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Tuesday, 8 December 2009

'Cock' at The Royal Court

An hour and a half of laughs, irritation and few tears.

The Jerwood Theatre upstairs looked like it had shrunk when I walked in. An mdf intimate circular bandstand had been constructed for about 50 people, to create a theatre in the round. Even though I bitch about the West End theatre-goers for seeing a play just because it has denise van-outen in it! I am not ashamed in saying that I was attracted to the play for one reason. The ever so gorgeous and talented Ben Wishaw. Also the Royal Court has never disappointed me yet with a production.

The play is about John (Wishaw), and his struggle to know himself. John lives with his long term boyfriend (Andrew Scott) , who he argues with and eventually splits up with, temporarily. During the split he sleeps with a woman (Katherine Parkinson). This is when the real confusion starts with John, with both parties asking him to choose and define who he is.

The acting was completely believable which established the characters very quickly. I was mentally involved in the relationships between them all. The small stage and close environment made the play seem really personal, as did the emotional performances and content. The characters were expressing love and being in relationships and all the emotions that go with that. John's selfish actions caused upset and this was acted so passionately by Scott and Wishaw that spit was flying across the stage. I love it when that happens!

The writer of the play Mike Barlett did a really good job! The lines were very witty and intelligent with running comparisons and jokes getting bigger in each scene. It is the best piece of writing that i have seen onstage in a long time. There was no set and barely any physical action. And at one point there was a sex scene with only words and panting, letting the writing really shine out. Actions were not really needed for this brilliant script.

John's character started to get a little irritating towards the penultimate scene with his constant indecision about who he wants to be with whether he is straight or gay. Then came a moment of clarity for this weak character gave a long speech which spelled about the main messages of the play; it does not matter if you are straight or gay so don't try and define yourself and it showed the difficulty of knowing oneself.

The final scene of 'Cock' left me with tears in my eyes. The bright lighting and circular stage also meant that I could see the range of emotions that the rest of audience were put through, which was really delightful! Even if they were balling their eyes out!

If I could see it again I would, but I think it may be sold out. My night was finished off nicely with Wishaw and cast out in the Royal Court bar, but me and my mates got a little star struck and jittery so we had to leave before making fools of ourselves!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Could art help to change the world at the copehagen summit?

Protest has always required a creative streak, from the varied tactics of the suffragettes to the fancy dress antics of fathers for justice, but in recent times the nature of it has changed significantly, bring much of it closer to art. For me this new creativity has brought new life to many movements and given me hope that they can affect real change.

But with the possibly world saving (or destroying), Copenhagen summit looming, i wonder wether this fresh breeze will be enough to push for the creation of meaningful treaty. The newspapers give us a constant stream of reporting that trys to prepare us for the worst, but i can't help feel a rush of optimism when i hear whispers of plans from groups like Climate justice action and Climate camp.

In light of these inspiring movements, projects and people i will be traveling to copenhagen in december with my own little project brewing. I've been amazed by the increasing amount of passion there is around the issue of climate change, over the last few years i have seen more and more people (as well as myself), wake up to the realities of what is going on. What is even more amazing to me is the passion with which it is talked about and the obvious urge to do something about it.

I have realised however, that the very place where this passion is needed (in Copenhagen), is a logistical impossibility to many people, due to the amount of time, money and organisation needed to get there. This has really pushed me to try to give these views a platform and to try to stop people becoming alienated from what is going on at the conference.

To do this i will travel to Copenhagen over the weekend of the 11th, armed with an iphone connected to a recently started blog (, full of your messages to the world leaders, i will then get your messages seen, heard or even felt by a method of your choosing (i've had a good few ideas as well).

So.... go along to to give me your messages and ideas, or to find out more about the project.


Friday, 30 October 2009

Pick Of The Week 30.10.09

Today I was going to go with the predictable Halloween picks but there is too much good non witchy related stuff taking place this week so we scrapped that.
A quick survey around the office revealed that people will be mostly dressing up as pirates/ bears/ wicked witches/ gold futuristic soothsayers/ jack from Lord of the Flies and dead soldiers, look after the jump to see where we are heading of too...

Talk - Chosen by Nikki
Raimund Hoghe and Franko B in conversation
Siobhan Davies Studios
Tuesday 3rd November 19.00
Choreographer Raimund Hoghe has a chin wag with Franko.
Independent Dance presents a series of conversations with artists from within and outside dance, whose particular practice has led them in interesting directions beyond geographic or artform boundaries.

