My tutor recommended I visit the current exhibition (#3) of The Museum of Everything, which is full of Peter Blake's stuff on circuses and freaks, fair's and carnival ephemera so really relevant to my current project. I really liked looking at the old photographs of Tiny Tim and Tom Thumb, and the Bearded Lady. I find looking at old photographs really interesting; the funny sepia colour, the wrinkles of the photos as they've been from era to era, the really staged compositions that make everyone look totally bored as they don't smile for photographs (people smiled back in the old days I'm sure!), the clothing and props... it's all an entirely different world to the one we know and it's fascinating to delve into! I also liked looking at things like the collection of matchboxes, the exquisite room dividers and the massive fabric posters- I would love to work that big! The way you are guided around the exhibition was also really well done and it fitted well with the subject matter; the tight spaces that opened up into bigger areas, the up and down stairs and the dim lighting, all seemed to add to the works exhibited. The wibbly, wobbly mirrors were a plus too!
I wasn't so keen on the clown pictures and puppet things as I have a massive phobia of clowns (particularly the more contemporary bright vibrant scary ones) and anything that remotely reminds me of them, such as ventriloquist dolls, Punch and Judy puppets and porcelain dolls- It freaks me out! Clowns just aren't funny!
I know what you must be thinking- "Why and how are you doing a project based on circuses if you can't stand clowns?!" This was a major factor for me to think about when I was considering both reading the book and then writing my project proposals. It may seem silly to some but I was having real issues with it at the time!!!! The answer I eventually told myself is that I totally fell in love with the book and there wasn't really much mentioned on clowns, so I felt it was pretty safe to do as I could maybe avoid them! I thought it might be a sort of therapy for me too! I will admit, I have had to avoid certain books for research and have squealed at a few things but so far- touch wood- it's been ok!
I didn't really like the Walter Potter bit of the museum as I'm not a fan of taxidermy... in my opinion, you don't go around museums looking at stuffed, preserved-to-a-more-or-less-realistic-quality people so why do it to animals?! But for someone who likes that sort of thing, it is well-worth seeing and the way he has done it to illustrate nursery rhymes and stories like Cock Robin was quite interesting.
All in all though, I really enjoyed the exhibition and I'm really looking forward to seeing what The Museum of Everything is going to do next!!
Have a look for yourselves at: http://www.museumofeverything.com/