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Goya: The Portraits - National Gallery

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Goya: The Portraits will be on display at the National Gallery (Sainsbury Wing) from October 7, 2015 to January 10, 2016.

Portraits make up a third of Goya’s output – and more than 150 still survive today – but there has never been an exhibition focusing solely on Goya’s work as a portraitist, until this autumn when almost half this number will come together at the National Gallery.

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828) is one of Spain’s most celebrated artists. He was an incisive social commentator, considered (even during his own lifetime) as a supremely gifted painter who took the genre of portraiture to new heights. Goya saw beyond the appearances of those who sat before him, subtly revealing their character and psychology within his portraits.

Born before Mozart and Casanova, and surviving Napoleon, Goya’s life spanned more than 80 years during which he witnessed a series of dramatic events that changed the course of European history.

Goya: The Portraits will trace the artist’s career, from his early beginnings at the court in Madrid to his appointment as First Court Painter to Charles IV, and as favourite portraitist of the Spanish aristocracy. It will explore the difficult period under Joseph Bonaparte’s rule and the accession to the throne of Ferdinand VII, before concluding with his final years of self-imposed exile in France.

Exhibition curator Dr Xavier Bray said: “The aim of this exhibition is to reappraise Goya’s status as one of the greatest portrait painters in art history. His innovative and unconventional approach took the art of portraiture to new heights through his ability to reveal the inner life of his sitters, even in his grandest and most memorable formal portraits.’’

This landmark exhibition will bring to Trafalgar Square more than 60 of Goya’s most outstanding portraits from both public and private collections around the world. These include works that are rarely lent, and some which have never been exhibited publicly before, having remained in possession of the descendants of the sitters.

The exhibition will show the variety of media Goya used for his portraits; from life-size paintings on canvas, to the miniatures on copper and his fine black and red chalk drawings. Organised chronologically and thematically, visitors will for the first time be able to engage with Goya’s technical, stylistic, and psychological development as a portraitist.

From São Paulo to New York, and Mexico to Stockholm, private and institutional lenders have been outstandingly generous, including 10 exceptional loans from the Museo del Prado, Madrid.

One of the stars of the show will undoubtedly be the iconic Duchess of Alba (The Hispanic Society of America Museum & Library), which has only once left the United States and has never travelled to Britain. Painted in 1797, this portrait of Goya’s close friend and patron shows the Duchess dressed as a ‘maja’, in a black costume and ‘mantilla’ pointing imperiously at the ground where the words ‘Solo Goya’ (‘Only Goya’) are inscribed.

Other patrons who assisted Goya on his upward trajectory to become First Court Painter, as Velázquez had done more than 150 years before him, are well represented: these include The Count of Floridablanca (Banco de España, Madrid) and The Duke and Duchess of Osuna and their Children (Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid) – both key and influential patrons.

The immense group portrait of The Family of the Infante Don Luis de Borbón (Magnani-Rocca Foundation, Parma), will be reunited with some of the other portraits Goya painted of the Infante’s young family who were living in exile from the Spanish court.

Other highlights will include the charismatic portrait of Don Valentin Bellvís de Moncada y Pizarro (Fondo Cultural Villar Mir, Madrid) which is unpublished and has never been seen before in public, and the rarely exhibited Countess-Duchess Benavente (Private Collection, Spain).

The recently conserved 1798 portrait of Government official Francisco de Saavedra (Courtauld Gallery, London) will be exhibited for the first time in more than 50 years alongside its pendant painted in the same year, showing his friend and colleague Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos (Museo del Prado, Madrid).

The Countess of Altamira and her daughter, María Agustina, which has never been lent internationally from the Lehman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, will come to Europe for the very first time to be reunited with her husband The Count of Altamira (Banco de España, Madrid) and their son Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), wearing a fashionably expensive red costume and playing with a pet magpie (which holds the painter’s calling card in its beak).

It was shortly after completing his imposing portrait of the Countess, wearing a shimmering embroidered silk gown and shown with an introspective expression, that Goya was appointed court painter to Charles IV, King of Spain.

It was in his royal portraits in particular that Goya managed to combine his insightful observation and technical refinement to create unique, memorable portraits; in these he condensed the various aspects of his sitter’s personality into a subtle look or gesture, which often did not flatter his sitters.

