Category Archives: Art

Friday…with a St James Advent Calender

December 1, 2017

Filed Under : Art - collaborations - colour - exhibitions - London - My St James - trips - Winter

Today, being the 1st of December, means that it’s the first day we can officially open the first door of an advent calendar…

When I was a child we either had some glitter encrusted nativity scene ( and is it me or was glitter different and much messier in the ’80’s ? ) with little windows to open containing, often less than relevant, seasonal images. I loved them!

It’s something about the anticipation of Christmas combined with the contemplation of each day leading up to it which feels so cosy.

So this year I was really excited when St James told me that they had asked London Fashion Week Men to curate a physical advent calendar in St James Market Pavilion with a selection of twenty-four amazing gifts to be won every day; presents gifted by exceptional retailers, restaurants, art galleries or hotels in the St James area.

To enter, you should follow the @StJamesLondon Instagram account where they will reveal the gift to be won each day and how to enter on their Stories. You should also have a look over on their website for more details and terms and conditions.

I was at the launch of the Advent Calendar last night ( with gorgeous mulled wine and Scandinavian canopes provided by Aquavit ) where the first window was opened by Dylan Jones and Caroline Rush with carols sung by The London Gay Men’s Choir. It really reminded me of the illuminated shop windows in Jermyn St, which at this time of year look incredibly pretty.

If you’re in London over the festive season you really must go up to St James…it’s so beautiful and very atmospheric, even if you’re just having a wander around. It also feels like a true piece of London which isn’t losing it’s character; full of authentic independent retailers, galleries and restaurants.

I have been asked to work with 2 of the advent ‘windows’ for the 20th and 24th of December which have really wonderful prizes, and I’ll be posting about them on Instagram ( @5ftinf ) on the day, so do keep your eyes peeled for the reveal.

So I thought I’d give you a taste of some of the shops in St James…( some of which are participating in the advent calendar ), as well as a bit of the atmosphere from last night…
( Jermyn St is just a short walk accross the Regent St from St James Market ) Floris Paxton and Whitfield
Grenson Shoes…Thomas Pink… Turnbull and Asser… New and Lingwood…Hilditch and Key…Trickers…Sims Reid Gallery…
D R Harris… Cubitts…Emma Willis…Fortnum and Mason… I particularly love Jermyn St, but there are also loads of other beautiful streets with some lovely windows to have a look at..
I will be telling you a bit more about the gifts offered behind these 2 windows on the day they are opened via my @5ftinf instagram account but do keep an eye on the @StJamesLondon IG account for details of how to enter each day…and good luck!

You can read more about St James and the area on a few My St James blog posts here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

* This post has been very kindly sponsored by St James

Sunday…with St James’ Art Walk

October 15, 2017

Filed Under : Art


On Friday morning I was invited to go on a preview of a new art walk in St James’ London which is not only free but brilliant.  Wallpaper* Magazine have collaborated with St James’ to put together a guided art walk which offers free access to contemporary art and design galleries.

On the 19th and 21st October you will be able to join Wallpaper* on one of three, FREE self-guided walks starting at the RA’s Academicians’ Room and concluding at the new ICA bar. You have to register to allocate a specific time slot via the Wallpaper* website here

The walk has been curated by the art and design team at Wallpaper* and includes drawings by Michael Craig-Martin at Alan Cristea, Catherine Opie’s portraits and landscapes at Thomas Dane and a group show exploring the decline of the post-war American Dream at White Cube in Mason’s Yard.

I was taken on a mini version of the walk so will have to catch up on some of the galleries I missed next month ( you’ll still be able to follow the Wallpaper* art walk map on your phone after the tours )
Luckily we got to start the walk at The Academicians’ Room in The Keepers House at The Royal Academy which is not only an incredibly beautiful and atmospheric room, but which is also currently showing El Anatsui RA’s  ‘Benchmarks’. It’s a display of limited edition prints as part of the RA’s Art Sales programme. The prints are worked from close up images taken of the wooden benches used for hammering the metal bottle tops for his more sculptural works and have a combined sense of a worked patina and abstract solar eclipse.The Academicians’ Room is a Private Members club, so it’s a real treat to be able to have a chance to visit and see some beautiful work… I would say that the only problem with starting the walk in The Academicians’ Room is that you sort of want to stay there all day!

