Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Art of Life, the art of Death

It seems like it has been a long time since I've posted on my blog, so I will have to do better in future!  In my defence, I must say I have been on holiday in France, and that had taken me away from the computer.  (Not being savvy enough to have a laptop/travelling technology with me.)

In order to give ourselves some time in London before catching  the Eurostar go over to Lille, in France, Gorgeous Husband and I decided to stay overnight in the Big City and tootle around a bit.  Although we have been in London lots of times, this time we decided to amuse ourselves almost exclusively by going to the British Museum.  What a treasure house that place is!  A real visual feast --a complete banquet for the eyes.  Thank goodness I couldn't buy any of the pieces or I'd be broke!

The atrim of the British Museum

                               This is a ram in a thicket, an Egyptian piece from 2500 B.C.

                          These fish amulets were found on Queen Puabi of Egypt's right arm.

Some more of her fabulous jewellery.

I forgot to note where this is from, Mesopotamia, I think.  Love it!

This fabulous brass horse was used on a horse harness, and comes from Bologna, 750-700 BC.

Gorgeous Husband and I were all agog at the incredible craftsmanship and also the great age of the pieces.  We loved the Egyptian gallery, looking at the items put in the graves, the jars for the internal organs, the mummies, and the elaborate decorations that were painted within the wooden sarcophagus itself.  All beautifully detailed and as colourful as if they were just finished, yet had been sealed up for thousands of years.  Slightly spooky!  I can hardly imagine the excitement the first Europeans would have felt when they unearthed the coffins.

After we had worn our feet out at the British Museum, we decided to take in an art exhibit that we had chanced upon, which was in the crypt of St. Pancras Church.  It seemed a bit appropriate after looking at all the grave finery in the museum.

This exhibiton was called "Dare to Wear" which was a wildy exuberant, colourful display of "outsider art" (for want of a better term.)  It was curated by Sue Kreitzman and incorporated the works of 26 individual artists who embraced colour and energy and verve and pizzazz as if they were no tomorrow.  Indeed, the sign outside did warn: "Don't wear beige, it might kill you!"

For myself, it was like unexpectedly meeting a rock star.  I had seen the works of Sue Kreitzman on the internet, and to meet her in person, was like, well, wow!  (This also stands for Wild Old Women, so a pretty appropriate all round description of my experience!)

This is the link to Sue's website:  (Once again, I hope I had managed to add the link correctly.)

Here I am with Sue Kreitzman, which was a real thrill for me.  I loved the fabulous coats, both the one on the mannequin and the one Sue is wearing.

This is a close-up of Sue's necklac.  Doesn't it look great with the coat?

This is what Sue Kreitzman wrote in the catalogue about the exhibit, DARE TO WEAR:

Don't leave art to lanquish on the walls.
Wrap yourself, festoon, engulf and adorn yourself.
Glory in texture, colour and spectacle.
Erupt into the world: brash, glittering, bejewelled, and multicoloured.
Dare to be a graffito, a collage, an assemblage.
Burst into art, and you will change your world forever.

Wow!  What a concept!!  Talk about kicking the idea of the timid older woman wearing pastels into next week.

Here are some more images from the exhibition, which runs at St. Pancras Church, Euston Road, London, NW1 2BA until November 4, 2012 (closed Mondays).  If you want to have your eyes electrified with colour, by all means go.  No, really, I mean it: GO!   If you're brave enough, there is a special evening event on November 1 (Dia de los Muertos-- the Mexican Day of the Dead) from 6:30 til 9:00.  It should be a riot!

Sue Kreitzman finished off the introduction to the exhibition's catalogue with these words, "Because we are exhibiting in a crypt, we continue to mull over the most fascinating wardrobe conundrum of all: what will we wear in the Afterlife?" 

It certainly boggled my mind, and with the grave imagery from the museum still whizzing around in my head along with the art exhibit, I found it difficult to get to sleep! Too much excitement for one day!


Vix said...

I love Queen Puabi's jewellery too much!
Sue Kreitzman's exhibition looks wonderful, what a cool and colourfully dressed lady she is.Totally agree with wearing art, too! x

pastcaring said...

The British Museum is such an amazing place.
That exhibition looks great too. No beige or pastels allowed! xxx

Jean at said...

Hallo Darling!! You have been taking in so much art and excitement!! Isn't wonderful to be infused with another vision?!! I'm so glad you've had this experience, and I appreciate you being able to share it with me! Amazing.

Melanie said...

Wow, cool day trip, although it creeps me out that the jewellery in the museum was taken from corpses. Sue is fantastic! In your first pic it looks like the atrium ceiling is an enormous hat. I hope you had a great time in France!

The Style Crone said...

First of all, a holiday in France sounds absolutely fabulous to me! Hope to hear more.

Your tales of the British Museum and the Dare to Wear Exhibit were amazing to read. I loved Sue Kreitzman's art and her words. It makes sense to create a collage for oneself and celebrate every moment of life.

Mrs. D said...

The British Museum, a place I have yet to visit! Thanks for the peek!
As for the other exhibit, it looks so vibrant and full of life...

rose jan said...

What a nice and cozy coat. Perfect with that necklace. You'll gonna be an instant queen if you wear those.

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