Thursday, 20 July 2017

I've got a grand piano to prop up my mortal remains

When I popped down to London for my birthday I couldn't resist making the most of it by revisiting the Pink Floyd exhibition at the V&A (you can read about my first visit here). It was a fairly last minute decision as I'd only decided the week before and bought a ticket as soon as the idea entered my head. I was primarily going to London to see The Killers at Hyde Park, but as that wasn't until the evening and I wasn't eager to get to the venue too early it felt an obvious choice, especially as I was really hoping to go back and see the exhibition again anyway.

pink floyd their mortal remains syd barrett piper at the gates of dawn

I can't really explain the feeling this exhibition gives me other than sheer euphoria; to be so completely immersed in a band that means so much to me. I love the headphone aspect as it makes the experience so completely immersive and so personal, you almost forget everyone else is even there. I really feel like that's part of the magic of the exhibition; that everyone is wandering around in their own little Pink Floyd filled world.

As I entered and saw the giant replica Bedford van I did suddenly feel slightly worried that it wouldn't be as good as last time as I'd already seen everything and they'd be no surprises. But I actually enjoyed the experience more this second time around which I didn't think was possible as I loved it so much already!

When I booked my ticket they were nearly all sold out, and being a Saturday I expected it to be packed. Whilst it was definitely busy, it was much less busy than before when I attended a few days after opening. I didn't feel like I was playing sardines at any point, and it was much easier to frame my photographs without getting any of the other visitors in shot. Because I'd already seen everything and knew what was there I was able to actually focus on the items and areas that interested me instead of trying to take absolutely everything in at once like last time. Because of this, I came away really feeling like I'd learnt little tidbits I'd picked up instead of just having it all wash over me.

I also noticed a few little changes had been made which definitely helped the exhibition flow more smoothly. Just little things, like the Syd Barrett display at the beginning had been rejigged so it no longer blocked the entrance, and the headphone sets connected much more seamlessly without having to stand in a specific spot to hear.

pink floyd their mortal remains syd barrett piper at the gates of dawn
Replicas of Syd Barrett's guitars (unfortunately no one knows what happened to his actual ones which is so sad, musical history has been lost there) and a 1960s zippo lighter like he used to play his guitar.

"One has to recognise that Syd, apart from looking good and playing guitar and so on, wrote songs and that was the unique and very special thing" - Nick Mason

pink floyd their mortal remains
A street map of Cambridge with historical Pink Floyd related locations pin pointed. I found this really interesting as it puts their early life into perspective as I'm not familiar with Cambridge. I left this photo in it's original size if you'd like to click through and read it.

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
Nick Mason's shirts and hat, sadly the only clothing on display which is a shame as they wore some really fab stuff throughout the years! I noticed almost all of Nick's things were credited to his first wife Lindy.

pink floyd their mortal remains
Nick's drumsticks engraved with his name, and one of David Gilmour's guitars and several of his pedals. All from 1969-1970.

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
Part of a string of coins made by Nick used to create the intro to Money on Dark Side of the Moon.

pink floyd their mortal remains
David's actual black strat with a film of him discussing it in the background, and one of Nick's drum kits.

"A lot of experimentation that was going on musically ... could have, if they weren't careful, moved Pink Floyd away from rock altogether ... One of the reasons it never does that is because there's a kind of steel in there at all times. What roots Pink Floyd in rock music is Nick Mason's drumming. However complex the ideas, he gives these often superb repeated loop grooves which really make it feel like it's a rock exploration ... it's the rhythm that does that." - Howard Goodall, musicologist and composer

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
Roger Waters' handwritten lyrics to Have a Cigar, and a polaroid photo taken by Nick of Syd Barrett's surprise visit to the studio when they were recording Wish You Were Here; "David asked me if I knew who he was...even then I couldn't place him, and had to be told. It was Syd."

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
Roger Waters' hand written lyrics and sketches for The Wall

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
Rick Wright with his 'surrogate' for The Wall stage show, with the mask of his face the surrogate wore.

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
One of the sheep parachutes used for their Animals/In The Flesh tour. Fireworks would be shot into the air, and these paper sheep with weighted feet would float down into the audience.

pink floyd their mortal remains
Nick would often write gig notes on his drum heads and use gaffer tape to dampen the sound. This is one of his snare drum heads which was broken by Nick at the at the Oakland Coliseum Arena in 1977. The writing is mostly the location codes that had been previously agreed by the band to call out during the show so illegal bootlegs could be traced.

Also David's guitar, Electric Mistress pedal and Big Muff pedal, and one of Rick's keyboards.

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
Roger's outfit he wore on stage during his solo tour of The Wall from 2010 - 2013.

