News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 26th July 2000


High Street Londinium uniquely combines the skills of the archaeologist, the historian and the craft worker. Fulfilling the current brief of "Culture Lite", its purpose through painstaking reconstruction is both to entertain and contribute to knowledge about Romano-British buildings and living conditions. The starting point was a dig by the Museum of London Archaeology Service at 1 Poultry between 1994 and 1996, where a city very different from the traditional image of Roman life was revealed. Instead of great stone buildings, temples, bath houses and mosaics, most buildings were made of timber and mudbrick, and had been inhabited by working craftsmen. This exhibition is a recreation of the commercial centre of London as it was in AD 100, including the premises of a baker, carpenter and potter, complete with the authentic aromas of wood smoke and rotting food. Visitors can enter the houses and shops that lined the via decumana, the main road through the Roman town, and handle the belongings and tools of the people who lived and worked there. Alongside are the remains of the actual artefacts found at the dig.

Building The Millennium - Paintings By Glynn Boyd Harte is a series of watercolours that record the ever-evolving face of the capital as it is 900 years later. This exhibition celebrates London's Millennium architecture - the London Eye, the Tate Modern at Bankside and the Millennium Bridge - projects which have altered the face of the city. Museum Of London, High Street Londinium until 7th January - Building The Millennium until 28th August.

Mechatronic Circus is an assembly of seventeen automata by Fernando Palma Rodriquez - machines which interact with the audience and with each other by means of radio control, infrared, light and sound sensors. It is as though the sculptures have come to life, as masked chattering sewing machines meet spinning stepladders. Palma Rodriquez's work bridges the gap between technology, art, storytelling and ecology with his "cast" enacting Mexican Nahua creation myths. As part of the Year Of The Artist, Palma Rodriquez worked onsite in the gallery to create these unique pieces, using recycled computers and other machines, together with both natural and man made materials. Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno until 2nd September.

Carl Andre is the first major exhibition of the artist's work in London for over twenty years, and is a retrospective of his fifty year career. Andre's pile of bricks at the Tate in 1966 defined (or defiled) minimalist art for a generation. Fans of the permutation and repetition of bland and identical units will find thirty works from as early as 1958 to the present. Civilians may wish to know that he has certainly moved on - now he is using railway sleepers, and some of them are standing on end. Andre's current obsession is metal floor plates placed like stepping stones across the upper galleries. Whitechapel Gallery until 27th August.


Jodrel Bank Observatory may be threatened if Britain joins the European Southern Observatory in its Very Large Telescope project located in Chile, according to press reports this week. Finance is unlikely to be available for both participation in ESO, and continued upgrading of Jodrell's radio-imaging telescopes, without which they will become obsolete. The Lovell Telescope is presently undergoing a major enhancement, and plans are advanced for other upgrades in order to provide British astronomers with a unique instrument to work with the Hubble Space Telescope and the next generation of telescopes. Jodrell's radio-imaging telescopes provide resources which the ESO optical telescopes cannot replace. Jodrell Bank is open to the public daily during the summer. A full statement about the threat to its future, live webcam and telescope data, information about the various instruments and visitor arrangements are all provided on the Jodrell Bank web site, via the link from the Attractions section of ExhibitionsNet. Jodrell Bank Science Centre, Planetarium and Arboretum until October.

Dan Dare At 50 is an exhibition of artwork and memorabilia celebrating Britain's first and best known spaceman, whose exploits were regaled on the front page of the Eagle comic in the 1950's. In addition to original artwork, it includes ray guns, walkie talkies, jigsaws, games and recently rediscovered pre launch dummy copy of the Eagle, in which Dan Dare was a Spacefleet Pardre - a real Sky Pilot. As with all the best sci fi many of the fantastic inventions have since come to pass. On Sunday 13th August there will be a special day, with a talk on Frank Hempson the original illustrator and the Dan Dare Studio, the opportunity to meet the artists, and view a Dan Dare video which is not in the exhibition.

Happy Birthday Snoopy - the Peanuts 50th Anniversary Exhibition - traces the history of the world's best loved and most widely syndicated cartoon strip. A recreation of the studio of Charles M Schultz displays a selection of rare Peanut strips, many of which are destined for the Schultz Museum opening in California next year. Children can try cartooning at a series of one day workshops throughout the run. Best of all both the exhibitions and the special events are free. British Cartoon Centre, London, 020 7278 7172, Dan Dare until 8th September - Peanuts until 8th October.

Zaha Hadid used to be the most influential architect in the world who hadn't built anything. She is probably best known for her design for the failed Cardiff Bay Opera House project, but other striking buildings in Dusseldorf, Tokyo and Hong King also never materialised. Now the plans and models are at last being turned into reality, and projects from her studio currently under construction are worth £200m. This is the first major exhibition of Hadid's pioneering work, which includes stage sets for the Pet Shop Boys, the Mind Zone at the Dome, a 900 metre bridge in Abu Dhabi and Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Centre. The exhibition explores her radical visions of urban living while examining individual projects, interweaving models, photographs, drawings, paintings, animation and furniture. Meanwhile, throughout July and August Hadid's new animations are being projected on a giant outside the club Home in Leicester Square. Institue of Contemporary Art until 10th September.

