News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 6th June 2007


Dali & Film is the first exhibition to focus on the relationship between the paintings and films of Salvador Dali, who, through his collaborations with Luis Bunuel, Alfred Hitchcock, the Marx Brothers and Walt Disney, created some of the most memorable and influential scenes in avant-garde cinema. Arranged chronologically, it brings together more than 100 works, including over 60 paintings, seen alongside Dali's major film projects such as 'Un Chien andalou, L'Age d'or', 'Spellbound' and Destino, as well as associated photographs, designs, drawings and manuscripts. The first two films that he co-wrote with Luis Bunuel are marked by Dali's vivid imagination and his engagement with the Freudian theories that energised Surrealism, especially the study of dreams and the unconscious. These films include haunting images such as the slicing of an eyeball with a razor and a hand infected with ants, and as this exhibition reveals, Dali had already explored these images in major paintings, such as 'Apparatus and Hand' and 'Inaugural Goose Flesh'. It also shows how in subsequent paintings Dali employed a new cinematic atmosphere, such as in 'Morning Ossification of the Cypress'. Dali imagined films throughout his life, producing poetic texts and sketches, scenarios and paintings. The dream sequence for Hitchcock's thriller 'Spellbound' brought to a grand scale the imagery of contemporary paintings such as 'Melancholy, Atomic, Uranic Idyll'. Walt Disney's 'Destino' is being shown along with related drawings by Dali for the first time in the Britain. Tate Modern until 9th September.

Alice Through The Looking Glass explores contemporary science as seen through Lewis Carroll's children's stories Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. It demystifies the wonders of perception over reality, using the storylines and characters from Alice's magical world, revealing how we turn barely adequate information from our senses into a detailed perception of the world, demonstrating what the human brain is capable of. The exhibition features over 60 hands on exhibits, divided into themed areas based on the original storylines. "Is seeing really believing?" is the key question that it asks - the same conundrum that Alice faces. Among the exhibits are the engendered sensation of falling down the rabbit hole; a camera to showing where visitors would end up if they actually fell through the Earth; silly croquet with the Queen of Hearts, revealing forces, momentum and the 'magic' of the ellipse to sink a hole-in-one; a hall of doors, which seemingly go on forever, with something intriguing behind every door; the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, where a falling drop of liquid can be frozen in time; a magical dressing table that makes everyday noises much louder and shows what sounds would look like if they could be seen in the mirror; and the opportunity for visitors to discover how they - and the world around them - would look if they were shrink down in size, stretched or squashed. At-Bristol, Harbourside, Bristol until November.

Prunella Clough is one of the most interesting and significant modernist British painters of the post war period, who devoted her career to finding beauty in unconsidered aspects of the urban and industrial landscape. She scrutinised the surfaces and textures of the contemporary environment, transforming subjects such as lorries and factory yards, the detritus of street and gutter, and the bright colours of plastics into images of compelling mystery and beauty. The exhibition comprises over 30 works from across Clough's career, with a group of her early social realist paintings contrasted with a group of abstracted canvasses from her better known later work. The juxtaposition demonstrates that Clough's preoccupation with abstract formal qualities - composition, colour and texture - while in the foreground in the later works, also clearly underpinned her earlier, figurative work. Among the highlights are early paintings such as 'Fishermen in a Boat', 'Lowestoft Harbour', 'Lorry with Ladder' and 'Man Entering Boiler House' and the late abstracted works 'Samples', 'Spin Off' and 'Disused Land'. At the heart of the show is an archive display of Clough's photographs, which gives an insight into her complex and layered working process, and her very particular vision of the modern world. Tate Britain until 27th August.


The Planetarium And Astronomy Galleries complete the £16m Time and Space Project, designed to bring the excitement of contemporary astrophysics to Britain's oldest astronomical institution. The centrepiece is a 120 seater state of the art planetarium, featuring a £1m laser projector made by US defence contractor Evans & Sutherland, which is only the second of its kind in the world. The planetarium shows are presented by the Royal Observatory's expert astronomers, ensuring visitors receive a truly authoritative guide. The opening show is The Life And Death Of Stars, an introduction to the mysteries and wonders of the night sky, giving a virtual tour of the solar system and beyond. The three Astronomy Galleries reveal how the universe expanded and how the solar system was formed; show the techniques used by current astronomers to explore the universe, alongside historic instruments explaining humanity's early understanding of the planets; and feature 'interactives' that allow the Observatory's experts to answer questions. Among the highlights are the Gibeon meteorite, which landed 4.5bn years ago; a soundscape composed by Martyn Ware from the noise of pulsars, solar winds and Shuttle launches; a grand orrery of 1780, a mechanical model of the solar system as understood at that time, with earth and only five planets; and the burning lens and thermometers used by William Herschel, who discovered Uranus, to detect infrared light. The education centre has computerised links to the National Schools Observatory, and access to remote telescopes in Australia and Hawaii, enabling children to view the night sky by day. The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, continuing.

