Private View held by Richard Andrews
An Area Of Outstanding Unnatural Beauty is the latest project of Artangel, the arts agency best known for the Rachel Whiteread's inside out concrete house in Mile End. This one is provides "an alternative information bureau" in a similarly run down part of London - King's Cross. Local artist Richard Wentworth has put together a collection of curios amassed over his 25 years in the area, "a cartographic archive of tracks and traces, maps and meanders", which creates a rather different picture from the seedy transient image with which it is usually associated. It encapsulates King's Cross at a point of resolution, with the vast tracts of land that have been under the threat (or promise) of redevelopment for the entire quarter century finally seeing the bulldozers moving in. The Victorian domestic scale and its bohemian existence (not to mention the famous gasometers) are now being replaced by the Channel Tunnel link and a massive housing development. Located in a former plumber's merchants, the installation will play host to weekly salon evenings celebrating its disorderly past, including a table tennis competition with a prize of a trip to King's Cross in Sydney. Further information can be found on the Artangel web site via the link from the Others Organisations section of ExhibitionsNet. General Plumbing Supplies, York Way N1 until 4th November.
Mackintosh In France is an unusual exhibition of watercolours by the architect, designer and polymath Charles Rennie Mackintosh. These were created in the final years of his life, which he spent in the South of France. Dividing his time between the coast at Port Vendres and the Pyrenean mountains, he devoted himself to painting, producing a series of over 40 landscapes. These works record the man made and natural landscapes of the area, distilled through an architect and designer's eye. The Mackintosh House Gallery at The Hunterian Glasgow until 12th October.
100 Photographs: A Collection By Bruce Bernard is a special farewell exhibition from a great and discriminating friend of photography. Bernard is now best known as a photographer, but he was also a historian of photography, and a gifted picture editor, chiefly of the Sunday Times. In 1996, four years before his death, the artist and collector James Moores commissioned him to create a collection of photographs. The result is extraordinarily varied, from prints of the American Civil War to shots of Marilyn Monroe. These encompass not just key historical images and photographs by the likes of Man Ray, Diane Arbus and Weegee, but his own personal and fresh view, with many pictures by anonymous and unknown photographers, revealing his witty and acerbic sense of humour.
Stepping In And Out: Contemporary Documentary Photograph takes as its starting point Bruce Bernard's belief in the ability of photography to both record and comment on all human life. Eight projects offer insights into the scope of contemporary documentary photography and the motivations of the photographers responsible for their creation. Victoria & Albert Museum - both exhibitions until 2nd February.
A Century Of Queen's Wedding Dresses 1840-1947 is a special exhibition drawn from The Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection marking the Queen's Jubilee. The display of wedding dresses and accoutrement reflect the changes in dress that have occurred over the period. Highlights include the dresses of the Queen and Queen Mary, Queen Alexandra's lace wedding veil, a collar of the Order of the Garter, two Victoria and Albert Badges, a Crown of India Badge, and a folding lace fan which belonged to Queen Mary. The Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection is a permanent presentation of dress worn by members of the Royal Family, and officials and dignitaries undertaking ceremonial roles, such as heralds or members of Orders of Knighthood, dating from the 18th century to the present day. These include and a collection of dresses owned and worn by the present Queen from various times during her reign, and a new collection of dresses belonging to Diana, Princess of Wales. There are also recreations of a dressmaker's workroom, a tailor's shop, and dressing rooms. Kensington Palace until 27th April
Ewe-Phoria is a unique centre that offers an insight into the life of the working shepherd and his sheepdog. There are regular Working Sheepdog Demonstrations every day, lasting up to an hour and a half, with shepherds and sheepdogs put through their paces; A Ram Parade, displaying the varied characteristics of different breeds of sheep; Sheep Shearing Demonstrations, showing the ancient technique of shearing; and Meet The Sheepdog Puppies, whenever there is a litter. In the spring there is an opportunity to visit the lambing sheds, to see lambs born and cared for, and even bottle feed orphans. As well as an entertainment and education attraction, the centre is also a professional resource, with sheepdog handling courses, aimed at developing the skills of both dogs and owners, which can be part of sheepdog training holidays. Sheepdog puppies and working dogs are also supplied, together with advice on selection and additional training. Further information can be found on the Ewe-Phoria web site via the link from the Attractions section of ExhibitionsNet. Ewe-Phoria Sheepdog Centre, Glanrafon, Denbighshire, until October.
The Clockmakers Museum has recently reopened after a £3/4m refurbishment, encompassing fourteen years of research, planning, acquisitions, and conservation. The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers collection traces the history of watch and clock making in the City of London from the reign of Henry VIII to the present day. Established in 1814, and open to the public since 1874, it is the oldest collection of its kind in the world. The skills of the City craftsmen were responsible for many inventions and advances, including the balance spring in 1664, jewellery in 1704, level escapement in 1755, a sweep second hand later in the 18th century, keyless winding in 1820, and self-winding in 1924. The display comprises some 600 English and European watches, 30 clocks and 15 marine timekeepers, together with a number of rare horological portraits and records. The greatest treasure is the marine timekeeper invented by John Harrison, who won the £20,000 prize offered by Queen Anne for an instrument that could accurately find longitude. In addition to the historical artefacts, there is a changing exhibition of the work of contemporary artist craftsmen, currently George Daniels, David Poole, Marianne Forrest, Ron Rose, Derek Pratt, Tim Brameld and Mike Barber. Guildhall Library, City of London continuing.
