Under the Same Sun, South London Gallery

I recently spent the perfect day out in London.

Under the Same Sun

It was nothing extravagant, and it didn’t cost any money, but was just my ideal day out – filled with long walks, and ambling around in parts of the capital I don’t usually frequent.

Under the Same Sun

Like all perfect days, it started off with egg and soldiers at La Dinette (they do fantastic coffee), before heading down south.

I hadn’t ever been to the South London Gallery before, but I really loved the space.

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I was there to see Under The Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today. I really loved the pieces – a diverse mixture of mediums and styles. I was also lucky enough to run into Natasha (from Graphique Fantastique) and made an appearance on her YouTube channel. Go check it out, as she’s great (and be sure to subscribe!)

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The show is on until the 4th of September, and is free – I definitely recommend you check it out!

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Have you been to any must-see exhibitions recently? Be sure to comment belowor let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

ArtRabbit Art Trail: Tab’s Tour

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of going on the ArtRabbit Art Trail tour lead by Tabish Khan, who writes for the Londonist as an art critic. I met Tab at the Moroni event, and was excited for his tour of the trail. ArtRabbit has collaborated with 18 galleries around London (N1) with a mission to promote the discovery of contemporary art.

Haggerston Thomas Mailaender cyanotypes

On his tour, Tab guided us round 4 of the exhibitions open for the three-day Art Trail event, although unfortunately I was only able to make it to the first three. The tour began at the Proud Archivist in Haggerston, where the ArtRabbit team had created a visual installation for the duration of the trail, which ran from the 6th – 8th of November.

Thomas Mailaender cyanotypes

Our first stop on the tour was the Ditto Gallery, for Thomas Mailaender’s Cyanotypes. This exhibit was the first time I’d ever experienced cyanotypes – a photographic printing process that produces brilliantly blue prints used by 20th century engineers (in this context, often referred to as blueprints). I found Maliaender’s work to be playful, rather cheeky – one particularly memorable piece uses the technique to reproduce the image of Putin with bunny ears. I enjoyed seeing contemporary images and issues recreated in this outdated manner, as well as the effect of the cyan-blue.

Thomas Mailaender cyanotypes

Our next stop was at Gallery One and a Half, for Robert Wilson’s Helmand Return. The exhibition showed photographs taken by Wilson in April 2014, documenting the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. As an official war artist, Wilson’s work gives a unique perspective and insight into the process of ending war. It was even more significant, perhaps, to see it the weekend before Armistice day, to see a beautiful side to the controversial conflict.

robert wilson helmand returnRobert Wilson Helmand Return

Tab started a really interesting discussion with the other members of the tour group around the complex relationship between art and advertising. Some of Wilson’s work for this exhibit had previously been used in ads, and Tab asked us our thoughts and opinions around this subject – and whether advertising co-opted art. To one extent, advertising has the opportunity to make art more accessible: but to what cost? The discussion went further, to discuss space – does art need to be confined to galleries, which are essentially commercial spaces, to be appreciated? We considered the Art Everywhere initiative – a national outdoor art exhibition that takes place across the UK each year, by taking over spaces usually dominated by advertising – billboards, bus stops and poster sites. I like to think of myself as someone who is interested in art, so I really surprised myself when I realised that I had missed this completely.

Although I agreed with the point that art should be widely accessible, I also think that people won’t be as receptive, or pay attention unless they are open to it. The discussion really reminded me of the DC subway experiment with renowned violinist Joshua Bell. Bell sells out countless shows, but when he was busking no one paid him any attention. As cynical and depressing as it is, I personally do think I try to shut out the OOH advertising – which might explain why I missed, or even ignored the Art Everywhere campaigns.

robert wilson helmand returnrobert wilson helmand return

Gallery One and a Half was a beautiful space – I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit, and the gallery has worked closely with the artist on this body of work which is visually and emotionally stunning. It’s running until the end of November, and well worth going to – my photographs of the work and space really don’t do it any justice.

robert wilson helmand return

My final stop on the tour was BAG, at the Atrium, which showcased a diverse range of works by artists from the Hertford Road Studios. At this stop, Tab talked about the importance of collaboration and constructive criticism, particularly for emerging artists. Artists who have just come from an art-school environment, where there is a lot of guidance, particularly when receiving criticism from their peers can find it somewhat jarring when they leave. As with anything, people are only going to talk about something if they love it or they hate it – and in this context even negative press has value. This exhibition, which allowed different artists to share a space encouraged more open discussion, criticism and collaboration between the artists which was refreshing.

BAG at the atrium BAG at the atrium

The tour and the Art Trail was a great way of exploring a new neighbourhood, as well as seeing new galleries too. I really enjoyed the tour and hope there will be more in the future!

Several of the galleries and exhibitions are still open – for a full list, visit the ArtRabbit website here.

Dressing an Italian Countess: Moroni at the RA

I spent Halloween this year at the Royal Academy of Arts, at an exhibition of little-known Italian renaissance artist Giovanni Battista Moroni. The exhibition showcases some of the painter’s best works, including several altarpieces and portraits. As it was a blogger preview event, I met several bloggers (including Tabish Khan from the Londonist, Joy from The Joyous Living, Lizzie from Lizzie’s World and Nigel), who can without a doubt provide a more academic review of the exhibition, which is curated by Arturo Galasino. Galasino is clearly passionate about the artist, and the conservation of his work – naming him among the greatest 16th century Italian painters.

Gian Girolamo Albani, c.1570 Oil on canvas, 107 x 75 cm Private Collection Photo: Private collection

Gian Girolamo Albani, c.1570
Oil on canvas, 107 x 75 cm
Private Collection
Photo: Private collection

Giovanni Battista Moroni Young Lady, c.1560-65 Oil on canvas, 51 x 42 cm Private collection Photo Private collection

Giovanni Battista Moroni
Young Lady, c.1560-65
Oil on canvas, 51 x 42 cm
Private collection
Photo Private collection

Although skilled in execution, the altarpieces didn’t appeal to me as much as the portraits did – as a former student of anthropology, I’ve always been interested in what portraits can say about the context they were created in. The most striking aspect of the collection was the use of colour, and how skilled Moroni was at capturing textures – the different shades of black he used added to the realism of the work, and the folds and patterns on the material in his work are so impressive – you’d never know there were so many shades of black!

Giovanni Battista Moroni The Tailor, 1565-70 Oil on canvas, 99.5 x 77 cm The National Gallery, London Photo © The National Gallery, London

Giovanni Battista Moroni
The Tailor, 1565-70
Oil on canvas, 99.5 x 77 cm
The National Gallery, London
Photo © The National Gallery, London

A review of the collection wouldn’t be complete without the impact of fashion and tailoring on the artist. The image of the Tailor, the portrait of a worker as a gentleman, as well as the exquisite details in his work really show how respectability was shown through dress.

Moroni at the RA

Before previewing the exhibition, I was invited to a lecture given by the curator, as well as former Director of Theatre Design at the Globe, Jenny Tiramani and actor and former Artistic Director Mark Rylance. Rylance was dressed in his outfit commissioned for his role as Countess Olivia, an exquisite garment that cost in the tens of thousands to create. Although beautiful, it was an absolute mission to get on! It was really interesting to discuss how garments were developed by male tailors, for women – and how corsets could often cause miscarriages in noblewomen. Although beautiful, I am more than a little glad that corsets are not in style.

Moroni at the RAdressing an italian countess

The Moroni exhibit is on until the 25th of January 2015, between 10am – 6pm. Prices range from £13.50, although concessions are available and children under 16/Friends of the RA go free.

Moroni at the RA

Saturday at the V&A

What better way to spend a gloomy Saturday then at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington?V&A Museum V&A Museum V&A Museum V&A Museum glass chandelier V&A Museum

My lovely friend and I went to see the Horst: Photographer of Style exhibition. It was a great mix of haute couture, history, glamour and travel – well worth checking out. Unfortunately, cameras weren’t allowed in that part, but it’s V&A is a nice place to bring your camera to. The V&A is definitely one of my favourite places in London, and we Londoners are lucky to have it available to us!

V&A V&A tiled wall

As my friend is also gluten-intolerant, we swung by the Carluccio’s near South Kensington station for lunch. I love their gf menu, and for a chain their food is reliable and the selection great. I love hearing recommendations for gluten-free restaurants in London – if you have any, please let me know!

RA Blogger Preview Event | Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album and Le Relais de Venise Entrecote

This week has been one of the busiest and most exciting I’ve had in a while. I attended my first two blogger events, the second of which was a blogger’s viewing event at the Royal Academy of Arts for their new exhibition – Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album. Dennis Hopper is better known for his cinematic work, in Rebel without a Cause (1955), Blue Velvet (1989) and Easy Rider (1969). He was also a keen photographer, and The Lost Album presents photographs he took between 1961 and 1967 in America.

Dennis Hopper Irving Blum and Peggy Moffitt, 1964 Photograph, 16.69 x 24.92 cm The Hopper Art Trust © Dennis Hopper, courtesy The Hopper Art Trust. www.dennishopper.com

Dennis Hopper
Irving Blum and Peggy Moffitt, 1964
Photograph, 16.69 x 24.92 cm
The Hopper Art Trust
© Dennis Hopper, courtesy The Hopper Art Trust. www.dennishopper.com

Dennis Hopper Andy Warhol, Henry Geldzahler, David Hockney and Jeff Goodman, 1963 Photograph, 17.25 x 24.74 cm The Hopper Art Trust © Dennis Hopper, courtesy The Hopper Art Trust. www.dennishopper.com

Dennis Hopper
Andy Warhol, Henry Geldzahler, David Hockney and Jeff Goodman, 1963
Photograph, 17.25 x 24.74 cm
The Hopper Art Trust
© Dennis Hopper, courtesy The Hopper Art Trust. www.dennishopper.com

As a child of the 90s, this event and the exhibition really made clear to me what a confusing, frightening and exciting times the 60s were. Through the lens of Dennis Hopper, all the different aspects of the 60’s we are all familiar with came together for me. In the Lost Album you see the decade in all its glamour, with portraits of models, artists and actors like Paul Newman, Andy Warhol and Jane Fonda, as well as struggle, which you can see in the photographs he took at the height of the American Civil Rights Movement. It took all the events that I had only understood previously as these discrete events or moments of history and visually presented them to us within the context of the time. As a former anthropology student I was far more fascinated in these images, of people during the civil rights movement and of the artists then I was at some of the photographs later on in the exhibit.

