News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 15th August 2001

Commencing

Lie Of The Land: The Secret Life Of Maps poses the question "Can you rely on a map to tell you where you are?" What we see on a map is rarely the same as the land under our feet. Some maps deliberately set out to deceive, many show a selective view, reflecting only the interests of the people who made them. Since all are a representation of a three dimensional world in a two dimensional form, they can only be an interpretation of the truth. This exhibition contains over a hundred examples in a variety of forms, from all over the world, spanning five centuries of mapmaking. Highlights include: Roman Britain mapped out - a forgery that fooled academics for over a hundred years; Paradise found - the Garden of Eden and the Tower of Babel discovered in the Middle East; the earliest surviving terrestrial globe made in China in 1623 by two Europeans; the Red Lined Map used in the negotiations to end the American War of Independence; the first jigsaw ever produced in the form of a dissected map of Europe, made in 1766 by John Spilsbury; and World War II escape maps, made under the nose of the enemy. British Library until 7th April.

Paula Rego brings together a group of recent works, including several displayed for the first time, from large scale pastels and paintings to more intimate preparatory works on paper. Most important among the new pieces is Celestina's House, which represents the latest ideas and imagery in Rego's work, together with The Interrogator's Garden and The Wide Sargasso Sea. All tell a story and are crowded with her idiosyncratic character studies, which, though she now lives and works in Britain, are derived from her Mediterranean roots. Certainly they are not what you expect to find in the Lake District. As she progresses towards a final image, Rego produces sketches, drawings and watercolours in which her ideas develop and crystallise. A number of these works are included in the exhibition, showing Rego's process of weaving stories in paint and pastel, which are multi-layered, lyrical, often disturbing, and explore the depths of human experience. Abbot Hall Gallery, Kendal until 7th October.

75 Years Of Creativity: A Rambert Dance Company Retrospective charts the creative highlights of the company that was founded by Marie Rambert in the classical tradition in 1926, but moved to a modern non-narrative repertoire in the 1960s. It draws on artefacts, designs and other materials from both the Rambert archive and the museum's permanent collection.

Margot Fonteyn Costumes celebrates the acquisition of five of the ballerina's costumes, in which she danced the roles of Aurora, Odile, Chloe and Juliet, which are on display for the first time, together with photographs of her in other roles.

Taking Shape is a journey through a landscape of changing shapes where everyday materials are transformed into animated worlds inhabited by the creations of Sue Buckmaster. Visitors can interact with moving sculptures and puppet characters, made out of anything from paper to metal, some from Buckmaster's past productions, and some made specially for this exhibition. The Theatre Museum - all until 28th October.

Continuing

Reporting The World: John Pilger's Great Eyewitness Photographers explores the close association of journalist and documentary film maker John Pilger with some of the world's greatest reportage photographers. The exhibition includes Philip Jones Griffiths photographs of Vietnam, documenting the devastating effects of the war; Steve Cox's pictures of violent struggle for independence in East Timor; and Nic Dunlop's images of the Burmese opposition, including portraits of Aung San Suu Kyi. John Pilger's collaboration with photographers Matt Herron and Ken Regan highlights a life long interest in America. Matt Herron's photographs of the civil rights campaign, the arms race, and effects of the Vietnam War on American families, reflect a less well-known side of American life. Ken Regan's work on the campaign trail with Pilger resulted in definitive images of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and George Wallace. Barbican Centre Gallery until 30th September.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo celebrates the 52nd season of this unique blend of music, ceremony, entertainment and theatre, featuring over 1000 performers, staged against the backdrop of Edinburgh castle. Highlights include the Cook Islands National Youth Dance Team performing Polynesian dance to coconut palm drums; a display of precision drill with bayonet tipped rifles by The Guard of His Majesty the King of Norway; the Russian Cossack State Song and Dance Ensemble performing folk songs and sword dances; and the re-enactment of Dargai, a 19th century frontier battle, providing a historical vignette of pipers and drummers in battle. The centrepiece remains massed pipes and drums, and two Australian military pipe bands, The Rats of Tobruk and The Royal Caledonian Society, join with The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, King's Own Scottish Borderers, The Highlanders, Royal Irish Regiment, Royal Gurkha Rifles and Royal Air Force Leuchars. The Edinburgh Military Tattoo web site, which provides full details, plus four webcams relaying continuous live pictures, can be found via the link from the Others - Festivals & Events section of ExhibitionsNet. Castle Esplanade, Edinburgh from 3rd to 25th August.

A Children's Midsummer Night's Dream takes advantage of the recent acquisition of a child sized woodland glade - complete with a working fountain. It comes from a new film version of Shakespeare's play, made with a cast of Southwark children by Sands Films, noted for its use of local craftspeople in achieving period authenticity. There is a trail through an enchanted forest for younger children to follow, using the project's costumes, puppets, props and scenery. Older children and adults can see a display about the making of the film in words and pictures, and all can enjoy clips from the finished article. Both the exhibition and a daily children's costume workshop are free. The continuing display consists of nearly 6,000 toys, games and costumes from all over the world spanning a period of 400 years. The National Museum Of Childhood At Bethnal Green until 30th August.

