Pots and pans

I came across this print from the artist Karel Rafferty

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which then reminded me of an exhibition on in Sheffield called “This life is so everyday”.

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It includes these pieces by Margaret Mellis, as snapped by Lara Wardle.

Ruskin

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A fascinating exhibition at Two Temple Place of Ruskin: the art he collected and that inspired him, the art and collections he made, and the makers today inspired by him. It especially made me want to visit the museum in Sheffield that Ruskin founded and that’s still going strong today.

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Dior!

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The Dior exhibition was last year’s sellout in Paris, apparently, and now it’s moved to London where the queues are equally as crazy to get in, and the poses in front of key outfits just as lengthy.

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Cannily, the rooms house garments by style or concept, emphasising the continuity of the idea of Dior, and setting up some interesting juxtapositions.

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Tucked in corners are Dior’s gardening magazines next to a scarf for Princess Margaret; in another room the toiles in stiff whiteness offer an almost Japanese minimalist look.

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In other rooms, it’s all about allowing you to get up close to the details, marvelling at the fine work.

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Mao in Walthamstow

The William Morris Gallery, as well as being free and excellently curated, has a canny eye for a good visiting show. May Morris last year was a good continuation to her father’s work on display; the garden paintings exhibition a nice nod to Morris’ floral designs and the park that the gallery is set in.

This time the visiting exhibition from the Ashmolean of Mao propaganda posters links with the fact that Morris was a publically committed socialist for the last decades of his life, despite the embarrassment many of his artistic friends felt about this. Another link is that towards the end of Mao’s rule artists were encouraged to use traditional painting styles to celebrate modernity’s achievements, something which echoes Morris’ own wish to revive traditional methods.

Its only a small show (1 room), but well worth a visit, and not so large that you don’t have time to see the main house if you haven’t been before.

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Joan Miro Fondacion

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Faced with one last day in Barcelona, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend it inside an art gallery.

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It felt like what I’d do in London and therefore maybe a waste of time in Barcelona where I was meant to be doing something different.

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But in the end, the fact that tickets for the Sagrada Família were sold out freed up the time and a trip to Montjuic meant I could follow up on the numerous recommendations to take in the Joan Miro Fondacion.

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I’d never been a huge Miro fan, but seeing his works in the flesh was a revelation.

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The variety, the fact that he changed tack from painting to textiles to sculpture and back again, constantly innovating was impressive, and the works themselves are housed in a fittingly distinctive building.

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The fondacion also has temporary exhibitions and when I was there it was one on Lee Miller and Surrealism, a pleasant reminder of my Farley Farm visit years ago.

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All photos Nov 2018.

Colour factory

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Coloured crepe, mochi and macarons, magnetic walls, portrait booths, sound rooms and mind maps, ombré balloons and selfie wind machines, spinning plinths, pie charts, dance floors, glitter walls, an alphabet… Magic.

All photos New York, Oct 2018.