Saturday, 1 August 2015

Clarence House

Today Clarence House, the official residence of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, opened to the public. Visitors will be able to see the five rooms on the ground floor where official engagements are held. The show runs until 31 August, admission £9.80 (CLICK)

Statues Diplomacy

The University of Nottingham was the first foreign university to establish an independent campus in China in 2004. It chose Ningbo. Nottingham's sister city of Ningbo sent two Chinese guardian lions as a gift. In return, Nottingham will recaste James Woodford's Robin Hood (1952) near Nottingham Castle and fly the copy to Ningbo. It will be unveiled during the Nottingham trade mission to Ningbo in early November (CLICK).

Carole A. Feuerman

Here's one of the newest sculptures from hyperrealist sculptress Carole A. Feuerman: Miniature Balance (Swarovsk Cap) 2015 Edition 5/10, It's made of oil paints on resin with Swarovski Crystals for the bathing cap. The exhibition Carole A. Feuerman | New Works opened at KM Fine Arts in Chicago yesterday and features both life-size and small-scale works (CLICK). For history CLICK.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Weiwei Wins

Home Secretary Theresa May has ordered officials to issue Ai Weiwei with a full six-month UK visa and she has apologised to him in a letter (CLICK).

Ai Weiwei's Visa

Yesterday, at the Franz-Josef-Strauss airport in Munich, Ai Weiwei was reunited with his son, Ai Lao, who lives in Germany. Meanwhile the furore over Britain's denial of Ai Weiwei's application for a six-month visa rumbles on. The Home Secretary will revue the case (CLICK).

Thursday, 30 July 2015

John Tenniel & Alice

You may have noticed that 2015 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). Royal Mail issued a set of stamps in January to mark the occasion (CLICK). To see Grahame Baker-Smith's excellent Alice designs enlarged CLICK. The V&A Museum of Childhood in east London is showing The Alice Look (CLICK). Recently the Royal Horticultural Society opened Adventures in Wonderland (CLICK). Lewis Carroll (a pseudonym) created the early illustrations for Alice himself, but the artist who brought the book to life was John Tenniel. Shown is his unforgettable illustration for The Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

Light and Land

On 2 August the Mall Galleries in central London opens Light and Land on The Mall, a celebration of landscape photography. Shown is Charlie Waite's photo Green Park. The exhibition runs in the Main Gallery, North Gallery & Threadneedle Space until 10 August, admission free. CLICK for more information.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Tommy and Tuppence

Did you watch the new BBC One series Partners In Crime, starring Jessica Raine and David Walliams as Agatha Christie's Tommy and Tuppence in The Secret Adversary, Part One? The opening scene in Paris was ruined by the anonymous director having Tuppence lug a pile of empty suitcases to the train. She would never have been able to lift them had they been full. The unfunny joke was that Tommy carried a small package containing a queen bee, from which he hoped to make a fortune. David Walliams was a dead loss, both as Tuppence's husband and as an actor. It was left to Jessica Raine to salvage the show, which she did most successfully (CLICK).

Giovanni da Rimini

Last year the Duke of Northumberland flogged Giovanni da Rimini's Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and other Saints (1300-05) which had been hanging in Alnwick Castle since 1853. A temporary export ban was slapped on the painting to see if £4,919,000 could be raised to buy if for the nation. American businessman, philanthropist and art collector Ronald S. Lauder came up with the readies and an unusual offer. The National Gallery will loan him the painting for the rest of his life! He will return the painting to the gallery every three years, beginning in 2017. The painting is owned by the National Gallery (CLICK).

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Immaculate Confection

Today the Saatchi Gallery in London opened Immaculate Confection: Works by Darrell Hawkins in its Prints & Originals Gallery. Many of these works have been newly created for the exhibition. Shown is Darrell Hawkins' Lady Hurley Burley (Immaculate Chocolate) sold (CLICK).

Monday, 27 July 2015

Fan Bay Deep Shelter

This photo caught my eye today. It shows a guide in the Fan Bay Deep Shelter (2015). The shelter was excavated in the white cliffs of Dover on the orders of WWII leader Sir Winston Churchill, who was horrified to see enemy shipping moving freely within the Dover Strait. He ordered three anti-aircraft guns to be installed at Fan Bay with the battery, searchlights, radar equipment and two WWI sound mirrors plus steel-lined rooms and tunnels for the soldiers who manned the complex. The National Trust bought the land in 2012 and found the tunnels. After major restoration the tunnels were opened to the public on 20 July (CLICK).

A Royal Welcome

On Saturday Buckingham Palace opened A Royal Welcome, a public flaunting of the 19 State Rooms for Chinese tourists. You don't have to be Chinese, but how many Londoners can afford £20.50 for admission, £18.80 for silver surfers? Shown is the Thrones Room. Buckingham Palace is both the office and London residence of Her Majesty The Queen. It is one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today. The State Rooms are used for ceremonial occasions and official entertaining. CLICK to book tickets.