Friday, 29 August 2014

Butterfly Rugs

Inspired by the recent Form Through Colour: Josef Albers, Anni Albers and Gary Hume exhibition, I have been looking at lots of textiles recently and love the range of butterfly inspired rugs and floor coverings that I have come across. Good to see variety in the different interpretations, and particularly like Deirdre Dyson's abstract take on butterflies, the image above is a real beauty.


The three above examples are the (Ruskin) design by Timorous Beasties for Brinton's carpets.


Tara Bernard for the Rug Company


These last two vibrant examples are by design duo Barber Osgerby for the Rug Company.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Form Through Colour: Josef Albers, Anni Albers and Gary Hume

Another interesting textile exhibition at Somerset House featuring the work of Josef Albers, (who's work I featured recently), alongside that of his wife Anni, and also contemporary artist Gary Hume. It is good to see their work translated into the different media of textiles, (for rug and textile design company Christopher Farr), although textile design and print is primarily what Anni Albers is well known for from her time with the Bauhaus.

The exhibition consists of the artists' most well known works interpreted as rugs, tapestries and textiles. One thing that struck me about the exhibition was the intensity, and in turn subtleties of colour used in the final textile works. You get a real sense of the skills required by those dyeing the fibres, as well as those weaving them to produce faithful replications of the original artworks. The resultant rugs were highly tactile and covetable.

Anni Albers' textile designs are based on geometry and are still fresh and contemporary. They fit right in with current faceted and geometric design trends for a variety of products in textiles for fashion and interiors. They were so forward thinking at the Bauhaus. Anni originally wanted to be a painter, but only males were allowed to paint at the Bauhaus school and she was persuaded to study textiles under Gunta Stolzl. Paintings' loss however, was textiles gain. I love the movement in her work, and the way her designs make the eyes move across the surface of the textiles.

The maze-like Meander rug above, was one of my favourites in the exhibition and clearly left an impression on me. Travelling home I was reminded of it later, when passing through Warren Street tube station and seeing the decorative London Underground tile design below.

I love Christopher Farr's tapestry interpretations of Josef Albers "Homage To The Square" series. It is good to see the colours more muted, and subtle compared to the vibrancy of his original prints and paintings.

It is also interesting to see the work of Gary Hume who is known for his use of colour and household gloss paints, exhibited alongside the work of the Albers. Here his Door paintings series are sumptuously recreated in cut and layered wool, which gives them a different dimension visually as they are more texturally interesting than the glossy sheen of the original paintings.

Form through Colour: Josef Albers, Anni Albers and Gary Hume
until 31st August
East Wing Galleries
Somerset House

Sunday, 17 August 2014

James Ostrer: Wotsit All About


Love these striking images by photographer James Ostrer, which make a bold statement about our abusive relationship with sugary foodstuffs. He persuaded friends to pose, and also allowed them to let him be coated with all manner of sugary treats to produce these garish, almost psychedelic portraits. They actually resemble some of legendary clubber Leigh Bowery's outrageous make-up and outfits from the 1980s, and also African fetish tribal art.


Ostrer says - "My relationship with sugar is compulsive. Anything with bright coloured packaging. I went through a massive chocolate fingers phase. I went through a Mentos phase, those little bright bullets, you pop them in. But making this body of work means that now when I look at these objects they've become sculpting items. When I walk into a supermarket I don't see food. But I have two car loads of junk food in my studio, like it's my own corner shop, and that's a dangerous place to be".

Wotsit All About: James Ostrer
31st July - 11th September
Gazelli Art House
39 Dover Street

Monday, 11 August 2014

Valentino Autumn/Winter 2014: Butterfly Couture

It's strange to be thinking of the autumnal drizzle, and cold of winter in light of the summer heat that we are currently experiencing, but here are more beautiful butterfly fashion creations courtesy of Valentino's A/W Animalia collection. The embroidered dress trimmed with feathers, as well as featuring embroidered butterflies above, is just stunning. Valentino had already flirted with the butterfly theme in their Spring Summer 2014 Collection (below), creating this very sexy dress, but really went to town with it for this current Autumn collection. The designers are Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli.

Most fashion designers usually reserve butterflies as a theme for their summer collections, so it is unusual to see them being used to adorn garments during a period of the year when they are less active. These garments will provide a nice splash of colour throughout the forthcoming grey, cold, days which are the Autumn/Winter season.



I like equally the stark contrast of the tailored pieces below, which are simpler, more tailored and less fussy than the embroidered pieces above.

Details of the embroidery and print

Some accompanying Valentino butterfly accessories. The ad campaign for the accessories below, was devised and shot by controversial photographer Terry Richardson. It is also his tattooed arm that features in the ads. Great use of pattern (print and tattoo), against a plain background.

Still with the Valentino butterfly theme but not part of the A/W 2014  collection is this interesting fashion drawing for a Butterfly themed dress created specifically for singer Katy Perry by the design team at Valentino.