As their own website states HURRY HURRY HURRY HURRY to The Museum of Everything.......... Exhibition #3 is closing up shop on Thurs so its the last few days to catch Sir Peter Blake's personal collection of schnickle schnackle on show. I did just that and trekked through the snowy streets of North London to get there and I'm so pleased I did. Familiar with collections of historic paraphernalia from visiting prop houses during my set design stints, I have seen some of London's best accumulations of toys and trinkets. But this is not a business, its one man's personal crusade to amalgamate a lifetime of discovered lo-fi / folk / unconscious art. (For example this embroidered pin up girl by ex-serviceman Ted Willcox!)
Each section of the carnivelesque ride is split up with explanations of how the works had been assembled with an endearing personal anecdotal message. One of my favourites was a room decorated with mosaic walls of shells from floor to ceiling - the interior to best house his shell ornaments. Peter writes how he took a fascination with the fact that every charity shop has a discarded shell souvenir and that he couldn't help purchasing each owl/cat/tortoise he caught sight of. They are not the only derided animals that Blake has given new life to ........... the other notable horror is the taxidermy of Walter Potter. The work of Walter Potter's stuffed animals posed and dressed as humans set in fictional sinister scenes has been brought together for this show. Ive never seen so may squirrels smoking cigars and playing poker in my life! Have you? No, I didn't think so .......... this is why you must go to The Museum Of Everything.
The other hilarious and wondrous installation that made me chuckle was a handmade toy fairground acquired from an ageing antique dealer Arthur Miller who had carefully constructed it in his garage. If you watch a little local newsreel from when Arthur decided to part with his motorised miniature ride he wishes it would be bought by someone who would share it for more people to see............ which became a wish come true now that it is on view!
This is perfect viewing for a festive field day outing just before the big day next weekend ..........a stroll through Primrose Hill to build a snowman or sledge on wheelybin lids......... and you can even bag some Christmas Shopping as there are limited edition signed Peter Blake prints for sale in the museum shop for £100-£150