V&A Diary 161-180

So this post is very late this time, but I’m using the excuse of turning fifty in the last couple of weeks ago – holidays and celebrations definitely got in the way! One thing I have noticed with this project is that it has really helped my identify areas of design that I am drawn to (as if I wasn’t sure before…).

The collection of images this time includes some favourites such as the beautiful social documentation of J D ’Okhai Ojeikere’s Hairstyle series and Jan Kempenaers’ Spomenik project. Obviously as a photographer I am drawn to these works but I find their clean and austere composition particularly appealing. We go back as far as the fifteenth century for an emaciated Christ as the Man of Sorrows from Lübeck and the sixteenth century for ‘Millefleurs’ dutch tapestry and as far forward as the 2019 V&A Illustration Awards and Extinction Rebellion flags and flyers; as up to date as you can be. In between we have a rather splendid model of Paxton’s Crystal Palace, the first home to many of the original objects forming the V&A collection and a fireplace from the Willow Tearooms in Glasgow by the incomparable Charles Rennie Macintosh. I may be just a wee bit biased, being born and raised in Scotland but I adore his work. Finally we have a rather splendid ad campaign for Jigsaw. Post Brexit referendum, it reminded us that we are all immigrants to a greater or lesser degree. Other strap lines included ‘British Style is not 100% British’ and ‘Materials from 16 countries, crafted by 45 nationalities.’ This campaign was a huge social media hit, proving that topicality sells..

The collection is vast, consisting of 233,742 museum objects and works of art and 2,044,441 books, drawings, prints photographs and archives, and only around a quarter of the objects are on display at any given time. The library items and archival collections are available to see by appointment in the Museum’s Study Rooms. This is my seventh set of  20 photographs and you can follow them daily on my instagram profile.

Text and images © Jonathan Dredge


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