News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th April 2002


Turbulent Landscapes explores how the natural forces that shape our world inspire artists. It is an interactive art-science exhibition that lets visitors experience natural phenomena on a human scale, and encourages them to experiment. International artists Ned Kahn, Shawn Lani, Gail Wight, Michael Brown, Doug Hollis and Skip Sweeney have created nineteen installations using raw materials such as wind, water and sand, which capture the powerful and complex make up of our landscapes. These include: Magnetic Field Stone, where sand 'dances'; A Single Drop, with ripples and patterns created by falling water; Tornado, an indoors twister producing with a mist generator; and Air Rings with circles of air creating a vortex. There are also thrice daily performances of a specially commissioned aerial show by Scarabeus Theatre, with performers suspended from ropes and harnesses, interpreting the natural phenomena through movement, light and sound. Natural History Museum until 15th September.

Maelstrom, the latest of this year's new theme park attractions, hailed as Britain's scariest ride, is a £1m gyro-swing. The victims face outwards in a circular gondola at the end of a 17.4m long pendulum, which swings to a height of 22.5m, at an angle of 95° to 120°, while simultaneously whirling and revolving. This white-knuckle attraction joins the existing Apocalypse, featuring a 180ft vertical drop at speed of 50mph with a force of more than 4G; Shockwave, Europe's only stand-up roller coaster with a corkscrew; and StormForce10, the lifeboat wet ride with the first reverse drop in the UK. Thus one of the oldest adventure parks in the country, built in 1949 by George Bryan as an 'Inland Pleasure Resort', continues to reinvent itself. Further information and pictures of the rides can be found on the Drayton Manor web site via the link from the Attractions section of ExhibitionsNet. Drayton Manor, Tamworth until 3rd November.

Cutting Edge: An Exhibition Of British Cutlery And Place Settings does exactly what it says on the tin, featuring five thousand years of the cutler's art. In a collection of knives, forks and spoons ranging from the New Stone Age to the 1950s, it provides a complete overview of the design and evolution of British cutlery. Over 500 pieces, including Neolithic flint, Celtic and Roman bronze and Georgian and Victorian silver, show the beauty and diversity of these everyday objects. The displays are arranged both in thematic and chronological order, with table settings including the appropriate replica food, which bring the exhibition to life.

Cutting Design complements the historical exhibition with the work of contemporary London designers. Some pieces function as cutlery, some as art pieces and others as jewellery. Materials used include silver, stainless steel and ceramics, and techniques incorporate casting, firing, piercing, waterjet cutting and hot forging. Designers featured include William Warren, Susana Shaw, Diana Greenwood, William Phipps, Lucian Taylor, Maike Dahl, Jonathan Levien and Nipa Doshi, Kay Ivanovic, Lisa Marklew and Rebecca de Quin. Geffrye Museum until 2nd June.


The Old Palace is a new permanent exhibition that traces the history of the Tudor and Stuart palace that once stood on the site of Somerset House. Excavations in the central courtyard during the refurbishment of the building in 1999 unearthed remains that give an insight into the former palace's architecture, and tell the story of two centuries of its daily life. Built by Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, in the 1547, it was one of England's first major renaissance buildings. The palace was eventually demolished to make way for the present building in 1776. Objects on display include a gilded stucco mask of a river god, moulded plaster ceiling decorations, marble and ceramic tile fragments, tableware and carved mouldings. These are accompanied by contemporary engravings and drawings, plus new digital images detailing the original palace layout. The exhibition is curated and designed by the Museum of London, and includes items from its permanent collection, with the aim of making it more accessible to Londoners outside the museum premises. Somerset House continuing.

Pin-Up: Art & Celebrity Since The Sixties charts the changing face of our celebrity obsessed culture through the last forty years. From fashion and glamour to hero worship and body image, it examines the phenomenon of icons and idol culture (if culture is the word) in reference to film stars, pop stars and supermodels. In doing so it reflects the progress(?) from worshiping those in the past who at least did something, however minimal, to those now who merely are. Items range from Andy Warhol screen prints of Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando, and previously unseen photographs of Jimi Hendrix, BB King and Mick Jagger by Linda McCartney, through works by Peter Blake and Marlene Dumas, to current images of Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell. What it doesn't do, is pose the question whether the need of so many artists to pander to and represent the famous isn't a sad reflection on the current impoverishment of artistic inspiration. Tate Liverpool until 24th November.

Baroque Painting In Genoa celebrates the 17th century flowering of the city as one of the great centres of art. As it became a major trading and banking location, enormous wealth was invested in the creation of palazzos with spectacularly decorated interiors, and the adornment of city churches, with frescos, paintings and sculpture. Artists were attracted from all over Europe, joining skilled local painters and craftsmen, and together they produced some extraordinarily fine works in the flamboyant and grandiose Baroque style. This exhibition comprises paintings from public and private collections that have never been seen in Britain before. Highlights include Rubens life size 'Equestrian Portrait Of Giovan Carlo Doria', one of the city's most significant artistic patrons; Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione's 'Adoration Of The Shepherds', the altarpiece from the church of San Luca; Valerio Castello's 'Rape of Proserpine'; and other works by Van Dyck and Bernardo Strozzi; together with a carved picture frame by the sculptor Filippo Parodi. National Gallery until 16th June.

