Sunday, 18 May 2008

Assessment Day...

... exhuastion day! Yesterday I was up early on the train to London to leave my work from the last three months in a room in Portland Place for assessment. It wasn't due to be assessed until the afternoon so it was ceremoniously dumped under a table. Thank you all for your lovely encouraging comments which certainly helped me feel better about the rest of the work if not the cylinders (I know they are not up to scratch!) I think self doubt is common to anyone working creatively and is actually a healthy thing. The day I become content and satisfied with what I produce will be the day I stop. Once the work was deposited the day was free to explore... first stop... Somerset House.

This is a fabulous building despite the grey and drizzly day. I was recommended by Katy to see the "Skin and Bones" exhibition currently on at their Embankment Galleries. The exhibition looks at comparisions between fashion and architecture - the way both provide shelter and protection and both create space and volume from flat two dimensional materials. I found the connections interesting and some of the photographs of the buildings were amazing but best of all were the outfits. There was an huge number of the most stunning, radical architectural designs from designers such as Miyake Issey and Junya Watanabe - all so relevent to the work I've just done on Sculptural Dress. I was delighted to see that my honeycomb skirt was constructed in the same way as Watanabe's - something I hadn't been able to work out from photographs (but I bet he didn't stitch every seam himself!) Thank you for the recommendation Katy... and I would certainly recommend going to visit this exhibition if you are in London. It is open until 10th August.

It was then a quick dash from the Strand to Farringdon to see an exhibition of work by Maxine Sutton . Maxine has made a collection of contemporary embroidered work giving a fascinating insight on domestic rituals and crafts from the past. She uses a combination of applique, printing, hand and machine embroidery with a lovely colour palette to produce quirky and appealing pieces of work. She was inspired by the collection at the Geffrye Museum which houses a collection of furniture, textiles, painting and decorative arts displayed in room settings from the 17th century up to the late 20th century. When I was a child we lived in North London and the Geffrye Museum was one of my favourite places to visit. I loved looking at all the different room settings and imagining living in them!

By now I was running late so it was a case of grabbing a quick sandwich and hopping back on the tube to Trafalgar Square. There was an afternoon tour/lecture arranged by Opus, led by Opus tutor and art historian Jacqui Ansell, looking at drapery in paintings of the National Gallery collection. We looked at several old paintings before making our way to see the current exhibition "Phantom" by Alison Watt. Alison paints draped white cloth but it is so much more! The canvases are huge and I found them absolutely mesmerising - very evocative and erotic. Seeing photographs is nothing like standing in a room full of these paintings but I'll show them anyway!

This above is Phantom (2.34 m x 3.35 m)

This is Host (approx 6 m x 3 m)
and below is Alison working on the paintings in her studio to give you an idea of scale.

I know modern art isn't to everyone's taste but these were very impressive especially as we had been looking at drapery in other paintings. There was time for a quick cuppa and a chat to other students before a mad dash back across London to pick up our work (we'll know results in about a month) and a then get train back home. An exhausting but exciting day... and it feels so good to have got to the end of another module!


  1. I love the curves in those paintings - so relaxing to just see the shapes flow.

    Good luck for the results - I'm sure you've done well.


  2. Looks like a great day out, thanks for the heads up on these exhibitions. Best of luck with the assessment.

  3. Those drapery paintings are incredible - it's hard to believe they are not photographs! Hope you do really well with your results - you certainly deserve to!

    Lucy x

  4. Thanks for a really interesting post. The Geffrye Museum looks fascinating. I've heard of it but never been. Those drapery paintings are amazing. Brings Georgia O'Keefe to mind.

    Good luck with your results - I'm sure it will seem a long month!

    Have a good day tomorrow :)

  5. Thank you for taking me on a very nice excursion to London! I would love to see more of Maxine Stutton's work!

    Best of luck with your project!

  6. Your day sounds exhausting but great fun! Well done on getting another module finished and I hope you get brilliant results - you should do!!

    I love those paintings. They must be stunning in 'real life'.


  7. When you are in London next near Somerset House, you could try the Covent garden Market. there's a great place to eat [lots but in particular] it's called falafels. You can share because it's so huge - get extra chilli sauce if you like it hot...


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