The Eden Project is only in its preview period, but there is the chance to go behind the scenes and see construction in progress. Space age technology meets the lost world in the giant 50 metre deep crater of a former china clay quarry, near St Austell (although there is no sign of a TARDIS so far). Instead, nestling within it are two gigantic geodesic conservatories which are the largest in the world. They form an £80m Lottery funded project designed by Nicholas Grimshaw, whose previous work includes Waterloo International Station, and the glass British Pavilion at the Seville Expo. These climatic biomes house different environments, including a tropical rainforest in the largest, which is capable of containing the Tower Of London. The project is the brainchild of Tim Smit, who "found" the nearby Lost Gardens of Heligan. It will open fully next spring, but this year visitors can look down on the construction at first hand, and see a multimedia presentation of The Making Of Eden, which brings to life the architectural, horticultural and construction challenges that have been met so far. Eden Project Phase One until 5th November.

Rhythms Of Life is a family exhibition which explores the wonders of nature's clocks and how they affect everything, from sleep to migration, and mating to the flowering of plants. It uses cartoon characters, ticking metronomes, museum specimens, and all manner of interactive exhibits to provide the answer to questions such as "Why do cows sleep standing up, but only dream when they're lying down?"

The Time Theatre gives an insight into the world's rhythms, and what happens when we upset them - how nocturnal animals become confused by never ending light in cities, and what happens to humans when we attempt to beat the clock with air travel. Special events and workshops include Trouble With Time, in which The Scarlet Pimpernel, a high tech supersleuth, must follow a series of devious clues with the help of the audience, to figure out how time works before the world comes to an untimely end, and Re-percussions Of Life, a journey through the human body and life cycle, exploring human rhythms using street theatre, stilt walking and body percussion. Natural History Museum until May 2001.

New British Art 2000: Intelligence, proving that Tate Britain is not to be outdone by its new sibling down the river, is the first in a series of major exhibitions of contemporary British art to be held every three years, and is the largest loan exhibition ever staged at Millbank. It comprises works by twenty-two contemporary British artists, whose approach is that of "agents at large in society", gathering, sifting and transforming the raw data of our life, critically examining our environment, the way we live and our relations with each other. Works include Sarah Lucas' Life's A Drag Organs, in which two burnt out cars decorated with unsmoked cigarettes suggest a pair of lungs; Bob and Roberta Smith's Protest, where visitors can record their protests (at anything, including the exhibition), a weekly selection of which will be sign written onto the walls; and Gillian Wearing's Drunk, a three screen video projection made in collaboration with a group of street drinkers in South London. It's reassuring that the Tate remains unfazed by continual mutterings about Kings and clothes. Tate Britain until 24th September.


Improperganda is an exhibition celebrating the noble art of shameless attention grabbing as practised by legendary publicists. Gathered in one place is an array of fantastical images, which the makers of the media stunt have fed to a voracious press down the years. If a newspaper picture is worth a thousand words, then the entire text of War And Peace is represented here. This is the half world of fiction and fact, in which men lay eggs, watch films underwater, sell fridges to Eskimos, find needles in haystacks, and create brothels for pets. It's where parrots audition for shows, elephants ski down rivers, and 4 tons of mashed potato are poured from a cement mixer into a 20ft pie. The show is presented by Borkowski PR, who know a thing or two about the technique, since their own photo opportunities have included the world's largest ever custard pie fight (twice). How come Max Clifford wasn't asked to perform the opening ceremony? Proud Galleries, London, 020 7839 4942 until 12th August.

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is with us again, as it has been every year since 1769 - the usual collection of the good, the bad and the ugly - from amateurs to RA's, proving that popular taste and critical approval find no meeting point. Around a thousand works covering paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, architectural designs and models have been selected from over 9,000 submissions. The new president, sculptor Phillip King, wanted to increase the number of works by new younger artists chosen on merit, at the expense of works by academicians chosen by their supposed divine right, but his attempt seems to have failed. However he is determined to succeed next year so watch out for fireworks. There is a gallery devoted to the American abstract artist Frank Stella, and an installation based on a railway wagon by Eduardo Paolozzi in the courtyard. Meanwhile King has a new work of his own, Reel 3 - a magenta, orange and blue steel construction - on the forecourt of the British Council offices at the end of the Mall adjoining Admiralty Arch. Both the Royal Parks and Westminster Council opposed its installation but lost at the planning appeal. Looks like King is an all round popular guy. Royal Academy of Arts until 7th August.

The Great British Beer Festival is the annual jamboree run by the Campaign For Real Ale which includes everything from the finest traditional brews to the newest micro-breweries. It offers a huge range of beers, not only from across Britain, but also those produced by the famous brewers of Belgium, Germany, Holland and America. The supporting entertainments and attractions include music, ranging from a string quartet to a jive band, games, tombolas, quizzes and food from all over the world. Olympia London 1st to 5th August.