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Correspondances - Nunnery Gallery

Sister Germaine self portrait 2013

Exhibition preview

FROM July 17 to September 27, 2015, Nunnery Gallery is presenting Correspondances, an exhibition of work by east London based French artist Pierrick Mouton that draws from his relationship with French-Cameroonian Protestant nun, Sister Germaine.

Curated by Edward Ball, Correspondances is an exhibition of emails, letters, photographs, video diaries and films, between the artist and Sister Germaine that spans over five years.

What began as a project to document the daily life in a convent in Versailles, soon changed as Pierrick’s Mouton’s relationship with Sister Germaine developed and he became interested in documenting and understanding more of Germaine’s life. In turn Germaine’s intrigue with the project and the camera grew as she became fascinated with how to record her own daily life.

Mouton enters into a dialogue with a nun who has had little experience with cameras or technology and sets about giving her the skills and tools to make video diaries and record her own life in the convent. Included in the exhibition is a touching film made by Sister Germaine showing the lives of the nuns and a collection of her photographs.

Underpinning the whole project is the intimacy of dialogue and correspondence: between two humans getting to know one another, and between two different film aesthetics and two different perspectives. The main exchange between Mouton and Germaine is the camera, which shows their shifting relationships between artist and muse, filmmaker and filmed subject.

Correspondances forms part of Bow Arts’ 20th anniversary programme In Dialogue: a series of exhibitions concerned with the complex relationships between artist and the muse.

In celebration of Bow Arts’ role at the heart of the bustling Bow Road community, Mouton was commissioned in 2014 to carry out a year-long documentary residency in the community leading up to the exhibition, which will be viewed at a special screening in September 2015.

During his residency working with religious leaders in Bow, Pierrick Mouton has made three gentle portraits of the spiritual lives of a Sikh, Church of England and Methodist minister, thereby gaining deeper understanding of the common threads of spiritual life, irrespective of faith group.

Mouton has exhibited in France and Macedonia and screened his films at Saison Video and Soirée Flare at the Languedoc-Roussillon Cinéma. He works in a variety of media: video installations, photographs, sculpture, and found objects, the latter resonating with documentary. His work is about making explicit the roles of the subject and the author in documentary.

Speaking about Germaine and the exhibition, Mouton said:

“Germaine seems to use the camera in a very playful way. She has developed her very own instinctive and uninhibited way of taking photographs and image making. A few years ago, I gathered together our five years’ worth of exchanges in a book, titled Correspondance. The book documents the evolution of our relationship over time. It’s so interesting to see how it changed from a formal relationship – signed off ‘Kindest respects, Sister Germaine’ – to a friendship. She now signs off her letters to me with ‘Mama Germaine’.” For this exhibition, I have been thinking about how to present these documents and how to translate them from the publication to the gallery space.”

Admission: Free.

Times: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 5pm.

Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts, 181 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ

Tel: +44 (0) 20 8980 7774


July events at Foyles

Events preview

THIS July sees a flurry of exciting, one-off, summer book events at Foyles bookshops in London and Bristol.

Author events exclusive to Foyles include the chance to hear an intimate conversation between Cathy Rentzenbrink and Matt Haig about her heartbreaking, yet uplifting memoir, The Last Act of Love; Joe Abercrombie on the fantastic finale to the Shattered Sea trilogy, Half a War; and an evening dedicated to the ever-growing Nordic Noir genre with Swedish author Håkan Nesser and Icelandic crime fiction writer Arnaldur Indriðason.

Then on July 13 and 14, the biggest publishing event of the year, Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman will be celebrated with a Southern-themed midnight opening, featuring a live Dixie Jazz band, and a special To Kill A Mockingbird edition of the Foyles Film Club.

Family friendly highlights include London Centre for Book Arts’ bookbinding workshop for kids, an afternoon of activities to mark the 10th birthday of Foyles’ Royal Festival Hall store and an exclusive opportunity to meet furry internet sensation Tuna, marking the publication of his book Tuna Melts my Heart: The Underdog with the Overbite.

