V&A Diary 201-220

Here is the next set of 20 images I have shot around the Victoria and Albert Museum. I seem to have a had a slight bias towards ceramics and glass this time, with pieces that date back to a floral Iznick vase from 1575 and the beautiful pieces of blanc de chine (looked at in my previous blog post), to modern art glass created by salt erosion.

The ceramics on the top floor at the V&A runs the whole length of the Cromwell Road frontage and is a stunning collection. New pieces that particulatry caught my eye were the beautiful riffs on the traditional chinese willow pattern. As a little boy, I had my lunch off Willow pattern plates everyday I had lunch at my Grandma’s. The gardens, the Willow trees, the birds and the chinamen crossing the bridge told a story that enchanted me as a child. Star-crossed lovers in the Romeo and Juliet ilk, the Gods are touched by their love, and immortalise them as two doves, eternally flying together in the sky. These plates by Robert Dawson reimagine the various elements, enlarging them and adapting them for a whole new generation. The pattern arrived in Britain in the second half of the 19th century and proved extremely popular.

Another piece I loved was ‘Oyster Net’ by the Loewe Craft Prize shortlisted artist Annie Turner. This stoneware net is comprised of flattened upright openwork form, the sides slightly compressed. The form is hand-built from fine strips of red-grogged clay, so as to resemble mesh or net. The lithium glaze creates a rust-coloured pitted surface similar to rusted iron.

I also managed to witness the delivery of some of the vehicles that are features in the new exhibition ‘Cars: Accelerating the Modern World‘. These included a late fifties Messerschmitt bubble car, 1945 Beetle and a prewar Tatra limo. The show opens on the 23rd of November and looks at the how the car has shaped the world we live in and were it may go in the future.

‘Over its short 130-year history, the car has become one of the most loved, contested and influential innovations in the world. It has revolutionised manufacturing, transformed how we move, forever changing our cities, environment and economies.’  Brendan Cormier.

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 eleventh set of 20 photographs and you can follow them daily on my instagram profile.

Images and text © Jonathan Dredge

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