Charles III in Hunting Dress (Duquesa del Arco) stands in a pose directly inspired by Velázquez’s hunting portraits of the Spanish royal family in the previous century, but the candid portrayal of a weather-beaten face with its marked wrinkles and a somewhat ironic gesture is unique to Goya, clearly revealing to us the personality of the King – an enlightened man, a lover of nature and his people, who wished to be approached as ‘Charles before King’.

Similarly, in the portrait of Ferdinand VII (Museo del Prado, Madrid) we can imagine Goya’s mistrust of the pompous and selfish monarch who abolished the constitution and reintroduced the Spanish Inquisition: dressed in all his finery and carrying a sceptre, his vacuous expression captures in a moment exactly what Goya must have thought of him.

In contrast to the formality of his royal portraits, the exhibition also features more personal works by Goya, including a number of self-portraits in different media, and depictions of his friends and family. Forty seven years lie between the first Self Portrait (about 1773, Museo Goya, Colección Ibercaja, Zaragoza) in the show, completed when Goya was in his late 20s, and the last, the poignant Self Portrait with Doctor Arrieta (1820, The Minneapolis Institute of Art) painted after an illness from which he almost died when he was 74 years old.

There will also be a chance to ‘meet’ the people who were closest to Goya; his wife Josefa Bayeu (Abelló Collection, Madrid), his son Javier Goya (Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Private Collection; Museo de Bellas Artes, Zaragoza) and his best friend and life-long correspondent Martin Zapater (Bilboko Art Eder Museoa/Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao).

The exhibition also includes the last work Goya ever painted, of his only, beloved grandson Mariano Goya (Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas) – painted just months before Goya’s death on April 16, 1828, this portrait is a testament to the genius, skill, and unfaltering creativity of an artist who persevered with his craft to his very last days.

National Gallery Director, Sir Nicholas Penny said: “This exhibition will refresh our awareness both of Goya’s genius and of the victims and victors in the turbulent world in which he lived.”

And Garrett Curran, CEO of Credit Suisse in the United Kingdom said: “We are delighted to support the National Gallery’s Goya: The Portraits, which will be the first exhibition to focus solely on Goya’s work as a portraitist and will give visitors a rare opportunity to witness the significant changes that took place in European political and social history as well as its key protagonists during Goya’s long life.”

Tickets: Adult: £18; Senior (60+): £16; Jobseeker/Student/National Art Pass (with proof of status): £9; Members: Free. Visitors are advised to book early to avoid disappointment.

Times: Daily from 10am to 6pm; Fridays 10am to 9pm.

Goya: The Portraits will also screen in cinemas as part of the third season of Exhibition On Screen. Filmed exclusively for the big screen in high definition, the film will be released in the UK from December 1, 2015 and then globally in around 40 countries at a later date. For more information visit

A book, Goya: The Portraits (Paperback) (pictured) will be available in October.

Egypt: faith after the pharaohs - British Museum

Exhibition preview

EGYPT: faith after the pharaohs, a major exhibition looking at an important transition in Egypt’s history never explored before in its entirety, will be on display at the British Museum (Room 35) from October 29, 2015 to February 7, 2016.

Egypt: faith after the pharaohs explores 1,200 years of history, providing unparalleled insight into the lives of different religious communities.

This exhibition of around 200 objects will show how Christian, Islamic and Jewish communities reinterpreted the pharaonic past of Egypt and interacted with one another. The transitions seen in this period have shaped the modern world we know today.

The exhibition opens with three very significant examples of the Hebrew Bible, the Christian New Testament and the Islamic Qur’an, paired with three everyday stamps associated with each religion. These more humble objects sit alongside the three grand codices and together emphasise the relationship between the institutional side of religion and its everyday practice, two key themes of the exhibition.

As the founding scriptures of the three faiths, the books represent both the continuity of the Abrahamic tradition and the distinctiveness of each. Among these three luxury productions is the New Testament part of the 4th century AD Codex Sinaiticus now held in the British Library, the world’s oldest surviving Bible and the earliest complete copy of the New Testament. This rare loan is included in the exhibition to emphasise the readers and users of scripture in Egypt.

The first main section of the exhibition begins in 30 BC after the death of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, when Egypt became part of the Roman Empire, and continues until AD 1171 when the rule of the Islamic Fatimid dynasty came to an end. During this time, Egypt became first a majority Christian, then a majority Muslim population, with Jewish communities periodically thriving.

