Thursday, 31 July 2014

Marvel Comics Nebula

Recognize her? She plays Nebula in her latest movie, which hasn't been released in the UK yet. Here are a few clues. She's a Scot. She has lovely long legs. Her big break on TV was when she was cast to play Amy Pond. Doctor Who ring any bells? Yes, it's Karen Gillan in the Warner Bros/Marvel Comics movie Guardians of the Galaxy (CLICK).

Family Art Week

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge runs a short week. Blink and you'll miss it. From 5 August to 7 August it will be running Family Art Week. This is a free, drop-in event for all ages, allowing visitors to experiment with different art materials and take home what they make. The cherub in the photo is making a clay pot (CLICK).

Nude Body Art

A few days ago I linked to a BBC article on naked body painting in New York (CLICK). The event was organized by Andy Golub. Judging by the host of cameramen, I reckon this is going to become a popular annual event. Here's an artist named Matt putting the finishing touches to his model. Her smooth buttocks show that she is completely naked, not a mark of knicker elastic in sight. In other body art shows the models wear panties, which occasionally mar the artwork. CLICK for The Guardian slide show, which is very prim and proper.

Virgin of Sorrows

The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, has launched a public appeal to acquire Pedro de Mena's Mater Dolorosa (The Virgin of Sorrows) ca 1670-5. This bust is a masterpiece of wooden carving, delicately painted and with glass eyes and glass teardrops. The eyelashes are made from human hair. The Museum has already raised a substantial amount of money, but requires a further £85,000 by the end of September to secure the purchase. The Virgin of Sorrows is currently on display in the Fitzwilliam’s Spanish & Flemish Gallery (CLICK).

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Open House London

Open House London 2014 takes place on 20 and 21 September, brought to us by non-profit organisation Open-City, The event allows access to many buildings not usually open to the public. The emphasis is on architecture, but choose the buildings with treasures inside, if you can get in. The queues can be long for the most popular venues. After 20 years, Open House has redesigned its famous London Key to show a more modern skyline. Now's the time to visit your local library to pick up a free copy of Open House London 2014 before they run out.

Ninja Turtles 9/11

Here's a whoopsie from Paramount Pictures. Its Australian Poster for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) which shows our intrepid heroes jumping from an exploding New York skyscraper bears the Australian release date "September 11". Whoops! Following complaints, Paramount Australia has apologised and withdrawn the poster from its Twitter and Facebook accounts (CLICK).

James Ostrer

This is body painting gone nuts. Yes, there's a living model under that sugary confection entitled EF 135.16, 2014 by artist James Ostrer. He's worried by how much sugar we consume, and quite rightly so. This is one of a number of photos commissioned by Gazelli Art House for its Window Project. The gallery can't decide whether the exhibition Wotsit All About | James Ostrer opens today or tomorrow. It runs until 11 September, maybe (CLICK).

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Yuri Andropov

The USA and European Union have announced new economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict (CLICK). I don't believe they know what they're dealing with in Putin's tightly controlled remnant of the Soviet Union. Take this image from a Moscow museum showing an exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Yuri Andropov, former head of the KGB and Russian President. He smashed the Prague Spring and treated dissidents like enemies, cracking down hard on them. During his watch, Soviet fighters shot down a civilian jet liner, Korean Air Flight KAL-007, which carried 269 passengers and crew; he agreed the black box should be hidden (CLICK). In any decent country, this monster would be reviled. In Putin's Russia he is a hero.

Paddington Bear

I first mentioned Books About Town a week ago (CLICK). Here's another BookBench sculpture from the series, one of 50 to find in London during the school holidays. How can anyone fail to recognize Michael Bond's cuddly immigrant Paddington Bear eating a marmalade sandwich, beautifully painted by Michelle Heron? You'll find Please Look After This Bear. Thank You. on the Riverside Trail. The event is a great way of learning about classic books for adults and children, many of them set in London, such as John Wyndham's The Day Of The Triffids (CLICK).

