Thursday, 18 February 2016

London, Curiosities, Art, Taxidermy & Tattoos

As you may or may not know, I was just away in old London town this last weekend to get a tattoo and see my mates and to fill up my soul with arty weirdness. I did all these things and more...there was also kittens, oh yes, but more about them later...

So I started Saturday morning with a proper full on dose of arty weirdness, starting at GUEST PROJECTS, SUNBURY HOUSE, 1 ANDREWS ROAD, LONDON E8 4QL, UK meeting up with an old friend I hadn't seen for nearly 20 years who works in the gallery. There was 1 piece that really spoke to me, by artist couple Carl Haycock and Zareen Rustom.

Their collaborative piece uses notes from their 'brain games' after Zareen had a brain haemorrhage and they had to work together, over many years, to regain her cognitive abilities. There was so much love and devotion and hard work within this piece, very powerful stuff

After I said farewell to my lovely old friend I walked along Andrews Road until I got to a most peculiar establishment called Viktor Wynds Museum of Curiosities This is small part groovy cafe upstairs and larger part subterranean weirdness of a rather macabre sort. Well, it is funny and awful and fabulous by turns. It makes no sense but is unmissable.

Where in the world could you possibly see a deep sea spiny worm next to a brass Victorian don't know what that to a 24 carat gold plated Hippo skull? Yep, that there hippo skull belonged to Pablo Escobar, the Columbian drug lord that was shot dead in 1993. In life though, this ludicrous character decided to set up his own zoo complete with elephants and giraffes and all kinds of illegal exotic animals. Over the years some of his hippos escaped and bred and now Columbia boasts the only wild hippo colony outside of Africa.

The museum is weirder than it is funny, but it has it's moments...

There really isn't any kind of organisation and very few labels... I'm not sure if you'll learn much and it is not for those easily offended but I thought it was brilliant fun. After the glories of Viktor Wynd's, a friend and I went for a walk down Columbia Road which was full of the most fantastic shops. There was not one single thing for sale on that road that you had to have, but a great deal you might want to have. And, it was not cheap neither. Take for example, this little shelf of old rubbish, or should I say, highly desirable antique items with personality? I don't know, but those little crappy tins, nice enough, but £18 each? Hmmmm I don't think I'll be buying.


I discovered a fabulous shop called Wall & Jones selling the most deliciously rock 'n roll jewellery by Rosita Bonita and Halo Jones  alongside up cycled weirdness and clothing by Ali Wall. So much gorgeousness....
There was a fabulous art print shop on Columbia road and art just happening out on the street...

We ended our pilgrimage of eccentric weirdness at the House of Hackney store on Shoreditch High street and then dinner at a Peruvian restaurant called Andina which is a total must if you're ever round that way...
The following morning I went to get the first bit of my tattoo done by Tracy D Tattoos but you will have to wait until next week to see it!
I did promise you kittens though, and true to my word...Here are the little beauties I was staying with...I could pick them up and snuffle their tummies and they thought that was good, and I thought that was good. It worked out well for all parties concerned ;-)

Have a wonderful weekend!

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