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A very different type of collage – I first came across Mat Maitland’s work when I saw his film for Kenzo Resort 2013 (see below). Full to the brim with prints and pattern it definitely caught my eye. But until recently I had never seen any of Maitland’s fashion stills – and I think they are great. I always love the sense of set used in product editorials but the digital element of these creates a sense of hyper-real and the slick collage style feels fresh and new.

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You can check out more of his work here: http://matmaitland.com/

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This weekend was the first one in a long while that I’ve had time to go out and see something. And fortunately, I was just in time to catch an exhibition I’ve wanted to see since it opened almost 6 months ago. ‘Saints Alive’ is the work created by Michael Landy whilst he was artist in residency at the National Gallery, a combination that some people thought a little unlikely.

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Installation of Saints Alive at the National Gallery, 2013

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mixed media 205 x 185 x 80 cm

The exhibition features a progression of Landy’s work from sketch, to collage, to all singing and dancing kinetic sculptures, which muse upon the stories of the Saints that feature in so many of the paintings in the gallery. It feels like Landy has almost dissected the National Gallery’s collections in order to form his own take on what many deem to be the most worthy of art – classical painting. It is humorous, fun and engaging. But most importantly it does not take itself seriously.

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/may/26/michael-landy-saints-alive-national-review

Aside from the subject matter, what I really liked about this exhibition is the questions it posed about the National Gallery, and where this institution sits in the art world, and in particular in London’s cultural scene. To many of the younger generation, the National Gallery is both inaccessible and pretentious. Although no one can ever argue that the National Gallery’s collection will ever become invalid, increasingly, as a static collection, it becomes more and more aloof and high brow.

What Landy does is bring this world back down to earth with a crash. It feels like he has bought the painting and the stories that they contain to life. It is whimsical, and fun. But most importantly it is accessible – and may in fact help a new generation to see the National Gallery’s collection in a new light. 

It closes on the 24th November but is so worthwhile checking out if you get the chance.

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/michael-landy-saints-alive

 

Sorry for the brief hiatus – here is some idea of what I have been doing. There will be more to come soon.

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On a slightly unplanned trip to Antwerp recently, I visited the ‘Dream the World Awake’ exhibition, a retrospective of Fashion Designer Walter Van Bierendonck, at the Mode Museum. I can’t quite believe I have never come across his work before. Not for the faint-hearted, the pieces really appealed to me throw the satire that is injected into them – every pieced is infused with all sort of different, often humorous remarks. However, what made the exhibition really engaging was the way in which they displayed sketchbook pages as well as images, objects and art that had obviously inspired Bierendonck – ranging from modern art, to throwaway bric-a-brac, and ethnographical images. There was work from Grayson Perry and the Chapman Brothers. It was great to see how the complete chaos of his inspiration had influenced the end result, and not often in a subtle way.

The exhibition is on until the 19th February, so if you happen to be in Antwerp make sure you check it out, even if you aren’t particularly interested in Fashion.

http://www.momu.be/en/index_momu.jsp?layout=momu

Also, check out the great photography and fashion film that accompanied the exhibition, by Nick Knight and stylist Simon Foxton.

http://showstudio.com/project/dream_the_world_awake

A new home
Having to pack your entire life (and a very large wardrobe) in and out of boxes is both irritating and unnerving. I do not believe anyone likes to be forced to re-evaluate their life based upon the objects that compromise it. But moving into a new house, whether preferable or not, is nevertheless a fresh start, and a chance to make some positive changes. And, in my case, some form of life-long plan. This blog is a chance for me to organise my thoughts and the things that consume me on a daily basis, as well as a first stab at this unavoidable concept of an ‘online presence’. Bear with me, it may at some times be agonising.