Monday, 28 July 2014

Countryside Threats

Just when you were thinking of taking the cherubs for a picnic in the British countryside, BBC News has posted a list of the dangerous creatures you might encounter to spoil your trip and even end your life. Believe it or not, cows are top of the list. At the last count they kill 6 people a year, twice as many as do bulls. If they have calves, they defend them by attacking. Dog walkers can be in trouble, because cows see your pet pooch as a dangerous wolf. Wild boars also see dogs as wolves and can attack dog walkers. Adders, Britain's only venomous snakes, can often be found sunbathing. If you tread on one or interfere with it, you are likely to be bitten. So is your dog. About 100 cases of adder bites are reported in the UK every year, but the last person to die of an adder bite was in 1975. The bite is painful and requires medical attention. Red deer are timid animals, but get stroppy in the autumn rut and have huge antlers. False widow spiders give an extremely painful bite which may require medical attention. Ticks, which your dog may pick up on his fur, can transmit Lyme disease, which can cause arthritis and even death if untreated. Their preferred host is red deer, so ticks in areas frequented by red door are the ones to avoid. CLICK for more details. The BBC forgets to mention that stings from wasps or bees can cause anaphylactic shock. a severe allergic reaction which can cause death. This is an urgent problem. Call 999 for an ambulance. Have a nice picnic!

Wonder Woman

Have you noticed how Wonder Woman's costume has been changing lately? She went from bare thighs and kinky boots to a more sombre look in black tights. Here's her latest reincarnation: Israeli actress Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, posted by director Zack Snyder to tease fans at this year's Comic-Con, the annual sci-fi and fantasy festival (CLICK).

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Still Life Alive

Here's plenty of warning for the next exhibition at the Mall Galleries in central London. From 6 to 23 August The Threadneedle Space will be showing Still Alive: The Contemporary Still Life. More than 50 paintings by over 15 members of the Federation of British Artists will be displayed. There's the usual stuff - vases of flowers and bowls of fruit - but also some unusual works such as The Golden Cloth (2014) by Toby Wiggins RP. This will set you back £3,200. You don't need to wait for the show. CLICK to browse exhibits featured on Pinterest.

Bodypaint City

A BBC News item on naked body art in New York - the only city in the USA in which the painting of completely naked people is allowed (CLICK) - led me to a Daily Mail page of photos from The World Bodypainting Festival 2014 in Pörtschach, Austria (CLICK) which reminded me to check out the winners as I usually do. Shown is Swedish entry by artist Evgenia Parhatskaja, which won 3rd place in the brush/sponge bodypainting category. Love the Virgin's hands! CLICK to see more winners.


Back in June I previewed Discovering Tutankhamun at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford (CLICK). To mark the opening of the exhibition, BBC News has posted a page of exhibits under the title Tut-mania, which shows how the discovery of the boy king's tomb in 1922 had a huge impact on popular culture around the world (CLICK). Shown is the Outermost Coffin of Tutankhamun. (CLICK for the Ashmolean Museum.)

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Frankie's Gold

I didn't find anything in the art lark today. So here's the best piece of artistry I did notice, and I caught only a glimpse of that on BBC News! It was Frankie Jones winning a gold medal for Wales in the individual ribbon rhythmic gymnastics discipline at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. She already had a clutch of silvers. The 23-year-old now retires from competition (CLICK).

Aston Martin Toy

I previewed Royal Childhood yesterday (scroll down or CLICK), but I can't resist showing you this photo of one of the star attractions of the show. It's a gadget-laden miniature James Bond DB5, number plate JB 007 GB, which was presented to Prince Andrew by the Aston Martin company in 1965 when the prince was 5 years old. CLICK to read more about the exhibition.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Royal Childhood

With HM the Queen up in Scotland for her summer holiday, a new exhibition opens in Buckingham Palace tomorrow: Royal Childhood. This brings together objects from the Royal Collection, the Royal Archives and the private collections of members of the Royal Family, as well as previously unseen photographs and film footage. The exhibition spans more than 250 years with well-loved toys and treasured family gifts to tiny childhood outfits. Shown is Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret enjoying a Rocking Horse. This exhibition is for rich tourists only: adults £19.75, silver surfers £18 (CLICK). Londoners, view the BBC video and save your money: CLICK.

Chinese Toad

Since Florentijn Hofmanis' Giant Inflatable Yellow Rubber Duck visited Hong Kong last year, the Chinese have been going ape on jumbo inflatables. This Giant Toad in Beijing's Yuyuantan Park has caused a furore, because wags on Chinese social media have mocked its similarity to former president Jiang Zemin (inset) who was nicknamed "The Toad". The Communist Party is miffed about this mockery and has banned references to the toad (CLICK).

