Bus Art!

Just been told about a great project combining technology and art! My two favourite things!

Bus-Tops is a new digital public art project that invites local communities, the general public and nine leading contemporary artists to transform everyday bus journeys into an art experience.

Bus-Tops 2012

These artworks will be on show ‘live’ 24 hours a day from January – September 2012 across 20 London boroughs. These areas will host a network of interactive, screen-based installations on bus shelter roofs.

Artists involved include, Carla Arocha + Stéphane Schraenen, Jemima Brown, Jasmina Cibic, Michelle Deignan, Kate Davis, Ian Monroe, Mark Titchner, Conrad Ventur, Zoe Walker & Neil Bromwich. I shall be heading along to the launch hosted by Turner Prize-nominated artist Mark Titchner at Idea Generation Gallery on 10th January, so keep your eyes peeled on Art Pie to read about what I discover!

For more information on where to see the works, keep an eye on the blog and twitter updates here @bus_tops

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Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair: A Time Travelling Snapshot

The camera was my tool this weekend when I took on a blogger challenge, snapping my experience at Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair. My mission? To take a disposable camera and capture my experiences.

This is my record of secret portal to a treasure trove – captured for those who crave vintage goodness.

Donning my fashion blogging uniform (see below) and clicking my heels into another land, I sort to document Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair on 3 December . This glimpse into other world’s at Old Spitalfields Market debuted on Saturday – the first time in 100 years – by welcoming Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair which shall be gracing the site every first Saturday of the month in future.

My time travelling blog uniform!

Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair feels as if it’s always been at Old Spitalfields; laying down its time travelling cloak of glamour with well-honed vintage heels and spreading out its decade defying 140 stalls from all over the UK.

Diving straight into these worlds I could become any character, traversing eras. Forget slaving over fashion’s ‘latest’ or ‘must haves’, Judy’s shows worlds ahead and beyond that. The wealth of stalls offer items Topshop or Urban Outfitters won’t have and that’s what fellow time travel shoppers felt, commenting how, ‘You don’t get this quality in the shops‘. This is coupled with great prices and an added dose of history, transporting its owners back to another time.

The girls travel back to a world of vintage lace.

There was all the fashion you could shake a clutch bag and armed with my camera I found new worlds and revived memoires. Overwhelmed, I didn’t know where to begin, suddenly all sensible thoughts of – ‘I only need to find a print to go on my bedroom wall’ – float out of the packed crowd of fellow explorers.

A peek into the wardrobe of a glamorous goddess.

I chanced upon the 70s with sequined dresses, felt the 50s in well-loved leather jackets, discovered oriental traditions with silk kimonos and put myself into the shoes of a 20s party girl.

Whose shoes will you step into from past times??

Trying on the shoes reminded me of the past characters who have passed through Old Spitalfields Market, making it what it is today. The site can boast the fact that it was a Roman cemetery in 1601, and that Charles Roberts Ashbee, founder of the Arts and Craft movement, opened his Guild and School of Handicraft at Toynbee Hall across the road. It saw Maltese, Irish, Scots, West Indian, Somalian and Bangladeshi communities came to the area in 1900s. This history made the clothes come to life more against backdrop of the wrought iron roof of the market.

Eras of elegance collide with Old Spitalfields Market’s history.

Further on in my travels I landed in a music box of my childhood with my parents record collection, a vinyl collection featuring Eric Clapton and Grace Jones. More figures came to life such as the Beatles and Wham, this was a literal slice of a time gone, making my fellow shoppers laugh and admit their (sometimes embarrassing) musical loves.

Travel back to Grace Jones’ ‘Slave to the Rhythm  of the 80s.

It’s not just the fashion and music eras that took me time travelling, furniture and home accessories sent me to other lands.  I found lamps, vases, telephones, chairs and china. Taking me by surprise I was whisked into the Madmen set with 50s clocks to show how long I had been caught up in amongst this colourful landscape.

Which time shall you travel to at Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair?

