Archive for London

What next? Cake Britain?

Posted in ART, exhibitions with tags , , on August 28, 2010 by echostains

Futureheads 'The Chaos' lyrics vs Miss Cakehead (chocolate cookies)

A new exhibition called ‘Art you can eat – Cake Britain’  in the Future Gallery, 5 Great Newport street London  WC2 gallery will run from 27th August 2010 until 29th.  All the work is made from sugar and flour, cake and other sweet things and made by the UK’s creative bakers.  The work will be devoured by the public and the proceeds shall be donated to charity.   Tate and Lyle Sugars are the sponsors.  Here’s a very early echostains blog post featuring some of my miniature efforts and a sugarcraft exhibition

'Cloud Cuckoo wedding cake' Stuart Semple vs Paul Baker

I’ve always been an admirer of cake art – its amazing what you can make from sugar. I’ve made decorative dough art in the past and even miniature food from fimo clay, but I can’t ever remember decorating a cake.  this is probably down to me not being very good with cakes (they always come out soggy or sink in the middle).  I’m much better with pastry though – must have cool hands:)

edible MacDonalds - a novel idea

Art you can eat – Cake Britain images from here and here: read about the Madartist teaparty who contributed here

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A Collection of Time Travel experiences and ‘atmospheres’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 9, 2010 by echostains

The Vikings make their presence known

I have always had a yearning to travel back in time.  I’ve had four of these experiences – well not actually going back in time, but pretty near.  The first one was years ago at the Jorvic Viking centre in York, where you travel in a car backwards in time and come out into a recreated Viking village, complete with all the sounds, sights and even the smells (including urine).  This has now changed and there is a different way to travel now, which I find disappointing – they should have left the experience alone in my opinion.

The house in the Rock

The second one was also in Yorkshire.  It was in a place called ‘House in the Rock’ in Knaresborough.  The owner Miss Nancy Buckle’s ancestor carved this house into rock in 1770 and generation after generation have lived in it.  Now that was like stepping back in time!  At the time we were shown around, the National Trust were doing their utmost to get their hands on the house  clean it up a bit and probably take the character away from what was/is  a family home. The place had a charm all of its own and I still can’t seem to find out if the Trust managed to get it.

House on the Strand

The third time I went back in time was when I read Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘House on the Strand’.  This is a strange book even for Du Maurier.  In brief: a man rents a remote house in Cornwall (of course) and agrees to be the guinea pig for a drug his biochemist friend has invented.  With its aid he goes back in time to the 14th Century where he has lots of adventures.  But each time he comes back reality blurs between the two worlds….  the book has intrigue and a very strange ending.

18 Folgate Street

The fourth time that I climbed into that time machine was last week when we visited Dennis Severs house, Folgate Street, Spitalfields, London.  I have always wanted to go to this house for years and have never quite got around to it – until last week.  We made an appointment and just went.  Dennis Severs, an American artist (b. 1948 -1999).  Severs moved to London and bought the run down house in 1979.   Folgate Street is very close to the Spitalfields market and at the time of purchase the area was more run down than it is now but attracting Bohemians and artists.

Dennis Severs House, one of the period bedrooms

Severs renovated and decorated each of the 10 rooms  in a different historical style, mostly from the 18th and 19th century creating ‘atmospheres’ and vignettes.  He did this on a budget of

£500!  I first encountered this man, years ago in a Period Living magazine and was flabbergasted at how clever, innovative and resourceful he was and longed to see his house.  Though he lived there himself, Severs invented an imaginary family to people his house,  and he based this family upon the Huguenot silk weavers who would  have lived in the area at that time.  He called them the Jarvis family – and they are still alive in the house.  Whenever you enter a room you feel they have been there before you and just left, leaving clues like a half eaten piece of buttered toast and an upset teacup behind them.  the rooms are like living paintings.  in fact one room is actually based on a Hogarth painting!

more period drama

The house is crammed full of Sever’s collections of memorabilia, plus china, vintage clothing, ephemera.  But these are not dry museum type collections, these ‘props’ are scattered everywhere, as if it’s been casually left that way, nothing is ‘posed’.  Clay pipes lay broken in a fireplace, valentines are wedged into the frames of mirrors, cobwebs hang from the torn and damp velvet four-poster hangings in the poorest room in the house – the attic, where no fire burns.  To get a better idea of the experience (though I urge you to go if you possibly can)  Here is a short video starring the house – and the late Dennis Severs himself:-

Jorvik Viking centre image  here

Read all about Thomas Hill, a linen weaver who built the House in the Rock  by his great great grand-daughter Nancy Buckle here.  We have quite a few pics of this house somewhere which I shall have to find.  This pic came from  here though

Dennis Severs House website recommended and read what people who have visited say here  Severs video from here

Unfortunately we were not allowed photographs in the house, so these images come from herehere and here

A postcard from London

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, DESIGN, HISTORY, LONDON (JAUNTS), PAST PLACES with tags , , , , on May 8, 2010 by echostains

Just a short slide show of some of the places we went to and the sights we saw in our recent trip to London.  From treasures of the V and A which would fill a whole post,  to the Ten Bells pub in Spitalfields where some of Jack the Ripper’s victims frequented…..

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Reptilian Window Gazing

Posted in DESIGN, LONDON (JAUNTS), PAST PLACES with tags , , , , on May 7, 2010 by echostains

delightful shoes (at delightful prices.....)

