Live it: Post and Power exhibition at the V & A

Grace Jones in a maternity dress designed by Jean-Paul Goude and Antonio Lopez
Photo Courtesy of the V&A

A day off from work presented H with an opportunity to go to her favourite museum, the V&A.  It was an opportunity to see two exhibitions that I have been looking forward to seeing, Postmodernism and the Power of Making.

Firstly to the temporary exhibition spaces, for the Postmodernism Exhibition.  The entrance way had a huge neon sign which was a sign of what was to come.  With neon backlit text panels, the normal exhibition text had been re-invented for this show.  Walking through the spaces, you moved from architecture to objects which "explored the radical ideas that challenged modernism" (in the V&A's words).   It took me back to my student days of reading the book 'Learning from Las Vegas' and watching Blade Runner in my lectures to help us see how Postmodernism was a way of life for the time and effected everyone's attitude to popular culture.

There were items that we can all relate to, from teapots and side tables to Annie Lennox's clothes.  There was even the references to the start of hip hop DJing with Grandmaster Flash and the graphic design of posters from the Hacienda in Manchester and magazine design.  For me it was a time that brought together many different design disciplines, some for the first time.  It is a notion that is still explored today, with architects designing products for their buildings and how popular culture influences fashion and graphic design especially.

I am now looking forward to the Postmodern weekend at the end of October for my next fix and Halloween avoiding weekend.  You can check it all out here:

Next on my list was the Power of Making, an exhibition which is very close to this blog's heart.  It is run in conjunction with the Crafts Council to "celebrate the role of making in our lives".  The objects varied from clothes and shoes, through to car manufacturing and sculpture.  David Mach's Coat Hanger Gorilla was an impressive site at the entrance way to the exhibition.  Made from wire coathangers to form the shape, it cuts an impressive figure in front of you.  You can also find another of his works, an Astronaut at the Royal Jordanian Airlines Headquarters in Hammersmith,, London.

Image Courtesy of

Walking around the exhibition you could explore how robots help to make and that the skilled craftsperson is in decline, but that is starting to revive itself now as people want handmade and unique more than mass production and mundane items.

The Widow Dressmaker Pin Dress by Susie MacMurray also caught my eye as it is made of thousands of dressmaking pins to hold the shape of a beautiful dress.  I am not entirely sure who could or would want to wear it, but it makes a beautiful piece to look at, through the glimmer of exhibition lighting!  It did get me thinking though that does the dress stay as a fashion piece or is it then sculpture?

You can also see a great article about it here:

After all that culture I was a little hungry, so took the opportunity to meet up with a friend of mine who works at the Gallery and eat in the lovely cafe there!  So much choice, so little time.  The garden in the centre of the Museum, makes a lovely spot when its a nice day and in the barmy weather of late September too!

Live it