Towards the outter edges in-between the rails and jewellery boxes I tiptoed back to my childhood with these teeny tiny shoes. Reminding me of my tentative first ballet steps as a 6 year old, they took on a life of their own, I could smell the hairspray and remember my practice steps as if it was yesterday.

Tiny steps back into my childhood.

I began to discover more and more stalls that all had hidden surprises, shifting from one exotic time to another. Along the way I met more fellow travellers who were able to feel extra special with vintage underwear from the 20s that’s not on the high street. Other vintage lovers were reminded of places from childhood with old town posters, or of their much loved toys with Lego and Scrabble jewellery.

Discovering memories of places.

Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair was also an opportunity for everyone to add to their collections – no matter how ‘unfashionable’ or not on ‘trend’ it may seem. I could see how the fair gave everyone a chance to not only to take on different characters, but immerse themselves in their favourite style. Sports shirts always remained elusive one shopper (below) and he found something perfect by travelling to the 1990’s with his find at the fair.

Finding something to go with own your style.

Finally I managed to tear myself away from the dazzling array of stalls and back to the present day. Still reeling with all the images its hard to pin it down to just a few but hopefully my snaps have inspired you to take on an exploration of a future Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair. It’s the perfect place to find new eras of inspiration and banish vintage designer price tags.

Travel through lands and time, be inspired and experiment but most importantly, pass on this secret passage into vintage heaven.

Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair comes from humble beginnings in London 2005, starting as in indoor market. Now it boasts not only vintage fairs around the UK but the Kilo Vintage Sale, Furniture Flea, AND they even casted their kitsch eye over Vintage at Goodwood by curating it in 2010. They’re also expanded to outsite the UK shores in February 2012 increasing their stalls form 140 to 170 – more goodies for all!

Follow all their latest updates for events here and also their tweets @JudyVintageFair.

For the images from my photo blog challenge head to Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair Facebook page where they shall be posted soon!

Open Doors London Lands in SW4

This weekend sees Open Doors London launch their second London borough exhibition, SW4. This pop-up gallery network, who I have posted about before, have an eclectic mix of artsits showing works at Clapham North Arts Centre this weekend.

As previously, like with Exhibition W12, the artists have been inspired by the area and Open Doors have helpfully uploaded images of the Clapham area to their digital scrapbook of to ignite creativity, see it here.

© Foo Illustration 2011

The exhibition is open 3-4 December at Clapham North Arts Centre 11am – 6pm, so catch it while you can!

Keep your eyes peeled for the next pop-up London borough from Open Doors London. Follow their updates here @OpenDoorsLondon

Candlelight and the 20’s

Shh! Let me tell you about The Candlelight Club, a lover of all things of the 1920s jazz era, they pop-up in secret London venues and promise a peek into a world of decadence and damn right good fun! If you’d like a night out away from the bar crowds then we think the Candlelight Club could be your haven.

This speak easy style club doesn’t have loud promotions or glossy adverts, its merely via word of mouth. It holds events throughout the year in tucked-away dens with a 1920s swing band flavour, completely lit by candles of course. Each event offers a one-off bespoke cocktail menu and a theme, the event we attended was Shanghai, so I readied my folding fan and awaited the secret location to be announced…

We tiptoed our way into the secret location which was revealed via emial two days before. The pathway entirely lit by candles – as was the room – felt tucked away but in the heart of central London which was very handy when leaving.

The setting for Shanghai 20s adventure...

Drink Me

We sipped on Singapore Slings and Opium Dream cocktails, both very punchy and deserved their £7 price tag. The cocktails also came with a very friendly bar service with plenty of flaring skills on show despite the candlelit setting.

An Opium Dream

Eat Me

If all the glow of the candle light left us feeling worn out then our needs were met as outside a stall served Chinese food in cute takeaway boxes. Maybe not strictly prohibition era but tasty and plentiful none the less, and just £5 a portion!

Move to the 20s

Music from a laptop, not necessarily authentic, but the band Benoit Viellefon and his Orchestra entertained later with their punchy 1920s sing band sounds.

