I did a supreme professional bunk on friday….well, from myself. Let a few things accumulate and spent most of the day at the V&A.
First of all I bowled into the brilliant South African contemporary photography exhibition. As a double bonus it had some of Pieter Hugo’s prints of the traveling Nigerian performers/salesmen with their hyenas. So other worldly. this exhibition finishes very soon so press on if you considering a visit.
Then I wangled into the Yamamoto show which wasn’t quite upto parr…neither was the exhibition for that matter. But there was a strip of women opposite who provided all the entertainment for me. I think they wanted Cavalli and got festival-meets-graduation-chic fashion which clearly wasn’t their bag at all.
The afternoon ended in the crescendo of the workshop in the history of drinking – with a ‘practical’ session. Drinking represented in art (some of the best non-perspective medieval pics featuring tables of food ever), the history and evolution of drinking vessels….porcelain was believed to have such pure properties it would shatter upon contact with poison. Beer was as essential as bread and gave many nutrients (it was cleaner than the water in London) and most certainly cheaper than wine in Northern Europe. We saw some exquisite illustrations from rich london merchants from the 1600s to go to agents of the finest glass makers in Venice. We ended into discussing how Victorian dinner parties used to end with all the women being invited out of the dining room to take tea in the salon whilst the men got stuck into some classic British binge drinking. The Europeans were horrified. My, haven’t we come a long way.
And then to the practical session in the Morris rooms. Awful acoustics but we weren’t stimulating audioception here – this was taste baby. The penny dropped that this being the second time in a week I’d done this – I am clearly turning to ever more creative ways to dress up drinking as an educational experience. I enjoyed some of the finest (and most expensive) wines from across Europe – which had been selected for the quintessential grape varietal: a Champagne, Medoc, Riesling, Tokaji, Port and a few more. With seconds!
I am now going away for a week in the country to keep a very low profile.