Power of Making . An exhibit at the V&A museum in London, England, visited by yours truly. . I recently traveled to London to visit the Victoria & Albert Museum and view the Power of Making exhibit guest curated by Daniel Charny, Senior Tutor of the School of Design at the Royal College of Art (London). I was honored that my piece, "It's not Easy Being Green" was asked to be included in this special exhibition that ran from September 6th, 2011 - January 2nd, 2012.
Part of my visit to the UK was spent visiting another great Lego builder and friend. I departed from St. Pancras Station.
The world's largest Lego Christmas tree adorned the lobby.
This is scenic Derby, hometown of MOCpages own Stuart Delahay. I was greeted at the train station by a small lad holding a sign that read: "Dave Kaleta" and had a Batman logo below (Stu's 4&1/2 year old son Frasier)
Ah, series 6 minifigures are already out in the UK! It was very consoling not to be the only adult feeling up packages in the store for once. Stu picked up a few he needed to fill out his collection, and I chose a Sleepyhead for myself.
Part of our time was spent building together. After seeing Stu's Charlie Clown-punk mech, I wanted to give the genre a go. This is the clown car I built with his collection; I'm sure we'll eventually see more of this in Stu's future MOCs. It was great getting to meet Stu, his lovely wife Caroline and his adorable children Frasier & Sophie! It was also a pleasure to get to build along side such a creative mind and see his process.
Here we can see two of Stu's Clown-punk builds, Charlie, and a new Clown-cannon. Pay no attention to those people behind the builds.
This is the main entrance to the world famous V&A museum; billed as "The wolrd's greatest museum of art and design". The collection is humongous and I barely had time to check out half of it. Highlights for me were the architecture section and the casts (including Trajan's column).
I was 'chuffed to bits' to see an advert for the exhibition as I entered the museum for the first time.
I found these in the modern collection.
Here's an overhead view of the exhibit, which was right inside the front doors. This photograph was immediately after the museum opened on Dec 31st, but apparently, much of the time, there was line to get in. When I visited (at the close of the exhibition) over 280,000 people had been through the exhibit (yes, that number is correct).
Ground level view of the interior space. Very well designed by Zoe Whitley and Veronika Sertoi, my two wonderful contacts at the V&A. Pictures were not allowed inside, but as an exhibiting artist, I was granted special access before the museum opened and a tour with Zoe as well as permission to photograph inside.
I learned that in working with his students, Charny had found that many of them had great ideas for design, but were not as willing to take the time to learn the skills needed to turn those ideas into reality on their own; they wanted to outsource the work. In the collection, Charny wanted to highlight the art of making and the skill and dedication it takes to become an expert in a giving field. The pieces in the exhibit were almost all made in the last 5 years, and showcased a wide variety of medium in which the artist worked for many years to master techniques that are less than commonplace.
The lips hat on the left was worn by Lady Gaga.
The most difficult item to acquire for the exhibition were these armadillo shoes by Alexander McQueen
The tips of these pencils were sculpted by pin over many years.
This mahogany bike went through many iterations before this current form.
This is a 'power-suit' designed for Stephen Hawking.
This life size coat-hanger gorilla greeted you at the entrance to the exhibit.
As part of my visit, I was asked to lead a three hour workshop in the 'tinkerspace' of the exhibit. This was an area where artists came and shared their process with the patrons.
For my workshop, I constructed a building from my neighborhood. I pre-built it in Chicago, and then partially disassembled it and rebuilt it at the museum.
Perhaps you see a familiar face at the table with me? It MOCpages own George G! I actually didn't recognize him at first and offered to teach him the curved wall technique. He replied, "I already know that", in a very polite way and then introduced himself.
George was actually a great help to me and was able to assist some of the children at the table in learning the techniques. He was also helpful in working on my building. George made a wonderful homage to commemorate our meeting; It's not Easy Being Little and Green
Here's a little sneak peek at the build I did. More pictures to come soon.
I also had my portfolio on iPad to share with the visitors previous creations and pictures of my studio.
Lego Kanye was on of the pieces I was able to bring with me to the museum.
My two friends, Frank and Matt were able to join me on this trip. They were very supportive and helpful to me during the workshop.
Here it is in the dissected flesh. The plaque which accompanied the piece read:
'It's not easy being green'
LEGOŽ dissected frog
A notable entry in the 2010 LEGOŽ-building Olympics, David Kaleta's dissected frog is surprisingly anatomically accurate. He suggests it is an improvement on traditional dissection: no formaldehyde required.
LEGOŽ building bricks and LEGOŽ materials
Leda, this picture is for you!
I was extremely humbled to be a part of this experience. What I hope, is that having the frog included in a non-Lego exhibition will give added credibility to the medium and continue to help the public see Lego as an art form.