Saturday, 27 September 2008

Open West Midlands Winner!

Luke Harkus-Jefferies has been named the winner of the Peoples Prize Award in Wolverhampton Art Gallery's Open West Midlands exhibition. His piece Untitled (2008) was a firm favourite with visitors who cast over 500 votes during the exhibition.

It presents the viewer with two different viewpoints of what seems to be a quintessential family home presented in the form of a dolls house, allowing the viewer to take on the role of voyeur as they explore the work through a number of windows and small peepholes. On one side, his work presents a neutral and calm interior, whereas the alternative shows a blood stained cellar - the site for a violent attack.

Luke Harkus-Jefferies researched various subjects whilst creating his work including crime and psychoanalysis. This led him to develop a concept that focuses on the acceptability of violence in society as a form of entertainment.

THAT'S MY FRIEND! He won £100 prize money & was dead chuffed about it :) .

Monday, 1 September 2008

Manchester 3!

Arr, yes we finally found the Urbis Gallery. Wow. Again. The exterior was amazing. Big glass building.
This is the gallery I wanted to come to Manchester for! To see the Matthew Williamson: 10 Years in Fashion exhibition! But I'll come to that in a mintue.

Level one:
How Manga Took Over The World.
Exploring the art of Manga and it's influences on contemporary cutlure: from music, fashion and art, right through to the corporate sector.
This exhibition was really fun, with lots of bright colours, fascinating imagery and different medias.
1st area we went into was an over 18's part, and there was pictures of Hello Kitty in bondage. Beloved Hello Kitty.. Poor Kitty in chains and PVC! Moving throughout the rooms I took a few pictures and found a design that I had previously purchased from the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham as gift wrap! This Jon Burgerman design is amazing! I love the chaos in colour and the funky little illustrations of little monsters and strange animal things he draws.
Aww. Just so cute. Hehe.

Photos I took:

Woo. Now onto Matthew Williamson: 10 Years in Fashion.
Manchester-born Matthew Williamson is a unique success story within the British Fashion Industry. An exciting exhibition presents his most ironic designs and deconstructs the process behind his work, illuminating his distinctive use of pattern, print and colour.
I have taken a wide range of photographs of the majority of Matthew's designs in both clothing and print format. Also a one off mood board Matthew had created especially for the exhibition.

And that ends a day in Manchester. Had a wicked day, but want to go back for some more shopping! haha.

Manchester 2!

On the second floor of Manchester Art Gallery there were several exhibitons, Green Drops and Moonsquirters: The Utterly Imaginative World of Lauren Child. Lauren Child is the Author of the children's books Charlie & Lola. Also the imagery, which is ever so child-like but really imaginative and interesting. We didn't spend too long looking around this exhibition as it was packed with kids! Kinda wish I was a kid again so i could of dressed up in the crocodile outfit. haha.
Moving on... Gwon Osang: Deodrant Type.
This was quite an interesting exhibition, it was really odd, at the same time quite amusing.
C-print, mixed media, every collaged up life sized.. hmm dolls shall i say? i don't really know what to call them. Some were quite freaky (Yamaha, 2008) and others looked quite amusing like the girl in a bush.
Photos below include an insight to how the exhibition is set out, Yamaha (orange t-shirt) and the face of Slip Slider, 2006-07.

Another part of the gallery called Modern Art: You Cannot Be Serious! shows contemporary art, illusions and ambiguity to play games with the viewer. From found objects and popular culture, to optical illusion and pure abstraction, the works in this display ask the question 'should we take modern art seriously'?
This is the only image I managed to get through this exhibition, cause I don't think you were allowed to take photos! I love the bold black outlining and the bright colours used within this work.

Ohhh and how could I forget the Clore Interactive Gallery, again I think this was aimed at children and getting them involved with the art seen around the gallery, but we couldn't help ourselves and had a little play! There was a big pile of suitcases attached to the wall with loads of luggage labels attached, and you could write on them with anywhere in the world where you would like to be. I think i wrote Jamacia getting crunk. :)
And then there was the recycled bit, where you made faces on a magnetic board.
Here's mine:

Finally in this Gallery, we visited the Gallery of Craft and Design, which included ceramics, glass, metalwork, furniture, toys, textiles and armour. The gallery is displayed in three themes:
1.) Making demonstrates how artists and designers approach the making of objects. There are objects to touch, makers talking about their work on audioguide and videos of craftspeople working. You can even sit on three of the exhibits.
2.) Memory is about the personal and communal meanings objects acquire through use, from commemorative plates to christening gifts. It might prompt you to think about the important objects in your life.
3.) Collecting examines the reasons why people and museums collect things. Six people who have built up their own collections talk on video about the impact of collecting on their lives.

