Friday, 17 October 2014

For a while now we have neglected this blog as we are in the process of organising a little adventure for ourselves, a small bookshop that will be located in Glasgow. We have been looking for stock, telling people about our idea, searching for a suitable space and gathering design inspiration. We have been preparing ourselves for the opening of something special, a place where people can gather and exchange ideas, learn new skills and also learn from others. It is hugely ambitious and risky, but if one will not try, one will never know. It is better to fail in trying to achieve a dream, than just to dream. 

We wanted to share some images that lately we have found to be very inspiring.

The Row Spring/Summer 2015 
Image via

Maison Martin Margiela Autumn/Winter 2012/13 
Image via

Het Kasteel by HVDN, The Netherlands

Image via

Morphologies of verticality 1

Libensky/Brychtova-  Arcus, 1992-93
Image via flickr

Liu Wei- Density 2014
Image via Frameweb

Concrete House in Mexico
Image via

Image via royalmarigold VSCO

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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

On Fashion

On Fashion

I have many art posts in my files started but not completed, waiting to be edited, but now something lighter, a short thought on fashion and a couple of rules which I always follow. 

Firstly, I have a limited range of colours that I wear as I do not feel good in bright colours.   I tend to stick religiously to black, all shades of greys, nearly all shades of blues and whites. The only pattern is stripes.  I do have some (very little) of other colours but these are remains of the past.  Sticking to certain colours limits what I can buy, and leaves less room for mistakes.  My only weakness is red shoes, I adore red shoes.  Another rule is that if I do not like one element of a piece for example ugly buttons, or bright underlay, I do not buy it,  even if the rest of a piece is perfect I leave it for someone else.  Another simple rule is that if I am not sure of something, it means I do not want it.   It saves a lot of money, and once I am sure I know I look and feel good I can afford something of a better quality. 

Finally, simplicity, less is more, and I mean shape and form, simple cuts, topped up with interesting textures and fabrics, this is what I love.  Here are some examples of what I enjoy looking at and what falls under my aesthetical sense. Clothing from The Row is something one can aspire to, to find and combine those textures and shades, like on Whistler's portraits. This delicate play of nude and lilac shades and contrasting fabrics, simply perfection. 

Image via Harpers Bazaar

I'm not afraid to be a bit boyish, to wear one pieces or tailored trousers.  This is a dream example by Yohji Yamamoto

Image via A'bout 

Look at those beautiful folds of slightly creased fabric, with a hidden pocket, simple minimal and classy.  I try to look in fashion for what I look for in art, design, even literature.  I wish for everything that surrounds me to be of a high quality (which does not necessarily mean expensive) and to follow my ideas on aesthetics and beauty. Those minute details around us make a vast difference to the final outcome of a bigger picture of the surrounding world. 

Very short today, but usually my thoughts are quick, as there are so many of them. 

Maison Martin Margiela- (Untitled)

A few months ago, after accidentally dropping my backpack in work and therefore smashing the bottle of aftershave I had inside (Y.S.L La Nuit de la Homme), K and I decided that I needed a new scent.  It had to be unusual, I cannot stand anything manly and prefer much more delicate scents with hints of spice.  I wanted something fresh.  After lots of consideration, mostly by K running between shops and my work, we decided that (Untitled) by Maison Martin Margiela was the suitable fragrance for me.

Yesterday we purchased a small bottle of the Eau de Parfum.  M.M.M describe the scent as having "Surprising green freshness, evoking a plant bouquet (green boxwood, galbanum).  Evolves into a trail of incense and musk notes"  It certainly is unusual, however I'm sure that it will come to be a favourite in no time at all.

Beautifully packaged, I could not resist a few photographs.  I especially like the raised numbers on the cap.

Photographs by Keir

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Ideas on colour

Ideas on colour:

Beginning posts will explore theoretical aspects, which I find essential for in-depth analysis or description of art. I wholeheartedly believe that to fully understand something one has to discover how did the enjoyed thing was made, its material, colour, the way that the light falls, then the period in which it was created and its history, so that finally one can say that he/she knows, understands, adores, or finds this particular thing inspiring. I tend to think that it is not possible to be inspired by an object without knowing what the object represents, who it was made by or why it was made. It might be an old fashioned approach, which is more time consuming, but again I prefer to know less if the knowledge I possess is of a good quality. Lately I was drawn into theories on colour. Colour is an essential and vital element of art, performance, even music. There are several fragments of texts from various artists I would like to share with you. Firstly in this essay, I will analyse my favourite excerpt from a letter of Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo:

“[…] Absolute black does not really occur. But like white, it is present in almost all colours, and forms the endless variety of greys- distinguished in tone and intensity- so that in nature one really does not see anything but tones and intensities[…] By adding black and some white one gets the endless variation of greys, red-grey, yellow-grey, blue-grey, green-grey, orange-grey, violet-grey....”