The wealth of material – surviving uniquely in Egypt – illustrates the country’s role in the wider region, the relationships between faith communities and the legacy of ancient Egypt. Due to its arid climate, Egypt preserves an abundance of organic material that survives nowhere else. An extraordinary pair of complete 6-7th century door curtains measuring 2.74m high depict motifs such as erotes (cupids) and winged Victories from the Classical period.

The Victories hold a jewelled cross flanked by Christian nomina sacra, showing the interaction between classical and Christian motifs. The expansion of the Roman Empire saw the development of Judaism and the emergence of Christianity. In Egypt, the iconography of these religions fused. Sculpture shows the adoption of Roman symbols of power to articulate authority – such as a statues of the falcon-headed ancient Egyptian god Horus wearing Roman armour.

Magical texts on papyrus and so-called magical gems show the layering of aspects of deities especially from the Egyptian, Greek and Roman pantheons. In this period the God of the Jews and Christians is one among many.

The exhibition demonstrates the physical and conceptual transformation of the landscape, as the ancient monuments of Egypt were sometimes destroyed, adapted and reused or reimagined.

By c. AD 400 the Great Pyramids of Giza were interpreted as the granaries of Joseph in accordance with the account in the Bible. Parts of ancient temple complexes were sometimes transformed into churches. At Alexandria, the Caesareum started by Cleopatra VII and completed by Augustus became the location of the Great Church of Alexandria in the centre of the ancient city.

After the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 639-642, the sacred landscape was again transformed. For example, al-‘Attrin Mosque in Alexandria was built reusing hundreds of Roman columns and capitals. Medieval Muslims were fascinated by the standing monuments of ancient Egypt, recording at once the tradition of the Great Pyramids as Joseph’s granaries and as the tombs of ancient kings. Such records show that the study of ancient Egypt did not originate with modern Western scholars.

The rubbish heaps of ancient and medieval towns in Egypt have preserved the earliest fragments of scripture, legal documents, letters, school exercises and other texts showing how religion was lived. Their survival is treasure from trash providing unparalleled insight into everyday society.

There are copies of official letters, including one from the emperor Claudius (r. AD 41-54) concerning the cult of the divine emperor and the status of Jews in Alexandria, and another from a mosque to the half-sister of the Fatimid caliph, al-Hakim (r. AD 985-1021), demonstrating relationships between the state and religion.

The exhibition finishes with the astonishing survival of over 200,000 texts from Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, where they were kept in a genizah (a sacred storeroom) for ritual disposal. By an accident of history they were not destroyed.

Mainly dating to the 11-13th centuries AD and written in Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic, Aramaic and Arabic, they show a thriving Jewish community with international links extending from Spain to India. Together the collection is not only the best evidence for the daily lives of Jews in Medieval Cairo, but for the wider Medieval Mediterranean society including Muslims and Christians.

The exhibition is a collaboration between the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the British Museum, and includes many other exciting loans and objects from almost every department at the British Museum. This exhibition of around 200 objects will tell the story of the transition from a traditional society largely worshipping many gods to a society devoted to One God. This transition has shaped the modern world, and the journey Egypt took in this period continues to influence the country and wider region today.

An accompanying publication from British Museum Press is available: Egypt: faith after the pharaohs, edited by Cäcilia Fluck, Gisela Helmecke and Elisabeth R O’Connell with contributions from forty-five international experts.

This ground-breaking publication explores how Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities were established in succession and peacefully co-existed for long periods, each faith responding to pre-existing traditions by either rejecting earlier artistic ideas or by adapting and assimilating them. Available October 2015, £25 (paperback).

A full public programme accompanies the exhibition. To book, call +44 (0)20 7323 8181.

Egypt: the frontier of meaning – in the BP Lecture Theatre on Friday, November 6 at 6.30pm. Tickets: £5, Members/concessions £3.

Karen Armstrong, British Museum Trustee and world-renowned commentator on religious affairs, explores interreligious relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims in the first millennium AD. Positioning Egypt as a leader and pioneer in the region up to the present, she conveys how its population creatively challenged the frontiers that traditionally separated humanity from the divine. She also investigates how Egypt became a frontier zone between and within these faiths in a way that presaged some of our current problems.


The soul of Egypt – in the Great Court on Friday, December 11 from 6pm to 8.30pm. Free, just drop in.

A multisensory evening of performances, workshops and activities celebrating the enduring soul of Egypt, past and present. Includes traditional folk music, as well as a special demonstration of the 5,000-year-old Egyptian stick martial art known as tahtib. The full programme will be available online in November.

