Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Lucian and Lucienne

Just enjoyed an inspiring weekend in London despite the appalling weather. In fact my little grandson postively enjoyed the results of the torrential rain as he found a waterlogged corner of the car park to splash in.

We had gone down to London for a long awaited trip to the Lucian Freud portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

It was predictably busy but thanks to a simple guidebook and the fact that all were portraits and therefore easy to understand it was possible to enjoy the paintings without too much frustration. I had enjoyed the BBC 4 documentary about Freud and that helped understand his methods and the development of his painting from the stylised early portraits of his first wife to the huge pieces painted in his 60s.

I would have happily taken one or two home to hang in my living room but had to be content with the exhibition catalogue which is a lovely book.
Next day I persuaded the family to accompany me to a much smaller exhibition I'd heard about.
Designing Women at the Fashion and Textile Museum showcased the work of post war textile artists including Lucienne Day, Jaqueline Groag and Marian Mahler.

Much of this work sprang from the creative period leading up to the Festival of Britain in 1951

This tiny Bermondsey gallery is the brainchild of Zandra Rhodes and is a lovely easy going space which holds workshops alongside the exhibtions; I was sorry not to be taking part in the print making session we glimpsed.

The enviably huge pieces of fabric hung from the walls or were seen made into dresses next to small cases with the original drawings. I particularly liked this Day fabric where the geometric blocks are overprinted with naturalistic sketches

Becca and I wished this tea towel was still in production as the colours are so current.
The weather precluded any strolling around the area which was a shame; I love exploring the different parts of London but this time it had to be from inside a car. Nevertheless I returned home feeling inspired by both exhibitions and ready to create. I'd love to say I was able to paint but its had to be at the sewing machine.

I've had these pieces of French ticking for a while and decided to make up cushions from it.

This large cushion celebrates the history of this piece; darned, patched, stained and faded to a lovely deep denim colour it will make a great contemporary piece. Also looks good covering this unusual folding sleeveboard

Fingers crossed that the coming bank holiday has better weather in store. I'm off to a new venue on Sunday for the first ever Vintage and Homemade fair in Berkswell (near Solihull) and looking forward to meeting lots of new people. Details to the left


  1. Love the blue ticking cushions...are they for sale?
    Julie x

  2. Hi Julie
    Indeed they are. They are £24 for smallest and £28 for others plus postage.
    I can send more images and dimensions if you're interested
    Heather x

  3. Hi Heather, do you have an email contact? I would be interested in the large darned one if possible...size etc
    Julie x