Friday, 14 September 2018

Great Exhibition of the North 2018

The things I loved most about Great Exhibition of the North, 2018...

What was it?

Great Exhibition of the North ran from 22nd June-9th September 2018 across Newcastle and Gateshead.  Museums and creative spaces took part, allowing people to visit special pop-up exhibitions, live performances, artwork and displays of innovation for free, right across the summer!  There was even an app where you could track down everything you wanted to visit and create a trail that linked each thing together on a map.

What did you visit? my blog is fashion orientated, I tried to visit with that (and you lovely people!) in mind.  There were loads of things to see, and after a hectic summer of working, there was no way I'd have ever have found the time to visit them all!  So I started off with fashion, but spotted some other bits and pieces on my travels that I thought I'd share.  Although GET North was spread right across Newcastle and Gateshead, my coverage here is just from the Great North Museum, the Discovery Museum and of intu Eldon Square, as these were the places that housed everything I was interested in seeing. about you show us some fashion...

Okay, without further ado, let's start with some Vivienne Westwood!

'Pirate' at the Great North Museum

From the 'Pirate' collection of AW '81, this ensemble by Vivienne Westwood and Malcom McLaren was top of my list for the pieces that I most wanted to see at GET North.  On loan from the V & A, this outfit was part of the first collection that the pair took to the catwalk and was inspired by portrait paintings from the 17th and 18th century and gave an early glimpse of what was to come from the 'New Romantic' era of music and fashion in the eighties.

Unbeknownst to me, the museum also had some other Vivienne Westwood pieces that I was particularly excited about!

In 2014 (and more recently redesigned in 2018), Vivienne Westwood was commissioned to design uniforms for Virgin Atlantic staff and cabin crew.  These stunning and impeccably tailored uniforms were also on display at the Great North Museum, and I just stumbled across them as I had no idea that they were there!  I'm so in love with the red skirt-suit; I'd love a job where I got to look that stylish every day!

The Little Black Graphene Dress, intu Eldon Square...

This dress was on display beside the food court in Eldon Square and is both fashion forward and technologically advanced!  Graphene, is a material that was discovered by scientists in Manchester and has since won a Nobel Prize!  It is highly conductive (it conducts electricity better than anything else currently know to humankind) and is a million times thinner than human hair and two hundred times stronger than steel.  This is the first dress ever to be created from Graphene and is packed with LED lights which change colour every time its wearer breathes!  The dress is stunning and gives a great insight to how Graphene could be used in the fashion industry in the future.

What else did you see at the Great North Museum?

Lots of things! Although I went with specific pieces in mind, I was pleasantly surprised with what the Great North Museum had to offer.  Here are some of the other bits and pieces that caught my eye:

Damien Hirst: The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living

This Damien Hirst installation was created in 1991 (although this is not the original 1991 shark! If you want to learn more about this piece you can do so here-it's so interesting!).  A piece made to provoke thoughts about life, death and the feeling of immortality that comes from being alive, it's super impressive.  To see a creature that was once capable of killing in such close proximity is quite eerie and unusual, but at the same time, I did feel a little sorry for it knowing that it was killed for the sake of an artistic message!

John Lennon's Piano

My dad is the biggest John Lennon fan, so for all I love the Beatles, I took this photo more for him than me.  Although Lennon owned lots of pianos, this one is said to have been his favourite and the last one he ever played before he was assassinated.  Can you believe that some of the greatest Lennon songs that we've come to know and love could have been created on these very keys?  Mind is blown!


I only vaguely remember Pob as it was released the year I was born, but for children of the early eighties, this one's for you!  

Postman Pat and Brian Cox?!

I don't really understand the relevance of this unusual pairing (or why Pat is an astronaut?) but there's certainly an astronomical vibe going on with these two!  I loved Postman Pat when I was little so it was nice to see him looking all futuristic in the Great North Museum!

Which leads nicely on to this...Helen Sharman's spacesuit!

Helen Sharman was the first British woman to visit the Mir space station in 1991.  She was also Britain's first astronaut!  She's super interesting; she applied to an advert that she heard whilst listening to her car radio which said, 'astronaut wanted: no previous experience necessary' and the rest as they say, is history!

And here's to another amazing woman, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill...

My favourite sporting woman of all time, I love Jessica Ennis-Hill, and I loved watching her take gold at the 2012 London Olympics, so I was really pleased to see her hurdling spikes at the Great North Museum.  She's an inspiration and such a worth winner!  It was pretty cool to see the Olympic and Paralympic torches too!

So...anything good at The Discovery Museum?

I'm glad you asked!  We went to the Discovery Museum specifically to see Stephenson's Rocket.  It was pretty much the star attraction of GET North I'd say, as it was constantly referenced in the news and publicity for the event.  Although I'm not massively interested in trains, it's an impressive piece of north-east history.  It was built in 1829 and was a great example of innovation for many steam locomotives which would be built thereafter. 

My favourite part of the exhibition at The Discovery Museum was the virtual reality video journey of the Rocket.  I'd never tried a VR headset before, but they are so impressive!  You totally get sucked in to the VR world; the technology is amazing!  You can see in the photo of my Mister below how it works; he was wearing the headset so whichever way he looked in his virtual world, I could see what he was looking at on the computer screen!  When I had my turn, I found it fun but very disorientating!

And I couldn't resist this cute photo of the Rocket Snow dog as I was on my way out; what a cutie!

And that's a wrap!

I was so impressed with Get North and the variety of interesting pieces on offer right across Newcastle and Gateshead!  I'm so pleased I got to see the Vivienne Westwood pieces and the Graphene dress, they were so amazing and you guys know how much I love my fashion.  I'd hoped to post this before the exhibition finished, but as always, time ran away with me, but I hope you all enjoy it just the same and if you missed it, it's a way to see the exhibits for yourselves (through my eyes at least!).

Thanks so much for reading,

Kay xx

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