You can’t go to London without window shopping – you just can’t help but gasp at the wonderful window displays.  I always wanted to be a window dresser and much admire the artistry which goes into these displays.

Who wouldn't want to use this door handle?

One of the best streets for this is Regent Street and Old Bond Street.  Home to Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen among many other world-class names.

Lizard lady at McQueens

Here’s a few photos we took of these shops.  I had to have a pic of the Alexander McQueen shoes – unbelievable!

shoe detail

more of the serpent look

At the moment McQueen has gone very serpentine with the snake skins and reptilian look.  this makes for very colourful clothes and accessories – quite chameleon like and changeable – just like fashion! 

Alexander McQueen Old Bond Street London

see the McQueen new looks here…and sigh

Alexander McQueen shop here

London belonged to me – for a bit

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, DESIGN, exhibitions, HISTORY, LONDON (JAUNTS), PAST PLACES with tags , , , , , , on May 6, 2010 by echostains

Iggy Pop

We’ve just come back from London where we spent a few days.  We crammed a lot into those days (as usual).  We managed to see the Rock legend Iggy Pop in concert at Hammersmith Apollo (excellent energy!).   We went to a wonderful perfume shop (recommended by Jadepaloma).  Perfume and Iggy Pop – interesting  juxtaposition eh?

Ormonde Jayne comes highly recommended

 

We went to the V and A Museum and took lots and lots of pictures….in fact each once could be a separate post.  We went to Dennis Severs House (which I shall be doing a piece about, and which I hope you find as interesting as we did).  We went on a ‘Secret London’ walk that lasted two hours and found out lots of interesting facts.

Billy Childish

Plus we were in time to see the Billy Childish exhibition at the ICA.  Billy Childish is another interesting person who I need to write about.  We went in the French House in Soho as usual, got ripped off with what we unlaughingly refer to as ‘Turpin Taxis’ – though at least he had the courtesy to wear a mask!  Lots to write about plus a new category……..

Dennis Severs pic from here

Iggy Pop pic from Here

Billy Childish pic here

‘How’s it going? here’s an update’

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART PORTFOLIO MY PERSONAL ART, BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, DESIGN, exhibitions, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES, period drama, TEAPOTS - A HOMAGE TO UNUSUAL TEAPOTS, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN, WRITING AND BLOGGING with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2010 by echostains
 

  

Euphoria Borealis, Acrylic on canvas aprox 3ft x 4 ft

Time for a little update.  ‘Echostains’ itself is going well, many are reading but, not many are commenting – don’t be shy come forward and show yourselves!  ‘Bookstains’ my other blog is coming along alright, its early days yet, but I am enjoying doing it.  Although I keep saying it, I really do need to put a piece of art work on here from time to time.  So here you are – I give you ‘Euphoria Borealis’ (or Belly Laugh) which was the last painting for my graduation exhibition.  I had just completed a 10,000 word Dissertation, a 5000 word one about my personal project (‘Echostains’) which included 10 large paintings and 2 x 500 word essays as well as course work.  Wouldn’t you be laughing?  Of course I have much more recent work, it’s just a case of getting around to scanning some sketchbook stuff  or photographing the bigger pieces, but I am determined to do it! 

 

  

p5

As for my altered book which has disappeared yet again….one day I shall actually finish it!  I will have to revise the way I have documented this book.  I think the best way would be to make a gallery especially for it, so each page is linked with its own artist reference (because the project is an art project, underpinned with art history) and each pages should follow the other, like in a real book.  Lol!  I can see me making a blog just for my altered book!!!….not a bad idea 

 

The material for my  teapot articles are getting a bit tougher to find.  My favorite one lately is the making of the chocolate teapot.  I shall carry on though.  There’s no shortage of material for the weird and wacky design section either, so I will keep that going.  Some sections, like places are now a thing of the past, but this year we are hoping to go to new places nothing planned yet – except to see Iggy Pop in London in May, but do hope to fit a couple of exhibitions in whilst we’re there. 

 

Attack of the Killer tomatoes! A conspiracy?

Posted in ART, HOME, LONDON (JAUNTS), PAST PLACES with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2009 by echostains
Survivor of 2008 and glad

Survivor of 2008 and glad

Doing really well with these resolutions so far!  OK, I know it’s only day 2, but nevertheless I am doing great!  After all the rubbish I’ve been eating at Christmas, I couldn’t wait to get back to healthy eating.  I thought I would do a nice healthy shepherds pie and some salad: (I’m odd like that ….)

Innocent? ...don't be fooled, a killer could be lurking

Innocent? ...don't be fooled, a killer could be lurking

The first mouthful  tasted absolutely FOUL!  At first I couldn’t work out what it was.  It tasted like disinfectant!  Sifting through it,  I found that it was the tomatoes!!!  Now these tomatoes (plum) look fine: they don’t taste fine though.  I still feel ill thinking about it.  And now I’m starving!!!  Oh well, it’s back to the drawing board, literally.  It’s about time I did a bit more on my Altered book, plus I’m still writing about the Francis Bacon exhibtion we saw at Tate Britain in London.

attack_of_the_killer_tomatoes

attack_of_the_killer_tomatoes

Looking for an image of plum tomatoes, I found this write up about tainted plum tomatoes!  I am now panicking! Attacked by a tomato!  What a way to start the New year eh?

http://www.healthline.com/blogs/diet_nutrition/2008/06/tainted-tomatoes.html