BeWILDerwood is a new £1.8m eco-friendly outdoor adventure park, with treehouses, aerial ropewalks, slides, rope swings, scrambling nets, climbing walls, zipwires and a maze, all reached by a boat journey along the Dysmal Dyke, or a walk along the jetties and boardwalks of the Treatcherous Trail. Everything has been built from sustainable wood, and some 14,000 broadleaf trees, including oak, sweet chestnut and birch have been planted on the 50 acres of woodland and marshland. The really unusual feature however, are the 'magical' forest folk who inhabit the site, to fire children's imaginations, including Mildred, the vegitarian Crocklebog, a 14ft long crocodile like creature who lives in the Scary Lake; Swampy, a Marsh Boggle; a giant spider called ThornyClod; Tree Twiggles, goblin-like creatures that hate litter and mess; and the Wood Witch. Although the creater and owner Tom Blofeld claims to have been partly inspired by '90s computer game Myst, there is a pre-electronic, Enid Blyton style, old fashioned 'good clean fun' feel to the place. Events include storytelling, ghost trips, lantern tours, treasure hunts and puppet shows, and there is locally sourced and mostly organic food on offer (including ostrich burgers and elderflower cordial). Visitors can even take the experience home with Blofeld's fantasy book, A Boggle At BeWILDerwood, featuring the characters they have met. Further information can be found on the BeWILDerwood web site, via the link from Attractions in the Links section of ExhibitionsNet. BeWILDerwood, Hoveton, Wroxham, Norfolk, continuing.

Artists' Self-Portraits From The Uffizi: Masterpieces From Velazquez To Chagall presents a selection of 49 artists' self-portraits from the collection of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. These remarkable works are usually housed in the Vasari Corridor, a kilometre of corridor linking the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti, which is not generally open to the public, and historically, the collection has not been allowed to travel. This is therefore an opportunity to experience a slice - never before seen in this country - of one of the most remarkable sights in the art world. The entire collection comprises some 1,600 artists' self-portraits in all, covering six centuries of Western art. This exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to come face to face with Velazquez, Filippino Lippi, Andrea Pozzo, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Guido Reni, Rembrandt, Angelika Kauffman, Giovanni Boldini, Frans van Mieris the Elder, Carlo Dolci, Tintoretto, Johan Zoffany Joshua Reynolds, Anders Zorn, Carlo Carra, Pietro Annigoni, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Giacomo Balla and Marc Chagall as they saw themselves - or possibly as they wished themselves to be seen. For while all portraits are investigations of people, looking at yourself is different from looking at someone else, and for artists, self-portraits were also a method of self publicity. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 15th July.

Dickens World is a £62m indoor visitor attraction, concept and design by G A O'Sullivan-Beare, themed around the life, work and times of Charles Dickens, recreating his vision of England. Visitors can experience the architecture and street scenes described in his novels, with a cast of characters who bring that world to life, as they explore the streets, alleys, courtyards, dockside, shops and a themed restaurant - gruel anyone? (Hopefully this isn't so authentic that visitors get their pockets picked, children abducted or throats cut) The attraction features Europe's largest themed dark boat ride, based on Great Expectations, transporting visitors from the depths of London's sewers through atmospheric streets and markets, to a flight across the roof tops of London; Ebenezer Scrooge's Haunted House, visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future; Dotheboys Hall school room, revealing the disciplines of a Victorian education; Peggoty's Boat House; The Old Curiosity Shoppe; and the Britannia Music Hall, with a multi-sensory animatronic performance throughout the day, and a live supper show in the evening. Dickens World is based on a credible and factual account of Charles Dickens works and the world in which he lived. Working with The Dickens Fellowship, attention has been paid to the authenticity of the time, characters and story lines. It offers a new way to gain an understanding of the times and conditions people experienced living in England in the early 19th century. Dickens World, Chatham Dockyard continuing.

Mapping is an exhibition that is not (necessarily) about instructions for how to arrive at a physical destination. It investigates the whole process of 'mapping', and shows how contemporary artists have abstracted and expanded it into art. The show allows the visitor to explore not just maps of geographical territory, but also 'maps' that are essentially schematisations of thought processes, embracing many other disciplines, such as history and philosophy. The exhibition highlights how artists have used and interpreted maps, and explored the many different systems of mapping. It includes a great variety of forms, from conventional cartographic maps - both historic and contemporary created using GPS - to mind maps and other diagrammatic systems. As examples, Simon Patterson has reworked the London Underground map as a chart of cultural icons; Richard Long offers maps of his country rambles; Cornelia Parker contributes maps of meteorite landings, burned by the meteorites themselves; and Stomi Matoba provides a relief map of Utopia. Sarah Brown, Ian Hamilton Finlay, David Johnson, Emma Kay, Langlands & Bell, Nalasha Wakefield and Emma Williams are also among the 60 artists whose works are on show. Bury Art Gallery until 14th July.

