Tag: word and image

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Guest blog entry: Stefano della Bella

Guest blog entry by Rebecca Wall

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Elizabeth Taylor – Jewellery and Ornament

You may have noticed some of the press recently making the rounds for the sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels (among other parts of her collection). Looking at the lots on offer one wonders how such a petite woman ever managed tomove around so enormous are the carat weights of some of the stones. One of my favourite galleries at the V&A is the William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery. If you ever have a case of Holly Golightly’s mean reds, the spiral display of rings here will cheer you up in no time. It’s all too easy to hold up …

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What is ornament, what is an ornament print and why do they matter?

Ornament is decoration or embellishment. It is any additional detail added to an object, interior or architectural structure which serves no other purpose than to make it more interesting, arresting or beautiful to us. Take this Sèvres soup plate for instance. The richly painted and gilded decoration adds absolutely nothing to the function of the plate, but the effect is certainly more interesting than a plain white plate. Catherine the Great evidently thought so too, as she had the service to which this plate belongs re-designed eight times before she felt it was quite right. An ornament print is a …

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“The True and Perfect Description Of Three Voyages”

Now that my residency, co-hosted by Word and Image Department and Paper Conservation, has come to an end, I wanted to write one last entry. The experience has been an extraordinary one, not least in terms of the generosity that Curators in WID and conservators in Paper Conservation have shown in sharing their time and expertise. I have been led into stores rooms holding miniature stage sets, Indian hand painted flower albums, daguerreotypes, wardrobes of 16th Century gowns, intricate lace patterns from Venice and kimono stencils from Japan. The list could go on and on.

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Submarine Twilight

Guest posting by Frances Rankine, Curator, Word & Image Department‘I was fortunate enough to be in the Daiwa Foundation gallery on my own when I went to see Sian’s exhibition for a second time. The objects were hung in a lovely sunny room and it added to the wonderful sense of stillness and quiet that the images bring to me.When I sat down to write my contribution to Sian’s blog I was re-reading Tim Travis’ essay in the exhibition publication ‘Of Dust’.

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‘Of Dust’ – the works

Below are some of the works resulting from the second phase of my residency and which are currently on show at the Daiwa Foundation, London. Of Dust: No 9, 2008. Powdered gold, black Japanese lacquer on paper, 17 x 24 cm

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“Of Dust” – Exhibition at the Daiwa Foundation

Works from the second phase of my residency opened recently at the Daiwa Foundation, London – the exhibition entitled, “Of Dust”, comprised small-scale pieces which both draw together threads of ideas and experiment with processes which have been touched on in my previous postings. Images of the “Okoshi-ezu”, or folding teahouse designs, were transposed onto lacquered papers using different photographic and print processes.

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Okoshi-ezu

I first heard about “okoshi-ezu” when I visited an elderly book-seller close to the Heian Shrine in Kyoto. That was over three years ago now when I was making a large-scale installation, “Shift”, based on an 18th century folding paper teahouse. The book-seller told me that once he had seen a series of volumes which contained folding models of teahouses – something between origami and popup models and difficult to find. Dating from the Edo Period, they were used as architectural designs.

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Back in Japan again… In Praise of Shadows?

Back in Japan again… I stepped into the workshop of one of the country’s most respected lacquer artists, National Living Treasure, Shosai Kitamura. The walls were lined with shelves on which were placed examples of his workmanship. Draped across the length of one wall was a knotted straw garland sent by Ise Shrine – to bless the artist’s current inlaid mother-of-pearl lacquer work. He opened drawers slowly to reveal cut shells.

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Notes on Urushi/ Japanese Lacquer

A translucent material – but innumerable layers create a surface of seemingly impenetrable darkness.The tiniest speck on the skin capable of causing violent physical reactions – yet of extreme beauty.Images are ‘trapped” between layers – like forms in amber, prints in ice.Used to illuminate dark spaces – damaged by the brightness of natural light.

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