For more information visit

The Rolling Stones: Exhibitionism - Saatchi Gallery

Exhibition preview

THE Rolling Stones will stage their first ever major exhibition at London’s prestigious Saatchi Gallery. Entitled Exhibitionism, it will open to the public on April 6 and run until September 2016.

Exhibitionism will be the most comprehensive and immersive insight into a group described by critics as ‘The Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band’, taking over nine themed galleries spread across two entire floors at the Gallery.

Tickets for Exhibitionism go on sale to the public next week on Friday, July 10, 2015 at 9am via or 10am from Saatchi Gallery.

As well as over five hundred Rolling Stones important and unseen artefacts from the band’s personal archives, the exhibition will take the public through the band’s fascinating fifty year history, embracing all aspects of art and design, film, video, fashion, performance, and rare sound archives.

At the heart of the exhibition is of course the Stones musical heritage that took the group from being a hard working London blues band in the early 1960’s to becoming inspirational cultural icons adored by millions.

Over five decades the Stones have shaped popular culture, often in their own image, and this exhibition will look back through every facet of the band’s career to offer a unique perspective that only the bands own archive can provide.

Exhibitionism will be the largest touring experience of this kind ever to be staged by a band or artist, and continues the proud tradition by the band of groundbreaking innovation combined with the highest production values.

Exhibitionism has taken three years of meticulous planning and will offer a comprehensive insight into the band in a way that has never before been attempted.

The exhibition is an interactive tour through the band’s vast artistic oeuvre, and includes original stage designs, dressing room and backstage paraphernalia; rare guitars and instruments, iconic costumes, rare audio tracks and unseen video clips; personal diaries and correspondence; original poster and album cover artwork, and unique cinematic presentations.

Collaborations and work by the vast array of artists, designers, musicians and writers will be included in the exhibition – from Andy Warhol, Shepard Fairey, Alexander McQueen, and Ossie Clark to Tom Stoppard and Martin Scorsese.

Mick Jagger commented: “We’ve been thinking about this for quite a long time but we wanted it to be just right and on a large scale. The process has been like planning our touring concert productions and I think that right now it’s an interesting time to do it.”

Keith Richards commented: “While this is about The Rolling Stones, it’s not necessarily only just about the members of the band. It’s also about all the paraphernalia and technology associated with a group like us, and it’s this, as well as the instruments that have passed through our hands over the years, that should make the exhibition really interesting.”

Ronnie Wood said: “The scene was great down the King’s Road in the 1960’s. That was where you went to hang out to watch the fashions go by. So it is appropriate that our Exhibitionism will be housed at the wonderful Saatchi Gallery.”

And Charlie Watts added: ‘’It’s hard to believe that it’s more than fifty years since we began and it is wonderful to look back to the start of our careers and bring everything up to date at this exhibition.’’

Exhibitionism is promoted and presented by Australian company iEC (International Entertainment Consulting) with the full participation of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood. The immersive exhibition will use nine different rooms spanning over 1,750 square meters, each with its own distinctly designed environment, that will show how the band has changed the way we experience rock and roll.

The exhibition will start with an introductory ‘Experience’, giving visitors a look back at the high points of the band’s career through a new film, with a high-octane soundtrack. It will then be all the way back to the band’s beginnings, taking visitors on a remarkable journey that made them the Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band in the World.

It is planned that following the London exhibition, Exhibitionism will visit eleven other global cities around the world over a four year period. The international tour will be proudly presented by DHL.

Websites to visit:, and

Saatchi Gallery, Duke Of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London, SW3 4RY

The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair - Autumn 2015

Event preview

THIS Autumn, from September 29 to October 4, The Battersea Fair will mark its 30th birthday.

In 1985, a London-based decorative antiques dealer, Patricia Harvey, along with her husband Ralph, conceived and launched a new kind of Fair, created for the interior design trade. It brought together like-minded dealers from around the country who understood that interior decorators were desperately looking for unfussy antiques and elegant period design that fell outside the remit of traditional antiques fairs.

The ethos and intentions of the Decorative Fair have remained steadfast: to offer buyers good value, unusual pieces, and heaps of inspiration.

