Saturday, 30 April 2011

Painted Face

Nobody can say that London Art News hasn't covered the royal wedding from head to foot. Back to the art lark now. Here is the best example of face painting I spotted in the last two days. What's that strange flag painted on it? There's been a lot of them flying around London recently. I hope none of them was upside down.

Wedding Footnote

On the left is Prince William wearing spurs as he enters Westminster Abbey. I hope he took them off before the ceremony. On the right are the shoes of David and Victoria Beckham. "Posh" seems to be attempting to break a Guinness World Record for the highest heels at a royal wedding. In case you're wondering why the Queen seems to have demoted William from Prince to Duke of Cambridge, it's so Kate Middleton can be raised to Duchess, which allows her to put HRH in front of her name. As a commoner, she can't use the title Princess. To please the Scots and Northern Irish, the Queen has also granted Duke William the titles Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus (title link). So that makes Kate the Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn and Baroness Carrickfergus! Wouldn't it have been simpler to scrub royal protocol and call Kate "Princess"? That's what she is to most of us. Note: when Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, he didn't need any more titles and, as Diana was an aristocrat, she could be raised to Princess. "The People's Princess"? I think we truly have one now. Princess Kate is an absolute charmer.

Wedding Fashions

Still on the subject of the royal wedding, BBC News has posted a slide show of the fashion styles on display (title link). Kate Middleton's elegant gown, designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, is obviously the star of the show. What follows are more silly hats than at Royal Ascot. Here you see royal bimbos Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice wearing silly hats. HRH Eugenie looks like a dog's dinner in a Vivienne Westwood outfit. HRH Beatrice wears a tasteful coat, but tops it with a hat which prompted a Facebook page dedicated to "Princess Beatrice's Ridiculous Royal Wedding Hat"; over 4,000 people agreed (CLICK). I wonder, do these royal bimbos have any idea how idiotic they look and how offensive it is for them to waste money on stupid outfits at a time of recession? The Queen and the Middleton's struck a note of quiet elegance amid royal excesses. Carole Middleton, mother of the bride, showed where Kate's good taste has come from, while bridesmaid Pippa Middleton's figure-hugging white dress has prompted a Facebook page: "Pippa-Middleton-Ass-Appreciation-Society", which already has 39,000 fans (CLICK). Tut tut.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Royal Kisses

Prince William and Kate Middleton - now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - kissed twice on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding service in Westminster Abbey. Click the title link for a video.

Wedding Trees

Kate Middleton's novel idea of adding trees to the interior of Westminster Abbey for her wedding to Prince William proves its worth. Not only does the green foliage refresh the 900-year-old Abbey with spring growth, but also it strongly hints at regeneration for the monarchy itself. More green and less gold is a concept we should all be fostering. Click the title link for a video of the first of these 20ft-high trees being manhandled into position.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

New V&A Website

Here's a sneak preview of the new V&A website, which will be launched on 4 May. If you click the title link now, you'll see just how boring the current website is. It has always puzzled me that V&A emails show excellent graphic design while its website is so uninspired. This looks much better: good layout and strong photos.


I see the Saatchi Gallery in London has put Daniel Druet's goofy waxwork of Prince William on display for the weekend, so that punters can try on Kate Middleton's engagement ring (title link). Engagement was first shown at the Stephen Friedman Gallery. I covered this daft story in February (CLICK to read about Jennifer Rubbell's idea). I think the work should be renamed Opportunism.


Imagine the average British family - fat dad, fat mum and two fat kids - sitting down to a TV dinner of greasy chips to watch Tim Anderson win MasterChef. Mum's never cooked a proper dinner in her life. She fills her trolley with frozen meals, jumbo bottles of Coke and packets of crisps. Why the hell is she watching MasterChef? Easy TV. There are too many obese Britons gawking at cookery shows. What I really want to know is: Why did the BBC's design team create a red-hot branding iron as the MasterChef trophy? We don't brand cattle in the UK; we punch holes in their ears. Tim is American, but nobody knew he would win. Could the design be due to watching too many cowboy films, perhaps even an oblique nod toward Brokeback Mountain? Does Auntie view the USA as the pinnacle of Le Cordon Bleu cuisine? Surely not! Maybe it's a new trend: US cattle are cool; flatulent, but cool!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Sony Photo Awards

Suddenly London is flooded with photography awards. This morning I reported on the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2011. Now Sony has announced that Alejandro Chaskielberg is its World Photographer of the Year. The Sony Open Photographer of the Year award was won by Chan Kwok Hung with this powerful photo Buffalo Race. Wow! The Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition runs at Somerset House in London until 1 May. Somerset House is also hosting the World Photography Festival, which continues in the South Wing until 22 May. Click the title link for more information.

Hitchcock Storyboard

This may not look like the most exciting sequence of drawings you've ever seen, but they are an historic rarity, part of the only storyboard by Alfred Hitchcock to remain in private hands. The rest after 1940 are kept in the Hitchcock archives in Beverly Hills. Hitchcock created this storyboard for Stage Fright (1950) and it shows his meticulous pre-production planning with camera angles, closeups of actors and distance shots. The storyboard comes up for auction in Bonhams' Printed Books and Manuscripts sale in London on 7 June, estimated value £20,000 to £30,000.

Deutsche Börse Prize

Congratulations to US photographer Jim Goldberg, who has won this year's Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for his exhibition Open See. The Congolese Refugee (2008) shown here is from his winning show. He takes the £30,000 prize. An exhibition featuring the shortlisted photographers - Thomas Demand, Roe Ethridge, Jim Goldberg, and Elad Lassry - runs at Ambika P3 at the University of Westminster until 1 May. This is a temporary venue while The Photographer' Gallery is closed for improvements. Admission is free.

Royal Wedding View

A week ago I linked to a brief BBC video tour of Westminster Abbey conducted by the Dean's Verger (CLICK). Auntie has now gone one better with a 360 degree tour of the Abbey, centred just below the 19th-century High Altar (shown). It's a bit shimmery, but it provides you with zoom controls and unobtrusive labels, such as "Poet's Corner". Click on a label and you access a text and audio commentary by Blue Badge guide Judy Pulley. If you want to get rid of these labels or bring them back, click the Info button in the top right corner. You can tilt or hurry the camera with arrows in the top left corner. If you click on the icon in the doorway of the Screen at the end of the Quire, you access a second 360 degree camera. All this is very sophisticated. You need Flash Player and ActiveX controls to run the show. Below the viewer are guide links: Wedding route, Etiquette, Video route, Schedule for the day. It's everything a royal watcher needs for the wedding. Click the title link.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Wim Crouwel

The latest exhibition at the Design Museum in London is Wim Crouwel - A Graphic Odyssey, rated by Time Out as "Exhibition of the week". This is the first UK retrospective of Dutch graphic designer Wim Crouwel's 60-year career. Shown is his design for an Alfred Jensen Poster (1964). The exhibition runs until 3 July. Click the title link for more information.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Maine Dictatorship 2

A few weeks ago I reported on the outcry following Governor Paul LePage's order to remove Judy Taylor's 36-foot-long mural from the Department of Labor building in Augusta, Maine (CLICK). On Good Friday U.S. District Judge John Woodcock rejected an application to order LePage to return the mural. The judge claimed its removal constituted government speech and the court could not interfere with the right of government to say what it wished, no matter how fatheaded. So, not such a Good Friday. However, the more complex issue of artists' rights has yet to be brought before the court. It's on its way....

'Art' Fryup

Here's another "artist" in trouble with the authorities: 20-year-old Anna Sin’kova. She and a few friends thought it would be fun to hold a protest art happening against totalitarian regimes. So they made a video of her frying eggs and hotdogs over the eternal flame of a World War II monument in Kiev’s Park of Glory, Ukraine. The monument commemorates the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany. When the video was posted on YouTube, people complained, including real artists. Anna was arrested and now faces up to five years in jail for desecrating the monument (title link). Silly girl. CLICK for the video. The ironic marshal music is stirring stuff.

