Today I went to London and I…..
Started at The Foundling Museum’s Fate, Hope and Charity exhibition. I’ve not been there before as I stupidly missed the textiles exhibition last year. The cafe was good too and National Trust members get in half price so it was only £3.25.
Pottered down Lamb’s Conduit Street and looked wistfully at Persephone Books but didn’t want to end up carrying heavy books around (see later…)
Walked down to Somerset House to see Wool House, which was, as I expected, great. Preaching to the converted, really, as I am already a massive fan of wool! I like the felt pieces and entrance hall best.
Had a lovely backstreet browse on my way over to Clerkenwell, where I’ve not been for years. Bought a dress at Leather Lane market too. Popped into Lesley Craze Gallery and Craft Central’s tiny shop. I wanted to see the new Craft Central gallery, but they were closed whilst setting up this weekend’s wedding fair.
I was then lazy (tired feet!) and got a bus over to the British Museum to see the African Textiles Today exhibition, which has some great stuff but is quite small and (predictably) woefully poor text panels and lack of interpretation. The tiny exhibition about Sowei masks was excellent though. It was interesting to add some context to my work on Derby’s African collections, which I (purposely) didn’t research too much when I did the commission.
Dropped into Blade Rubber to try and find ink in almost the right colour for my logo. Had to buy three as you can’t test them… They also have a brilliant selection of American mixed media craft magazines which are always worth a browse and lots of interesting tools and materials that I don’t know anything about… for scrapbooking & stuff I suppose.
I’m tired just writing this up…. I walked over to Contemporary Applied Arts and was DELIGHTED to find Pairings II (not officially open). I missed the Stroud exhibition last year and have regretted it. I gather this is a slightly different exhibition but it has a lot of the same work in it. I was fascinating to ready about collaborations when I have just done two myself. A brilliant exhibition. As usual I dropped into Rebecca Hossack Gallery too. I’ll miss having these two neighbouring galleries when CAA moves to South London.
What next… Ah yes, the WEFT exhibition at Brunei Gallery in SOAS. It turned out to be twice the size I anticipated but full of amazing things. It closes at the weekend so I am glad I got there. I had no idea what the narrative of the exhibition was or really what was what (lost a lot in translation… ) but there are some stunning textiles in there (and quite a few dreary things too). I particularly loved the work of Hiroyuki Shindo from Japan. It is impossible not to love contemporary Japanese indigo as far as I am concerned.
My last port of call was Waterstones Gower St, just around the corner from SOAS, where I discovered they had a 50% off sale on the second hand books! I’ve bought many a book from their excellent second hand section before. So having decided not to carry books today, I came home with a very weighty bag containing (amongst other things) The Golden Age of Couture, Mining Couture (which I very much wanted to read anyway, having crossed paths with their project a number of times), another copy of Metric Pattern Cutting (so I have one to lend out), Nature Cure (which goes to show I have one or two interests outside of textiles… ) and finally a book about Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar, about whom I know nothing, but her work looks fascinating.
And then I got the train home & pedalled home super fast as I didn’t have enough clothes on and it was FREEZING on my bike.
And that is what I call a relaxing day off!