Pankhurst Portrait

Yesterday the National Portrait Gallery in London unveiled this painting Dame Christabel Pankhurst (1909) by fellow suffragette Ethel Wright, first shown at the Women’s Exhibition in London in 1909, a fundraising event which highlighted women’s skills and potential. It was bequeathed to NPG by Elizabeth Ruth Dugdale Weir in 2011 and hasn't been on display to the public for 80 years. It's in Room 30, next to the free display Suffragettes: Deeds not Words in Room 31, which shows photos of the turbulent Women’s Social and Political Union (CLICK).

Aviation Art

I'm a bit late with this news. The Guild of Aviation Artists Annual Exhibition opened at the Mall Galleries in central London on Tuesday and flies until Sunday 27 July. If you have the slightest interest in aviation art, this is the annual big one. You'll find it in the Main and North galleries, admission free. Shown is a detail from 56 vs. 18 by Keith Woodcock FGAvA. And don't forget We Are Falklands in The Threadneedle Space, also free. Both close on Sunday at 1pm (CLICK).

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Meriam Ibrahim Free

Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman sentenced to death for "apostasy" by an insane and vicious Islamic court, has finally been allowed to leave Sudan. She and her husband and two children flew to Italy, where they were met by the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. They were then whisked off to meet Pope Francis at his Santa Marta residence at the Vatican. He thanked Mrs Ibrahim for her "witness to faith". She may have escaped the jackboot of Islam, but her lawyer says that two days ago Muslim group Hamza issued a statement declaring that they would kill her and everyone who helped her (CLICK). I suppose that's their witness to faith.

Moscow Portrait

Following Tuesday's announcement that there will be a public inquiry into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko (CLICK) ArtDaily has posted a file photo taken in May 2007 of a visitor - smoking a cigarette! - at the Marat Guelman gallery in Moscow, contemplating this Portrait of Alexander Litvinenko on his Deathbed by Russian artists Dmitry Vrubel and Viktoria Timofeyeva (CLICK). Do you infer an attitude of gloating from this picture?

Bongsu Park

This striking image reminds me of Jonathan Miller's 1968 BBC film Whistle and I'll Come to You, adapted from the ghost story by M. R. James (1904). It's a still from a video by South Korean dancer Bongsu Park: Core 2014. A number of her videos will be shown at Rosenfeld Porcini, 37 Rathbone Street, London, in Sound & Vision from 25 July to 30 September (CLICK).

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Fountain Art Fun

If your idea of art is getting wet, here's artist Jeppe Hein’s installation thingy Appearing Rooms Fountain outside Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London. Where will the fountain appear next? Get it right and you might just get sprinkled. Get it wrong and you get a jet of water up your knickers. Great fun for kids (CLICK).

Fantasy Scenes

Here's an unusual image: a photo of a working vintage arcade machine set on a shoreline, probably Whitley Bay. It's one of a series of photos by Danny Passarella which can be seen in his exhibition Fantasy Scenes, which opens at The Gallery of Forge & Co, Shoreditch, London, on 25 July and runs until 3 August, admission free (CLICK).

Books About Town

Now that the school summer holidays have begun, it's time to find the cherubs something fun and free to occupy them. In London, Books about Town has the answer. The National Literacy Trust and Wild in Art have brought 50 unique hand painted BookBench sculptures to the capital for families to find and enjoy. The benches are shaped like open books with excellent pictures by leading illustrators to depict which story the bench represents. Shown is design team Fiona and Neil Osborne's BookBench painting for Edith Nesbit's The Railway Children (2014). The user-friendly Books About Town website scrolls through all 50 BookBench sculptures and shows maps of their locations: CLICK. The search continues until mid-September. On 7 October the BookBenches will be auctioned at the Southbank Centre to raise funds to tackle illiteracy across the UK.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Google Chrome

For the last week or so, Google has been trying to sneak its Google Chrome installer onto my computer without my knowledge or consent and my anti-virus protection has been blocking it. But still it keeps trying. Does anyone know what Google is playing at, apart from being an invasive pest?