Weiwei Protest

On Saturday, more than 1,000 fans of Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei marched through Hong Kong demanding his release. Weiwei's arrest is seen as part of a major crackdown on dissidents in the People's Republic of China, which fears an upheaval similar to those in the Middle East. On Easter Sunday, more than 20 Chinese Protestants were arrested in Beijing while trying to attend an open-air service (CLICK). Hong Kong is much more relaxed about dissent. Since the British handed it back to China in 1997, it has been run as a special administrative region with its own government and a high degree of autonomy from China, except for foreign relations and military defence. Unlike China, it has a thriving erotic film industry. Its latest success is Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy, which beat Avatar at the box office (CLICK). Note the "LOVE IS ALL" T-shirt below the Weiwei mask. Might a combination of peaceful protest and erotic movies be the new opiate of the masses?

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Daffy and Silvio

Recently I chanced upon this photo of Colonel Gaddafi and Silvio Berlusconi, taken during Gaddafi's state visit to Italy in 2009. Gaddafi likes to think of himself as a very go-ahead dictator on the subject of women's rights. He brought some of his female bodyguards with him. You can see one of them a few paces behind him. I couldn't resist adding speech and thinks bubbles!

Portrait Painters

The Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition opens at the Mall Galleries in London on Thursday 5 May. Paintings and drawings will include national and international submissions and "high-profile society commissions". Kate (detail) by Anastasia Pollard RP is an example of members' work. Several prizes are on offer. Usual FBA admission prices: £2.50 adults, £1.50 silver surfers, free to Art Fund members.

Get Well, Thusha

I've dedicated this Easter egg to 5-year-old Thusha Kamaleswaran, the youngest victim of gun crime in London. She was shot in the chest during gang-related youth violence in Stockwell Road on 29 March. The last update on her condition was on 16 April, when she was still in hospital in a "serious but stable condition" (title link). A second victim in the shop, Mr Selvakumar, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head, has been released from hospital. Police have arrested a number of young gangsters aged from 14 to 20.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Bonhams Open House

Auction house Bonhams in Knightsbridge, London, will be holding its first ever Open House on Tuesday 3 May, from 9:30am to 4pm. Over 20 Bonhams' specialists will provide free saleroom valuations on ceramics, silver, jewellery, paintings, furniture, works of art, books, clocks, watches, coins, medals, musical instruments, arms, sporting guns, collectables and memorabilia. My guess is that the queues will be long, as in BBC One's Antiques Roadshow. A first-come-first-served queuing system will be in operation with tickets issued for the various categories of objects to be valued. I would arrive early. Click the title link for more information. And don't forget to let me know if that grubby old painting in the loft turns out to be a Stubbs.

Egypt Poppies Update

An Egyptian court has jailed five officials over the theft of Vincent Van Gogh's Poppy Flowers, which was stolen from the Mahmoud Khalil Museum, Cairo, last August. Mohsen Shaalan, formerly Deputy Culture Minister, copped one year in jail plus community service, while four former employees at the museum were sent to prison for six months. The painting still hasn't been found. The previous time it was stolen it ended up in Kuwait (CLICK). There is a 1 million Egyptian pound reward on offer ($168,000) for information leading to its recovery, but it's worth an estimated $55m.

Green National Gallery

Following successful trials, The National Gallery in London is going green by installing Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) throughout the Gallery over the next two years. This major innovation - the first of its kind in the world - will reduce its lighting energy consumption by 85% and reduce its emission of carbon dioxide by 400 tonnes a year. As the ‘lamplife’ of LEDs is 25 times greater than that of the current tungsten lights, maintenance costs will also be reduced. And LEDs don't produce UV light, so they won't damage the paintings. Better for pictures, better for visitors and better for the environment too. Above is one of the Gallery's finest treasures: Diego Velázquez's The Toilet of Venus, also called 'The Rokeby Venus' (1647-51). Click the title link to read the full press release.

St George's Day

So easy to forget, because we English don't have a holiday to celebrate our patron saint.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Frieze Writer's Prize

Who fancies themselves as an art critic, apart from me? There has been a call for entries to the Frieze Writer's Prize. Providing we are over 18 and have had no more than three articles on art published in a newspaper or magazine, we are invited to submit an unpublished 700-word review in English of a recent contemporary art exhibition. The prize is £2000 plus a commission to write a review for the October issue of Frieze. The problem for me lies in that word "contemporary". I don't like writing bullshit. If you fancy your chance of bullshitting the punters, click the title link. The closing date is 27 June. The winner will be announced in September.

