London exhibitions

Last weekend Sean was attending a grueling Karate weekend in Scotland, which gave me ample time to visit London, and a couple of exhibitions that I knew he could not be bothered about.

I started the day off early to make my way over to Portobello Market before it would get too crowded to see the antique shops and stalls – and see for myself what the jig was all about. Sean and I had been at Portobello before, mysteriously every single time on a Sunday – whilst all the antique and secondhand dealers are out on a Saturday! Dang! I did manage to find a few nice things within budget, a LOT of thing were very overpriced if you would plan to sell them on and I was happy that a lot of the dealer were willing to haggle. I ended up coming away with 2 antique human glass eyes, a blue and a brown one, both which I chose because of the nice realistic coloration and veining – and a bone turned pull. I initially thought it to be a thread holder, but the seller thought it might have been a chord puller for an early electrical appliance or servant caller. Either way, it’s a good shape and I adore the heavy stained lines of the material on the smooth sides.

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I continued to the Science Museum at Exhibition Road to see the RPS exhibition: ‘Drawn by Light’ which celebrates photography in many different forms. There are many famous old images on display, as well as Talbot’s ‘mousetrap’ cameras and more recent work by well-known RPS members. Each room has been given a theme, room 1 is continuity and change, room 2 optimism and progress, room 3 personal vision.

It was beautiful to see some of the images of the old maters that are so rarely on display and the marvel at the quality of a print that has been preserved for well over a 100 years. I have been inspired to seek out information on other printing processes where the Vivex, autochromes and colour carbon printing take the forefront. I know that the curators tried to tie some images / themes together, but I have to admit that it was altogether too easy to forget that and admire the work directly in front of one’s face. Some of the images are rather small though and when it gets busy, you may struggle to move around at your own pace.

Should you be interested to go and see it for yourself, Drawn by Light runs to March 1st, 2015 at the Science Museum (2nd Floor)

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Right next to it, there was an exhibition of Nick Hedges’ photography for Shelter. His images, taken in the last 60’s – early 70’s of slums in the UK were quite impressive. There is just no way to imagine people actually living like that, with children, whilst government officials know of their situation. It is therefore quite sad that you know that there are plenty of people today is similar – or even worse!- situations, making the work of Shelter and other voluntary organisations like them, all the more valuable.

Nick Hedges’ images can be seen to March 2015.

 

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The Victoria and Albert museum, better known as the V&A, is located across the street from the Science Museum and my trek after lunch was a short one. I went in to queue up for a ticket for the wedding dress exhibition. Sean and I have been engaged for a few months now, and the pull of some gorgeous dresses to gawk at was just too strong!  The oldest dresses on show were stunning – with a mesmerizing amount of detailed handwork, my favourite one being a dress from around the 1900’s, with bows of pearls sewn all over the skirts. Upstairs my favourite dresses were actually Kate Moss’ dress by John Galliano (I was as shocked as you are, I don’t like her media persona!), Gareth Pugh for Katie Shillingford, Flower Bomb by Ian Stuart, ‘Jean’ by Temperley and a creation by Ian Cooper and Marcel Aucoin. They were quite strict in the ‘no photography’ regulation enforcement, so I kept my nose clean for once. Thank goodness these dresses have all been photographed extensively elsewhere!

IMAG0309dress designed by Charles Frederick Worth, circa 1880 - V&A

john galliano for Kate Moss

gareth pugh for katie shillingford

Flower bomb by Ian Stuart - V&A

Jean Dress by Julian Marshall - V&AIan & Marcel - pleating and rubber on tule

The Wedding Dress exhibition runs to the 15th of March, 2015.

As a last port of call I went to Liberty, as I had never seen this iconic British department store. One of my friends has worked there a while ago and the stories were always most wonderful – but it was not until I would see a TV show about Liberty that I was reminded to go and see it for myself. And I have to say, the building is great, the location is great, most of their merchandise is great… if I could afford any of it hahaha! I spent a little time browsing the vintage department and even though the selection was quite good, again, the prices were not of a nature to tempt me in the slightest. That’s what you get from going to too many carboot sales! 😀

 

 

 

 

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