The Decorative Fair has moved locations: from the Café Royale to Chelsea Harbour (1991) to Battersea Park (1997); was first to host a major central London event in a marquee; grew from once a year to three times a year; and has changed hands, being bought by exhibitors David and Jane Juran in December 2008.

At the Autumn 2015 Fair, the trade and private buyers will discover what hundreds of thousands have found before: a user-friendly, relaxed environment devoid of starchiness, with 145 dealers displaying painted, decorative and fine antique furniture; rare and unconventional objects; collectors’ items, and elegant 20th century design dating from the 17th century to 1980 (the dateline was 1950 when the Fair launched). Art of every period is also included, from antiquity to contemporary.

What sets Battersea apart from all other Fairs is the creative displays put on by exhibitors and the sense of excitement that comes from never quite knowing what might be found around each corner. The unexpected is part of the Fair’s DNA.

Much emulated since 1985 (dozens of antiques fairs around the country have added the word to their name), the ‘decorative’ aspect of The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair has never been bettered.

It remains a major hunting ground for top-flight antiques and art dealers, and a key buying event for interior designers from the UK and around the world. “We see dozens of well-known dealers from London and the regions, some of whom exhibit at the likes of Masterpiece and Maastricht, queuing up on opening day to get a first look,” says David Juran, Fair Organiser. “Sometimes we spot items bought at Battersea popping up for sale at the grander Fairs and West End retailers… We’re an open trade secret!”

Spencer Swaffer, legendary Arundel-based dealer, says: “Being first in the queue of buyers, first out of the traps and into the stands, has always been a closely fought battle. We all knew we’d learn something: a new theme, a new look, a subtle nuance, a way of putting things together, a different finish for a standard bit of furniture, a twist of vintage fabric to jazz up a chair.”

He adds: “Cheerfulness shines out of Battersea and makes it such a joy to visit. Anywhere that allows dogs clearly has its heart in the right place.”

One reason for the Fair’s cheerfulness is the lack of corporate stuffiness (it’s a family-run business) and the fact it is a dealer-focused Fair, which keeps exhibitors relaxed and enjoying themselves. When Patricia Harvey launched it, she wanted to make exhibiting easier for other women dealers and those working alone, which most antiques dealers do!

Supplied in the mix are the helpful Harvey Boys (actors mostly) who are on hand to help move furniture and heavy items for exhibitors and buyers; dealers can bring their dogs (many travel round the country with their trusty canine friends to keep them company, otherwise it can be a solitary occupation) and most of all, Patricia Harvey encouraged stand-holders to be exuberant with their decorating skills, so customers could imagine how things might look in a room. In fact quite a few Decorative Fair dealers also work as decorating advisors and interior designers.

Happy exhibitors make a cheerful experience for all concerned, and visitors love attending. The anticipation around each event helps explain 30 successful years of The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fairs, and the organisers look forward to welcoming in the fourth decade this Autumn.

Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London, SW11

Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy of Arts

Exhibition preview

FROM September 19 to December 13, 2015, the Royal Academy of Arts is presenting a landmark exhibition the Honorary Royal Academician, Ai Weiwei.

Although Ai is one of China’s leading contemporary artists, his work has not been seen extensively in Britain and the Royal Academy will present the first major institutional survey of his artistic output.

The exhibition will include significant works from 1993 onwards, the date that marks Ai Weiwei’s return to China following more than a decade living in New York.

Ai Weiwei create new, site-specific installations and interventions throughout the Royal Academy’s spaces.

On his return to China in 1993, Ai began to work in a direction that was both embedded in Chinese culture and reflected the exposure he had had to Western art during his twelve year sojourn in the US.

Citing Duchamp as ‘the most, if not the only, influential figure’ in his art practice, Ai continues to engage with creative tensions between complex art histories, conceiving works with multiple readings in the process. To this end he employs traditional materials and interventions with historic objects throughout his work from Neolithic vases (5000-3000 BCE) to Qing dynasty (1644-1911) architectural components and furniture.

