Thursday, 2 October 2008

Cabinet of curiosities

I was so glad I finally found time to visit Jethro Macey's Spyhole Wall at the Design Museum on Sunday. It was also a fabulously sunny day and seeing Tower Bridge, the Gherkin and the colourful boats on the river made me feel so happy be in London - of course, it could also have had something to do with the uplifiting effect of that all too rare sight, a beautiful clear blue sky...

Jethro's installation is in the foyer of the Design Museum. It's described as a showcase for 'private collections that have been gathered from various individuals'. The collections are based on personal intrigue (ie curiosity) and the eclectic mix of exhibits can be observed as single objects within a collection, or as a whole.

Some of the collections on show are objects that have little monetary value, but represent an aspect of daily life that might otherwise go unnoticed. The Spyhole Wall is also inspired by the curiosity cabinet of the Renaissance, in which treasured and intriguing objects are displayed for others to enjoy.

Some of the quirky collections shown here include miniatures of the Statue of Liberty, religious relics, old shopping lists and yoyos. Apparently there's even an unusual collection of wishbones - although someone must have been sitting in front of that spyhole as I couldn't find it.

In any case, collecting wishbones does sound a tad scarily near the place where curious art meets strangely disturbed personality disorder. Did I mention that through one of the peep holes you can spy my mother's collection of old lipsticks? Not sure why she hoards so many half used up cosmetics, but she kindly supplied a rather sticky-bottomed pale blue nylon make-up bag full of them.

They range from a couple of collectable late 1950s lipsticks and '60s Mary Quant to special offer freebies from designer brands. There are also a couple of original Colorsport lipstains - in her favourite colour, Sweet Apricot.

She was introduced to the brand by my late Auntie Gloria, who loved old fashioned movie stars like Doris Day. Gloria's favourite colour was Coral, which is the one that I now wear. By the way, the original 12 hour lipstains by Colorsport are also available at ShopCurious - and I can personally vouch for their staying power!

As far as I recall, my mother's worn lipstick every day. It's interesting that no matter how hard times get, lipstick is one of those little luxuries that few women who take pride in their appearance are prepared to give up. I hope this doesn't just apply to women of a certain age, because I think it's great when girls favour glamour over grunge.

Do you?

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