Celebrating The Proms: From Henry Wood To Hyde Park is an exhibition marking the 80th anniversary of the BBC taking over the running of the Proms, the world's greatest music festival. The display draws on the British Library's collections of photographs, programmes, documents and historic recordings, together with archive material from the BBC, to chart the history of this enduring musical phenomenon. It explores the world of the Victorian promenader, the experience of concert going during the bombing raids of the Second World War, the music specially composed for the Proms, the much copied Last Night of the Proms, and newer developments such as Proms in the Park. Among the highlights are Edward Elgar's autographed score of Pomp and Circumstance March No 1; letters to Sir Henry Wood from Sergei Rachmaninoff and Jean Sibelius, together with a poster for his jubilee concert in 1938; Malcolm Sargent's silver pocket metronome, one of his batons, and examples of his correspondence, including a letter written to BBC Controller of Music, Sir William Glock; a letter written by composer Malcolm Arnold to Glock expressing his fears about making changes to the traditional Last Night, which offers a behind the scenes glimpse into the running of the Proms; unique recordings of concerts from the 1930s, and other historic video footage and audio clips. The display also features audio illustrations, posters and advertising materials for concerts. The Folio Society Gallery at the British Library, until 8th July.


A New World: England's First View Of America features the only surviving original visual records of 16th century America, over 70 drawings, on display together for the first time in 40 years. John White, a gentleman and artist, sailed with the earliest expeditions to Virginia, and produced a series of watercolours that precisely documented the lives and culture of the North Carolina Algonquian Indians, how they farmed and hunted, and the local flora and fauna. White was sent to produce visual records and maps of what Walter Raleigh found on his voyages of exploration, in order to encourage further investment, and colonist settlers, for a permanent English 'plantation' in the New World. His drawings were vitally important in forming the way that Europe viewed America and its inhabitants. They now provide a glimpse of the land and indigenous people as they encountered Europeans for the first time. The exhibition considers the lasting impact John White's watercolours had on the Old World's impression of America. His legacy continued for over 250 years after his death, thanks to the reproduction and adaptation of his work by later artists, a selection of which are included. The exhibition also features Elizabethan portraits, and maritime and scientific instruments, alongside historic maps, books, prints and other objects that relate to Elizabethan navigation, and help to capture the sense of the golden age of exploration. British Museum until 17th June.

Lynette Wallworth is the first solo show in Britain of works by the Australian artist who creates immersive installations. These rely on activation or participation from the visitor, creating an interplay between image, sound and space, by combining light and transparency with interactive technology. The exhibition brings together three works that employ glass as both an interface for interaction, and a surface for projected video, still photographic and film imagery. Wallworth describes her intention as 'bringing together technological advances and ancient understandings, new media and old practices, electronics and the electricity of human touch'. 'Damavand Mountain' is a video installation based on imagery filmed by Wallworth in Iran, an exploration of the global and governmental forces that shape the lives of the people there. 'Hold: Vessel 1' is comprised of synchronised light and sound, in which the visitor carries a glass bowl across a dark space, and has to 'catch' projected images of underwater life, intended to celebrate the microscopic forms of life. 'Invisible by Night' is a video installation that responds to touch, presenting a projection of a life sized grief stricken woman, whose eternal pacing can be quietly interrupted by the visitor, which Wallworth created in response to the layered history of the site of Melbourne's first morgue. The National Glass Centre, Sunderland, until 17th June.

Between Worlds: Voyagers To Britain 1700 - 1850 tells the stories of travellers to Britain who caused much excitement, interest and curiosity in the London social circles of their times. The visitors came from places with which Britain had a colonial relationship, including North America, the South Pacific, India and Africa. Each had different reasons for making their journeys, and received markedly varied receptions on arrival. Those featured include the 'Four Indian Kings' of North America, who came to England to offer their assistance against the French in the battle for North America in 1710; William Sessarakoo, a wealthy prince from a West African slave trading family; Mai of the South Pacific, who travelled with Captain Cook and was the object of fascination and curiosity as an exotic spectacle in society drawing rooms; Michael Alphonsus Shen Fu-Tsung, 'The Chinese Convert', who became well known in court circles and helped to catalogue the Chinese manuscripts in the Bodleian library; Raja Rammohun Roy, the Hindu advocate of Unitarianism; Sara Baartman, a member of the Khoisan, South Africa's indigenous first people; Sake Dean Mahomed, 'Shampooing Surgeon' to the Prince of Wales; Joseph Brant, the most influential American Indian leader in Britain during the American Revolutionary War; and Maharaja Dalip Singh, a tragic Sikh prince. Their experiences - and their impact on British society - are brought to life through paintings, objects, drawings and documents. National Portrait Gallery until 17th June.