Power Viewing at the V&A


This is the second installment of my packed out day of power-viewing exhibs in London!
Did you see Grace Kelly and Peter Rabbit at the V&A?
How about Architects Build Small Spaces or Exposed at the Tate Modern?
Here’s a little look:

Architects Build Small Places

Ark, a book tower by Rintala Eggertsson. See the filling of it on the V&A blog!

The great thing about the V&A is the amount you can see for free, and its not just the static exhibs but commissioned ones too! 1:1 is an excellent one because it allows you to actively discover all the parts of the exhibition around the grounds of the beautiful mighty V&A.

This exhibition features the work of architects designing small places that examine refuge and retreat. 7 out of 19 submissions are on display for you to discover. Me and my two friends found 4 including this amazing bookcase named Ark which you could climb to the top of to reach more books – thats alooot o readin’… and Ratatosk (below) which was built from tree trunks cut in half and ‘stretched’ apart to create a new fun climbing space with a message engraved inside. We also explored a confusing spiral staircase and a tunnel like wooden structure.

Ratatosk by Helen & Hard. See it being constructed on the V&A Blog!
All the small spaces encouraged you to think about more than just a living space, they are places which inspire play and discovery.
Exposed Voyerism, Surveillance and the Camera
This exhibition at the Tate Modern was not my usual light-hearted fashion-related quick and fun trip. But it was more interesting and educational… *nerd*. It wasn’t really what I was expecting so if you fancy going (and you should) then expect a photography rollercoaster!

Mans’ shoe with a camera hidden in the heel from the New York News and Weegee (Arthur Fellig) Marilyn Monroe c1950s

It was a fun start with brilliant examples of secret cameras used in the 40s/50s and fascinating early paparazzi shots in ‘Unseen Photographer’ and ‘Celebrity & the Public Gaze’.

Amazingly touching and spooky photographs of strangers on the streets of New York. A flash and shutter opening was triggered when someone walked past. Image from Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s Heads found at Shane

These move on through the rooms to display photographs of ‘Voyerism and Desire’ where the innocent spying of everyday posh ladies on the bus morph into some pretty sexually explicit perving (but not on posh ladies, other types of ladies).. Maybe a section to miss out if you see it with you gran!

Brassai At Suzy’s and Shizuka Yokomizo Stranger No. 1 1998

If that didn’t make you feel a little queezy, please move on to ‘Witnessing Violence’, it promises a bit of a slap in the face. Here we viewed secret and journalistic imagery of horrific deaths in history which will leave you concerned with the state of society. Luckily, your newly shocked state is calmed a little with final ‘Surveillance’ section of satellite and cctv imagery. Whether it was the effect of the previous rooms or the fact that the last bit was really a bit boring, I found this to be a muddled collection which seemed least linked to the rest of the display.

Over a refreshing lunch, me and the girls discussed the shows strengths and weaknesses and concluded that we had certianly learnt a lot about history and the most strange and unknown types of voyerism but a very large chunk of content was potentially missing: The effect of exposure on our modern celebrity-obsessed and social media exploding culture. This should really have been explored and challenged but then again, it probably deserves its own exhibition.

To read about this venture from a Fine Art point of view, please see Chloes’ brilliantly written art blog!


  • vint junky July 29, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    >I love the trees! Infact i'd like to build a house around the trees and live there!!

    Great post, the V&A is ah-mazing


  • Domaine Schématique July 27, 2010 at 11:10 PM

    >Thanks for sharing that. I'll be visitong London soon and was very excited about the V&A architecture exhibition. Can't wait to get there!!!

  • Roz July 26, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    >I love London! And the V&A is always my favourite place to visit when I'm there. I could spend hours wandering around all the different exhibtions. I love the fact that I find new things every time I go. The bookshop there is fantastic too. If only I had more money… I saw the Grace Kelly exhibition last time, which I enjoyed immensely. She had a timeless grace and beauty. Those wooden structures look so interesting, and I've read a lot about the Tate exhibition. Being interested in photography, I think its a fascinating idea. However, I don't think all the photos would be my cup of tea though! Those shoes with the camera in the heel are amazing though.

    Thanks for the sweet comment!

  • WALK THE SAND July 26, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    >I'm very jealous of you going to all these amazing exhibitions… I wish I could get down to London asap and go too!
    Lovely blog.

  • Josh Healy July 25, 2010 at 5:45 AM

    >Hi, hope it's OK to contact you here. We would love to include your blog on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout ( Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog ( ). thanks, Josh

  • Jazzabelle July 23, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    >I'm in love with the Ark at the V&A as well as the Ratatosk, I went to the V&A on my birthday last week (a bit of a tradition), so I did a small post on it. Oh my, did you feel the Ark slightly swaying once at the top? It made me feel slighly queasy, hehe. I think the concept of this piece is just lovely, though.

    About your post on the Grace Kelly exhib, I went to a free lunchtime talk they had a couple of months ago and the curator told us that many of the her main dresses couldn't be in the exhibition as they were just too delicate to be flown over, same with some of the pieces in the previous major Quilts exhibition.

    I went to the Peter Rabbit exhibition today! The sketches and paintings are just so detailed and adorable!

    Your posts are just lovely, it's great to finally see other people who enjoy going to museums and exhibitions in their spare time, as nobody I know does, even all of the people in my art class.

    Love, Jazzabelle. xxx

  • Diana Mieczan July 23, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    >That is wonderful,sweetie and that ratatosk is so cool.:) Wish you a wonderful weekend and see you soon:)

    Thank you for taking part in my GIVEAWAY!!!