Spain is not exactly well known for its contemporary art… Velazquez, Goya, Sorolla; these are the names that come to mind when I tell visiting friends which artists’ works to see if they come to Spain. But this summer, the city of Madrid Is Pop. The Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza, two of Madrid’s most prominent (and, it just so happens, my favorite) museums picked the ironic and critical pop art as the main theme of their current exhibits.
I only left two days ago and I already miss it. This past year I called London my home, and while the weather and taxes might have gotten the better of me sometimes, there was still plenty to love about the amazing capital. I was sad to leave, but I’m also looking forward to a new career direction in another (equally) cool capital: Madrid. So, in honor of the city I have only just left, but already miss, here’s a roundup of some of my favorite places/frequented spots during my time in London (bear in mind, I’m neither an East Londoner nor a Westerner – I’m straight out of the heart of Bloomsbury :)
A few months ago I was staring at a blank page, trying to come up with a story, when I remembered a writing exercise I started in a workshop once: think of a place you’d go to to escape and write about it. So that’s what I did. And the result was the piece of work published just last week by Bricolage Magazine, ‘Everyone Wears Flip-Flops’. In my imagination (and story) I go back in time and space to my favorite place in the entire world.
I know it has been quiet around here lately… But I can assure you it’s nice to disconnect for a while; enjoy the company of family and friends and step away from the laptop for a few days. Part of this time was spent on the road, driving through vineyards and fields of wheat grass. And as I sit here looking through photos, I wonder if these are scenes people think of when they think of Spain? Most likely they aren’t. Most likely it’s images of white beaches, guitar-playing, and paella that come to mind. Who isn’t guilty of a little stereotyping every now and then.
As I write this post, I am not sitting in the usual spot at my desk, staring out the window through grey sleet. No; today I’m sitting on a porch, in the sun, with a canvas of pure blue sky stretched overhead. I’m writing from the house my family has lived in for 13 years. And while times may be tough, and futures uncertain, I still count myself pretty lucky to call Madrid home.
If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, you’ll notice that I have a soft spot for ethical fashion. And while this is certainly a big reason to love the Ghanian-inspired, Australian-based brand Yevu, I loved the punchy prints before I even discovered that the brand also had an ethical back-bone. After a year living in Ghana, the designer Anna Robertson, left with a vision to create a print-focused label of clothing. Wandering through the West African marketplaces of wax-print fabrics, Anna “just kept picturing the things [her] friends in Sydney would want to wear.” With print-on-print suiting in trend this season, Yevu’s vibrant collection arrived just in time.