Monday, 28 February 2011

Plans for Stonehenge

It has long been a common complaint that a visit to Stonehenge is not as soulful an experience as it should by rights be. The best view was always from afar. As one drew near the stones lost their aura and became somehow disappointing, sat by the side of the road and the visitor centre as they were. The architectural practice Denton Corker Marshall, which won the competition to build a new centre , proposes to construct a building 2 km from the Stones that will not be visible from the monument. This webpage features a video which with the magic of digital editing literally wipes away the roads currently near it and leaves Stonehenge to once more impose itself on the landscape. This webpage as well as relating the travails of funding such a large project also posits a new theory on how the stones were moved 150 miles from the Preselli hills to Wiltshire.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Transformation and Revelation: UK Design for Performance 2007 – 2011

 Transformation and Revelation opens in Cardiff at the Welsh College of Music and Drama on March 18th. The exhibition is the work of The Society of British Theatre Designers and is a preview before it travels in part to represent the UK at the 2011 Prague Quadrennial International Exhibition this summer. A selection of designs will be on display at the V&A from 17th March – 30th September 2012.
Designs on display will range from Antony Gormley’s Sutra with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and the Shaolin Warrior Monks for Sadlers Wells to Es Devlin’s designs and projections for the Lady Gaga Monsterball Tour. The exhibition will include drawings, paintings and photographs, 3D artefacts, scale models, specialist props, costumes and puppets, and there will be interactive exhibits from Lighting, Video and Sound designers, Theatre Consultants and Theatre Architects.
The exhibition also offers  the first chance to see inside the new RWCMD building currently under construction which is due to open later this year. The exhibition will take place in a number of spaces including the newly built Richard Burton Theatre.
Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, The Castle Grounds, North Rd, Cardiff, CF10 3ER
Monday – Friday 9.30am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday10am to 5pm
Entrance to this exhibition is free to the general public.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Protest as seen on Flickr

Flickr is a database full of photographs made by both amateurs and professionals, containing both archival and completely contemporary images. There are currently over 5 billion images in a database that is growing at a rate of about 3,000 images every minute according to the Flickr blog.
From Friday till  the end of Sunday night over 9,512 images with the word protest in the title had been posted to Flickr (Last weekend there were only 2,261.) Protests ocurred  in Bahrain, Sri Lanka, Libya, Taiwan, Poland, Germany, the U.K., the U.S., and there are other sympathetic protests in other places in the world.
To see these images go to Advanced Search and enter the word 'protest' and the name of the place.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Beautiful Buddhist figures

The National Museum of Wales in Cardiff  is showing a small but quite wonderful collection of stone carved figures.
This is a lovely little band of musicians I saw on Saturday. There is a Flickr set showing many of the sculptures here

"From Steep Hillsides: Ancient Rock Carvings from Dazu, China" has brought to Cardiff a selection of  sculptures that have become detached from their original setting, along with accurate replicas of some of the most important sculptures still in situ . There are also large panoramic photographs to give some idea of what it is like to visit these spectacular places (staggering) I am going to go-definitely!!
Dazu in Southern China  is a world heritage site and on the steep hillsides there are over 50,000 carved figures . Although they are very old many retain trcaes of colour. Many of the figures of Buddhist monks and bottisivas make you feel calm just to look at them. One of the photos shows a section of the rock carvings that portrays the Buddhist way of 'Parental Love'that stretches for 500metres. At the lower level are the devils (there's a 'knee chopping hell'-not nice), the central segment depicts ordinary people where delightful children are tenderly looked after by loving parents) and buddhas and bodhisattvas (enlightened beings)-larger than humans and godlike sit imposingly over all, on the highest level of the hillside
The sculptures have never before been seen outside China. Don't miss them!!
exhibition runs 26 Jan3 Apr ( Open Tuesday–Sunday and bank holiday Mondays)

Friday, 11 February 2011

Textile Trends

Two free resources offering insight into future trends in textiles

COSMOWORLDS provides access to information for the international trade community. Contains  trade data, international fashion week and trade show dates as well as information on global trends and lifestyle events

Textile Source blog
A blog created by Textile Source which is an international directory of fabric suppliers, textile companies  textile designers, plus chemical, machinery, fiber, yarn, finishing, printing and dyeing companies involved in the textile supply chain

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Masses of Magrittes

If Magritte interests you then you might check out Bridgeman Education which you get to through the Electronic Library>Databases on the UWIC Learning Portal (UWIC staff and students only sorry!) There are now 199 images of Magritte's work there including well known works from the Menil Collection and others from Private Collections like this one called 'The Open Window'

Monday, 7 February 2011

For those who are interested in Russian art and history

The Society for Co-operation in Russian and Soviet Studies (SCRSS) promotes knowledge of the culture, language and history of Russia and the former Soviet Union through its activities and unique library and archive. Their Centre is in London on the Brixton Road .The Library  is a collection of over 35,000 books, journals and pamphlets in English and Russian relating to Russia and the former Soviet Union  covering  its literature, theatre, music, dance, history, art and architecture. There is also a photo library of  60,000 photographs, slides and realia covering all aspects of social and cultural life in Russia and the former Soviet Union from pre-1917 to the present, of interest to picture researchers, set dressers, designers and drama students.
Go to their website to read the fascnating history of the Centre and how to visit-go perhaps on April 14th when they will have a special exhibition and celebration of Yuri Gagarin's flight into space. First time visitors must make an appointment and there are charges for using the library, events (they screen films from the 30's-70's) cost £5

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Les Sylphides by the actual Ballets Russes!

Sometimes film can seem as magical today as it must have seemed when film was a new and astounding medium. This is certainly the case when a film clip shows you something you never thought it would be possible for you to see. The Ballet Russes formed by Diaghelev was never filmed (at his insistence) but here a clip which was recently found to great excitement in the British Pathe News archive has been identified as such. It shows a male lead doing some mean Grand Jetes in a blond wig once worn by Nijinsky, in front of  the froth of the Corps de Ballet in an open air performance during the annual Swiss La FĂȘte des Narcisses at Montreux.
More wondrous peeps into the past from British Pathe include Hitler ranting and a Picasso show in 1966 with paintings being hung and Paloma Picasso , and Picasso himself in his studio-wondrous! At British Pathe you can view and buy films and still photographs from the archive of 90,000 videos covering newsreel, sports footage, social history documentaries, entertainment and music stories from 1896 to 1976.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Google Art Project

I have a tendency to walk into walls  by mistake-Google Street View makes it inevitable. I just can't get the little man to walk a straight line.
 Google have a new project-'The Art Project'-like Tesco they get everywhere and try most things. Today it's taking you on a tour of the World's museums (well some of them). As well as being able to view some lovely quality artworks -you can zoom in to see minute details, you can elect to walk around the Museum they are hung in using Google Street View technology. The only trouble is that (due to Copyright restrictions) as you walk (if you can manage to not start walking up walls by mistake or keeling over at odd angles (me) most of the paintings appear 'blurry' (as Google puts it). This makes the experience of visiting the Tretyakov Gallery similar to how it would be after some Black Market home brewed vodka. It's safer to navigate via the floor plan feature. Certainly there is a wealth of information tucked into this website including Youtube videos, audio tours and text information about the works. You can also search for more works by a particular artist across all the museums.
(thanks to Gina for this one)
Google Art Project contributing museums (so far)
  • Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin - Germany
  • Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, Washington DC - USA
  • The Frick Collection, NYC - USA
  • GemĂ€ldegalerie, Berlin - Germany
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC - USA
  • MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art, NYC - USA
  • Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid - Spain
  • Museo Thyssen - Bornemisza, Madrid - Spain
  • Museum Kampa, Prague - Czech Republic
  • National Gallery, London - UK
  • Palace of Versailles - France
  • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - The Netherlands
  • The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg - Russia
  • State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow - Russia
  • Tate Britain, London - UK
  • Uffizi Gallery, Florence - Italy
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam - The Netherlands