Held in a gallery space with high ceilings, white walls and wooden floors, it gave a prohibition shabby chic feel. Once the band kicked off the slither of a dance floor space quickly filled and no one could resist testing out their 20s moves. Getting squashed several times didn’t matter as everyone was trying hard with their Charleston dancing. I was surprised how everyone made an effort no pathetic attempts; guys in tails, with canes; girls in sequined flapper dresses with perfectly pin curled hair, it was a change from the high street fashion slaves.

So we stepped back into the 20s..

We’re already getting ready to apply our red lipstick and pin curls for their future events!

For more about the Candlelight Club and their clandestine events see here but shhh!

A Foggy Sunday Stroll

Seems winter may have finally shown its face, and in a nice way. On Sunday I spent the afternoon in my favourite part of South West London, Richmond Park observing the mad joggers (wearing next to nothing) and cyclists and also trying to see through the fog.

The fog was so dense after about an hours walk my hair was soaked, it was like slow motion rain!

Despite the weather it was perfect for walking, crisp and fresh! Horses riders were still cantering through as well.

Spooky horse riders pass by.

Richmond Park is a National Nature Reserve and was originally a Royal hunting ground, and was enclosed by Charles I in 1637, so deer have been roaming the park for hundreds of years. In fact the park contains an astonishing amount of wildlife from woodpeckers, squirrels, rabbits, stag beetles and parakeets and more, not that I could spot any of them through the fog…

To explore more (professional!) photographs of the park see the Richmond Park, London website by Steve Morgan  http://www.richmondparklondon.co.uk/ follow him here @richmondparkuk

Hello winter!

Leonardo Da Vinci at the National Gallery

The much hyped Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition is now open at the National Gallery with a seven room exhibition. The display is ideal for those who adore the technicality of the line and the workings of an artist , with many preparatory drawings and paintings by Leonardo and his pupils on display.

The build up for this exhibition has been felt for months, ever since its advance booking opened in May 2011 – a long seven months before its actual opening day.

With its future opening announced came capped visitor numbers and the gallery saying it would restrict visitors due to ‘unprecedented demand’. The Evening Standard has reported how the tickets have now sold out until mid-December. The pressure for this display to deliver to its global audience is now immense.

© Princes Czartoryski Foundation

The exhibition brings together an impressive collection of international loans never before seen in the UK, from the Queen, America, Poland, France, Scotland and donations from Art Fund acquisitions. One difference with this exhibition from others is it the first to be dedicated to Leonardo’s aims and techniques as a painter. Don’t expect reams of glorious huge paintings, though there are a few of some pretty ladies, curly haired men and angels.

‘If the painter wishes to see beauties that enamour him, he is the master of their production, and if he wishes to see monsterous things.. he is there lord and god’

For my full review head to Art Pie here

The exhibition is open now:  09 Nov 2011 – 05 Feb 2012 Mon – Thu, Sat, Sun 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Fri 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM Closed Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, Christmas Day.

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/leonardo-da-vinci-painter-at-the-court-of-milan

Inside the Warhol Machine

Last night I headed to the preview of David McCabe’s photographs for the exhibition The Factory: Warhol and His Circle at Proud Chelsea for Art Pie..

Warhol – just the name conjures up an instant image of a whole catalogue of works that transcend generations – the Campbell’s Soup tins, the Jackie Kennedy prints- and define the pop art movement.

This exhibition gives viewers a glimpse into something other than the primary colours and consumerism images of Andy Warhol. Proud Chelsea is exhibiting a photographic memoir of a year at the Factory Warhols working world of creativity and notoriety. The images were taken by David McCabe who was a rising star on the New York photography scene when he was contacted by Warhol and asked to collaborate with him in documenting life at the Factory between 1964 and 1965.

This is McCabe’s first UK exhibition and highlights this world that Warhol created the exhibition features snap shots of other artists Warhol knew, such as Salvador Dali. Who in one image is explaining one of his paintings to Warhol, almost in a teacher/professor like manor.

 For the full review including images head to Art Pie

The exhibition opens today at Proud Chelsea and runs till the 4th December Mon, Tue, Thu – Sun 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM; Wed 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM.