sunday adventure: brompton cemetery

I have been meaning to visit Brompton Cemetery for a while but was never down that way so thought it was too much effort. Now I have moved to the south-west of London it is on my usual train route so on this beautiful May Sunday I decided I would take a leisurely walk through the grounds.

This time of year is my favourite to visit these kinds of cemeteries (I visited Kensal Green Cemetery last year) as they let the meadow flowers grow wild which surrounds the tombstones in a beautiful vibrant greenery.

barbican architecture – polaroids

I recently decided on a fine Spring day that I ought to get out of the house. I had heard a while ago that there were architecture tours of the Barbican estate and took the opportunity in the nice sunshine (but cold wind!) to go on one. Usually I’m adverse to paying for things, working in a museum and receiving free entry to a lot of exhibitions has spoilt me, but it was definitely £10.50 very well spent. We had a terrific tour guide (of course I have forgotten his name) and I have warmed to brutalist architecture (oh no). I think it comes down to having an understanding to be able to appreciate the art form. I found that when I was studying my art history degree and initially thought Renaissance art was boring but the fact was, I just didn’t know enough to appreciate it fully. Anyway! Here are some Polaroids I took after the tour when I went on a loop back around the estate. I used Impossible Poor Pod Silver Shade 600 film and I broke out my last ORIGINAL Polaroid 600 colour film pack (of which I now only have one precious shot left!). All shot on my super amazing (and recently transported via the mother from Australia) Polaroid SX70 Sonar Autofocus camera.
St Giles-without-Cripple-Gate & Shakespeare Tower

This was the first shot of original Polaroid 600 film, an open pack so this one wasn’t too happy.

Looking up the stairwell under the Shakespeare Tower. 44 floors.
Faintly trying to capture the red tulips, this film is way past it’s use by date!In the conservatory with the fishes.

worlds collide

So a while ago I thought I was reloading a half finished film into my camera. After developing it turned out that I had already shot the whole roll in Perth and so all my London photos had overlapped. It turned into a jumble of never-ending frames but I quite like the havoc.

All shot on my Robot Disderi 3 with Lomography 400 35mm film.

photographer feature – Arnold Genthe

For a while I’ve known of Arnold Genthe (1869-1942) although one would have to devote an entire life to appreciate his archive. I’ve chosen some of the frivolous photographs of dancers and female portraits that caught my eye during a brief browse. So many portraits of men and women in a usual pose can found but it’s the moments that he captured that really showed the sitters personality that I enjoy the most.

Miss Chapin, 1918

Miss Burnand, 1918

Miss Maitland and Miss Knight, 1915

Isadora Duncan dancer, ca.1915-1923

Isadora Duncan dancer, ca.1915-1923

Isadora Duncan dancers, ca.1915-1923

Miss Ruth Findlay, 1915

Miss Florence Fair, 1918

Florence Noyes dancers, ca.1915-1918

©Arnold Genthe Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA

february cambridge adventure

I realised that I hadn’t left London since June/July last year when I took a day trip to Oxford so I thought it was about time to go to another beautiful university town, Cambridge! As it was about 6 months in-between it meant that this time the weather was not so nice, it was freezing cold to walk around but at least it didn’t rain. I loved the place (minus the cobblestones) and attempted to capture some of its beauty in the below photos on my Olympus Trip 35 with Agfa Vista 200 film. I have to say I am very very happy with this roll!

my fashion education: Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood & Ian Kelly

Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood & Ian Kelly

What better way to welcome the new year than with a ridiculously heavy fashion memoir? I got this book from one of Walthamstow’s Little Free Libraries after Christmas and read it over a few days, at home of course (it weighs over a kilo and won’t fit in a small handbag). But it’s heaviness and length is well used, the story interested me even though I really had no desire to know any more about punk. It’s not my style, I never make the effort to look through the pictures of the Vivienne Westwood shows but I’ve always respected her brand and contribution to the world of fashion. It was nice to get some context in an area I hadn’t explored before and the strength of this book is that it drew me in so far that I couldn’t put it down (and didn’t leave the house!)

Vivienne Westwood, British Vogue October 2009 © Tim Walker

Oh to have the confidence of Vivienne. And of the punks. It was a movement that exists in both a bubble and in everyday life. It is a time to be explained but not forgotten and I feel that everything Vivienne does now and will do in the future still has a strong undercurrent of the punk mentality. And how can it not? When you live a life like she has it moulds you into either a fantastic success or a crippled mess. Her longevity is proof of how she handled herself. The images that accompany the stories of Vivienne’s life are helpful to understand who, what, where was happening around her. But as someone who is not 100% familiar with every show she has done or every shirt she sewed zippers into I was a bit lost when they referenced specific looks. I probably have seen them before but it is a never-ending case of not being told what something is and experiencing that disconnect. Otherwise, I felt that the images chosen really improved the experience of reading this book.

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shad thames

Ahh the classic London area gone from derelict and abandoned to redeveloped and expensive. I do enjoy walking along Shad Thames past the old warehouses and I have to admit I do like that in the development into posh apartments they’ve kept all the little hints from the past on the buildings. If you like brick and bridges, this is your kind of place. Photos taken on Agfa Vista 200 film with my Olympus Trip 35.