Colour is one of the key aspects of design along with form; we see the world in colour but we often forget how complex that very process is. Our experiences of it in everyday life changes, influenced by time of day, lighting, and material.
Last summer I stayed on the rural, unspoilt southern Portuguese coast, the Algarve. One place I had to visit was a pottery shop famous for it’s traditional Portuguese pottery.
I was lucky enough to see the Abstract Expressionism Exhibition that was on at The Royal Academy of Arts last year where I got to see master paintings by some of my favourite artists from The New York school such as Franz Kline and Mark Rothko. It was incredible seeing a collection of Franz Kline’s work in person and then being able to see a wall of Clyfford Still paintings in the next room – the exhibition was immense having such a huge amount of significant work all in one gallery.
I went to see the Turning Earth ceramic art sale for the first time last weekend. Turning Earth studio located in Hoxton, London opens it’s doors to the public every quarter. The sale is an opportunity for professional artists and amateurs who use the studio to sell their own work. The ceramic art sale is based in the Turning Earth studio so you get a real feel about the environment these artists work in. There was a good turn out of artists and visitors, with a live Jazz band and food stalls that made for a great atmosphere on the day.
The ceramics on sale were completely up my street, free form and organic. There were a couple of artists who’s work I adored, Andrea Roman, check out her website for more of her stuff. I bought one of her marble clay pieces (see below). Ben Sutton, who works in hand-thrown porcelain, producing aesthetic pieces inspired by Scandinavian and Japanese simplicity. If you are lover of small art fairs then I would highly recommend paying a visit to Turning Earth’s.
I recently went to The Royal Academy of Arts block buster Exhibition, Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse. It is worth seeing if you are interested in the Impressionist artists or if you just love floral paintings as it’s full of them. The Exhibition covers the main Impressionist artists, Post-Impressionist and Avant-Garde artists of the early 20th century, thematising around the modern garden. Monet’s masterpieces being the highlight including his infamous Water Lilies painting, The Agapanthus Triptych. This piece finalizes his career brilliantly – got me a bit teary as they are overwhelmingly beautiful and reflective of Monet’s mental state at the end of his life.
An impressionist artist who’s work really grabbed my attention in the Exhibition was Emil Nolde. He was a German-Danish painter who supported Nazi Germany from the 1920s and believed that Expressionism was a distinctively Germanic style. Hitler considered this art movement ‘degenerative’ and banned artists like Nolde from painting and removed his work from public display. He secretly produced a massive series of water colour paintings that are known as the ‘unpainted pictures’. Nolde painted portraits, landscapes and flowers as his subjects. His brush strokes are vigorous and textural producing expressionistic, luminous paintings – often with sombre undertones, fascinating to see up close.
‘We hope to spark a distant memory, make you smile or look at the most mundane in a new, and fonder, light.’ Several weeks ago I went into this charming stationary shop in Angel named Present & Correct. Being a huge stationary enthusiast this shop seemed like a little paper pad from heaven. Present & Correct sell selective geometric stationary by designers across the world. Such as Scandinavian and Japanese imports that look fashionably good and function well, such as geometry stickies, creative paper clips and compact desk trays. Attention to detail in the design aspect and paper quality of their paper and office objects is what puts their collection in a different league to high street or even department store stationary. Vintage gems that have that cool back to school look to 60s office supplies make you want to pick up a pen or organise your desk! Or maybe that’s just me? Take a look at the P&C website if you can’t visit, its super fun to browse through.
Two saturdays ago I ventured into Shoreditch to visit the Crafty Fox Design Market which I had previously heard about but never managed to visit one of their events. For those of you who don’t know Crafty Fox, its a market brand that runs events and trade shows across the UK. It’s been running for five years connecting crafters and designers with savvy shoppers. It’s a bit like Etsy in some ways, slightly more specialised in that there is an application process for traders. Check out their website for information on their upcoming shows and their blog which showcases designers and their products.
I had such fun at the London market, there was a real buzz in the atmosphere! There was a mixture of designers, mainly in jewellery, textiles and stationary. I tended to shop at the stationary stalls as I can’t help myself when it comes to interesting print work! Bought way too many note books and cards, christmas gifts perhaps?! So look out for upcoming posts where I will blog about some of the designers I came across and their work, really inspirational collections! I have already posted about one of the designers, Hannah Rampley. If you haven’t seen that post yet you can click here.