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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Swedish Fashion Exhibition

Fashion and Textile Museum, 6th February - 17th May 2009

Written by Jennifer McNulty

Tuesday February 10th

In Oxford? Get to the Jam Factory for the latest group show from Collective Era. “Chaos in Continuum” is a combination of old and new from this collective known for their bright, link store intense and hyper-surreal work, clinic incorporating elements of contemporary fine art, buy information pills urban art and surrealism within their collaborative paintings.

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Wednesday February 11th

Lisson Gallery is worth a visit for two reasons at the moment. Lisson Presents, brings together the work of both new and already represented artists; fans of Bergman might like the piece from Igor & Svetlana Kopystiansky, who use footage from Persona centering on Liv Ullmann’s gaze. There is also a new work from Gerard Byrne, photographer and film maker for whom this will be the first solo show in the UK for two years, including a dramatized script of interviews conducted with prisoners of war awaiting the Nuremberg trails.

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Thursday February 12th

Index will the first exhibition in a British institution from leading American artist Sean Snyder, running at the ICA until April 19th. His work is often conflict based, with images that document the Cold War, the Iraq War, and Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, throughout which Snyder explores the subjective nature of propaganda, the ethics of reportage, the staging and manipulation of images, and the changing role of photojournalists in the era of consumer digital imaging.

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Friday February 13th

Whilst rifling through fabrics for a penguin suit in Soho, I found myself standing in line besides Caroline McCambridge, a striking array of materials piled on her arms. I couldn’t help asking what it was all for, to which she explained that she was an artist in the process putting together an installation for an upcoming show. A little google here and there and I have found Dubbing Light, a new exhibition at Kingsgate Gallery starting on Thursday. With improvisation at the centre of both their works, McCambridge and Aya Fukami will produce a two-part evolving exhibition starting life in colour and moving towards monochromatic pieces in the second week. I’m intrigued to see what she’ll do with all that fabric, and I promised I’d wear my penguin suit.

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Caroline McCambridge – Plastic Space 2005


Sunday February 15th

There’s an all day event at Limoncello Gallery this Sunday, though I couldn’t quite tell you what it will involve. The so-called “Vanity Affairs” are annual occasions at Limoncello from Giorgio Sadotti. It’s all about grassroots art work in London and is very vaguely described. If you like surprises, then do go along.

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Why haven’t we included fiction? Well exactly. So when we received some short stories from Sharlene Teo we thought it would be great opportunity to bring together writers and illustrators, page making ourselves the literary equivalent of matchmaker dot com. In time for heartbreak day we have a sorry tale of a girl and her cats, page ten of them. Something more light-hearted about Amelia Earhart to come.
Words: Sharlene Teo
Illustration: Anna Wadham

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The day you left, ten cats appeared on my doorstep out of nowhere and would not budge. They sat by my muddy shoes regarding me dolefully, as if offering some sort of respite, some sort of mockery, some sort of consolation. I had no choice but to let them into my cramped one-bedroom flat for tea. The living room was the bedroom was the dining room. We sat around a shoe-rack, which I’d turned into a makeshift table, these ten cats and I. I tried to make conversation. But being cats and not humans, they were honest. They didn’t say anything.
 
We had tea and weak cookies until the sun folded itself on to dark strips on the wall. The shadows made me think of hand puppets. I knew, then, as an hour segued into the next that you had well and truly left me, and, by extension, I had well and truly left you. Oh, I wasn’t going anywhere. But there it was, I could almost see it silhouetted in cat’s ears, the outline of patient paws- this growing, gnawing, intractable distance. Thin as blocked light, but strong as a planet.
 
I knew you would leave but I knew it gradually, the way we learn language. The language of absence is filled in punctuation-first; the commas, the ellipses, the loping brackets. A full stop the first time we could regard each other seriously, and I wasn’t myself, I was a separate entity, unremarkable and noncommittal, could have been anyone else.
 
The cats stayed in my house but politely shitted on the potted plants. I only had three potted plants, on the balcony outside, but how they thrived. They grew and arched until they were full, strong trees, all-but blocking out the light. My flat became a greenhouse, a forest, and a haven for the cats that bred like rabbits and judged me with their casual grace and indolent flawlessness.
 
