I may have left visiting ‘Christian Dior: Designers of Dreams’ at the V&A Museum to the last few weeks, but for me the timing was absolutely perfect. With no E.A.S.T deadlines, and approval from my supervisor that my university research was coming together well, planning a day off with a good friend (and fellow E.A.S.Tie, Susan) was just perfect. This was not an exhibition where I needed to make notes; initially I was not even going to get my camera out. Instead I decided I could just relax and admire the work on display. And event though we had it on good authority (from our group mentor, Anthea) that this was an exhibition well worth seeing, it definitely exceeded my expectations.
The display began with an introduction to Christian Dior himself, and the ‘New Look’ he first became famous for. Surrounding his classic version were ‘updates’ by the five other artistic directors that came after him – Yves Saint-Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferro, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri. All through the display there was a combination of work from these six designers – sharing similar themes but often in very different ways. Yet despite their differences, elements of the original Christian Dior ‘style’ could often still be seen.
One of the first sections we came to was a selection of work inspired by history (see above) – in particular several items inspired by eighteenth-century court dress. I have written a little more about the ‘history’ display of this exhibition in my own personal blog, ‘Artistic Threads‘.
Other areas focused on themes such as ‘travel’ (see above) and ‘nature’ (or was it ‘floral’?). This second room, as well as some stunning dresses, included a backdrop of the most amazing paper flowers (see below).
One of the highlights was the diorama. A display filled with a rainbow of elements – accessories (hats, shoes, jewellery) and related aspects of design – fashion illustration and miniature versions of the gowns – moving seamlessly from one colour palette to another.
Another room focused on the creation of the garments – almost entirely in white this room was a cabinet of toiles (see below).
The display ended with the most fantastic ball room. Not only a room full of the most fantastic gowns and accessories, but again the way everything was displayed added an extra special dimension. Using lighting techniques, film, and scent no photograph can do this particular room justice. I have included just a couple of items from the display below.
This was an exhibition that was well worth waiting for. As well as there being some absolutely beautiful garments on display, I felt it also gave an real insight into haute couture and the work involved in putting together a collection. Many of the pieces had the most exquisite decoration – embroidery and beadwork was much in evidence. It may have Dior’s name on the door, but the creative team work was much in evidence.
However for me, I came away not just with admiration for the House of Dior and their amazing work, but also the people at the V&A Museum – their creative team should also be applauded for putting together a really interesting, beautiful and inspiring display.
E.A.S.T is excited to take Power of Stitch to the Pond Gallery at Snape Maltings.
Under one ‘umbrella’ theme, the works in our latest exhibition are unified by its title, but are as varied as you might hope to find in terms of the individual artists’ approach, focus of subject matter, choices of materials and techniques.
The few images here are just to whet your appetite … as a group of fourteen textile artists with diverse styles and ways of expressing our creative passions, we believe there is something to capture the imagination of most people who enjoy visual art.
A feast for the eyes, Power of Stitch will be stewarded at Snape by E.A.S.T artists who will be happy to tell you more about the art works and our group.
So, whether you’re ready for your senses to be stimulated, your thoughts provoked, or you’d just like to spend time looking at some original works of art, we’ll be pleased to welcome you at the Pond Gallery from Thursday 4 July to Wednesday 10 July, 10 am till 5 pm.
On Tuesday a group of stitchers from the Suffolk West branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild journeyed to Braintree to be conducted around the Power of Stitch exhibition by myself and Melinda.
Before the tour began Melinda described a little about how the group worked, how we present our work to each other and the support we gain from Anthea, our mentor.
We then gave everyone time to wander around the exhibition and ask specific questions about the work on display.
We were also able to open the cabinet and remove our sketch/ideas books for everyone to peruse, although sometimes it was difficult to remember exactly how we’d achieved a design and the thought process behind it.
After all the hard work completing our exhibits and preparing them for display it was a real reward to share the Power of Stitch exhibition with such an admiring audience.
Last month I was in the Kensington area of London with about 40 minutes to spare between appointments. What better place to visit than the Victoria and Albert Museum. There just happened to be an exhibition of natural dyeing in the Japanese Gallery with displays relating to one man’s search for lost techniques.
Videos not only showed some of the dyeing processes but also explained about some of the ceremonies that related to the practice – including the making of dyed paper flowers (see below).
Sadly the display has gone now and my images do not do it justice, but it just shows how even a half hour visit can be quite inspiring.
Spending a few days adding a little minimal stitching to (hopefully) enhance my large Shibori piece. Proving a pain in more than one way as I’m suffering with a really painful thumb joint which makes pulling the needle through excruciating so it’s been going very slowly. Hoping I’ve finished but looking at the pic just wondering if I need more.
Ready and waiting for collection
Students on my workshop [Jenny Leslie] worked very hard yesterday. We used 3 natural dyes, brasil wood, buckthorn bark and woad.
Oceania, is one of the current exhibitions at the Royal Academy in London (continues until 10 December 2018). This is a personal reflection of some of the issues and objects I found particularly interesting but especially those linked to textile art.
On entering the gallery you are confronted by an enormous blue cloth – stitched and slashed – made by the artist Kiko Moana of New Zealand. It seemed to me the perfect illustration for an exhibition that was considering the art and cultures of a region both connected and divided by water. As a modern work it was also a reminder that this is not about an art and culture from the past – this was an exploration of Oceania throughout its history.
The second art work was a film, Tell Them, by Kathy Jetnil-Kijna. It begins with a description of a piece of jewellery, leads to a discussion about Marshall Island and its people, and ends with their fears for the future. It was about the links between cultures. It was a reminder that actions in one part of the world impacts on others.
The exhibition continues with a vast array of items – canoes, figures, musical instruments, navigational charts each one telling just a little about a vast array of diverse communities. There were also plenty of textile items. There were many pieces of bark cloth but also pieces of patchwork. The relevance of Samoan fine mat was fascinating in that these precious items were also used in ceremonies of reconciliation.
In addition there were several pieces of jewellery.
Have a look at the link below and even if you can’t get to see the exhibition there is a good video showing many of the amazing banners.