Monday, 25 January 2010

Early in 1940, during the London Blitz, the artist Henry Moore noticed long lines forming outside the Underground stations. One evening, instead of driving to his home in North London (which was destroyed a few months later by a bomb), he took the Underground.
As the train beaded north, Moore saw people lying in the stations and mothers undressing their babies on the platform. For Moore, this subterranean scene of civilians seeking shelter from the bombing was a revelation. "Even the holes out of which the trains were coming seemed to me to be like the holes in my sculpture,' he later wrote. "...There was tension in the air. [People] were a bit like the chorus in a Greek drama telling us about the violence we don't actually witness."
When Kenneth Clark, director of the National Gallery, saw the first of Moore's Underground drawings, he urged his friend to document the shelters for the War Artists'Advisory Committee. Moore, who had been gassed at Cambrai during the First World War, reluctantly agreed. Clark described Moore's figures "lying helpless deep in the earth, as if wrapped in winding sheets rather than blankets." Francis Bacon commented that the drawings looked like knitting with the needles pulled out.

Moore never drew in the shelters. "It would have been like making sketches in the hold of a slave ship,"he said. To jog his memory, he jotted down notes. "Remember figures seen last Wednesday night (Piccadilly Tube)." 'Two sleeping figures (seen from above) sharing cream-coloured thin blankets (drapery closely stuck to form). Hands and arms. Try positions oneself."
Moore often spent the entire night below ground. At dawn he returned to his studio where he committed to paper what he had seen. He drew on cheap notebooks with pen and ink, crayon and watercolor. Of the shelter drawings, Clark wrote that they"will, I am certain, always be considered the greatest works of art inspired by the war."
More (or should that be Moore) of his Air Raid Shelter sketches -
Henry Moore Foundation website -

Sunday, 24 January 2010

textiles inspired by Natural homes.

This flamingo is made by txtile artist Abigail Brown. She has also created beautiful textile pieces inspired by bird nests and houses. All of her work is very 3D.
These brightly coloured nests are made by recycle inspired artist Alison Harper. These pieces were made with everyday objects and materials. She created them with students when she went out into schools and colleges to run workshops.

textiles inspired by Natural Homes

This piece is created by a batik and print artist called Robin Paris. All of her work is inspired by nature.

Textiles inspired by Natural homes.

These are a series of nests created by a textile artist/ quilter from Canada called Kirsten Chursinoff. She has also created lots of pieces inspired by birds and other wildlife.

These nests have been painted by Susan Hostetler. She has painted lots of birds as well as their nests. She is an eco artisit who works in mixed media. You can see lots of detial in the way the nests have been "woven" together by the birds.

Tetiles inspired by Natural Homes

these delicate nests are made from metal wires by artist Fiona Heron.

textiles inspired by Natural Homes

Lovely 3D textiles by Tamar Mogendorff include birds and sealife such as this Clam. to look at more of the work go to

textiles inspired by natural homes

Birds nest inspired hat by Pierre Cardin in Spring 2008

Textiles inspired by Natural homes

Gaint Clam like head piece by Stephen Jones for designer Giles Deacon in Spring 2009. (very Rainbow!)

Textiles inspired by Natural homes

Headdress inspired by nests is made form birch twigs by artist Tonya Douraghy.

textiles inspired by Natural homes

Coats by Pierre Cardin. A true revolutionary who was interested in using unconventional fabrics often plastics to create space age clothes especailly in the 60's when he was at the peak of his career. These were said to be Sleeping bags that you wore! and are from his 2008 winter collection.

Textiles inspired by Natural Homes

These dresses with their gathered and pleated fabrics again resemble the pleated outside of the cocoons made by caterpillers as they turn into butterflies or moths. They have been designed by Korean Lei sang bong and appeared in the Paris Fashion Week for Spring 2010.

Textiles inspired by Natural Homes

From Doir 2008 these dresses have "peplum" styled skirts that resemble the shapes of butterfly cocoons, though the colours that John Galliano has used remind us more of the colourful butterfly that would emerge from the cocoon!

Textile Creations inspired by Natural Homes

These dresses have large skirts that resemble huge shell like structures. They are designed by Prada.

natural homes

This is a cocoon inspired wedding dress by Yves St Laurent. It is a knitted creation from his 1960's.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Work rest play. pattern repeat in textiles

Marcia Copeland designs retro-modern home textiles in fun, colorful prints often with familiar objects featured.Swizzlestix.

Work, Rest,Play. Pattern repeat in textiles.

Printed clothes designed by Zandra Rhodes. They are a mixture of images printed onto a variety of materials. Many of the images are abstract and she uses this well when repeating the patterns over a length of cloth. Very often Zandra bases her collections on wonderful places she has visited.

Work Rest Play. Pattern repeat printed textiles.

Traditional printed textiles from Laura Ashley.

Work Rest Play. Pattern repeat in textiles.

Floral patterns associated with Liberty prints. The peacock feather is most famously linked to the department store.

Work, Rest, Play. Pattern repeat in textiles.

Printed Textiles by Cath Kidston. Brightly coloured textiles for the home that feature images relating to places you may have visited ( London print shopper) or floral patterns.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Work Rest Play Giant Sculptures American Folk Art

There is a tradition of giant sculpture in the US with examples that date back to the begin of the 20th Century. Some are quirky and strange, some are huge adverts or signs visible over long distances on the highways advertising businesses, hotels, cafes etc.

These are an institution in America, tourist attractions with people travelling huge distances to see them.

Work Rest Play Claus Oldenburg

Claus Oldenburg took the American tradition of making giant roadside objects and folk art and turned it into his own Pop Art