By creating new objects from old, Ai challenges conventions of value and authenticity in modern-day China. These artworks include Table and Pillar, 2002, from his Furniture series, and Coloured Vases, 2015.

Ai works in a variety of different contexts, scales and media. He transforms materials to convey his ideas, whether in wood, porcelain, marble or jade, testing the skills of the craftsmen working to his brief in the process. Some pieces take months to create and pass through lengthy periods of experimentation, pushing the boundaries of the formal qualities of a material.

Sculptures such as Surveillance Camera, 2010 and Video Camera, 2010, both masterpieces in craftsmanship, monumentalise the technology used to monitor, simultaneously rendering it useless and absurd.

A new artwork, Remains, 2015, will also be included in the exhibition. Fabricated in porcelain, the work replicates in meticulous detail a group of bones that were recently excavated at a site of a labour camp that operated under Chairman Mao in the 1950s.

One of the key installations within the exhibition will be Straight, 2008-12, part of the body of work related to the Sichuan earthquake of 2008. Fabricated from ninety tonnes of bent and twisted rebar (the steel rods used in the construction of reinforced concrete buildings), collected by the artist and straightened by hand, it is a sober monument to the victims of the earthquake.

The subject of destruction, whether by demolition or as a consequence of natural disasters is one of a number of recurring themes and motifs that Ai returns to within his body of work.

Ai Weiwei said: “I’m honored to have the chance to exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts. Tim Marlow and the rest of the exhibition team have a history of producing outstanding exhibitions. I’m very happy to be a part of it. This exhibition is my first major survey in London, a city I greatly admire. The selected artworks reflect my practice in recent years, and also include new works made specifically for this show.”

Tim Marlow, Artistic Director and co-curator of the exhibition, said: “Ai Weiwei is one of the most important artists in the world today but his work has not been seen anywhere near as much as it should have been in the UK. This exhibition will begin to redress that balance and give an extensive new audience the chance to experience a creative phenomenon that is at once radical, political, architectural, historical, poetic, materially inventive and transformative…even before they’ve walked through the Courtyard.”

Adrian Locke, co-curator of the exhibition said: “Working with Ai Weiwei has presented us with new challenges but his ability to comprehend space, even without having experienced it first hand, and the clarity of his vision for the use of that space in relation to his work has been revelatory.”

In 2011, Ai was detained for 81 days by the Chinese authorities. In an act of solidarity and support from his fellow artists and architects, Ai was elected an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Arts in May 2011.

This exhibition will follow in the Royal Academy’s tradition of celebrating its Royal Academicians, continuing the strand of programming that has showcased some of the most significant living artists including Anish Kapoor, David Hockney and Anselm Kiefer.

Ai Weiwei has not been able to leave China since 2011 when his passport was confiscated. The exhibition has been developed in close collaboration with Ai, who has taken an architectural approach to the layout of the exhibition, within the Royal Academy’s spectacular Main Galleries, befitting the monumental character of many of his pieces.

The artist has virtually navigated the spaces from his studio in Beijing, through video footage of the galleries and architectural plans. The curators have also made regular visits to his studio.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with contributions from Tim Marlow, Artistic Director, Royal Academy of Arts, Adrian Locke, Senior Curator, Royal Academy of Arts, John Tancock, independent art historian and Daniel Rosbottom, Head of the School of Architecture at Kingston University and co-director of drdharchitects.

Tickets: £17.60 full price (£16 without Gift Aid donation); concessions available; children under 16 and Friends of the RA go free. All tickets include a multimedia guide. Tickets are available daily at the RA or visit Groups of 10+ are asked to book in advance. Telephone 020 7300 8027 or email

Times: Daily from 10am to 6pm (last admission 5.30pm); Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm).

The Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD

Tel: 020 7300 8000

Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust is on display at the Royal Academy of Arts from July 4 to September 27, 2015.

Briefs returns to London Wonderground this summer


THIS Summer, Briefs, the heart-stopping blend of cabaret burlesque, Australian machismo and punkish swagger comes to The London Wonderground for an extended run – from August 5 to September 27, 2015.