Next up for us was the Sims Reed Gallery on Duke’s St which specialises in modern, post-war and contemporary original prints and works on paper, and it was great to see a couple of the Declan Jenkins woodcuts still on view…a woodcut where you can actually see the wood and the physical effort of carving feels very special…( below: Bob and Roberta Smith’s Feminist Icons )Loved this Any Warhol print ( above ) of Jean Cocteau and a giant moth by Sarah Graham ( below )The next gallery was literally just down the road at David Gill for the ‘Future Classics’ exhibition. I absolutely love contemporary design…I think that it’s the practical fusion between art and furniture which particularly appeals to me as well as my fascination with object design…I was so excited to be able to see some Zaha Hadid pieces here as I find the fluidity of her supremely satisfying organic forms both calming and just always so inspiring… What I really liked about this exhibition was the combination of pieces by different artists and the placing of them with each other… ( above bowl by Michele Oka Doner and drawing behind by Barnaby Barford )( above: Mirror by Mattia Bonetti and  Armchair by Fredrikson Stallard )

( above and below: MicheleOka Doner ) ( above and below: Fredrikson Stallard ) ( below: Mattia Bonetti ) ( above Barnaby Barford, below: Fredrikson Stallard )(above: centrepiece by Zaha Hadid and table by Mattia Bonetti )

Our last gallery visit was to Alan Cristea on Pall Mall who currently have a fantastic exhibition ‘Quotidian’ of work by Michael Craig-Martin which includes prints and one-off originals… I’m really drawn to Michael Craig-Martin’s work as it focuses on both colour and contemporary design; his drawings have become design documents, often of household objects which have either changed massively or even become obsolete over time, and his study of line and colour within them is somehow stimulating and meditative at the same timeThe St James’s Art and Design walk with Wallpaper* is something I would highly recommend to both art lovers and art ‘inquisitors’, particularly those who love art but who often feel intimidated about visiting small commercial London galleries…let’s face it, if there’s a gallery door bell it’s often too frightening to press! But the galleries on this Art Walk couldn’t have been more friendly and genuinely wanting to engage, offer their expertise and knowledge and encourage more people to come and view the art. It wasn’t all about selling the work, there was a definite acknowledgement of art appreciation for those who aren’t in a position to be an art collector.

This is a FREE event too, so it’s a brilliant chance to see some great contemporary art and also have the opportunity of exploring work in a commercial art gallery and you can register for a place on the walks on either the 19th or the 21st October here
If you want to see more of the St James’s Area in London you can have a look at some of my previous posts which incorporate the ICA, Dover Steet Market and Jermyn St: My St James: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

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Saturday…with Burberry at Old Sessions House

September 30, 2017

Filed Under : Art - Autumn - colour - exhibitions - London - texture - trips

This week I visited Burberry at Old Sessions House in London for the exhibition ‘Here We Are’ curated by Christopher Bailey, Lucy Kumara Moore and Alasdair McLellan – in celebration of the September 2017 Burberry collection. I’d seen that Skye from @georgianlondon had been via her Instagram Stories and thought it looked wonderful…and it was! It finishes tomorrow so if you read this in time you really should go…and the cafe is great too! You can see the Steller Story Version here

Sunday…with my Makers4Refugees Silk Scarf Auctions

September 24, 2017

Filed Under : Art - Autumn - collaborations - colour - Cornwall - Shop Discounts - texture

Something I regularly feel shamed by is how helpless and impotent I know I am when it comes to the Refugee Crisis…it’s such an important global issue with tendrils reaching into so many aspects of what feels wrong to me in the world at the moment; racism, rage and and a general feeling of hate seems just below the surface of so many global problems right now, but when it comes to doing something about it I feel under prepared, under informed and and overwhelmed, holding onto what feels like some generalised views which have probably been perpetrated through social media…

But I’m no activist…and that’s what basically makes me feel a bit ashamed…

It takes a pretty special and totally commited person to be an activist; a person who is able to do things I’m not able ( or maybe prepared ) to do, a person with such a strong sense of belief that they know they have to go out there and speak for all of us who are too scared, too comfortable, or who have too much responsibility in other areas to be able to fight in the way they do…the activist has my total respect, which is the main reason I have to come out and admit that I am not one.

