I was idly flicking through the Museums Journal and found a brief piece on this beautiful dress, on display at Danson House in Bexleyheath...
This gorgeous dress was created by the artist Tom Gallant in collaboration with the fashion designer Marios Schwab. Look at the shadow cast by the dress and you'll understand why the dress ended up in Bexleyheath. The artist has underlain the black laser-cut dress with a printed silk crepe slip, printed with a William Morris-inspired design. What makes it astonishing is that the components of the design are images from pornographic magazines, turned from obscene to delicate as they add blushes of skin tone beneath that ink-black gothic pattern. It's so complex and beautiful and has echoes in Morris' textiles and wallpaper.
The gallery loved the piece so much they asked Gallant to curate an exhibition revealing his inspirations. He chose The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman as the lynch pin of the exhibition, a favourite book of mine, which has added resonance in the mansion-like Danson House.
|Iris (2012) Tom Gallant|
Another exhibition on at Danson House is Ligia Bouton's Adventures of William Morris Man, an installation showing a designer superhero fighting the excesses of Victorian taste.
|Adventures of William Morris Man (2012) Ligia Bouton|
The Yellow Wallpaper exhibition runs until 29 October, so if you find yourself up in the big smoke for the Tate's Pre-Raphaelite extravaganza (I'm almost too excited), make the journey up to Bexleyheath and call in on Topsy and some extraordinary goings on with wallpaper...