Egyptian street food now – in the BP Lecture Theatre on Friday, December 11 at 6.30pm. Tickets: £5, Members/concessions £3.

Internationally renowned chef and food writer Anissa Helou discusses the significance of bread in Egyptian cuisine and its importance in shaping today’s vibrant street food scene.

Study day: introducing religions – in the Stevenson Lecture Theatre on Saturday, January 30, 2016, from 10.30am to 5pm. Tickets: £23.

This study day in partnership with the Open University explores the beliefs and rituals of some of the great religions of the world. The emphasis is on Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, with comment on Judaism, as shown through the British Museum’s collection and the exhibition Egypt: faith after the pharaohs. The day features lectures and gallery talks and is open to OU students and the public.

Image: The Meroë Head of Augustus, Bronze head from an over-life-sized statue of Augustus, likely made in Africa, Egypt, C.27BC – 25BC. Excavated, Africa, Sudan, 1910. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

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

Tel: 020 7323 8181


Ron Henocq: Works on Paper 1970 – 2015 - CGP London Cafe Gallery

Work by Ron Henocq

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Ron Henocq: Works on Paper 1970 – 2015 will be on display at CGP London Cafe Gallery from September 9 to October 4, 2015.

This exhibition presents a rare survey of work by British artist Ron Henocq, with specific focus on his works on paper. The vast body of work, feverishly developed since 1970, includes intimately-scaled drawings; industrious illustration; lino print studies and recent line drawings depicting international shores.

Henocq’s works span his private journeys both domestically and internationally; charting his daily life as an artist in London whilst documenting his passion for travel and adventure, a visual diary set amongst a diverse range of scenic backdrops including Tobago, Cork, Berlin, Mexico, New York, Morocco, Crete and London.

Over the last 30 years, Ron Henocq has been widely known as the Founding Director of CGP London (Cafe Gallery and Dilston Grove) and The Bermondsey Artists’ Group (1983 to present). Privately however, Henocq, since graduating from The Slade School of Fine Art in 1973, has continued to practice across mediums such as printmaking, photography, film, collage and drawing.

Ron Henocq and other founding members of The Bermondsey Artists’ Group lived in some of the very first ACME artist houses along the edge of Southwark Park. Many of these members remain neighbours including Henocq, who recently converted his house into a dedicated studio from which he continues to work.

This studio was once a communal kitchen at the heart of two terraced houses that Henocq and his housemates made mutually accessible via a large hole cut through the adjoining wall.

Webster Road and the surrounding streets became a hive for contemporary artists with a rostrum of residents since the 1970s including Henocq, Alexis Hunter, Roger Shaw, Richard Wilson, Jonathan Harvey, Frances Coleman, Silvia Ziranek, Rita Harris and Alan Grimwood. The daily life of this influential local artist community features heavily in Henocq’s earlier works and continues to inspire new generations of artists ‘live-working’ across the borough and beyond.

Artist and collaborator Robin Klassnik (Founding Director, Matt’s Gallery, London) and Ron Henocq have been friends since meeting through mutual friends at The Slade in the 1970s. Despite their long friendship, Klassnik first saw Henocq’s work in 2012 at the Annual CGP London Open Exhibition, only discovering afterwards that the anonymous lino cut he had bought (made in Mexico in 1980) was Henocq’s.

Klassnik describes Henocq’s kitchen sink like method as ‘filmic’ and ‘diary-esque’ in its compulsive, private production, where ‘every lino cut tells a story’. Henocq is an observant narrator who develops stark snapshots, presenting intimate insight into the daily life of a London artist.

Hundreds of stories abound the walls of the studio, all jostling and competing for your eye whether they be the chimney lined view from an Islington window; the fluorescence of Times Square; bulbous Tobagan buttresses or the bleak reality of post-industrial decline and its effects across the shifting communities of South East London.

Klassnik particularly enjoys the prevalence of smaller, more portable works within Henocq’s collection, as their scale developed through the necessity of daily bus travel across the city. This practicality regarding size coupled with the array of subjects in Henocq’s work (featuring studies of 1970s Islington dole queues, pets, friends and loved ones) provides an acutely personal history previously unseen.

Henocq’s visionary tenure has seen Southwark Park develop into a cultural hub comprising two leading contemporary art spaces where risks are encouraged to be taken by artists at all stages of their careers.