Look At Me: Fashion And Photography In Britain 1960 To The Present Day "looks at the relationship between fashion and art in the evolving visual and cultural language of Britain in the second half of the 20th century". Or, it presents the results of the great time increasingly well known and generously rewarded photographers had recording the ludicrous excesses of the extravagantly self important fashion industry. You pays your money and what you get is a truly evocative picture of both the style and obsessions of the photographers - David Bailey, Cecil Beaton, Helmut Newton, Norman Parkinson, Derek Ridgers et al - and the periods they recorded. Nevertheless, despite how entertaining it is, it's hard to take these pictures of silly people in what are now embarrassing clothes as serious art, but then perhaps that was what they said about Van Dyck. Milton Keynes Art Gallery until 2nd September.

Forgery - The Artful Crime charts the history of the continuing struggle of the Bank Of England against the ingenuity of those who sought to counterfeit its wares - a crime which at one time was punishable by hanging. The exhibition shows examples of attempts at forgery of the Bank's notes, and the resulting action taken to foil them. The Bank is the longest continuous issuer of paper money in the world, dating back to its foundation in 1694, and the increasing complexity of bank note design and production over that period are illustrated and explained. There are also demonstrations of engraving and coin minting. The continuing display includes currency in all its forms, with gold bars, coins and notes, medals and commemorative issues, and documents relating to its famous customers from Horatio Nelson to George Washington. There is also a simulated foreign currency dealing desk, which gives visitors a chance to try to make a killing on the Exchange market, without actually breaking their own bank. An accompanying booklet is freely downloadable from the Bank Of England web site, which can be found via the link from the Heritage section of ExhibitionsNet. Bank Of England Museum until 10th October.

Queen Victoria At Kensington - Her Life In Dress marks the centenary of the death of Queen Victoria with a new display of items from her wardrobe, including her wedding dress and coronation robes. It reflects the different ages of the longest reigning British monarch, and the changes in dress that occurred over that period. The exhibition also features some of Victoria's toys, including her doll's house and a selection of her dolls in costume of the period.

The Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection is a 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. There are also recreations of a dressmaker's workroom, a tailor's shop, and dressing rooms. Highlights include Queen Mary's wedding dress and a collection of dresses owned and worn by the present Queen. Patterns, sketches, samples and dresses created by Catherine Walker for Diana, Princess of Wales are also on display for the first time. Kensington Palace until 31st March.

Concluding

Cleopatra Of Egypt: From History To Myth juxtaposes what can be gleaned from history about the real Queen of the Nile with the myths that have grown up around her. Huge sculptures, bronzes, ceramics, coins, gems and caricatures chart Cleopatra VII's life and liaisons with the two great Roman leaders of the day, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Newly identified images of Cleopatra feature alongside contemporary Hellenistic and Roman representations. The myth of Cleopatra is traced to the present day through paintings, ceramics, jewellery, plays, opera and cinema, revealing how she has been reconceived generation by generation, as ideas about what constitutes the essence of the ideal woman have changed. British Museum until 26th August.

Hogarth's Election Entertainment: Artists At The Hustings illustrates that little has changed in politics in the last 250 years. The methods of bribing the electorate may be more sophisticated but the intentions (and results) are the same. This exhibition centres on the four paintings that comprise Hogarth's An Election, based on the notorious contest for the Oxfordshire seats in the General Election of 1754, which paint a darkly comic view of the greed and corruptibility of mankind. They are joined by the best works of his successors in satirical and political engravings, paintings and cartoons to the present day, gathered from collections all over Britain. These include Thomas Rowlandson's The Poll (1784); Robert Dighton's Westminster Election series (1784-96); Benjamin Haydon's monumental comic reworking of Chairing The Member (1828); George Cruikshank's A Radical Reformer (1818); George Caleb Bingham's The County Election (1854); Ronald Searle's The Candidate (1954), and Steve Bell's Pant Burning (1997). Sir John Soane Museum until 25th August.

2001: An Architectural Odyssey - The Renaissance Of Public Space In Britain examines some of the public buildings and architectural projects that have been constructed throughout the UK in the recent Lottery funded building binge. It looks at thirteen projects reflecting the diversity of contemporary architecture and design, the demand for regeneration, and the impact of the landmark building upon our cities and regions. The exhibition is divided into six thematic sections, each highlighting different aspects of this architectural burgeoning, unprecedented since the Victorian age. These are: Urban ReBirth - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Millennium Bridge and Music Centre Gateshead; Space In The City - Market Place, Armagh and British Museum Great Court; From A To B - Sustrans National Cycle Network and Falkirk Wheel, Millennium Link; Living Futures, Living Pasts - Imperial War Museum North and Millennium Seedbank; Transformations - Eden Project and Magna, Rotherham; New Centres - Millennium Stadium and National Botanic Garden of Wales. RIBA Architecture Gallery, London, 020 7580 5533 until 18th August.