AUDREY HEPBURN, REVIEWS

A Dream Come True: Hubert De Givenchy – To Audrey With Love

In reflecting on my visit to this wonderful exhibition in The Hague at the Gemeente Museum, it is quite a surreal feeling that this was very last time that something like this could come together because Monsieur Hubert de Givenchy sadly passed away on the 10th of March 2018 at the age of 91.

In a once in a lifetime exhibition curated by Hubert De Givenchy, along with Luca Dotti and the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund; came together the ultimate exhibition of Audrey Hepburn’s exquisite clothing all designed by Givenchy himself.

“Givenchy’s clothes are the only ones I feel myself in. He is more than a designer, he is a creator of personality”

– Audrey Hepburn
The experience was simply stunning and I feel very fortunate to have been able to attend. Not only did Givenchy design most of Audrey’s wardrobe from some of her most famous films, but she was also considered his muse and lifelong friend. This gave the exhibition a truly personal and sentimental feeling. It was especially enjoyable as I visited at the same time as a pensioner’s tour group who were true fans of Audrey and her films, and I could see that they were reminiscing as much as they were enjoying the exhibits. 
While the exhibition has come to an end there are many videos and reviews available online for you to enjoy the story and development behind this stunning experience. 
Click here to learn about the Gemeente museum’s collaboration with Givenchy and the story behind his friendship with Audrey Hepburn.
Otherwise please peruse my photos in this post, this is a very limited selection because I felt the need to ‘catalog’ each and every dress on display, so these were definitely my highlights.

REVIEWS

I made it to the MOCAA!

After what seemed like years, I finally managed to visit the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa at the Silo District in Cape Town. On Wednesdays the museum has free entry for all African citizens, hence I took advantage of this as the entrance fee is rather expensive on normal days.

In my previous post about the museum, I dealt with the criticism and press surrounding the museum’s opening and the potentially controversial exhibitions within the museum. The main perceptions of the museum mainly consisted of; the issues of accessibility, the true ‘African-ness’ of the art and artists in the exhibitions, and the variations in exposure of  different artists on the continent.

From my perspective, the museum houses possibly the best, and widest, examples of contemporary African art out of all the galleries and museums that I have visited. In terms of accessibility, I think that the museum has drawn in people from all walks of life, both art lovers and people who simply want to know what all the fuss is about, because the museum is centered around the overall experience and can be enjoyed by everyone. The building itself can be directly interacted with and enjoyed in every aspect which complements the art it houses very nicely. Not to mention, the restaurant and gift shop are equally enjoyable!

I also thoroughly enjoyed the art although, I do feel that most of the art deals with the same themes and have somewhat ‘dark’ or ‘saddening’ undertones. But then again, most issues within African culture and history are ‘dark’ and ‘saddening’, so to be able to fill 6 floors of art with these messages definitely makes an impact.

In summary, I did thoroughly enjoy my visit to the Zeitz MOCAA and would recommend to anyone who finds themselves in Cape Town to pay the museum a visit.

For more information click here: www.zeitzmocaa.museum

 

REVIEWS

My Top 12 Favorite Things About Christmas.

I am always thoroughly excited for Christmas because it signifies the one time of year which my rather large and blended family can get together and celebrate the many cultures and traditions that exist from the multitude of heritages of which my family is made up.

Firstly, my surname indicates my Polish heritage and the Poles offer a rich variety of Christmas traditions which we do make an effort to embrace. Secondly, I am South African which means that unlike the Poles we have a warm weathered Christmas, and that includes another menagerie of Christmas traditions that are too, embraced. In branching into my family’s variety of cultural heritages and nationalities these include; British, Danish, Lebanese, Afrikaans, German, among many others. I can say, that it is always a joy for me to see my family able to embrace one another’s cultures and traditions in a way that is truly magical!

Now it is time for the countdown! In no particular order I have listed my 12 favorite things about Christmas this year. These range from products, food, decorations, Christmas traditions, activities and any other aspect of Christmas which I absolutely love! Let me know in the comments about your favorite aspects of Christmas and and special family traditions that you may have. Or if you happen to celebrate another religious or cultural festivity at this time of year.

1. Mince Pies

Mince Pies are the one thing which makes Christmas official for me! Although, I do wish that I could eat them all year round.

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Image source: http://www.therealpieco.co.uk

2. Hydrangeas 

In South Africa we refer to these flowers as Christmas Flowers as they bloom during the South African summer which is over November/December each year. They are truly beautiful!

