Visit to Blythe House

Caption textThis 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, especially the small shards and fragments, often contained in old cigar cases or gentleman’s shirt boxes, and labelled in immaculate copper-plate script. I find a couple of beautiful old labels, (somehow come adrift from their ‘14th or 15th century tile-work shards from Turkestan’) which I borrow and photocopy.

On Friday I travel to Farnham, to install the first ‘Janus’ head at the Craft Study Centre, in the exhibition ‘Allegory’, with textile artist Alice Kettle. The exhibition is based on the Poussin’s ‘A Dance to the Music of Time’, and Janus echoes the two-faced Herm in the painting. Alice’s machine stitched textiles are rich and beautiful as always, and the ceramics and textiles complement each other very well.

Janus head and painting