Monday, 7 September 2009

Telling Tales: Fear and Fantasy in Contemporary Design

Jurgen Bey - Linnenkasthuis - seen here

I finally got down to London last weekend to see Telling Tales: Fear and Fantasy in Contemporary Design at the V & A Museum. Really excellent show - so glad I have seen it. Split into three themed areas the emphasis is on designers rather than artists, many of them Dutch. The exhibition sits between art/craft/design , and its themes allow for the bizarre and the unsettling to enliven the debate. Curator, Gareth Williams '...explores how more-or-less overtly functional objects – ‘designed’ objects – can be made to carry meanings and associations, or tell tales'. Seen here

My favourite section was The Forest Glade with its allusions to fairy stories and in particular Linen-Cupboard-House (Linnenkasthuis) by Jurgen Bey. Reminiscent of the ginger bread house in Hansel and Gretel, the hybrid 'guest' room is created or amalgamated from old furniture and textiles. The piece on show is number two of an edition of four; with no photography allowed, and no image of the V & A piece available - the image above is a similar piece.

I also particularly enjoyed the giant ceramic tulip vases made by various makers in the Enchanted Castle section and the creepy little taxidermy Moulded Mole slippers by Niels van Eijk in the Heaven and Hell section with their disquieting invitation to consider the use of fur in design and fashion.

Neils van Eijk - Moulded Mole slippers, seen here

Here's a really interesting little film about the show.

1 comment:

  1. I went to this exhibition and i was very inspired by the pieces. Although this has exhibition has ended i recommend any students studying art to look at this in more detail. Very imaginative and inspirational. It really does have a feeling of fantasy to it.


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