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Image source: http://www.rd.com

3. Family Holidays

As you have seen, I did my share of traveling over Christmas last year to visit my family overseas. But many of my overseas family members often plan trips to S.A. in order to escape the European winter and spend Christmas with us. Two birds with one stone!

4. The Body Shop

The Body Shop is a globally recognised brand, famous for their cruelty-free beauty products and extensive collection of amazing flavours and scents in all their products. I always look forward to their yearly release of their Christmas range and they never disappoint.

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Image source: http://www.thebodyshop.co.za

5. Beef Tongue and Herring Rollmops

While these are definitely not everyone’s idea of delicious Christmas food, to me there is nothing better that enjoying my Granny’s famous beef tongue with mustard, and having pickled herring rollmops as delicious canapes on Christmas Eve.

6. Christmas Eve

In Poland it is tradition to celebrate with a Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange on the evening of the 24th which my family has always done. But this is followed by a stunning lunch on Christmas Day which embraces the South African part of a Mazewski Christmas.

7. Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver Christmas Cooking TV Specials

While I don’t necessarily contribute to the cooking of Christmas dinners and lunches (yet), I enjoy watching Nigella and Jamie’s interpretations on TV. I see it as setting a good intention for the future me.

8. Leftovers Sandwiches

I don’t like to wish away Christmas but I must say that the leftovers from our Christmas roasts do make for a fantastic post-Christmas picnic!

9. A dip in the pool after lunch

A cooling dip in the swimming pool after lunch is the perfect way to end a Christmas Day feast. Especially that the S.A. weather allows for it!

10. Last Christmas by Wham!

Some say that Mariah Carey is the queen of the Christmas song, but for me, the ultimate Christmas song is Last Christmas – I always force my family to have a sing-along.

11. Dinner For One

I was first introduced to Dinner For One last year and now I adore it! I realise that it is a New Year’s tradition, but let’s face it, Christmas technically carries on until mid-January… for me anyway.

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Image source: NDR.de

12. Memories

The memories and good times of Christmas can be cherished forever! Not only, memories through photographs and Christmas cards, but the non-tangible memories through our feelings and celebrations.

 

I wish you all a wonderful festive season and a lovely time of celebration, whichever form that may take.

REVIEWS

Zeitz MOCAA – “Controversially Contemporary”?

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa was officially opened to the public on the 22nd of September 2017. It is located at the V&A Waterfront’s Silo District in Cape Town. Most of the build-up to the museum’s opening has been met with much controversy and hype in equal measure.

Some have argued that the museum’s claim to be ‘the largest, concentrated collection of contemporary African art’ is arguably narrow-minded, bearing in mind that most contemporary African art that has been created has not been formally exhibited and is, as a result, excluded in the museum’s goal to be accessible to ALL of Africa and the world. I am yet to visit the museum myself, but I thought I’d explore the discussions that have come up around the museum first, and then write an update once I have actually visited it.

Personally, I feel that for a museum to be referred to, as accessible, in an African context it would need to be all-inclusive of Africa as a whole, as well as, the ideas and notions considered quintessentially African. I am currently studying Art History, within the context of African art history, and have been blown away with how much African art is, either, stereotyped as just consisting of masks and tribal art; when, in actual fact, those pieces barely scratch the surface of the vast array of masterpieces that originate from this continent.

Having said that, the Zeitz MOCAA’s online list of artists on display; 21 out of 49 are artists from South Africa. The remaining 28 are made up of artists from other African countries and artists living overseas who are of African descent (the African diaspora). It seems to me that the museum would still need to expand their collection, a great deal in order to achieve their overall goal and to qualify their title.

While many have been focused on the inside of the Zeitz, others have brought up new discussions based on the physical Zeitz building. The building has been constructed using the structures of the old grain silos that used to stand at the same location. The Zeitz building was designed by the famous, British architect Thomas Heatherwick, who has managed to make a work of art of the building itself. Many critics had an issue that a famous British architect was commissioned to design the building, instead of an incredibly talented African architect.

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Image Source: thespaces.com

Despite the controversy around the building, I think that it can be considered a visual masterpiece and has not detracted from the history surrounding the past purpose of the silos. However, it would have been appropriate to include, perhaps a collaborative effort, an African designer.

I am incredibly keen to visit the museum, to firstly, see what all the fuss is about and secondly, whether I believe it genuinely lives up to its claim as an all-access, inclusive African art museum.

