Wednesday, 22 February 2017

London Inspiration

Last week, I was lucky enough to have a few days away visiting my brother in London and enjoying some of the very fine exhibitions that are currently on.  We eventually made it into the Hockney exhibition at Tate Britain- it is very popular and we ended up going early evening as the morning was jam-packed.  It's a joyful celebration of of Hockney's paintings, drawings and other media throughout the last 60 years.  We also went to the Royal Academy to see Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932.  This is another riot of colour but it's a shocking and powerful collection of art in many forms- painting, pottery, dance, film etc. and makes for rather profound and disturbing viewing, well worth seeing.   We spent a very happy morning in The Wallace Collection which is a gem, just off Oxford Street and is a stunning, lavish, historic London town house with an amazing selection of armoury, weaponry, paintings, artefacts, porcelain, furniture and much more.  I could spend days in there and it has free entry too.   I also visited the Fashion and Textiles Museum, somewhere I also seem to frequent on every London trip.  It's a small museum but the exhibitions are always beautifully curated and displayed, and photography is allowed too.  It celebrates the work of Josef Frank, his patterns on fabrics, furniture and paintings.  It's also the first every UK exhibition of his textiles and they were the stand out to me.   

One 'room' shows the effect of Josef Frank textiles and furniture displayed together- he was influenced by William Morris and I could see that in his pattern repeats and use of natural inspiration.

I loved how there were long, generous lengths of his fabrics hanging down and also used to upholster his furniture designs.  These were for sitting on too and walking round it was lovely to see children as well as adults enjoying the furniture and marvelling at the use of colour.

Italian Dinner, 1943-5.  
All the ingredients needed for an Italian meal!

Catleya, 1935. 
As with many of his prints, although richly colourful, there's only a few separate colours used to create this floral pattern.  

Window, 1943-45.  
Very contemporary for the current house plant trend. 

Zodiaken, 1935. 
Twelve signs of the zodiac. 

Drinks 1943-5. 

I think this was my favourite, I just loved the dramatic colour contrasts.

There were a lot of water colours to admire too and visual references to William Morris and other influences.  The Fashion and Textile Museum is small in comparison to places like The V&A or the Royal Academy but it's such a comfortable environment to linger and be inspired.  The Josef Frank exhibition runs until 7th May 2017.  



  1. Oh, I sure would love to come to London and go exploring with you! this place looks fab!

  2. What a brilliant exhibition! Stunning fabrics - wonder if they'd consider printing them in patchwork weight?? Thank you so much for sharing for those of us on the other side of the world.


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