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Foyles Storybox Festival

FOYLES, the world-famous bookseller, has announced the programme for Storybox, its second annual children’s festival, which runs from July 23 to August 14, 2016.

The three-week celebration of storytelling and imagination takes place across Foyles’ London, Bristol and Birmingham branches, following on from the success of the Summer of Fun in 2015. It will see dozens of events bring much-loved children’s books to life, including the worlds of Harry Potter, Where’s Wally and Roald Dahl.

Creativity is at the heart of this year’s festival, which celebrates stories in all their forms. Alongside classic storytelling, there will be opportunities for children and young people to try their hands at illustration, making comic books and creating their own radio shows.

Other highlights include a live reading of Roald Dahl’s Matlida from a member of the cast of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical, a daylong celebration to mark the publication of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Beatrix Potter festivities to coincide with the legendary author’s 150th birthday.

Included for the first time in the festival is a Young Adult strand that includes a Dystopian Creative Writing Workshop with author Emma Pass, a YA Reception with Martyn Bedford, Nat Luurtsema and Siobhan Curham, and a meet and greet with debut author Irena Brignull.

Megan Brown, National Events Coordinator at Foyles, comments:

“This year our festival is all about inspiring and enabling children to create their own stories, whether that’s by recording their own radio show, making some new animal friends, meeting their favourite author or learning to draw with a renowned illustrator. Storybox offers an eclectic programme of interactive experiences to keep the whole family entertained.”

Many of the events are free to attend, with discounted family tickets available for others. Every ticket will have an optional £5 goody bag add-on which includes a drawstring bag, colouring pencils, water bottle, balloons, stickers, a bookmark, and colouring sheets. There will also be a competition throughout the festival to win a family ticket to The View from the Shard Summer Garden.

For more information on individual events and to book tickets, visit www.foyles.co.uk/Storybox.

Made in Japan: Kakiemon and 400 years of porcelain - British Museum

Made in Japan

Exhibition preview

THE BRITISH Museum’s forthcoming Asahi Shimbun Display, Made in Japan: Kakiemon and 400 years of porcelain, is open to the public from June 23 to August 21, 2016.

This Asahi Shimbun Display celebrates fifteen generations of porcelain production in Arita by showcasing work by one of the most famous potting dynasties.

This year is the 400th anniversary of the birth of porcelain in the town of Arita in Saga Prefecture and the show will feature, among other examples, a new work decorated with acorn branches by Sakaida Kakiemon XV (b.1968) representing his coming of age as an artist that he created specifically for the British Museum.

Featured in the display is an original film made by the British Museum at the Kakiemon kiln, which allows viewers to see and feel through the actions of the potters how Kakiemon porcelain is actually created.

The Kakiemon (pronounced ‘ka-ki-e-mon’) kiln is still modeled on the traditional Japanese early modern workshop system. Succession is based on the principle of iemoto or ‘head of the household’, the oldest son inheriting and sustaining the brand and workshop. The current head of the kiln is Kakiemon XV. He recently received the title following the death of his greatly admired father Kakiemon XIV in 2013.

Historically, the Kakiemon workshop produced some of the most exquisite porcelain for export to Europe and the Middle East, notably in the later 1600s.

In 1647, Sakaida Kizaemon was credited with introducing the overglaze enameling technique to the Arita porcelain kilns, making advanced porcelain production possible and starting the potting dynasty. He was thought to have learnt the secrets to overglaze enameling on porcelain from a Chinese specialist in adjacent Nagasaki. This success earned him the name Sakaida Kakiemon I – which derived from kaki or persimmon after the orangey-red colour of the most important overglaze enamel.

Japan was a late starter to porcelain production compared to China and Korea, but it quickly made up for lost time. Japan benefitted from domestic turbulence in China and was able to start exporting to Europe and elsewhere through the Dutch East India Company.

The classic Kakiemon style, lasting from 1670 to 1700, is defined by its refined yet sparse decoration executed with bright overglaze enamels in a palette of orange-red, green, blue and yellow.

Made in Japan

Some of the most exquisite porcelain is on view in this display such as Boy on a Go Board, dating c.1670-80. This figurine was specifically created with a distinctive creamy-white porcelain body called nigoshide, the formula for which was developed by the Kakiemon kiln. The contrast in colours and tones emphasises the brightly coloured enamels. A 3D model of this figurine can be viewed at online.

Kakiemon grew in international popularity in the late 17th century, and became particularly valued in England during the reign of Queen Mary II (1686-1694) who was passionate about the Kakiemon style. Classic Kakiemon style in Japan ceased production in the 18th century, but its popularity continued and the style was reproduced in China and in Europe, examples of which can be seen in this display.

There was a revival in the mid-20th century of traditional Kakiemon style due to the ingenuity of Kakiemon XII and Kakiemon XIII. They rediscovered the forgotten techniques and created a renaissance for the nigoshide creamy white porcelain used earlier with Boy sitting on go board.

Kakiemon XIII was awarded the high honour from the Japanese government as a ‘Living National Treasure’ for his revitalisation of classic Kakiemon style. His son, Kakiemon XIV continued the legacy of his father while also developing the Kakiemon brand through inspired naturalistic designs. Kakiemon XV is now poised to take the revitalised Kakiemon legacy forward.

A series of lectures and events will accompany the exhibition.

Image (top): Boy on a Go Board, Kakiemon Kiln, later 17th century.

Image (bottom): Sakaida Kakiemon XV, Large bowl with Azaleas, created in 1996.

Admission: Free.

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

Website: www.britishmuseum.org/

Also at the British Museum: Sunken cities: Egypt’s lost worlds (until November 27, 2016).

Mumford & Sons: Johannesburg - a South African Experience

Exhibition preview

MUMFORD & Sons and Gentlemen of the Road have announced the launch of a free pop-up exhibition, Johannesburg – a South African Experience, at the Lights of Soho in the heart of London this Summer.

Launching on June 29, 2016, the pop-up celebrates the culture and beauty of South Africa, a country the band toured and fell in love with for the first time earlier this year, and puts a spotlight on some of South Africa’s best artists and photographers.

Mumford & Sons said: “We had such an amazing time touring and recording in South Africa that we wanted to share our experiences and shine a light on the vibrant, creative culture we have grown to love out there. The appetite for live music is huge and the youth culture is exploding with energy and rejuvenation, so we want to show that off.”

The pop-up will follow the release of the band’s Johannesburg mini-album with Baaba Maal, The Very Best, and Cape Town’s favourites, Beatenberg on June 17. It was recorded at the South African Broadcasting Centre in Johannesburg over 48 hours back in February 2016, and book-ended by six wild, sold-out shows of the country in rarely used sites. It was an incredible introduction to the country, and one the band are passionate about sharing with their fans.

The exhibition will display behind-the-scenes photography by the band and never before seen documentary footage from their tour.

A full daily programme of events for the exhibition will be issued in June, featuring intimate live performances from Beatenberg and The Very Best, a Q&A with the makers of the documentary, South African wine tasting, DJ sets, and an evening of film featuring work by acclaimed South African directors and curated by Johannesburg independent cinema, The Bioscope.

The pop-up will be open to fans right up to Mumford & Sons’ headline BST London Hyde Park show on the July 8. For full Hyde Park line-up and ticket details click here.

Lights of Soho, 35 Brewer Street, London, W1F 0RX

Exhibitions at Rich Mix - June/July 2016

Exhibition preview

RICH Mix has a number of exhibitions lined up for the coming weeks.

The Reinvention of Writing – in the Mezzanine Gallery from June 10 to June 30. Free

Parisian artist Kofi Frimpong shows London the reinvention of writing.

80’s to Lately: A Queer Celebration – in the Lower Café Gallery from June 15 to June 28. Free.

Hussina Raja’s first solo exhibition invites audiences to celebrate queer culture during PRIDE.

Exhibi5tions – at Venue 1 on Saturday, June 18 at 7.30pm. Tickets: £10.

Mingbeast brings together brand new original performance by UK and International artists working in theatre, live and visual art, dance and music.

Something to Declare – in the Green Room Basement on Saturday, June 25 at 1pm. Free.

Come to the Something to Declare Arrivals Bureau to record your own or your family’s arrival in London – story to be integrated into an online world map showing most of us do have Something to Declare.

Through the Lens – in the Lower Café Gallery from July 2 to July 13. Free.

Through the Lens captures the year-long journey of 21 schools in East London and the East Midlands that teamed up to ask the question, ‘What are British Values?’.

Dust and Shadows: Londonessence by Ed Gray – in the Mezzanine Gallery from July 5 to July 28. Free.

London figurative painter Ed Gray showcases a collection of paintings and prints inspired by Adoration paintings from the renaissance, depicting gritty contemporary snatches of London life that pulsate with allegory and mythicism.

The Night Time Economy – in the Lower Café Gallery from July 16 to July 28. Free.

A collaborative exhibition of photography and poetry exploring the often violent environment of Newport’s nightclubs and pubs.

For more information call 020 7613 7498 or visit www.richmix.org.uk/.

Summer Science Exhibition - The Royal Society

Exhibition preview

THE Summer Science Exhibition at The Royal Society is an annual display of the most cutting-edge science and technology in the UK.

This free, week-long festival features 22 exhibits and a series of inspiring talks and fun activities for all ages.

Meet the scientists, discover the exciting research and technology they work on and have fun with great hands-on activities.

The exhibition is suitable for all ages, entry is free and no advance registration is required. However, school groups need to register in advance – visit the schools and colleges page for more information.

The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG

Nicole Farhi: The Human Hand - Bowman Sculpture

Nicole Farhi: The Human Hand

Exhibition preview

NICOLE Farhi will present her second solo exhibition, The Human Hand, at London’s Bowman Sculpture from September 13 to September 30, 2016.

For the exhibition, the artist will present an introspective series of sculpted hands. Inspired by Auguste Rodin’s intense study of the hand’s expressive qualities, Farhi follows in the artistic tradition of sculpting those whose hands reveal an animated energy, yet also those who have a close personal relationship with the artist.

Farhi was tutored and mentored by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, one of the most important and innovative British sculptors of the twentieth century. She has sculpted throughout her career as a fashion designer and full-time for the past five years.

Farhi aims to represent as wide a selection of hands as possible, from sculpting a baby’s hands to those of her own 100 year-old mother.

She is especially drawn to those who use their hands professionally: a baker; a glazier; a beader; the ceramicist Hitomi Hosono; the dancers Edward Watson, Lauren Cuthbertson and Marianela Nuñez; the pianists Stephen Kovacevich, Rosey Chan and Riyad Nicholas; the painter Anthony Whishaw; her husband and playwright David Hare; the philanthropist Jacob Rothschild; the flautist Patrick Williams; and the violinist Anthony Marwood.

She also memorably sculpts the extraordinary hands of her mentor Eduardo Paolozzi.

Nicole Farhi comments on her thought process behind her new body of work:

“I was drawn to the idea of sculpting the hand because it represented such a huge challenge. From the beginning of mankind, the first marks left on the walls of caves were by the human hand. Because the hand is the instrument of creativity, it reveals different aspects of the subjects.

“There is something liberating in zooming in very close on a fragment of the body. Ignoring the whole and concentrating intimately on just one part of the body focuses not only the sculptor, but also the person who looks at the work.

“I feel that hands are somehow bigger than life. I am giving them the importance and power I feel they have.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by photographs of sitters by Walter Van Dyk.

Times: Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm. Saturday by appointment only. Closed Sundays and public bank holidays.

Bowman Sculpture, 6 Duke Street St James’s, London, SW1Y 6BN

Russian Art Week - June 2016

Event preview

RUSSIAN Art and Culture is presenting the eighth edition of Russian Art Week, which will return to London from June 3 to June 10, 2016.

