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Rotimi Fani-Kayode at Tiwani Contemporary

Image by Rotimi Fani-Kayode

Exhibition preview

A RETROSPECTIVE exhibition featuring the work of photographer Rotimi Fani-Kayode will be on display at Tiwani Contemporary from September 19 to November 1, 2014.

Rotimi Fani-Kayode (1955-1989) remains one of the most significant names in the history of photography, despite the fact his career was cut short by his death in Brixton aged 34.

This new exhibition will feature a selection of his most important photographic works produced between 1985-1989, including large-scale colour works and arresting black and white images.

Fani-Kayode uses the medium of photography not only to question issues of sexuality and homoerotic desire, but also to address themes of diaspora and belonging, and the tensions between his homosexuality and his Yoruba upbringing.

Rotimi Fani-Kayode was born in Lagos, Nigeria to a prominent Yoruba family, who left Africa as refugees in 1966 and moved to Brighton in the UK. He later studied at Georgetown University and the Pratt Institute in the USA, before settling permanently in the UK in 1983 where he lived and worked until his early death from a short and unexpected illness on December 21, 1989.

The main body of Fani-Kayode’s work was created between 1983 and 1989. His photographs have been exhibited internationally since 1985, including several solo exhibitions presented by Autograph ABP, at Harvard University, USA in 2009; Rivington Place, London in 2011; and Iziko South African National Gallery, South Africa in 2014.

In 2003, his work featured in the African Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, and in 2011 in ARS 11 at Kiasma-Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland. His works are represented in the permanent collections of the V&A Museum in London, the Artur Walther Foundation, NY/Neu-Ulm, and in numerous other international private and public collections.

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11am to 6pm; Saturday, 12 noon to 5pm; Sunday and Monday closed.

Tiwani Contemporary, 16 Little Portland Street, London, W1W 8BP

Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 3808

Website: www.tiwani.co.uk/

Roman Ostia: Ancient Ruins, Modern Art

Doves (end of 1st century BC to start of 1st century AD). Mosaic, 45 x 44.3cm. Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma.

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Roman Ostia: Ancient Ruins, Modern Art will be on display at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art from September 24 to December 21, 2014.

Roman Ostia: Ancient Ruins, Modern Art brings together marbles, mosaics and antiquities from the archaeological site of Ostia near Rome, many of which have never been seen in the UK, with the work of two modern Italian artists, Umberto Mastroianni and Ettore De Conciliis.

Spanning classical statuary, abstract sculpture, and painting, the show reflects on the enduring nature of human creativity, and its constantly changing character.

The ancient statuary of Ostia portrays gods, emperors and scenes such as chariot races at the Roman Circus. A full length marble statue from the 3rd century AD shows Hercules standing heroically with his club; intricate mosaics and wall paintings from nearby Isola Sacra, Ostia’s cemetery, are among the finest examples from the site.

These Roman antiquities reflect the taste and culture of Ostia’s inhabitants; objects that surrounded them in life and death.

Forming a backdrop to these works of classical statuary and mosaic are a number of specially commissioned paintings by Ettore De Conciliis (b. 1941). Monumental in scale, the paintings have been inspired by Ostia and depict the atmospheric play of light across the site’s ruins and along the river Tiber.

Accompanying these are paintings and sculptures by Umberto Mastroianni (1910-1998), one of the most important figures in 20th century Italian sculpture. Mastroianni is best known today for his monumental works commemorating the Resistance, in which he fought. In 1958 he was awarded the prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale.

With their abstract character and dynamic, even explosive qualities, Mastroianni’s three-dimensional compositions almost appear as archaeological fragments themselves, recalling great gears and mechanical components which, once active and powerful, now appear frozen and without function.

The ancient harbour city of Ostia was an essential link to the capital of the Roman Empire. At the mouth of the river Tiber, 25 km southwest of Rome, the city was a commercial hub and a melting pot of many cultures, equipped with a theatre, baths, bakeries, warehouses, bars and shops.

Cicero states that the settlement was founded in the 7th century BC by the legendary king Ancus Marcius. The earliest archaeological remains date to the 4th century BC, and include a military fort and city walls. By the 2nd century BC, Ostia had developed into a trade centre and after intense construction during the 1st century AD it was transformed into a city of fire-baked brick.

The exhibition is organised in collaboration with Soprintendenza Speciale per I Beni Archeologici di Roma and Il Cigno GG Edizioni.

Image: Doves (end of 1st century BC to start of 1st century AD). Mosaic, 45 × 44.3cm. Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma.

Admission: £5, £3.50 concessions (includes entry to exhibition and permanent collection).

Opening Hours: Wednesdays to Saturdays, 11am to 6pm; Sundays, 12 noon to 5pm; closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, London, N1 2AN

Tel: +44 (0)20 7704 9522

Website: www.estorickcollection.com/

New gallery of Early Egypt opens at the British Museum

The British Museum

ON JULY 14, 2014, as part of a refurbishment of the ever popular Ancient Egyptian galleries, the British Museum re-opened a gallery space dedicated to Early Egypt.

Ancient Egyptian civilisation is the product of more than 5000 years of development. The galley focuses on the earliest, prehistoric, phases of this development (from 8500BC to 3100BC) down to the end of the Second Dynasty and the beginning of the Pyramid Age, presented in the light of advances in the museum’s understanding gained from over two decades of intensive research.

The new gallery includes the re-display of objects long held in the collection as well as a selection of materials only recently acquired.

Among the most exciting of the new acquisitions are the materials from the site of Jebel Sahaba, now in northern Sudan, which were donated to the museum by Dr Fred Wendorf in 2002. Excavating here in the 1960s, Dr Wendorf found a cemetery dating back to about 11,000BC, making it one of the earliest organised burial grounds anywhere in the world.

At this time life was hard, as the Nile Valley was cold and dry, the river wild and high, and resources were scarce. Remnants of weapons, found in the bodies of 40% of the 61 men, women and children buried here indicate that they died of inflicted wounds, the earliest evidence for communal violence in history. The gallery includes the display of two of the victims and the remains of the actual weapons that killed them, recreating the burials as they were found. This is the first time these skeletons have been shown in public.

Other objects from Dr Wendorf’s excavations are allowing us to trace the beginnings of Ancient Egyptian civilization to nomadic people who roamed in what is now the Sahara desert, after it had been transformed into a savannah by the warmer and wetter climate following the last Ice Age.

From about 8000BC, using some of the earliest pottery known from Africa and herding its earliest domesticated cattle, these pastoralists lived in this precarious environment, until gradually the climate turned dry again. Forced to abandon the desert by 4400BC, they settled in oases and along the river banks. There they took up farming, an innovation from the Levant, setting in motion the social and technological developments that led directly to the advent of the Dynastic Egyptian civilization at about 3100BC.

The gallery explores the accelerated cultural developments in the 5th and 4th millennium BC following the emergence of settled farming communities. These include the creation of a series of female figurines that are amongst the oldest known Egyptian sculptures of the human form. Boldly carved from hippopotamus ivory or elegantly modelled from clay they were made by Badarian farmers at about 4200BC.

It also examines the distinctive cultures in northern and southern Egypt, religious concepts and practices, the introduction of specialized crafts and the establishment of international trade relations.

Another key feature of the gallery is the display of Gebelein Man, the best preserved example of natural mummification dating to around 3500BC. A virtual autopsy table, a state-of-the-art interactive tool based on medical visualisation will let visitors explore this natural mummy for themselves and learn how the museum has been able to discover his age and determine the surprising way that he died.

Using the interactive touchscreen and the gesture based interface developed by the Interactive Institute and Visualization Center C in Sweden, it is possible to strip away the skin to expose his skeleton, and make virtual slices to view his internal organs and his brain, still present in the skull, organs that were often removed when the ancient Egyptians began to artificially mummify bodies.

The process of unifying Egypt under one king began near the end of the prehistoric, or ‘predynastic’ period, about 3300BC and culminated 200 years later in the First Dynasty. Actual events are unknown, but the early rulers (including Egypt’s first king Narmer) recorded their victories on beautifully carved temple objects. They saw themselves fighting these battles on behalf of the gods, to protect the world from chaos.

Two of the most important of these temple objects are redisplayed in the gallery: the Hunters Palette, the earliest of the elaborately carved temple palettes, and also the first to show the beginning of the very specific way the ancient Egyptians depicted the human form, and the Battlefield Palette, which has been reunited with its joining piece on long-term loan from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

The early origins of writing and the technological developments during the first dynasties that made the age of the pyramids possible are some of the other themes which are explored.

The hieroglyphic script is a distinctive aspect of ancient Egyptian culture, but its origins are controversial. Once thought to have been borrowed from Mesopotamia, Egyptian writing is now understood as an independent invention. Small labels dating to 3250 BC, found in Abydos (in southern, Upper, Egypt) Tomb U-j, provide the evidence. Most show symbols, but some bear hieroglyphic signs denoting sound values that write place names.

These hieroglyphs are unlike anything known earlier, suggesting that writing was a deliberate creation by early rulers to control a growing bureaucracy. Labels like those found in Abydos, and possibly originating from that tomb, are on display.

Unification brought rapid advances and prosperity. First Dynasty kings were buried at Abydos, with everything needed to make their huge tombs luxurious palaces for eternity – food, dishes, furniture, jewellery, tools, weapons and even board games (the gaming table and playing pieces for mehen, the ‘snake game’ will be on display).

When a First Dynasty king died he took with him not only all the luxuries needed for a palace in the afterlife, but also the people to run it. Wives, officials, bodyguards, and servants were interred around his tomb and funerary temple. The fact that most were adolescents or young adults show their deaths were not natural. Reaffirming the king’s power for eternity, their sacrifice also guaranteed the retainers privileged positions in the afterlife.

One of the sacrifice courtiers was a person called Nefer, meaning ‘beautiful’, who was one of a dozen people with dwarfism buried amongst the retainers surrounding the tombs of First Dynasty kings. From his depiction, we can tell he had a genetic condition called achondroplasia. In Ancient Egypt this was not considered a disability, but a mark of divine favour. Such individuals were valued members of the royal court, they were also among the select few to have limestone stelae placed on the low mounds covering their graves. Nefer’s limestone stelae is on display in the gallery.

The new Early Egypt gallery covers over 5000 years of dynamic experimentation during which many of the characteristics that came to typify ancient Egyptian civilization were first developed. Through the display the visitor will gain a better understanding of how and why this occurred and the debt that the Egyptians of later times owed to their early ancestors.

British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

Website: www.britishmuseum.org/

Exhibitions for 2014.

The Dandy Lion Portrait Session

Exhibition preview

SHANTRELLE P. Lewis’ The Dandy Lion Project is a captivating travelling exhibition project featuring images by international photographers and filmmakers from various regions around the world.

Their subject matter is young Black men in city-landscapes across the globe, who defy stereotypical and monolithic understandings of masculinity.

Juxtaposed against an urban backdrop where the clothing of choice for many black men consists of a pair of sagging pants, exposed boxers, jerseys and white tees, the “hip hop” generation has produced another phenomenon of style – the New Age dandy.

All subjects are men of African descent, yet are as diverse in ethnicity as the exhibit’s photographers. Also, the exhibition is not specific to locale – images were shot in various places around the Diaspora including throughout the U.S, South Africa, the Congo and Europe.

The men photographed are exceptional in both style and manners and provide the opportunity for a paradigm shift to occur as it relates to how men of African descent are seen and how they see themselves.

Founded in 2010, the exhibition project has travelled to several institutions in the U.S and Europe and will be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago in Spring 2015.

Sara Shamsavari, one of the Dandy Lion Project’s contributing photographic arists will be introducing The Dandy Lion Project by way of a unique portrait session forming part of this year’s African Street Style Festival held at Shoreditch London’s historical Calvert Avenue.

Dandy Lions will be invited to participate in the portrait session on July 27, 2014, between 12 noon and 3pm (free). The festival will continue to 7pm.

Sara Shamsavari’s internationally acclaimed work is recognised for challenging stereotypes with projects including London Veil and Britain Retold – A Portrait of London.

Curator Shantrelle P. Lewis said:

“I have been a long time fan of Sara Shamsavari’s work. She engages her subjects and captures the whimsical and colourful aspects of dandyism that makes us all enthralled with her images of the UK’s most sartorial gentlemen. I’m absolutely thrilled about her participation in the Dandy Lion Project and can’t wait to see what she creates during her upcoming portrait session.”

The Dandy Lion Project Gallery.

Calvert Avenue and Arnold Circus, Shoreditch, London, E2

Omar Ba: State of Emergency - Hales Gallery

Omar Ba, Afrique, Afrique, Afrique, 2014, oil, gouache, ink and pencil on corrugated carton, 190 x 143 cm.

Exhibition preview

HALES Gallery has announced its first solo exhibition with Senegalese artist Omar Ba. Entitled State of Emergency, it will be on display from September 3 to October 4, 2014.

Having lived both in Senegal and Switzerland, Omar Ba’s works combine memories of his motherland with experiences of his current home in Geneva.

Ba predominantly makes paintings directly onto corrugated cardboard sheets, the artists preferred surface. His relocation from Dakar to Geneva has had a major effect on his work bringing together both African and Western influences often centred around single figures, isolated on blackened surfaces.

The highly patterned and elaborate paintings draw together imagery associated with famine, tribal decoration, factional warfare and despotic self-styled leaders, along with advances in new technology and popular culture.

These almost mythological, ‘folklore’ inspired beings are not void of Western influences which serve as a nod to Postmodernity and the culture of ‘now’.

Omar Ba (b. Senegal, 1977) received his formal education in both Senegal (l’Ecole Nationale des Beaux-arts, Senegal, 2002) and Switzerland (l’Ecole Supérieur des Beaux-arts, Geneva, 2005 and ECAVMAPS Arts in Public Spheres, 2011). Selected exhibitions include: Biennale de Dakar (Dakar, Senegal, 2014), Vitalic (Hales Gallery, London, UK, 2013), La Jeunesse est un art (Manor Kunstpreis, Aagauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland, 2012), Swiss Art Awards (Bale, Switzerland), and others.

In 2011, Ba received the prestigious Swiss Art Award. 2014 saw the publication of The Prophecy of the People of Durban/La Prophetie des Gens de Durban, the artist’s most recent catalogue. Ba’s works can be found in private and public collections, including Credit Suisse, Fonds municipal d’art contemporain de la Ville de Geneve, Fonds municipal d’art contemporain de la Ville de Paris, Centre national des arts plastiques, France, and others.

Ba lives and works in Geneva, Switzerland.

Opening Times: Wednesday to Saturday, 11am – 6pm; or by appointment.

Hales Gallery, Tea Building, 7 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA

Website: www.halesgallery.com/

Big stage productions meet the big screen this July

AFTER a hugely successful 2013, Empire Cinemas is proud to continue offering cinema goers the opportunity to see the best of big stage performances with their Empire Extra specials for 2014.

From musical theatre to opera, comedy and ballet, Empire Extra allows enthusiasts to enjoy screenings of their favourite productions, from the comfort of their local cinema at a fraction of the theatre ticket price. Some showings are even screened live to viewers as the action takes place.

The first of two Shakespeare classics to hit the big screen, Globe on Screen: Macbeth, will screen in Empire Cinemas on July 14. From its mesmerising first moments to the last fulfilment of the three witches’ prophecy, Shakespeare’s gripping account of the profoundest engagement with the forces of evil enthrals the imagination.

Directed by Academy Award-nominated director Stephen Daldry, National Theatre Live: Skylight is to be screened on July 17. Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan feature in David Hare’s acclaimed production, which won a prestigious Olivier Award for Best Play.

Andre Rieu’s 10th Anniversary 2014 Maastricht Concert screens live on July 19 celebrating a decade of his traditional summer evening concerts. One of the most popular live acts in the world, the King of Waltz will be working his magic to present an unforgettable evening full of humour, music and emotion for every age.

Rieu said: “My 10th Anniversary hometown concert is very dear to my heart and I wish everyone could be here to help us celebrate. However, if you can’t join us in Maastricht, I hope I can touch your heart by bringing this special evening to you, on the big screen in your local cinema.”

Monty Python Live (Mostly) screens on July 20. For the first time in more than three decades, comedy legends Monty Python are performing live on stage. John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin perform some of their greatest hits, with modern, topical, Pythonesque twists.

Monty Python are rightfully regarded as among the worlds finest-ever comedians and their eagerly awaited reunion is one of the biggest live events of 2014.

The second Shakespeare production, Globe on Screen – A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be screened on July 28, starring Olivier Award winning Michelle Terry. In this twisted plot, Hermia loves Lysander and Helena loves Demetrius, however Demetrius is supposed to be marrying Hermia.

Shakespeare showcases some of his most dazzling and dramatic poetry in this teasing, glittering, hilarious and amazingly inventive play.

Jon Nutton, Marketing Director of Empire Cinemas, said:

“We’re thrilled to offer comedy fans an opportunity to experience Monty Python Live, for which all ten live shows sold out rapidly. In addition to the other high-calibre performances from celebrated institutions such as the National Theatre and The Globe throughout July, we’re confident the success and popularity of the arts screenings will continue. We’re very proud that Empire Cinemas are playing a key role in offering a diverse range of content to our customers”.

