Friday, 28 January 2011

Barbican and Burlington House

One day and two iconic galleries; equal ambassadors of the arts yet speaking disparate languages in terms of architecture.

How much are our experiences influenced by the surroundings in which they occur? Yesterday I spent the afternoon at the Barbican and Burlington House, visiting two phenomenal fashion exhibitions (Future Beauty: 30 years of Japanese Fashion and Aware, Art, Fashion and Identity respectively) yet finding myself absorbed not just in the clothes, but in the imposing buildings that housed them.

Like Marmite and the Tate Modern, with the Barbican you either love it or you hate it. Europe's largest arts venue, the Barbican Centre was designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon in the 1970s. A true definition of Brutalist architecture, it really is brutal. Awkward, angular, moody and far from pretty: the Barbican is the teenage boy of architecture.

In 2003 the Centre was awarded the accolade of London's Ugliest Building. Three years earlier, however, the Barbican was given a Grade 2 listing.

The hulking concrete building continues to divide opinions, mine included. I never used to like the Barbican. Looming and gloomy, not to mention a nightmare to navigate around, it never used to appeal that much.

As I have grown up, however, it seems the teenage boy has too. And I have been wooed. Exhibition aside , a day spent walking through and around the Barbican had me transfixed. There was beauty in the symmetry, and calm in the cavernous interior. Crisp corners, graphic squares and fabulously straight lines had me staring skyward; up, up and up at those towering concrete walls.

It may be a design cliché, but maybe the line between ugliness and beauty is a fine one after all.
Over at Piccadilly the classic Burlington House makes for a more traditional art gallery. The 17th Century mansion is undeniably beautiful. No one would be voting for this as London's Ugliest Building.

The contrast between these two famous buildings is one of the reasons why I love London. The historic and the modern, the traditional and the controversial. All in one city.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

London Life

Other than imagining living in a Notting Hill house with a pink door, nothing makes me much happier than walking around London. You would never imagine that I actually live here when I embark on one of my wide-eyed wanderings, straining my neck to take in every corner and crevice of city. Cheeks pinched pink with enthusiasm and the cold I must appear like an over-eager child.

Perhaps it comes from growing up in a tiny country town where my excitement came via copies of Vogue and regulated doses of city visits.

But maybe it's just because I live in one of the best cities in the world.

From St Paul's to the street art I have developed an obsession for, to stumbling onto a film set where a tuxedoed Stephen Fry stood surrounded by walking vegetables... London never ceases to amaze.


Monday, 17 January 2011

Think Pink

A grey day in London town has dampened my spirits (not to mention my feet). Today went something like this: dragged myself from my bed (like rousing a hibernating bear), gloomy bus journey spent pinching myself to keep my sleepy head from lolling onto the comfortable-looking shoulder of my neighbour, running down Oxford Street in the rain, my red heels splashing through lagoons gathering on the pavement, lectures, library, assignment panic, bus home, cavernous cupboards and empty fridge, uni work, pjamas, rain.

On rainy days like these there is just one colour I crave to brighten up my life.

Yes, you guessed it.

I'm thinking pink.

Elle Feb 2011
Christopher Kane Spring 2011
Lula Magazine
Dior Spring 2011
Vogue Feb 2011
Mulberry Spring 2011
Pink Februaries...
Feb 2010
Feb 2008
Feb 2007
Feb 2006
Feb 2005
Feb 2003

All of these words and all of these pictures, and all of these small scraps of purpose and intention and dreams...

Will walk along side of me and keep me company, on this my great journey...

And will serve to remind me to savour all my days spent upon this earth
Funny Face