Archives for V&A

Phoebe Cummings Awarded the Inaugural Woman’s Hour Craft Prize

CLAY artist Phoebe Cummings has been selected from 12 finalists as the winner of the inaugural £10,000 Woman’s Hour Craft Prize. The prize was established in October 2016 by the Crafts Council, BBC Radio 4 and the V&A, with the aim of celebrating craft artists in the UK.

The finalists were chosen from over 1,500 applications by judging panel of 29 including artists, editors, professors, curators and creative directors. She was then awarded the prize by Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director of the Crafts Council; Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A; Martha Kearney, BBC journalist and broadcaster; Jacky Klein, art historian; and Susie Lau, fashion writer and style influencer.

Antediluvian Swag by Phoebe Cummings, 2016, New Art Centre.
Photograph courtesy: Sylvain Deleu

Phoebe uses unfired clay to create sculptures and installations that disintegrate over time. Her works last only for the duration of an exhibition, after which materials are reused on future projects whenever possible. As a result, her career has been led by commissions for public galleries and museums, rather than the production of pieces for sale.

Phoebe Cummings working on an installation.
Photograph courtesy: Sylvain Deleu

For the Craft Prize Phoebe created a fountain that dissolves as the water flows. The piece was inspired by fragments of the recently restored 18th Century Meissen Fountain, which she first saw as an Artist in Residence at the V&A in 2010.

Triumph of the Immaterial by Phoebe Cummings for the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize, 2017.
Photograph courtesy: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

by Rosie Byers

The 12 finalists’ work has been showcased at the V&A since September 2017 and will be on display until February 5, 2018 at the Sackler Centre for arts education, Room 220, V&A Museum, Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL. Admission to the exhibition is free. Details of the featured pieces can be found at the V&A website.

The V&A Presents Fashion In Motion: Phoebe English

LUXURY BRITISH, women’s and menswear label Phoebe English will be the next designer to feature in Fashion In Motion, this October at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Fashion In Motion will highlight the precise beauty of six years of Phoebe English’s collections. Made in England, the Phoebe English, label deploys lost and rarely used garment construction and fabrication techniques, embodying the mark of the maker.

pe1Phoebe English AW17 Presentation. Photograph: Polly Brown

The fashion collections will be centred within set designs, produced to capture the imagination and involve the viewer, setting the label apart from trend led, mass-made fashion design. The collections are aimed toward a balance between design and craft. A pop up shop of selected garments, specially crafted pieces for the V&A and unique exclusive works to be sold at V&A promotional prices will feature as part of the show.

English says, “Taking part in Fashion in Motion has a particular significance to me, as the V&A was the museum in which I decided to follow my interest in fashion. It is the building where my love for clothing and design were contextualised into a tangible practice and pathway”

After debuting her first fashion collection and graduating from Central Saint Martins with an MA from their Fashion Programme, English won several awards including L’Oréal’s Professional Creative Award, the Chloe Award and the Ungaro bursary. This collection was also picked up by luxury fashion shop, Dover Street Market London.

pe3Phoebe English AW17 Presentation. Photograph: Polly Brown

In 2013, The Centre for Fashion Enterprise awarded English a mentoring and sponsorship as part of the coveted Venture Programme. And two years later, Forbes listed English in the 30 under 30, influential Art and Style category and her menswear line, Phoebe English MAN, was awarded the NEWGEN Award by the British Fashion Council.

Inspiring designers, students and researchers, the V&A  is home to some of the UK’s biggest national, fashion collections along with unique and comprehensive collections of world fashion spanning the last four centuries.

V&A fashion curator, Oriole Cullen says, “Phoebe English is a designer for whom the presentation of her work is an integral part of her design process. For each of her collections she creates intriguing and beautiful scenarios in which to showcase her designs. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Phoebe as part of the V&A Fashion in Motion programme, particularly as she has previously used the Museum as a source of inspiration for her collections”

pe2Phoebe English AW17 Presentation. Photograph: Polly Brown

Catwalk shows from leading, international fashion designers bring their collections to V&A Fashion In Motion, to show fashion garments moving and animated, as they should be seen. Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacriox are some of the designers previously showcased at the museum.

by Pierra George-Robertson

Featured Image: Phoebe English, Autumn Winter 17 Presentation, photo: Polly Brown.

Fashion In Motion: Phoebe English opens October 20. Tickets are available online. Admission is free.
The exhibition will be shown in the Raphael Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, London, SW7 2RL


V&A Celebrates House of Holland’s 10th Anniversary

AS part of its Fashion in Motion series, the V&A will host a retrospective runway show celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the House of Holland. Four catwalk shows will be staged in the Raphael Gallery this month which will showcase a carefully curated selection of pieces from across the brand’s decade-long history – pieces such as the infamous slogan t-shirts that first bought Henry Holland to the attention of the sartorial industry back in 2006, the tartan eyepatch that featured in his 2008 collection, his raving grandma inspired AW11 line, as well as looks from the designer’s more recent shows.

House of Holland AW08© House of Holland

A temporary store, retailing special decennary editions of the label’s foundational slogan t-shirts will also be available on the day.

House of Holland SS17 © House of Holland

Vibrant, playful and bold, the House of Holland encapsulates the somewhat audacious character of the London girl and the brand – now in its thirteenth season – has successfully established its presence on the international scene, helping in turn to solidify the distinctly colourful, rebellious nature of British fashion and strengthen its place in the global market.

House of Holland AW16© House of Holland


by Hannah Bergin

Tickets will be available to book from 10.00 on October 10 by visiting here
The 15.00 show will be live streamed via here

Four catwalk show will be staged in the Raphael Gallery on October 21. Admission is free.


