The Private View at Morley College of the V&A partnered exhibition ‘Inspired by…‘ was far too busy to actually see the work clearly, so I returned a couple of days later to photograph the pieces properly. Overdoing it slightly, I have well over a hundred images from the Private View and the exhibition which I will be uploading over the next few days. You can see the complete album here, but if you are in London before the 17th of June, I cannot recommend visiting this exhibition enough!
This is my first selection of some of my favourite submissions in this exhibition. Some of them are winners, and some of them I think should have been. But who am I to question the V&A curators?
The winner of the Rootstein Hopkins Prize (for Outstanding Piece of Work) was Morley College’s Bren Nevin with her piece ‘Needle and Thread’. With a background in advertising, Nevin developed her skills in etching and bookbinding at Morley evening classes, and has produced a stunning book inspired by the wonderful embroidery on the Kimonos and ceremonial gowns in the V&A’s Japanese collection.
‘On Their Own’, by Ted O’Brien is a beautiful response to the heartbreaking story of British Child Migrants who were emigrated, against their will, to as far a field as Australia as late as the 1960s. This piece takes the form of a handprinted children’s book, and is moving in it’s simplicity and stark style.
Winner of the Printmaking section, ‘A walk along Galé Beach’ by Nicola Atchley (also from Morley College) is a concertina fold out book, documenting a walk along a beach in Portugal. Nicola uses an astonishing number of techniques (including drawings in pencil, graphite and ink, graphite rubbings, collagraph print, lino relief printing, dry point print and blind emboss for the cover) to produce this beautiful artefact.
I may be slightly biased with my next selection, but the sculptural textile work, Hope by @spottedhyenas, is a beautiful and moving piece. Inspired by Millais’ etching ‘The Bridge of Sighs’, outlining the plight of female suicide, Hope develops this theme. Having recently lost both his mother and sister, this work examines the value of women, and how society completely undermines their contributions and burdens.
‘Bound’ by Dinesha Wijetunge-Dinsmore relates to the ‘Shoes: Pleasure and Pain’ exhibition and is a series of lovely linocuts relating to what women put their feet through, all in the quest for beauty and fashion.
Sarah Paramor’s Variations on a Flamingo are a truly delightful response to a David Bailey portrait of Catherine Deneuve. Half remembering the vibrant pinks of a flamingo in the photo, Sarah runs with the colours and shapes of the bird. The fact that the original photo was actually in black and white thankfully didn’t disrupt the creative process!
The Jewellery winner was another Morley student, Heidi Minshall with her Roller-printed necklace inspired by mid century furnishing fabric by the Czech-born designer Jacqueline Groag. The 50’s shapes and colours are effortlessly transferred to this stunning silver necklace.
The last piece in this selection is a beautiful ceramic work called ‘Asanoha’ by Amelia Bertram. Inspired by the complex geometric patterns in an early 19th century kimono, Bertram brings the patterns to life as pure white complex three dimensional shapes, mimicking the original pattern, but producing something more complex as light creates shadows and highlights on the multiple forms.
So there it is – an introduction to some of the inspiring and creative work on show at the Morley Gallery. If you can, go and see it.