( One of the most incredible activists I know though, is Jaz from The Worldwide Tribe who took me to the Calais Jungle last February )

I feel strongly about supporting the refugee crisis and make donations both financial and with food and clothing, and I try and keep abreast of what’s going on. I visited the Calais Jungle last year to try and raise awareness through my Instagram account…but I still feel an awkwardness about not doing more…

When the opportunity arose for me to be part of Makers4Refugees and auction some of my work with ALL profits going to Help Refugees I knew I wanted to be part of it and raise some actual money for this cause…if I can use my skills as an artist and maker to do something which helps people, I at least feel that I’m not doing nothing. Makers4Refugees is the initiative of ceramicist Pip Wilcox and consists of over 40 global Makers across a variety of disciplines who have come together to make a difference by selling their work.

So I have designed 5 silk scarves which all measure 100cm x 100cm, I’ve hand rolled and sewn all the edges and… now I want you to buy them!

The scarves for the Makers4Refugees auctions have developed from my love for texture, nature and the blending of the two.

Japanese aesthetics are really important to me and each of these scarves have a sense of wabi sabi about them; a sense of impermanence and a sense of becoming and dissolving at the same time.
A leaf pressed against a greenhouse window, a cracked pane of glass, wet and worn cornish granite, fading dahlias and an unfinished painting…there’s an evanescence about them all.
There will also be one auction for a bespoke scarf…an assemblage or table arrangement which I will compose for the winning bidder; maybe with an object which has some personal significance or using colours which resonate with you.

The photos below are of each scarf to be auctioned and the bespoke auction will be on the 6th day ( with a slightly higher reserve price of £65 ).

They are digitally printed in the UK by a small business in Warwickshire and are 100% silk twill; an incredibly soft silk with a lovely weight which means the silk hangs with a gentle flow.

In my online shop my silk scarves sell for £120 each, so you could even grab yourself a bargain as I’m starting these off at each auction at a reserve price of £50. Postage will be free, wherever you live in the world!

Each evening next week I will post an image of the particular scarf up for auction on my Instagram account @5ftinf  and you will be able to place your bids in the comments below the image. The auction will last 24hrs.

The winning bid will be the highest bid at the close of the auction and the winning bidder will be expected to make the donation to the Makers4Refugees fundraising page immediately ( this is so that by the time the next maker has their auction week, all the previous week’s fundraising is sorted out).

So you can see the areas of aid where your money is likely to spent, here are some examples sent by Help Refugees …

        • a meal for one person in Athens – 25p
        • a mosquito net for a family’s tent in Greece – £10
        • a pair of sturdy, comfortable shoes – £15
        • baby milk for one baby, for a week – £20
        • a buggy and cot – £25
        • a warm sleeping bag – £30
        • a refillable fire extinguisher – £35
        • the cost of a bread-maker and the ingredients for one person to make their own bread – £65 for the machine, 75p for ingredients for one person for the month
        • to support an unaccompanied child to live with a Greek family for a month – £400
        • fresh fruit and vegetables for 1 camp on average for 1 month – £2500
        • running a mobile sexual reproductive health clinic for a month – £5500
        • a rescue boat on the water for 30 days – £23,000

If you feel that you could be part of bidding for these exclusive, hand finished silk scarves next week it would be so brilliant to have you on board…making a practical and significant contribution to a very human crisis.

 

MONDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER AUCTION:

GREENHOUSE LEAF- 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill

TUESDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER AUCTION:

CRACKED GLASS- 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill

WEDNESDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER AUCTION:

FADING DAHLIAS – 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill

THURSDAY 28TH SEPTEMBER AUCTION:

WET CORNISH GRANITE – 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill

FRIDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER AUCTION:

UNFINISHED PAINTING- 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill

SATURDAY 30TH SEPTEMBER AUCTION:

BESPOKE ASSEMBLAGE – 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill

( You can also have a look at other examples in my online shop here if you wanted ideas for this last auction ).

Please email me via the form below if you would like any more information about the scarves or the auctions.

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Sunday…with the ‘Consciously Creative’ online course coming soon

August 27, 2017

Filed Under : Arrangements - Art - Autumn - Brighton - colour - Summer - texture - The Shed - workshops

I’ve been working on some of the details for my new online course starting in September and wanted to share them here first with a few images to give you a taste of the sort of thing I’ll be teaching ( There’s also more information on this page here )

So Consciously Creative will be a 6 week online course designed to help you develop your creativity in a type of online art class.
Over the 6 weeks there will be homework and creative tasks which will encourage you to experiment and experience ways of working and looking which may feel out of your comfort zone but which will allow you to be more open to different inspirations and techniques.

I want the course to feel personal so I will be demonstrating and chatting live each week for an hour via the private course instagram account and will try to answer any questions which may arise. The course will also have a limited number of places so that I can maintain that personal input.

I will be working primarily with my iphone; creating work through photographs, but if you prefer to work with paper, pencil and paint,for example, that would be perfectly ok too. However it would still be good to create a photographic document of your process and work throughout the course as it’s good to share and receive feedback even if it’s nerve wracking.

The course is meant to help you identify how you can develop your own daily practice of creating…it’s meant to inspire that creative impetus rather than tell you exactly how to do it. It’s about being inspired to do your own thing; follow your own path; taking away the pressure of having ‘clickable’ content, and by the end of the course I would hope that you would feel more confident about your own ways of seeing and doing or at least have a firmer starting point. I will encourage you to also start a personal project which will serve as a spark and act as an anchor, or even a hobby, for much more work to come.Week 1:
Introduction to a Way of Working
One of the main elements of how we will work is to focus on deep observation and hopefully slightly alter or shift your way of seeing and looking at things.
I will try and help you increase your sense and recognition of natural symmetry, colour coordination and composition.
I will steer clear of ‘styling’ and too much considered manipulation which can definitely create a sense of beauty but often lacks a deeper meaning or atmosphere.
WEEK 2:
Texture
We will cover aesthetics of texture, how important it is not to overlook it and how useful considering the Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi can be.
WEEK 3:
Colour
We will focus on colour and how to develop a greater sense of the life of colours as well as learning how to identify and sense them in far more places than you thought. We will forage for domestic colours, look at colour wheels as well as noting how natural lighting can aslo impact on colour.WEEK 4:
Mood and Atmosphere
We will look at how we can add a further sense of atmosphere into your images…trying to enhance the way you ‘feel’ about something and how that leads onto the way you develop your editing skills. I will also create tutorials for making a very simple film and stop frame animation. WEEk 5:
Composition
Having focused on detailed elements in the previous weeks, we will now look at composition, focusing on a natural, organic style which I personally use, as well as some universal tips for points of focus, symmetry and asymmetry etc. WEEK 6:
Conclusion, continuing practice, re-cap and play
We’ll talk about everything we’ve covered over the last 5 weeks and work out which ones feel more natural or easy, which ones perhaps need more attention, which make you feel happy and which maybe make you feel at a loss. It’s important to feel that you will be able to carry on experimenting and being open, so starting a personal project in this last week will definitely be a benefit to developing your continuing practice.
I will work out a loose worksheet which you can print out as a creative stimulus and hopefully you will feel more equipped to create a continuing creative visual sense or response to who you are and how you see the world around you.Before the course begins I will provide you with a list of useful editing apps which I personally use, and each week I will suggest other inspirational Instagram accounts, artists, books and films which you may find interesting, helpful and relevant to the week’s topic.

I love working with other people and seeing how a collective of ideas and creativity can be so inspiring and motivating, so really look forward to meeting you if this course sounds like it’s your cup of tea…

You can buy your place in my online shop here  but please do e-mail me at 5ftinf@gmail.com if you are interested in taking a place as I will then send you an Earlybird registration discount code which will last until 1st September. 

Looking forward to meeting some of you soon!

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Monday…with Reds and Yellows

August 21, 2017

Filed Under : Arrangements - Art - Autumn - colour - Summer - texture - workshops

I woke up today needing, or maybe just feeling, something of the reds and yellows…I don’t plan things, colours just sort of happen, and while I think it may have been the small arrangement of  oddments on the mantlepiece which I brought back from my Mum’s a couple of weeks ago which triggered things, I realised pretty soon after I started placing the objects that the colours together felt really representative of the end of August…a shifting or re-alligning of the seasons; a warmth and vibrancy alongside a fading glow…And even though the dahlia’s petals are falling and they’re looking all crinkly…I still love them and don’t want to throw them away…not before a table arrangement anyway!
Putting the arrangement together was a bit like doing a free form jigsaw…

I’ll be including a colour module in my ‘ CONSCIOUSLY CREATIVE ‘ online course which starts in September, where we’ll cover how to embrace, look for and see colour more clearly, particularly in the more ordinary and domestic places. We’ll also look at recognising colour patterns as well as colour opposites and how important colour makes us feel whether in positive or negative ways…The course will launch at the beginning of September and there’s some information about it HERE with more specifics to follow with the launch.

