Hawthorne & Heaney Explores The Life of Francis Golding

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Francis Golding – 1944 – 2013

The Francis Golding Exhibition: ‘a sartorial biography’ at The Museum of London is a small viewing celebrating the fashion and life of Francis Golding. He became a fashion icon and ‘charts the changes in the city’s style over the last 40 years’. He was born 1944 and sadly passed away a few years ago in a tragic bike crash.

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Career

Frances Golding moved to London in 1967 when he was 23, the city at this time was a fast growing, vibrant city with great social culture through a boom in music, theatre and fashion. Golding started his London career shaping the city landscape with his architecture soon becoming a successful career. He became one of London’s leading architectural, planning and conservation consultants with projects including the Gherkin, the Walkie-Talkie and One New Change.

Fashion

Golding was passionate about fashion and collecting menswear. The exhibition explores 14 items that belonged to Golding through his London life.

At this time expressing yourself through fashion was key, allowing your identity to be shown through society. The homosexuality act was discriminated among men and the expression through fashion enable people to show what could not be said out loud, through their clothes.

The Museum of London described Golding to “portray a ‘dandy’ look for that day and age in London”- ‘…soon I will look like the bi sexual libertine I am’.

The following Photos are examples Golding’s Fashion and accessories on show at The Museum of London exhibition

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Window display at the Museum of London exhibition of Francis Golding’s clothing and accessories 1960-75.

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Close up view: Black leather Briefcase, known to be used at the beginning of Golding’s civil service career.

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Close up view: Black leather boots, Foster and Son, London.

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Close up view: Printed tie, from Thea Porter  (red) and Liberty of London tie (green patterns).

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Striped jumper from Bloomingdales 1960.

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Window display in The Museum of London exhibition. A latter selection of Golding’s Fashion. The difference in materials and colours is quite prominent, perhaps him settling into the London living and influences of the city in the 21st century.

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Close up view: the label on Timothy Everest tie. Beautiful details and quality in the materials.

Architecture

Francis Golding was one of the country’s leading architectural, planning and conservation consultants, and had a big influence on the look of contemporary London. He had many collaborations, for example: Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Terry Farrell, Rick Mather, Rafael Viñoli, Jean Nouvel and Michael Hopkins.

His collaboration with Norman Foster was particularly memorable as it was for the Gherkin, London.

By Phillipa Lloyd

Hawthorne & Heaney in Conversation with Laura Lees

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Fellow embroiderer, artist and designer Laura Lees is usually found creating highly colourful, fine art pieces furniture pieces but she took a little time away from her usual pursuits to speak with us about her work:

 

Hawthorne & Heaney: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today, we’d like to start by asking you the question we get asked quite a lot of how did you get into embroidery originally?
 
Laura Lees: I applied for a city and guilds embroidery course when I was 17 and fell in love with it then. I found my skills at drawing not exceptional but confident. I found a new level of ability with the needle and thread superior than that of drawing with a pencil.
H&H: And what is it that inspires you?
LL: The way you can transform something from the ordinary to the extraordinary. I love the feel of the threads, the sound the scissors make when they’re cutting fabric, the quality of line and the battering noise and speed of my beloved Bernina industrial sewing machine. most importantly, I love the clarity of heart and mind, the skill involved and the the fact that i am always learning.

H&H: What would you like your students to take away from your class?

LL: A real sense of achievement, pride and enjoyment.

H&H: Where can we see more of your works?

LL: I am preparing for an exhibition to take place at the end of the year, inspired by dutch author Joris Luyendijk s book ‘Swimmimg with Sharks’ which demistifys the financial world of the city banks. This resonated deeply with me, having amongst many others lost my fashion label in the 2008 crash.  I explore the ‘smoke and mirrors’ architectural language of finance by descending on what must be the least understood environment in Europe: the City of London. Taking the habitat of the so-called and self-described Masters of the Universe as my inspiration and translating the visceral world that lives and survives by opacity into tangeable abstract textiles.

H&H: Anything coming up in the pipeline you can share with us?

LL: I have recently launched The Mighty Stitch corporate workshops, The Mighty Stitch embroidery workshops teach teams a new skill, engendering engagement and motivation, ultimately creating a bespoke embroidered piece of art for your workplace. • Simple, supportive instruction • No experience needed, anyone can take part
Participants are encouraged to be playful and experimental – the workshops facilitate collaboration, communication, storytelling, mindfulness, and, most importantly, making a mess! Enhanced work environment we all need a bit of that, i think .

H&H: Thanks again, I’m sure we will be seeing much more of you with all that come up!

 

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Laura also has a Workshop coming up in April which will give the participants the opportunity to be a part of Laura’s work as the pieces created on the day will be encorporated into a new piece which will be exhibited at the RIBA as part of the London Festival of Architecture. Follow the link to secure your place for this intriguing and unusual opportunity:

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‘The Riba workshop is a full day, immersed in urban embroidery.  We will focus on how a city evolves through its inhabitants by learning freehand machine embroidery, hand stitching and applique. The outcome is to create an embroidered image of a building or architectural structure.  

Afterwards, I will explore how a city is fabricated by stitching together the individual and diverse pieces made by workshop participants into a new work to be exhibited a the RIBA as part of @londonfestivalofarchitecture

All artwork will be returned to the participants after the exhibition.
This workshop is part of the programme of events inspired by the exhibition ‘Mies van der Rohe and James Stirling: Circling the Square’. 

Urban Tapestry with Laura Lees, 22 & 23 April, 11am to 4pm
RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD
Booking at architecture.com/Workshop

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All images credited to Laura Lees