For further information and to book tickets to one of the upcoming Empire Extra screenings at your nearest Empire Cinemas, visit www.empirecinemas.co.uk/ or call 08 714 714 714.

Tim Hetherington: Infidel - Photofusion

Untitled Korengal Valley Kunar Province, Afghanistan. 2008 © Tim Hetherington. Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery New York.

Exhibition preview

PHOTOFUSION are hosting a solo exhibition of photographic work by Tim Hetherington (1970 – 2011), courtesy of The Tim Hetherington Trust and Foam, The Netherlands.

Entitled Infidel, it will be on display from August 22 to September 17 and continue from October 1 to October 31, 2014, following the Photofusion STILL/MOVING Film Festival.

The exhibition will present a mixture of photographs and video drawn from his series Infidel and Diary. In this work, Hetherington focused on the experience of war from the perspective of the individual.

Through his photographs, writing and films, Hetherington provides us with new ways to look at and think about human suffering as a result of war, both from the perspective of ordinary soldiers as well as the civilians caught up in the conflict.

Infidel consists of large-scale images of the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan, taken to set the scene, as well as intimate portraits of the American troops stationed there. The photographs were taken over a period of one year in 2007-2008, during which Hetherington managed to get incredibly close to the soldiers.

Describing the photographs in Infidel, Hetherington said:

“It’s all about the men. I didn’t want to pretend this was […] about the war in Afghanistan. It was a conscious decision. [It] comments on the experience of the soldier. It’s brotherhood. The flow of pictures is to introduce you to the Korengal Valley first and then to see the men in an intimate way…To get to know them and how they lived. Then you see them in combat in the traditional combat style. Finally, you see them as young men, sleeping.”

Alongside the prints of Infidel, Photofusion will show Hetherington’s film Diary (2010). Exploring his private thoughts and feelings about his work, Diary is a short film that collages original footage taken by Hetherington throughout his career.

The photographer described Diary, which he directed in 2010, as “a highly personal and experimental film that expresses the subjective experience of my work, and was made as an attempt to locate myself after ten years of reporting. It’s a kaleidoscope of images that link our western reality to the seemingly distant worlds we see in the media.”

Born in 1970 in Liverpool, Tim Hetherington graduated from Oxford University and later studied at Cardiff University. He received numerous grants and awards including a grant from the Hasselblad Foundation (2002), the 2007 World Press Photo of the Year, the Rory Peck Award for Features (2008), the Alfred I. duPont Award (2009), and the Leadership in Entertainment Award by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America for his work on the film Restrepo (2011).

His work was published amongst others in Vanity Fair, The Independent, Foto8 and Foam Magazine. Hetherington has been exhibited in many places, including at Host Gallery in London, the New York Photo Festival, and the ICP and Yossi Milo Gallery in New York. Hetherington was tragically killed on April 20, 2011, while photographing and filming in Libya. His images posthumously became part of the Magnum Photo Archive.

His year in Afghanistan also became the basis for the documentary Restrepo, which he co-directed with Sebastian Junger. The film was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2011 for Best Documentary Feature.

Admission: Free.

Times: Monday to Saturday, 11am to 5pm; Thursdays until 7pm.

Photofusion, 17a Electric Lane, Brixton, SW9 8LA

Website: www.photofusion.org/

Elective Affinities - Simon Lee Gallery

Michelangelo Pistoletto: Il Fascio della Tela, 1980.

Exhibition preview

SIMON LEE Gallery is presenting Elective Affinities, an exhibition which brings together a group of sculptures which share an interest in narrative and prioritise content, reference and resonance over pure form.

Proposing an alternative to the drive toward abstraction and the evacuation of content, the works in this exhibition insist on their relationships to their sources and antecedents and combine physical transformation with continuity of meaning.

Whether through performance or materiality, as replicas or relics, they force the recognition of the ideas and processes by which they are made.

First used in the context of scientific research and classification in the late 18th century to describe dissimilar chemical substances that react with each other to form compounds only under specific physical conditions, the term Elective Affinities was adopted by Goethe as a metaphor for the laws that govern social bonds and interactions.

This exhibition draws out a parallel system of relationships, between form and meaning, between the function of the appropriated object and the material from which its copy is fabricated, and between the physical and associative properties of the materials which the works combine.

Sherrie Levine’s The Cradle (2009) is a dual appropriation. It refers to van Gogh’s painting La Berceuse of 1889, and makes material the cradle that the painter never depicted.

