Friday, 8 April 2011
Walking back from a meeting on Brick Lane, soaking in the sunshine, we stumbled across a sign for this exhibition "Syd Barrett - Art & Letters". I had to tear myself away from returning to the studio to dip in and see the largest showcase of momentos from the life of the Pink Floyd frontman. Alongside his music, Syd created art work and some of these paintings have been lent from girlfriends who he originally gifted them to. In addition, numerous love notes and letters have been brought together which gives quite an open and intimate insight into Syd's life whilst starting the band. The display also presents imagery spanning as far back as his childhood containing unseen photographs of his childhood, early Pink Floyd concert snaps and Mick Rock portraits.
Its the last 2 days of the show, so if you are in the Shoreditch area, try and pop in to see the first most comprehensive collection of work of the legend who was actually known for throwing his paintings away!
This unique exhibition has been set up to run alongside the launch of a new publication: "Barrett: The definitive visual companion" published by Essential Works. Click here to find out more ........... it looks beautiful!
'Art and Letters' 18th March-10th April 2011
Idea Generation Gallery, Redchurch Street, London, E2 7JB
On Wednesday evening Lyall Hakaraia invited me to the launch of his AW collection, which was structured in a totally new arrangement to anything Ive experienced before. A small gathering of guests congregated in the magnificent MC Motors location lit with old road-side signage and glinting candles. We sat down to dinner at a table laid with luscious flowers and pieces from the collection displayed on the surrounding antiques. After a two course Moroccan feast courtesy of Elaine's 'A little of what you fancy' we were handed a flute of champagne and ushered through to an adjacent dark space for the presentation. A dance performance took place with a model moving and contorting suspended above white light gliding like a bed of a photocopier from a screen tilted from the floor . With each twist and turn, she pealed off a layer of the collection to reveal another underneath. In this way, the choreography formed a physical narrative to explain the components for the viewers to understand the intricacies of the harness, cuffs, corset and body stocking. Lyall used leather, mesh, plastic and hide in nude tones to incapsulate shades of 'cold flesh' and 'dried blood'. Alchemy and elemental natural forces inspired the theme of tensioned power for both the collection and the final live presentation. Each separate piece has been designed to highlight hollows of the body at the throat, wrist and waist, adding to the idea of playing with movement.
The precision organisation of this multi-faceted, experimental experience was equal to the exceptional attention to detail in the construction of the clothes. The whole thing was a sensory overload which instilled the perfect setting for the tactile body-mapping collection. Lyall's execution of this edgy event was such a refreshing and accomplished feat that I hope it triggers an innovative format for others to follow.......
To tie-in with the launch event, Lyall has also compiled a website with the back catalogue of his comission work such as couture corsets and gowns for clients including Lady Gaga, Maddonna, Paloma Faith, Roisin Murphy and most recently Jessie J. Click here to see more........
Wednesday, 6 April 2011
The second installment in catching up with the winners from the SHOWstudio Nick Knight / Leigh Bowery print competition:
"when the competition was announced on SHOWstudio's Leigh Bowery week in 2004 (?) I was just desperate to win. I remember the brief was to send an image of yourself dressed in a manner inspired by Leigh Bowery. At that point I thought I had no chance. but then in a cheaty sort of a way I looked through some old photos from my clubbing days and found the one of me from 1985 dressed really badly for a medical themed night I was dj-ing at... I never for one second thought I would win, and was convinced that they would see through the fact that the photo was dead old and that it really wasn't the best look !.. but I guess it was at the time inspired by Leigh. He always seemed like the most fascinating person in the world to me. I still often wonder what he would have been doing now if he'd still been alive. I love the way that his influence lives on in the mainstream with people like Lady Gaga, and that he's now respected as an artist .
Anyway........ when I found out I'd won the prize I was so excited , I've never won anything before or since , and I'm not really bothered by that as I got the best prize"
(Images: Paul's entry, the prints at SHOWStudio, Paul with his portrait now)
The third collection from the "House Of Organza" collective launched yesterday at the Ella Dror PR Press day entitled "Muse". The inspiration for the brief came from Yves Klein who continuously created works of art from his idiosyncratic blue hue. He applied blue to canvas in different ways to create textures that resulted in subtle changes to the way the colour was perceived . Blue also happens to be the signature shade of Kim Howells who co-curates the project with Lyall, so I can't help wonder this might also have played a part in the decision!!! When I was making my piece I certainly had her in mind which turned out to be giant shoulder pads which she is also famous for flaunting. However, the actual muse for this season is Mr Roy (Roy Anthony Brown) who has previously posed for Juergen Teller. For this venture, Roy responded to the Blue concept by writing a poem and recording his vocal reading out the prose. Replacing visual references to the colour with Mr Roy's description, it has been left to the imagination of the designers to interpret Mr Roy’s vision. We all received his soundbite to inspire the process and 1 meter of canvas to create the final piece which will ultimately be modelled by Roy for a fashion film and exhibition in the Summer. Rosy Nicholas has taken on the identity this time, painting beautiful blue illustrations of mountains and finger prints relating to Roy's poem.
