For my birthday just gone I received an RA membership from lovely mother, granting me free entry to their events and exhibitions for the year. Therefore it is my mission this year to try and attend RA exhibitions whenever possible – although the majority are not directly related to fashion, potential inspiration is everywhere and something of value can be taken from every experience. Furthermore, to push the boundaries of any existing discourse, it is critical to engage with alternative sources which allow you to challenge your existing perspective.
Rubens and his legacy, is the current flagship RA exhibition, which, as the title suggest, is focused on the work Rubens produced during his lifetime, as well as major works by artists who were influenced by him in the generations that followed. Undeniably,which I expected and do not mind admitting, the central exhibition itself didn’t do a lot to inform my 7003 research process. Let alone thematically, even stylistically, my tastes are bright and modern and eclectic, so Rubens traditional academy character and muted tones, reflected in the taut scholarly vision of this exhibition, didn’t really capture my imagination.
However not all was lost due to a subsection of this exhibition called Le Peregina: ‘ Contemporary works to join Rubens and his legacy’. This was curated by Jenny Saville and focused on how modern impressionist artists, such as Francis Bacon, William De Koonig and Picasso appear to have drawn inspiration from this classic master. As a far more visceral, emotional and modern curatorial response, the work presented stimulated my thought process and provided inspiration in regards to my visual development. For example, the really lush process driven work of De Koonig, who eclectic vibrant style I have related to since my A level Art, allowed me to begin envisage a visual identity for the brand concept I wish to develop for my FMP. Since this concept is all about hybridity, fluidity, creativity, and the individual, this chaotic and fun impressionist aesthetic really spoke to me, and is definitely something I will return to when crafting my FMP.