Sunday, 18 August 2019

Malono Blahnik at the Wallace Collection

Synonymous with the fictional character Carrie Bradshaw in the early noughties TV series Sex and the City, the iconic shoes of Manolo Blahnik have gained cult status over the years. If you want to ogle the amazing sculptural creations of this famous designer pop along to the current Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik exhibition at the Wallace Collection in Marylebone. 

The exhibition showcases a delightful selection of shoes dispersed amongst the glamour and decadence of the 18th Century collection of art and artefacts. You get a guide that highlights which shoes are in each room but if you dispense with the map it feels like a grown-up treasure hunt!

If you are in the neighbourhood it is a lovely way to spend an hour. It is a free exhibition and is open until Sunday 1st September.

These shoes are beautiful objects of art but I'm not sure how comfortable they would be to wear!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Weavers of the Clouds at the Fashion and Textiles Museum

I recently visited the Fashion and Textiles museum for their Weavers in the Clouds: Textile Arts of Peru exhibition. In the 1990's I created a man's waistcoat for one of my art college projects based upon the absolutely gorgeous hand-embroidered and woven Peruvian textiles. In those days the only examples I could find of these delicious designs were found in books from the library and maybe the odd example in the V&A museum. This exhibition is a feast for the eyes if you love colour, pattern, design, texture, embellishment, embroidery and weaving!

I would highly recommend a visit if you get a chance. The exhibition runs until the 8th of September at the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey, London.

Have you been to see an inspirational exhibition recently?

Friday, 16 August 2019

The inspirational Dorothea Tanning

Way back in March I attended a six-session evening workshop at the Tate Modern to coincide with the surrealist artist Dorothea Tanning's solo exhibition. I only had limited knowledge of her work before visiting the exhibition and I was really impressed by the sheer volume and such a wide variety of media she explored during her career. The focus of the workshop was soft-sculpture inspired by the many 3D sculptural pieces Tanning had created and experimented with.

As part of the cost of the Tate workshop, you gained free, unlimited entry to the exhibition which was a real joy to be able to experience the gallery after-hours when it was quiet and empty.
The tutor who ran the workshop gave us templates to use to create body parts. I selected to hand-sew legs and the lower torso. Once they had been carefully hand-stitched together they were filled with rice or couscous to give them some weight.

Here are some photographs of Dorothea Tanning's interesting soft sculpture work below.

The following photos are my small soft sculptures inspired by Tanning's amazing large scale 3D pieces.

The scale of my sculptural pieces is about the size of your hand, so quite delicate in contrast with Tanning's work. Whilst attending the Tate workshop I met a wonderful artist called Alannah Currie, also known as Miss Pokeno. She had organised an amazing week-long collective exhibition in response to Tanning's work. It was at her Doyce Street Studios and showcased the work of feminist artists in the form of paintings, sculpture, furniture, photography and dance.

I attended the Friday evening event with some friends and were treated to Hibiscus cocktails and a live dance performance which was very 'London'. It was a truly memorable evening which has still left me thinking about the work of Dorothea Tanning and the new artists she has inspired!

Have you visited anywhere or read a book recently that has made you think and reflect?