ucki ood inter:view

ucki ood are exhibiting in Brussels this weekend and I would highly recommend that you check it out.  
Comprising Douglas and Rask (who could presumably have an alternate career as a pair of awesome seventies detectives), ucki ood is a transatlantic studio, originally formed in Brussels in 2010. Now Douglas is based in New York, while Rask remains in Brussels until the summer, when he will head back to his hometown of Seattle, and presumably make their lives a little easier. 
Having previously exhibited at Burning Man in Nevada, in New York, and in Brussels, this show is described as a heartfelt farewell to Brussels, the city where they first met and collaborated. 
The first thing you notice on stepping through the door is the gigantic baby curled up on the floor, with a further three smaller babies in the background. labour:release is a set of sculptures which sets out to explore the human condition, and which, I think, leaves everyone with a different, yet lasting, impression. 
2:365 is an arresting piece of work, in which the mood of the artist is painted onto a different canvas everyday. Even with only 120 of the works on show, this piece is stunning. It’s amazing to be able to track someones mood over that period of time, just by looking at a wall of canvasses. 
suspension is a multi disciplinary piece, comprising both painting and sculpture, which once again explores the mind of the artist, as well as modern society. 
back home is, I think, my favourite project. I’m probably not going to do it justice, but I will attempt to explain it… The contours of the sitters back are mapped on canvas, and then painted based on the colours of aerial photographs of the sitters home region. These pieces are lovely, and not necessarily recognisable as backs at first glance. For expats, your home region is often more important to you than it necessarily would be if you had remained there, so it’s fantastic to be able to see where someone is from displayed in such a personal way. 
The exhibition is open daily between 14h and 17h, from Friday 31st May to Sunday 2nd May 2013. Avenue Emile de Beco 116, 1050 Ixelles. 

Sewing update

The sewing continues apace. On the left you can see the fabric of the dress I began work on six years ago. The print is not something I would necessarily choose now, but I think it will still make a nice sun dress for holidays.
It’s currently without straps as I made them from the same fabric before deciding the overall effect was a bit too psychedelic. I’m currently searching for the perfect shade of ribbon for them, and also maybe to go along the top or under the bust. Something to hide my slightly wonky sewing.
It also needs a zip. See more on that below.
On the right is the fabric I’ve used to knock a skirt up. Again, it was bought a long time ago so I’m not sure if I still like it that much. However, I think it will be ok with a plain top for the office. The only other concern being that it’s quite thin. I’ll have to see what it looks like when finished and perhaps make a lining up.
I’d wanted this to be a full circle skirt, but the fabric wasn’t quite wide enough so I had to adjust my dreams to the size of a half circle. It just needs a zip, and something done to the top which I haven’t investigated yet. Twill tape was mentioned, but the pattern piece was a lot wider than the tape they said to use. We shall see how this works.
My mum is coming to stay with us next weekend, when I should be able to finish both projects because she can show me how to sew a zip in. I know I could look into this online, but she’s always taught me sewing techniques before so it would seem strange to use a different teacher. And I’m scared.
It’s not like I’m in any rush to finish these before the weekend – the weather remains far too chilly for such clothes, although Le Soir has promised us that winter will be over by June…
Pictures of the finished articles will be forthcoming once Mum has saved the day.
Now, should I make a start on the final abandoned project before she arrives? It’s another little summer dress, but this time covered in strawberries with a blue background. I’m hoping it looks better on than it does in my mind.

Elephant Apron

I hadn’t done any sewing for ages, but it was the obvious first choice for something creative to try. I had all the equipment, and I knew roughly what I was doing. Also, I’d watched the Great British Sewing Bee and become a little obsessed. I’ve always started sewing projects in the past and then abandoned them before making any real progress – the upside of this is that I have three dresses and skirts, started about five years ago, to finish making.
Since the idea of actually following a pattern felt a little daunting when I’d not done it since leaving school, I felt a little intimidated by my half created creations, and decided to start with something simple – an apron entirely of my own invention.
I rummaged through my fabric pile and found a mens sarong which I’d bought in Sri Lanka and never found a use for. Deciding the elephant pattern would make a lovely detail, I got to work. Considering I didn’t plan the layout of my apron too well on the fabric and was forced to improvise heavily when there wasn’t a piece big enough for the lining of the bottom section, I’m really chuffed with how it’s turned out.
Now I’ve built up my confidence a little, I think it might be time to tackle a dress. Don’t worry Alfie, the dress pockets are too small for a cat!

Lost Doggy

The idea behind this blog was that I would try new things, be more adventurous, stretch the limits of my life in a fairly small way. So far the reality hasn’t lived up to that – I’ve watched some films, read some books, had a couple of rants and gone on holiday. All fine, but not what I had set out to do. 
As usual, my holiday led to some deep thought about where my life was going and what I could do to make it more balanced. When I’m not working, I seem to be putting pressure on myself to blog, and then I feel terrible when I don’t have anything to write about, or worse, I write something terribly dull.
It’s all very well having a blog as a hobby, but without other hobbies to write about, it’s really boring to read.
Now, in order to redress that, because I don’t want to stop the blog, I like the blog, it’s almost looking like I want it to, I have decided to explore my passions, find new hobbies, interesting things to write about and to fill my time.
I have a few things in the pipeline, so watch this space. Shit is about to get slightly more exciting up in this bitch.

New York: Day Nine

Our last day in New York started with breakfast at Café Henri, the posh diner down the road. After poached eggs on muffins and an amazing Grand Marnier hot chocolate for Ben, we popped into the pet shop around the corner to pick up a treat for Alfie, who had been missing us.
We popped over to Dick Blick in Manhattan to pick up some art supplies, before stopping by the Flatiron Building, then heading over to the UN gift shop. We’d hoped to visit the UN during the week so our translator friend could give us a tour of the building, but sadly the trip was rained off, literally.
The UN have a lot of signs up. The security procedures feel positively airportesque. However, no liquids. Not even a mini bottle of shampoo is allowed to pass into the building. Thank God we weren’t staying there for a week!
There was actually not one but two gift shops in the basement of the UN, as well as a Post Office. On the ground floor, there is a place where you can have stamps printed with your own face. All of these places are staffed by crazy people. We managed to pick up a selection of tacky souvenirs for people, with the most exciting being a postcard of Kofi Annan for my mum (posted with a special UN stamp).
Obviously I wasn’t going to be happy leaving that place until I’d got a stamp with my face on it. I’d assumed it would be quite a professional arrangement, but instead it was an eccentric lady shouting and taking photos with a point and shoot digital camera. The whole process was punctuated by various members of a Chinese tour group just wandering in and trying to go behind the mysterious curtain where she kept the printer. She told them there was a monster back there, but I don’t think they understood.
As we stood admiring our stamps (the quality of the above picture does them justice perfectly), a Chinese man came over and had a close look with us. Presumably he wanted to see the monster.