For this act of materialisation Levine uses a wooden crib of just the type that the cord in the hands of van Gogh’s nurse might have rocked, and casts it faithfully in bronze. Narrative, appropriated and transferred content are united in its single polished form.

Similarly, Kelley Walker’s Circle in Circle (2006) and Allora and Calzadilla’s Two Hose Petrified Petrol Pump (2012) represent amalgams of object and material in ways which throw both off kilter.

The disco ball might be only an industrially mass produced chocolate scaled up, but hanging it from the ceiling shifts its meaning altogether, evoking a party which could only have ended badly. And the petrified pump for fossil fuel is more than a visual pun, making explicit the overtones of history, conflict and environmental consumption so blithely overlooked in its antecedent and turning it into a monument.

Matias Faldbakken’s work in the exhibition consists of a concrete slab, cast by hand, on to which a ragged page torn from a book has been glued. The page depicts an image of J. D. Salinger walking away from one of the very few interviews he did between 1953 and his death in 2010.

There is a formal rhyming in the sculpture between the torn edge of the paper and the rough cast of the concrete, but also a multiplicity of affinities between image and object, between the concrete and the street that Salinger walks, between time then and time now.

Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Il Fascio Della Tela (1980) (pictured) is, as its name suggests, a bundle of rolled painted canvases. Its form is charged with political associations, the bundle evoking the symbol of strength through unity from which the Fascist movement took its name.

The title of Hans-Peter Feldmann’s work in the exhibition, Homage to Monica Vitti (n.d.) also suggests its narrative content, while Gavin Kenyon’s Untitled (2014) and Ran Huang’s The Rise and Fall of Desires Associating with Some Comfort (2012) both rely on the combination of counter-intuitive elements in the creation of material tension.

Other works in the show expand and complexify these conceptual paths, all suggesting in their way the curiosity of the power of volition in the inanimate object.

Elective Affinities is on display from July 11 to August 27, 2014.

Simon Lee Gallery, 12 Berkeley Street, London, W1J 8DT

Tel: +44 (0)20 7491 0100

Website: www.simonleegallery.com/

Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude

Exhibition preview

TO MARK the 300th anniversary of the passing of the Longitude Act in July 1714, the National Maritime Museum is presenting an exhibition entitled Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude until January 4, 2015.

A landmark exhibition, it tells the extraordinary story of the race to determine longitude (east-west position) at sea, helping to solve the problem of navigation and saving seafarers from terrible fates including shipwreck and starvation.

Visitors to the exhibition can follow the quest to solve the world’s biggest challenge and the battle for the huge rewards of up to £20,000. They can explore the rivalries and ingenious inventions of some of the greatest minds of the 17th and 18th centuries including Galileo, Isaac Newton, Captain Cook and John Harrison.

Centuries later, the science they developed still influences critical areas of modern life, from satnav and mobile phones to international time zones.

Highlights of the exhibition include the original Longitude Act of 1714 on public display for the first time ever, and a rare opportunity to see all five of John Harrison’s now legendary timekeepers together, the first to allow accurate timekeeping at sea.

Also on display are stunning ship models and elegant marine fashions of the time.

A beautifully illustrated book, Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude (pictured), is the official publication of the exhibition and unravels in detail the stories behind how the longitude problem was solved.

National Maritime Museum, Romney Road, Greenwich, SE10 9NF

Website: www.rmg.co.uk/national-maritime-museum

Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision - NPG

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision is on display at the National Portrait Gallery until October 26, 2014.

Virginia Woolf (1882 – 1941) was one of the most important and celebrated writers of the twentieth century. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928).

This extensive exhibition of portraits and rare archival material will explore her life and achievements as a novelist, intellectual, campaigner and public figure.

Curated by biographer and art historian Frances Spalding, the exhibition includes distinctive portraits of Woolf by her Bloomsbury Group contemporaries, Vanessa Bell and Roger Fry, and photographs by Beresford and Man Ray, as well as intimate images recording her time spent with friends and family.

Woolf’s early life and literary achievements, alongside lesser known aspects of her time in London and political views, are brought into focus through in-depth research and a remarkable array of personal objects including letters, diaries and books.

Accompanying the exhibition is a paperback book, Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision (pictured), by leading authority on the Bloomsbury Group, Frances Spalding. Price: £22.50 – available from the Gallery shops and online.

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE

Tel: 020 7306 0055

Website: www.npg.org.uk/