Butterflies at NHM

Here's another possibility for both entertaining and educating the kids over Easter: Sensational Butterflies at the Natural History Museum in London. Many butterflies need the salt in sweat, so the sweatier your kids are, the more butterflies will land on them. Get them to run round the block a few tines! Visits are timed and you need to book in advance. The price for everybody is £3.50. The only concessions are for Art Fund members £1.75 and families (2 Adults, 2 Children) £12.00. Click the title link to book. Entry to the museum is free.

Statues For Sale

This dazzling gilt-bronze cast of Tanagra by Jean-Léon Gérôme is one of a number of works coming up for auction in Sothebys London sale of 19th & 20th Century European Sculpture on 17 May. Its estimated value is between £100,000 and £150,000. Ambrogio Borghi's Chioma di Berenice is another. Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux's marble statue Frileuse will also be up for grabs, as will a fine bronze cast of St George by Alfred Gilbert (title link). It will be well worth visiting Sothebys' showrooms when these treasures are put on display before the auction.

Happy Easter

Enjoy the smog while it lasts!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Age of the Dinosaur

On Good Friday the Natural History Museum in London opens Age of the Dinosaur, which features new life-size animatronic dinosaurs set in their prehistoric landscapes with sounds and even smells! Above is Tarbasaurus bataar, a close relative of T. rex. BBC News has posted a video in which paleontologist Dr Paul Barrett explains the latest findings depicted in the exhibition (CLICK). This is a must for the kids, providing they won't be scared witless by the bellow of a Camarasaurus calling its mate. Tickets cost £10 for adults, £6 for silver surfers and £28 for families. Click the title link to book.

Enemies of Art

Stuckism International has launched a new exhibition at Lauderdale House in London: The Enemies of Art. It was opened by Michael Žantovský, Czech Ambassador to the UK (second from left) whom I assume is a fan. Charles Thomson, co-founder of the Stuckists is on the left. The one with the snazzy tie and the paunch is Edward Lucie-Smith, critic and author. On the right is Robert Janas, founder of the Prague Stuckists. They get around, these Stuckists. The exhibition continues until 2 May (title link).

Chris Hondros RIP

US photographer Chris Hondros (above) died in the same mortar attack which killed Tim Hetherington. They were covering the house-to-house fighting in the Libyan city of Misrata. BBC News has posted a slide show of dramatic images: Chris Hondros in Libya: The last photographs. Click the title link to view them.

Tim Hetherington RIP

Late yesterday came the sad news that British photojournalist and film director Tim Hetherington was killed in a mortar attack in the Libyan city of Misrata. He and his camera were always in the thick of the fighting to get the most dramatic shots. Above is his photo of US soldiers Sergeant Joshua McDonough and Specialist Miguel Gutierrez firing grenades and automatic weapons from the 'Restrepo' bunker after coming under attack in Afghanistan. He won the prestigious World Press Photo Award 2008 for his photo of an exhausted US soldier (CLICK for my post and a link to more of his photos).

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Dancing for the Gods

The Horniman Museum in London recently opened Bali - Dancing for the Gods, a major exhibition of Balinese culture featuring spectacular masks, costumes and artifacts, together with film and photography from the 1930s. Click the title link for images and details. CLICK for a Telegraph slide show. Admission costs £5.50 adults, £3.50 silver surfers; under 16s are allowed in free. On Thursday 28 April from 7pm to 9pm there will be a late opening followed by a dance demonstration and workshop of the Wirayudha (warrior dance) with leading Balinese dancer Ni Made Pujawati. Book first.

Early Easter Bunny

The Winterthur Museum (CLICK) recently acquired one of the earliest known American depictions of the Easter Bunny. It seems that the Christmas tree, the Easter bunny and coloured eggs were brought to the USA by immigrants from southwestern Germany in the 1700s. This early example has been attributed to schoolmaster Johann Conrad Gilbert (1734–1812), who emigrated from Germany in 1757. He eventually settled in Berks County, Pennsylvania. It looks like a hare to me. Maybe we should celebrate Easter with mad March hares, not bunnies.

