Private View held by Richard Andrews
The London Tourist Board is running a Celebrate Millennium London promotion throughout the year, and is offering a free passport book of vouchers entitling the holder to substantial discounts on rail and air travel, accommodation, road and river sightseeing tours, restaurants, visitor attractions and shows. There is an accompanying Official London Guide with a comprehensive listing of events and attractions. These booklets are not available online. They can only be obtained by calling the automated request line on 020 7932 2000 - you have to stick with it, but it's worth it.
Beanoland is a new attraction where the pages of Britains favourite comic come to life. You can join its best known comic characters, taking a spin on Billy's Whizzer, the world's first water waveswinger, bump into friends on Roger the Dodger's Dodgems, and watch Dennis the Menace, Gnasher, Softy Walter and Minnie the Minx in three different stunt shows (involving human catapults and lots of water) running throughout the day. Chessington World Of Adventures until 29th October.
Ruskin, Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites is the exhibition which relaunches Tate Britain at Millbank, now that the daubs, dead animals and building materials have been shipped down river to Bankside. The centenary of Britain's most influential critic is marked by over 250 examples of both his own accomplished work, and that of the painters he championed. Turner (arguably the Shakespeare of the brush) justifiably predominates, with support from Millais, Rossetti, Hunt, Whistler and Burne-Jones.
RePresenting Britain 1500 - 2000 is a radical re-presentation of the Tate's permanent collection (Nicholas Serota being the King of the rehang) as the main gallery displays have been organised by theme rather than by date, with each room looking at one aspect of a theme. Tate Britain: Ruskin, Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites until 29th May, and RePresenting Britain 1500 - 2000 until September.
The Art Of Star Wars explores the creative process that brought the film series to the screen. For the first time in the UK, over 250 original models, production paintings, concept drawings and costumes from the Lucasfilms archive at Skywalker Ranch show how the fantastic creatures and characters of the Star Wars universe were realised. Exhibits include concept drawings illustrating the development of the characters Yoda, R2-D2 and C-3PO, Queen Amidala's gowns, and a full size version of Anakin Skywalker's Podracer suspended as if in flight. An interactive area allows visitors to try on masks, hear how John Williams score and effects were created, and even operate a remote control animatronic creature. Barbican Centre Art Gallery 13th April until 30th July.
Peter Blake: About Collage offers an insight into Blake's practice as a collector and maker of collage. He has contributed significantly to the development of the technique since his student days, and his work includes the landmark Beatles Sgt Pepper album cover. Here Blake presents his personal selection of collage from the Tate Collection, including pieces by Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell and Jean Dubuffet, together with work by famous and anonymous artists from his own collection. Collaged clothing, furniture and trinkets are included to reveal the broad use of the technique, and the exhibition also examines Blake's own use of collage. Tate Gallery Liverpool until 4th March 2001.
Art Nouveau 1890-1914 is the largest show of examples of the style since the movement's heyday. It includes work by all the major figures, including Beardsley prints, Tiffany lamps, Mackintosh chairs, Lalique jewellery, Galle vases and even an entrance to a Paris Metro station. The extraordinary fusion of nature, materials and the domestic environment is truly celebrated. What this exhibition also reveals is the oriental, Arabic and Celtic inspiration, by showing examples of antecedents alongside the art nouveau pieces. This movement was the last flowering of the hand crafted artefact, before machine made mass production became the norm. A unique opportunity to return to a time when style and quality outweighed accessibility and price. Victoria & Albert Museum until 3rd September.
The Dome has at last officially unveiled its sculptures, commissioned to enhance the outside of the structure, featuring work by Anthony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Richard Wilson and Tony Cragg. They are late arrivals at the Millennium Ball owing to overdue payments by NMEC, the dome management company. Gormley worked day and night to complete his piece Quantum Cloud - a 90ft high creation of 3,500 steel tubes - by New Year's Eve, but even now, consulting engineers Elliott Wood have still not received all the money they are owed. I suppose it was so much simpler when it was just an artist, a block of stone and a chisel. The Millennium Experience until 31st December.
Animal Magic is a multimedia event, providing the opportunity to build a mythical beast, make up an animal story with shadow puppets, and take a closer look at animals in art. It is divided into three sections. Fun And Fantasy looks at how artists create, design and communicate their ideas about animals - both real and imaginary. Show Stoppers centres on how animals are represented in art, including a three metre high birdcage, and a giant whale made from two Cornish fishing boats. Animal Detectives offers the opportunity to work as both scientist and artist, using microscopes and magnifying glasses to study birds and cats. Croydon Clocktower, Croydon, 0181 253 1030 until 4th June.
Photographs by Snowdon: A Retrospective is a selection from a 50 year portfolio, which admirably demonstrates that it is by no means restricted to the rich and famous. Snowdon's early work as a fashion photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair included mould breaking shots of models posed on aircraft wings and piles of cars. London, his book published in 1958, was instrumental in creating the image of Swinging London. In fact his wedding to Princess Margaret in 1960, inspired design student Geoff Reeves to paint a pair of sunglasses with a Union Jack, thus starting one of the fads of the era. Later work includes pictorial essays on social problems, reflecting his involvement in charities. National Portrait Gallery until 4th June.
Curtain Call is a 46ft video triptych by Nick Stewart featuring the activities of the Royal Festival Hall. Stewart filmed the comings and goings in the building by day and by night over a six month period, and the result is a mesmeric video diary of this venerable arts institution, which will reach its half century next year. Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London until 30th April.
Tempus: The Art Of Time is another millennial exhibition exploring time in art and science, from Ancient Egyptian sundials to thermoluminescence testing. Through calendars and diaries, paintings and the written word, it examines how cultures and civilisations down the ages have striven to record, measure or represent this elusive concept. Like the Royal Observatory, Cambridge can claim real credentials for staging such an exhibition, in their case thanks to Sir Isaac Newton and Professor Stephen Hawking. There is an accompanying programme of school and adult projects and events. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge until 30th April.
The Apocalypse and the shape of things to come is an exhibition of images inspired by the end of the world as described in the Book of Revelation. Illuminated manuscripts, books, single sheet prints and drawings from the 11th century up to the end of the Second World War, focus on particular episodes or apocalyptic phases which have often occurred at the end of centuries, and have always been rooted in historical and political circumstances. It is accompanied by an Apocalyptical event programme of concerts, lectures and a symposium. British Museum until 24th April.