Posted in Lifestyle, London, Uncategorized

Love and fear @ the design museum

As I entered the design museum I was quite taken with the stunning architecture and design of the building itself. Very minimalistic and open plan you could be mistaken for thinking that there isn’t actually much going on inside there.

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Once you reach the top floor you are led round into the main permanent collection entitled designer, maker, user. It is full of innovative designs and there are loads of interactive things to do that are particularly aimed at children, they are even able to design their own objects that can be displayed on the wall. We were quite interested in seeing how certain brands such as Apple and Bosch have developed their companies by continuously updating their products and I found it amusing to take a picture of all the Sony products using my Sony Xperia phone.

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The crowdsourced wall was thought provoking. Made up of 200 objects that shape the lives of people in over 25 countries in demonstrates the intimate relationships that people have with the objects around them. Next to the display is a list of all the people that submitted ideas and their most important objects.

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As well as having a permanent collection that is free to visit there are also temporary exhibitions that have a fee to enter. I went to see the fear and love exhibition, I really loved the design museum but was not so enthused by this particular exhibition. The reactions to a complex world aims to challenge perceptions of what design is and how it is presented, there were certain elements that were more intriguing than others.

I really liked the material installation that looks at how we are mislead when it comes to our clothing that have inaccurate labelling, although it was so hard not to sink my hand into the mounds of fibres that looked very inviting. This particular exhibition is aimed more at adults and my 12 year old did seem a bit bored, although he was quite impressed with the robot who continually followed him around as he strolled back and forth.

This particular exhibition has now closed but there are some other interesting ones coming up including ‘California’ which documents California’s mid century modernism and ‘Cartier in motion’ which examines Cartier’s approach to watchmaking.

Have you visited the design museum yet?

Posted in London, Travel, Uncategorized

Dancing in the sky

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When I was given the opportunity to attend the silent disco at the Shard I was a bit apprehensive, for a start I have a fear of heights and just the thought of being 68 floors above London sends shivers down my spine, secondly everyone dancing around in silence with earphones on their head…how awkward! But what a great opportunity so I couldn’t turn it down!

Upon arrival we went through airport style security and were ushered over to the cloakroom to put in our coats and bags, we were told we could keep them if we liked and I kept my scarf as I heard that the very top viewing platform was open to the elements and could get cold.

The first lift takes you up to floor 33 in record time and then you are shown round to the second lift that goes up to floor 68. Loads of people were dressed up to the nines and others were pretty casual with jeans and trainers but I think the dress code is to just look presentable. I am more of a comfort over style person myself so chose to wear flat shoes which I am so glad about.

We were handed our headphones as we exited the lift and shown how to use them, they are really simple, a switch at the side takes you between three DJs and as you switch channel the colour of the headphones changes to your DJ of choice. Red was playing some cheesy pop and chart music, green was a mix of RnB, hip hop and grime and blue was playing more rock and alternative stuff, basically something for everyone!

As I entered the main room I was blown away by the views over London. The session runs from 10pm to 2am so it is dark outside and everything is lit up. You can walk around to get views from every side of the building and there is a machine that enables you to zoom in on certain areas so you can see it close up, although not many people were bothering with that as they were too busy singing and dancing. I happily flicked between the green and red channel and found it hard to tear myself away from the window as there was just so much to see.

I am the type of person who loves to sing along to anything, when my kids were younger they thought I knew the words to every song in the world because as soon as music starts playing I start singing, however I felt really self conscious singing out loud knowing that it was quiet in the room. As the night went on and it got busier everyone seemed to lose their inhibitions and the whole place was singing along which was really fun, especially as they were singing to three different songs!

There wasn’t any food available but there was one bar that served cocktails, prosecco, beer and bottles of water. The cocktails were a reasonable £8.50 although it is full of ice so doesn’t last long, luckily I’m not much of a drinker so I make a cheap date. I didn’t et many photos as I didn’t want to carry a big camera around while dancing and unfortunately he phone camera just doesn’t do the view any justice so you will just have to go and take a look for yourself!

The silent disco is an event run by Time Out and the tickets cost £37.50. I would have said this was expensive but I had a really great time and I don’t think any nightclub is ever going to be able to match up to this rather special experience and even if you only go for a one off experience it is well worth it! I went with the OH but if my friends wanted to go I would definitely go back again for a boogie with a view.

Posted in London, Photography, Uncategorized

Photography project – Architecture

The reason I first started a blog is because I thought it would be a great outlet and a place that I could regularly share my photography. I also love getting out and exploring places and the two work perfectly together to make Oh Pretty City.

I do obviously post photos of the places I have visited but I don’t feel like the photography is the focus of these posts so I have decided to do at least one post a week that is just about the photography. I will choose a theme and will share a few photos that I may have just taken or that are lurking somewhere on my hard drive and never get to see the light of day…I feel sad for those photos!

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All the photos were taken in London except the last one which was in Crete, I cant believe this is actually someone’s home!

If you know of any photography linkys then please let me know in the comments as I love to see what other people are photographing and may get some inspiration for future themes.

Posted in London, Photography, Uncategorized

Wolfgang Tillmans at the Tate

Wolfgang Tillmans is a contemporary artist creating photographic images that range from still life to political activism. I went with my class to the Tate modern along the Southbank to specifically see the Tillmans exhibition.
Upon arrival we were told that Tilmans is very hands on when it comes to how his work is displayed and placed so we should expect that there would be some sort of flow between the rooms and that we would be following a story in images, maybe we were but we just didn’t know what the story was?

As I walked through the first few rooms I was a bit confused (it doesn’t take much) I just saw random pieces of work that was displayed in different ways and some of which made me think ‘What a weirdo’

The more I explored the more I warmed towards Tillmans, I got a sense that he was just a photographer that documents the world as he sees it and doesn’t conform to how anyone else wants him too.

There were some pieces I preffered over others and I still don’t get the way he chose to display his work but was really impressed with the sheer amount of work he has managed to produce, particularly in magazine and book publication.

One of my favourite prints was the detailed yet simplistic image of a mans neck. I think it is really striking, perhaps its because of the way he chose to print it in such a large format.

I left the exhibition feeling really inspired, I sometimes worry that I don’t have a particular style or photograph within a certain genre but after seeing Tillmans success I think it is more important to just create work and enjoy doing it.
Are you a fan of Wolfgang Tillmans? If so visit his exhibition at Tate modern until 11th June. Entry to Tate modern is free but tickets to this exhibition are £12.50 unless you are a member.

Posted in Lifestyle, London, Uncategorized

Sushi at the Southbank

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I do like sushi but it is usually something little I pick up at the supermarket for a snack. I have never actually eaten out at a sushi restaurant before and am new to the Feng sushi franchise.

We were exploring the southbank and saw that the Feng sushi restaurant was on the tastecard list so decided to give them a call and head down there.

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The restaurant was fairly empty when we arrived but filed up quickly. The seating area isn’t large but the tables are spaced out nicely so it doesn’t feel cramped. We were sat at a high table with stools and had a large fish tank next to us, this could be a bit unnerving when you’re eating sushi!

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Food

As sushi is normally served in small portions we thought we would need a lot of food to fill us up so may have over ordered a bit. When the food arrived we were overwhelmed and struggled to eat it all.

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I had never tried gyoza dumplings before but they were really nice and the katsu curry was delicious and really filling. I did want to try their salted caramel ice cream but was just too full to order dessert.

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The staff were pleasant but not overly friendly or enthusiastic which is what we have come to expect when eating out. The food was reasonably priced and as they accept the tastecard we got 50% off our food bill but luckily we called ahead as they did ask when we presented the card. Sitting on the table next to us was Martin Lewis (the money saving expert himself) so you know it must be good value for money, although I didn’t notice him using a tastecard!

I really liked Feng sushi and would definitely return. Where is your favourite place to eat sushi?

 

 

Posted in Lifestyle, London, Uncategorized

Victoria & Albert museum

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Described as the worlds leading museum of Art and Design, the Victoria and Albert is definitely one of my favourites. I decided to go and visit to see if there were any new exhibitions within the photography and theatre and performance rooms plus it was also on my list of 10 places I wanted to visit and it’s always nice to tick some thing off a list!

There is so much amazing artwork and collections to see from Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks to Jeanne Lanvin’s 1930s evening dresses. Even the building itself is a work of art!

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The photography section was the same as it was the last time I went with collections of work focused on the body. I am excited about future plans that were recently mentioned on the news about the V and A expanding to hold the worlds largest collection of the art of photography with over 400,000 pieces being transferred there.

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There was a new impressive installation in the performance room which was based on the Glastonbury festival.

The way the posters were haphazardly placed on the wall reflecting how they would have been placed in situ was quite novel considering that the rest of the museum is formally laid out and I really liked the map wall where people could write their memories and place it in the area that they happened. It was a great way with viewers to interact and share their experiences. The screened pyramid played footage so you could stand inside and pretend you were at a performance which was really clever, although I expect it was a lot smaller than the real thing!

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I’m sure there is so much I missed while I was there so I will probably return in the near future to explore more.

The museum itself is free but certain exhibitions within it have a fee. If you are planning a visit I would definitely recommend purchasing a map as it is easy to get lost or find specific sections. There is a lovely garden area situated in the middle of the museum if you fancy a picnic or coffee break and the shop is packed with interesting products to purchase. All in all a great day out but if you have younger children I would say the natural history and science museums situated across the road would be a lot more popular.