News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 1st September 2004


Timeframes: Lodge Jeapes McGhie - TV Title Pioneers salutes the work of three BBC designers, who played a crucial role in transforming titles of television programmes, from little more than silent film captions, into a creative art. In the 1960s, Bernard Lodge, Alan Jeapes and Charles McGhie were the first to realise the potential of moving graphic sequences combined with sound. In 30 seconds they were able to capture the mood of the programme and engage the viewers. The exhibition is a combination of stills, screenprints, storyboards, lightbox slides and moving images of work by Lodge: 'Dr Who', 'The Late Show', 'Tea Party' and 'Telltale'; Jeapes: 'Thorndyke', 'Famous Gossips' and 'Softly Softly'; and McGhie: 'Late Night Horror', 'Out Of The Unknown' and '13 Against Fate'. When they joined the BBC there were no rules to break, as the department consisted of signwriters who created basic handwritten captions. Lodge, Jeapes and McGhie were art college trained, and used design, animation and experimental visuals to create kinetic solutions. The results were original and creative, and their seminal work has influenced television design ever since. What Saul Bass was to film titles, these three designers were to television - they invented the genre of the title sequence. Kemistry, London EC2, 020 7729 3636, until 30th October.

The Anderson Collection Of Art Nouveau provides an opportunity to see a unique collection of objects in a complementary setting. Sir Colin and Lady Morna Anderson were passionate collectors of Art Nouveau furniture, jewellery, glassware, textiles, metalwork and ceramics in the 1960s, and amassed one of the finest private collections of its kind, which they later donated for public display. The items demonstrate the quality of craftsmanship produced on the Continent and in Great Britain around the turn of the 19th century. The collection, shown in its entirety, includes glass by Lalique and Tiffany, posters by Alphonse Mucha, ceramics by Minton and Royal Doulton and furniture by Louis Majorelle and Emile Galle. The continental Art Nouveau style developed very much in parallel with the Arts and Crafts Movement in Great Britain, and the exhibition illustrates the cross-currents between the two styles. The house in which it is shown, designed by M H Baillie Scott in 1900, is one of best surviving examples of the Arts and Crafts Movement, though the interiors clearly show the influence of Art Nouveau, from the stained glass windows that incorporate flowers and birds, to the flowing carved wooden frieze of mountain ash in the main hall. A perfect partnership. Blackwell, Bowness-on-Windermere until 3rd October.

Poo - A Natural History Of The Unmentionable tells visitors everything they ever wanted to know about poo, and more besides, with lots of disgusting details to delight kids. Based on Nicola Davies's new book of the same title, with illustrations of Neal Layton, it features everything from professional poo eaters to faecal farmers. Sensitive visitors turn away now, as there are 'interactives' which inform the senses about the different types of animal poo by recreating their smells. The exhibition examines those species whose success depends on poo, from the giant otter that uses its faeces to mark its territory, to the Egyptian vulture that eats its own poo to make itself more attractive to the opposite sex. It also shows how information about an animal such as its species, its diet and how much water it drinks, can be found from its poo. This even applies to extinct species, as the fossilised poo (coprolite) of a Tyrannosaurus rex shows it was a carnivore. Looking at disposal, the exhibition reveals that most poo gets eaten, for which the scientific name is 'coprophagy'. The most efficient coprophage is the dung beetle (of which there are over 7,000 different kinds), which is capable of finding poo before an animal has finished producing it, and in the tropics, can completely remove a normal portion of human dung within an hour. Take a pair of surgical gloves and a clothes peg for your nose. The Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum, Tring until 28th November.


The Queen's Working Wardrobe Memories Of Royal Occasions 1945-1972 is an exhibition of dresses on loan from The Queen, recalling some historic events and state visits from the first half of her reign. They display diverse styles and fashions, reflecting the different aspects of her life and work. The earliest is Princess Elizabeth's Auxiliary Territorial Service uniform, from when she joined the ATS during the Second World War. As Head of State, The Queen wears evening dress under her robes when she opens Parliament, and these are represented by a Norman Hartnell gown in ivory satin, with gold beading and embroidery, worn when she opened the New Zealand Parliament in Wellington in 1963. Certain occasions dictate style, and observing Papal protocol when meeting Pope John XXIII at the Vatican during a state visit to Italy in 1961, she wore a full length black lace dress, with matching veil. The Queen is equally careful in choosing outfits for lighter occasions such as a nautical blue and white suit from when she knighted yachtsman Francis Chichester at Greenwich in 1967 after his solo voyage around the world. Representing the many entertainment functions she attends, is a dramatic off-the-shoulder black velvet evening dress worn when she met Marilyn Monroe and Bridget Bardot at the Royal Film Performance of The Battle Of The River Plate in 1956. Colourful dresses are often chosen for state visits, such as an organdie evening dress with pink silk bows and embroidered with Mayflowers, the floral emblem of Nova Scotia, worn to a banquet in Halifax during her 1959 tour of Canada. Kensington Palace until July.

