Not quite strangers in a strange land

Glass sculpture in V&A Entrance 01 (P1020511)

So we’re not the only people from our little berg on the lone prairie spending a sabbatical this side of the pond. Our friends, the Kildegaards, are having a fine time just across the Channel in Denmark. Since they were gadding about this side of the water we took the opportunity to meet at the Natural History Museum. A few moments after arriving in the grand entrance the museum was evacuated for ‘security’ reasons. Just our luck! No matter, we crossed the street and hung out at the V&A instead.

Much conversation and a little wandering around later and we headed back across the road to visit The Darwin Centre, a new public research facility that is a part of the Natural History Museum. We were lucky enough to sign up for a tour and spent an educational hour exploring the museum’s wet specimen collection and learning about the facility. We even got to see items from Darwin’s voyage on the Beagle.

Queen of the Night 01 (P1020529)

After the Kildegaards left on their journey back to Denmark we headed back to the V&A for dinner and the chance to view the exhibit, Out of the ordinary: Spectacular Craft.

Queen of the Night by Olu Amoda.

Olu Amoda is a sculptor, designer and teacher from Nigeria. He used materials salvaged from the scrap yards and streets of Lagos.

“Nails are used in my work as a metaphor. They have survived generations and remain one of the most ideal and enduring pieces of engineering.”

Topologies by Anne Wilson (below)

Anne Wilson lives and works in Chicago, USA. Traditional textile techniques such as lace making, crochet and knitting are integral to her practice.

“…More constant is my interest in material histories and issues that come out of the everyday as they relate to our human condition.”

As an embroiderer I find much of the modern art inspired by this noble and ancient art to be lacking in numerous ways. Young artists seem to have failed to grasp that poor and skill-less imitation is not flattering. (A notable exception is the work of Jess Larson.) This piece, by Anne Wilson, breaks the mould and demonstrates that the artist understands some of the underlying drives that make ‘stitching’ so addictive and life enhancing.

Topologies 02 (P1020521)Topologies 03 (P1020520)Topologies 04 (P1020518)

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2 Responses to Not quite strangers in a strange land

  1. Phi says:

    Nice summary of a fine day, and some excellent photos. Thanks!

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