Lego® Intrepid

I tend to ignore those sculptures made of Lego®, because they're becoming boring; but this one is a must: a 23ft model of USS Intrepid, the world's largest aircraft carrier, using 250,000 pieces of Lego®. The artist Ed Diment built the model on board the original USS Intrepid, which is now a museum in New York. He explains how he made his model on a BBC video (title link). His artwork has been valued at more than £30,000.

Westminster Abbey Tour

Royal wedding fever has become so endemic that it has actually eclipsed updates on the 2012 Olympic Games in London! We're being flooded with family trees, Kate's fashion sense, security issues, novelty wedding cakes ad nauseam. The best of today's overkill is a BBC video in which the Dean's Verger gives Naomi Grimley a special tour of Westminster Abbey, where the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton will take place, If you have never visited the Abbey, click the title link to view a breathtaking work of art.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Kate's Coat of Arms

Royal watchers, just for you here is Kate Middleton's new coat of arms, unveiled in the City of London today. Dad paid £4,400 to have it designed to mark his daughter's marriage to Prince William on 29 April. Thomas Woodcock, Garter Principal King of Arms, explains the heraldic devices (title link). What I want to know is what happened to the Durham mines and the fish-and-chip shop? Are there heraldic devices for them?

Piss Christ Attacked

Here's another Easter art story. On Sunday three religious fruitcakes entered the Collection Lambert in Avignon, southern France, and, while two of them grappled with staff, the third attacked Andres Serrano's Immersion (Piss Christ) with a hammer, smashing in Christ's head. Serrano's photo has been a bone of contention since it was first shown in the USA in 1989. He bathed a crucifix in urine and blood to take his photo. What strikes me is that both sides are insane. Firstly, this photo isn't a work of art; it's merely an insulting gesture. So why show it? Secondly, how can anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ attack an image of him, no matter how offensive he thinks it is? The exhibition I Believe in Miracles, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Collection Lambert, continues until 8 May (CLICK).

Monday, 18 April 2011

Henri Fantin-Latour

County Durham in the northeast of England has been in the news today, because BBC royal watchers have traced Kate Middleton's ancestry back to Durham coal miners (CLICK). If this news tempts you to zoom off to County Durham for an Easter break or make plans for a summer holiday there, take note that The Bowes Museum in the market town of Barnard Castle has just opened an interesting art exhibition which continues until 9 October: Painting Flowers: Fantin-Latour and the Impressionists. This is the first major exhibition of his work in the UK (title link). Around 30 of his beautiful still-life paintings are on show, alongside paintings by Renoir, Courbet, and Fantin-Latour’s wife Victoria Dubourg, among others. It looks a treat.

Pooh Returns

One of the many reasons for the Disney Corporation's success is that it invariably has a movie ready to release for the school holidays. It's the same this Easter. Forget all that superstitious stuff that bishops prattle on about. Easter means Easter breaks, Easter eggs, Easter bunnies and a Disney movie at the cinemas to entertain the whole family. This year it's a new Winnie the Pooh movie, not forgetting Christopher Robin of course. The script combines three of A.A. Milne's stories (title link). Kiddies might like to CLICK to try the games on the Winnie The Pooh UK website, which is slow but cute.

Colour Blind?

BBC News has raised the problem of colour blindness as it effects games players (title link). The problem is much wider than games. I know one completely colour blind man who must remember the sequence of traffic lights when driving in order to know when to stop, go or be ready. Artists use colours to trick the eye into seeing depth; red is a "close" colour, blue a "distant" colour. I first became interested in this subject years ago when writing a programme on 16-bit graphics for the Atari ST. Did I have any colour-perception defect I needed to know about? I borrowed a colour blindness test from my library, more extensive than the quickie offered by BBC Suffolk (CLICK). I vaguely recall about 20 pictures. I made 100%. What can you see in the sample test here? People with normal vision should read the number 8. Those with red-green defects will read 3. Someone who is totally colour blind won't see any number at all. That shouldn't stop you becoming an artist. Comics publishers often employ "colourists" to fill in the India ink drawings made by the main artist. And of course there is sculpture.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Santa Croce Frescos

A five-year restoration of the frescos inside Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) in Florence has been completed. The scaffolding and lift will remain in place for another year to allow visitors to ascend to the ceiling for a closer look at the restored frescos. Click the title link for a BBC News video. Above is Saint Matthew flanked by cherubs. On the left is the brilliant front of the Basilica di Santa Croce. Tate Margate, eat your heart out. They knew how to build architectural wonders in those days.