Treasures From Tuscany - The Etruscan Legacy offers an insight into an ancient, highly sophisticated Pre-Roman civilisation, whose lands occupied the area between present day Rome and Florence. The exhibition comprises nearly 500 treasures from the finest collections in Tuscany, never seen in Britain before. The artefacts include gold jewellery, ceramics, sculptural figurines, armour, decorated sarcophagi and cinerary urns, terracotta and carved architectural reliefs, and rich tomb finds of bronze, amber, silver and ivory, from temples and sanctuaries. The quality of the workmanship and sensitivity of composition of these exhibits reveal a highly civilised and literate society. The Etruscans were talented builders, craftsman and engineers, who developed much of the art and technology associated with the Romans. In particular, they excelled as goldsmiths, using the decorative techniques of filigree and granulation, producing work of such quality that it has seldom been rivalled. Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh until 31st October.

Mediterranean: Between Reality And Utopia reveals how international photographers, both contemporary and historical, have used many different styles as they endeavoured to capture the essences of this diverse region. Stretching from Alexandria to Athens, Barcelona to Beirut, and Tangier to Tel Aviv, the Mediterranean unites the three continents of Europe, Africa and Asia. The sea acts as both a bridge and a divider between nations, across which culture, ideas, trade, religions, people, power and economics have moved throughout history. Since the beginning of photography the Mediterranean has been a location travelled to, and depicted by, countless photographers. Those whose work is on display include: Edouard-Denis Baldus, Gabriele Basilico, Bleda and Rosa, Christophe Bourguedieu, Martin Cole, Dimitris Constatin, Louis De Clerq, Ad van Denderen, Eric Fischl, Gunther Forg, Julie Ganzin, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Rosell Meseguer, Vesna Pavlovic, Mark Rader, Guy Raz, Xavier Ribas, Youssef Safieddine, August Sander, Sebah and Joallier, Efrat Shvily, Joel Sternfeld, Enrico Verzaschi, and Secil Yersel. The Photographer's Gallery, London until 3rd October.

Off The Beaten Track: Three Centuries Of Women Travellers features women who journeyed to distant parts of the world between the 1660s and the 1960s, and their experiences and encounters. The exhibition comprises 60 portraits, in all media, alongside photographs and paintings made on their travels, together with some of the souvenirs they brought back. Travellers to the Americas include Maria Callcott, who journeyed in Brazil in the 1820s, and the album of botanical illustrations that she painted there; and the actress Fanny Kemble, who discovered that her American husband's fortune came from slave plantations in Georgia, and her journal describing their plight, which was used to further the cause of Abolition. From the Far East and the Pacific come photographs of China taken in the 1890s by Isabella Bird on a journey up the Yangtze, where she converted the cabin of her boat into a darkroom, and washed the chemicals off her glass plate negatives in the river. Travellers to Africa include Amelia Edwards, whose book earned her enough to pay for archaeological excavations in Egypt, and a portrait sculpture discovered there; and Mary Kingsley, a Victorian traveller who defended herself with a canoe paddle when a crocodile attempted to board her boat, and the brown fur hat that she wore when travelling. Women who made Britain their destination include Pocohontas, the American Indian woman who visited the court of King James I; and Sarah Davies, an African slave who became Queen Victoria's goddaughter. National Portrait Gallery until 31st October.

The Age Of Titain: Venetian Renaissance Art From Scottish Collections brings together works from various Scottish collections and galleries from the greatest period of Venetian art, between about 1460 and 1620. Some 80 paintings by Titian and his contemporaries, including Jacopo Bassano, Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Lorenzo Lotto, Jacopo Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese, together with 45 drawings, and 30 prints, plus 11 books and manuscripts, sculpture in marble, terracotta and bronze, furniture, textiles in cut velvet and silk damask, maiolica, glass and enamels, present a comprehensive picture of one of the most important periods in artistic history, when almost everything was imbued with a spiritual aura. Among the highlights are a huge 'Christ and the Centurion' by Paris Bourdon, Andrea Schiavone's largest known mythology 'Infancy of Jupiter', 'Portrait of Doge Marcantonio Memmo' by Palma il Giovane, and 'Christ and the Adulteress', now accepted as an early work by Titian, seen for the first time together with his 'Three Ages of Man', 'Diana and Acteon', Diana and Callisto', 'Venus Rising from the Sea' and 'Salome with the Head of John the Baptist'. The exhibition inaugurates the Playfair Project, a partially underground gallery, designed by John Miller and Partners, linking the restored Royal Scottish Academy building with the National Gallery of Scotland. Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh until 5th December.

