It’s been about 6 weeks since I’ve visited the capital, having been stationed back in Yorkshire during the long university holidays. London had been calling for a while, and with the games gathering pace I felt that last Tuesday was the perfect day to complete a whistle stop tour to see London in all its splendour ready for the Opening Ceremony. As I arrived in the “Big Smoke” I was astonished with how quiet the underground appeared, whether I’d just fallen lucky with times or Boris had over anticipated the Olympic visitors, the tube was blissful. I was the only person in a carriage on the Piccadilly Line, for a Londoner this is completely unheard of, so much so I had to take photographic evidence.
The intention of the trip was to carry out some research for a forthcoming project, I visited the Victoria and Albert Museum in the blazing sunshine. The museum is a fabulous place to visit on a glorious Summers day with its impeccable landscaped courtyard currently filled with violet hydrangeas, the perfect place to bask in the sun whilst eating delicious food, often unusual for a tourist hot spot.
The V&A is currently showcasing some fantastic fashion exhibitions including Britain Creates 2012: Fashion & Art Collusion, celebrating the success of the nations creative industries on the eve of London 2012. Exploring the collaborations between artists and fashion designers as part of the London 2012 Festival, the exhibition represents London and it’s role as a creative capital of the world. One of my favourite pieces in the exhibition is a collaboration between milliner Stephen Jones and artist Cerith Wyn Evans’ entitled – More Halo Than Hat, representing the Olympic rings, the magical element to the bonnet was the glowing LED lights that are reminiscent of a star constellation glowing amongst the other installation pieces.
The only wearable garment created for the exhibition was by avant-garde fashion designer Giles Deacon and Jeremy Deller, a conceptual installation artist who was awarded the acclaimed Turner Prize. They created an innovative take on the running suit inspired by the Arts and Craft movement and referenced as “armour for an athlete”. The print of the suit, inspired by pioneer William Morris focused on the ideals of “art for all” and the freedom of expression generated through artistic collusions.
Other collaborations included Matthew Williamson and Mat Collishaw who created an alluring, embellished photographic print of insects trapped between glass plates. Beadwork emphasised the the three dimensional scales and butterfly wings creating an electrifying works.
Other current exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum are:
Heatherwick Studio: Designing The Extraordinary
Ballgowns – British Glamour Since 1950
British Design 1948-2012
The V&A Museum is a 5 minute walk from South Kensington tube station.