V&A Museum Presents Engineering Season – Robots Build a Pavilion

V&A presents Engineering Season – the first of its kind celebrating and exploring the engineering efforts that influence our everyday lives. The programme consists of displays, events and interactive installations – and visitors can watch a Kuka robot build new cells of the pavilion as it happens in real time – and will underline the importance of technological advances and its designers who are a major force, working behind the scenes on creating the environment that surrounds us all.

pavilionElytra Filament Pavilion, render, V&A John Madejski Garden 2016;
© ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart; Image courtesy of V&A

The installation created by Achim Menges with Moritz Dörstelmann, structural engineer Jan Knippers and climate engineer Thomas Auer  – the Elytra Filament Pavilion – will be the opening the showcase. A canopy located in V&A’s John Madejski Garden will be a live structure that considers the influence of new robotic technologies on architectural design, engineering and making.

The nature-inspired construction is made up of tightly-woven carbon fibre cells created using a novel robotic production process. Additionally, the fibres will carry real-time sensors capturing data from its surroundings and adapting the construction accordingly – by adding new fibre cells – live and acting as an environmental filter.

penguin poolPenguin Pool, London Zoo;  London, 1934; © ZSL; Image courtesy of V&A

Another highlight of the show will be a retrospective of the work of Ove Arup: Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design, which will shine a new light on the most influential engineer of the 20th century. Ove was a prolific creator who applied his training and interest in philosophy to natural flair for combining different disciplines in a pursue of his grand idea of a Total Design.

The work of the British-Danish engineer Arup defined his era and those to come and the showcase will present that influence through previously unseen prototypes, models, archival materials, drawings, film and photography, as well as a host of new immersive digital displays featuring animations, simulations and virtual reality.

The visitors will be immersed in his design and engineering legacy transpiring through Ove’s awe-inspiring writings and projects including Penguin Pool at London Zoo, Sydney Opera House, Centre Pompidou in Paris and other significant buildings, such as Crossrail, across the world.

syndey operaSydney Opera House © David Messent; Image courtesy of V&A

Additionally, a display entitled Mind over Matter will feature leading innovative engineering projects from around the world by British engineering firms such as AKT II, Atelier One, Buro Happold, Expedition Engineering and Jane Wernick Associates. Other activities in the V&A Engineering Season will include an Exhibition Road Engineering Residency supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, a themed Friday Late, a series of lectures, talks and gallery tours, as well as a Symposium about biomimicry, design and engineering with a keynote lecture by Achim Menges.

by Magda Pirowska

The exhibition Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design runs from  June 18 –  November 6, 2016. Tickets will go on sale in April 2016. Admission £7 (concessions available). V&A Members go free. Advance booking is advised – this can be done in person, online; or by calling 0800 912 6961 (booking fee applies).
This exhibition is made possible with the cooperation of Arup.
The Elytra Filament Pavilion will be on display in the John Madejski Garden from May 18  – November 6, 2016. Admission is free.

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

What is Luxury? The V&A Museum Announces New Show for Spring 2015

new Dress_Voltage_Haute_Couture_Iris_Van_Herpen_2013_Paris_c_M._Zoeter_x_Iris_van_HerpenVoltage Dress, Iris van Herpen, 2013, Paris © M Zoeter x Iris van Herpen

A MAJOR exhibition exploring the meaning of luxury will be on show at the V&A, London next year. What is Luxury?, a collaboration between the V&A and the Crafts Council, aims to take visitors on a journey asking them to consider what luxury means and how it relates to their own lives. As well as including artefacts traditionally regarded as luxury items, the exhibition also wishes to provoke questioning and debate through the presentation of imaginary situations in order to investigate issues such as privacy, resources and access that could determine present and future ideas of luxury.


Ecclesiastical crown, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, LondonEcclesiastical crown, ca. 1750 © The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection
on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

On display at the V&A will be objects regarded as luxurious due to the excellence of their design and craftsmanship such as the Space Travellers’ Watch, an entirely handcrafted mechanical timepiece by renowned British watchmaker George Daniels, a laser-cut haute couture dress by fashion designer Iris van Herpen, a Hermès Talaris saddle which combines traditional leather craftsmanship with a technologically innovative structure, and the Bubble Bath necklace by Nora Fok, made from more than 1000 hand-knitted nylon bubbles.

The concepts of time and space will be also examined in the show as the curators argue these are luxury items too especially within a 21st–century urban context.

Time for Yourself,  Marcin Rusak and Iona Inglesby, 2013, Marcin RusakTime for Yourself.  Marcin Rusak and Iona Inglesby, 2013 © Marcin Rusak

What is Luxury? poses questions about the future of luxury by presenting a range of design and art projects which question the relationship between luxury, value and materials. For instance Hair Highway by Studio Swine sets human hair in resin to create decorative pieces of furniture and accessories. Through looking at traditional explanations of luxury to conceptual projects, What is Luxury? aims to take visitors on a journey and prompt them to consider what luxury means and how it relates to their own lives.

Visiting research fellow Leanne Wierzba, co-curator of the exhibition, says, “What is Luxury? will reveal the stories and craftsmanship behind the exquisite and intriguing objects on display and demonstrate the precision, time and application of skills invested to produce them.”

V&A curator of Contemporary Furniture Jana Scholze and co-curator of What is Luxury?, adds, “As its title suggests, the exhibition questions the very idea of luxury today. It will challenge common interpretations of luxury, invite close examination of luxury production and extend ideas of what luxury can be. Essentially, the question of luxury is a personal one.”

by Caroline Simpson

Featured image credits: Necklace Bubble Bath Nora Fok 2001 Photograph: Heini Schneebeli. Courtesy of the Crafts Council

What is Luxury? opens at April 25 – September 27, 2015, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL. The Museum opens from 10.00 – 17.45 daily. Fridays from 10.00 – 22.00 (selected galleries remain open after 18.00.