Stories Unfold!

Every Object Tells a Story, 5 Cromwell Place, London SW7, until 5th July 2017

Installation view
(photo credit: Exhibition Design and Photograph by Charles Marsden-Smedley)

In May 2015 I shared with you the eponymous exhibition Oliver Hoare held at 33 Fitzroy Square, London W1 (Curiosities, 12 May 2015).  This new edition in the former studio of Sir John Lavery RA is even larger, beautifully displayed and crammed with some four hundred intriguing objects which you just do want to learn more about. There is a wonderful catalogue to help achieve that.

Installation view
(photo credit: Exhibition Design and Photograph by Charles Marsden-Smedley)

I shall let Oliver Hoare sum it up: “What is assembled here might look like a modern ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’, an assemblage of the exotic and curious from the four quarters of the world. There is an intention behind it, however, that goes beyond presenting a wide variety of curiosities. We are today linked up to all those four quarters, and while a huge amount of information is available to us, unlike to those who awaited the ships in the ports of Amsterdam, Genoa, Lisbon, London, Marseille, Seville or Venice, the horizon of what interests us seems to have shrunk. The art market is an interesting barometer of this shrinkage. The point is, therefore, that we can connect with the whole world on a more profound level than can be gained from package touring, through the possession of, and study of even the most modest objects of different cultures. The purpose of collecting, as Molière might have put it, should not be limited to becoming rich through the investment in one’s purchases, but to become enriched through the intelligent possession of what one has acquired.”

 

Installation view
(photo credit: Exhibition Design and Photograph by Charles Marsden-Smedley)

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 6pm
(Closed on Mondays (except by appointment))

www.everyobjecttellsastory.com

London Design Festival at the Sir John Soane’s Museum

London Design Festival at the Sir John Soane’s Museum – ‘Below Stairs’

This is the thirteenth edition of the London Design Festival and it runs until the 25th September. Once again the V&A is the Festival’s hub but there is much going on around London (400 events) and further details can be found on the website: londondesignfestival.com.

However I thought I would share this rather special treat at Sir John Soane’s Museum which is part of the Festival with you.  The last seven-year restoration project has just been completed and it means that after a thirty year total the house is fully restored.  New spaces have been opened to the public, including the Regency kitchens in the basement.

Georgian kitchen range in the Soane's Museum back kitchen. Photo: Gareth Gardner

Georgian kitchen range in the Soane’s Museum back kitchen.
Photo: Gareth Gardner

Four designers (Barber Osgerby, Jasper Morrison, Martino Gamper and Paul Cocksedge) visited the kitchens, which retain their original fittings, and were each inspired in turn. Barber Osgerby has installed a table (in Soane Green colour) which reflects how important a focal point it would be in a working kitchen while Paul Cocksedge was interested to see what the effect of just natural light would be. Jasper Morrison was inspired by the Museum’s object in daily use and Martino Gamper’s vases are made from materials found in the Museum.

Below Stairs exhibition in Soane's Museum front kitchen Photo: Gareth Gardner

Below Stairs exhibition in Soane’s Museum front kitchen
Photo: Gareth Gardner

A kitchen, of course, would not be complete without gastronomic smells and so food historian and artist Tasha Marks, founder of AVM Curiosities, has created a series of sensory scent chambers.

Edward Barber, Jay Osgerby's black Port vase in the Soane's Museum front kitchen. Photo: Gareth Gardner

Edward Barber, Jay Osgerby’s black Port vase in the Soane’s Museum front kitchen.
Photo: Gareth Gardner

The Museum’s Operations and Commercial Director, Xanthe Arvanitakis commented: “It is an honour for us to partner with London Design Festival again, especially now in our fourth year running. It’s not only a wonderful community to be a part of, but allows the Museum to continue to share Sir John Soane’s passion for design with the public and design community.”

Martino Gamper's vases on the Soane's Museum kitchen dresser. Photo: Gareth Gardner

Martino Gamper’s vases on the Soane’s Museum kitchen dresser.
Photo: Gareth Gardner

The completed restoration project is a testimonial to Sir John Soane’s protection of the house and collection through an Act of Parliament in 1833 and I feel sure he would enjoy this new display.

Paul Cocksedge Studio Soane's Light Sir John Soane's Museum Photo: Mark Cocksedge

Paul Cocksedge Studio
Soane’s Light
Sir John Soane’s Museum
Photo: Mark Cocksedge

The works will be on show as part of the exhibition ‘Below Stairs’ which runs until 28th January 2017.

 

 

www.soane.org

FOUND – a re-interpretation of the past

FOUND: An exhibition curated by Cornelia Parker, The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1, until 4th September 2016
“In order for something to be found, it has to at some point in its history to have been lost”

Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Found), 2016 © Rachel Whiteread

Rachel Whiteread,
Untitled (Found), 2016
© Rachel Whiteread

This is a hugely engaging exhibition which has been curated by Foundling Fellow Cornelia Parker RA. The idea for it comes from the Museum’s 18th century tokens, a variety of small objects left by mothers as a means of identifying their offspring should they ever be in a position to return to the Foundling Hospital to claim their child.

Bob and Roberta Smith, I Found Love, 2016 © Bob and Roberta Smith

Bob and Roberta Smith,
I Found Love, 2016
© Bob and Roberta Smith

Cornelia and more than sixty invited artists have explored the theme of “found” either through new works or found objects which are displayed alongside the Museum’s historic collections. The involvement of artists recalls the support of William Hogarth and the composer Handel in the Foundling Hospital’s early days.

Thomas Heatherwick, Seventy Years of Stirring, 2015 © Thomas Heatherwick. Photograph by Ed Lyon

Thomas Heatherwick,
Seventy Years of Stirring, 2015
© Thomas Heatherwick.
Photograph by Ed Lyon

Among the artists taking part in this exciting show are:Ron Arad RA, Phyllida Barlow RA, Jarvis Cocker, Richard Deacon RA, Tacita Dean RA, Jeremy Deller, Edmund de Waal, Brian Eno, Antony Gormley RA, Mona Hatoum, Thomas Heatherwick RA, Christian Marclay, Mike Nelson, Laure Prouvost, David Shrigley, Bob and Roberta Smith RA, Wolfgang Tillmans RA, Marina Warner, Gillian Wearing RA and Rachel Whiteread.

Alison Wilding, Cellar Frog,2016 © Alison Wilding. Photograph by Ed Lyon

Alison Wilding,
Cellar Frog,2016
© Alison Wilding.
Photograph by Ed Lyon

foundlingmuseum.org.uk