The London dates follow a year of sell out runs and ecstatic reviews across the world.

The six Aussies and one New Yorker are powered by a fierce energy as they mix up a potent blend of drag, glamour and athleticism, infused with dancing, tumbling, juggling, acro-balancing, trapeze, hula hooping, lip syncing, sequins, feathers and frocks.

Incorporating whole portions of new material into some of the Briefs’ favourite fare, the show combines an eye-popping blend of dog show satire, intimate yo-yo tricks, wind machines, Busby-Berkeley spectacle, pure burlesque and an array of serious circus skills.

Audience favourite Shivannah (Fez Faanana) has several new and surprising tricks up her voluminous sleeves and leads the chaotic troop through the show with brazen beauty. The Las Vegas award-winning ‘Captain Kidd’ takes a turn as the fabulous bird in his own golden bird bath and stuns the audience with alluring athleticism.

The new disorderly Briefs line up also includes the ferocious Dallas Dellaforce, who brings dynamic drag to a new level; one of Australia’s leading aerialists, contortionists and circus trainers, Thomas Worrell, who literally ties himself in knots; Evil Hate Monkey, escaped from New York Zoo and dazzling with his award-winning burlesque banana ballet; and fresh-faced circus brats Lachy Shelley – from Circa Zoo and Flipside – and Louis Biggs – from Flying Fruit Fly Circus – who melt hearts and have the audience gasping for more.

Since headlining the circus big top at Glastonbury last June, Briefs have strutted their way around the globe taking in London, Brighton, Berlin, Edinburgh, Darwin, Perth and Adelaide and they will take residency at Berlin’s legendary Tipi am Kanzleramt, and debut in Hamburg and Paris before returning to London Wonderground in August.

Tickets: £13.50 – £30.

Times: Tuesday to Sunday at 7.30pm; Saturday at 8.45pm; additional Saturday performances at 7pm on August 8 and 22 and September 6 and 19.

Running Time: 70 minutes.

London Wonderground, Southbank Centre


The Festival of Love has also returned for summer 2015, with this rich and complex subject being explored further in installations, performances, exhibitions and free events across the whole site. The festival, which was enjoyed by 1.6 million people last summer, will again feature the Big Wedding Weekend, when couples come together to marry in mass ceremonies on the Royal Festival Hall stage over the August Bank Holiday weekend (Saturday, August 29 to Monday, August 31). The Festival continues until September 6.

Free Family Events at Westminster Abbey - Summer 2015

Photo credit: Amy Murrell

Event preview

WESTMINSTER Abbey’s popular family events return this summer, running on Tuesdays and Thursdays from July 28 to August 20.

All activities are suitable for children aged 5+, accompanied by an adult. Events are held outside in the beautiful setting of College Garden (or the Education Centre if wet).

All events are free to attend but as places are limited, booking is recommended. Contact


Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – Tuesday, July 28 at 12.30pm, 1.45pm and 3pm.

Help famous author Lewis Carroll as he attempts to solve riddles set by his famous creations – The Mad Hatter, The White Rabbit, The Queen of Hearts. Will you escape from Wonderland – or is it all just a dream?!

Make like a Monarch – Thursday, July 30 at 12.30pm, 1.45pm and 3pm.

Find out what happened in some of the more memorable Coronation services and decorate a crown to take home.

Abbey Through Time – Tuesday, August 4 at 12.30pm, 1.45pm and 3pm.

Travel back through nearly a thousand years of the Abbey’s past and play games to discover what happened there.

Who stole the Crown Jewels? – Thursday, August 6 at 12.30pm, 1.45pm and 3pm.

The Crown Jewels are Missing! Help Brother William uncover the mystery of the biggest heist of all time. Discover how the monks at Westminster Abbey managed to ‘misplace’ Edward I’s treasure and use your sleuthing skills to reveal the culprit before it’s too late.

Victory Tea Dance – Tuesday, August 11 at 12.30pm, 1.45pm and 3pm.

Dance the afternoon away at a street party to celebrate 70 years since the end of the Second World War.

Edward, the Musical! (for under 7s) – Thursday, August 13 at 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm.

