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Hove & Brighton Artist Open Houses

 

This is the last weekend (this year) for this year for the Artist Open Houses in Hove and Brighton. I resisted the urge to buy anything this except for some very nice freshly backed cupcakes! Always a treat to visit the homes of artists and enjoy the side competition of who has the best cupcakes.  Generally this an affordable and fun way to buy art. The

 At the Claremont there were examples by artist Alison Swan.  The plate with a star fish was my favourite as well as her ceramic shoes. Alberto Martinez is one of my favourite artists and has been regularly showing at the Collectors Selection for the last 4 years. His Cuban style of surrealist paintings keeps getting more accomplished and expensive. I was there on the second day of the Open House and missed out on getting the “Peeping Frogs” painting. All 3 paintings sold out within hours. Such is the demand for this artist. Next year I must get there sooner!

 

Landing alberto martinez

Landing, 2010 by Alberto Martinez

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Celebrating British Design

 

I recently visited the the Victoria and Albert Museum which celebrates British design and creativity from 1948 to the present day with a series of major exhibitions and displays. British design has made wonderful contributions to the world from the practical and austere to the quirky and flamboyant. No matter what there is always something distinctly British. My favourite recent examples are the Dyson air multiplier (a future iconic design?) and the vacuums.

The FreedMan Chair,  Winner of Design Innovation Award

The FreedMan Chair, Winner of Design Innovation Award

There is something nice about being owning a well designed item that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing to look at. It is also some times about buying items built to last. Occasionally these more iconic designs become the collectibles and antiques of the future. The sex pistol designs for the album God Save the Queen capture the spirit of the age that captures attention beyond the punk movement and the music.

The concord was a fantastic design with the sleek streamlined exterior.

Tom Dixon is a British design and manufacturing company of lighting and furniture that came up with the Jack light. A fun design that adds a warm glow to modern interiors.  It was awarded Millenium Mark status in 1997 by the British government and is now part of permanent exhibitions in the V&A and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA.

 

Anglepoise Lamp - £150 in the V&A gift shopI think you would be hard pressed not to find a great example of British Design in any home. The impact of British Design is global in ever aspect  fashion. One of my favourites is how the  Bowler hat has been transformed into a lighting fixture. I would have these in my home if I had the space and decor to fit. My style is relaxed glamour mixed in with bohemian and eclectic items. I look to people like Abigail Ahern and Nicholas Haslam for inspiration.  I love how they both mix the old and the new.

My love of design extends from my small collection of Paragon/Star China/Shelly tea trios to an Anglepoise Lamp.  I am glad to see the route master bus back and the end of those dreadful “bendy buses” that clogged up the roads.

Of course you cannot talk about British design without referencing the symbolism in the Union Jack, the impact of “Royal events” and the Olympics coming to Britain again.

In 1948 London hosted the first Olympic Games after the Second World War. The ‘Austerity Games’ (as they became known) took place at a time of economic crisis in a city devastated by bombing, but they provided a platform for reconciliation and reconstruction. In 2012 Britain welcomes the Olympics once more, and while the spirit remains, the context in which they are taking place has entirely changed.

his summer the high street has responded with Union Jack fashions. My favourite is the dress by Traffic People in chiffon silk. I almost wish they had not been so enthusiastic. In home interiors a few companies started using the print for furniture and wallpaper. It was quite fun and desirable. But like Daniel Westbrooke, and her all out assault on Burberry, she almost single handedly gave the brand their darkest days turning it from desirable to “chav” destroying it over night. It took years for the brand to recover and the pattern she so enthusiastically embraced is still to be avoided all costs.  The overkill on the  print on home interior products is now having the opposite effect. This will happen with all the fashion as well.

Exhibition details http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-british-design/

 

Boots, bells and stars earings

Boots, bells & stars

Boots, bells and stars

Boots, Bells and Stars earrings

 

 These are my latest earrings now on sale at Bow Butterfly. Necklaces coming soon. 