Film - Chosen by Joanne
Fantastic Mr Fox
everywhere (including Gap window Displays!)

I can't wait to see this film! The story was put on stage when I was a little kid and it was amazing.
A story of one Mr.Fox and his wild-ways of hen heckling, turkey taking and cider sipping, nocturnal, instinctive adventures. He has to put his wild days behind him and do what fathers do best: be responsible. He is too rebellious. He is too wild. He is going to try "just one more raid" on the three nastiest, meanest farmers that are Boggis, Bunce and Bean. It is a tale of crossing the line of family responsibilities and midnight adventure and the friendships and awakenings of this country life that is inhabited by Fantastic Mr. Fox and his friends.

Event - Chosen by Carly
Tate Modern
31st October
The Raw Canvas/DIY Womp Halloween Tate Takeover this Saturday, full of the best and most exciting creative minds bringing you some spooky and art-y type fun. Sculpture, live music, new work, live illustration, films to scare and inspire and my pick of this pick - The Roundhouse Experimental Choir! These guys are amazing, I've seen them perform on many occasions and they continue to astound me - not your average choir, full of fun, intrigue and the coolest conductor this side of a cool thing... So come on, it's on earlier in the evening, so you can pop your 'well-thought-out' costume on and head down there for loads of fun before you go and drink yourself silly at some tacky Halloween-decoration-soaked-sticky-floored-girls-in-barely-there-costumes bar! Hooray! Happy All Hallows Eve...

Event - Chosen by Lisa
Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos)
31st October - 2nd November
British Museum on the 1st of November
between 11am and 5pm
I first found out about this Mexican tradition whilst playing a Day of the Dead themed computer game called Grim Fandago set in a world inhabited by skeletons with large Aztec style skulls. Good game, by the way, check it out if you're into that sort of thing.
Now integrated into Catholic traditions and celebrated around All Saint's Day, this ancient holiday celebrates the memories of dead relatives by dancing in funny masks and eating sugar skulls that represent their dead loved ones' faces. It's a fun and colourful way to remember those who have passed away, but you may look a bit silly if you decide to celebrate it by yourself.
If you're in London this weekend, pop into the British Museum on the 1st of November between 11am and 5pm for their Day of the Dead events. Find out more about that here:

Website and Project Launch - Chosen by Sam
Fun With Cancer Patients
The wonderful Brian Lobel's new project supported by the Wellcome Trust is about action with Cancer patients, actions can be anything which involves you — the cancer patient — taking the lead. “If I could only…” “Oh, I so want to…” “I wish I could just...” might be three ways of starting to think of an action.

Cabaret - Chosen by Lindsey
Every Friday for the run of the Sacred Festival at Chelsea Theatre Friday nights are Cabaret Nights. Tonight expect Frank Chickens and with BOURGEOIS & MAURICE and MISS HIGH LEG KICK to come what better way to spend you Friday nights!

Dance - Chosen by Nicky
Rosemary Lee
Common Dance
Greenwich Dance Agency

The premiere was last night and the rumors around the office is that it is totally breath taking. It is sold out but there is always a good chance of returns and no shows so call GDA and put your name on the list. Informed by notions of shared experience, Common Dance is a large-scale work by one of Britain’s leading choreographers, Rosemary Lee. This bold production involves 50 professional and non-professional dancers aged 8 to 80, a choir of 70 young people from Finchley Children’s Music Group.

Michael Clark Company
28 October 2009 - 7 November 2009
Barbican Theatre
Tickets: £10-35
This new work evolves from Clark’s admiration for the music of rock’s holy trinity, David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, who worked in close proximity during the 1970s. The production includes Bowie’s iconic song "Heroes".

‘Rock is my rock. It has been vital to me at a personal level, it has shaped me as an individual as well as an artist’ Michael Clark.


Monday, 26 October 2009

Just a quicky if you don't know what your doing in 2010!

If you are in the market for a 2010 diary then get your greasy mitts on this one!

The Art Not Oil Diary 2010 is a beautiful, stirring 365 day reminder of the extraordinary art that is being made in the struggle for a safer, more just future, and the crucial role that our creativity will need to play if we’re to have a chance of
reaching that place.
The diary will be launched in October at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol as part of PLATFORM's 'C Words' series of events;
Thanks for the heads up Cat

Friday, 23 October 2009

Pick Of The Week 24.10.09

It's 1am on a Friday evening/ Saturday morning and having spent a wonderful night at the Live Art Development Agency (which I shamefully revealed to my friends and colleagues today I thought was in Cockfosters!)listening to the feedback from the DIY 6 programme and playing Miser - a - Ball (a game of keepy uppy where you are told to stand on one leg if "daddy payed for your education" - it was an amazing part of Camp Live Art)I am still immersing myself in culture for your weekly pleasure. Here's what we are getting up to this week, come and join us...

Dancey Times - Chosen by Richard
The nabokov Arts Club
Village Underground - Shoreditch
Jump up and down it's! The undisputed heavyweight champion of artistic happenings anywhere, ever!
Yes, The nabokov Arts Club is back with an all new extravaganza of theatre, music, comedy, poetry and lots more in a vast Victorian warehouse in the heart of Shoreditch. Also booze, food, dancing and general tomfoolery till 2am.

Exhibition - Chosen by Holly
Matt Collishaw at the Freud Museum
New works including sculptures, projections and installations on the theme of hysteria, childhood memory and loss created for Sigmund Freud's house.

Day out - Chosen by Holly
Kettles Yard
If you fancy getting out of town for the day, how about heading to Cambridge - I took some 'gifted and talented' A level students there the other day to 'raise their aspirations' and get them a bit of culture... I've been meaning to go to Kettles yard there for years and finally did - Jim and Helen Ede's home is a real delight - he was the curator at the Tate in the 1920s and the house is full of artworks and good books alongside natural objects... a truly inspirational trip! Helena Almeida is also showing in the gallery with her exhibition 'Inside me'.

Book - chosen by Sam
Live Art Almanac Volume 2
This is your chance to get what you have seen, read, twitted and facebooked about Live Art this year into print. LADA are calling for recommendations and submissions for The Live Art Almanac - Volume 2, An international publication of writing on and around Live Art Deadline: 31 December 2009 so you have a little while, but get thinking and sorting through your archives

Performance - Chosen by Becky
‘Pick and Mix’
Saturday 24 October
Woolworths, Leytonstone
A dance performance inside our old local Woolworths store in Leytonstone curated by Fearghus O’Conchuir who is Associate Artist at Project Arts Centre with the support of East London Dance.

Exhibition - Gustav Metzger
I have just deleted my entry 4 times because it was far to gushing! Everything I hear about Gustav Metzger makes me fall more and more in love with him; from a 3 minute conversation I had with him once, many years ago *swoon* to anecdotes of him listening to bird song in Viccy Park. I guess I can't mention his name without turning into a raving 13 year old Boyzone fan! Go see the show it will be amzing!

Exhibition - Chosen by everyone
Sophie Calle
Whitechapel Gallery
Even if you went last week go again and don't forget to go upstairs!

Festival-Chosen by Nikki
Sacred festival
Chelsea Theatre
shows til 22nd Nov
Now that the champagne corks have stopped popping it's time to read the programme and book your tickets, I'm heading for Paul Granjon and some wonderful Miss High Leg Kick.

& don't forget
Artsadmin's Youth Board are running Scrits on Wednesday and its the final call for film submissions for Dot Dot Dash Dot on Thursday 29th Oct.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Pick Of The Week 16.10.09

Boy do we have a stonking great swag bag of picks this week. Looks like our bloggers are having to think hard and fast about ways to while away the long cold(ish) nights. After the jump are our tasty recommendations for what to do next week...

Live Art Season - Chosen by Mark
21 October – 22 November 2009
West London's live art home comes alive this month with the opening (on Wednesday, see you there) of the Sacred Festival.This years highlights include: Friday night cabaret from Miss High Leg Kick and Bourgeois and Maurice to writing workshops with Lone Twin and some David Hoyle, Gob Squad and Paul Granjon thrown in for good measure.
You can also pick up limited edition oyster card holders designed by the likes of Bobby Baker, Franko B, Stacy Makishi and a few others.

Exhibition - Chosen by Lisa
Pop Life: Art in a Material World
Tate Modern
13th October 2009 - 17th January 2010.
£12.50, concessions £10.50.
Basically if a show has Takashi Murakami in it then I'm likely to recommend it. This show is not for youngsters, though, with three of the rooms being over 18s access only. Pop artists from the last three decades show off their heavily stylized works.

Dance - Chosen by Joanne
In the Spirit of Diaghilev
Sadler's Wells
13-17 October
I am really looking forward to seeing this! Four choreographers pay tribute to the founder of Les Ballets Russes with four new works. Including Wayne McGregor, who I really admire. Each artist, working with all or part of his own company, gives their own original response to the famous challenge that Diaghilev once issued to Jean Cocteau: “Surprise me!”. Each piece is a collaboration of different inspirations, music and dance.

Exhibition - Chosen by pretty much everyone
Sophie Calle at the Whitechapel
Even if you went to the private view last night I bet you missed out on half the show, I hear that although the fruity vodka beverages of the opening night were pretty remarkable, the work is even better.

Hula - las - Chosen by Sam
19 October 2009 - 7 November 2009
Artsadmins very own Heidi will be running hulahoop workshops at the BAC on tuesday evening, join her and don't forget your heels, glitter and falsies. Its worth it just to see the their new LED hoops...awesome!

Exhibition - Chosen by Manick
The Future Can Wait
Trumen Brewery
14- 18 Oct
See Angela's Bartrum's unique videos, Mark McGowens legendary documentation and Jock Mooneys colourful installations and much more all under one roof. A visual treat

Exhibition - Chosen By Frank
Omer Fast
South London Gallery
Oct - Dec 09
This three-part video installation by Omer fast plays beautifully with the conventions of cinema and uses these to examine what is lost, and also gained, when dramatising a true story. Based on extracts from an encounter the artist had with a person seeking asylum in Britain, this piece uses these extracts with further dramatisations of this story to show the disparity between truth and fiction. This work encapsulates all that I love about Omer Fast, a beautifully shot and thought provoking film.

Exhibition - Chosen by Frank
Anish Kapoor
Royal Acadamy
26 September—11 December 2009

This awe inspiring exhibition from Anish Kapoor showcases many of his major works to date and contrasts his more lighthearted, playful work really well with the more intense and dark pieces. The grand setting of the Royal Academy also serves to exaggerate this raw feeling and although there were a few works that didn't quite hit the button for me, the exhibition as a whole is well worth a visit.

Photography - Chosen by Holly
East London photography festival
"a photographic feast"!
oct/nov 2009
The largest photography festival in the UK with more than 150 exhibitions taking place in over 80 venues in East London.

Check me out in Photo Open curated by Alternative Arts at the Old Truman Brewery F block T4 15 Hanbury St. Opening Thursday 15th October 6-9 on till 4th November.

Shop - Chosen by Carly
3rd Sunday of every month
St Aloysius Social Club, Euston

My pick this week will appeal to anyone who went to those haphazard jumble sales on any given Sunday in their childhood, spent their pocket money on a variety of second hand tat and had the best time doing so. Except this time, rather than well-loved bears and old tapes of Kylie and Jason, the tat is the fabulous clothes, craft and comics found deep in the drawers of the achingly cool 'vin-tage' cats who meander the streets of London. It's still a Sunday though. Well some things never change.

Fun Times - Chosen by Gill
John Hegley
Thursdays at Arts bar and Cafe

also dont miss out on the last week of the beautifully grizzly exhibition at The
Wellcome Collection,Exquisite Bodies

Architectural Punch Bowl: Invitation to invent cocktail so big you can row a boat across it!

Friday, 25 September 2009

Pick of the Week - 25/09/09

A fair bit seems to be kicking off this weekend, with a festival, fair and performance recommended here ending before Monday. Thanks to us, our regular readers won't have to worry about missing it all.

Performance - Chosen by Joanne
Bahok by Akram Khan Company, 25th-26th September
For two days only Akram Khan Company will be dancing their socks off with the National Ballet of China. I saw the company about 4 years ago performing 'Ma 'and I still remember the stylised movements which pushed movement boundaries and the fantastic original atmospheric musical score. It was one of the best pieces of contemporary dance I have ever seen.
This piece explores how the body carries (bahok means carry in Bengali) national identity and a sense of belonging. As usual Khan uses dancer from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Mixing kathak-contemporary (Indian classical meets contemporary) and classically trained dancers I'm sure will create an interesting fusion! I will be seeing this so look out for the review in the blog!

Audio Slideshow Series - Chosen by Priyesh
'Disappearing acts' - Audio Slideshow series on the Guardian website
If you've ever wondered how old wheels are made, or how a book is
bound this is for you. This fantastic series takes you through crafts
across the country that have almost been lost in time. I stumbled
across the latest one on 'Stucco' which is the technique of
hand-modeling plasterwork and I was amazed at what was produced.
Could there be a revival of the Craftsman on the horizon?

Mini-festival - Chosen by Frank
15 minute factory, 25th-27th September, The Rag Factory, 16-18 Heneage St, London, E1 5LJ
A three-day cultural mishmash of live music, performance, art, cabaret, burlesque, stand-up comedy and interactive installations, expect art and music from the fringes.

Performance - Chosen by Rosalie
The Paper Cinema - The Lost World, Stoke Newington International Airport, £5
A cast of hand-drawn marionettes are magically brought to life by the Paper Cinema. In this new show, Arthur Conan Doyle's dinosaur tale is told, accompanied by a live score by Kora. Yes please!

Installation - Chosen by Jennifer
Echoes of Blackburn Meadows.
Transmission begins Friday 25th September.
Sheffield-based oral history and public arts project launches the first of a series of solar powered transmitters broadcasting spoken memories and sounds of the former Blackburn Meadows power station; home of two famed cooling towers, which were demolished last year. Workshops are being held to build FM radio receivers with which to access the artwork.
More info at

Fair - Chosen by Lisa
The London Art Book Fare, Whitechapel Gallery, on until 27th September.
Friday 25 September, 5pm-late
Saturday 26 September, 11am-6pm
Sunday 27 September, 11am-6pm
I'm mainly excited about this because as a student now I'm budgeting ferociously whilst trying to gather in any resources that might possibly be useful to me. In what equates to a giant art book sale, the gallery advertises up to 40% off the RRPs, plus free membership if you spend over £100 at a stall. If you're around East London this weekend it's certainly worth a look to see what you might be able to snap up.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Pick of the Week - 18/09/09

I want to congratulate our bloggers this week, yesterday I'd received no e-mails telling me what we wanted in our Pick of the Week today, and then today I turn on the computer to find that my inbox is jam pack full of Picks. Lets see what we've got coming up for you this week.

Exhibition - Chosen by Frank
The Museum Of Non Participation
Karen Mirza and Brad Butler
25 September - 25 October 2009
Behind Yaseen Barbers, 277 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2
Another bizarre and intriguing exhibition commissioned by Artangel. It was born when the artists looked out from the national art gallery to view the protests and subsequent state violence during the Pakistani lawyers movement, and examines this relationship between the artists and those on the street.

Performance - Chosen by Carly
LOCii, 25th September, The Roundhouse, London
This is a bit of a heads-up for next week, but I'm sure tickets will be going fast, fast, fast! Underneath the great main space in the Roundhouse is a maze of corridors and archways, and it is here that LOCii will take place on the 25th September. In a beautiful 360 degree environment, a variety of performers and creative peoples from undiscovered talent to hidden gems are gathered together in this unique and unusual showcase. I went to the first LOCi and it was absolutely amazing, although I have been informed this second version will be bigger, brighter, better and pushing the boundaries of this intriguing site. Everything from music, to visual art, to magic, to things you never expected to see, this is well worth a fiver!

Performance - Chosen by Joanne
Lotte Van den Berg - ''Stillen''
Sadler's Wells Theatre, 24th-25th September at 8pm, £15
Stillen is a wordless meditation on the silent games people play – sometimes tender, sometimes cruel. Focusing on the relationships between six performers, Stillen explores the power of movement with a profound intensity that is both joyfully uplifting and achingly forlorn. It is a production about the consolation of touch and the pain of being alone.
It looks pretty bleak, theatrical and dramatic I can't wait to see it!

Event - Chosen by Holly
Since the start of August Justin Allen has been artist-in-residence at The Art of Engagement, a website for socially-engaged practitioners. For his online residency Justin has created VTC2.0 (messages for the future), a virtual time capsule into which people from around the world can place something for the future.
There is only a week left to go before the capsule is sealed for 100 years. Don't miss the chance to contribute to this innovative artwork.
Next Tuesday 22nd September the capsule will be sealed through a live ceremony that you can join via the Internet. Justin will have his lips sealed with stitches and then observe an hour of silence. You are invited to be part of this ceremony by sharing an hour of silence to mark the sealing of the virtual time capsule.