Dennis Hopper Jane Fonda and Roger Vadim at Their Wedding in Las Vegas, 1965 Photograph, 17.02 x 24.87 cm The Hopper Art Trust © Dennis Hopper, courtesy The Hopper Art Trust. www.dennishopper.com

Dennis Hopper
Jane Fonda and Roger Vadim at Their Wedding in Las Vegas, 1965
Photograph, 17.02 x 24.87 cm
The Hopper Art Trust
© Dennis Hopper, courtesy The Hopper Art Trust. www.dennishopper.com

Dennis Hopper Untitled (Blue Chip Stamps), 1961-67 Photograph, 24.97 x 17.12 cm The Hopper Art Trust © Dennis Hopper, courtesy The Hopper Art Trust. www.dennishopper.com

Dennis Hopper
Untitled (Blue Chip Stamps), 1961-67
Photograph, 24.97 x 17.12 cm
The Hopper Art Trust
© Dennis Hopper, courtesy The Hopper Art Trust. www.dennishopper.com

Aside from the dramatic and moving photos of these events the photograph that really drove it home for me was a picture of Roy Lichtenstein in front of one of his pieces. When I was in high school in New York, I lived in a group of apartment buildings connected to a plaza by the river, which had a couple of diners and cafes attached to it. We used to hang around there and eat onion bagels coated with butter on our lunchbreaks at the diner, which was decorated with large scale Lichtenstein imitations on the walls – the whole place was yellow and red and it just seemed so tacky, loud and almost pedestrian. I hated it. But in the Lost Album, seeing Lichtenstein sitting in front of his work, and in the context of the whole exhibition it was so incredible to see how fresh and new his work was in its time.

Dennis Hopper Double Standard, 1961 Photograph, 17.45 x 24.87 cm The Hopper Art Trust © Dennis Hopper, courtesy The Hopper Art Trust. www.dennishopper.com

Dennis Hopper
Double Standard, 1961
Photograph, 17.45 x 24.87 cm
The Hopper Art Trust
© Dennis Hopper, courtesy The Hopper Art Trust. www.dennishopper.com

The exhibition took place in the Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington Gardens in Piccadilly. We arrived a little early so we got a glass of wine before we went in to the bloggers preview area. The cocktails for the event (a deliciously summery fruit mojito) were provided by the Atelier cafe, in the lobby of the Royal Academy. The cafe is gorgeous, and looks like how I’d like my kitchen to look – I’ll definitely be back for a spot of lunch!

Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album Royal Academy Dennis Hopper Royal Academy Wine Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album 2014-06-27 13.49.14 Atelier Royal Academy Royal Academy Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album

Wine Atelier mojito

After the event, I took Mr A to somewhere I’d wanted to take him for a long time – Le Relais de Venise Entrecote. I almost don’t even want to write about this place as I don’t want more people to go! Le Relais de Venise have several branches internationally, in New York, Manchester and France. We arrived around 8.30 on a Friday night, and waited 45 minutes to get in – they don’t take reservations, but boy is it worth it.

Le Relais de Venise

Le Relais de Venise only has one item on the menu – so if you are a vegetarian or not a fan of steak then this place isn’t for you. The first item that arrives is a gorgeous walnut salad with a lemon-y dressing with some french bread. It is absolutely divine, and a lot more exciting than it might sound!

Walnut salad le relais de venise

The main is a gorgeous steak cooked to your liking – blue, red right up to well done. A fan of all things raw I took mine blue, and it just melts in your mouth. It comes with a side of fries and coated in the most incredible sauce. The first time I went to Le Relais de Venise a colleague of mine claimed he wanted to bathe in it, it’s that good. It’s almost a curry like flavour to it, but it’s creamy and delicious and a well-guarded secret. A few years ago a French newspaper claimed they had cracked the sauce, which they claim contains chicken livers so I’ll have to try it out for myself soon!

le relais de venise

We washed it down with a bottle of their house red, and the waitress came by again with seconds after we had cleared our plates. It was absolutely divine – I only wish they’d open up a branch in Muswell Hill! At this point I was so full and an incredibly happy girl, but Mr. A wanted to got a tarte au citron after all that queuing which was also delicious.

tarte au citron It was also lovely to see the lovely lady behind the Wonderlusting blog at the RA bloggers event, who I had met at the BGO blogger meetup event the night before, which I’ll be covering in my next post!

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