The Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty Exhibition is on at the V&A at the moment, running until the 2nd of August – I was working in London the other week and managed to get a ticket. The show begins with work from his graduate exhibition and continues through to the unfinished 2010 collection. I’d say if you know you’re heading along try and book a ticket online – but they seem to be booked out quite far in advance, but fear not, you should be able to get a ticket at the V&A on the day that you’re visiting even if you have to wait until your time slot, they withhold tickets each day to sell. I can’t say that I’ve followed McQueen’s work in the past and kind of went in without any expectation but the exhibition is really a master class in fashion and design. McQueen’s work is obviously remarkable but the exhibition layout and format is really spectacular – there are rooms that are so beautiful and alternatively quite weird that it’s was hard to imagine what was coming next. The scale and quality of the show really is a big clap to the V&A. There is heaps of resource material on the link below and you should be able to check out the ticket availability here too, but really the moral of the story is go and see it!
Took a few moments to gather my thoughts after the exhibition in the museum shop where I saw some work by a company I know well, loved the display too! Is self publicity wrong? Oh, well!
Greetings from the British Library! A couple of weeks ago I took a trip to the British Library to check out the exhibition and of course, the shop! I love a good museum shop and the British Library shop doesn’t disappoint, with a special area outside the exhibition and also the regular shops which has the most wonderful selection of books. We did a post a while back with all the making and designing of the ranges for the Magna Carta exhibition, and in the spirit of a good before and after, I thought I’d update with some photos of the jewellery in the store and online.
The use of the fleur de lys features strongly in the English and Scottish crown jewels and seemed like the right symbol to use in this series too, royal lineage, the right time frame and it’s a very elegant symbol. The finished products looked great and the hand applied gold leafing really gives a lovely finish. Well, I hope everyone enjoyed the ‘before’ and ‘after’ and that you squeeze in a visit to the exhibition – it runs until the 1st of September 2015.
Before starting artysmarty, I didn’t really have much of an idea about how the old buying and selling stuff to retailers went. I’d wander into any old shop without a though of how a product went from a studio or factory into the place where I purchased it. Initially I thought the path from A to B would be quite boring (I was just thinking trucks, loading and bubble wrap) on second inspection, I’ve found it to be the opposite. Some of the shows out there for retailers to visit and buy products for their stores are pretty far out – case in point Masion & Objet in Paris. Fair enough, most of Paris is pretty cool, so it’s not a massive surprise that they do a good one so I thought I’d show a few images from the show which demonstrate trends for this year and give a bit of a general flavour.
So above there, we have a couple of stands with a very masculine, anthropology theme, stuffed animals, bell jars, pinned insects and graphic wallpaper. I actually love this look and I saw it in quite a few displays – I know it’s a bit bad all those stuffed animals, actually, it’s just bad, I hope they’re fake or dead 100 years when it was acceptable to stuff those mighty creatures. There is also a very strong craft aesthetic going on too – while there was a limited number of maker/sellers in comparison to all of the commercial guys, was super impressive the selection that was there – and very strong displays.
Just in terms of what the big commercial brands are doing – check out the image above. What do you think this company was selling? I’ve kind of given it way but the whole room was a massive video projection with about 10 items that were for sale. Totally conceptual and very memorable – more about this experience way of selling stuff. Okay, there is a harder one below…what do you think they were selling? And it’s not chicken skewers.
Prizes for correct guesses (I think I’m pretty safe).
Well, it’s coming up to Mother’s Day – that’s 15th March – and I was thinking to do a gift list of lovely things to buy your mum. And then I thought ‘Why do the work when someone else already has!’ Now, these are all really great ideas, otherwise I wouldn’t be recycling them, but they’re not mine so I must give credit to the Design & Craft Council of Ireland. They put together a really nice pull out guide at Christmas of nice stuff and if you were like me I was so busy, I didn’t really get a chance to look at the time. So here you go, admittedly second time around, a selection of nice stuff to buy your mum on Mother’s Day! We have a beautiful foxy and crow necklace from Geraldine at Saba, cute doggy brooch from Alan Ardiff and oh, what a coincidence, a yellow cube necklace from myself. Well, how did THAT get in here?!
More info about stockists and all that at www.giveirishcraft.ie
We love a challenge here at artysmarty studios but when the British Library approach us with an idea to make some bespoke pieces for their upcoming Magna Carta exhibition, I have to admit I was a bit stumped at first – how to translate essentially a paper document into a pretty 3D piece that people wear? The feature image for this post is a picture of the document along with the ring seal that was used. The British Library have THE actual Magna Carta that King John signed in 1215 – yep, 1215 as in 800 years ago – and they’re going to have an exhibition to show them off to the public. As you can see though, the source material was pretty dry! Sorry BL!
After the initial mind blank, I started to collect some visual inspiration – I’ve added a few collages here to give you the idea, some are original documents from around 1215 and some are directly from current fashion houses; there is a great one from Dolce & Gabbana (who I am sure would sue me for using their image without permission if I was in any way interesting to them!).
Anyway got the mood board happening and then started getting in touch with the British Library team with ideas, tweaked them a bit, well went back to the drawing board at one stage and then decided on these prototypes;
So we have a reference to King John’s crown (and status), ditto Queen Isabel (the one on the left) and then a homage to the Fleu de Lys (centre) – also a common symbol at the time. We made a wax seal inspired ring too – for sealing your very own legal documents! The final pieces have been sent off for photography before the start of the exhibition. If you’re keen to have a look at the finished product we’ll be putting them up on our facebook page for your perusal once the exhibition has opened.
Feel like wielding some short nosed pliers on Tuesday? We are going to have design and fun times at 37 Dawson from 6-8pm, this Tuesday 24th February 2015.
Delighted to have been asked to lead a ‘make’ workshop as part of the OFFSET programme this year – am a massive fan of the event and I always love to get amongst it and talk making with people. And I hear there will be booze too, thanks Absolut!
If you’re already registered for the event, I’ll be having a bit of a chat about the design process, visual inspiration down to prototyping and production. We’re going to be making the choice of a couple of different pieces that are in our current collection – so maybe just have a think about your own preferences in terms of colours and materials as there will be a choice of each of these elements.
You can find more details here OFFSET//artysmarty
Do you like to make stuff and play with lasers? Yes, I hear you say….me too. I thought I’d let you in on a super place where you can do both in Limerick. There is a great facility available to everyone with a large homemade laser (!), 3D printers and a large C&C cutter, situated on Rutland Street http://fablab.saul.ie/. It’s run by the Limerick University formed via the architecture department, offering classes workshops and even a new coffee shop. Last time a took a wander through the Milk Market too and headed down to the Hunt Museum (where, by the way, you can buy your very own artysmarty item) and thought how lovely Limerick was. Any questions? Drop them a line and Micheal will get back to you!