Exhibition - Chosen by Priyesh
Escapement - RAQs Media Collective
Frith Street Gallery - until 30th September
Having heard/read about this exhibition from various people/places,the one thing I didn't expect as I entered the gallery was the sound. Not from the silence of the 27 clocks mounted across the walls but from the central pillar around which a video installation covers all sides. The slow heart-like beating, the measured pace of a watchful face in orbit of the pillar and the presence of each luminous clock,create an atmosphere of a gradual repetition that mimics insecurities of a global day-to-day. With the world constantly chasing after time, they ask the question - What does it mean to be here now?

Exhibition - Chosen by Holly
"Speedy Gonzalez" Viva la Vida Loca! Lee Campbell Projects Summer of Loca!
Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 12:00pm - Saturday 19th September 11.10pm
The Mexican Embassy, 42-43 Hertford Street, London, W1
Artists let loose in a big posh house in Mayfair - see what they created!
Painting Installation Live Art - Live Performances Tonight Friday 18th September

Workshop - Chosen by Frank
Owl Project - Build your own m-log workshop
25th + 26th September
Space Studios, Hackney, London E8 3RH
Build yourself a music controller in a log!! Yes, you heard right, the owl project have joined with musician and professional electronic fiddler Leafcutter John, to teach you how to make and use a log (dubbed the m-Log), to control music software. It can't be a bad use of a weekend...

Friday, 11 September 2009

Pick of the Week - 11/09/09

This week's picks have a nice little mix with films and exhibitions, a play and even a festival to take your fancy.

Film - Chosen by Joanne
Fishtank by Andrea Arnold
Firstly, this has Micheal Fassbinder in it, he is one talented guy! (and makes me swoon!)
Andrea Arnold’s follow-up to Red Road is an intense and surprising story of love, lust and family. Fifteen-year-old Mia is at war with everything: her family, her school, and the girls on her estate. Her one release is dancing, a passion that she practices in secret. Things change when her mother introduces charismatic new boyfriend Connor.

Play - Chosen by Carly
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Haymarket Theatre Royal
Until 9th January
Well, hasn't our lovely little Anna Friel come a long way from 'That Kiss' on Brookside? She has undoubtedly proved her acting chops along the way, not only on stage but also on screen in the criminally-cancelled Pushing Daisies as the adorable Chuck. See the delightful Friel play the notorious Holly Golightly in the new stage adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's at The Haymarket Theatre Royal until January - but I'd book fast, fast, fast! What with Christmas round the corner, and Friel pulling in the Pushing Daisies punters this will sell quicker than a Tiffany's diamond at a car boot...
Tickets from £15, but feisty Friel is worth that and more. Guaranteed to be a gem of a West End run.

Exhibition - Chosen by Jennifer
Millennium Gallery
25 June – 20 September 2009
By examining the process of production in this diverse exhibition, we
come to realise that contemporary art is much greater than the sum of
all of its parts.

Festival - Chosen by Rosalie
BAC's Scratch Festival.
10 September 2009 - 26 September 2009, 19:30
£5.00, Concessions are FREE
With three long weekends of freewheeling, risk taking cabaret, BAC's annual Scratch Festival is bigger and better than any previous Scratch event. The building will be bursting with established BAC performers, artists who’ve never been here before and graduates from performing arts courses around the country. Scratch allows artists to test new ideas and get audience feedback, so you have an impact on how shows develop at BAC. Get into the building with a £5 Festival Ticket and be guided around an assortment of Scratch performances, brought together under the themes Reasons for Living, Democracy and the inspirational figure of David Lynch. You’ll also be able to see fresh new work from the best of this year’s graduating students (10 - 12 Sep only) and immerse yourself in Helen Cole's We See Fireworks installation. Download Scratch Festival flyer for more information about Graduate shows.

Exhibition - Chosen by Priyesh
Frederic Pradeau
Laure Genillard Gallery, 2 Hanway Place, W1T 1HB
until Saturday 3rd October
Pradeau takes as starting point for the exhibition a found piece of
bread, resembling a pound sign, leftover from a tramp in Hyde Park.
From a simple symbol to the vast notion of money, the artist then
derives multiple paintings, drawings and sculptures, associated with
the effects that money creates and emphasising its arbitrariness. It's
humour from the everyday - a good show if you like your materials.

Film - Chosen by Lisa
Dorian Gray, in cinemas from 9th September
Okay, this has the potential to be a bit awful, but from what I've seen and heard of this adaption directed by Oliver Parker it seems to be a faithful representation of the dark novel by Oscar Wilde, which is a darn good read if you haven't picked the book up already.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Pick of the Week - 04/09/09

Summer is ending and exciting things to do seem to be waning... if you're a student then your free time is rapidly running out as term approaches... but will we let that stop us going out there and having some fun and culture? NO! Let's see what our bloggers have recommended this week...

