Wednesday, 16 June 2010

A bunch at once

Please excuse our limited posting for the last little while. We moved into our new place in Clapham on the 1st, and have not have internet access at home all that time, despite our best efforts with a telecommunications company here. Although the post office can deliver the equipment, it seems the company can not find where we live and cancel the order to connect us - despite being the same company supplying the previous tenant.

To follow, will be a mish-mash of posts that I have written on my phone over the last few weeks - so not necessarily in order.

Much like when I first arrived in Melbourne I am intrigued with every suburb that I first knew existed through football. There it was Carlton, Fitzroy, St Kilda, Collingwood. Here it is Arsenal, ... and that's the only team I recognise on the Tube map, but I am sure to be enlightened by other people (including Lee) soon.

After visiting the London museum today, I wonder whether archaeology in 500 years time will be Internet recovery. Whether they will pick up a feel for our daily lives through
- Our blogs, leading to a misrepresentation of the number of people who travel
- Facebook statuses, which are fast becoming advertisements to the cause of the day
- Ads that are featured, giving the impression that everyone has too much stomach fat and wants to work from home
- Browser histories

At this stage of technological revolution, will it be a complete misrepresentation as there are fewer elder people who are literate with social networking and not all people blog? In time, will abbreviations like ppl and lol be new words/spellings?

I was one of those people who didn't see the value of spending my time blogging. I have since been surprised by the people reading this - although their ongoing readership is not guaranteed. I believe the most interesting parts to read would be social commentary. While I do promise that will continue, you will know when our integration is complete when that stops. What we see developing for this blog is more of a diary of events and places we go...

With that said, I am going to show you some more of where I have been, what I have seen and what interests me there.

End of May..

Today I visited both the Fashion and Textile museum and the London Museum.

Fashion and Textile Museum
The Fashion and Textile museum were featuring an exhibit called 'Very Sanderson, 150 Years of English Decoration'. It was clear that it was put together by an arts-type person rather than a science-type person as events were not exactly recorded chronologically. Once I grew accustomed to the style, I found it really interesting.

Sanderson is a design and print company which brings quality designs and print to the everyday person as well as commissioned works for the elite. They are well known for their floral-print wallpaper which became the epitomy of English countryside.

The company was first started by Arthur Sanderson who took advantage of (lack of) tax laws to import French wallpapers. He grew the business to be known as the biggest importer of foreign goods, before opening his own factory to produce wallpaper block printed by hand. In time, 3 sons came on board and double the firm's trade from 1882 to 1890. The Sanderson brand still exists today and its continued success can be attributed to:
- innovation in production efficiency (roller printers) and quality (up to 20 colours),
- continuing to acquire competitors (increasing both their production and the number of blocks/designs in their catalogue)
- making quality products available to the masses in range of designs - a commercially sensible pitch
- having a showroom and matching groups of 3 designs together to help designers and the Average Joe style their home.
- printing designs on wallpaper and fabric and offering paint too - so the entire home can match. Some of the ads and style guides available from the 70s where the same giant floral is on walls, curtains, chairs and cushions - it's just a bit much!

While browsing through the museum, I was reminded again of Libby's designs - her version of crochus for example (unfortunately, no photos allowed, so I can't compare here). It's all just so clever - and how then the designs are separated into colour components and printed separately onto the material. It's interesting too how our tastes have both changed and stayed the same. Sanderson offers reprints of old designs in contemporary colours and it's new again! The only problem with this is that if no new designs are required, then excellent designers like Libby find it really hard to find work.

British museum
I went at the end of May and this will be a story told in pictures, once we have internet access at home - so I can upload photos. Primarily, I went to see the Egyption mummies and other plunder, which I saw, but once again I was drawn to the earliest records and writing from Mesopotamia.

I have since visited the London Museum, and for those who plan to visit I have the following advice:

If you want genuine artefacts, go to the British Museum. If you want a feel for what living in London was like from 4000BC, go to the London Museum. At first I felt like the London Museum was the poor little brother of the British Museum, as everywhere there were reproductions of artefacts rather than the real thing. As I progressed further in, I found that more and more I was getting an understanding of daily life - something that is often hard to replicate in a museum and often hard to prove/gauge as an archaeologist.

Photos to be posted soon.


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