Discover the fascinating life of the founder of Westminster Abbey, St. Edward the Confessor, through songs and drama. Performances by Theatre Tots Ltd last 30 minutes each.

Knight School – Tuesday, August 18 at 12.30pm, 1.45pm and 3pm.

Squire William returns to the grounds of Westminster Abbey to put new recruits through their paces. The Kingdom is on the verge of war, so only the bravest should apply. Weaponry provided.

Punch & Judy visit the Abbey – Thursday, August 20 at 12.30pm and 3pm.

That’s the way to do it! Traditional Victorian seaside entertainment comes to the gardens of Westminster Abbey in the form of Mr Punch, Judy, Joey the Clown, and a host of colourful characters. With shows at 12.30pm and 3pm, as well as Victorian Games in the garden, there’ll be something for everyone. Just watch out for that crocodile!

Brat Kids Carnival at London Wonderground

Event preview

BRIEFS Factory is presenting Brat Kids Carnival at London Wonderground Southbank from July 29 to August 2, 2015.

Welcome to the biggest brat-attack from a star studded line-up of Australia’s finest circus artists and mischief-makers.

Witness hula hoops at top speed, acrobatics at alarming heights, and some seriously cheeky clowning antics, performed by the stars of Briefs in a manner that will out-BRAT kids of all ages.

Brat Kids Carnival is ideal for youngsters with a taste for wild circus skills, pumping music, ridiculous acts of amazement and eye popping party tricks.

Brat Kids Carnival comes from The Briefs company who are also performing their adult burlesque, circus and cabaret spectacular at London Wonderground for a two month run throughout August and September, as well as headlining the Glastonbury Festival’s Big Top, appearing on The John Bishop Show on BBC1 in July and taking to the stage at Pride London and West End Live.

Brat Kids Carnival uses the variety format to create an alternative circus show especially for kids. Risky and colourful, the cast demonstrate their incredible skill and talent in a context for children without dumbing down the content – proving that their talent is not just for naughty adults.

The show demonstrates the line between kids and adult entertainment being bent, rather than blurred. The same skills that dazzle adults also impress children. Most importantly the show is loads of fun.

The six Australians and one New Yorker are powered by a fierce energy as they mix up a potent blend of circus skills, song and silliness, infused with dancing, tumbling, juggling, acro-balancing, trapeze and hula hooping to create a fun-filled show for all the family.

The disorderly Briefs line up comprises Fez Faanana as the ring master; Captain Kidd strutting his hula hooping stuff; the weird and wonderful Dallas Dellaforce as the bug eyed alien “opera” singer Marjorie Stuart-Baxter; one of Australia’s leading aerialists, contortionists and circus trainers, Thomas Worrell, who literally ties himself in knots; Monkey, escaped from New York Zoo; and fresh-faced circus brats Lachy Shelley – from CIRCA ZOO and FLIPSIDE – and Louis Biggs – from FLYING FRUIT FLY CIRCUS – who have the audience yelling for more.

To book tickets call 0844 545 8282 or visit

OnBlackheath Festival 2015

Event preview

A WIDE variety of chefs have been confirmed to serve up a cooking storm and demonstrate their talent on this year’s Food Stage at OnBlackheath Festival, in partnership with John Lewis.

Taking place Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13, 2015, the festival will feature the crème de la crème of the chef world.

They include duo Hemsley & Hemsley, Gennaro Contaldo, DJ BBQ, Dan Doherty, Martin Morales, Pascal Aussignac, Calagary Anvansion, the Fabulous Baker Brothers, Natasha Corrett, Andy Mcleish headed up by YouTube sensation and ‘Food Busker’ John Quilter.

The ‘Milkshake’ hit shaker Kelis will also be serving up a heat feast on the Food Stage before shimmying her way to the main stage on the Sunday of the festival. She said: “I love London and can’t wait to cook and play at OnBlackheath Festival! I hope everyone comes out for a good time.”

The chefs will not only be creating dishes with their preferred local produce on the Food Stage but guests will have the oppurtunity to enjoy two dishes and accompanying drink showcasing each chef’s style and ethos in The Chef’s Club Food Banquet.

