Monthly Archives: November 2009

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Central Inventory Records

Following up my interest in the collection archive material, curator Alun Graves directs me to the central inventory records, and the collection and subject indexes. These are fantastic; old ledgers and card indexes with typed, handwritten and stamped entries going back to the beginning of the collections. I’ve photocopied a selection of these, and begun to incorporate them into my ‘identikit’ drawings. Also made a visit to the archives of the Asia Department to collect similar material.

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Music from the leaf of a choirbook

By Stuart Frost I’ve chosen to illustrate this blog entry with a manuscript leaf that was orginally part of a choirbook made around 1250, probably in Germany. The leaf is decorated with an illuminated letter that depicts the Annunciation, the moment when the Angel Gabriel appears to the Virgin Mary and tells her that she […]

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Woven Tapestry: Medieval Inspiration

The opening to the public of the new Medieval and Renaissance Galleries is imminent! A suite of ten galleries will house a sumptuous array of nearly two thousand objects including this stunning Egyptian Tunic (detail above) in Gallery 8: Faiths and Empires 300-1250.

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Small Drawings

A selection of drawings and designs from the weekend workshop at Birmingham Art Gallery… done by all ages – mostly at the younger end of the spectrum; from age 2 (!) to adult.

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Visit to Blythe House

This week I made my first visit to Blythe House, the museum storehouse at Olympia (a real treasure-trove of precious, obscure and wonderful objects) and where the study collection is being housed prior to the opening of phase 2 of the ceramics galleries in summer 2010. The ceramics are fantastic, as was to be expected, and I am particularly taken by a large classical porcelain head (labelled as ‘Lambeth, 18th to 19th century’ but is French, I am informed). This is photographed and added to my head ‘collection’. I am also fascinated by the archiving and labelling of the works, …

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Sou Fujimoto Tensegrity Model

During this afternoon's scheme design presentation, Sou Fujimoto explained how his acrylic tree structure, the Outside/Inside Tree has been greaty rationalised and simplified. Instead of being a curvilinear form, the structure will now be an angular abstraction of this previous proposal, consisting of hundreds of acryclic polygons bound together by cable ties. Here, in this film, Sou Fujimoto explains using a very simple concept model how the structure has evolved (the original proposal shown below). [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6x72ohyEmw] As his new proposal seems to act almost like a tensegrity structure, I decided to show Fujimoto-san the Buckminster Fuller tensegrity model which we …

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Terunobu Fujimori site visit

The Japanese architect, Terunobu Fujimori arrived in London today, and he started off with a visit to the V&AMedieval &Renaissance Daylit Gallery where he will be building his structure forour '1:1' exhibition. The preparations for the M&RGalleries are so intense at the moment that there is a total lock-down on the site, apart from access for essential project staff. We therefore offered Professor Fujimori a vantage point from the adjacent Directorate corridor, as this film shows. Afterwards we showed Professor Fujimori a model of the M&RGalleries, which, conveniently, was in an office just next to where we were. It was …

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‘Give up your secrets…’

I love reading the various posts on this blog – and was particularly intrigued by Julie'ssuggestion that I was the Poirot of the V&A!Of course I am not alone in carrying out my research, over the last 18 months I have been joined by the amazingly resourceful Claire whose research skills are extraordinary.Less like an Agatha Christie sleuth we’re probably more akin to Cagney and Lacey – Claire the glamorous blond with the racy lifestyle: ‘So what are you up to tonight?''Not sure, might make the pub quiz if I leave now.’ Me the slightly manic brunette with the chaotic …

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Studio Mumbai scheme design presentation

This afternoon we had a scheme design presentation from Studio Mumbai (Director, Bijoy Jain and Michael Anastassiades – a long-term collaborator). The design has changed quite dramatically from concept design stage, but the thesis remains the same. The structure is an exploration of high-density building strategies witnessed by the Studio Mumbai office directly behind their workshop. Anumber of families have appropriated a sliver of space between a number of warehouse buildings in order to create a parasitic form of dwelling space. In this video, Bijoy and Michael explain to the project team how their proposal for the exhibition will result …

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Ash Stalks and Oak Leaves

I’ll be in Birmingham this weekend running a drop in workshop for families as part of the Taking Time programme of events (see post below). Each living thing has specific individual characteristics and qualities of form, colour and texture. Here, ash stalks. We will be working with these and other natural found marks from fields, woods and heath to explore rhythm and pattern.

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