Visits-The Grundy Art Gallery-Blackpool.

Back in the Summer on an a day trip to Blackpool I visited The Grundy Art Gallery. I had been wanting to visit for a while but never found myself in the area. There were three exhibitions on show when I visited and I will start with Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldocks, LOVE LIFE:ACT II.


I was firstly met by a nice piece of Martin Creed neon as you walk in. I would like this in my ‘things’ room.


I have since read up on the artists and the exhibition and it was described as this;

‘Working together, artists Jonathan Baldock and Emma Hart have radically re-imagined the traditional seaside show, Punch and Judy.’– Accessed 16th November 2017.


First thoughts were a bit mixed. I could hear lots of goings on in the other room which was coming from a film to watch and then this giant head with a TV eye wrapped in felt was before me. I liked it and it reminded me of these characters- – accessed 16th November 2017.



I have since found out that this giant thumb, which was made by Blackpool Councils illuminations department have a depot called Lightworks where on special open days you can go and visit them all. It is on my calendar for next year.


Under The Thumb (2017)

Walking around the exhibition I liked the use of felt and just a set amount of the same three or four colours to make the installations and the backgrounds.








Now I have read more about the exhibition I get that it is a bigger version of the inside of a Punch and Judy house but I honestly didn’t get it at first. I seemed to focus on the bits and pieces on the floor, the various rooms such as the kitchen with its washing machine contents. The eyes that were appearing on blankets and walls and the feet. I think at this point I felt that I just liked it but I was perplexed.


Lots of things in it reminded me of something else, for example the ironing board reminded me of the opening to a kids programme years ago where the heads moved to a beat, I think it was The Ozone or maybe even Equinox. I cannot think and it is annoying me. Maybe I have watched too much 80’s TV? Maybe they have?



I liked these plates very much and I would like some for myself.



The film that was playing mainly showed hum drum things happening that we all do everyday, washing, hoovering and then sleeping.





I liked the YOUR BACK made out of sausages. My camera lens wasn’t big enough to do the whole thing but I then wondered if they were real sausages and would they go off? Are they pretend? I was overthinking as I had seen a lot. Then half way up the stairs I said ‘Ah, Punch and Judy, crocodile, SAUSAGES!’




Leaving the exhibition to go upstairs I wasn’t quite sure what I had just seen. I liked it but I didn’t understand but then I did once I had read up about it. As it is a travelling exhibition with the first being at PEER in London, this one at The Grundy and the third at De La Warr Pavilion, I just don’t know if I saw it again I would understand and see more things I may I have missed. Regardless, I did enjoy it and there are some more links about the artists, galleries and exhibition at the end. The third part of the LOVE LIFE is on at The De La Warr Pavilion until January 7th 2018.






Onto the other exhibitions- Colin Frederick- Punch and Judy paintings.


I have never seen a real Punch and Judy show and this saddens me. Where I grew up there wasn’t that much of a call for one, it was only if you went to the seaside for the day that you managed to see or hear one on a distant pier.


IMG_20170808_0004_NEWA collection of puppets from the Grundy collection was on show in the back room.  I liked the crocodile but maybe because I could say ‘Sausages’ twice in one day in a public space.

Upstairs was the photographer Shirley BakersOn the Beach exhibition. I only briefly skim read about Shirley Baker when I was at college and it has only been in these past few years I have looked more at her work and realised how important it is.



I love old 70’s/80’s seaside pictures. Everybody is having fun, it is simple and busy but everyone has had fish and chips and a good day out and goes home to bed happy.

Here are some postcards I bought in the shop. I do hope that ladies mouth was OK and that she managed to find some lip balm.





Here are some links to the exhibitions that you can read if you like-

All websites/links accessed 16th November 2017.

Thankyou to The Grundy for allowing me to take pictures of the exhibitions.


Visits- Transformation- Peter Farrer-Sudley House.

On a very sunny August day I took a trip out to Sudley House in Liverpool. I really like visiting here and the small orangery at the back by the cafe is very special but you can only peer through the windows. Inside it was mentioned that there was an exhibition called Transformation– One mans cross dressing wardrobe. I immediately went upstairs to see more.


I was greeted with so much colour and taffeta which I love. I had a taffeta party dress when I was little and I remember swishing about in it at the 1988 school Christmas disco. I loved that dress. Cerise pink skirt with a black velvet top. Even at age 6  I knew ‘THIS’ was my party dress of choice.