You went out to dinner, just across the street. Peering through the branches I could see you putting your coat on a chair, pulling a chair out for a girl. You were having dinner with two girls, maybe friends, maybe one day, one of them or one by one, a lover. There was nothing dramatic, for today- just three people, sitting down to dinner. Drawing out the menus, inaudibly deciding between chicken or lamb, a soup or a salad.

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Me, I petted the seventh cat that had been born three days ago, a slip of a thing. I held it in my palm like a Palm Pilot and I had my dinner. Cat nip, because that was all we had around here, as we gathered around the 8 o clock soap opera. The grandmother cat, the first to have appeared after you left (the sound of your shoes dispersing like marbles) was especially fond of a certain actor. She purred appreciatively when he appeared. I found it very random because he was a supporting actor; in fact, he was the postman having an affair with the bitter matriarch. I thought about affairs and I couldn’t imagine having another- perhaps hyperbolically, perhaps realistically. I mean, maybe I could spend my whole life in this cream-walled apartment with my multiplying cats, the scarce sunlight, and little consolation. Perhaps I’d always sit here on my grandmother’s knitted quilt, hankering after a cure or else a stupid ideal.
 
Across the road, three strangers had dinner. None of them knew me. This is falsely true or truly false. Maybe one day in a space age somewhere they will invent a button you can press to so casually turn truth into fiction, or history into excess; spare paper you can fold and cut off. The thing is, I’m no wiser than a wheezing cat, a frivolous kitten. I know nothing; I’m so immature. My heart does not mend. It merely transfers from hurt to hurt and from love to great love. I need this to subsist upon, because my days are getting thick with hairballs and silence.
 
Yet if you set back the clock to the minute you’d just gone, I wouldn’t know what to do. I’ve tried to pickle that moment, but it is obstinately inedible. I suppose I would just stand there, in my mind racing after you, stumbling on my words and shoes, trying to unpick what I’ve stitched over forever.
 
It’s like a ball of yarn, rolling inexorably out of touch. I have dreams of leaving, but I’m right here when I wake up.
 
I say Sweden, viagra dosage you say…Ikea? ABBA? Ulrika Johnsson? Great fashion design might not be one of the first things that pops into your head – but this will change once you visit the Swedish Fashion: Exploring a New Identity exhibition, here which is on at the Fashion and Textile Museum.

The work of 13 of the countries most exciting and talented designers is showcased against a stark silver and white (some might say Ikea-esque) interior backdrop, this web giving all the pieces room to shine.

The new identity mentioned in the title is that of challenging the notion that Sweden is just a land of bubbly blondes. And these designers certainly do that.

The most established of the designers on show are Ann-Sofie Back and Sandra Backlund, who set the bar high with their designs but their compatriots don’t dissappoint, also showing strong, individual pieces.

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An example of Ann-Sofie Back’s simple yet elegant designs that are on show.

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Amazing sculptured knitwear from Sandra Backlund, redefining the idea that knitwear should be restricted to scarves and cardigans.

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Lovisa Burfitt’s creations have a highly theatrical, dramatic edge. She cites punk, goth and rock music and styles as a major influence.

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Due to the accessible way the clothes are displayed, you can easily see all aspects of the outfit, such as the interesting back on this Martin Bergstrom piece.

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The unusually titled Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, otherwise known as husband and wife Lee Cotter and Astrid Olsson. Their exaggerated and unusual shapes call to mind such greats as Viktor and Rolf, which is good company to be in.

While walking around the exhibits, a large screen plays clips of the designers, showing them at work and creating the pieces, adding depth to the clothes that you see before you.

There is also a display of Swedish jewellery designers at this interesting and informative exhibition.

Swedish Fashion: Exploring a New Identity
Fashion and Textile Museum
6th February – 17th May 2009
Tickets: £5 / £3 Students and concessions / under 12′s free

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2 Responses to “Swedish Fashion Exhibition”

  1. Danielle says:

    I saw this about a month ago. It really turned around a grey, boring Sunday. I meant to do a blog post on it but I frequently suffer from bouts of laziness.

    The Fashion&Textile Museum is an amazing place and since Zandra Rhodes lives in an apartment at the top of the building, it is not uncommon to see her whilst on your museum visit. I was very surprised once to see her chatting away to visitors in the gift shop. She had her trade mark pink hair and was wearing paint spattered white overalls.

  2. Ruth says:

    Hey such a cool exhibition I just wrote a blog on the style of the Swedes!

    check it out http://blog.matchesfashion.com/

    Ruth

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