Exhibition - Chosen by Lisa
Jeff Koons: Popeye Series, Until 13th September
I do seem to have a tendency to recommend the less sophisticated or mature picks of the weeks. I only discovered that this was on recently and am quite surprised my natural attraction to the nostalgic hadn't led me to Hyde Park earlier. Koons explores the cartoon's reaction to the hardships of the Great Depression, reinventing the iconic imagery by mixing it in with his own signature style.

Book - Chosen by Joanne
The Audacity of Hype: Bewilderment, Sleaze and other tales of the 21st Century, by Armando Iannucci
I will definitely read this book, I am a bit of a fan of Iannucci and if the fantastic Armando Iannucci Show, The Thick of It, The Day to Day Today, In the Loop are anything to go by then this should be right to the point and on the money at ripping the sheer piss out of the media, politics and modern society!
And he is Scottish, I love Scottish people!

Performance - Chosen by Rosalie
Stationary Excess
Shunt Lounge
Wednesday 2nd September – Saturday 5th September
Entry to Shunt is: £5 Weds and Thurs; £10 Fri and Sat
Shunt Lounge, Joiner Street, London Bridge (Station).
Stationary Excess is new piece by new international theatre collective Made In China. The performance involves one woman, one exercise bike, lots of biscuits and a bottle of champagne, exploring themes of human solitude.

Exhibition - Chosen by Holly
The Institute of Education 'Art and Design in Education' MA dissertation exhibition
Open Tuesday 8th September - Thursday 10th of September 10-5pm
Private View Monday the 7th September 6-8pm
Come and see the fruits of our labour after an intense summer and join me in the celebration of getting my life back!

Exhibition - Chosen by Holly
Last chance to see Richard Long at Tate Britain - closes this Sunday 6th September - open late tonight - Friday the 4th.
'featuring over 80 works, Heaven and Earth includes sculptures, large-scale mud wall works, and new photographic and text works documenting walks around the world, plus a big selection of the artists' books, postcards and other printed matter.'

Play - Chosen by Carly
Fathers Inside
Soho Theatre, 8pm
Until 12th September
Seven young fathers in a Young Offenders Institution face up to their relationships with their children and their own fathers in a prison eduction programme that reveals their vulnerabilities, their hopes, their dreams and their self deceptions. Written by Philip Osment and directed by Jim Pope this is one of the exciting composite parts of the NYT season at the Soho Theatre. A high energy and raw piece of theatre, this will leave you electrified and massively impressed with the level of talent in the young cast.

Getting into the term time spirit

Maybe this doesn't apply too directly to many of our readers, but term is soon to start. It baffles me to think that one day, when I'm a big grown up, June and September will mean little more to me than the Summer Solstice and my best friend's birthday.

Not that it'll go totally unnoticed by me when suddenly my commute to work is devoid of chattering school children and the funfair moves into the park across the way from my house and the university students who rent a house next door to me seem to think it's alright to be having a party until three o'clock on a Monday morning.
I have been very irritable this past week and I get the feeling it's largely due to the fact that it's September now, and I start university for the first time in three and a half weeks. I'm scared, quite frankly, not just at the prospect of being in a new place with new people, but also at the idea that I'll have to get out of my routine of doing what I want when I want for three months into a 9-5 timetable (bloody art and design degrees taking up three times as much of your time than any others).
I have done... a little preparation. The power of Facebook and the Internet in general means I've been able to talk to a few people on my course already. I gave myself a few projects to keep myself busy over the summer, of which I've completed... half of one.
So maybe this isn't a big time of your life, maybe you ARE a student, and you still are unaffected by this transition... you're probably one of those cool laid back people who takes everything in your stride and can suddenly switch from getting up at 1pm every day to 7am every day with minimum jet lag. Maybe you're a grumpy old man who associates with no young people and locks himself up in his house always, except to get his shopping on Saturday mornings when the streets are guaranteed to be free of anyone under the age of 28 all year round.
If you're a student... I wish you luck, especially if you're going in to a new school or college. Just remember, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE DONE IT BEFORE YOU, IT CAN'T BE THAT BAD.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Pick of the Week 28th August 2009

This week's must-see selection has more exciting events from Edinburgh, an exhibition at the Design Museum, the chance to make some knitted wares whilst learning about the technology of string at the Whitechapel, Climate Camp and of course this weekend's infamous Notting Hill Carnival. Sadly this is my last week editing the Artsblog Pick of the Week but no doubt one of my fantastic fellow bloggers will take up responsibility and loving compile next week's mouthwatering selection of the week's happenings for you lucky readers.