‘Born in Surrey in 1926, Peter Farrer lived in Liverpool for many years. Sadly, he passed away in early 2017 aged 90. Peter began cross-dressing at the age of 14.

Peter’s interest in women’s period costume led him to collect extensively. Over the years he accumulated a huge number of garments, particularly evening dresses made between the 1930s and the 1980s.

Peter was especially interested in dresses made from taffeta, a crisp lightweight fabric that makes a distinctive rustle when the wearer moves. He had a wardrobe of taffeta dresses made that he wore at home, created for him by the Brighton-based dressmaker Sandi Steyning, owner of the Kentucky Woman Clothing Company.

This ground-breaking display features 21 garments from Peter’s historic and modern collection of cross-dressing clothes.’– accessed 26th October 2017



I really liked this picture of Peter as he looks so content, plus that is a very nice conservatory plant area.



And here is the above outfit.





I like this dress very much. The colour and the form and the way it falls is very exquisite. If it is going spare at any time and somebody is about to take it in for me then I am first dibs.



I really enjoyed the exhibition and it wasn’t something that I expected to see. I think Peter seems like a nice bloke and he just liked dresses and didn’t cause any fuss. I share his love of taffeta and I wish I could have spoken to him about that green dress.

At the back of Sudley House there are some gardens and the little orangery that I mentioned earlier. As it was the end of summer and things were finishing it was nice to see some late colour and all the plant pots lined up neatly. Also they do a very nice pot of tea.









You can visit Transformation at Sudley House until March 2018.

The video below details a bit more about the exhibition.– accessed 26th October 2017.

There is a good piece below written by Samantha Caslin from the University of Liverpool detailing more about the gender identity of the exhibition. 26th October 2017.

All websites/links/videos accessed 26th October 2017.

Changing over.

The past few months haven’t been great. I fell behind with almost everything I should have been doing and starting a new course in the midst of such things I found was just ridiculous. I suppose the whole meaning of this degree and especially part one was that we got a big overview of each discipline and would be able to choose what subjects we had the most interest in. I had thought for the past 18 months that printmaking was going to be a pathway with textiles and maybe artists books coupled with it. After hastily having a week left to choose I still thought that printmaking was going to be part of my choices and I think now I rushed into it.  I knew this as soon as my study materials came through the door.

After falling behind for a month or so I really struggled to get back into things and I have spent enough nights lingering at the kitchen table making all of the monoprints I can possibly muster to be met with dread and a feeling of ‘I have made a big mistake’.

I have realised the relief that comes with not having to pursue something anymore is a sign it was wrong. I have spent years looking at printmakers work, intrigued on how they have made such things and collecting books about it and pouring over the pages. It is this kind of learning I like more, the research and writing about it rather than the making of and this is alright by me. I am hoping now with a change over to art history that I will start to get back into it all and I will put my printmaking books back on the shelf for another time.

ladybird-i-like-to-write– accessed 26th October 2017

Assignment 4, Reflection/Feedback.

Demonstration of subject knowledge- I have referenced the the work of David Hockney and his Polaroid photograph Pearl Blossom Highway 2 (1986) and My Mother, Bolton Abbey (1982).

I feel I have interpreted the artists use of photography being integral to their practice without the photography element being immediately apparent.

Demonstration of research skills- I have researched the artist and his work and how he has adapted and used photography in his practice.

Demonstration of critical and evaluation skills- I think I have shown critical thinking throughout this assignment and I have discussed my thoughts about the piece in my conclusion and commentary.

Communication- I feel my writing is understandable and flows well and I have presented my assignment with an introduction, middle and a conclusion with paragraphs and links attached, within word count and a commentary about my experience with part four.

I have been quite astounded at times throughout this fourth part at how little I know and how much I had forgotten about photography. There are a lot of photographers and artists I had completely forgotten about and also ones I had never come across before. I was convinced that I would do OK throughout this part but I found out quite soon that I knew not as half as much as I thought.

As I have worked through each project I know I have been down at times at having to read and then re-read what was asked but then once I had started to research more I felt I got a better grasp of things. I liked the holiday photo project as it made me revisit lots of images I had buried away and it was a nice feeling to look at them and answer the question  ‘How do they make you feel?’

I found by researching the origins of The Photobus by Daniel Meadows, it brought me into a whole new realm of photographers I had never heard of and whose work I now truly love  just from researching further, such as Richard Billingham and John Davies.