Litvinenko Inquiry

On Sunday I mentioned the case of Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB officer who became a British citizen and was murdered with radioactive polonium (CLICK). His widow, Marina Litvinenko, has been campaigning for an inquiry into his death. Chief suspect Andrei Lugovoi, another ex-KGB agent, has since been elected to the Russian parliament. The UK government has dragged its heels in order to placate the Kremlin. Today Home Secretary Theresa May announced there will be a public inquiry chaired by senior judge Sir Robert Owen, who was the coroner at Mr Litvinenko's inquest. PM David Cameron has obviously had enough of appeasing Putin. With the world condemning despot Vlad over Malaysia Flight MH17, it's long overdue that the truth came out (CLICK).

Monday, 21 July 2014

Mini Monet

If you want to see the latest collection of paintings by "Mini Monet" Kieron Williamson, now aged 11 years, you'll need to zoom down to Picturecraft Gallery in Holt, Norfolk, The show runs until 30 July. Don't expect to buy any paintings. All 40 will have been sold prior to the exhibition for about £400,000 (CLICK). Shown is Kieron Williamson's Snowdrifts at St Benet's Abbey, Broadland (2014). He works in oils, watercolours and pastels.

Gilbert & George

Oo-er, it's Gilbert & George at White Cube Bermondsey, posing for the opening of their exhibition Scapegoating Pictures for London, which limps along until 28 September. Best taken with a whiff of nitrous oxide, they seem to suggest with a canister (CLICK). The "living sculptures" joke is wearing a bit thin now, lads.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Putin's Watch

The trouble with despots is that they tend to believe their own propaganda, because nobody under their rule has the guts to tell them the truth. If Russian media were truly free, they would probably be following similar lines of enquiry over the destruction of Malaysia Flight MH17 as western media. But nasty things happen to people who cross President Putin. Remember Alexander Litvinenko (CLICK). So Russian media is full of conspiracy theories trying to shift the blame to Ukraine, where Putin places it. So, how did this dangerous despot gain the FIFA World Cup 1918 for Russia and how much did it cost him? The watch Vlad is wearing in this photo has been identified as a Patek Philippe costing $150,000. For the latest on Malaysia Flight MH17 CLICK.

James Garner RIP

James Garner has died aged 86. He had been ill for some years, following a severe stroke in 2008 (CLICK). A very personable actor with a light touch, he starred in two hit TV series: Maverick in the late 1950's and The Rockford Files (1974-1980). Both series were created by Roy Huggins. Between TV series, Garner starred in major movies such as The Loudest Whisper (1961) and The Great Escape 1963). In 1994 he starred in the movie remake of Maverick with Mel Gibson as Bret. Shown is James Garner and Jodie Foster in a still from Maverick (1994). In 2005 the Screen Actors Guild presented Garner with a lifetime achievement award. Also, he belatedly received a Purple Heart medal for having been wounded in Korea in 1951.

John and George

Ex-prisoner and homeless, John Dolan spent three years sitting on Shoreditch High Street with his dog George. To pass the time he drew pictures of the buildings and his dog, then began to sell them to passers-by. He was noticed by Howard Griffin Gallery of 189 Shoreditch High Street and invited to put on an exhibition last year. It was a sell-out. Now he is back with a new show John Dolan - John and George, which runs until 17 August (CLICK).

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Wellcome Sex

On 10 November the Wellcome Collection in central London will open its new £17.5m extension with the exhibition The Institute of Sexology. More than 200 objects - paintings, condoms, carvings, sex toys, films and photographs of copulation - will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about sex, but were afraid to ask. (I'm kidding. Our understanding of sex is still evolving.) From Alfred Kinsey's coded questionnaires, through Samoan jewellery to sex machines, the exhibition is bound to tickle the fancy of the "incurably curious" (CLICK).

We Are Falklands

Governments don't usually put on shows at the Mall Galleries in London, but that is exactly what the Falklands Islands Government has done. It ran a competition for the islands' many skilled photographers and produced some cracking results. BBC News has posted a slide show (CLICK). Shown is Angela Moffatt's photo of A man Wakeboarding in the harbour of the capital Stanley. The exhibition We Are Falklands is at the Mall Galleries from 21-27 July, admission free (CLICK).

