AN INSIDER LOOK AT BARBARA HEPWORTH

Posted on June 22, 2015

This summer Tate Britain opens a major exhibition on the work of Barbara Hepworth – one of Britain’s greatest sculptors. Want to know more? We chatted to Inga Fraser, the curator behind the show, to get the inside scoop on the blockbuster exhibition before it opens on June 24th.

Can you give us a dummies guide intro to the exhibition and Hepworth’s work?

Barbara Hepworth is one of Britain’s most important modern artists and this exhibition is the first retrospective of her work in London for almost 50 years! She mainly worked as a sculptor and said that sculpture must be understood ‘in person’ – as seeing it in front of you means you experience the materials, textures, forms and mass in a unique way. People often have a strong emotional response to Hepworth’s sculpture – it expresses human feeling in the abstract.

What is unique about the exhibition?

The rooms of the exhibition will focus on the particular environments in which her work was made or seen, such as the Hampstead studio she shared with her second husband Ben Nicholson, the avant-garde magazines she collaborated on and in which her work was published, the landscape of St. Ives in Cornwall where she moved to at the outbreak of war in Europe, and the amazing sculpture pavilion designed by the famous Dutch modernist architect Gerrit Rietveld.

What are the pieces you are most excited about?

I am so excited to see four of Hepworth’s largest carved sculptures from the 1950s together in one room. She was sent a shipment of around 17 tonnes of Guarea wood from Nigeria – and this was transported to the tiny seaside town of St. Ives in Cornwall where she was living. The wood is scented and Hepworth was able to create astonishing abstract forms from the giant logs. It will be a unique opportunity to see these beautiful works together in one space.

How do you start working on an exhibition like this?

You read! You read everything you can get your hands on, then look at as much work as you can, and from there you begin to form an idea of the focus of the exhibition. In this case we were keen to explore her often overlooked international reputation (she had exhibitions all over Europe, in Latin American and Japan in the 1960s and 1970s) and also her involvement with film and photography, both as an extension of her artistic creativity and as a canny means of promoting her work.

Tell us about your career path and how you found yourself in art?

I studied History and Art History at university and after graduating worked part-time, which — super strict budgeting aside — enabled me to volunteer and do internships in arts organisations. I was interested in a broad span of visual culture in the 20th century – art, fashion, design, film and photography and so I worked at the Fashion in Film Festival and other London galleries before joining Tate in 2013.

How would you encourage young people keen to get into the field?

A job in the arts is one of the most rewarding roles you can get. Everyone is so passionate about what they do. I would encourage anyone who wants to work in the arts to gain practical experience. Study is important, and you should pay great attention to detail there, but a detailed knowledge of artworks ‘in the flesh’ is invaluable. Go to as many galleries and exhibitions as you can, really look at what you see there.

Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World, 24 June – 25 October, book ticketes

6 ACTS TO CATCH AT FIELD DAY

Posted on June 3, 2015

Heading to Field Day festival this weekend? We’ve made a schedule so you don’t have to – read on for our can’t-be-missed acts of the weekend.

SATURDAY

3pm TEI SHI

Brooklyn-based singer Tei Shi is one of our favourite new girls at Topshop – thanks to her electro-meets-RnB single ‘Bassically‘ and an ability to rock military uniforms like a boss. We’ll be kicking off Day 1 with her DJ set at the Jungle Bandstand.

7.45pm CHET FAKER

Chet Faker is sexy. And he also makes sexy music. So thanks to Crack Magazine for including him on their Field Day stage this year. Not heard of him? Listen to the super-smooth ‘Built on Glass’ and  ’Gold’ and you’ll be hooked.

9.15pm FKA TWIGS VS. CARIBOU

The dilemma! We’ll be running back and forth between FKA Twigs’ ever-mesmerising R&B performance and a blissed-out electro set from Caribou. It’s the worst headliner clash since Beyonce and City and Colour at Glastonbury 2013…

SUNDAY

5.00pm MAC DEMARCO

Gap-toothed chiller Mac DeMarco is back with new material and it’s getting better and better. His lazy sun-drenched sound (think Beach House mixed with Kurt Vile) paired with a weather forecast of 20+ degrees is guaranteed to get you in a summer mood.

6.30pm PATTI SMITH

What better way to spend your Sunday evening than seeing Patti perform her iconic album ‘Horses’ in full? Long live the godmother of punk!

Schedule sorted. Now for the outfit – shop our festival edit now 

As Kendall and Kylie’s just-dropped collection is inspired by the city of angels we thought we’d put together a quick fire guide to the home of the rich and famous. Read on to plan your trip like a local.

WHERE TO STAY…

Los Angeles is sprawling. Unlike London and New York, where the subway and tubes make for traffic-free commuting, the lack of public transport means getting around the city is a bit of schlep. The simplest choice is to pick a hotel near your key vacay spots and go from there. Want to keep it casual and cultured in Hollywood with hikes to Runyon Canyon and trips to the LACMA? Look no further than the nearby West Hollywood Standard Hotel which sits right on sunset and throws a pretty good pool party every weekend. More into the lo-fi  hipster vibe of Downtown? Do grunge bars and street food with a stay at Koreatown’s new digs, The Line.

WHAT TO EAT…

LA does delicious healthy chow like no other city and eating there is an absolute pleasure. Start your day like a local with a Pressed Juice (and maybe a cheeky espresso) from Alfred’s on Melrose then head to the legendary Urth Café for their butternut squash and ricotta pizza. Dinner plans? After all that healthiness it’s time to indulge. Treat yourself to a seriously good steak at Boa or a Japanese-meets-American fusion burger at Umami. YUM.

WHERE TO SHOP…

Excuse us while we get all Valley Girl but, DUH, it’s gotta be The Grove. This is LA’s a one-stop-mall for great boutiques and the quintessential fashion brands, as well as excellent people watching. There’s also a farmer’s market and a delicious foodie spot, called Erewhon right next door (which we have on good knowledge that the our girls Kendall and Kylie love!) Oh, and did we mention Topshop?.

WHERE TO HANG…

LA is surprisingly big so don’t try and fit in the myriad boroughs in just one day. If you’re going to come this far west, you’ve got to see the ocean so it’s worth dedicating a day to Venice and Santa Monica. Spend the morning wandering along the quaint shopping street Abbot Kinney, start with a coffee at Intellgensia before hitting up some of little multi-coloured shopping gems including the brand new record store VNYL where you can personally take to the decks. Then, head to the beach but steer clear of the tourists at the muscle gym and instead check out the skater kids grinding up the skate park before hiring a bike and cycling towards Santa Monica pier for a seafood dinner at old school-cool The Lobster and a Californian sunset in the background.

Photos taken with the Olympus Pen E-PL7.

SUMMER SCHOOL: LESSON #2

Posted on May 29, 2015

Our Summer School with Olympus is in full swing – teaching all you budding photographers how to get the best out of your camera. This week’s class covered shooting a cityscape with blogger Mademoiselle Robot. Read on for her ultimate tips from the day.

@mellerobot

1. HAVE AN ACTION PLAN

“It’s about seeing a picture in your head first, knowing exactly what you plan on shooting and knowing about the angles and composition of the image.”

2. LEARN HOW YOUR CAMERA WORKS

“Get to know your camera before you go out because the more accurate your settings are, the less editing you need to do. Using the picture straight out of your camera saves time.”

 3. GET UP CLOSE WITH ARCHITECTURE

“When shooting buildings, don’t be afraid to shoot with a fixed focal lense. Go up close and shoot a building as you would a person.”

 4. SHOOT 24-7

Try and go out at different times of the day – from a low hazy light and quiet streets in the morning, to harsh light in middle of day.”

@mellerobot

Head here to find out how your can get yourself an Olympus treat!

THREE EXHIBITIONS FOR YOUR DIARY

Posted on May 28, 2015

We’ve got your next culture fix sorted! This summer female artists are taking over London with exhibitions spanning the old and the new. Check out our top three:

BARBARA HEPWORTH: SCULPTURE FOR A MODERN WORLD 

This summer Tate Britain opens a major retrospective of the work of Barbara Hepworth. From her earliest surviving carvings to the famous large-scale bronzes of the ’60s – it’s a great chance to get to know one of Britain’s greatest sculptors. We’ll be offering one lucky winner the chance to win two tickets, including lunch at the gallery, plus an overnight stay at The Hoxton, Shoreditch and a £500 Personal Shopping appointment. Enter here!

24 June – 25 October, book ticketes

THE EY EXHIBITION: SONIA DELAUNAY

She’s famous for her abstract paintings in vivid colour, but you probably didn’t know Sonia Delaunay’s work also included everything from interiors and graphic design to women’s fashion. Want to see the lot? This exhibition at Tate Modern explores the breath of her versatile and inspiring career. Look out for videos showcasing Sonia’s fashion house ‘Simultane’ – an insight into ’20s fashion and modelling.

15 April – 9 August 2015, book tickets

MAX MARA ART PRIZE FOR WOMEN: CORIN SWORN

Following her six-month residency in Italy, Max Mara Art Prize winner Corin Sworn presents a new large-scale installation at the Whitechapel gallery. Drawing on the rich history of theatre, the Glasgow-based artist will create an immersive and dramatic environment filled with props, costumes, sound and video to investigate literary devices such as mistaken identity.

20 May – 19 Jul 2015, book tickets