Monday, April 18, 2011


I have absolutely no idea who this small girl may be.   We went into another tropical hothouse today - this time a rather steamy tent, next to the Natural History Museum, where there was a Butterfly exhibition - hundreds of huge ones, fluttering round, and perching on people.   We were the only two people there, I think, without small children - I turned round at one point and found this girl standing next to me, with the appropriate expression of solemn wonder at the large blue butterfly on her arm.

We'd just come from The Cult of Beauty - the big Aesthetic Movement exhibition at the V&A, complete with the Aesthete's tea-pot (and the original huge poster drawing for the stage production of The Woman in White.   Plenty of familiar stuff - it was especially strong on furniture and costume and other decorative materials.   I felt that I was being brought face to face, in much of the design, with the originals that lie behind about forty years of doodling (cf the dinosaur background, a week or so back).   After this, the exuberant natural design of butterfly wings was a very apt corrective.

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