Diagon Alley

The Harry Potter juggernaut rolls on with a new Universal Studios Potter theme park recently opened in Japan and a new theme park Diagon Alley in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida, USA. I thought you might like to know that the designs for Diagon Alley were the work of London-based design studio MinaLima. Here are Miraphora Mina (left) and Eduardo Lima (centre) receiving the red-carpet treatment in Diagon Alley (2014). They met on the set of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) and found themselves sharing many design decisions (CLICK). They set up MinaLima in 2010, using their combined surnames (CLICK).

Friday, 18 July 2014

Kazimir Malevich

Can bouncy blonde Rosie Rockel persuade you that the latest load of old tripe at Tate Passé is worth viewing, let alone paying £13.10 to see? She didn't persuade me. Kazimir Malevich had a very limited oeuvre which died when he died. Why resurrect it?

The Human Factor

The Hayward Gallery in the Southbank Centre is currently showing The Human Factor: The Figure in Contemporary Sculpture, an exhibition which brings together major works by 25 leading international artists who have fashioned new ways of using the human form. Shown is Jeff Koons' Bear and Policeman (1988). The show comes with a health warning for those of a nervous disposition. "This exhibition includes some nudity and sensitive content. Please be aware that one artwork features live bees." Cost; £10.90 adults or £10 silver surfers (CLICK).

War Toys

With missile strikes hitting both Israel and Gaza and yesterday's shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine by Russian-backed rebels, this morning I chanced upon this Pink-Panther-style Cruise Missile (2011-12) by anti-war sculptor Steve Hurst. It's one of his sculptures currently on display in Pangolin London: Steve Hurst: War Toys. The exhibition continues until 23 August. CLICK for Pangolin and more information.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Stirling Prize

Of the six buildings the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has shortlisted for this year's Stirling Prize, half are in London: 1) Zaha Hadid Architects' London Aquatics Centre, 2) O'Donnell + Tuomey Architects' Saw Swee Hock Student Centre for the London School of Economics and 3) Renzo Piano Building Workshop's London Bridge Tower (The Shard) the tallest building in western Europe. I'll also be interested to read what the judges make of Mecanoo's very unusual design for the Library of Birmingham. It looks like a prison (CLICK).

Rice Paddy Art

Sticking with Japan, here's another example of vegetable art or, in this case, rice paddy art. Artists in the village of Inakadate create an annual work of art. This year it depicts a legend about Mount Fuji and a heavenly maiden. Click the YouTube arrowhead to view the artwork.

Vagina Kayak

The latest controversy to hit the art world is the arrest of Megumi Igarashi (she calls herself Rokude Nashiko, which means "no-good girl" in Japanese) under obscenity laws. The charge is that she sent a client data that could be used to make a vagina-shaped kayak using a 3D printer. Here is Megumi Igarashi looking cute in her vagina-shaped kayak. She has made several pieces of art based on her genitals using a silicone mould, saying she wants to make vaginas "more casual and pop". Two years ago she published an art book Deco Man (decorative vagina). There is confusion over her use of the term "vagina". She may mean "vulva". There is also confusion over the police charge. Japanese fuzz claim she emailed a URL containing the vagina data to a male office worker in Kagawa Prefecture on 20 March. A URL is merely a web address. And why wait so long before making an arrest? Don't tell me it took all this time to print out her Vagina Kayak. Surely 3D printing isn't that slow. Whatever the police case, Megumi's arrest has sparked a fierce debate in Japan over vulvae in art (CLICK)

Art Everywhere

Yesterday in Waterloo Station, central London, Grayson Perry and Sir Antony Gormley posed for photographers to launch Art Everywhere (21 July to 31 August). Sir Antony is trying to look extra butch beside cross-dresser Perry, who's wearing a half-tartan dress masquerading as a Scottish kilt, probably the safest outfit he could wear in a busy public space. Art Everywhere celebrates British art with thousands of posters showing off the work of British artists, allegedly chosen by the public. I write "allegedly" because the public were only allowed to choose from a shortlist compiled by a group that knows more about British art than do most people. Would you have chosen by name Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg or Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger to represent British art? David Hockney's My Parents (1977) proved the most popular (CLICK).

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Female Thor

Shock! Horror! Marvel Comics is giving superhero Thor, the Norse God of Thunder, a sex-change operation to attract more females to the comic. Look at those massive mammaries! Do teenage girls really want to follow the exploits of a superheroine who looks like she's wearing breast implants? Big tits are boys' toys. Or am I being old-fashioned? Russell Dauterman will illustrate Female Thor. Jason Aaron is writing the stories (CLICK).

