Tag Archives: art

Bunnies for life (not just for Easter)

If, like me, you adore HAM’s prints featuring the quirky antics of a unflappable rabbit going about his daily business (as they do), then you’ll love artist Jo’s latest designs:

Ham Print via findthedetails.com HAM print via findthedetails.com Ham print via findthedetails.com HAM print via findthedetails.com HAM print via findthedetails.com

[All images, courtesy HAM]

The yoga print is my favourite – the perfect gift for a real life yoga bunny?

With a long weekend in sight, who knows, maybe you’ll be joining him as he takes up yoga, does a little DIY, or heads to the seaside (let me know if you make it to the trapeze…)

Shop the prints, plus cards and bone china mugs directly at HAM.

Happy Easter! Jx

 

Endless Stair: new installation at Tate Modern, Sept 2013

I’m still loving the summer months and definitely not wishing the warm temperatures away, but now I’m starting to think about September, when London goes completely design crazy.

Unmissable events include interior design trade shows, from the all-encompasssing Decorex to the cutting edge 100% Design and the London Design Festival which includes, amongst other events, Tent London in the east and Chelsea Design Quarter events in the west. The festival takes place at locations throughout the city from 13 September to 10 October, and this dramatic installation is one of the highlights:

endless stair

[Endless Stair, by dRMM with AHEC, image Cityscape via London Design Week]

The Endless Stair will be located just outside the Tate Modern, making this part of London’s South Bank even more worth a visit.

Constructed from hardwood (the structure is sponsored by the American Hardwood Export Council, and created by Architects dRMM) the M.C.Escher-inspired installation will be open to walk up and along during the day and can be admired, illuminated, at night time.

September’s looking to be a busy month, design-wise: I can’t wait.

Architecture News: Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, 2013: launch week

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, an annual temporary structure in the heart of central London, draws architecture experts and lovers from around the world during its brief life in Kensington Gardens. The temporary nature of the building is key: its impermanence allows its architects to create awe-inspiring spaces that challenge our perception of what, in fact, makes a building.

This year the architect in question is internationally highly-respected Sou Fujimoto, and he has chosen to create a mysterious, airy, confusing, awe-inspiring space made from thousands of latticed thin steel poles: 

Serpentine-SFA-3023 01A_serpentinegallery 01B_serpentinegallery Serpentine SFA 2773 Press page Serpentine-SFA-2740 Serpentine-SFA-2773

[Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, 2013, designed by Sou Fujimoto, Image credit Iwan Bann

These poles give the pavilion an ethereal semi-trasnparent appearance both on approach and within: it was important to his design that the pavilion is set within the leafy surroundings of Kensington Gardens. Fujimoto, describing his design work: ‘A new form of environment will be created, where the natural and man-made merge…. not soley architectural nor solely natural, but a unique meeting of the two’.

Visit the pavilion until 20 October, for more information about The Serpentine Gallery click here. 

Vintage football memorabilia? In Tunbridge Wells? And a whirlwind shopping trip…

A flying visit into The Pantiles, in Tunbridge Wells, specifically to get a present for a football-mad friend. With its nationwide reputation for all that’s genteel in life, Tunbridge Wells may seem an unlikely place to shop for football related gifts, but I was there for half an hour this morning and came away successful….

2013-05-01 10.50.12

2013-05-01 11.03.28 2013-05-01 10.48.54

2013-05-01 10.49.47

2013-05-01 10.47.38

Amongst the elegant Georgian colonnades are shops selling a very English mix of quality kitchens and cookware; beautiful dresses for children and brides; cameras and curtain poles and lots of covetable vintage. First up was Barnett Fry in the Corn Exchange (no website, call them on 01892 525929): this tiny shop is filled with collectable books, toys, children’s books and masses of football memorabilia:  

2013-05-01 10.44.05

Whilst the Pantiles Bookshop sells bargain priced secondhand paperbacks, plus toys and good quality secondhand hardbacks in store:

2013-05-01 10.49.15

But I’d come here for a different reason, so I had to turn away from the beautiful plants and decorative garden accessories at Gardener & Cook:

2013-05-01 11.02.47

And also from this delicate, patterned, colourful antique Chinese porcelain at Yiju

2013-05-01 10.48.12

At the The Spa Galleries (01892 542647) I loved this contemporary butterfly print, and these original black and white original etchings from the 1950s – 1960s:

2013-05-01 10.59.39 2013-05-01 10.59.48 

But this whirlwind shopping trip had another purpose: to shop for a PASSIONATE Everton supporter’s birthday: so this is what I came home with…. I hope he’s pleased!

2013-05-01 13.07.11

You can discover more about The Pantiles here – regular weekend markets take place along its length, with even more stalls selling vintage buys; there are also food festivals, where stalls sell local produce grown and/or created in Kent and Sussex (I’m heading back soon….)

Food for Thought: Creativity on a plate

Malaysian artist/architect Hong Yi  (who goes by the nickname Red), has set herself a challenge: to create a piece of art every day during this month of March, using only food, styled on a simple, white porcelain plate.

The results are stunning, clever and inventive:

8 10 13 1 7

From the top: ‘I found a dragon in my dragonfruit’Dogs in Oreos; Banksy – made from Nori and Apple; Water Melon; Adaptation of the Great Wave with rice (Can you spot Mount Fuji?).

