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.


Inside the Warhol Machine

Last night I headed to the preview of David McCabe’s photographs for the exhibition The Factory: Warhol and His Circle at Proud Chelsea for Art Pie..

Warhol – just the name conjures up an instant image of a whole catalogue of works that transcend generations – the Campbell’s Soup tins, the Jackie Kennedy prints- and define the pop art movement.

This exhibition gives viewers a glimpse into something other than the primary colours and consumerism images of Andy Warhol. Proud Chelsea is exhibiting a photographic memoir of a year at the Factory Warhols working world of creativity and notoriety. The images were taken by David McCabe who was a rising star on the New York photography scene when he was contacted by Warhol and asked to collaborate with him in documenting life at the Factory between 1964 and 1965.

This is McCabe’s first UK exhibition and highlights this world that Warhol created the exhibition features snap shots of other artists Warhol knew, such as Salvador Dali. Who in one image is explaining one of his paintings to Warhol, almost in a teacher/professor like manor.

 For the full review including images head to Art Pie

The exhibition opens today at Proud Chelsea and runs till the 4th December Mon, Tue, Thu – Sun 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM; Wed 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM.

Just a quick one..

Call for artists
Ahoy there painters, film makers, sculptors photographers, animators, printers! This is a call for artists for an exhibition by the pop up gallery network- Open Doors London – who are seeking artistic talents for their SW4 exhibition in December.

You don’t have to live in the area but use SW4 as your springboard for creativity for the exhibition! To help you along Opens Doors London will be updating their very own digital scrapbook with reference points from around the borough.

To enter this pop up exhibition simply submit 3 examples of your work and a short bit about yourself to this email –  opendoorslondon@gmail.com.

For more about Open Doors London and their previous exhibition W12 see our previous posting here

Stay up to date on their latest news and twitterings @OpenDoorsLondon

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!

Meet Fitzrovia..

Itching to find something new in London then say hello to Fitzrovia. Not heard of it perhaps? Well it’s probably not as well known as Notting Hill or Mayfair but will be a hive of cultural activity with The Fitzrovia Now initiative. The area may have a low profile to most Londoners and tourists but is described as ‘quiet corner of bohemian charm’ and having worked in the area for over 3 years I agree! Tucked behind some of London’s best known shops in Oxford Street it shall be part of the launch of London Design Festival with its own Design Trail running 17-21 September with late night openings on the 21st.

Go and discover London's hidden treasures!

The intiative aims to rejuvinate the area for all its inhabitants and of course new visitors for ‘now’ and the Design Trail is just the beginning. Together Design came up with the concept ‘Fitzrovia Now’ and devised a key motif, to promote this best kept secret for design enthusiasts.  This is a chance for not just Londoners in the know to explore but those who’ve never ventured behind the bustle of Oxford Street. See sumptuous designs, unique art works, tuck into some yummy food or order a cocktail or too, its a mini oasis of discovery!

The Design Trail shall take in the following shops, galleries and cafes: EDC, Forza, Gallery Libby Sellers, Kaffeine, Ligne Roset, Material Lab, Minotti London, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, Republic of Fritz Hansen Store in partnership with Skandium, Riding House Café, Together Design, and VOLA.

Click me to see a handy map of the venues to explore.

If you plan on going to the trail on the 21st Sept late night opening you will be able to collect points on a Fitzrovia Now ‘key’. If you visit six of the events on that night the key can be entered to win a  £500 gift voucher from Ligne Roset.

Highlights for me shall be the knitted exhibition by Kate Jenkins at The Rebecca Hossack Gallery entitled ‘Kate’s Crochet Market’ see some famous brands in knitted form!

Head along and fall in love with Fitzrovia’s past, its architecture and vibrant cultural scene!

For more information visit www.fitzrovianow.com or get in touch with emily@togetherdesign.co.uk

Follow their latest announcements @FitzroviaNow