The expanded Royal Academy

This is huge in the history of the Royal Academy and it’s such a positive development. The reconfiguration of space and intervention by David Chipperfield Architects to connect both buildings of Burlington Gardens and Burlington House now takes you through a myriad of environments. Here are a few photos of some of these spaces – not all quite finished when I visited – which will, I hope, give you an idea of the journey now possible.

The steps down from Burlington House show The Vaults towards the Weston Studio with a glimpse of the stairs up to the Weston BridgePhoto by Caroline Banks

Looking back from The Vaults to the stairs.

Photo by Caroline BanksOne of the RA Schools corridors just before reaching the Weston Studio.Photo by Caroline BanksUp the stairs from the Weston StudioPhoto by Caroline BanksDetail of the staircasePhoto by Caroline BanksView of the Weston Bridge windowPhoto by Caroline BanksFinal touches to the Benjamin West Lecture Theatre Photo by Caroline Banks

Raw Materials at the Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts.

East London has a rich and varied textile history for manufacturing and  innovation which this exhibition, at The Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts,  examines.

Photo by Caroline BanksThe invention of the first synthetic dye, mauveine, by William Perkin took place at his family home in Shadwell  and brought the colour purple to the masses Photo by Caroline Banksand wood block printing by R.E. Littler for Liberty of London took place in the Lea Valley.Photo by Caroline BanksContemporary creativity still abounds in the East End with current work by artists and designers including London College of Fashion student Isabella Dunne’s “Raw Pressed” digital printPhoto by Caroline Banksand Sarah Desmarais’ fashion prints as well as Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks Freya Gabie’s Chatham rope and spun golden thread piece  90,000 miles across the sunPhoto by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline Banks

Back to the history, I just had to include the compact spinning wheel Mahatma Gandhi brought for his 3 month trip to England in 1931 during which time he was based in Bromley by Bow. 
Photo by Caroline Banks

Art wherever you look in King’s Place

I sometimes feel envious of the workers at King’s Place as they are surrounded by a constantly changing display of art by artists represented by Pangolin Gallery, housed in the same building. I came across this selection of work when I popped in the other evening between two private views.

William Tucker’s charcoal drawings from the human form and his bronze sculptures exude powerPhoto by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks

Looking Glass by Abigail Fallis is a beautifully crafted piece, something important to her in making work and encompasses such a multitude of associations I’d go over my time limit if I listed them.

Photo by Caroline Banks

Photo by Caroline Banks

The career of Zachary Eastwood-Bloom has taken off since I first met him at his RCA degree show in 2010. I have to confess though that I thought this was a Tony Cragg from a distance, an impression soon corrected once I got closer.

Photo by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks

Artists at the Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead

There’s always a lot to see at The Affordable Art Fair; as I’d missed the Battersea one earlier this year due to pressure of deadlines I made sure I got to the Hampstead show.

Four Walls Gallery from Brighton is always worth visiting; Sam Lock’s paintings always make my heart sing.Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline BanksIona House Gallery presented Claire Burke’s sophisticated and timeless pieces; I’ve featured her work here before but these more sculptural pieces were new to me. Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks

Delectable bags at MADE London in Canary Wharf

I do love a good bag and these two designers seen at MADE London certainly know about making them. Although very different, each produces a “classic” style. I didn’t choose deliberately but both makers below are based in London.

Frank Horn is the name of the brand, not the person, though Francis is his middle name. He produces small runs of clean structured bags in practical sizes and a great range of plain colours –  yellow is apparently a current favourite.

Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline BanksThese covetable market/storage bags below by Maiko Dawson are some of her sturdiest ones though she has a large range of leathers and colours to choose from in other stylesPhoto by Caroline Banksfrom this acid lemon tote with pocket stitch detail

Photo by Caroline Banks

to the kid leather softness of these pocket bags and spectacle holders. Oh, and she also makes shoes.Photo by Caroline Banks

Tableware at MADE London at Canary Wharf

Lighter evenings feel like a gift of time so I profited by visiting the latest fair by MADE London held at the Winter Garden East in Canary Wharf.