Saturday…with Turkish Delight ( and an Online Creative Course Teaser )

August 19, 2017

Filed Under : Arrangements - Art - colour - Summer - texture - workshops

It always kind of takes me by surprise when I see something out of the corner of my eye and then suddenly know I have to get to the table and create a new composition.

The table is the best blank canvas I’ve ever had, I suppose because it’s never really blank, it’s always living and has now become an essential part of my creative and domestic life ( it’s currently living with a blueish accidental paint mark which I’ve become quite fond of ).

I think of my compositions as visual maths…everything is in the right place but everything is also variable. It’s an improvisation in colour and texture and atmosphere.

I have days where I’m obsessed with colour and others where I’m obsessed with texture ( I even have another Instagram account @outsidesense where I can indulge my abstract texture collecting ) but the most satisfying days are when I can bring it all together. When I paint I have to work at bringing it all together and I often consider my photographic compositions as sketches which always inform my painting at a later date.

So, I thought I’d share some of my rather ad hoc inspiration…

…and yesterday, it was this shelf in Asda…I stopped, as I always do, and looked at what is my domestic equivalent of an art shop. These are the shelves I love most in the Winter; when my garden is barren and brown, when everyone’s going on about how little colour there is…these shelves in the ‘foreign foods’ section are my life saver.

I found a couple of new ‘textures’ today. I’m always looking for colourful food textures but today I was taken with white sago and clear sugar…and then I saw the turkish delight, which sort of reminded me of some of the dahlias from Thursday and also some roses in my garden, and that was that…

I have a special case where I keep all my foody textures…it’s sort of akin to my big bag of paints but which has a much spicier smell! I like being quite selective and choose things which I instinctively want to work with so today the ingredients were:

Red peppercorns, Juniper berries, Sumac, Popping Candy, Breadcrumbs, Tapioca, Sugar, Star Anise, Dahlias from the fride ( the ones whose heads had come of on the car journey ), Rose, Valerium, Marjoram, Perennial Pea, Japanese Anenome, Rose hips, a plant I can’t remember the name of ( please let me know if you know it! ) and Turkish Delight…

I take lots of pictures as I go as more often than not, it’s the textures and items themselves which lead the composition… I also like to play around with the formats so take photos in landscape, square and portrait as sometimes I’m surprised by how different the atmospheres are within them… I also take pictures when I feel I finished as, again, the ‘ingredients’ can still surprise me, and it always somehow feels less pressured when I know I’ve got one in the bag anyway…

…and that happened today…I was about finished when I took the photo below and realised that it had all the feeling and colour nuances I’d wanted to create in the first place…I added some extra sugar…slightly altered the composition…

and then felt I could leave it.

Editing the images is the part which I consider brings my images to life; it’s another artistic element which feels to me a lot like painting. I don’t have a recipe which works every time as I like to consider each image in it’s own right and then tease out the atmosphere and how I really feel about what I’m working with. The image on the left is how the iphone sees the table, the image on the right is how I see and feel about the table…

I often think of that Helena Rubenstein quote “ There’s no such thing as an ugly woman, just a lazy one “, as I kind of feel the same about photo editing…If I think I’ve taken a rubbish photo I don’t dismiss it until I’ve edited the life out of it first!

This is a recent example below…I was on the train walking down the aisle and suddenly noticed the sky and St Michael’s Mount. I rushed to the window and took the shot as we raced past not very hopeful I would catch anything useable. However with a bit of editing I was able to pull out the colour and composition much more clearly to create a cleaner image.

Sometimes, as a bit of a treat, I also play with Instagram Layout as it always turns up something I’m not expecting…

I never think of my table compositions as just something a bit pretty, and to be honest I quite like adding a potentially ‘ugly’ element; maybe it’s because I like a bit of a challenge as well as some instinctive yin and yang…‘Consciously Creative’ – A New Online Creative Course

I’ve been asked a lot over the last few years about my working practice, my influences and inspirations, my techniques and tips, and I’ve been able to share lots of them during my one day workshops and one to one coaching, but I’ve felt for a while now that although these workshops are a lot of fun, I can only scratch the surface of how to work creatively. So, I’ve spent some time recently putting together a 6 week online creative course which will lead you to discover more about looking, seeing, colour, texture, atmosphere and all your senses as well as equipping you with a feeling of your own personal, ongoing creative journey…one which isn’t just about social media, but one which is about creating more of a daily practice and encouraging you to feel the importance of experimenting and process rather than focusing on clickable content.

I’ve been a self employed creative artist for over 20 years…many of those years really didn’t feel very fruitful at all, but all of those years, in some shape or form, have directly influenced what appears on my table, in my photographs, my paintings, my products and the way I live…it’s an ongoing process, like life I suppose, and I really want to be able to help people start that practice of creative ‘doing’ .

It will be a very personal course where I’ll demonstrate and chat Live on our private Instagram account for an hour each week as well as answer questions, set and assess homework, create weekly inspirational Pinterest boards, have a group Facebook page ( although you’ll be able to post and comment on our Instagram account too ) and also remain flexible and open to inspirations which may crop up during the 6 weeks. Because I want it to be as personal as possible, the course numbers will be limited and the 6 weeks will cost £300 per student and will run from 11th September – 16th October 2017. ( If you feel you would prefer a one to one version of the course I’m also happy to discuss that option via email ).

I’m planning to have the course ready to launch in the next couple of weeks so if you already know you’d like to be included on the course or want to be notified just prior to the launch date please send me an e-mail via the form below.

It’s a new project for me and I feel genuinely excited about sharing my work and exploring areas I love with other interested and inquisitive minds.You don’t have to have to be an artist or even someone who’s always been naturally creative to do this course…it’s a course to help anyone, artistic or not, to reconnect to the excitement of creativity, look at things with new eyes, see new colours, and inspire confidence and clarity to your own personal projects.

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions..and look forward to meeting you!

Friday…with ‘Perfume’ at Somerset House

August 4, 2017

Filed Under : Art - exhibitions - London - Summer

This week I was invited by Somerset House to experience their current exhibition ‘Perfume’ – A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent and I also had the opportunity to create my own, personal scent with the Experimental Perfume Club. I was really excited as those of you who have followed my blog for a while will know how inspired I am by scent and the incredible memories and stories it provokes.

Last November I created a scent installation for the Artists Open Houses in Brighton which you can read about here in my post about ‘The Scented Shed’  and there are also links to some of my other scent related blog posts at the end of this one. The exhibition is about the journey of contemporary, niche perfumery; perfume as works of art creating a whole experience rather than just a fashion accessory.

There are 10 perfumes exhibited, in simple, atmospheric installations where you can soak up the scent and allow your memories and imagination to mingle with the perfumes. The perfumes are representatives of key moments of the 21st Century shift into using synthetic scent. The perfumes are exhibited unlabelled so as not to hinder your sensory journey. But before you explore the exhibits there is a table of perfume history…L’Origan by Coty, 1905,  ( below ) was the first floral oriental perfume and was pioneering for its use of synthetic ingredients in conjunction with natural materials and Chypre by Coty, 1917, ( below ) is regarded as one of the scents that defined modern perfumery… Shocking by Schiaparelli, 1937, ( below )  was arguably the first multi sensory perfume and captured the high glamour mood of the 1930’sPossibly the world’s most famous perfume, Chanel No 5, 1921, ( below ) created for Coco Chanel by Ernest Beaux… Youth Dew by Esteé Lauder, 1953, ( below ) created to be an accessible luxury for the emerging, post war middle classes and marked a transition in global perfumery, shifting its influence from Europe to America…Opium by Yves St Laurent, 1977, ( below )…it is considered one of the most controversial scents of the century, apparently bringing illicit thrills to a decade which embraced more casual conversations around sex…( my mum wore this one in the 1980’s!! ) After exploring the table of scent history we explored the main exhibition and were encouraged to make notes…and maybe create a new sort of descriptive vocabulary… Being a synaesthete I was in my element being able to make visual notes rather than trying to use words…even though I didn’t have time to complete them.

