Saturday, October 31, 2009

September at the V&A

I've made several visits to the V&A in September and each time have come across something new beyond the exhibition that I had gone to see.
The Chair Arch in the courtyard garden was based on arches that were made to commemorate special occasions in Victorian Britain, usually made from local materials they also celebrated local industry. This arch is made from Ercol chairs. It was interesting to see how the public interacted with the arches, the children especially loved racing in and out of the structure. My favourite images of it are the close-ups where the arch is lost but the skeletal structure remains.
Rock Fusion Table and Rock Skin Rug by Arik Levy are on the ground floor of the Sackler Centre. I thought this was such a clever combination of the decorative with the functional. It's always worth taking a walk through the Sackler centre and looking to see what's going on in the education space.
was briefly installed in the tunnel entrance to the V&A. A collaboration between architect Ian Douglas-Jones and designer Ben Rousseau, it is a seating area based on the foil lined paper sacks in which tea leaves are transported to Britain and which are unrecycleable. Turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, waste into beauty. The smell was tantalising and the contrast between the brashness of the foil walls and the compressed bags as used for seating could hardly have been greater.
This piece of 'coffin lace' (below) was a real surprise to me. I've searched for the term on the Internet on a number of occasions but only ever come up with rather dull strips of false upholstery pins in single or double rows. This piece is fabulous, given by Julian Litten, museum number M.233-1984. Now that the V&A have digitised much of their collection I must do some browsing to see what else they have hidden away that is of interest to me.

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