Friday, November 7, 2008

Browsing the V&A

It's a long time since I've been for a general browse around the V&A, as I usually go with an adgenda of things that I want to see.
Swarm by Mona Hatoum is an installation of Swarovski Crystals in the main entrance (I usually use the tunnel entrance). Had I not seen picyures of the installation I would have been surprised to find it composed of dark crystals rather than the usual sparkilng 'diamonds'. The title puts me in mind of Bees and I found myself listening for a humming sound. The picture (left) also picks up on the play of light on the filaments by which the cyrstals are suspended adding another layer to the etherial quality of the work.
Whilst looking for different angles from which to view Swarm I ended up in the metal work gallery and found Lehti (Leaf) by Finnish silver smith Maria Jauhianinen. It is made from photo-etched, powder coated, sheet brass. It was the lacy shadows that really made this piece look so delicate and unlike the metalwork that surrounded it.
The British Galleries may not be the obvious place to look for lace but actually there are some really interesting pieces on show including this length (1650 - 1680) which was probably dyed with cochineal.

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