His passionate philosophy, focusing on the power of inclusion across the arts via high-quality exhibitions and commissions alongside regular community engagement and innovative arts education provision for all (via long-term activity including the gallery allotment for pre-school children, Seniors programmes and local community partnerships), has and shall remain at the very heart of the organisation for years to come.

Henocq’s dedication across 30 years has produced over 140 exhibitions of contemporary art by artists from across the globe, championing the careers of now widely-established artists, writers and collaborators including Richard Wilson, Anne Bean, Marcus Coates, Shona Illingworth, Iain Sinclair, Mary Evans, Andrew Kötting, Mark Titchner and Ackroyd & Harvey amongst many others.

Early themed exhibitions curated by Henocq in the 80s and 90s were established as means to cement the gallery’s inclusive ethos of ‘everyone in together’.

Henocq grouped works by internationally renowned artists of the time, Patrick Caulfield, Eduardo Paolozzi and Derek Jarman (friend and studio holder at Butler’s Wharf alongside artists Anne Bean, Richard Wilson, Malcolm Jones, Paul Burwell and many others), with works by local overlooked and emerging artists, many of which have since developed into leading figures in contemporary art such as Grayson Perry, Tony Bevan and Richard Wilson.

This inclusive spirit lives on within the gallery programme through the Annual Open and regular group exhibitions presenting works by artists at all stages of their career.

Henocq’s prolific practice is perhaps all the more impressive given that he has spent the past 30 years as Director of CGP London (stepping down in March 2015 to pursue new projects). Klassnik refers to Ron Henocq’s abundant, habitual production of work for the past 45 years as symptomatic of an almost dual personality; an essential interdependence, the Artist-Director.

Robin Klassnik admits to being most jealous of Henocq’s ability to continuously create work throughout his 30-year position at the helm, “now that he has passed on this responsibility to a new Director, I am very curious to see what Ron will do next”.

Judith Carlton in conversation with Robin Klassnik, August 2015.

Admission: Free. (Fully accessible to people with disabilities).

Opening Times: Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm.

CGP London Cafe Gallery, by the Pool, 1 Park Approach, Southwark Park, London, SE16 2UA

Tel: +44 (0)20 7237 1230


The Temptations of Pierre Molinier - Richard Saltoun Gallery

Exhibition preview

RICHARD Saltoun Gallery is presenting a solo exhibition of the career and unorthodox life of French Surrealist artist Pierre Molinier (b. 1900, Agen – 1976, Bordeaux) until October 2, 2015.

Pierre Moliner – the man and the painter, the genius and the pervert, the ‘lesbienne’ and the guns lover – is not an easy figure to pin down. Existing on the margins of conventional society, he lived a life defined by excess and hedonism.

At the age of 50 he raised his ‘premature tomb’, reading on its cross: ‘Here lies Pierre Molinier – born on 13 April 1900 – died around 1950 – He was a man without morals – He didn’t give a f*** of glory and honour – Useless to pray for him.’

This exhibition presents a selection of more than 50 of his groundbreaking photographs, drawings and paintings, dating from 1952 onwards. It was at this time that Molinier moved towards a more ‘magical’ style of art, a style that sought to bring to the surface unconscious desires and erotic drives and subsequently captured the attention of André Bréton, the founder of Surrealism.

Breton became an avid supporter of his work and organised Molinier’s first exhibition L’Étoile Scellée, in 1956, which established his reputation.

Molinier’s fascination with the body and the erotic manifested itself through his carefully staged photographic portraits and self-portraits. Whilst his paintings and drawings depicted female characters in vertiginous, dark backgrounds, in his photographs he adopted a more joyful approach, reshaping his and his model’s appearances through doll’s masks, clothing, accessories, and S&M paraphernalia.

Cross-dressing was, for Molinier, the preferred method of reshaping his own appearance, and this exhibition will present a collection of these self-portraits.

Molinier’s creative process was both strict and experimental: he would mix colour pigments with his sperm; he only used as models the people whom he loved; he would fellate himself whilst releasing the camera’s shutter; he would have sex with the dolls he was using for his shootings; hand-sew and alter female undergarments to fit his body; alter photographs by manually manipulating the negatives using his body parts.

Photography was a way for Molinier to present the pleasure principle and allowed him to give visual form to infinite dream-like creatures that made their way forward from his inner psyche. The Chaman and its Creatures, an unfinished artist’s book from 1967, composed of over 70 photomontages, epitomises the artists’ role as a demiurge: between God and Satan.

