Archives for India

Victoria and Albert Museum Remembers John Lockwood Kipling

THE designer and architectural sculptor, John Lockwood Kipling is the focus of a new show at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London which opens early next year. An influential figure of the Arts and Crafts Movement of the Nineteenth Century, Lockwood Kipling is perhaps better known as the illustrator of Jungle Book and Kim, stories written by his son, Rudyard. Motivated as a young man by the fabulous displays of Indian craftwork at the Great Exhibition of 1851, Lockwood became a keen advocate of Indian craft which he later taught at the Mayo School of Industrial Arts in Lahore, India (now the National College of Art).

Overlooking the John Madejski garden at the Victoria and Albert Museum is an interesting mosaic plaque commemorating Godfrey Sykes’ decorative terracotta work for the South Kensington Museum, as it was formerly known. Lockwood, who took part in the project, is shown carrying a scroll followed by Henry Cole, the first director of the museum.

Mosaic panel after Godfrey Sykes, c.a. 1866, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Far from being an imperialist, Lockwood was concerned with the decline in traditional craft skills, a consequence of the cheap European imports infiltrating India during the Industrial Revolution. As an architectural sculptor, Lockwood inclined towards natural forms which inspired new designs for industrial art, in combination with the historical works at the Lahore Museum of which he was curator. Writing in 1880, he recorded, “I have observed that very little is popularly known of the fishes of the country; many are curious in form and beautiful in colour.”

Wood Carver from a collection depicting craftsmen of the North West provinces of
British India by John Lockwood. Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum

The exhibition, Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab will show original displays first seen by Lockwood at the Great Exhibition of 1851, artefacts chosen by Lockwood for the Victoria and Albert Museum and furniture he designed for Queen Victoria’s homes at Bagshot Park and Osborne House. Lockwood’s fascinating collection of sketches depicting Indian wood-carvers, metallurgists, ceramists, jewellery and toy makers will also be on display. Other exhibits include a piano decorated by Edward Burne-Jones played by Lockwood’s wife, Alice Macdonald and her embroidery for the Red House, the home of William Morris.

Bracelet shown at the Great Exhibition made in Rajasthan, India, c.a. 1850, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

by Miranda Charalambous

The free exhibition, Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab, made in collaboration with the Bard Graduate Center, New York opens from January 14 until April 2, 2017 at The Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7942 2000
Email: contact@vam.ac.uk

Front page image: The Great Exhibition, India No.4 by Joseph Nash, c.a. 1851, Royal Collection Trust, Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2016

London Design Fair Features Contemporary Scottish Craft

THE London Design Fair  will take place at the Truman Brewery in East London later this year. The spectacular four-day industry event, which is hosted in collaboration with Tent London and Super Brands London, showcases the work of independent designers, established brands and galleries. In addition, new designers and global brands will be launched in the UK through 15 international country pavilions represented by Portugal, Switzerland, Norway, India and China.

Lara Scobie, Scotland Craft and DesignLara Scobie, Scotland Craft and Design. Photograph: London Design Fair

Lara Scobie, an award-winning ceramist will be exhibiting new work at the Scotland Design and Craft pavilion. Her elegantly tapered vessels with undulating motifs reflect the subtlety of traditional weaving techniques through contemporary hand-drawn designs.

From the Highlands of Scotland, Catherine MacGruer creates fabulous Merino wool textiles in vibrant, eye-catching designs influenced by travels abroad. Her geometric patterns evolve from collaged shapes which are digitally knitted into cushions, blankets and scarves.

Juli Bolaños-Durman, Scotland Craft and Design. Photgraph © London Design FairJuli Bolaños-Durman, Scotland Craft and Design. Photograph: London Design Fair

Stormy Scottish weather, Japanese wabi-sabi and light on the Moray Firth inspire Juli Bolaños-Durman, a Latin-American designer based in Scotland. Her latest Made-Up Museum of Artefacts collection combines engraved blown glass with found materials. By creating “something beautiful from things that people are about to discard”, she explores the challenges that their unwanted items present.

