Hello Art Lovers — Europe’s Finest Galleries Are Waiting for You

Art and Europe, they’re synonymous, right?. Some of the greatest artists to ever pick up a paintbrush (or whatever it was that they chose to use) hailed from the hallowed turfs of a number of European countries. From Pablo Picasso to Lucian Freud, Europe totally and truly has a legacy in the world of artwork. And that legacy lives on at all times through the various art galleries that are dotted around the continent. I adore the different galleries in London and have been a lucky enough gal to have visited them on travels too. If you’re a lover of art like me, then you just gotta visit one of, if not all, of the galleries on this list.

Whitechapel Gallery, London – Shoreditch, London boasts an array of top art galleries, but Whitechapel is at the helm of that rather illustrious list. It’s richness in history is just one of the reasons why. It houses pieces created by some of the greatest European artists ever to live, like as mentioned above, Picasso and Freud. It has truly been a staple of the London art scene for well over a century. But it’s not all about the past. Whitechapel also boasts an array of the most modern pieces of art imaginable. A visit here is a must for all art lovers. But why just limit yourself to seeing style in the gallery that you visit? When staying in this part of the world, you have to do it right. By this it is meant that you have to do it in style. And to do it in style you should stay in a hotel like as the Dorsett City, London, it’s pretty swoon worthy in my opinion. The best thing of all, there is merely an eight minute walks worth of distance between this hotel and the gallery. Boom. Treat yo’self. 

The National Gallery, Prague – Prague’s National Gallery plays host to the largest collection of art in the Czech Republic — a pretty impressive feat when you consider just how artsy and vibrant this country is! In this collection, traditional Czech artwork, Cubism and Baroque pieces can be found. so, ya know that a visit here is never gonna get dull. With all the things to see on offer here there will always be something new to feast your eyes upon around every single corner. And there will always be something for somebody to enjoy, even those who you drag to the gallery that kinda protest that galleries are boring!

The Groeninge Museum, Bruges – For all art lovers out there who have a particular appreciation for pieces of the past, then Groeninge is an ace place for you. The artwork found here dates as far back as the 18th century and gives you a real taste for the local culture and the pieces that originate from this area of the world.

When you plan to visit an art gallery, especially one in a city you’ve never been to before, you have to plan your day. You have to be attentive to the fact that there is simply just so much to see, not only in the gallery itself but in the city in which it stands. Because of this, to save you missing out on anything, you should plan your day to ensure you see just about everything. Go, have an adventure! 

How To Find Artistic Inspiration At Any Time

I really appreciate other people’s artwork. I know how important it is to study the success of others if you want to find your own, and success doesn’t have to mean becoming rich and famous, y’know! It can just be looking at something you’ve made any being super proud. Sometimes it can be hard to find inspiration, especially when your mind is busy with too many other things. But here’s how I find inspiration when I’m struggling….

Get Outside – It’s difficult to be creative if you’re shut in your bedroom or lounging about at home. Sometimes you can find inspiration online, but other times you need to leave the house. Going out can help to refresh your mind and open you up to new ideas. You can go to a museum, gallery or library to find something to inspire you, I do this as often as possible and write heaps of blog posts about exhibitions that inspire me. It’s great sitting in front of a painting, photograph, artifact or sculpture with a notebook or drawing pad and doing whatever comes to mind. But you don’t have to go anywhere in particular. You could just walk around and see what you find that inspires you, it really is ALL around you!

Go Shopping for Some Art – I think it’s important to surround yourself with art if you want to feel inspired more often. It doesn’t have to cost much to buy something to put on your wall or a book or poetry to read. And if you don’t have much money at all, it’s always possible to find things for free. Your can order things online using stores like Cordair Art, or you could go out and find somewhere that sells things you love. Art can be many different things too. It could be a handmade item you pick up at a market stall. The important thing is that someone has put their creativity into it, and it inspires you to do the same.

 

Use Other Media – You don’t have to stick to the medium you work with when you’re looking for inspiration. If you want to draw or paint, reading a book could help to inspire you. Watching a TV show or movie might get you thinking about something you want to do. Listening to music could help you visualize a new concept or give you some inspirational words, music is a massive inspiration for me. So, don’t limit yourself to only using one medium for inspiration, keep trying new ideas, it makes for so much more fun!

Look at Your Own Work – Sometimes we start things and then put them down and never look at them again. Or we finish a piece but then put it in the back of a drawer, so easily done! Going back to your finished and unfinished pieces is an ace way to be creative. You might pick up something you’ve started again, or it might inspire you to begin a new project…. so many creative adventures to have!

I get it, finding inspiration can be hard, but you really have to consciously look for it, be reday and willing to be inspired and it will come to you, just wait and see!

The Wisdom of WRDSMTH

W1YES

Now, I am an official lover of words. I talk lots of words, write lots of words and think lots of words. I’m a kinda wordy girl. I am also a known lover of street art and probably my most favourite street art is when it uses words. Phrases, sayings, messages; I love them, I seek them out deliberately. I adore how cities and towns can have words physically written on them, tattooed onto walls and buildings. How brilliant it is when an artist has felt so compelled to say something that they write it big, spray it large, shout it out for others to read, there’s a gorgeous passion and sincerity there. Like little modern love letters publicly proclaimed, there’s an intimacy with the artist and the reader each time it’s read. Words on a wall can provide a smile, a pick-me-up or a quiet confirmation to you in a crowded and uncommunicative city. So, when I started seeing the work of LA based street artist and writer WRDSMTH pop up in places I just fell loopy in love with his work. And, I mean, he uses an old typewriter font too – which I OBVS love as this font has been my business branding waaay before it was cool  for the last 10 years – so, when you add up all the parts of this guys work…it totals something that seriously gives me heart eyes. Born in Ohio, WRDSMTH gave up his day job to move to LA and make his dreams real, to become a Writer, and he did it, he writes. He is a scriptwriter and a published Author. He took up his moniker and began putting words on the street to get him away from his computer screen whilst still using his passion with words. He’s pretty much anonymous as are so many street artists, and his signature style uses a screen print of an old typewriter and then words on a page wheat-pasted onto the wall. He leaves his mark in cities he visits and although most of his work is in LA, he has words in Philadelphia, Paris, Vegas, San Francisco and London.  His words are beautiful. Inspiring, positive, reassuring, gentle, and sincere. I adore everything he does. W3YES

