Sunday, 24 February 2013

A day of contrasts

Three exhibitions in a day, and what contrasts.  First, a morning of couture excellence at the Valentino exhibition at Somerset House.  On until 3rd March, this is a must for anyone with an interest in couture techniques.  Not only 130 stunning outfits ( some technically impressive , but it has to be said, a bit hideous to look at) but several detailed  exhibits showing how some of these techniques are done.  No photography allowed, so these are from the Guardian and dressful websites.



The catalogue is full of useful definitions of types of fabric, and of the techniques used.  This one, pagine, was a favourite of mine.

Then on to The Mall Galleries to see the entrants into the Lynn Painter Stainers competition for representational painting.  On until 02 March, this was an intriguing collection of contemporary painting.  The winner, shown below ( picture from the Independent website) glowed in the gallery.


Fascinating, densely thick impasto paintings by George Rowlett were new to me.  Astonishing colours glowing through paint as thick as 1cm in places.

Finishng with a visit to the Ben Uri Gallery in North London to see challenging art works by Judy Chicago, Tracey Emin, Helen Chadwick and Louise Bourgeois.  This exhibition is on until 10th March and certainly gave me a new perspective on Judy Chicago.  Of real note to me was how much of her work is made in collaboration with her husband and with other "maker artists" , particularly for her work in stitch, tapestry and stained glass.    Much of the work on display is still visually shocking, which is intriguing in this age of immediate access to shocking imagery from many sources.

The amount of collaborative effort that goes in to Judy Chicago's pieces stimulated more thought on the relationship between artists and the artisans who make their work, and back to my exploration of the Maggi Hambling "Scallop".

A great day for the mind, and for celebrating friendship.  Thanks Helen.


  1. Sounds almost like a sensory overload day! how lovely that the catalogue gave info about fabrics and techniques for the Valentino. Paint 1cm thick? wonder how long that would take to dry (and how many times I'd have to poke it to find out whether it had or not)? All sound v interesting.

  2. I'm with Plum on poking the wet paint, lol, you must have been exhausted, but what a great day?


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