Yellow Broom, Scotland Craft and Design. Photograph London Design FairYellow Broom, Scotland Craft and Design. Photograph: London Design Fair

by Miranda Charalambous

The London Design Fair opens September 22 – 25, 2016 at the
Old Truman Brewery, 26 Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR.
Thu 10am – 7pm, Fri – Sat 10am – 8pm, Sun 11am – 6pm

Front page image: Juli Bolaños-Durman, Scotland Craft and Design. Photograph: London Design Fair

 

Pioneer of Early Photography Show to Open at V&A

Tripe SS1Amerapoora Colossal Statue of Gautama Close to the North End of the Wooden Bridge
by Linnaeus Tripe, (September 1 – October 21, 1855)

A MAJOR exhibition of the pioneer of early photography, Captain Linnaeus Tripe will open at The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, this year including more than 60 of his most outstanding images taken between 1852 and 1860 of the landscape and architecture of India and Burma (Myanmar) in the 1850s.

Tripe SS2Pugahm Myo: Thapinyu Pagoda by Linnaeus Tripe. August 20-24, 1855

On display at the V&A will be Tripe’s photographs of architectural sites and monuments, ancient and contemporary religious and secular buildings, as well as roads, bridges, moats, landscape vistas and geological formations throughout India and Burma.

Captain Linnaeus Tripe SS3Pugahm Myo: Carved Doorway in Courtyard of Shwe Zeegong Pagoda
Linnaeus Tripe. August 20-24 or October 23, 1855

Many of the images are the first photographic records of these sites and the prints on view represent the highlights of Tripe’s output. They will be shown alongside bound albums of his work, a panoramic scroll and two models of monuments similar to his subjects.

Captain Linnaeus Tripe SS4Corner of Mygabhoodee-tee Kyoung  by Linnaeus Tripe. September 1-October 21, 1855

Tripe (1822-1902) was born in Devon, southern England and joined the East India Company army in 1839 . He was stationed in India throughout the 1840s and learnt photography when he was leave in England for several years in the early 1850s.

Captain Linnaeus Tripe SS5Henzas on the East Side of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda by Linnaeus Tripe. November 1855

The show aims to highlight Tripe’s considerable skill at a time when “photography was about to undergo rapid change and the practice and recognition was becoming more widely adopted. It will also show his understanding that photography could be used to convey information about unknown cultures and places to the general public.”

Captain Linnaeus Tripe SS6The Great Pagoda Jewels, January – February 1858  by Linnaeus Tripe January – February 1858

The photographs on show were taken on two major expeditions and document an significant era in Indian, Burmese and British history. In 1855 Tripe was appointed by the governor-general of India to accompany a mission to Burma to study the area. He became the first person to photograph the region’s remarkable architecture and landscapes. Tripe then went on to be the first to photograph extensively in south India after his subsequent appointment as photographer to the Madras government.

Captain Linnaeus Tripe SS7Trichinopoly: Musjid of Nutter Owleah, from the Head of the Lane Leading to it
by  Linnaeus Tripe January or April 1858

Through this official role he aimed to capture as much of the south Indian region as possible. After each trip he returned with more than 200 large format paper negatives, from which he carefully oversaw the complex printing in his Bangalore studio that he founded for this purpose.

Tripe’s photographs are technically complex and he is known for his innovative precision with the camera, paying close attention to both his composition and its realisation when printing. To evoke atmospheric effects Tripe retouched most of his negatives by applying pigment in thin layers and included in the exhibition will be a selection of waxed-paper negatives that reveal these working methods.

by Caroline Simpson

Captain Linnaeus Tripe: Photographer of India and Burma, 1852-1860

Part of the V&A India Festival from June 24 – October 11, 2015
, #LinnaeusTripe