Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Art of Life, the art of Death

It seems like it has been a long time since I've posted on my blog, so I will have to do better in future!  In my defence, I must say I have been on holiday in France, and that had taken me away from the computer.  (Not being savvy enough to have a laptop/travelling technology with me.)

In order to give ourselves some time in London before catching  the Eurostar go over to Lille, in France, Gorgeous Husband and I decided to stay overnight in the Big City and tootle around a bit.  Although we have been in London lots of times, this time we decided to amuse ourselves almost exclusively by going to the British Museum.  What a treasure house that place is!  A real visual feast --a complete banquet for the eyes.  Thank goodness I couldn't buy any of the pieces or I'd be broke!

The atrim of the British Museum

                               This is a ram in a thicket, an Egyptian piece from 2500 B.C.

                          These fish amulets were found on Queen Puabi of Egypt's right arm.

Some more of her fabulous jewellery.

I forgot to note where this is from, Mesopotamia, I think.  Love it!

This fabulous brass horse was used on a horse harness, and comes from Bologna, 750-700 BC.

Gorgeous Husband and I were all agog at the incredible craftsmanship and also the great age of the pieces.  We loved the Egyptian gallery, looking at the items put in the graves, the jars for the internal organs, the mummies, and the elaborate decorations that were painted within the wooden sarcophagus itself.  All beautifully detailed and as colourful as if they were just finished, yet had been sealed up for thousands of years.  Slightly spooky!  I can hardly imagine the excitement the first Europeans would have felt when they unearthed the coffins.

After we had worn our feet out at the British Museum, we decided to take in an art exhibit that we had chanced upon, which was in the crypt of St. Pancras Church.  It seemed a bit appropriate after looking at all the grave finery in the museum.

This exhibiton was called "Dare to Wear" which was a wildy exuberant, colourful display of "outsider art" (for want of a better term.)  It was curated by Sue Kreitzman and incorporated the works of 26 individual artists who embraced colour and energy and verve and pizzazz as if they were no tomorrow.  Indeed, the sign outside did warn: "Don't wear beige, it might kill you!"

For myself, it was like unexpectedly meeting a rock star.  I had seen the works of Sue Kreitzman on the internet, and to meet her in person, was like, well, wow!  (This also stands for Wild Old Women, so a pretty appropriate all round description of my experience!)

This is the link to Sue's website:  (Once again, I hope I had managed to add the link correctly.)

Here I am with Sue Kreitzman, which was a real thrill for me.  I loved the fabulous coats, both the one on the mannequin and the one Sue is wearing.

This is a close-up of Sue's necklac.  Doesn't it look great with the coat?

This is what Sue Kreitzman wrote in the catalogue about the exhibit, DARE TO WEAR:

Don't leave art to lanquish on the walls.
Wrap yourself, festoon, engulf and adorn yourself.
Glory in texture, colour and spectacle.
Erupt into the world: brash, glittering, bejewelled, and multicoloured.
Dare to be a graffito, a collage, an assemblage.
Burst into art, and you will change your world forever.

Wow!  What a concept!!  Talk about kicking the idea of the timid older woman wearing pastels into next week.

Here are some more images from the exhibition, which runs at St. Pancras Church, Euston Road, London, NW1 2BA until November 4, 2012 (closed Mondays).  If you want to have your eyes electrified with colour, by all means go.  No, really, I mean it: GO!   If you're brave enough, there is a special evening event on November 1 (Dia de los Muertos-- the Mexican Day of the Dead) from 6:30 til 9:00.  It should be a riot!

Sue Kreitzman finished off the introduction to the exhibition's catalogue with these words, "Because we are exhibiting in a crypt, we continue to mull over the most fascinating wardrobe conundrum of all: what will we wear in the Afterlife?" 

It certainly boggled my mind, and with the grave imagery from the museum still whizzing around in my head along with the art exhibit, I found it difficult to get to sleep! Too much excitement for one day!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Would You Do This?

Every once in a while, I do something which, strictly speaking, does not make any sense.  Although it does if you follow my logic.

For instance, would you pay £14 to have the toes and heels of your favourite cowboy boots repaired, given that the boots only cost £9 to start with?  These are the type of things that make economists shake their heads and go, "tut tut" over.  Where is the sense in it?

Well, they are comfortable, go with everything, and if I didn't repair them, soon they wouldn't be good for anything.  Now I can get many more cowboy miles out of them.

I took them to my favourite cobbler (well, one of only 3 in town) who I have been going to for the past 16 years.  My nickname for him is "Mr. Smiley" because he never does.  Or at least he didn't use to smile, hardly ever.  He was the Basil Fawlty of customer services.  But after years of dealing with him, we have a laugh now.

I took in the boots and said, "Can you do toes and heels on these, please?"

He looked at them duviously and said, "Where's the metal toe studs?  You've lost the metal bit."

"They didn't have any when I bought them."

"I don't know how I can fix them."

"But you can, can't you?"

"Well, maybe."

"Don't you like a challenge?"

"Me?  No, I hate 'em."

"So can I pick them up tomorrow?"

"Day after."

So, when I went back to collect them, he had done his usual fine job.  "That's great!" I said.  "Yeah,  well, now you can get back to your horse," he said.  I think he even smiled.