Yayoi KUSAMA, the queen of the polka dots.
Ever since my daughter saw her show in New Zealand and raved to me about it I have been on the lookout for one of my own. It lived up to expectations!
A retrospective of her career, from her series Accumulation: sex obsession (with its stuffed penises) to Aggression: One Thousand Boats (repetitive simplistic silk screened image in the background)...
I'm Here, But Nothing (a darkened domestic interior scene featuring everyday furniture and accessories - but covered with fluorescent stickers which glow in the dark.)
Infinity Mirror Room with its endless layers of mirrors and hanging lights that twinkled in different colours over a period of time. I had this room to myself for awhile and just zenned out in meditative joy with the ever changing pattern.
The Victorian and Albert had a special exhibit up that I had been recommending to people who were heading to London for the first half of 2012. Items woven out of spider silk!
This amazing golden colour is the actual colour of the silk from the Golden Orb spider found only in Madagascar. The base fabric is woven out of threads twisted from 96 individual spider silk strands, and the heavier threads used for the embroidery are twisted from 960 strands.
These items took over 8 years and 1 million spiders to produce.
There were two items...
and the piece de resistance - the cape:
The embroidered and applique decorations on the spider silk cape takes its inspiration from poetry, myth and the world of nightmares. The spider and plant life imagery was created using a wide range of stitches and techniques. The cape is the result of thousands of hours spent reeling the silk of over one million spiders and twisting it into thread to be woven into cloth and then embroidered.
This is great article from wired.com that explains the process and how rare the entire process is (can only get silk from the female spiders, for 4 months of the year, the laborious techniques used in milking the spiders, etc, etc...) Read it here.