Auctions of valuable Russian paintings, icons, Fabergé and works of art will be held at all the major London auction houses, alongside a series of Russian art exhibitions, various events and performances by celebrated Russian musicians.

Russian art sales this June will offer a variety of artworks, representing Russian art from icons to the present day. The only-known sculpture by Yuri Annenkov is one of the highlights of the Bonhams sale, while Christie’s will offer an impressive gem-set silver-mounted and enamel wood casket by Khlebnikov among other artworks.

In addition to their traditional Russian Art auction, MacDougall’s will present their new Russian photography sale, featuring works by Rodchenko and Grinberg. Sotheby’s will host three auctions, dedicated to Russian art, with works ranging from Ivan Shishkin and Léon Bakst to Komar and Melamid.

Museums and galleries around London will present Russian art in its diversity, showcasing contemporary artists alongside renowned masters.

One of the main highlights of the exhibition programme during the Russian Art Week is a unique show at the National Portrait Gallery – Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky. Focusing on the great writers, artists, actors, composers and patrons in Russia in the second half of the nineteenth century, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see portrait masterpieces from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

To coincide with the exhibition, the Gallery will hold Russia & the Arts International Conference, exploring music, literature and the visual arts in Imperial Russia.

Another exhibition, Romanovs to Revolution: Life in Imperial Russia 1721-1917, at Sphinx Fine Art explores life and society in Imperial Russia through works by Russian and Western artists. For the first time Hampton Court Palace has collaborated with the State Hermitage museum to showcase The Empress and the Gardener, bringing to the UK a remarkable collection of watercolour paintings and drawings once owned by the Empress Catherine the Great of Russia.

For visitors interested in the Soviet period, GRAD explores the development of the Soviet woman and her legacy today in Superwoman: ‘Work, Build and Don’t Whine’ show. Pushkin House has dedicated their exhibition space to Russian Contemporary Drawing. No Limits, showcasing works by young and established contemporary Russian artists.

In East London, Calvert 22 will open Power and Architecture, a season of exhibitions, talks and workshops on utopian public space and the quest for new national identities across the post-Soviet world.

Back in Mayfair, FRONT gallery will showcase From Russia With Love, a complete series of designer rugs by Jan Kath, inspired by images from Nicholas II period and traditional Siberian shawls, and Shapero Modern is to host Encyclopaedia, an exhibition of pen and ink drawings by the acclaimed Moscow-based artist Amanita.

The programme of theatre performances, concerts and ballets will satisfy even the most demanding spectator.

One of the main highlights of the season will be the return of the Bolshoi Ballet to the Royal Opera House, bringing to London some of their most acclaimed performances, including Swan Lake, Don Quixote and Flames of Paris. Philarmonia Orchestra’s series of concerts, Myths and Rituals at the Southbank Centre will explore the music of Stravinsky and his obsession with ritual and myth, while the Barbican Centre will welcome the State Choir of Russia to celebrate Russia’s National Day. And Opera Holland Park will present Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, one of the greatest works in the history of Russian opera.

Theatre highlights of the season will include Vassa Zheleznova by The Faction at Southwark Playhouse and Flying Lovers of Vitebsk at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

For a full listing of events and to download the guide, visit www.russianartweek.co.uk/.

Sergei Pavlenko and Tatiana Radko at Herrick Gallery

Exhibition preview

FROM May 26 to June 25, 2016, Herrick Gallery is presenting an exhibition of oil studies by two distinguished artists, originally from Russia, Sergei Pavlenko and Tatiana Radko.

Pavlenko has a prolific career as a portrait painter, his sitters including: the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Lord Bonham Carter, HM King Abdullah II of Jordan and several members of the British Royal Family.

Radko’s impressive oeuvre encompasses lively landscapes, still lifes and interiors.

In 2000, HM The Queen sat for a portrait by Pavlenko, commissioned by The Worshipful Company of Drapers. It is said to be the Queen’s favourite portrait since her Coronation, and was personally unveiled by Her Majesty. In 2013, a detail of the head was used on a Royal Mail stamp to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of The Queen’s coronation.

The artist was subsequently commissioned to paint a large-scale picture of The Queen meeting Prince William and Prince Harry at The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

The exhibition surveys a more intimate side to these artists’ work. In the case of Pavlenko, the brisk and expressive studies that he makes for his iconic portraits, and elegant nudes, demonstrate a skilful handling of paint and economy of expression where every mark is handled with assurance and sensitivity.

As Pavlenko explains: “I try to create a painting that would appeal even to people who do not know the sitter. Every brush stroke on all parts of the painting working to show the character, soul, taste and lifestyle of the subject.”

Philip Hook (Senior Director, Impressionist and Modern Paintings, Sothebys London) said of his work: “Sometimes it takes a foreigner’s eye to capture an essentially British ‘look’. One thinks of Van Dyck and Lely from Flanders, or more recently Sargent from America. Sergei Pavlenko belongs to that tradition.”

Sergei Pavlenko graduated from St Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts in 1988 and was nominated for the Gold Medal. He moved to the West in 1989 and became an established portrait painter in Europe and the USA. In 2004, he had two solo exhibitions, at the Russian Embassy in London and the British Embassy in Moscow. In Britain, Channel 4 showed a film about Sergei and his portraits. Pavlenko’s name has been added to the list of “highly distinguished emigrants”. He and his wife Tatiana are both now British citizens, and live and work in London.

Tatiana Radko also studied at St Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. She was taught by the master and academic, Yuri Neprintsev, famous for his emphasis on colour and impressionistic vision. She graduated in 1988 and taught for several years at the Children’s Fine Art School in St Petersburg before marrying Sergei Pavlenko, and moving to the UK in 1992. She has exhibited widely and her work is in private collections in Russia, USA, France, Spain, Austria and the UK.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm.

Herrick Gallery, 93 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7NQ

Website: www.herrickgallery.com/

British Museum - rare bowl returned to Afghanistan

Afghan Bowl

A VERY fine Safavid tinned copper bowl which had been looted from the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul was presented to the Embassy of Afghanistan in London for return to Kabul.

The bowl, dating to the early 17th century, was lost during the civil war in Afghanistan in the 1990s. It was bought in good faith in December 1994 from an Afghan antique dealer in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) by Patrick and Paola von Aulock who owned it for twenty years before deciding to sell it when they contacted Christie’s for a valuation.

The bowl was identified by Sara Plumbly, Specialist and Head of Christie’s Islamic Art department as being a piece from the museum in Kabul. The bowl had been published in 1974 by Souren Melikian-Chirvani and was included in his catalogue of Islamic Metalwork from the Iranian World (Melikian-Chrivani 1982).

Christie’s gave permission for the bowl to be examined by the British Museum. The Museum confirmed the provenance and negotiations were entered into with the current owners and with the National Museum of Afghanistan to return the bowl to Kabul.

This return is all the more significant as much of the Islamic metalware collection of the National Museum of Afghanistan was lost during a devastating fire following a rocket strike on the museum in November 1995. The National Museum of Afghanistan has confirmed the bowl will be put back on public display as soon as possible on its return.

The bowl dates to the Safavid period (1501–1722), and includes a cartouche which mentions the owner’s name and date: ‘Owned by Mohammad Abū Tāleb 1013 [30 May 1604–18 May 1605]’. Three medallions depict scenes from the famous Persian tragic romance Khosrow and Shirin by the Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi (1141–1209) and the piece is sufficiently similar to another in the Musée de l’Homme in Paris that the two may come from the same workshop which was probably in the city of Herat.

It appears the bowl had been very carefully mutilated in the past by engraving deep lines through each of the faces: this may have been at a moment when the Safavid dynasty was dethroned by the Afghan invasion in 1722 (Melikian-Chirvani 1982: 277). This defacement was not restricted to the human figures but also extended to the animals and was executed so carefully that it amounted to a subtle transformation of design rather than simple iconoclasm.

This bowl was scientifically analysed at the British Museum with the permission of the owners and the National Museum of Afghanistan.

It shows that the bowl was manufactured by casting, with some additional working and use of a lathe for finishing. Analysis using surface X-ray fluorescence spectrometry confirmed that the bowl is largely of copper and the white metal plating is tinning. The decoration was engraved and was finely executed. A black material has been applied to the engraved design, which although it could not be firmly identified, is likely to be related to the organic black inlays seen on many brass bowls.

Sara Plumbly, Head of the Islamic Department at Christie’s in London, said: “Christie’s are delighted to have played a role in facilitating the return of this work to the Kabul museum and we would like to extend our thanks to the previous owners Mr. and Mrs von Aulock for their collaboration. This is a good example of where research, cooperation and a wish to facilitate the right solution has succeeded. Christie’s maintains its on-going commitment in this area and takes matters of cultural property very seriously”.

St John Simpson, Assistant Keeper in the Department of the Middle East, British Museum said: “This is another important step in the rebuilding of the National Museum of Afghanistan and we are delighted to have played a small part in the return of this important object to Kabul”.

His Excellency Ahmad Zia Siamak, Chargé d’ Affaires at the Embassy of Afghanistan said: “On behalf of the people of Afghanistan, the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in London would like to express its gratitude to the British Museum, Christie’s and the owners for their role in returning a historic artefact to the National Museum of Afghanistan.

“During the civil war, the National Museum of Afghanistan was looted and destroyed, and during the last few years, the government of Afghanistan has attempted to revive the museum. The return of this piece, which used to be displayed in a showcase of the National Museum of Afghanistan for many years, has a high historic and intellectual value for the people of Afghanistan. Its forthcoming display in the National Museum will not only please our people, but is a valuable step in the restoration of the museum.

“We thank the British Museum once again for facilitating the return of this important object and for its invaluable assistance to the National Museum of Afghanistan”.

Fahim Rahimi, Director of the National Museum of Afghanistan said: “I hope returning this bowl will be a start for more artefacts to be recovered, not only those looted from museums as well those looted from archaeological sites in Afghanistan. I ask those collectors who keep artefacts from Afghanistan to help us return it back and encourage the auction houses to always check their collections for looted objects from Afghanistan”.

The British Museum has a long-standing, close-collaboration with the National Museum of Afghanistan. It has acted as an independent centre of expertise on the probable origin of trafficked antiquities and has advised government authorities and other parties in connection with stolen antiquities. The British Museum was involved in the cataloguing and subsequent return to Afghanistan of large quantities of objects seized by the UK Border Force in 2009 and again in 2012.

During the preparations for the exhibition Afghanistan: crossroads of the ancient world the British Museum helped to identify a group of 20 ‘Begram ivories’. These are ivory and bone overlays originally set into items of wooden furniture found at the ancient site of Begram and again dispersed following looting of the National Museum in Kabul during the 1990s.

With the generous support of a private donor, these objects were physically transferred to the British Museum in late 2010 where they underwent an intensive programme of conservation and scientific analysis. They were displayed in the subsequent exhibition in 2011 (with the approval of the Afghan authorities) and then returned to the National Museum of Afghanistan in July 2012.

Also returned in 2012 was the important figure of a ‘Fire Buddha’ which was found at Sarai Khuja in 1965. This magnificent Gandharan sculpture had been stolen from the National Museum of Afghanistan in 1996 and entered a private collection. Thanks again to the generosity of a private individual, this was acquired on behalf of Kabul and displayed for a short period in the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum prior to its return.

The British Museum continues to liaise with the UK Border Force, the Art and Antiques Unit at Scotland Yard and our colleagues in Afghanistan to try to combat the illicit trade in antiquities from the region.

May/June 2016 events at Foyles

FOYLES has a number of events lined up for the coming weeks.

Ray’s Jazz and Tomorrow’s Warriors Present: The Jazz Salon at Foyles – Friday, May 27 from 6-8pm. Tickets: £5.

A series of intimate performances and meditations on the cultural reverberations of jazz with regular host, journalist and broadcaster Kevin LeGendre, Gary Crosby and the Jazz Salon House Band.

This month’s theme is the link between Jazz and visual art. Specialist vinyl record label Gearbox Box records and host Kevin LeGendre take a look at the art that has been inspired by jazz and record sleeve art that has been used to sell jazz.

Laura Bates and Hibo Wadere in conversation – Tuesday, May 31 from 7-8pm. Tickets: £8, £5 for students or unemployed.

Join Foyles for a conversation between two key figures in British feminism, Laura Bates and Hibo Wardere.

Cookbook Confidential: Spice It Up with Cyrus Todiwala and Chetna Makan – Wednesday, June 1 from 7-8.30pm. Tickets: £5.

Spice experts Cyrus Todiwala and Chetna Makan talk about simple ways to use spices to jazz up your cooking. They’ll discuss some of their favourite spices, how to use them in cooking and ways to combine spices for maximum effect.

Nina Stibbe in conversation with Nick Hornby – Thursday, June 2 from 7-8.30pm. Tickets: £8.

Nina Stibbe, the author of the bestselling Love, talks about her new novel, Paradise Lodge, with Nick Hornby, writer of modern classics such as High Fidelity, About a Boy, and Funny Girl.

The Medusa Chronicles: Stephen Baxter and Alastair Reynolds in conversation – Saturday, June 4 from 3-4.30pm. Tickets: £8.

Join Foyles for a conversation with two leading figures in science fiction, Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter, as they discuss their new collaboration The Medusa Chronicles.

Joe Hill: The Fireman – Monday, June 6 from 7-8.30pm. Tickets: £24 including a copy of The Fireman, or £8 ticket only.

Join Foyles for a conversation with bestselling thriller writer Joe Hill as he talks about his bold new novel The Fireman, sponsored by Picturehouse Central.

New Writer’s Evening: Jem Lester, Barney Norris and Kit de Waal – Tuesday, June 7 from 7-8.30pm. Free.

Ever on the hunt for new literary voices, Foyles brings together a panel of authors and an audience of readers to explore the road to publication and what lies beyond. Join Foyles for an evening of readings and conversation from three new writers: Jem Lester, Barney Norris, and Kit de Waal.

New Zealand Night with Witi Ihimaera, Fiona Kidman, and Jason Bae – Tuesday, June 14 from 6.30-8.30pm. Tickets: £8, including wine.

Join Foyles for a special evening of words and music presented by the Australia & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts to celebrate two visiting giants of the Kiwi writing scene and a talented young musician.

Foyles Book Club: The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk – Monday, June 20 from 7-8.30pm. Free.

Once a month, Foyles customers and staff get together to discuss a book chosen by its members. It’s an opportunity to share different interpretations, to adamantly disagree and to meet people united by reading.

Literary Death Match – Thursday, June 23 from 7-8pm. Tickets: £12.

Literary Death Match, now in 60 cities worldwide, was called “the most entertaining reading series ever” by the LA Times. The live show brings together four authors to read their most electric writing for seven minutes or less before a panel of three all-star judges.

Ray’s Jazz and Tomorrow’s Warriors Present: The Jazz Salon at Foyles – Friday, June 24 from 6-8pm. Tickets: £5.

A series of intimate performances and meditations on the cultural reverberations of jazz with our regular host, journalist and broadcaster Kevin LeGendre, Gary Crosby and the Jazz Salon House Band.

This month’s theme is the link between Jazz and Dance. Host Kevin LeGendre and guests will explore the changing nature of dance and movement in jazz with a focus on UK Jazz Dance and its influence on Acid Jazz and Hip Hop.

For more information visit www.foyles.co.uk/events.

Venue: 107 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DT