W2YES

OOyes

W5yes

burn_the_ocean_by_wrdsmth-d7buumm

W8yes

W9yes

W10yes

www

W12

10525549_1480861348825998_1688694445_n

W13

W15

W6yes

 

 

Life is Beautiful says Mr Brainwash

Sitting on a London bus the other month, my eyes were caught by the face of Kate Moss, huge billboard size, pop art style Moss. I made a mental note to head back to Holburn to photograph it one day soon, and that day came last week. I knew from investigating, that it was the work of Mr Brainwash to advertise his first UK show. As far as I knew the show ended in August, so I headed up there with just the expectation of seeing a larger than life Miss Moss, and nothing else. Lordy how my heart leapt when I saw that the show was still on, and it was free. Yipeeeee.

Mr Brainwash, (moniker of Thierry Guetta) delights and intrigues me. Parisian born, he was living in LA running a vintage fashion store whilst having an obsession with both street art and making amateur films. Most famous for being in the Banksy film ‘Exit through the Gift Shop’, Brainwash has always been clouded by controversy…..is he an elaborate prank of Banksy’s, is he Banksy himself unveiled, is he just a Banksy copycat? I like the fact that through a film that started out as a documentary about Banksy; street art’s most notorious and secretive character, a new street artist was created and is now more accessible and talked about than Banksy himself. Sceptics may debate that Brainwash only got where he is via Banksy and that he has very little to do with his own art except for the initial ideas, which are merely carried out by his creative team. This, is modern art, I like it, millions around the world like it, and Brainwash himself says he is “Banksy’s biggest work of art.” In a way he subverts the very genre he is a part of as well as art from the past. He takes iconic pop art and defaces it into a new message, he takes classic, fine artwork and puts the faces of modern icons in place of the Royals. He puts art that is meant for the street into an organised indoor area, he has moved street art on and offered it to the mainstream. Some may think his work is pretentious but I think it is the complete opposite. The show is free, you can take photos till your hearts content, there are no titles or wafty explanations, the artist himself is there to chat with and the art is just there for you to look at. End of. Of course I also love that Kate Moss features heavily in his work.

The old sorting office is the perfect location for this show, the massive bare industrial space looks ace littered with his pops of colour and humour. Oversized installations, stencil work, galleries of icons and Mr Brainwash himself was there on the day I visited, a great atmosphere was evident. The uplifting slogans and the bursts of colour that this show prescribe are perfect for an autumn day in London, I was having a particularly frowny day when I visited and it put a sense of cheer right back into me. Yay.

 

 The exhibition was reopened due to popular demand in October 2012, until further notice.

For more information check out;

www.banksyfilm.com      and      www.mrbrainwash.com

 

Fizzy, Bang, POP!

I merrily swooshed down to my most favourite place, the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey for the opening day of their new exhibition POP!

I adore this place, it’s a great size and it has a really genuine, informal vibe. This latest exhibition has been curated to perfection by Dennis Nothdruft, of the Fashion and Textile Museum, with guest curators Richard Chamberlain and Geoffrey Rayner of Target Gallery. The exhibition takes a good look at the way music, art and celebrities from the late 1940’s to the late 1970’s influenced fashion, as well as attitudes, ideals and desires. It takes us from the glee of Rock ‘n’ Roll through to anarchic Punk Rock, via, Mod, Psychedelia, and Kitsch. As usual with this lovely place, the exhibition is a visual delight! It’s been displayed so beautifully and precisely, the sleek Mods, the black and white of Quant, the neons of the Psychedelic; it’s glorious to say the least.

Skirt fabric for Elvis fans, 1956.

Men’s Slicker jacket, 1957.

Martini label skirt, 1956.

I love this Martini skirt, which demonstrates the early use of commercial advertising as a decorative form, it’s gooorgeous! The exhibition has fashion and home wares from each era as well as some cute quirky pieces of consumer goodies.

Potato Sack dress, C.1960.

This sack dress is ace, a witty satire of Pierre Cardin’s radical Sac dress from the 50’s, implying that anything can be turned into fashion.

Part of the exhibition….

Mary Quant dress, 1961.

Part of the exhibition showing monochrome Mary Quant

My favourite bit was the late 60’s, early 70’s kitsch and cartoony part of the exhibition, great to see some prints from Zandra Rhodes in there too!

A pair of shorts by Sylvia Ayton, 1967, using Zandra Rhodes ‘Lipstick’ fabric

Wedge shoes and belt by Mr Freedom, 1970.

Cruise Dress by Sportaville, 1969.

Terry De Havilland snakeskin platform peep-toe shoes, 1971.

Fiorucci ‘Cherries’ platform sandals, 1971.

This Pop! exhibition sure does make your eyes pop, it’s so startlingly colourful and effervescent, and translates magically the potent influence that modern popular culture had on the designs of fashion. So much to look at, loads of classic iconic pieces to gaze at as well as loads of cute unusual discoveries too, pop along and give your eyes a feast!

http://www.ftmlondon.org

Pop! is on until 27th October 2012