The Shaman Pierre Molinier is an intermediary figure that opens the doors to inconceivable visions, by altering, dissembling and multiplying the body and its gender. The photomontage technique allowed for such experiments, and was perfected by Molinier, by cutting, composing and photographing the constructed montage.

Pierre Molinier’s life and art are inseparable and, in 1976, he committed suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot. A retrospective at Centre Georges Pompidou was held the following year.

Gallery Hours: Monday to Friday, 10am – 6pm or by appointment.

Richard Saltoun Gallery, 111 Great Titchfield Street, London, W1W 6RY

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7637 1225


Japan Matsuri 2015

Event preview

LONDON’S very own festival of Japanese culture, Japan Matsuri, returns on Saturday, September 19, 2015 in Trafalgar Square. A regular fixture now in the London calendar, this annual festival brings people together to enjoy Japanese food, music, dance, and activities for all the family. And it’s free.

This year, the festival is celebrating a special anniversary – 150 years of friendship between London and Japan and the story of the Satsuma Students from Kagoshima.

There will be special appearances from a number of acts from Kagoshima including the spectacular Izaku Taiko Odori (Izaku Drum Dancers), the brave samurai character Satsuma Kenshi Hayato and Guribu, Kagoshima’s yuru-kyara mascot.

With two stages, there is plenty to see all day with an exciting programme of martial arts, the thrilling sounds of taiko drumming, festival dance and this year’s special Japan Matsuri Song with Naomi Suzuki. Fancy joining in the ever popular Nodojiman karaoke contest!

Enjoy the atmosphere with Japanese festival food from the numerous stalls. Join in the fun in the family activities area with games and dressing in kimonos, or try your hand at Japanese cartoons on the manga wall.

Family Fun in the Activity Tent and The Manga Art Wall

Japan Matsuri 2015 offers a fantastic family fun day with traditional Japanese games and opportunities to learn the secrets of Origami and Japanese Calligraphy as well as your chance to be a manga artist and display your masterpiece in front of the National Gallery.

Throughout the day in the Activity Tent there will be an opportunity to play traditional Matsuri games and to learn a variety of Japanese crafts. Origami, calligraphy and manga art workshops will be held during the day.

London Japan Matsuri Theme Song and Music Video Production with Naomi Suzuki (MC & Singer for Japan Matsuri)

The song will receive its debut at this year’s festival in Trafalgar Square. Naomi Suzuki is UK-based and the “most well known Japanese singer in the UK”. She has been the host of Japan Matsuri since the first event seven years ago, and will sing the Japan Matsuri theme song this year.

She will be singing about our feelings for Japan for the whole world to hear, and making a Japanese festival song that everyone can sing and dance along to.

Spectators are invited to join in the fun and perform in the Japan Matsuri Song, “Ibuki”, music video!! As the song is performed on stage, a music video will be shot (12pm, 3pm, and 6pm).

Singing and dancing together will promote Japan from London, a musical hotspot, by joining the thoughts and feelings of Japanese people the world over. The aim is to make people around the world happy through this song, which symbolizes Japanese culture and the power of music.

150 years ago, 19 young men secretly left Satsuma for the UK to embark on a period of study in London. They were intrepid pioneers and paved the way for friendly relations to exist between our two countries.

In celebration of links between the UK and Satsuma, present-day Kagoshima, Japan Matsuri has the pleasure of welcoming some special performers from Kagoshima in Japan.

For more information visit

white: a project by Edmund de Waal - Royal Academy of Arts

Exhibition preview

FROM September 26, 2015 to January 3, 2016, the Royal Academy of Arts will present white, a project conceived and curated by the artist and writer, Edmund de Waal.

On display throughout the Library and Print Room of the Royal Academy, the exhibition will be a personal exploration of the colour white, an expression of de Waal’s ongoing fascination with its use, meanings and impact.

De Waal has chosen over 40 works from the RA Collection and private collections including sculpture, paintings, photographs and books, to interweave throughout the Library. It is the first time this space at the RA has been curated by an artist.

White is not a neutral colour: it forces other colours to reveal themselves. Its blankness suggests both beginnings and endings, while its purity evokes impossibility and obsession. With a connection to abstraction, minimalism and the spiritual, white has had special significance to artists across generations. It has fascinated de Waal since he made his first white pot as a child.

The exhibition endeavours to look at white as both object and experience. Works will include J.M.W. Turner’s porcelain palette, a white-washed sculpture by Cy Twombly, John Cage’s 4’33’’ manuscript, Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist Teapot, the death mask of Francis Chantrey RA, the life mask of Thomas Banks RA and the ivory netsuke of a hare with amber eyes (pictured).

One of the first pieces of white porcelain made in the West, a delicate Meissen cup of 1715, will also feature alongside porcelain installations by de Waal. This is a project in a working library, a quiet journey of discovery through the spaces.

Edmund de Waal is an artist whose work is exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. His bestselling memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes, won the RSL Ondaatje prize and the Costa Biography Award. In 2015, he was awarded the Windham-Campbell prize for non-fiction by Yale University.

Tickets: All tickets £5. Under 16s go free. Timed entry slots will operate. Booking is essential.

Library and Print Room Opening Hours: Open to public: Thursday to Sunday, 10am – 6pm (Fridays until 10pm). Closed: Monday to Wednesday. The RA Library is open to readers by appointment Mondays to Wednesdays only.

Publication: To coincide with the project at the Royal Academy, Edmund de Waal’s The White Road: a pilgrimage of sorts will be published by Chatto & Windus on September 24, 2015.

The White Road is acclaimed author and artist Edmund de Waal’s intimate journey in search of porcelain, a substance he has been obsessed with for most of his life. It is a journey across continents that begins in Jingdezhen, China, the birthplace of porcelain, and continues to Venice, Versailles, Dublin, Dresden, the Appalachian Mountains of South Carolina and the English south-west.

Evening Event: Edmund de Waal and Aurora Orchestra – in the Reynolds Room on Monday, November 9 (6.30pm – 7.30pm). Tickets: £25/£20 reductions (includes a drink).

Celebrate On White, a collaborative festival exploring the meaning of white, with the artist and writer Edmund de Waal joining forces with Aurora Orchestra to commission a new work by the Scottish composer Martin Suckling. This performance is a reflection of the conversations that can be had between the musical and the visual. Edmund de Waal’s new book, The White Road, will be on sale following the event.

To book, call 020 7300 5839 or visit

Image: The Hare with Amber Eyes, c.1880. Ivory netsuke with inlaid amber eyes and coloured buffalo horn, signed Masatoshi. 37 cm. L. Osaka. Almost certainly by the Masatoshi known as Sawaki Rizo. Collection of Edmund De Waal. Photographer: Michael Harvey.

Liam Ryan: The Hungry Eye - The Residence Gallery

Work by Liam Ryan

Exhibition preview

THE Residence Gallery is presenting The Hungry Eye, an exhibition of new oil paintings by artist Liam Ryan – from September 12 to October 18, 2015.

This, his fourth solo showing with the gallery, delves deeper into the artist’s divine imagination for fresh encounters with Deadly Depression from Mars, A Doubtful Torpedo, A Brazilian Alien A Long Time Ago and “scrollwork gone wild and overgrown.”

Ryan’s semi-automatic approach forms organic-like images that change, illuminate and mutate as the work progresses. His paintings in their thick multi-layers are testament to the time spent on them. The finished images, from life-size to microscopic, are the final stage of pooling together many details of interest and visual conundrums.

Liam’s works are windows to the world of painting rather than the actual world itself.

The work, created over the past two years, has been forged together from “scrapped paintings,” re-vamped during a period of time occupied by searching for something new and working through confusion in both painting and the artist’s life. The paintings aim at the purity of imagination and resist contextualization in the frames of conceptual or political art.

Liam Ryan was born in 1982 in Cork, Ireland, and is now primarily based in London. He graduated with an MA at Central St. Martins on a scholarship from Lismore Castle Arts (2009). Prior to graduation, he was awarded the prestigious Royal Dublin Society Taylor Prize for painting (2006). He has exhibited in Ireland, Berlin, China, Miami and London, and his work is in private collections in the UK and abroad.

Recent solo exhibitions include Protovision (2013) and Liam Ryan at international art fair, Pulse Miami curated by Ingrid Z for The Residence Gallery (2012). Liam’s work has also been recently shown in group and solo exhibitions in London curated by James Birch. The Hungry Eye has been specially selected to feature in The Residence Gallery’s 10th year anniversary programme.

Times: Thursday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm; Sunday, 12 to 5pm.