We were really taken by the mid-century aesthetic of  Elizabeth Renton’s domestic ceramics in a sophisticated colour palette. One piece that stood out for me for the subtlety of colour was this crackle glazed jug. Notice how the glaze doesn’t quite reach the bottom.Photo by Caroline Banks Her mugs and small jugs fit well into the hand and are really satisfying to hold.

Photo by Caroline BanksNext on the culinary wish list was this sterling silver saucepan, just one of a range of items by Brett Payne. I made the mistake of asking how thick the silver plating was (as it would rub away with repeated cleaning) but no, his impressive front-woman (also his daughter) told us he only works in solid silver; he is a silversmith after all. Silver is  an excellent conductor of heat so just the thing for searing scallops.Photo by Caroline BanksThese swan spoons were very cute too.  Click here for the video). You need deep pockets but these pieces are investments, made to last for generations.Photo by Caroline Banks
Photo by Caroline Banks

The Linnean Society, London

Whenever visiting places not normally open to the public I’m struck by the range of hidden enclaves. Such is the Linnean Society, one of several societies housed in Burlington House in London.

As the name suggests, this is a natural science society, the oldest one in the world, and still very active in all aspects of the life sciences.Photo by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline BanksAmongst its many treasures are these beautifully delicate botanical illustrations. All photos are skewed as I was trying to avoid direct light on glass.Photo by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline BanksThis book from 1542 by Leonhard Fuchs is remarkable in that the three artists involved in its production are credited with both their names and portraits: Albrecht Meyer (botanical illustrator), Heinrich Füllmaurer (woodblock draughtsman) and Veit Rudolf Speckle (wood engraver)Photo by Caroline Banks

A couple of the artists showing at Roy’s People Art Fair

My participation in the second Roy’s People Art Fair, which took place at The Bargehouse, OXO Tower in London, is the last (for a few weeks at least) of a blur of constant creative and commercial activity this year.

Photo by Caroline Banks

“The Merry Wives of Windsor” published 1910

Robert Robinson is popular on the art fair circuit exhibiting his books and cut-outs, with subjects including superheros and Alice in Wonderland. He was my neighbour at the recent The Other Art Fair but we never had the chance to talk as were so busy.Photo by Caroline Banks In complete contrast, Lucy Stevens combines sound and imagery in ongoing explorations into, as her website says, “the acoustic ecology of the natural environment”, specifically birdsong.

I didn’t have the chance to listen to her recordings but found the imagery intriguing so please visit her website to learn more.  Photo by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline Banks

I’m now looking forward to slowing down a little for a while.

Breathe: A Green Lung – installation at the Barbican

There is always more to see than anticipated when visiting the Barbican  and this was exactly the case whilst on my way from Yto Barrada’s Agadir in The Curve to Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins in the gallery.

I came across this small installation tucked into a corner called Breathe: A Green Lung, devised by Cityscapes with Heywood & Condie  in which a stained glass greenhouse is enclosed within two green walls.       Photo by Caroline Banks

Photo by Caroline Banks

Photo by Caroline Banks

Increasing greenery within an urban environment is preaching to the choir here; what really appealed to me creatively was the stained glass greenhouse Photo by Caroline Banks with its amended imagery. To see more of their stained glass work click on this link.Photo by Caroline Banks

Artists discovered at The Other Art Fair at Victoria House, London. Post 2 of 2

I never had enough time in the mornings before the fair opened to look around properly but enjoyed finding these artists, all previously unknown to me.

Ian Rayer-Smith’s lush abstracts seduced me with their colour and the energy of mark-making; they also come across as rich in meaning. I see myths and legends with the gods battling in epic skyscapes…Photo by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline Banksthis one evokes Leda and the swan for me but don’t let that stop you from a different  interpretation.Photo by Caroline BanksDutch artist Peter Bezuijen is also concerned with colour but in a very different way with pattern and repetition. His background in illustration and graphics is evident and I enjoy his infinite variations within quite a regimented format.   Photo by Caroline Banks Rajvi Dedhia Unadkat’s paintings combine both elements mentioned above: gestural mark-making and structural composition, seen in the layering and contrasts within a piece.Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks