Bus Art!

Just been told about a great project combining technology and art! My two favourite things!

Bus-Tops is a new digital public art project that invites local communities, the general public and nine leading contemporary artists to transform everyday bus journeys into an art experience.

Bus-Tops 2012

These artworks will be on show ‘live’ 24 hours a day from January – September 2012 across 20 London boroughs. These areas will host a network of interactive, screen-based installations on bus shelter roofs.

Artists involved include, Carla Arocha + Stéphane Schraenen, Jemima Brown, Jasmina Cibic, Michelle Deignan, Kate Davis, Ian Monroe, Mark Titchner, Conrad Ventur, Zoe Walker & Neil Bromwich. I shall be heading along to the launch hosted by Turner Prize-nominated artist Mark Titchner at Idea Generation Gallery on 10th January, so keep your eyes peeled on Art Pie to read about what I discover!

For more information on where to see the works, keep an eye on the blog and twitter updates here @bus_tops

Open Doors London Lands in SW4

This weekend sees Open Doors London launch their second London borough exhibition, SW4. This pop-up gallery network, who I have posted about before, have an eclectic mix of artsits showing works at Clapham North Arts Centre this weekend.

As previously, like with Exhibition W12, the artists have been inspired by the area and Open Doors have helpfully uploaded images of the Clapham area to their digital scrapbook of to ignite creativity, see it here.

© Foo Illustration 2011

The exhibition is open 3-4 December at Clapham North Arts Centre 11am – 6pm, so catch it while you can!

Keep your eyes peeled for the next pop-up London borough from Open Doors London. Follow their updates here @OpenDoorsLondon

Leonardo Da Vinci at the National Gallery

The much hyped Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition is now open at the National Gallery with a seven room exhibition. The display is ideal for those who adore the technicality of the line and the workings of an artist , with many preparatory drawings and paintings by Leonardo and his pupils on display.

The build up for this exhibition has been felt for months, ever since its advance booking opened in May 2011 – a long seven months before its actual opening day.

With its future opening announced came capped visitor numbers and the gallery saying it would restrict visitors due to ‘unprecedented demand’. The Evening Standard has reported how the tickets have now sold out until mid-December. The pressure for this display to deliver to its global audience is now immense.

© Princes Czartoryski Foundation

The exhibition brings together an impressive collection of international loans never before seen in the UK, from the Queen, America, Poland, France, Scotland and donations from Art Fund acquisitions. One difference with this exhibition from others is it the first to be dedicated to Leonardo’s aims and techniques as a painter. Don’t expect reams of glorious huge paintings, though there are a few of some pretty ladies, curly haired men and angels.

‘If the painter wishes to see beauties that enamour him, he is the master of their production, and if he wishes to see monsterous things.. he is there lord and god’

For my full review head to Art Pie here

The exhibition is open now:  09 Nov 2011 – 05 Feb 2012 Mon – Thu, Sat, Sun 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Fri 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM Closed Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, Christmas Day.


Glamour of the Gods

The National Portrait gallery’s exhibition Glamour of the Gods takes us back in time to an age when the actor was on a pedestal; a time when audiences held them aloft and their art form seemed elusive. It’s this exhibition that captures this constructed ‘glamour’ perfectly, with a display of 70 prints from the film industry’s ‘Golden Age’ – 1920 to 1960.

This is in contrast with today, in which we seem to be bombarded with images of actors outside of their controlled airbrushed and well lit environments. In fact for many of us they’re more than just an actor – they’re someone we know everything about from their endorsements of perfume and jewellery to their images of home life splashed across the gossip magazines. It is an aspect I am used to; reading about their marriage, break ups, favourite foods and thoughts on their politics. In fact we almost could say we know our favourite actor as well as out best friends.

Glamour constructed

The National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition is a small but insightful peek drawn from the archive of the John Kobal Foundation. What is surprising is how this age is the just the beginning of how stars become more than just a flawless face on the screen – they were on the cusp of being a brand, a commodity. The images in this exhibition are in no doubt as controlled as the covers of the glossies today- airbrushing, lighting and specific angles created ideals for each actor to be seen as by audiences. It is these portraits that became the studio’s chief tool to keep the faces of favorites in the minds of the public. It was the beginning of the PR machine, using the images to promote the actors new film.

John Kobal Foundation, 2011. Marlon Brando for Streetcar Named Desire, 1950 by John Engstead

From looking at the images you get a sense of how perhaps really nothing has changed from then to today. Actors are still constructed it’s just we perhaps get more of the ‘whole’ image of them; being ‘papped’ with no make up or falling out of bars….

There’s some classic images in this exhibition such as ones of James Dean, Marlene Dietrich and Marlon Brando (above)  that are no doubt seared into the cultural conscious of glamour. The obvious stand out image is Greta Garbo, her semingly relaxed pose oozes sophistication whether its her sauntering pose, her dress, her smoking – she screams confidence – and they all play a role in constructing the explicit message of emphasising her femme fatal figure of glamour.

This wonderful exhibition is a great snap shot of actors when they were visions on the silver screen in an industry that was soon to disappear, and when they were adored as the hero’s and heroines they played.

Catch it while you can at The National Portrait Gallery until 23 October!

Shiny new places..

Art and cultural gems that I have come across in London.

Hurry along and pass onto your friends!

Image is taken from the Neiman Marcus pop up book, click the image for info 🙂

Whisper Fine Art A new show Pakpoom Silapham opened at the gallery  this month and is on until 29th October, so follow their goings on here @whisperfinart

Beach London  A cafe/shop/gallery space all rolled into one in Shoreditch! If you like burgers see the works from their Burgermat Show &  follow them here @BeachLondon

OutLine Editions This shop come gallery focuses on the graphic art scene so all you Banksy fans can get your kick. Go and see what’s on display and then buy it as a print or get it on a t-shirt!

Libby Sellers  It opened as part of the London Design Festival but has been on the scene for a while in temporary spaces. However it now has its own home nestled in Fitzrovia. Its current exhibition ‘Grandmateria’ is on now until 7 December

Extra Bones A new space in Deptford that is a side project to the guys at Utrophia Project Space, it shall be hosting some music events throughout October as well as free drop-in portraiture workshops!

My favourite place to discover new pop up places is http://popupslondon.wordpress.com/  follow their updates here @PopupsLondon

Let the art viewing commence..

Some cherry picked art fairs this autumn:

Palace Art Fair

6- 9 October Fulham Palace

A relative newcomer its the second Palace Art fair from the people behind Brighton Art Fair and Made craft fair. The fair shall be packed with treats from over 100 contemporary artists working in painting, metal, cermaics and more. A great chance to sneak a peek at some great artists rising in the ranks.


13-16 October Regents Park

An obvious must, the biggest in the London art calendar, known for hosting an array of galleries and some eye catching installations. Last year we really enjoyed the walking installation by Annika Ström’ entitled, Ten Embarrassed Men so we cannot wait to see what’s in store this year.

North London Affordable Art Fair

27 – 30 October 2011 Hampstead

This is the first North London Affordable Art Fair, all set to take place along side its Battersea sister in the idyllic Hampstead Heath.  Expect lots of great art at even greater prices, last year we loved the @Jottadotcom curated section with some highly talented emerging artists, its a chance to pick up an art bargain!

Sluice Art Fair

15-16 October  Mayfair

Expect a laid back but creative atmosphere with installations, performative works and screenings including a preview breakfast, panel discussions, art-making educational activities for children and more. This is a proactive art fair with an aim of being a platform for young galleries and project spaces to exhibit their artists’ work, gain exposure and ultimately facilitate discussion between artists.

We have been busy scouring the world (well just the internet) for new additions to our likes pages for the arts world including @LondonCallingUK @ArtSpotterApp  click me for more!