"When I was working with Syd, Nick, Rick and David I'd been very lucky. It was a great platform. The name of that band is sort of irrelevant. It's being there and having the opportunity to do the work that's priceless." - Roger Waters

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains

I sat in the end cinema room showing the Live 8/Arnold Layne/High Hopes videos for far too long just enjoying the atmosphere (as let's face it, it's the closest experience I'll ever get to seeing Pink Floyd live!). I was in the exhibition for 2 and a half hours, which I felt was pretty good considering it took over 4 last time!

I still don't feel done with this exhibition. I wish I still lived in London as traveling is my biggest prohibiter, but as it is I'm hoping to get down there at the end of September to see it one last time before it closes.

pink floyd their mortal remains

I hadn't planned to spend much in the gift shop, telling myself I only wanted the Saucerful of Secrets tshirt and a few duplicates of the pins I bought last time. But I'm weak, and as it was my birthday it was far too easy to justify! Unfortunately I wasn't able to get the duplicate pin I wanted of Algie, but I got plenty more to make up for it. I couldn't resist buying the Record Store Day release of Interstellar Overdrive as I don't like RSD nor the jacked up prices on eBay. I also got an Animals top which I picked out on a whim yet have already won plenty, a few postcards, an Algie keyring, and a David Bowie tote from their small display from the Bowie exhibition a few years ago as I really wanted a tote and wasn't feeling the Pink Floyd designs.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Recent Vintage Finds




As soon as I came home for the summer I had to have a snoop around my favourite antique and charity shops and didn't come away empty handed! This dress was one of my finds, I saw it's psychedelic sleeve poking out from a great bundle of clothing that was all hanging from a single hook in the ceiling just out of reach. I knew just from the sleeve that I wanted it, and had to try to sneakily knock it off the hook with an antique walking stick that was nearby without disturbing the other clothes. It felt like a weird version of Hook-A-Duck but thankfully I managed to get it down, and I absolutely loved it upon closer inspection, even more so that it came with a matching scarf. The elastic is a little out of shape especially round the cuffs, but I actually like it how it is as it makes the sleeves more bell shaped. And I adore how well it matches my new sandals which I got as a birthday present to myself! I'd been eyeing them up for a while and when I saw they were half price I couldn't resist. Although they're new I think they look perfectly '70s, and even though they're so high they're incredibly comfortable as they're so platformed it's like wearing flats. I think they'll look great in the colder months too with a pair of contrasting tights.



I was mostly out looking for a plant pot, but as is always the way with vintage shopping when you go out with something set in mind you'll never find it! I did however see this West German vase for a steal, and as I love a bit of West German pottery it had to come home with me. I also found the little fold up picnic table, I'm not sure what I'll use it for but I'm sure it will come in handy at some point as it's so portable. I thought it could even make a nice coffee table as it's the right height.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Smile Like You Mean It




It was my birthday this past Saturday, although in my head it's my birthday for most of July as I use it to justify every little treat! I went out with my family the day before, and then for the actual day popped down to London to see Their Mortal Remains again (which I'll post about separately) and to see The Killers at Hyde Park's British Summer Time festival.

This outfit is what I wore for my family meal, everything is brand new for once! I fell in love with this dress from Coco Fennell as soon as I saw it. It's rare for me to actually catch my breath when looking at an item of clothing, but that was very much my reaction. It was expensive even though it was in the sale, but being an artist myself I'd always prefer to give my money to independent designers and brands and it fits beautifully. And despite being new I feel it blends into my vintage wardrobe extremely well and looks quite late '60s.





For my birthday I was gifted a perfume I'd been coveting, Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming. Perfume isn't something I can ever justify spending my own money on but it's always a very welcome gift, and I love how it looks on my vanity as well as how it actually smells. I'm a bit rubbish at remembering to put perfume on, but I hope to get into the habit as I've always fancied the idea of having a 'signature scent' that remembers you to others when they smell it. I also got a scanner which is less photogenic but very much needed and appreciated. I've previously used the scanner that's attached to my printer, but I've wanted to upgrade both for a long time so that I can eventually make my own prints to sell.

I drove down to London for the first time ever, a prospect I've always been terrified of but turned out to be quite simple and drastically cheaper than the train. I began at the V&A and walked down to Hyde Park where I stopped to eat my sandwich in the rose garden before heading into the concert.




