Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Day in London - Knitting, Poppies and Who Are You?

When you work in education the fastest weeks are the holiday weeks and this 1/2 term has been no exception, it's flown past.  I've walked, sewed (more of that to come) and on Wednesday I spent the day in London with Celia.

We went to the Fashion and Textile Museum to see the Knitwear, Chanel to Westwood exhibition.

Sadly there was no photography allowed but it was very interesting - I especially liked the hand knits from war time, and also the knits from the 80s which were very similar to garments both of us had either knitted or worn! It really is worth a visit, and the 1pm talk (on Wednesdays and Fridays) is very interesting.

On route to the museum we walked past the Tower Poppies.  I'd seen them in August when they first started installing them but they now almost fill the moat and are a very very moving sight with each poppy representing one of the 888, 246 British casualties of the 1st World War.  

Our final stop for the day involved a walk down Whitehall in the rain to the National Portrait Gallery to see the Grayson Perry 'Who Are You' exhibition.  There are 14 new portraits by Grayson, some individual, some group, focusing on identity.  

The portraits range from ceramic 'statues'

to silk hijabs

to ceramic pots

and tapestries.

They are all thought provoking and several conversations were had with random strangers as we stood looking at them.

The memory jar, focusing on a couple where the man was suffering from Alzheimer's was the most thought provoking for me.  We stood and looked at it for ages, the shards of photos representing the shards of memories, snippets sometimes remembered and sometimes dissected from the main memory.

These, and all the others, have all been/are about to be features in the channel 4 programme of the same name.  I loved how they were placed in different rooms within the gallery, next to traditional portraits of famous people. 

Grayson's self portrait, the Map of Days, is so detailed and intricate I could have looked at it for hours - you can download the PDF of it from here and watch a video of the man himself talking about it as well.

It was a lovely day, we hardly noticed the rain we were having such a good time!


elaine said...

I can tell you really enjoyed your day out. The Grayson Perry stuff looks really interesting - I saw him on the One Show talking about it - he's a really nice guy and talented too - regardless of his dressing up tendencies.

Celia Hart said...

Thank you for suggesting the trip to the Knitwear exhibition and timing it to hear the curator's talk - which really added to our visit.
Your photos from the Portrait Gallery are really good.
I see that the next Who Are You? Programme is the last in the series and it seems there are quite a few portraits not covered, so I wonder if there will be a 'series 2' of programmes? I was looking forward to hearing about the tapestry showing the ex-soldiers - probably my favourite piece.

C xx

Gina said...

I've got both those exhibitions on the calendar for next month. Can't wait now. I thought the memory pot was incredibly moving when I saw him making it on TV last week.

Celia Hart said...

Did you see the reply to me from Grayson Perry on Twitter? He said some subjects didn't make the edit for the series so not all the works will be shown on TV. Which is a shame.

C xx

Toffeeapple said...

Wha a good day you had with Celia. I saw the porgramme with Grayson and his portraits of people, he really impressed me with his emotional involment in the subjects. Thanks for showing pictures of his work.

massofhair said...

I am so glad i watched one of the GP programmes, still have to watch parts 2 and 3. He has a new Fan in me, i am sad i didn't know about him earlier in my life... He is a talented, gracious and thought provoking soul who i shall follow from now on.

So glad you had a wonderful day, lovely pictures and a lovely post:-) xxx

driftwood said...

every time I those poppies I am amazed by them x