Lockwood Kipling

Victoria and Albert is one of my favourite museums in London. Top quality exhibitions, interesting events, great experience every time! This time I visited “Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London”, it is on until April 2nd. The exhibition is on the ground floor in Porter Gallery and is free to enter.

The exhibition is devoted to John Lockwood Kipling’s lifetimes input to Arts & Crafts, featuring his remarkable sketches, furniture pieces and books illustrations.

This exhibition is very complete experience – you have artworks, you have short films to provide with a visual, Indian music on the background to deepen the authenticity. Amazing curatorial work. The quality of display was outstanding and I especially loved the combination of colours on the walls. Even though the exhibition is admission free the amount of effort is not lacking. Small windows between the rooms so you can get a sneak peak of what lies ahead.

After travelling to India it was very touching to revisit history of some places we have seen in the flash.

 

 

National Museum in Delhi

I am very excited to share my museum visits in India. We travelled to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Aurangabad and Mumbai and visited many fascinating places.

There are some old parts of the building without any aircondlting, with outdated displays and dusty corners and there are also some renovated parts with modern displays. This museum needs to be repaired a bit, but in India it is not exactly a priority.

 

The relief of this elements of walls and decorations is just mind blowing. It is hard to believe that some of these objects are dated back to 2nd century B.C. Stone-carving is a very technical and elegant craft which takes a lot of patience. You can spend hours just looking at tiny figures that tell you a story.

It is a National Museum so different forms of art are displayed in the museum. These flat art miniature paintings grab your attention. Gold is a common addition to these paintings, it is added in a very delicate, tasteful and elegant manner.

There are many different objects displayed in the museum that walk you through Indian culture and history: games that people used to play, gods that they used to worship, thrones from former leaders…

This museum is definitely the place to go if you are into Indian culture. Your experience might be spoilt a bit by appearance or lack of air conditioning (especially in summer, when it is boiling hot), but if you look passed it then you will see beautiful unique art objects!

The Fabric of India

V&A India Festival, which is now coming to an end, presented many exhibitions, displays, and events to explore culture of South Asia. Victoria and Albert museum showcased exhibition “The Fabric of India” as a highlight of V&A India Festival. The exhibition was on display from 3rd of October until 10th of January.

Exhibition hall had dimmed lights which helped visitors to concentrate on the objects, the sound effect also helped to relax and fully explore the world of textiles. When you enter the exhibition you can see large floor spread. It was used in a Mughal palace in summer time to cover the sitting area inside the palace. Flower pattern created indoor garden for people who were sitting inside. This is a great piece to open the exhibition as it grabs attention with its size and pattern. Each letter of the title of the show “The Fabrics of India” connects to the opposite wall by red threads.  It created depth and perspective and goes well with the concept of exhibition.

IMG_1545The exhibition covers not only India but South Asian region. This region included Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It was well-explained how different climate zones and geographical regions enable masters to access different variety of plant fibre. Some regions are famous in particular type of textile: Assam – golden silk, Bengal – fine cottons, the red dyes of south-east India. It is very helpful that each object has a dot on the map where it was created; it provides a better understanding of the subject.

The textiles were explained from different perspectives: technical side, how it is all manufactures, and cultural side, how the textiles were applied. There was a display with different dyes and explanation of how the colour was reached. For example, if indigo plant was left at the sun longer the plant gives paler blue colour than the one that flown on the shadow.

IMG_1543Overall it is very informative exhibition, describing the history of textiles, how the trade began between India and European countries, how machine mass production of textiles and tariffs affected the industry. From the curatorial point of view, the exhibition was very well put together and was very engaging. Information was delivered through short video clips, as well as description of each subject. There were also some samples of silk, cotton and other textiles, which were accessible to public.