Tickets for the The Chef’s Club Food Banquet are available now. For more information and to book tickets visit

As well as this tasty food experience, festivalgoers will experience an eclectic mix of music. Elbow will be headlining on Saturday with other artists including Manic Street Preachers, Anna Calvi and Jack Savoretti. Filling the heath with their cool vibes and renowned London sound Temples, 808 State, Stealing Sheep and many more will be on the Heavenly & Friends Stage.

Headlining the festival on Sunday will be the pop icons that are Madness as well as the soulful Laura Mvula and international recording artist and cooking queen Kelis. Sunday is brought together with an appearance of the band from Sunny Afternoon, The Kinks Musical. The Gilles Peterson’s worldwide stage will be pumping out the good tunes and heavy beats including Clap! Clap!, Seun, Eska and many more.

Music complimented by food, OnBlackheath Festival, in partnership with John Lewis, offers festivalgoers a memorable experience on the historic green space of London’s Blackheath Common, SE3 with immersive food experiences as well as incredible music.

To watch a teaser video for 2015 visit

Unseen Waterloo: The Conflict Revisited - Somerset House

OPENING for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, Somerset House is presenting Unseen Waterloo: The Conflict Revisited, a series of portraits by photographer Sam Faulkner exploring how we remember the fallen from a time before photography was invented.

Since 2009, Faulkner has travelled to the annual Waterloo re-enactment in Belgium to photograph the ‘soldiers’ who take part, dressed in the historically accurate uniforms each participant creates with painstaking attention to detail for the event.

From his pop-up studio situated on the battlefield, he has made dramatic and painterly portraits which evoke the forgotten faces of Waterloo and re-imagine moments of glory, of hope and defeat.

Curated by international stage director and designer Patrick Kinmonth, the exhibition presents 80 life-size images hung against a backdrop of Hainsworth fabric, the rich scarlet woollen cloth used to dress the ‘redcoat’ soldiers in 1815, still made today in exactly the same way at the original British mill.

The Battle of Waterloo was a landmark in European history – the closing charge of the first global conflict, the final defeat of Napoleon and the start of a sustained period of peace. It was also arguably the last great battle before the invention of photography. No individual record was made at the time of the 200,000 serving soldiers from either side – painted portraiture being the preserve of the richest in society.

By the time European nations fought again at Crimea in 1854, the war photographer had been born and changed forever the way we remember. During the American Civil War of the 1860s, almost every soldier from the North or South, rich or poor, black or white, had their portraits taken before heading to battle. It put ordinary faces to the forefront of the national consciousness, laying bare the human cost of conflict and truly brought home the horrors of war.

After Waterloo, 54,000 men lay dead, dying or injured on the battlefield – over one in four soldiers.

Sam Faulkner said: “Unseen Waterloo: The Conflict Revisited is my attempt to re-interpret and imagine the non-existent portraits from 1815. Waterloo is often cast as a battle between Great Men and certainly we’ve all seen the grand paintings of Napoleon and Wellington from the conflict, however we don’t have personal images of the men who actually fought and died that day.

“A hundred years later in the First World War, the fallen soldiers’ names are chiselled forever into granite in every town of Europe, but the forces of Waterloo are virtually unknown. This work attempts to reclaim the Battle of Waterloo for the valiant 200,000 who have been lost to history.”

Sam Faulkner is best known for his documentary work including an extensive project about the war on drugs. He has worked extensively around the world including Afghanistan, Colombia, Haiti and Brazil. Unseen Waterloo: The Conflict Revisited continues to explore themes of conflict and its legacy which characterise his earlier work, but with a radically new approach.

To coincide with the exhibition, Sam Faulkner will also be self-publishing a book of the same name, which will be available from Somerset House.

Exhibition Dates: June 12 to August 31, 2015.

Admission: Free.

Opening Hours: Daily, 10am – 6pm. Times are sometimes subject to change, please check the website for full details in advance of visits.

Terrace Rooms, Somerset House, London, WC2R 1LA