CATCHING UP

It’s been a while since you heard from TheEye, so unlike most eyeposts this will be more of a random collection of things she enjoyed in the intervening months starting at The Design Museum in May.

Choosing a wedding trousseau sari

THE OFFBEAT SARI considered the ways in which the sari has experienced a radical twenty-first century overhaul. The exhibition was conceived and curated by Priya Khanchandani, who showed her imminent pregnancy wearing her sari with much of her baby bulge very visible. Something an older generation of sari wearers would have regarded as totally ‘inappropriate’, with much tut tutting and wagging of heads.


TheEye was thrilled to see gorgeous garments by her favourite Indian designer and jeweller, Sabyasachi Mukherjee. Sabyasachi is one of many creatives, made up of poets, painters, writers and thinkers, who regard Calcutta or Kalkata as their home. TheEye loves this vibrant city which has managed to maintain its Indian characteristic in a way other Indian Cities have lost due to the success of the technology industries which require a more sophisticated infrastructure, a state of the art airport and modern hotels.

SABYASACHI MUKHERJEE IN COLLABORATION WITH SCHIAPARELLI FOR THE 2022 MET GALA

TheEye thought it was interesting and imaginative in the way the displays showed how saris now have their place in the modern world of sport, business and office but there were some detractors, mainly Indian women who were critical of the exhibition for not respecting the sari as their much loved traditional garment.

More universally praised running at the same time in the Design Museum was the AI WEIWEI – MAKING SENSE exhibition.


We are liberal in our use of the word ‘genius’. TheEye admits to being a culprit, but in the case of Ai Weiwei, it is unquestionably true.


Artist, filmmaker, architect, collector and effective activist. He really deserves his ‘G’ word.
TheEye loved his use of lego and all his materials.
An exhibition I wish I could have re-visited many times.

CORNWALL

When you think of Cornwall what comes to mind – long sandy beaches, fishing, surfing, sailing… OR cream teas which leads on to the knotty question of what do you spread first – the thick Cornish cream or strawberry jam? This has been the subject of many heated debates and occupied the minds of many food lovers. TheEye thinks it’s no contest – liberally lathered cream and then jam.

OH I DO LOVE TO BE BESIDE THE SEASIDE

TheEye had a great week in Cornwall – the intoxicating sea air alone revives townies more used to breathing in fumes and TheEye slept like a baby.
The coast is truly lovely with delightful small towns and villages, but it is a shock to learn that away from the scenic coastal areas, Cornwall is possibly the poorest county in the country with huge unemployment. A fact TheEye was amazed and saddened to discover.

TheEye stayed in St Mawes where she had first visited many years ago, still charming but much busier.

Her visit coincided with the annual SEA SHANTY FESTIVAL, a short ferry ride to Falmouth.
What fun – Lots of Pirates and Piratesses, great music and lots of singalong opportunities.

BELTING IT OUT AT THE SEA SHANTY FESTIVAL

Sea Shanty enthusiasts come from all over the country and this is their annual get together.
Some very fine, lusty voices – TheEye spent the first hour in a pub listening and occasionally joining in. A great deal of beer downed, no doubt to lubricate their voice boxes, but it clearly did the trick.


The only hitch of the stay was reliably unreliable British Railways (surprise, surprise). Having managed to travel on a rare non strike day, we turned up at Taunton station for our return to London and needing some advice about our train, looked in vain for the ticket office.

Ticket office? Which century is TheEye living in? A thing of the past. Finding a phone we dialled the number for the ticket office, and found ourselves talking to a BR service in Delhi. They weren’t very helpful.

The Summer’s big treat (so far) was a trip to PROVENCE, a part of France TheEye had been longing to visit and for some reason never made it.
It lived up to all her expectations. Less showy and less frenetic than the Cote D’Azur with gentle, gorgeous countryside, vineyards and avenues of cypress trees. Cezanne country.
And to add to the perfection, it was the lavender season. Acres and acres of scented purple shrubs.

LAVENDER AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE

She stayed in a magnificent hotel- combining a vineyard with a private collection of art and architecture installed throughout the vast property.


With a guide we more or less managed to see most of the installations, but lingering for too long inside the various architectural pavilions included (among others) OSCAR NIEMEIER, RICHARD ROGERS, TADAO ANDO, RENZO PIANO AND FRANK GEHRY -an impressive line up – with art or design inside, made this an impossible feat.

Louise Bourgoise Spider

Bob Dylan Train

Richard Rogers Pavilion

On to ARLES and the annual Photography Festival.
First stop was the Frank Gehry Pavillion – which you love or you don’t – TheEye is staying neutral.

Frank Gehry Slide

Frank Gehry Pavilion

The exhibitions were all outstanding and TheEye was particularly delighted to see large-scale work by the American photographer, GREGORY CREWDSON. His style shares some of the characteristics of Edward Hopper, the great American painter. Evenside was the title of Crewdson’s exhibition in the Gehry Pavillion alongside Agnes Varda, Diane Arbus and Carrie Mae Weems (who currently is exhibiting at The Tate Gallery London).

Arles is a wonderful experience for lovers of photography. So much to see and absorb. It is also exhausting and very hot. Definitely not for the faint hearted.

After a long day, TheEye was thankful to return to her hotel for a long cold drink and a swim.

Maybe the unexpected highlight of the trip was the Carriere Des Lumieres, an immersive experience housed in a series of excavated caves.
Hard to imagine but each year three artists are selected and the work surrounds you in the vast space on the walls, floors, ceilings, constantly changing, utterly mesmerising. This year it was MONDRIAN, VERMEER and REMBRANDT. There was also a TinTin exhibition but only on three afternoons which followers of TheEye might be surprised to learn she really wanted to see. However she did buy a 1000 piece TinTin jigsaw puzzle. Fiendishly hard. Will it ever get finished ? Probably not.

Very close by, in the village of Les Baux, heaving with tourists is a small art museum and by great fortune there was an exhibition of the photography of Robert Doisneau, one of the world’s greatest photographers and who TheEye reveres. Such a thrill to see these wonderful pictures which involved hanging around in Les Baux waiting for the museum to open. We arrived five minutes before the two hour lunch break as the museum’s reception tyrant was locking up for her lunch break and would not re-open until a second before the due time.

We are now into August and back home and it hasn’t stopped raining. Day after day of wind and rain. But to compensate there has been some great theatre – both musicals –  and even those that claim to hate musicals would have to have hearts of stone not to enjoy GUYS AND DOLLS at the Bridge Theatre and CRAZY FOR YOU at the Gillian Lynne theatre.

FUN, FUN, FUN

Wonderful entertainment, brilliant performances and productions.
Didn’t even matter that it was throwing it down when we came out.
Even the summer films have made box offices smile and the two films couldn’t be more diferent – OPPENHAIMER and of course, Barbie.

No point asking which was your favourite but isn’t Ken cute?

See you soon!

TheEye

Copyright
August 2023

2 Comments

  1. The Eye has enjoyed a summer with many very wide ranging experiences – vividly brought to life in great photographs.

  2. Wonderfully entertaining, informative and superb photography. Come back soon, outstanding Eue!

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