I don’t want to spoil things for you in case you’re able to get along to the exhibition so the following photographs show how the perfumes are displayed and how you interact with them, ie; there are objects in all the images which were infused with the scent. You can spot them by noticing a hole or circular mesh, rather than just telling  you what they are or who the artist was behind them…( although I list the artists and perfumes at the end of the blog post so you can have a stab at guessing. ) 

After the curated tour of the scents we then had the wonderful experience of creating our own personal scent in Le Petit Parfum workshop with Emmanuelle Moeglin from The Experimental Perfume Club; using our instincts to select our favourite olfactory notes and accords…
I discovered that I’m naturally drawn to citrus top notes, spicy heart notes and woody and oriental base notes and I managed to blend a perfume I was really happy with!

…and then to the shop, and of course I had to go home with the complete set of exhibition scented postcards! …and in my dreams Daniela Andrier’s ‘Rain Cloud’ would have been the scent I would have really liked to take home… …instead I satisfied myself with a shot of one of the wonderful staircases at Somerset House as I left the building, but very definitely followed by olfactory ghosts which stayed with me for days.The exhibition runs until 17th September and the 10 perfume ‘provocateurs’ are: Mark Buxton’s ‘Comme des Garçons 2′, Geza Schoen’s ‘Molecule 01’, Antoine Lee’s ‘Sécrétions Magnifiques’, Bertrand Duchaufour’s ‘Catholic Mass’, Daniela Andrier’s ‘Purple Rain’, David Seth Moltz’s ‘El Cosmico’, Lyn Harris’s ‘Charcoal’, Andy Tauer’s L’Air Du Desert Marocain, Killian Wells’s ‘Dark Ride’ and Prada’s ‘Iris’ 

If you wanted to read about some of my perfume and scent projects here are some previous blog posts: Monday…with Pop Ups and Perfume, Saturday…with Scented Reflections and Thursday…with Floris and Scent

Tuesday…with ‘Breathing Colour’ by Hella Jongerius at The Design Museum

August 1, 2017

Filed Under : Art - colour - exhibitions - London - Museums - Summer - trips

Last month I visited the new Design Museum in Kensington, London for a look around the ‘Breathing Colour’ exhibition by Hella Jongerius.

I didn’t know much about it but knew that it would definitely appeal to my obsessive sense of colour…

What I hadn’t anticipated was how the exhibition and the way in which Hella Jongerius explores and works with colour, would form part of a new appreciation I am personally exploring at the moment with colour, light and shadow.

I recently read Tanizaki’s ‘In Praise of Shadows’ which opened up so many questions and thoughts about how I view light and shadow, and so to then walk into an exhibition which examines how colours change and ‘breathe’ with times of day was not only serendipitous but also completely fascinating.The exhibition examines how we perceive colour and encourages us to be receptive of the effect that shape, texture, pattern and colour have on each other and Hella Jongerius has created a collection of Colour Catchers and textiles in an immersive light changing environment which leads you to experience metarism where colours come to life, changing and morphing at different times.

Hella Jongerius says of the Colour Catchers which she creates;

‘These Colour Catchers are an abstaraction of all the daily objects which surround me. They are the ultimate shapes for researching colour, shadows and reflections. They are my canvases.

She also says:

‘The colour phenomena and optical effects demonstrated in this exhibition are not just abstract theories. The exhibits are designed to provide knowledge about colour that can add value to practical objects and improve our daily lives.’ I have always found the perception of colour fascinating and when I was studying Art A Level my  art teacher completely opened my mind to seeing colours in places I had never seen them before. My work at that time became way too obsessed with colour, because it really was like I was seeing the world with new eyes…shadow and tone went out of the window and to be honest, they are still always something I have to work harder to see.

This exhibition really re-awakened my interest in colour as well as colour theory but also opened another door into the joy of shadows, alongside the Tanizaki I’d been reading.

The exhibition is a brilliant contemplation of colour and really lets you think and look at the world around you; the visual, tactile world as well as the intangible, ever changing world of light and shadow around us.

If you are in London over the Summer and up to 24rd September, you really should try and get to see the ‘Breathing Colour’ exhibition and visit the Design Museum itself. It’s an inspiring study and collection of work focused around colour which would appeal to fellow colour enthusiasts like me, but also those people who struggle with colour.

More information about the Design Museum here