The Spaceguard Centre was recently established at the former Powys Observatory by Spaceguard UK, the national focus for studies into the threat posed to the Earth by collisions with asteroids and comets. The centre is a major facility for astronomical research and science education, dedicated to quantifying and assessing the risk posed by Near Earth Objects, and once detected, to determining methods of avoiding threatening impacts. It aims to supply accurate and timely information related to the impact hazard by establishing links with individual scientists and scientific institutions all over the world. The centre comprises four world class telescopes in an environmentally sealed dome, the largest camera obscura in Europe, focussed by moving the hydraulically controlled floor, an intimate planetarium, and a weather station comprising a suite of sensors including a real time satellite image downlink. Visitors can see the equipment close up, learn how it works, and find out what hazards it has detected. There are tours of the site Wednesdays to Sundays and Bank Holidays at 10.30am, 2pm and 4pm. The Spaceguard Centre, Knighton continuing.
Dino-Birds: The Feathered Dinosaurs Of China offers evidence of the missing link between modern birds and dinosaurs. For more than 140 years scientists argued that this was the case, and in 2000, farmers in the Liaoning Province of north east China unearthed the evidence. They found a dinosaur fossil, nicknamed 'Fuzzy raptor' which had the bony skeleton expected of a predatory dinosaur, but was fringed with a coat of feathers. This discovery finally solved one of nature's great mysteries - how birds evolved from meat eating dinosaurs. The dino-birds are feathered dinosaurs, not with feathers for flight, but with feathery coverings for insulation and decoration. They confirm the theory that birds are the descendants of predatory dinosaurs - the theropods. This exhibition features the original 124 million year old 'Fuzzy raptor' fossil, plus another 14 dino-bird fossils on loan from The Geological Museum of China. Most of these are the only example of their particular species in existence, and have never been seen before in Europe. The Natural History Museum is Britain's dinosaur centre, and its web site contains a wealth of dinosaur material, including a Dino Directory with a guide to 117 different species. Natural History Museum until 5th May.
The State Rooms of Buckingham Palace have once again been thrown open to visitors. They are furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin, Canaletto and Claude; sculpture by Canova and Chantrey; Sevres porcelain; and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world. This year, to mark the Golden Jubilee, there is an exhibition of gifts received by the Queen during 76 State Visits abroad, and 149 visits to Commonwealth countries, or from 75 foreign Heads of State visiting this country. Among the gifts are a carved ebony model of the Toran Gate in Ahmedabad, presented by the Governor of the State of Gujarat; a steel, brass and Sevres porcelain wine-bottle cooler in the form of a giant grasshopper, given by President Pompidou of France; a model of an outrigger canoe from the Local Council of the Island of San Cristobal in the Solomon Islands; brass and enamel coffee pots presented by the Indian High Commissioner; and an embroidered silk scarf given by President Mandela during a visit to South Africa. Buckingham Palace until 29th September.
Shuttleworth Air Displays attempt to fly all of the airworthy aeroplanes and drive all of the vehicles in this fantastic collection. Among these are the world's oldest airworthy aeroplane, the 1909 Bleriot XI; original World War One aircraft, the 1916 Sopwith Triplane and 1918 Bristol Fighter F2B; exact replicas of the 1910 Bristol Boxkite and 1917 Bristol M1C; and famous aircraft from World War Two, the 1940 DH82A Tiger Moth, 1941 Hurricane and 1942 Spitfire. The Collection is housed in eight hangars on an old fashioned all grass aerodrome, and includes an aeroplane engineering workshop giving close up views of restoration and maintenance; a garage displaying the veteran and vintage cars - several of which have regularly completed the London to Brighton run, motorcycles, a Penny Farthing amongst other bicycles, and commercial vehicles such as the Clayton & Shuttleworth steam traction engine; and a separate coach room for horse drawn carriages. The Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden, Biggleswade - Air Displays on 21st September and 6th October - The Collection is open throughout the year.
Facing The Light: The Photography Of Hill And Adamson celebrates the bicentenary of one of the world's greatest photographic pioneers David Octavius Hill, who with his partner Robert Adamson, is credited with inventing photography as an art form. Together they created pictures for a wider audience, rather than simply for the benefit of their sitters. Between 1843 and 1847, from their studio in Edinburgh, Hill and Adamson, together with their assistant Miss Mann, produced over 3000 portraits, city views and landscapes. These form the most important single body of photography to have survived from this period. This exhibition of some 200 images concentrates mainly on calotypes, as Hill's most successful enterprise in art, the use of which he pioneered in portraiture. In this technique a sheet of paper coated with silver chloride was exposed to light in a camera obscura. The display also includes paintings and engravings, which demonstrate Hill's considerable talent as a painter and printmaker. There are also a number of images recently printed for the first time from Hill and Adamson's negatives. Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh until 15th September.
Pickpocketing The Rich: Portrait-painting In Bath 1720-1800 celebrates the particular time when art and pleasure intermingled in the Georgian spa resort - a sort of 18th century Las Vegas. At its height the town attracted 20,000 fashionable members of society each year, and during the course of the century 160 artists opened businesses, including Thomas Gainsborough, Joseph Wright of Derby, William Hoare, Thomas Barker and Thomas Beach. Artists gained recognition and publicity by painting such celebrities as Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, the actors David Garrick and Sarah Siddons, 'Beau' Nash, Alexander Pope and the musicians Thomas Linley junior and senior. Business was particularly good for the makers of smaller portraits. People passing through the resort were eager to sit for inexpensive, portable pictures, such as miniatures in watercolour, cheap silhouettes or profiles painted on glass, which they could send home or give away to new friends as keepsakes. Artists would charge a shilling entrance fee to visit their studios, and sometimes provided entertainment by musicians and singers. Prices for portraits ranged from a few shillings for a head and shoulders sketch by a newly arrived artist, to 100 guineas for a full-length Gainsborough portrait in oils. Holburne Museum of Art, Bath until 15th September.