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Berlin Tacheles

 

In November I visited Tacheles in Berlin. It is an absolute must. I love old buildings that have been taken over by artists and at one time wanted to live to in an artist squat.  My friend Carson had a an amazing space on Queen West that was 2,000 square feet and so much fun to hang out. He had these amazing horse swings hanging from the ceiling that I used to ride on. An indoor swing what could be cooler than that? My own attempts at loft living were not so successful.

I rented a loft as my studio at 500 square feet but it would not have been a great living space. The illegalness of most lofts meant you could find yourself on the street quite quickly. The buildings themselves usually lacked in mod cons. Then there was the locations. Usually this meant your entrance would be off some dark alley and in a quiet part of town with poor security.

You had to be incredibly lucky to find a really great place. I can sympathise with them on losing their beautiful old building to development. They loved and used this building when no one else did. I think the problem is in part to not many places where artists can live and work. It is very difficult to afford a big enough home. You have to be prepared to let your life be taken over by art. As a painter myself I know the challenge well. I am limited to doing smaller paintings and painting less often. Cleaning brushes in either the bathroom or kitchen sink is messy.

 

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Odd Molly Loves Ya

I am really loving Odd Mollys S/S collection and have already placed my order. It was a tough decision as I wanted to buy it all. This is pure Swedish style at its best. I have been a devout Odd Molly fan for 5 years now and the pieces are easily wearable each year. Some clothes look dated but never Odd Molly.

Working in an environment wear you can wear anything you like as long as it is black, grey or  navy and means business, it is no wonder I look so forward to the weekends!  So many yummy colours and patterns to drool over.

 

My favourite Odd Molly Purchase from the F/W Collection

Odd Molly

 

 

 

 


Proenza Schouler pleated skirt
$735 – net-a-porter.com

Odd Molly knee length skirt
$108 – yoox.com

Trasparenze black stocking
€5,69 – pret-a-beaute.com

 

Fleur wood book cover
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The Vintage Cool of Peacock Chairs

I had to do it. I needed a chair for my desk for my jewellery making and it had to be the peacock chair to give my office the Boho-Vibe.

In the US  these go for $2,000 for the quality version. There is a real cheap basic version that are more commonly found in back-alley Odds & Sods shops in Florida. In the UK these have yet to become trendy again.

There are stylists that are on the look out for these and snap them up in an instant So if you do spot a good one be quick! If anything these could really go up in value as they are rarer in the UK. And for good reason. Wicker is not known for tolerating UK weather well.

Boho Style

 

vintage peacock chair

The Glamorous Life

Huey P. Newton, Black Panther

Huey P. Newton, Black Panther

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Way We Live Now

Terrance Conran turns 80 and to celebrate his transformation of the British way of life. The exhibition shows his design approach and inspirations from post-war austerity to the present day. His design legacy his huge and this is a fantastic exhibition.

Terrance Conran: The Way We Live Now

16 November 2011 – 04 March

Design Museum

 

Talks and Drawing: Sunday 19 February, 1.30pm
Free with museum entry, no need to book.
This one hour gallery tour will be delivered with a creative twist. Be guided through the exhibition with the opportunity to compile your own sketchbook of drawings responding to the objects in the show. An experienced tour guide will describe the work in the exhibition and a drawing tutor will be at hand to support you through your observational or fantastical sketches. Sketchbooks and materials will be provided.

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Old Turquoise Jewellery

Tribal Jewellery - Old Pawn

Tribal Jewellery – Old Pawn

Kramer

Jewellery By Elke Kramer

Elke Kramer designs some of the most fabulous pieces of statement jewellery.

 

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Dreamy Kaftans by Phyllis Boho

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The Mysterious & Dark World that is Blacks

 

One of the best things I have ever done was to become a member at Blacks. That was over 10 years and the place has only gotten better. While other clubs are flash in the pans. Blacks ages like a fine win. It is in a gorgeous Georgian townhouse with a Dickensian charm. The bohemian romantic decor is the perfect place to have a conversation with friends over a bottle of. Particularly if the conversation is about art, theatre or literary works.

Blacks is the antithesis of trendy and it is step back to the old clubs of old. It is dark, mysterious and poetic. The membership list is full of notable actors, antique dealers, artists, publishers, thespians, musicians and journalists.

Rules: No cell phones, no hats and no chewing gum.

67 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 4QH Map