Changyuraptor Yangi

A newly discovered four-wing feathered dinosaur has been unearthed at a dinos' graveyard in the northeastern province of Liaoning, China, where a lot of new discoveries are being made. Changyuraptor yangi appears to have been a gliding raptor during the Cretaceous period. The human figure in the illustration gives an indication of scale. Changyuraptor yangi was about the size of a turkey. CLICK for more information.

Cabinet Shuffle

On Saturday I delved into Cameron's crumpet to help him select his new girlie team (CLICK). One of the three I chose was Theresa Villiers, because she's keen to preserve the Green Belt around London. Another of the three I selected was Justine Greening, whose low expenses and vocal opposition to a third runway at Heathrow won my vote. Surprise, surprise! They're already in David's team. Villiers is Northern Ireland Secretary and Greening is International Development Secretary. Both are Cabinet positions (CLICK). I suppose Chloe Smith, my third choice, is a bit young at 27. Of course the newspaper photographers who were camped outside No. 10 to snap the winners and losers couldn't resist Esther McVey's flash of thigh as she went sailing in. She made the front pages of most of the dailies. The new position for this dyed blonde? Minister of State for Employment. Woe betide any female who isn't prepared to dye her hair blonde and flash a thigh to get a job!

Uttig Labyrinth

You may well be sick of all the hype, nonsense and overkill surrounding the FIFA World Cup, but take a look at this vegetable art. Back in April two German farmers, Uli and Corinne Ernst, and their team sowed the beginnings of this artwork using hemp, corn, rapeseed, sunflowers and common mallow. Recent additions are the flags of the three top teams: Germany, Argentina and The Netherlands. The Labyrinth opens to the public tomorrow in Uttig, southern Germany. I assume there is an entry fee. Full marks to the farmers for enterprise and optimism.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Lord Snowdon Donates

Celebrity photographer Lord Snowdon has donated 130 original photo portraits to the National Portrait Gallery in London, the largest donation ever received by the Gallery. This photo of David Bowie taken in 1978 is one of the collection. Other famous movers and shakers include Dame Maggie Smith, John Hurt, Julie Christie, Lord Olivier, Agatha Christie, Sir Kingsley Amis, Graham Greene and Nell Dunn. Some of these photos will be displayed in the National Portrait Gallery's exhibition Snowdon: A Life in View, which opens on 26 September (CLICK).

Dazzle Ships

Here's the latest artwork unveiled in the old metropolis: Dazzle Ship London. It's the handiwork of Tobias Rehberger, who was commissioned by 14-18 NOW to transform HMS President (1918) moored on the Victoria Embankment into a WWI dazzle ship. As you can see, the outline of this Royal Navy warship is broken up to confuse the captains of enemy submarines. Shipping losses to German U-boats in WWI were so heavy that the Admiralty ordered ships to be dazzle painted in an attempt to staunch the losses, a successful world first (CLICK).

Monday, 14 July 2014

Dead Parrot

If you go down to London's South Bank tomorrow, you're sure of a big surprise. It's a Norwegian Blue. (I didn't know macaws came from Norway; they must fly up the fjords.) It took three artists over two months to create this monster macaw to celebrate the Monty Python Dead Parrot sketch, which has been voted the UK's favourite from the Monty Python's Flying Circus TV shows (CLICK).

Irish Art

I'm always on the lookout for a likely image. Today this one caught my eye. It shows a silvery child contemplating a vertical line of pumpkins. Neither artist is named in the photo caption. Shame. These are two of 150 works Gormley’s Fine Art in Ireland will be showing in the Parklands, Hippodrome and Old Stables of Russborough House from 19 July to 10 August. Prices start at €800 thingies (CLICK).

TPOTY 2013

How the judges of the Travel Photographer of the Year competition (TPOTY) select winners from so many gobsmacking entries is amazing. Two of the judges explain their decisions for a brief BBC film by Paul Kerley (CLICK). There are a host of categories. Justin Mott of the USA won the One Shot Extraordinary Category with this brilliant photo of a girl swimming in the foreground with an elephant behind her. He lives in Vietnam. The exhibition runs at the Royal Geographic Society in Kensington, London, until 17 August, admission free (CLICK).