First thing that really caught my eye was the Porca Miseria! chandelier, designed by Ingo Maurer.
Welded stainless steel framework with porcelian and stainless steel cutlery.
Porca Miseria! is Italian for "What bad luck!" or "Oh blast!"
Only 10 of these are made a year and each creation is unique.

Tord Boontje. Wow. There was the 'Wednesday Cabinet' 2002. A series inspired by the birth of his daughter, Evelyn in 2000. Unfortunatly I was unable to photograph his work, or fail to find this particular piece on the internet, but I have found some of his other designs which are along the same style.
Most of Boontje's patterns are inspired by woodland scenes, flowers and gambolling animals. Which creates a fairytale like quality.
Lampshade designed by Tord Boontje.

Boontje's designs have been hugely influentional in recent high street trends for floral decoration, particularly his Garland light sold in Habitat.

Favela Chair.
Designed by Humberto & Fernando Campana. 2003.
This chair is made up of Pinus wood, nails and a lot of glue!

Armchair. Made by Wendell Castle, USA about 1969.
Moulded with fibre glass, with black nylon edging. (Although the one in the image below doesn't seem to have the nylon edging like the one I saw in the gallery).
Development of plastics in the 1960's opened up a world of new possibilities for modern furniture designers. Plastic's unique, malleable and fluid qualities allow it to be manipulated and moulded into abstract, organic and vibrant shapes. Wendell's work embraced this new material. Plastic offered him the opportunity to create new exciting shapes which previous materials couldn't offer.

This exhibition ended outr visit to this gallery, as it was time to go sit down and eat our hearts out at Pizza Hut buffet!! And indeed I did just that! :)
We wondered round the shops for a bit, then realising we'd better find the Urbis gallery before it was too late. On our travels we found Heals! Kimmi and I both shouted HEALS! And in we went! I loved all the mugs and plates and all the pretty fabrics, arr we loved it. If only I had lots of moneys. hehe.

How I love the layout of shop windows. Took a couple more, of Harvey Nics and Louis Vuitton.

Next stop... The Urbis Art Gallery. (See Manchester Post 3.)

Thursday 28th August 2008. Manchester!

Eary start today! Had to get up at 6am! Tobe in Birmingham for 7.10am to get the coach toManchester!Arriving in Manchester around 11am, firststop for me and Kimmi was Yates for a everymuch deserved Archers & lemonade! I know itwas early but still, it set us up for the day!
First gallery... Manchester Art Gallery.We pretty much did this gallery from headto toe. I reckon we spent a good 2 hoursin there, easily. On the first floor we noticed a small exhibition called 'Button World.' We spent ages trying to find this one room,but when we did we realised why... causeit was so small!! But it was FULL of BUTTONS!! I was thinking why couldn'tthis collection of been on a while ago when I was doing my projects on Collections & Buttons! Ha.

Button World:
Every button has a story to tell.

Woman's Jacket - Vivienne Westwood, Wool/tweed fabric. 1990-2000.Westwood takes classic, tailored shapes &fabrics and gives them a twist, to create astyle thats witty and new.The outsized buttons with their bold logo,contrast with the traditional tweedyfabric, stamping the garnment as uniquelyWESTWOOD!

Logo Button - Vivienne Westwood, Engravedamber-coloured plastic. 1990-2000.
Westwood used buttons to trademark her designs with her logo. As soon as they're sewn onto a garnment itinstantly oozes designers creation.

Crazy button fact... Louis XIV, King ofFrance, spent the equivalent of £3 millionon buttons during his lifetime!

Bit about Buttons...Button making used many skils & processes.Until the 18th century, buttons werehand-made. Industries developed newtechnologies to forge, press, stamp, rivet metals and decorate them with gold, silver or enamel. The demand for buttonsdrove invention onward.Glass, Mother-of-Pearl, horn and eventropical nuts were transformed into elegant buttons. In the 20th century, plastics wereinvented, which could imitate whatever fashion wished!

Set of Waistcoat buttons - images from Guinness adverts. Brass, glass & plastic.1950-1960.
The Dublin Brewery Company Guinness ran a highly successful poster campaign in the1950's. It's slogan 'My Goodness, My Guinness!' These buttons reproduce imagesfrom the posters and would have been given to barmen to wear.