Art and more art and a few frocks

ooh, it’s been ages since I posted. I hadn’t realised when I started this a few week’s ago how much I would miss it when I couldn’t post. So what have I been up to? I had a couple of days working in London – doing my regular guided tours of V&A fashion gallery. After the 3rd tour in 3 days I decided it was time to revise my tour and talk about some different objects. I can choose what I talk about as long as I cover the general history and range of the collection. I tend to avoid most post-war stuff, and focus on 18th and 19th century, with a little 1910s-20s thrown in, followed by some underwear and finishing with Vivienne Westwood. It’s not a bad tour, but I’ve been doing it for over a year now, and I need to refresh things. And the more groups of American students I have, the more I realise that I totally ignore the New York display. There is also a 60s fashion exhibition opening next month and no doubt will be asked to do tours, so time to brush up on more modern stuff. I am slightly scared by this, but it will be a good challenge. Like I have time for more things, working 12 hours a day as I do already!!! but I’ll squeeze it in somehow. So my new tour will cover (possibly) early designers – I can’t cut out Charles Worth…. and Fortuny and Schiapirelli. Then I will break from my usual route and look at London from the 60s to present day, maybe skip Milan, but look at New York, where there is a lovely Charles James coat and then a little Paris and Japan and back to evening wear to fit in the 18th century, Liberty and Westwood. That sound like a good hour?! Hmm. I do like to make my life complicated!

On Friday I was delivering a collection of pieces to Artsway, a contemporary art gallery in the New Forest, which has a great little contemporary craft shop with ceramics and glass and jewellery as well as textiles. They have got two cushions and two neckpieces, plus leather corsages and felt bags.

And then I was teaching in Basingstoke again on Saturday and my broadband was down for several days too. Is that enough good excuses for not posting? On Sunday I had a lovely day with a friend drinking and catching up in the pub then went art-spotting in a number of Open Houses (I lost count, on account of starting off in the pub, called the Open House). Artist Open House is one of the best bits of Brighton Festival, and gives you the opportunity to be really nosy around nice houses and get really envious about their gardens and cats and space. And look at a bit of art too. If you are sober enough to remember it. And get randomly asked where the toilet is in a stranger’s house by a stranger who turns out to be your friend’s father-in-law. It was one of those days. But we did see some great stuff:
old favourite John Dilnot
Lovely bags and cushions by Sarah Bidwell
Metal paintings by Kate Lulham

Today has been rather more placid, reading a MASSIVE book about Peggy Angus. I’m about half way through. I’m really enjoying it, it’s a well-written biography full of random information about Angus who was variously a painter and tile and wallpaper designer. I knew nothing about her a week ago, until I was loaned this book by Selvedge in order to read, comprehend and write an article by the end of the week. I’m relieved beyond measure that this very heavy book which I carted around London last week is actually really interesting.
And that’s been my week so far.

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