Frank - Climate Camp 2009
Somewhere in London - Wed 26th August - Wed 2nd September.

'Thousands of people will by now have descended on a green site somewhere in London to build a self sustaining eco town, run in a entirely non-hierarchical, carbon neutral way to give the government a glimpse of the future that they want and are building for themselves. Join them and become part of the most fun, radical and free experiment in living in this country, if not the world.'

Priyesh - Richard Wentworth's Knot Night at Whitechapel Gallery
Thursday 3rd September 7pm.

'So ever since I learnt to knit, made a scarf and then started a knitting circle, people started looking at me in a very peculiar way.
Those who don't stare and gawk may find this interesting. Richard
has been commissioned to curate the gallery's Cabinet of
Curiosities on the theme of string, where members of the public are invited to contribute different types of string from around the world.
The Knot Night is an evening for string geeks, knot obsessives and sceptics alike. Exchange yarns, unravel string theory and join a knitting circle.

The evening will feature talks from Andrew Jaffe, astrophysicist,
Imperial College London, and Mark Miodownik, Materials Engineer, Kings
College London. There will also be a chance to learn to knit! The event is free but ticketed. For more information click here.'

Carly – Nik Green’s ‘Trilogy
St Stephen Street, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, EH3 5AA - Until 31st Aug, 7.30pm, £12 (£9).

'Say the dreaded 'F word' (feminism...) and most of us are liable to run a mile, let alone want to spend around 4 hours going over the ins and outs of the history (herstory) of it. Yet, there is something in Nik Green's 'Trilogy' that makes you (or me as the case was) want to strip your (my) clothes off and sing Jerusalem loudly (...badly).

Set in the cavernous and beautiful church, St Stephen's, the audience are taken on a journey through liberating the women's body, Germaine Greer, misogyny, some beautiful and awe-inspiring dance pieces, a little bit of audience participation, and a final dictum on how to 'make your own herstory'.

I must say, for those of us who spend many hours of the day contemplating what feminism is, how it affects us, and have wasted/spent many hours writing about the subject, 'Trilogy' is preaching to the choir. However, just talking to some of the male audience members after the piece convinced me this is a journey worth taking, and let's face it, this is a message that continues to be relevent and important. The fight isn't over and Jerusalem will never mean the same thing to me again.

Watch out for more ponderings on this and other fringe related nonsense later!

In the meantime, if you are up in Edinburgh, check this out!'

Lisa – Mariscal Drawing Life
Design Museum, 1st July – 1st November, £8.50 adults, £6.50 concessions, £5 students, Free for under 12s.

'I sort of just popped into this exhibition because I'd already paid the entrance fee in order to see Super Contemporary, another exhibition going on at the Design Museum at the moment. Mariscal's strong graphic style is captivating and enjoyably creative in its execution. As well as posters, book covers and leaflets, there are tiny video installations set inside stationary 3D models plus bigger, explorable ones. There was many a young'un there, enjoying themselves amongst the cartoons, so it could be something to take your kids too, also.'

Joanne – Noting Hill Carnival
Sun 30th – Mon 31st August

'I have been two years in a row, it is a very cheerful, colourful, loud, rowdy event! Each corner that you turn you chance running into Soca, drum n bass, Samba and hip hop. Jerk chicken, rice and peas are the dish of the day!'

Rosalie - Iris Brunette by Melanie Wilson
Henry Little John Suite, University of Edinburgh Medical School, Teviot Place, 22nd to 30th August, 6pm and 9pm, £10 (£7.50 concessions).

'This immersive performance takes its audience to an apocalyptic world on the trace of a mysterious stranger. With moments of complete darkness, and beautiful soundscapes, this piece will absorb you entirely, throwing you out afterwards blinking into the light wondering who, when and where you are. Melanie Wilson is a masterful performer, drawing the audience in and out of her story, with moments of participation that are so seamless that you’ll forget that the whale watchers and the barman were moments before innocent audience members you and Wilson had never met.'