All of the additional information that I used in this blog post was sourced from the Zeitz MOCAA’s website: zeitzmocaa.museum 

REVIEWS

Handel&Hendrix London: Review

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I visited London in January/February this year. And whenever I go to London, it has been my goal to visit as many of the wonderful museums and galleries as I can, during my visit.

I absolutely adore museums and galleries, because they are the one place that marries my two favorite things – History and Design – into a single experience. In fact, I am currently studying to be a Curator so that one day I’ll be able to create wonderful and inspiring exhibitions myself. However, I do find at times when I tell someone what I am studying they might respond with: “Oh! But that sounds so boring.” This reaction is often the product of one of two reasons being; that not everyone is as fond of museums as I am; or that museums are stereotypically seen as stuffy, old, and that you would have to possess an immense general knowledge to appreciate the exhibits. I am happy to report that, in this day and age, museums are far from stuffy, old and boring!

The best example for the new and improved way in which museums are communicating history, would have to be Handel and Hendrix in London.

Handel & Hendrix is located at 25 Brook Street in Mayfair, London. The exhibition allows its audience to walk through the actual former homes of; the famous composer, George Frideric Handel; and the famous musician of the 60s, Jimi Hendrix. Each home has been reconstructed and dressed to what it would have looked like when Handel and Hendrix had lived there. The highlight of the exhibition would have to be Hendrix’s bedroom complete with replica decor and an actual mirror that belonged to Hendrix along with other memorabilia.

The exhibition offers a fully interactive experience with an ‘era appropriate’ dress-up room and photo/selfie station. To create an authentic atmosphere, there are tunes playing, from both Handel and Hendrix, throughout the exhibition and at audio stations. Most importantly, there are curators and guides in each room who can answer any questions you may have on the exhibition or these two men in music.

The exhibition is open from Monday to Saturday 11am – 6pm.

You will need to book tickets online at: handelhendrix.org

Bookings are required for both General Admission to the exhibition and special events/concerts or corporate events.

Prices are as follows with the option of adding a £1 donation:

Adults (without donation): £10.00

Children (without donation): £5.00

You can follow Handel&Hendrix London on Instagram @handel_hendrix or on Twitter @HandelHendrix to stay up to date with special events.

If you have already visited Handel&Hendrix, please let me know your thoughts on the exhibition in the comments.

 

 

TRAVEL

A Copenhagen in Copenhagen

This is a post that is LONG overdue…

Back in December 2016 I traveled to Denmark and the UK to spend 2 months overseas with my friends and family.

It was not my first time in Denmark but it was my first Nordic Winter experience, which was interesting, considering the coldest it gets in Cape Town is around 7 degrees Celsius. Nevertheless, I had a magical time and I had all the glogg to keep me warm!

One of the items on my bucket list is to try the famous dish, that a city is known for, of each city that I travel to. For example: A Frankfurter in Frankfurt, Black Forest gateau in the Black Forest, A Cornish pastie in Cornwall etc…

And luckily for me, my Danish adventure took me to Copenhagen! I knew that my goal to have a Copenhagen in Copenhagen would finally be fulfilled! In my hunt for the perfect Copenhagen pastry, I discovered that what I knew as a Copenhagen was completely different to what the Danes call a Copenhagen. So I ended up enjoying a Cinnamon Snail which was very yummy.

What are some bucket-list worthy dishes that you are keen to try?

 

AUDREY HEPBURN

AUDREY

When exploring the site you will find it incredibly evident that the 1950’s actress – Audrey Hepburn is featured in many of my posts and images on my site.

This is because Audrey is my ultimate inspiration; she was (and is,) a beautiful soul and an unlimited source of clarity and inspiration for all that I do. I was introduced to her when I chose an image of her to sketch for one of my final projects for my Visual Art class at school. I remember that I had always become incredibly frustrated with myself when attempting to sketch in my previous work, but when I sketched her I enjoyed every second of it and once I had finished, I felt immensely proud of myself and what I had created – I was 15 at the time.

I then became incredibly fascinated with her and I wanted to learn as much about her and her life as I possibly could. She was an incredible woman; she was so talented and compassionate, but what I love most about her is that she never conformed to the ideals of beauty during that era. She stayed true to her authentic self and people absolutely loved her for it. I feel that ultimately this is what I would want to achieve – to be nothing else but authentic and to stay true to my identity, regardless of how people perceive me and to not take on their negativity, because at the end of the day…

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