Month: February 2011

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Cecil Beaton- Scrapbook

‘Cecil Beaton, The Art of the Scrapbook‘, is a book documenting the musings behind the legendary photographer, with newly revealed images of his own private sketchbook. Beaton’s personal scrapbooks contain clippings and images of society girls and magazine shoots. Having stated that ‘He lived by his eyes’, these books were a way to direct his creative energy and record ideas and inspirations. Beaton sold his archive of scrapbooks to Sotherby’s before his death in 1980, but it was not until 2010 that Martine Assouline directed a new coffee table book, with 8,000 scans, to be published. The publisher, Assouline states that the book is; “Composed of his own prints and clippings from magazines, newspapers, and playbills, the pages are an instructive record of his creative process….To flip through the pages is to enter a fabulous and surreal party where Tallulah Bankhead rubs shoulders with a bust of Voltaire and a portrait of Stravinsky; where Beaton’s first trip on the Queen Mary coincides with Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. Beaton’s scrapbooks allowed the artist to play with pictures …

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The Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair

This afternoon my flatmate and I headed down to Bethnal Green for the Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair, hosted by Judy’s in York Hall. We were really taken with the vintage french magazines but unfortunately did not part with our cash for them, the photos below will have to suffice. Other very affordable purchases included some vintage cigarette tins, as well as, old watch faces, later to be transformed into individual necklaces. The Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair also have a blog, which is well worth a look.

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Sohei Nishino- The Diorama Map Series

This exhibition at the Michael Hoppen Contemporary Art Gallery, in London, is showcasing the recent work of Sohei Nishino. Nishino, creates vast contemporary photographic dioramas, minute in detail, which map out his personal interpretation of cities. “Nishino’s collages are not precise geographic recreations, but an imperfect mix of landmarks and iconic features conceived from his personal ‘re-experiencing’ of a city. Never before exhibited outside of Asia, Michael Hoppen Contemporary will present the Diorama Map series for his inaugural European show, featuring ten of Nishino’s most striking collages as well as his latest creation: the map of London. When photographing London, Nishino walked the entire city on foot for a month, wandering the streets and recording from every possible angle, from building tops to get an overview of the Gherkin, to shooting in step with the Queen’s Guard marching on the Mall. In total he used over 300 rolls of black and white film and took over 10,000 pictures. In the following three months Nishino selected some 4,000 of these photographs, hand printed in his own dark room, which he then meticulously pieced together …

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Lantern by AWP & Atelier Oslo

This ‘Norwegian Wood’ lantern was part of the program The Cultural Capital of Europe 2008, an international architecture competition. This scheme aimed at public regeneration of Norway’s second fastest developing city, Sandnes, which needed revitalisation and lacked a definable identity. The leading architect was AWP, an award winning practice based in Paris, combined with the efforts of Atelier Oslo. The intentions were as follows; “In the lantern, we have interpreted husformen, which already exists in the old wooden house environment in Long Street.A transparent roof made of wood and glass being held up by 4 søyleknipper. To give the ceiling a light and abstract expression, all elements in the ceiling are exactly the same dimensions, so that they appear without the primary and secondary bearing.The columns branching out into the ceiling to distribute the load in the roof and down the ground for stabilizing forces.The columns are moved under construction, so that they are protected.This is also done to erase the distinction between covered and not covered outdoor space. We did not want the roof …

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London Street Photography- Museum of London

These street photos, from the 19th Century to the present day, offer a glimpse into city life; “a fortunate encounter, a fleeting expression, a momentary juxtaposition, capturing an ever-changing city.” The museum says: “This major new exhibition at the Museum of London showcases an extraordinary collection of London street photography with over 200 candid images of everyday life in the street. From sepia-toned scenes of horse-drawn cabs taken on bulky tripod-mounted cameras to 21st century Londoners digitally ‘caught on film’, explore how street photography has evolved from 1860 to the present day. Examine the relationship between photographers, London’s streets and the people who live on them, and reflect on the place of photography on London’s streets today as anti-terrorism and privacy laws grow ever tighter.” These little vignettes allow us to look back over time to different eras in London, and uncover the city’s various characters going about their daily lives.

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Hoppé Portraits- Society, Studio & Street- National Portrait Gallery

An exhibition to look forward this month is Hoppé Portraits- Society, Studio & Street, at the National Portrait Gallery from 17th February to 30th May. Hoppé was one of the most influential photographers of his time, during the 1920s and 1930s, and was well renowned for his brilliant portrayal of personality through his black and white photos, revealing something truly intimate about the sitter. I particuarly like the off-guard portraits of the British public, and how they reveal segments of people’s lives around the UK at the beginning of the 20th Century. The exhibition is described as; “Featuring 150 works, The exhibition includes Hoppé’s strikingly modernist portraits of society figures and important personalities from the worlds of literature, politics and the arts, including George Bernard Shaw, Margot Fonteyn, Albert Einstein, Vita Sackville-West and members of the royal family. These studio portraits will be shown alongside his fascinating photojournalist studies of everyday British people ranging from street musicians and circus performers to bus drivers and postmen, which capture the realities of day-to-day life between the wars”. See:  ‘Like a …