Exhibition Adventures: Pink Floyd, Balenciaga, Grayson Perry
When I moved to London at the end of May, I made a long list of exhibitions I wanted to visit during my time here. From Anna Sui at the Fashion and Textiles Museum to California at the Design Museum, my to-do list was growing by the day. But sadly, I realised that when you're working here, not just being a tourist, there is just no time (or money) to visit them all! Earlier this month, however, my better half came up to visit for the weekend which finally gave me an excuse to embrace some arts and culture! All in one day, Jack and I visited the following exhibitions: Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever, Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, and Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains. Read on to see my reviews and ratings of each one!
Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! Serpentine Gallery Until 10th September 2017 Admission: Free Find out more: http://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/grayson-perry-most-popular-art-exhibition-ever
Our short but sweet tour around the Serpentine Gallery was totally divine. A gorgeous space within Kensington Gardens, filled with Grayson Perry's latest artworks, including the infamous 'Brexit Vases'. The exhibition was named 'The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!' because Perry's aim was to not only question what actually makes an art exhibition good and what makes art relevant in modern society, but also to parody the traditional inaccessible art world, opening up work to the public at all levels of society and inviting political commentary from those young and old.
I've always been a big fan of Grayson Perry's art; in fact, I remember back in year 7 at school creating a gigantic Perry-inspired vase with papier mache and painting it with rainbows and clouds, with giant comedy clown flowers coming out the top. In particular, I really enjoyed the political commentary of the pieces in this selection, and how deep, dark ideas about the world we live in contrast with the vibrant colours and shapes of Perry's witty work, and I love the tiny details hidden within each piece like a Where's Wally picture.
A stand-out piece for me was a piggy-bank type sculpture with slot holes on top with remarks like rich/poor, black/white, us/them, which guests could donate their coins to (proceeds help the running of the gallery), and the message I got from it was that in the end, all the money ends up in the same place, showing that we're not so different after all. Anyone with strong ideas surrounding Brexit, inequality, and identity in this country, and the relevance of traditional art in today's digital society, I definitely recommend this exhibition.
Rating: 4 stars!
Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion V&A Museum Until Admission: £12 Find out more: https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/balenciaga-shaping-fashion
Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion is an exhibition exploring the life of world-renowned couturier Cristobel Balenciaga and his lasting influence on fashion design today. I'd been looking forward to this exhibition for months now, and although it wasn't as large and deeply explorative as I'd hoped, I still loved revisiting the history of haute couture and of course pouring over the beautiful clothes. There was even a replica of Balenciaga's skirt-cape hybrid that you could try on, which was a great addition. It was really interesting to see the early work of Balenciaga, the highly skilled work of the then biggest atelier and haute couture certified label in the world, with sketchbooks, fabric swatches and images of fittings intertwined with beautifully constructed clothing from throughout the century.
Part of me couldn't stop thinking about how Cristobel might have felt about the Balenciaga brand today. My guess is highly disappointed. Normcore? Not this couturier's thing. His architectural structures, beautifully intricate detailing and innovative construction inspired the likes of Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto; the exhiibition prompted comments from Gareth Pugh and Diana Vreeland on his unquestionable influence. I can't help but feel Demna Gvasalia's new generation of the Balenciaga woman just isn't at the same standard. But of course, couture must evolve to catch up with the modern world.
Rating: 4 stars!
Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains V&A Museum Until 1st October 2017 Admission: £20 Find out more: https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/pink-floyd
For this exhibition, I asked Jack to write a review, as he is a true mega-fan and loved it so much he cried twice. Yup.
"Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains is a must for any Floyd fans. The exhibition at the London V&A is an introspective look at the band’s career, from their first outfits meeting and experimenting as students, to the mammoth footprint they left behind as arguably one of the world’s most influential and revered group of creatives. The showcase leads you through a labyrinth of memorabilia, interviews and interactive displays (that all link up with audio to the wireless headphone pack that you’re given at the start), including mixing desks that allow you to remix ‘Money’ with your own levels. One of the most interesting parts of the exhibition was the wide array of displays from their live shows of ’The Wall’, along with original sketches and blueprints for their many tours. It was truly humbling to see the foundations of a global legacy. It served as a reminder that their creations, though now larger than life, all have a very human beginning. The maze of framed guitars and album artwork ends with a panoramic screen across three walls from their last performance of ‘Comfortably Numb' from 'The Wall’ together."
Rating: 5 stars!