Skin Deep: A History Of Tattooing brings together a wide range of objects to illuminate the development and diversity of tattooing over the past two hundred years. Beginning with Captain James Cook's first encounters with native tattooing in the South Pacific in 1768, the exhibition looks at the adoption of tattooing by sailors, its subsequent introduction to Western society, and its growth as a statement of fashion and identity today. The name derives from the Tahitian word 'tatau' meaning to mark, and there are drawings and engravings made by Sydney Parkinson, who accompanied Cook and recorded the people he met, including the Marquesan warriors who believed in full body tattoos. There is also an extensive collection of early photographs, taken by other explorers. Sailors developed their own designs, based on maritime images, which had their own coded meanings. Electric tattooing machines were invented in the 1890s, and it became fashionable for European aristocrats to be tattooed around this time. The technique has enjoyed revived popularity in recent years, having been taken up by pop and sports stars, but is no less painful to apply - or easier to remove. Further information and a Whose Tattoo game can be found on the National Maritime Museum web site via the link from the Museums section of ExhibitionsNet. National Maritime Museum until 30th September.

Air is the latest of this year's new theme park attractions, claiming to be the first ride to simulate the motion and sensation of free flight. Eight years in the making, and at a cost of £12m, it is designed to give the feeling and freedom of soaring through the air. Instead of the security of sitting in a car or hanging beneath a track, victims are strapped along the length of the track, face down and head first, and are then propelled along swooping up, plunging down, and revolving skywards, at speeds of up to 55mph. It has been designed by John Wardley, former Bond film special effects man, and now theme park ride specialist. This white-knuckle attraction joins the existing Submission, and other Wardley tortures, Oblivion, the world's first vertical drop ride, and the legendary Nemesis. Further information and virtual rides can be found on the Alton Towers web site via the link from the Attractions section of ExhibitionsNet. Alton Towers until 3rd November.

Hamish Fulton: Walking Journey is an exhibition of trips by the 'walking artist' who makes a living out of what others do for pleasure. Through the use of photographs, text, drawings, prints, sculpture, collage and found objects, Fulton endeavours to recreate the experience of his walks. Over the last thirty years these have taken him to some of the most spectacular places on earth, including mountains and deserts in India, Tibet, Norway, America, Iceland, Spain, Canada and Australia. Fulton records not just the scenery, but the lives of the people he meets. At Mount Hiei in Japan he joined Buddhist monks whose meditation involves circling the mountain each day for 1000 days, after which they have travelled a distance equivalent to walking around the world. Fulton's journeys have included pilgrim's routes, and not just John O'Groats to Lands End, but also the Mediterranean to the English Channel. Tate Britain until 30th June.


Alfa Romeo - Sustaining Beauty celebrates 90 years of art in engineering, telling the story of how car design and styling has evolved from its early 20th century beginnings. This is illustrated with a display 17 of Alfa Romeo's most famous and prestigious cars, worth over £50m, which have been brought in from the company's museum near Milan. These include the 1750 Gran Sport, in which Nuvolari won the 1930 Mille Miglia, the greatest ever open road race, by overtaking the opposition in the dark with his headlights switched off; the 159 Gran Premio, a single seater in which Manuel Fangio won the 1951 Formula 1 championship title; and the 1952 Disco Volante or 'flying saucer', of which only two were ever built - one of the most visionary car designs of all time (an E type Jag and a half) - suitably suspended from the ceiling for maximum impact. There is a chance to win an Alfa 147 1.6 T.Spark Turismo worth £13,175 at the Science Museum web site, which can be found via the link from the Museums section of ExhibitionsNet. Science Museum until 30th April.

Planespotting: Italian Aviation Posters 1910-1943 chronicles the golden age of Italian aviation, when flying captured the imagination of writers, artists and designers. It coincided with the rise in importance of the poster, one of the earliest and most effective means of mass communication, which used futurist images in promoting the rise of Fascism. Many posters juxtapose Renaissance monuments and Roman ruins with design feats of contemporary engineers. Following Mussolini's rise to power, the inter-war years witnessed a huge expansion of both military and civil aviation, as well as a number of spectacular aeronautical feats. These included Italo Balbo's legendary transatlantic flights of the 1930s, when he led squadrons of seaplanes, flying in formation, to Brazil and the United States. The Second World War shattered the dream of Italian aeroplanes dominating the skies, decimated the aeronautics industry, and resulted in the deaths of many of the great aviators. This exhibition presents works by artists and illustrators such as Mario Sironi, Umberto Di Lazzaro, Adolfo Wildt, Alberto Mastroianni and Luigi Martinati. Estorick Collection, London until 28th April.

Nausea: Encounters With Ugliness examines the nature of what we consider to be ugly. A number of contemporary artists have created works that, by provoking a strong visceral response, engender a dynamic of unease and uncertainty in the spectator. Curiously, although the works may appear ugly or horrifying, at the same time they hold a strange fascination, a sense of reluctant enjoyment, where the conscious mind is strongly repelled but the unconscious mind is equally strongly attracted. Among the artists included are: Mat Collishaw - Infected Flowers, a series of photographs of exotic blooms, which are blighted with sores and cancerous melanomas digitally grafted from medical text books; David Newman - Sanctum II, sinister museum like cabinets containing meticulously filed images of the body in extremis; Margarita Gluzberg - Spiders, overwhelming the viewer with their gigantic predatory scale; and Lindsay Seers - Canibal Candy, a menacing mannequin which snaps images of the innocent viewers. Djanogly Art Gallery, Lakeside Arts Centre, University of Nottingham, 0115 951 3138 until 28th April.