Last Saturday was our last "going out in London" of 2014 (and we already have a few lined up for 2015).
Our first stop was a mere five minutes walk from our train station (Liverpool Street): Old Spitalfields market.
We have traded three times at Old Spitalfields in 2014 and want to increase our presence there next year (fingers crossed) and so went to check out the Pop-Up Vintage Fair which looks like another good option for us to trade at. It is a very successful and exciting market. As always, there were some great stalls in attendance.
We stopped to say hi to Michelle from the fabulous Fairground Fables and gawp at her inimitable creations.
We also loved Clark and Robinson's stall, full of great repro stuff... They came all the way from South Devon!
In the art market section, we encountered the fantastical creations of Bristol-based book sculpture artist Alexander Korzer-Robinson and 3D printer Robert Robinson. Together, they are Rokoro.
There is a great picture gallery HERE from the Telegraph newspaper. Stunning stuff!
The 19th Century had William Morris.
We apparently only have Russel Brand.
What does it say about the sorry state of our society?
Answers on a postcard.
Anarchy and Beauty: William Morris and his legacy at the National Portrait Gallery was absolutely fascinating and so inspiring!
It drew the portrait of an incredible man, an indefatigable creative with many passions and missions.
Yes, he had big ideas about art and society and the way they could interact to make our world a better place, but contrary to most before and after him, he actually DID things and got his hands dirty many times over: he tried many different art forms and crafts, had a go at prose and poetry, became an inspiration for artists and politicians alike. He was a socialist and he lived and worked in the middle of an incredible network of artists, writers, thinkers, educationalists and reformists. He was the core, the nucleus of that network, its trailblazing father figure. Just looking at the exhibits and reading the captions made me feel some kind of elation: those people were extraordinary, so energetic. They just got things done. No time wasted on shrill outrage on social media for them: they rolled up their sleeves and did some real work. I was quite taken with Edward Carpenter and will research him further.
Now, of course, I couldn't help looking at Morris's ideas about the nature of Socialism and his Utopian aspirations with cynicism. He was indeed an idealist who made a seriously erroneous evaluation of human nature. He believed in the power of beauty to transform people's lives I actually agree with this) and he was adamant that art, knowledge and beauty were what people really wanted (I disagree with this. Just look around you. If only...)
Unfortunately, history has revealed since that Socialism is the exact opposite of freeing people though art, ideas and beauty...
Still, it is very important that ideas circulate, are discussed and, most importantly, are trialed in real life.
William Morris and his work inspired the Labour Party; Prime Minister Clement Attlee in particular was a big admirer of Morris's vision. Can you believe this? Can you imagine people like Tony Blair and Ed Milliband being inspired by such a Renaissance man such as Morris?
And were is our very own William Morris?
Mike Leigh's Mr Turner is a jewel of a movie. The sets are fabulous - several scenes look just like paintings. The acting is wonderful, the action is slow burning and takes its time to dwell on the untold folds of relationships between people; Mike Leigh develops his movie just like a painter would work on his/her canvas: it is slow burning, rich in details and illuminated by genuine brushstrokes of brilliance.
The wonderful Timothy Spall brings the painter to life splendidly in all his gruffness, his misanthropy and his genius.
There's genuine warmth and some satire. There's sadness and humour and ugliness and the chaotic beauty of Turner's works of art are a constant focus of attention.
I'm off to study Turner's biography.
Here's the trailer. Go and see it!
THE TELEGRAPH REVIEW HERE.
THE GUARDIAN REVIEW HERE.
I think therefore I write.
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