Friday, 29 November 2013

Kremena Dimitrova receives the Arthur Silver Award for 2013

Last week, MoDA staff were present to see Kremena Dimitrova receive MoDA's Arthur Silver Award for 2013 at Middlesex University's annual awards ceremony.   During the evening we managed to have a chat with Kremena in order to find out what she has been up to since winning the award last summer.  Kremena had some exciting news.

Kremena receiving her award from Janet Ritterman, Chancellor of Middlesex University

Kremena with her award and Richard Lumb, MoDA staff
Kremena is continuing with her teaching career, completing a successful teaching stint on the Foundation in Art & Design course at Middlesex University at the end of the summer. She is currently teaching the National Art & Design Saturday club also at Middlesex.

Kremena has been working as a freelance illustrator at Bishops Stortford Museum, designing and illustrating real life stories from the First World War in the form of a graphic novel.   The novel will be published next year as part of the museum's commemoration of the 100th year anniversary since the start of WW1. There will also be an accompanying exhibition. Kremena has also been exhibiting her work at a number of venues across London, details of which you can find on her website along with more information about her work.

Kremena's exciting news is that she has been awarded a commission to design and illustrate the artworks for the interior of a new fine dining restaurant in London.  The new restaurant,'Canvas', will be opening to the public early in the New Year. We obviously wish Kremena every success with this new venture.


Arthur Silver Award poster 2014, featuring a still from Kremena's award-winning animation

Regular readers of this blog will know that we have just launched the 2014 award and interested parties can get information about the application process on the MoDA website.  You can also find out more about the work of previous Arthur Silver Award entrants in past MoDA blog posts.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Moustaches of the Silver Studio

We are now in the last week of Movember 2013. Many participants' facial hair will be at the stage where they need to start maintaining, trimming and styling. Perhaps some are even considering keeping the look beyond this month.

Today we have found images from the Silver Studio collection to inspire Movember participants. All of these photographs are from the Silver's family album (Badda4302). For moustache grooming ideas, we felt there was no better place to look than the album of a late Victorian/Edwardian family, full of predominantly designers, and style-conscious men. 

The head of the family business, Arthur Silver (1853-1896), spent most of his life with the beard/ moustache combination. Two of his sons Harry (1881-1972) and Rex (1879-1965) joined the family business and also sported stylish moustaches for much of their lives.
Arthur Silver

Harry Silver
Rex Silver



Rex appeared to take a keen interest in varying the style of his facial hair- as evidenced in this album page.


A cousin of Rex and Harry also kept a well maintained moustache, complemented with a fine bow tie. 



Walter Crane (1854-1915) was a good friend of Arthur Silver and his family. In this picture from the family album he pairs his moustache with a fine hat and coat.

Walter Crane

The best of all (perhaps even eclipsing Rex Silver's moustaches) was that of the Silver Studio designer Harry Napper (d.1930). From a young age Napper cultivated his upper lip, but it was later in life that his moustache appears to have reached it's full potential. You can see some of Napper's design work for the Silver Studio here.

Harry Napper
I'm sure the men of the Silver Studio would have been in support of Movember - a wonderful charitable initiative to raise funds and awareness of prostate and testicular cancer and mental health issues. You can donate towards the cause on the Movember website.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Award winning animation

As regular readers of this blog will know, Kremena Dimitrova, won this year's MoDA annual student competition, the Arthur Silver Award.  Entrants to the award are required to use the museum's collections as inspiration in the development of a piece of studio work, and Kremena did this by using a series of postcards from MoDA's ephemera collection to create a wallpaper design, a children's picture book and an animation.

One of a series of detailed silhouette-style postcards depicting courtship scenes that inspired Kremena's work
Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture (SM32.2)
According to Kremena, the postcards inspired her to create the animation first.  So when Kremena considered entering for the award she realised that she would not be able to submit her animation as the required format stipulated that all entries must be submitted on three A3 sized boards. To overcome this problem Kremena used stills from the animation to create the wallpaper design and children's picture book. Kremena has now added the finishing touches to her piece of animation and we are happy to share it with you here. The animation is based on the 'Miller's Tale' from the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. It lasts just under seven minutes and if you are interested either in Kremena's work or how creative people are inspired by our collections - I am sure you will enjoy it.




To see more of Kremena's work please visit her website. We have just launched the 2014 award and you can get information about the application process on the MoDA website.  You can also find out more about the work of previous Arthur Silver Award entrants in past MoDA blog posts.