and dialogue describing the horrific deformities he slowly contorted his body into character. Although there were no prosthetics the audience were still able to relate on an emotional level the physical and mental issues John Merrick had to go through on a daily basis. Bradley Cooper delivered an astonishing performance.
240515 – Victorian Sculpture - Tate Britain, London
There are some exquisite pieces at the Victorian Sculpture exhibition. Including ruffles corsets, bodice and flock.
230515 – Compositions - Tate Modern, London
A day off at the Tate Modern walking the upper galleries. I’m now sitting in the members room watching the construction crews abseiling up and down the facades of the Herzog De Meuron extension.
Images left to right - 1 Pablo Picasso. 2 Joan Miró, 3 Roy Lictenstein, 4 Wassily Kandinsky, 5 Gerard Richter, 6 Francis Bacon, 7 Salvador Dali.
180515 - Forgery - V&A London
One of the most engaging presenters I have seen at the various lectures attended at the V&A has to be Noah Charney, an art crime expert. Short stories, linked through a series of videos about various forms of Forgery and Forgers, but not all of them in the art world, were described in a manner reminiscent of a storyteller reading to a child who has the experience to make characters come to life. The perfect introduction to promoting his new book The Art of Forgery published by Phaidon. A book on which I had Noah forge his own signature.
Images left to right. 1 Noah Charney, and six art forgeries. 2 John Myatt / Vermeer, 3 Elmyr de Hory / Modogliani, 4 Shaun Greenhaigh / Lowry, 5 John Myatt / Giacometti, 6 John Myatt / Ben Nicholson. 7 Wolfgang Beltracchi / Campendonk
160515 – Sunny Weekend – England
A beautiful sunny day out at Osterley Park House combined with a long walk along the tree-lined banks of the Thames.
New uses for the Givenchy cycle seat cover.
A random act of dressing up on Highbury Fields! It’s always good to see the eccentrics of London living as they wish is one of the many delights of living in this great cosmopolitan city.
110515 - Apple Store window - London
Butterflies with mood lighting. Very Alexander McQueen. Very Gainsbury and Whiting. Beautiful.
100515 – Sky Garden - London
The view from the sky garden at Rafael Vinoly’s “Walkie Talkie” building looking towards Renzo Piano’s Shard. I just love London and it’s ever changing skyline.