Hairy Fairytales

One lazy weekend afternoon in March, we headed into Soho to view Alice Anderson‘s exhibition, Time Reversal. Walking on Beak Street, you will be struck by the odd sight of seeing hair falling over the front of this building in Soho like a heavy curtain. Like a supersized, modern version Rapunzel-esque tale, this installation draws you in.

Inside 1000s of metres of dolls’ hair shoot out from the fireplace and fill the room. The auburn hair catches the sunlight beautifully and you will end up standing and staring at this web of hair and admiring how beautiful and golden it looks in the sun.

It makes for a slightly eerie, and most definitely captivating sight. Like a freak show, you are invited to see the rest of the exhibition for a pound. Upstairs there are various sculptures featuring a doll theme and creep downstairs you can watch the 9 minute film which is part of the exhibition, The Day I Became A Doll.

For me, the exhibition’s biggest draw was the hair installation. The film  with its references to gothic horror (which I love) and a study on the mother-daughter relationship, was a bit contrived. This exhibition runs until 24th April so catch it in the Riflemaker Gallery before it ends. Believe me, it makes a nice escape from the madness of the city centre being in a room of hair.

Speaking of escaping, I went to Kensington Palace for the Enchanted Palace exhibition. Drawn by its poster and by the designers involved including Vivienne Westwood, Boudicca and Stephen Jones, I took a bite. A poisoned apple it wasn’t, but it was slightly disappointing. Mainly because with magical fairytales, it is easy for the imagination to take over and reality, even with the help of digital projections and theater sets, will never match that of the mind!

Having said that, there were quite a few things I loved in the exhibition. The tear jars on display were magnificent and I left lusting after  jewel-encrusted apple headband and the paper dress by Echo Morgan in the Room of the World

Photos below are via Style Bubble as photography was not allowed in the exhibition.

It still made for a fun afternoon which ended with a berry meringue served with thick cream and fresh berries in The Orangery.

London. I love how it’s so easy to disappear into a modern day fairytale here.

Digital Design Sensations

The V&A is having an exhibition on digital design. This mostly interactive exhibition explores how digital technologies have added new depths to the works of artists and designers. At an exhibition like this, the lines are blurred between the artist, creator and participant. This exhibition was fantastic for engaging its audience by participation and interaction. The tree above is part of the exhibition and is by experimental videomaker and media artist Simon Heijdens. Here he explores the relationship between nature and technology. The movements in the tree are directly linked to how windy it is outside the museum.

On a less subtle note, we saw children going wild, recording themselves being silly on a video camera for Ross Phillips‘ Videogrid. The result was a collage of mini videos of people who collectively let go of their inhibitions and acted silly for the camera for art’s sake.

The interactive section was the strongest in the exhibition. In this section, we got to move sand around to create new worlds of existence in Oasis by Everyware.

But it was with Body Paint that we let loose and brought out the Jackson Pollock in us through crazy dance moves. The result was vibrant colours that reminded me of being in the Architects of Air tents.

It felt appropriate that I was running around this exhibition on digital design with one of my favourite applications -the QuadCamera. Like an action camera, it allows you to take photographs in quick succession.

Time Out is having a 2-4-1 special for this exhibition. The voucher is available here. The exhibition is on until 11 April 2010 and I highly recommend it.

Fish & Stitches and other Woolly Food

fish and chipsKate Jenkins crochets with a huge sense of humour. I love her range of breakfast fry-ups and wool sculptures of British favourites like Lyle’s Golden Syrup and Heinz Ketchup to tinned anchovies.

Lyle's Golden SyrupI have just read that the Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery will be hosting an exhibition of this knitwear designer’s foodart, aptly titled Kate’s Cafe.

I can’t wait to go. It looks like it has the right ingredients to warm anyone’s heart.

kate's cafe

I like my outdoors indoors

There’s a bit of magic when your space is altered. I love it when the outdoors get mixed up with the indoors and vice versa. The best art installations I’ve seen have mostly been about altering your environment, which is familiar in an Alice in Wonderland kind of way.

Last year, I saw some pretty spectacular outdoor/indoor mix-up. I was reminded of this when I was looking at an Anthony McCall image on  Chris’s blog. Technically the exhibition I went to in the Serpentine Gallery didn’t really bring the outdoors indoors but it helped fuel my imagination on what it was like to be able to walk towards the sunlight in a midnight sky.

mccallThis reminded me then of the time when we went to see Roger Hiorn’s Seizure. A flat in a housing estate in Elephant & Castle had been transformed into a crystal house.

2955012355_be4208184eOn a smaller scale, a nice way to bring the outdoors indoors is through something like a tree bed. Having been brought up in the city, I have found nature slightly scary. While I can appreciate nature aesthetically, I am not entirely comfortable with being outdoors. I like that someone has thought to design something for the non-campers out there.

tree-bedLast summer, on a glorious sunny day, I found myself walking along South Bank and stumbled upon the Armchair Theater.

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But really, the quickest way to bring the outdoors indoors or the playground anywhere is with this swing skirt by Rachel Griffin. I love that with this one simple design, this is fashion that you can wear and play in anywhere, anytime. Easily going back in time and being a kid again.

chairswing2

Analogue Fun in a Digital Age

Amelie remains one of my favourite films, mainly because of Nino’s obsession with collecting discarded photos of strangers from photo booths.

I have always been a big fan of the past and the future. The present somehow does not hold as much appeal. Prior to my little trip to Berlin I was excited to hear that there still exists analogue photo booths in the city. I did my research to find these spots and wrote it in my little notebook of addresses that I wanted to seek out.

Imagine my surprise and happiness when on our first day of properly venturing out in the city, we stumbled upon a booth that was not on my list. Not far from the East Side Gallery, we followed the people ahead of us and walked into Bar 25 (also on the list) by turning a corner and going through a side door. We found ourselves in this little spot of treats. An old, disused dodgem sat on a platform, a couple of swings hung from the branches of these huge tree and an old fotoautomat booth. 

I have always been a big fan of analogue photos but due to the cost of processing, I forgot the joy in taking photos on film until this trip. Sometimes the beauty in the waiting time is that you forget what photos were taken and when you collect them, it is a surprise. And just as surprising is taking photos in an old booth. The sound of the flashing going off and the gentle whirr of the booth while it processes your photos. This is what I’ll hear when I think of Berlin.

Recently, at the Tate Modern, I saw an exhibition of Seydou Keita’s photographs. A studio photographer from Mali, I thought of how having your photograph taken was such a big occasion. I love his portraits of these people who stood, posing with their props against a patterned background.

                                                                  

I’d love for them to bring back the old fotoautomat booths. While it is nice to have the option to get a really decent photo of yourself in the digital booths, they lack the spontaniety and romantic sense of the analogue booths.