The E-Type: Story Of A British Sports Car celebrates the E-type Jaguar, one of the most innovative and influential cars ever designed in Britain, which became a cultural icon in the Swinging Sixties. From the moment it was unveiled at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, it was a sensation. Speedy and stylish, with long low lines and a racing bonnet, it captured the glamour and dynamism of Britain in the early 1960s. The E-Type rapidly became the most fashionable car to own, and was taken up by the celebrities of the day. This exhibition, featuring rare cars and memorabilia from the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, traces the evolution of the E-type design from the elegant XK120 launched in 1948, and the XK120 C-type and D-type racing cars that won the 24 hour races at Le Mans five times in the 1950s. Jaguar's designer Malcolm Sayer, an aerodynamicist who had trained in the aircraft industry, and chief engineer William Heynes, working under the personal supervision of the company's founder William Lyons, produced a car in accordance with strict mathematical principles. Their design refined the silhouette of the 1950s Jaguar racing cars into a sleek sculptural form, capable of a top speed of 150 miles per hour. At £2,097 it offered sporting luxury for half the price of a Ferrari or Aston Martin. Such was the level of innovation in their work, that it still influences Jaguar design today. Design Museum until 28th November.


Fabulous Beasts reveals a world where the ordinary becomes extraordinary, the microscopic becomes gigantic, and the mundane becomes amazing - but if you don't like creepy crawlies look away now. This exhibition features paintings by Mark Fairnington and photographs by Giles Revell of insects on a huge scale, alongside the actual specimens that inspired them. Both artists employ high-definition electron microscopes, of the kind used by scientists, to capture minute details of entomological specimens photographically. From these Fairnington creates photo-real paintings of bizarre and exotic detail, interpreting and reinventing the subjects in paint on huge canvasses. The results are a series of large scale images, acutely observed, yet subtly manipulated and rather unsettling. Revell explores the natural engineering of insects and their sculptural form. He takes creatures that are familiar and apparently mundane, such as the ladybird and the grasshopper, and scans them up to 500 times to produce image sections that capture the wing, head or armour-plated shell of the insect. These sections are then merged to form immensely detailed, high-definition monochrome photographs, anything up to eight feet in height. Despite the synergy between their work, this is the first time Fairnington and Revell have been exhibited together, and the first time their work has been shown alongside their subjects. This exhibition shows the processes that scientists and artists share when examining a natural object. Be afraid - be very afraid. Natural History Museum until 12th September.

The Silk Road: Trade, Travel, War And Faith celebrates the network of trade routes from the shores of the Mediterranean to the heartland of China, that passed through the territories of some of the great empires in world history. It brings together over 200 seldom seen Central Asian manuscripts, paintings, coins, statues, artefacts and textiles, offering a glimpse into the everyday life of people on the Silk Road. Central Asia was the centre of the world, the progenitor of many of civilisation's most important inventions, and the crux of a world economy. The evidence left by these multi-cultural civilisations lay buried for up to 2,000 years in tombs, tips and temples beneath the desert sands. The exhibition includes treasures excavated by the archaeologist Aurel Stein, whose journeys covered some 25,000 miles in the early 20th century. Among his finds was the earliest dated printed book in the world, the Diamond Sutra of 868AD, on public display in its original form for the first time in a century, following conservation work. Other treasures include 9th and 10th century silk paintings from Dunhuang; a Chinese manuscript bearing the earliest star chart in the world; 3rd and 4th century letters in ingenious wooden envelopes in Indian languages, with Chinese and Greek seals, from the ancient kingdom of Kroraina; and a selection of the idiosyncratic tomb models and monsters from the 7th and 8th century cemetery at Astana near Turfan. The British Library until 12th September.

Henry Moore At Dulwich Picture Gallery looks beyond the monumental bronzes for which Moore is now best known, created in the last two decades of his life, and focuses his earlier career. A major display of 97 works charts the artistic journey made by Moore, from his first recorded pieces, to those of about 1960. They show the development of his most familiar themes, such as mother and child, the family group, the reclining figure, and other more abstract forms. The works include drawings in various media, maquettes, ironstone pebble carvings and table sculptures, which are featured not only in the exhibition rooms, but throughout the gallery, and also for the first time in the gardens, where the inevitable outdoor bronzes are shown to great effect. Among the striking, but now lesser known works, are a series of drawings Moore produced during the Second World War, including scenes of Londoners taking shelter, sleeping on the platforms of Underground stations. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 12th September.