Most of all I enjoy artists' views on colour or form as they have a background in working with the medium, they feel most delicate differences in the tones and shades, here we have a view on the idea of lack of purity in colour, every shade in van Gogh's opinion has a certain amount of grey in it, which creates a world of grey shades varying on warmth or cool, shade and intensity. As if for van Gogh everything begins from black or white mixed in various variations. Black for him is present but never definitely on its own, never an absolute black. This opens a pallet of colours, no longer just yellow, blue, violet, he offers a different perspective, which requires nature of explorer as one to see what van Gogh is writing about has to learn to look, has to teach one's eyes to see those delicate at times, less obvious differences. Vincent's works has a lot of this to offer he beautifully operates with colours, similar shades delicately mingling in the thickly applied paint.  

Cypresses, 1889
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890) Oil on canvas; 36 3/4 x 29 1/8 in. (93.4 x 74 cm) Rogers Fund, 1949 (49.30)

 In Cypresses, the idea expressed by Vincent is beautifully visible, cool shades of blues and greens, delicately joined by warmth, which is hardly noticeable. He refers to the cypresses as a 'dark patch' and this dark patch for him is a colour as if this aspect in the process of painting was more interesting for him. His sensitivity to colour was exquisite,  we can see colours from close signifying nothing but patches or thick bulbs of paint, from distance they move, vibrate, as if planning to leave the canvas, or to imitate the move of the leaves and grass accompanied by a delicate blows of wind. Van Gogh is like classical music, always alive, complicated, emotional and colourful, to cherish his art one has to see his works live and once seeing them to spend a longer moment in analysing thickly placed paint and to move together with his work, once closer once a bit more distant, only then the power of colour and form will show its secrets to the viewer. And once it happens it is an emotional and moving experience, and then one can say 'I have seen van Gogh and I understood him'.

Another interesting point to make is the approach of van Gogh's contemporaries to the idea of 'primary' colour,  in Colour and Meaning: Art, Science, and Symbolism John Gage (p.31) states:

" was one of the important achievements of the experimental psychology of van Gogh's time to have shown that a love of strong, saturated 'primary' colours was not the preserve of primitives or of children, but was also common among educated European adults[...]"

Twentieth-century directed artists towards strong, vibrant colours. One can think of Impressionists, and then Gauguin, Munch, Cezanne, and then followed by Picasso, Dali, Rousseau, Matisse, Kandinsky, Bonnard, Hopper, Kahlo and many others. Those great painters were using colour as a tool to express culture, like did Gauguin or Kahlo. A tool to express form like did Miro and Picasso, and a tool to express imagination like did Dali and Kandinsk.

Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940
Frida Kahlo, Nickolas Muray Collection, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin

The Smile of the Flamboyant Wings, 1953
Joan Miró

Considering colour on so many levels gives it strength, which has to be included in the interpretation of the painting and expands interpretation to deeper layers. Gage makes an interesting point on colour:

“It was these psychological as well as technological developments that lay behind what has always been recognized as the enormously expanded interest in high contrasting hues that marks the visual expression of twentieth-century Western culture, and which has sometimes been characterized, rather misleadingly, as the emancipation of colour in the modern world.”

Colour was always an important tool of art, in Ancient Greece all stature and highly ranked buildings were encrusted with gems and painted in vibrant reds and blues. In Medieval era, Churches were filled with colours so that those who could not read were able to experience the significance of their faith. In Renaissance colours were far more delicate, but still spoke to those who wanted to experience art, as were hiding various symbols. Baroque offered more vibrant shades as was all about splendour and excess. Each period had to offer different approach to art so that it was distinguished from the preceding period, Twentieth-century was no different in that matter, it was different from previous and opened space for the future developments in art. And theory of colour is one of the factors which changed together with the trends. I shall write more on the ideas behind of the importance of colour form perspectives of other painters and theorists and on its symbolism which is fascinating. But for now I shall leave you with some points made by use of Vincent van Gogh's ideas. I am interested what other people think of him as a painter, so feel free to share with me your beautiful thoughts. 

Friday, 21 March 2014



There will be two voices here, one a male voice with a wide knowledge of technical aspects of photography and a delicate way of handling the medium. Second, a female voice with a base in the History of Art and Literature that is rather unsatisfied with the present state of art affairs. One looks towards the future and the other is more caught up in the marvels of the past. There may appear to be a clash of opinions, but through this, these two voices will bring a varied scope of research and an analysis of an exhibition, a piece of clothing, a book, or a new approaching style. This should provide a more layered and diverse conversation.  As one voice is not enough, two voices are little, but it will not be a monologue, this blog is aiming to be a dialog of two voices that love art, fashion and design. There is more to this, as the world is layered with beauty, and finding the right aesthetics for two voices from different cultural backgrounds would seem difficult. The key may be to tune the voices just right, so that they sound like one. This blog will try to bring you forms and shapes, colors and light in the shades of aesthetics that suits those two voices.