Take a look at more either via Red’s Instagram feed or her website.

Art in found objects; Hong Hao

Anyone who’s ever picked up shells on a beach knows how easily found objects can make their way into our homes….  But Chinese artist Hong Hao takes this to another level, with his highly detailed photographic artworks that focus on the ephemera and belongings in his life.

By combining images of his belongings – whether treasured for years or standard household clutter – Hong Hau gives a unique, artist’s view of our human desire to collect:   artwork_images_424109330_629909_-honghao

The Long March in Panjiayuan (2004) (above)

707233

If you’re lucky enough to be in Beijing over the next few weeks you can catch a  exhibition of Hong Hao’s most recent work at the Pace Gallery (From 16 March to  April 27), including my favourite, above: As It Is – The Writings of a Hundred (pencil on found paper 2011)  

artwork_images_424891678_399706_-honghaoMy Things: Book Keeping of 06C (2007) Hong Hao

[All images from Artnet]

All you need to buy this Christmas* – gift shopping sorted in 10

If, like me, you can’t move for pages of gift suggestions falling out of this weekend’s newspapers, then don’t despair… here’s a capsule collection of 10 modern classics to solve your Christmas shopping angst.

These (subjective, obviously) fabulous, mainly design-led products for should cover ideas for most of the family: some come with a little country-twist, but most are good for townies too….

zeenashah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 – Zeena Shah cushions: Zeena is one of the hottest textile designers around right now. Her cushion motifs are fresh, current and just a little bit folksy.

Buy for: yourself!; textile lovers, anyone who likes to sit comfortably… 

bookend_004_2_1024x1024-001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 – Paul Cocksedge Invisible Bookend: This is such a brilliant piece of design. It’s functional, witty, it doesn’t require any fitting, and yet holds around 1.5 metres worth of books. For me, just what modern design should be about.

Give to: cutting edge design enthusiasts, DIY avoiders, keen readers… 

cambridge satchel company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 – Cambridge Satchel Company satchel. I grew up in Cambridge, and when I started school my mum gave me a (brown) leather satchel which I LOATHED. Complete with brown uniform, brown satchel, and topped off with pink-framed NHS glasses, I was a true child of my time.

Now I’ve grown up and so has the satchel: I love it in red, but the metallic ones are covetable too…

Give to: yourself, again! Your sister. Grown up nieces. Anyone who travels by bike. 

owls

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Makers and Brothers Owls – I keep wondering when the owl as a motif will stop being popular, but till then you’ve got to love these owls by Cleo. Made in Ireland using Irish tweed and felt, they look just as cute individually as they do shown here in a group.

Give to: you could give them to others, but wouldn’t you miss them? 

opinel knife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5: Opinel knife: Made in France, outdoorsy company Opinel have designed this round-tipped knife specifically for children  it’s the perfect whittling knife for boys and girls who love the outdoors and comes in several colours from red to pink, green and blue. My 10 year old loves the responsibility of having his own pen knife (yes it too took me a while to adjust from the knee-jerk reaction – a child, with a knife – I have only just moved from sarf-east London!). Picnic-loving or camping adults will also enjoy it. A safety catch keeps it either open or closed, and the round tip is also a safety aspect. (Opinel say from 7+ but for common sense reasons, only give to responsible children).

Give to: sensible older boys and girls, outdoorsy types, al fresco diners, glampers 

Beesnees_01_0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 – Beesnees by EsterComunello from TwentyTwentyOne: One of my favourite contemporary design stores stocks these quirky bee houses: sold as a set of three. Encourage solitary bumble bees to live in your garden and help our ecosystem. Made from wood and steel, they’re small enough for even the tiniest town garden.

Give to: gardeners, nature lovers, town and country dwellers 

Layout 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Capital Spice cookbook: We all love a currry, and this newly published cook book is a brilliant gift for anyone who – loves to cook, and/or loves curry, and/or loves London and/or loves to eat out at Indian restaurants.

Top notch London-based chefs share inside info and recipes, so we can recreate these tastes at home. (Ed.Chrissie Walker, published by Absolute Press).

Give to: A great gift for men who love to cook 

hampton woods boards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Hampson Woods chopping board. Suddenly the humble chopping board has become a designer item, and there are plenty to choose from, but these are my favourites. Hand-carved in their Hackney workshops with wood from the London Plane tree, the boards are beautifully smooth to the touch.

Give to: lovers of contemporary design, keen cooks 

210100-001

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 – After Noah House of Marbles  62 piece marble run. After Noah was one of the first shops to stock unique pieces of retro and vintage accessories. They also  choose their toys well: classic in design, but most importantly, fun to play with!

Give to: boys and girls from 3+

scissors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Baker Ross  Scissors Carousel: Not a great image but a perfect present for any child who loves to make and craft. Each pair of coloured scissors cuts a different pattern. Again, for common sense reasons, supervision will be needed for little ones.

Give to: boys and girls from 3+ 

 

 

Let me know what you think: Happy shopping!

(*FYI none of these are sponsored links, they’re just lovely products, in my opinion, which I’ve discovered this autumn whilst researching  for my ‘real’ job)