Thursday, 8 December 2011

Day :: Eight

On Tuesday I took a train into London.
A chance for some uninterrupted reading and knitting.

First stop, the V & A...

where I popped in to see the exhibition "The Power of Making" which is branded as a snapshot of contemporary craftsmanship. I was in awe of some of the exhibits which demonstrated extraordinary skill in a wide range of crafts but did feel it was a bit of a mishmash of objects. And there were one or two things that were really grotesque... like the lifesize marzipan baby!

Whilst there I also took the opportunity to wander around the Postmodernism exhibition. I didn't expect to be interested in this, although I'm not sure why, but I was pleasantly surprised. I wouldn't exactly say I enjoyed it, but it was engaging and I especially liked the section dedicated to music and performance although I'm still not entirely sure what postmodernism is all about... although anarchy and subversion seem to feature quite heavily. 

By now it was lunchtime so I stopped in the cafe and enjoyed my lunch in the wonderful blue tiled Poynter room. It always feels so civilised to eat in such beautiful surroundings.

Then I headed across to town towards Regent's Park for the main reason for my trip into London - to see the exhibition "Bite Size" at the Daiwa Anglo Japanese Foundation. Curated by
Lesley Millar, this brings together artists who first exhibited together 10 to 15 years ago and have been involved with various projects curated by Millar during this time. It shows the work of some of the most eminent textile practitioners currently working in both Japan and the UK, but what is most exciting is that each of the works is only 25cm square or less. Exqusite miniature textiles, which I found particularly interesting because so many of the exhibitors also had work in the "Lost in Lace" exhibition in Birmingham where the scale is vast! The contrast was wonderful. There are 51 exhibits, all quite beautiful so these following are not necessarily what I liked the best but just a small selection from so many fascinating works.

Michael Brennand Wood, Flower Heads

Reiko Sudo, Polygami

Kyoko Kumai, Whisper of Wind

Chiyoko Tanaka, Mud Dyed Cloth - Twig and White Dots #279

Freddie Robbins, Michael 1998
(unbelievably tiny and perfectly knitted!)

Diana Harrison, Damaged (work in progress)

Naomi Kobayashi, From Cosmos (sorayori)

The exhibition only runs until 19th December but is well worth a visit if you are in London. I was also fortunate enough to stay for a talk by Lesley Millar, after which I meandered along to St. Pancras station for a rendezvous with John Betjeman...

where I just happened to bump into my dear husband on his way to the champagne bar... it would have been rude not to join him!


  1. I saw the Power of Making when I was there in September. I loved it!

  2. Such a cultured and civilised day.The pictures are lovely and you make it sound very enticing.

  3. A friend of mine recommended the V & A exhibition - I really must make an effort to get out more! Sounds like a perfect day and well deserved too.

  4. ooh you do get about Gina. lovely to be able to take all that art work on board.

  5. What an interesting day, rounded off with your husband in the Champagne Bar - it can't be bad! Sounds like a brilliant and inspiring day.

    (I too went to The Power of Making exhibition and enjoyed it).


  6. What a wonderfully inspiring day you had. I love the way your book and knitting are colour co-ordinated! Fascinating exhibitions. The tiny gloves remind me of when I had to knit a black polo-necked sweater for my son's Action Man! I used darning wool and cocktail sticks, but don't think it was worthy of being exhibited.
    A perfect end to your day out too.

  7. The miniature textiles sound like they are definitely worth a visit, as does the champagne bar - and that's despite trains to and from my part of the world connecting at London Bridge not St Pancras! How do you manage to read and knit? Or do you read a bit, knit a few rows, repeat?!

  8. I had exactly the same day last week (but for the Japanese exhibition and, alas, the champagne!) and even had tea and cake in the Poynter room. I'm not a crafty person, so I confess that I found the Power of Making faintly depressing; some brilliant things like the surgeon's crochet snowflake, but so much skill going into such ugly, useless objects! But, rather to my surprise, I also loved Post-modernism. I think because the whole exhibition was so beautifully designed. I know I'm lucky to be able to drop in at the V&A as I'm passing because no matter how many times I go, there's always something new and engaging. I loved the Private Eye exhibition - much more me than crochet bears.

  9. Sighing with pleasure whilst looking at the photo of the "Twig With White Dots" piece......... what a wonderful day out you had.

  10. You are so lucky to be able to visit the V&A so easily, I do love the place.
    What a stroke of luck bumping into your husband just as he was on his way to the champagne bar! ;)
    Vivienne x

  11. i loved that book!
    you live so close to so much...

  12. Gina, you describe a pretty fabulous day, with lots of variety, inspiration and ... a very happy ending.

    (The yarn that you are using looks very similar to some I've used for some socks. The colors are terrific.)


  13. I love that line 'I bumped into my husband going to a champagne bar'... it could be the start of a short story.... sounds a wonderful day and some of those miniature pieces quite appeal to me. I like the twigs and dots piece for some reason but can't for the life of me say why.

  14. Lunch in the V&A and champagne ---


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