but you are an artist and your mind don't work the way you want it to

Monday, 25 May 2015

 Happy Bank holiday! I know it is practically over now but better late than never right? Anyway, yesterday I spent the day in Margate (as has become customary every few weeks) to see Grayson Perry's new exhibition 'Provincial Punk' at the Turner Contemporary gallery. I am slightly obsessed with his work and couldn't miss the opportunity to go and see it as soon as I could (I am also planning on seeing it again with my art pals if I can tempt them to come down to the seaside for a day).

 I wore my mum's old favourite shirt from when she was younger (originally from Jigsaw) with a pair of £12 striped trousers I bought from Rokit. The shoes are Primark and the bag also from Rokit. I spent the day incredibly happy at the amount of patterns I was wearing, and enjoyed wearing purple lipstick for the first time since my first trip to Brighton (here). The last photo has a nice little story - I never smile in blog photos, but at the point the picture was taken a man in the shop opposite banged on the window and mouthed 'smile!' at me before flashing me a huge grin, giving me a wink and running off around the corner, hence the strange smile produced in the finished photo. I love strangers sometimes.

The exhibition was amazing - I have always loved Perry's work, but only when seeing it up close do you really appreciate the true beauty and craftsmanship in what he makes. His famous clay pots filled one room, with a a little leaflet to explain the meaning behind each one, while photographs, film and of course his giant tapestries made up the rest. Contrasts are a major theme in his work - pots featured the contrast between good and evil in the form of pornographic images juxtaposed with 80's shopping catalogue photos, while idealistic drawings of a perfect Victorian village contrasted the photo transfers of Perry's own photos from around his own home town. The pots are contrasts in themselves; in a time where pots, and pottery, was mostly functional and simplistic, Perry created these incredibly elaborate and decorative pieces, contrasting the pieces he made with the others produced at the same time. It was also amazing to be able to see a time-lapse video of Perry making one of the pots from scratch on camera - to see how long it takes to make one piece really helps you realise just how much skill goes into his work, and adds to the meaning of each one. The tapestries were on a completely new level - stretching from wall to wall (in a huge room) you couldn't help but be overwhelmed by the images presented, shocked by the bright colours, and be rendered to the small part you are in the grand scheme of things. Hand drawn by Perry using an iPad, and printed using a digitally-controlled loom, each tapestry is absolutely huge, and features ironic, often sarcastic imagery, raising questions about class and culture and contrasting with the William Morris prints and famous ancient tapestries Perry used as inspiration. It's hard to truly explain how moved and inspired I was by the exhibition - it really was an insight into Perry as a person, as well as an insight into his work as an artist. Also, it is completely free to visit - so there is no excuse not to go! And no excuse for me not to go back as many times as I can before it closes.

Once again we had lunch in the Cupcake Cafe - it's one of those things, when you find somewhere nice it's so hard to ever go elsewhere! I am always content when huge sandwiches, peach iced tea and mismatched floral china crockery are involved. We then spent the rest of the afternoon strolling through the shops, buying little bits and bobs and discovering places like HFW Vintage, a gorgeous store that is an absolute must-visit...they are also on Asos Marketplace here and featured me on their instagram after taking the photo below.

On the way home we stopped off in Whitstable, a gorgeous little coastal town I have always heard of but never spent long in (apart from as a teeny child). Everything was so pretty - from coloured shops and painted beach huts, it was the ideal place to wander around and spend time by the sea. Unfortunately everything was closed when we got there as we were quite late, but I am so ready to go back and think it may have to be the place for my next weekend getaway.

One of the main reasons I absolutely have to go back is this amazing record/cd/dvd shop I stumbled across, which sealed it's place in my heart thanks to a poster of David Bowie I spotted on the wall. I couldn't help taking some photos to capture how pretty it was (and to remind myself why I need to get myself back to Whitstable soon). I had put on my coat by this point, and so was feeling great as for some bizarre reason any ankle length coat immediately makes me think of JD from Heathers. I know it's the wrong colour but it just has that swish and air of mystery, you know?

~ Heathers photos from tumblr ~
If you have no clue who JD is, you must watch Heathers! It's an amazing film with Winona Ryder, and is everything you could ever want in a slightly twisted teen movie kind of way. I adore it, although the end is not exactly my favourite, but the impeccable clothes throughout make up for it.

I had a lovely little day out and reminded myself just how much you can get done in a day if you put your mind to it (I also had an hour long nosebleed before we left so it shows even more what determination can do!) I hope you all had a lovely weekend and a good bank holiday!!

keep the love lights glowing, little girl's got the blues

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

My exams are over!! The benefits of taking art are endless, one of the best being a whole subject less of exams, so I finished a lot earlier than people doing four academic subjects. It's kind of good and bad - good as I have time to focus on sorting my life out, and bad because only a very small number of my year have finished too, so I have a feeling I'm going to be spending many days just waiting for everyone else to finish so we can all hang out without the obligation to revise and study dampening the mood.
Today was my second day of sort-of freedom; yesterday was spent sleeping in (I haven't been able to for months) then meeting some friends for a celebratory meal out at Five Guys in Covent Garden. Today has been slightly less exciting so far - I went for a run this morning (I actually went for a run. I am so proud of myself - the main thing stopping me before was the fear of seeing people I know, but realistically who is going to be hanging out near me at 7.30am?!) then got some photos developed, went on a little trawl through the charity shops, and spent way too long watching Parks and Recreation (my new addiction). These are all from the two cameras I got developed today: one from around september time, then the rest all from the last few weeks.

An outfit from a revision break trip to the park a few weekends ago. I wore a top and skirt from Beyond Retro and a jacket from Rokit, and also I bought a new pair of the old cat eye sunglasses I used to have about two years ago!! I bought them from the exact same shop in Portobello Road ages ago but broke them whilst playing water-volleyball on holiday (the struggles of trying to wear sunglasses/play sport never ends) and couldn't help buying them again when I saw them. To be honest I rarely ever wear them on my face - I use them more as a hairband to keep my hair out of the way.

As is clear from the above photos I have spent way too long in the same room recently (the first few are all from a revision break which involved using up a camera from september without moving from my desk). I'm pleased I've been keeping up with my journal properly for once - I never thought I would, but I have started to adore it's tiny size and much prefer it to the larger moleskines I used to use. It's somehow so much easier to fill, and easier to sneak on public transport to draw strangers.
There are also two photos from my hotel room in Swanage from around September time, and my recent sketchbook for my art exam project (as usual, fabric everywhere).

The first photo was planned out so much by me (without my friends knowing) and I have spent the last month hyping it up to myself in my head, however it didn't come out quite as dramatic as I had planned - if only I had aimed a little more to the left. I still credit my attempt though, at least I tried. I always try to take candid pictures of my friends and this was probably the only time I've been able to do it without being noticed. The second photo is from the bar my friend was playing an open mic at, the third is a shop on Portobello, and the fourth a very typical selfie (I can't open my eyes in photos. It's known as the 'ellie face' and is all anyone ever gets from me on snapchat) from a day working at the library and ending up spending 6 hours with friends trying to revise poetry and drinking coffee instead. The final two are from yesterday, and my celebratory Five Guys burger and then a cool bejewelled sewing machine in Rokit. I hope you are all having a good week - I can hopefully get back to posting actual posts now! Also good luck in your exams if you haven't finished!