It advertised itself as a "festival" and was a series of concerts over consecutive days with numerous acts, but there was no camping element and the only stalls were fast food and bars. I solely went for The Killers, a band I've loved for a long, long time but had never had the opportunity to see live before, largely due to anxiety to be honest. When I learned they were playing on my actual birthday it felt like a sign and I knew I had to get a ticket (and thanks to being in their fanclub for over 10 years that was pretty easy!). I wish I could say I had a great time, but unfortunately it didn't really occur to me beforehand that the 'festival' element would impact the audience and mean that there would be a large proportion more interested in drinking than the music and I ended up trapped by some really aggressive drunks which kind of ruined it. It's a shame, but I'm trying not to dwell on it too much and am just taking it as a learning curve. Although I didn't get to enjoy the performance much, what I could see and hear was just as awesome as I would expect from The Killers and they played most of my favourite songs. I hope I can see them in a better environment in the future (fingers crossed for their tour at the end of this year!)

Friday, 7 July 2017

And what exactly is a dream

Last year I made a blog post on this date featuring an artwork I'd drawn of Syd Barrett to mark 10 years since his passing. And I'm pleased to share that one year on I've finally finished it!




I was honestly dreading drawing Syd's patterned shirt. I've drawn fairly detailed clothing before and it's taken an age and it's an aspect I always approach with caution as it can really make or break a drawing. I had originally planned to leave his shirt plain like I'd shown in my previous post, hoping it would look minimal and keep the focus on his face, but it just never looked right to me so I knew I had to complete it to feel happy with the portrait. It definitely looks much better now, it looks finished.

Today is also this babe's 77th birthday, so it's only right I share my latest drawing of Ringo too.




I've also finally updated my Society6 store with my latest drawings so if you'd like a print, or something more practical like a phone case or a towel, do take a look!

I'm hoping to open an Etsy store in the near-ish future with my designs. I'd like to work on items like pins, zines, patches, etc as well as prints. I got a new graphics tablet recently, a Wacom Cintiq 13HD to replace my Graphire4 which I'd had for 12 years! I can now draw directly onto the screen which is such a luxury and makes the entire process feel much more natural and like traditional media. I'm hoping it'll help me to take my artwork to the next level as well as helping me to develop my digital skills more as it's something I've allowed to fall by the wayside and I'd like to use it for my items for my Etsy store.

With the last year of my degree approaching it's really made me think about where I'd like to take my illustration and what type of work I'd like it to lead to. I spent the first year certain I didn't want a career of it after all as I hate commissions so much, drawing things you aren't passionate about really sours the process and turned what I'd once loved into a chore. But there are other options, and I hope to work on my own designs on a freelance basis which is where my Etsy store will come in. After the past two years I really feel like I've fallen back in love with my craft, and not only is that a huge relief, I'm also so excited with where it could take me and working my absolute hardest to make it happen.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Watermelon

collectif watermelon jade dress, emily temple cute, orla kiely clarks shoes
collectif watermelon jade dress, emily temple cute, orla kiely clarks shoes
collectif watermelon jade dress, emily temple cute, orla kiely clarks shoes

It's been so long since I've last taken outfit photos outdoors - years in fact, not since my blog was oh-darling.net - that I'd completely forgotten what a battle with the elements it is! I'm currently home for the summer so don't have any indoor areas with good enough lighting, and as my mum and I had spent a large part of the day fixing up the garden I thought it'd make a perfect backdrop. After spending 20 minutes having Marilyn moments with my dress and being forced to eat my own hair, I gave up and picked somewhere more sheltered only to have the sun start playing peekaboo and wash half the photos out. I swear it wasn't even windy before I went out!

This outfit feels simultaneously very me and very different from my norm. It's the first Collectif dress I've ever owned, I bought it in Brighton when I stumbled across their store. I've always admired a lot of the reproduction '50s and rockabilly dresses and the girls who wear them so perfectly, but it's never really felt for me, it's a little too structured. But as soon as I saw this perfectly kitschy watermelon print I knew I had to take it home with me. I own so many watermelon things it's ridiculous, I love a good tropical print in general, and this dress is so fun to wear. I also love the fact it has deep pockets!

collectif watermelon jade dress, emily temple cute, orla kiely clarks shoes
collectif watermelon jade dress, emily temple cute, orla kiely clarks shoes
collectif watermelon jade dress, emily temple cute, orla kiely clarks shoes

I've been home for a couple of weeks now, and it's been quite lovely. I've already been shopping for vintage while I've been here and have a haul to share soon, I've been filling up my new sketchbook (and found a fab set of artist grade colouring pencils for cheap which I'm excited to experiment with), and I've been wandering through the fields at every available opportunity. Next week is my birthday week and I have several exciting things lined up to do, including going down to London to see Their Mortal Remains again and to see The Killers live for the first time. I can't wait!

dress - collectif // cardigan - emily temple cute // shoes - orla kiely x clarks // necklace - sugar and vice // bag - topshop absolutely years ago

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