An official website for the "House of Organza" has just gone live as a resource for the three collections to date and biographies of all previous participants. Head over to http://houseoforganza.com/ to have a look through the comprehensive content compiled by Tom Ryling and Emily Beard.
(images: Rosy's illustration, my ruffle extravaganza, Lyall Harkaraia's harness, Dr. NOKI's hood, Piers Atkinson's hat, the installation by Alun Davies for the Ella Dror PR press day with tights on the floor by Patternity)
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Action shots from today including Lucy Bridge holding an eyebrow and eyelashes salon ......... where I had a makeover with a beautiful blue shade to match the House of Organza installation. Here is Lucy applying lime green shimmer to Ella Dror infront of Astrid Anderson's matching hue AW11 menswear collection in the showroom. Charlie Le Mindu took over the beauty chair for a complimentary blow dry and style consultation for visitors .......... Charlie arrived with Susie Bubble wearing a beautiful red gingham look. Last but not least is Ella's best friend Aaron Frew who you will recognise as currently modelling in the most recent CK campaign shot by Steven Meisel ................
Monday, 4 April 2011
A sneak peak at the Ella Dror PR Press Day where my AW11 collection will be on display alongside my piece for the new season collective "House of Organza" project.
5th April from 11:00 – 18:00 at St Martin’s Lane Hotel
See invitation to RSVP
Follow the Twitter for up to date news from all the designers ..........
(AW11 Collection including shin pieces / crown and rings by Rosy Nicholas)
Here are behind-the-scenes snaps from the team at Fiona Leahy working on the set design for the recent Louis Vuitton event to launch the label's digital film series "Double Exposure". The first artist showcased for the project is Sam Taylor Wood, documented talking about her favourite objects and mementos. This theme inspired Fiona to incorporate ornate objects with the projection for the Bond Street store opening and contrast them with more mundane materials to relate to the context of the conversation. The items were assembled to add texture to the silhouettes to form intricate shadows as if ghosts of memories. To keep uniformity amongst the disparate collection of paraphernalia, the props were dipped in plaster. These were encased in perspex cases on white panels highlighted with flexible white neon for the initial part of the presentation. Later on, a special dinner was held with tables lined with more neon lighting, decorated with Kathy Dalwood busts, plaster dipped tea lights and spring flowers.
"Picture days trawlling around charity shops and a production line of plastering,dipping, spraying ..birds, barbies, mini monuments (big ben, eiffel tower, leaning towr of piza etc) toy soldiers, figurines, dolls furniture, rosettes mini trophies...the list goes on!"
Head over to Fiona's blog to see brilliant photos of a previous Louis Vuitton event – "An Illustrated Dinner" - where illustrator Jo Radcliffe painted paper table cloths .....
Sunday, 3 April 2011
The official day of celebration to what would have been Leigh Bowery's 50th birthday took place at the ICA after Sue Tilley approached Director Gregor Muir with the idea. The two friends held a day time discussion and then an evening event of performance and music. Knowing that opportunities like this don't come around too often (if ever) I crossed town and back again for both stints to soak in the resounding legacy, message and mantra left by Leigh to live your dream. I read Sue's biopic of "Leigh Bowery: The Life and Times of an Icon" when I was 17, at a crucial turning point in my own discovery of the world so it was a fantastic opportunity to hear her elaborate on the story. It was a very open, frank and flowing dialogue between Gregor and Sue reminiscing various accounts to explain the different angles of Leigh's personality, creativity and journey. Here is Darrell Berry's photo of Sue (wearing a Gingham dress made for her by Leigh) infront of the screen showing her Lucien Freud portrait which broke world records when recently sold ............. which came about initially from an introduction by Leigh when he was modelling for the artist. I particularly liked Sue's confession that Leigh dabbed his own mark of paint onto a canvas when Lucien was out of the room to fully engage in the process of posing! Ironically although Leigh's own work experimented with dressing, distorting and disfiguring his body, Lucien's depictions of his subject were totally natural capturing him as a classical nude. Lucien is known for not attending his own openings so Leigh took over the role at one particular Metropolitan Museum private view wearing a head to toe ensemble with integrated mask and German Military Helmet......... a little like the hat Jonny Woo wore on Friday night. There were lots of outfits and "looks" put together by the clubbers for the tribute, with acts performing including Jonny himself and Richard Torry's new band....... complete with Little Richard donning a table gaffer-taped over his head!!! Its lucky that the city has a new generation of performance artists to continue challenging realms of convention but it is also evident that an exceptional and untouchable talent only touched down to earth for a fleeting chapter of contribution. The images and videos of Leigh taken twenty years ago still look alien and groundbreaking today .......... who knows what incredible direction he would have taken now........... we can only imagine and still enjoy the history that has been handed down.
Thanks to Darrell Berry for his fantastic photos from the night.
(top to bottom: Gregor Muir and Sue Tilley, Jonny Woo twice, Scottee, Feral, Fancy Chance, Little Richard, Ryan Styles)