In the Thick of It

April 16, 2015

What a month it has been! To all who missed a blog post last week, we can only apologise. We were all simply swamped!

Over the past few weeks we’ve been working hard to complete the first draft of the exhibition label text, sort layout issues, make final changes to the book design, and take the last of the publication photos – in addition to much, much, more. And that’s just what the curatorial team have been up to. Conservation, Exhibitions, Publications, Photography – in fact, staff all over the Museum – have been gearing up to make sure everything is just as it should be come October 3rd. The one thing that has surprised me the most about working on this exhibition is just how far in advance everything needs to be done – because of how much there is to do!

Divia hard at work on text… © Avalon Fotheringham
Rosemary hard at work on layouts… © Avalon Fotheringham

But never fear. We’re lining up some excellent guest posts and have some great stories to share with you in the coming weeks. And for today, here is a little taste of what’s been going on behind the scenes (while blogs have not been being posted…).

A mysterious chintz awaiting its conservator © Avalon Fotheringham

Conservation has been hard at work getting all our objects ship-shape, including a number that won’t be on display in the show, but will be making appearances in the book.

The last of the book photography must be done by the end of the month if its going to be ready in time to go to print, and we are nearly there. The last few pieces are the most tricky – either because of how much conservation they needed, or because of how difficult it is to mount them. The wedding room below has been a double-challenge: because it’s so massive it has needed all the more conservation attention, on top of all the more mount planning. But between Conservation, Technical services, and Photography, it’s nearly ready for its photo shoot…

Conservation hard at work on the room hanging © Avalon Fotheringham

Another challenge of the past few weeks has been mounting the contemporary fashion pieces onto mannequins. Divia, Keira (our mannequin mistress), and myself spent many lovely (though often frustrating) hours dressing them for the camera. Getting the saris on was challenge enough (it’s much harder to dress them on someone/thing else), but making them drape naturally while showing off their best features (especially on static mannequins whose arms are never quite where you’d like them to be), takes the challenge to a whole new level. The whole process is a blog post in itself – stay tuned…

Awaiting their close ups – mannequins ready for photography © Avalon Fotheringham

From there it’s down to our photographer Jaron to get the lighting, background, and position all just right. But it’s all worth it, as we are getting some terrific results. Below are a few teaser shots to get you excited. I won’t tell you what they are – you have to come see for yourself!

All images © Victoria and Albert Museum






















0 comments so far, view or add yours

Add a comment

Please read our privacy policy to understand what we do with your data.


Join today and enjoy unlimited free entry to all V&A exhibitions, Members-only previews and more

Find out more


Find inspiration in our incredible range of exclusive gifts, jewellery, books, fashion, prints & posters and much more...

Find out more