I really like my learning log now and I like to use it to show things I wouldn’t normally. Even just a few pictures from a day out that I like or have felt were interesting to me, I find I want to post them as it is part of the whole learning and documenting process. I recently visited the Catholic Cathedral in Liverpool and I spent most of the time looking for the public art pieces. I was so excited to look at the John Piper glass that is throughout it, that when I got home I had taken over 100 pictures of it. It is things like this that make me like my camera again and although I won’t keep them all, sometimes it is just good to take yourself out for the day and find something you like, photograph it and find out about its history.

I think I have gained a lot from this part and it has been quite cathartic at times but it has also made me look and research further to find more about things that have sparked my interest. I found that just one photographers image on an internet search has led me to find so much more. I think this is what is so good about photography, there is always something to see, even if you think it has all been done or you have already seen it, you are only ever scratching the surface.

I am looking forward to Part 5 Textiles very much as it is something I am interested in for further courses and I am curious to find out more and how the initial processes make it all work together.



Project 4- Exercise 1- Fashion Image.

Fashion Photography of 1950s by Norman Parkinson (5)

Barbara Mullen at the Red Fort, British Vogue, November 1956.- Norman Parkinson.

SilhouetteThe way that the outer jacket of the outfit puffs up doesn’t really give any silhouette. I think if the model was standing you would see it better but you can see that the skirt is very slim fitting like a pencil skirt so this may give more of a shape.

VolumeThe volume of the outfit is seen in the size of the jacket. Quite a lot of fabric  has been used and the creases in the top from the shoulders makes it look oversized.

DrapeI would say that the main drape of the fabric is on the jacket and can be seen with the way it falls on the models shoulders. The skirt looks like a long pencil with a split up the front so if it is a two piece it would go well together with the size of the top and the thinness of the skirt.

Movement – The movement aspect for me comes from the creases in the top, which I think is a cape from looking at it again.

Colour –  As this picture is in black and white it is not a very good indication of what colours there are to see, but lets as a guess say it is white. If the tiles are like those Moroccan ones then they will be vivid blues,  greens, reds and whites mixed together and the ladies white outfit will contrast against those colours. It could be pink though? Or powder blue?

Print/PatternThere doesn’t seem to be any pattern but it does look furry like maybe mohair.

What is the context of the garment?

To me it looks like an autumnal suit for going out and about in. The model is wearing very 50’s inspired clothes and the hat is lovely. I can imagine if I managed to find this picture in colour it would be very bright and we would be able to see all of the fabric and the how the background compliments it.


How do you relate to the image?

To me I relate to the hat more as it is a really nice shape and even though this is 1956 it is still quite 40’s in design. I am going to guess that it is bottle green in colour. It is very french in design, classic and extravagant. It gives a look of style and glamour that you can wear where you like, anytime.

Is the model important?

I think her pose is important as it looks religious. Either that or she is too hot in the mohair and this was taken in the summer. I am going off the tiles and the way her face is lit. Summer shade can still be harsh. She looks like she is either at a party, going to one or coming back from one and has had a little rest on the way back. Her whole image here is mysterious and as if you won’t know what she is really up to.


Research Point- Notes on- Mary Katrantzou.

‘Mary Katrantzou launched her label in 2009 but the digital print illusions and colourful trompe l’oeil have given it a look that’s instantly recognisable and utterly unique and has made the young Greek designer the talk of London’ 9th September 2017.

The room on the woman and the woman in the room.

Bright, geometric, printed, eye catching, printed, Aztec, silk, short.




‘Last season, Mary Katrantzou’s tour de force of interior-exterior decoration put “the room on the woman.” So she said. This collection was more about “the woman in the room.” Stated the designer backstage today, “It’s more fluid, more real.” But the “more fluid” her “more real” got, the more you were left in the same jaw-dropped state of irreality that her Spring show had induced. That was mostly because Katrantzou imagined the woman as a connoisseur, surrounded by objects of beauty like Fabergé eggs, Meissen porcelain, cloisonné enamel, and Ming vases. And all of them were reproduced in hyper-vivid prints. The koi in one print were all but swimming before your eyes’ 9th September 2017

The room on the woman aspect of this research point to me means either- the woman and her shape is used more than the clothes. Highlights her figure and the clothes sit well maybe? The environment she is in and who she is, is reflected in her clothes?

The woman in the room to me is all eyes on her, her clothes, the way she moves. Having all of her things around her portrayed in her outfit, her lifestyle?


00030fullscreen 9th September 2017

I like the colours she has used but that is probably all. It is very clashy and I would have years back worn such things but I just think it is a bit messy and I don’t really like it or feel anything for it.