Wednesday 29 May 2013

Sheffield Fire and Police Museum Dummies Continued

More Autons - sorry, figures encountered in the gloom, I meanmannequins from Sheffield Fire and Police Museum. It is genuinely a great place, and ideal for children (apart from the murder room).

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Sheffield Fire, Police & Dummy Museum

Sheffield Fire & Police Museum is a proper museum - things to look at, things to climb on and all of it in premises that are in a genteel state of dilapidation. There is nary an interactive display or 'experience' to be found. There is a room full of murder weapons, some horrific photographs and a massive train set in the roof however. It is well worth a visit, if only to pay for the odd, crepuscular atmosphere and the wide range of uniformed dummies. Try to pick your favourite, but do it with a friend, and not just before bed.

Erica on Embroidery or Cosmic American Needlepoint

So it's a wet Tuesday afternoon, right? And you're looking for something to do, yeah? Someone taking the mick out of some well-meaning 70s interior design and craft? Well, I think the coolest people are the ones who make their own choices so put that reefer and can of Kestrel down and come with me. While Erica knits a flan, a ghastly profusion of needlework grows behind her, like the virus on the Andromeda Strain or a vege-monster on the wall of Westminster Abbey. Check out the Wikipedia entry on Erica (Why not? It's bound to be true). She taught needlework to Mrs. Procter of Procter & Gamble and Mrs. Watson of IBM Watson. Talk about infiltrating the establishment from within! Someone from the FBI was probably teaching the wives of the Firesign Theatre Company and Art Ensmeble of Chicago about buying stocks and shares. But enough of my rubbish ... ... let's look at some of Erica's. If in doubt, cover everything. Unseen in the corner of the room is what appears to be a draught excluder but is actually a man wrapped from head to toe in long, messy strands of wool (the inspiration for Ray Bradbury's 'The Embroidered Man'). "It's not just the mirror, it's the cushions." "Why they're just soft furnishings, darling. Whatever is the matter with them?" "They have .. faces." "Flowers darling! All flowers have a face." "They appear to be .. shouting." from 'Scratcher' by Nigel Kneale It's just chintz - the badminton racquet cover, the handbag, the, err, freestanding wool cylinders. But just look at the thing in the top right hand corner. A creased face of lime velevet, a scaly body and worst of all, a pair of thin, boneless arms ready to pull itself across your bedroom floor at night. She wants to be soft furnishings but you make her owls! You can't complain then, if the wool goes hunting. It's festival season soon so let's go glamping, needlework style. Listen to Mumford & Son whilst sat on the running board of your vintage car with your dog Rothko, your legs tied together like a giant embroidered maggot. Cosmic American Needlepoint (which, retrospectively, is a better name for this post. Edit!)