Spanish Masters Found

Spanish police have recovered two oil paintings which were stolen 14 years ago after an exhibition tour: El Greco's The Annunciation and Francisco Goya's The Apparition of the Virgin of Pilar (shown). A tipoff led police to a private house near the southeastern city of Alicante. The condition of the paintings is unknown. I'm not even sure which of El Greco's Annunciations is the stolen one. He seems to have painted quite a few.

Thorburn's Peacocks

This is Archibald Thorburn's magnificent Peacock and Peacock Butterfly, one of a private collection of 15 works by Thorburn which will feature in an auction of 19th Century Paintings at Bonhams, London, on 13 July. The dot in the foreground is indeed a peacock butterfly painted to scale, but it barely shows on my glorified thumbnail of a large 87.5x111.5cm painting. Even on a bigger graphic (title link) it hardly shows. The pre-sale estimate is £80,000 to £120,000, but my guess is that it will fetch more. Thorburn's The Covey at Daybreak (CLICK) made £192,000 in January.

Tate Margate II

A goodly crowd turned out for the opening of Turner Contemporary yesterday, curious to view the interior of a building which is supposed to regenerate Margate. People actually queued to get in! The big question is: How many will return for a second visit? There is nothing I would call "art" in the above photo. It's a sterile office space apparently waiting for the new tenants to move in and fill it with desks, chairs, computers, filing cabinets and potted plants. Art gallery? In your dreams. The only remarkable thing about Turner Contemporary is that it reduced Tracey Emin to tears (CLICK).

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Robin & Lucienne

Why have I posted a boring old armchair on my blog? For a start this is a design classic made for the Festival of Britain in 1951. Robin Day dominated post-war domestic culture with his ergonomic, affordable, easy-to-manufacture, elegant and stackable furniture. His wife created abstract fabrics compatible with his designs. Robin and Lucienne Day: Design and the Modern Interior is showing at the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex, until 26 June (title link). Admission is £7.50 or £4 with the new National Art Pass. CLICK for a BBC News audio slideshow.

The Last Fiesta

Chris Parks of Pale Horse Studio has "Mexicanized" Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, painting Mexican masked wrestlers on 12 skateboard decks to create The Last Fiesta. Jesus Christos and his masked disciples are depicted tucking into tacos and tequila. With Easter approaching, it's interesting to see a new take - or even taco - on the old fable. Click the title link to view a page of high-quality images. Christos Mysterio T-shirt anyone?

Friday, 15 April 2011

Royal Wedding Stamps

You may be as sick of the OTT buildup to the wedding of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton as I am. On the other hand you might like to know that the Royal Mail will be issuing a set of official commemorative stamps on 21 April, complete with miniature sheet and first day cover. Yankee royalists take note: you can book your stamps online now (title link).

Weiwei Latest

Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po has claimed that Ai Weiwei is being investigated for allegedly evading taxes and destroying papers that might have been used as evidence against him. His family have denied the allegations on his behalf. I hope the person who laid these Free Ai Weiwei leaflets on his Sunflower Seeds at Tate Passé was wearing a gas mask. Will the Chinese government assume responsibility for this health hazard if it is still keeping Weiwei in police custody when the exhibition closes?

Tate Margate

According to the tiresome, clever-dick website of Turner Contemporary, there is "1 days until the gallery opens!" (sic). That's the trouble with countdowns. Mark the name with care. I understand the new gallery in Margate was going to be called The Turner Centre, but this is the name of a centre for counselling and psychotherapy in Colchester, Essex. Freudian slip? Whoops! Will this new art centre be a white elephant, as many predict, or will it spearhead the rejuvenation of a tired old seaside town? Today BBC News posted an audio slideshow of photos of the utilitarian exterior and sterile interiors, together with comments for and against the project (CLICK). It does actually open tomorrow.