The Residence Gallery, 229 Victoria Park Road, London, E9 7HD

Tel: +44 (0)20 8985 0321


Celts: art and identity - British Museum

The Riders of the Sidhe, Tempera on canvas, John Duncan, 1911. © Dundee City Council (Dundee's Art Galleries and Museums).

Exhibition preview

THIS autumn, the British Museum, in partnership with National Museums Scotland, will stage the first British exhibition in 40 years on the Celts.

Celts: art and identity, on display at the British Museum from September 24, 2015 to January 31, 2016, will draw on the latest research from Britain, Ireland and Western Europe.

The exhibition will tell the story of the different peoples who have used or been given the name ‘Celts’ through the stunning art objects that they made, including intricately decorated jewellery, highly stylised objects of religious devotion, and the decorative arts of the late 19th century which were inspired by the past.

The exhibition will then open at the National Museum Scotland in March 2016. As part of the National Programme activity around the Celts exhibition, the British Museum and National Museums Scotland will showcase two rare Iron Age mirrors as a Spotlight tour to partner museums across the UK.

Today the word ‘Celtic’ is associated with the distinctive cultures, languages, music and traditions of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and the Isle of Man. Yet the name Celts was first recorded thousands of years earlier, around 500 BC, when the ancient Greeks used it to refer to peoples living across a broad swathe of Europe north of the Alps. The Greeks saw these outsiders as barbarians, far removed from the civilised world of the Mediterranean.

They left no written records of their own, but today archaeology is revealing new insights into how they lived. Modern research suggests that these were disparate groups rather than a single people, linked by their unique stylised art. This set them apart from the classical world, but their technological accomplishments stand on a par with the finest achievements of Greek and Roman artists.

A stunning example in the exhibition, from National Museums Scotland, is a hoard of gold torcs found at Blair Drummond in Stirling in 2009 by a metal detectorist on his very first outing. Excavations showed they had been buried inside a timber building, probably a shrine, in an isolated, wet location.

These four torcs, made between 300–100 BC, show widespread connections across Iron Age Europe. Two are made from spiralling gold ribbons, a style characteristic of Scotland and Ireland. Another is a style found in south-western France although analysis of the Blair Drummond gold suggests it was made locally based on French styles.

The final torc is a mixture of Iron Age details with embellishments on the terminals typical of Mediterranean workshops. It shows technological skill, a familiarity with exotic styles, and connections to a craftworker or workshop with the expertise to make such an object. The Blair Drummond find brings together the local and the highly exotic in one hoard.

Although Britain and Ireland were never explicitly referred to as Celtic by the Greeks and Romans, some 2,000 years ago these islands were part of a world of related art, values, languages and beliefs which stretched from the Atlantic to the Black Sea.

During the Roman period and after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, communities in Ireland and northern and western Britain developed distinct identities. The art and objects which they made expressed first their difference to the Romans, but later the new realities of living in a conquered land or on the edges of the Roman world.

These communities were among the first in Britain to become Christian, and missionaries from the north and west helped to convert the pagan Anglo-Saxons.

The exhibition will include iron hand-bells used to call the faithful to prayer, elaborately illustrated gospel books telling the story of Jesus’s life, and beautifully carved stone crosses that stood as beacons of belief in the landscape.

An exceptionally rare gilded bronze processional cross from Tully Lough, Ireland (AD 700-800), will be displayed in Britain for the first time. Used during ceremonies and as a mobile symbol of Christianity, the design of this hand-held cross may have inspired some stone crosses, but metal examples rarely survive. Its decorative plates show the wider artistic connections of its makers: three-legged swirls and crescent shapes owe much to earlier Celtic traditions; other geometric motifs echo Roman designs, while interlace designs were popular across Europe and probably inspired by Anglo-Saxon art.

The name Celts had fallen out of use after the Roman period, but it was rediscovered during the Renaissance. From the sixteenth century it became increasingly used as shorthand for the pre-Roman peoples of Western Europe. In the early 1700s, the languages of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and the Isle of Man were given the name ‘Celtic’, based on the name used by the Greeks and Romans 2000 years before.

In the context of a continually shifting political and religious landscape, ‘Celtic’ acquired a new significance as the peoples of these Atlantic regions sought to affirm their difference and independence from their French and English neighbours, drawing on long histories of distinctive local identities. First used by the ancient Greeks as a way to label outsiders, the word ‘Celtic’ was now proudly embraced to express a sense of shared ancestry and heritage.

Over the following centuries, the Celtic revival movement led to the creation of a re-imagined, romanticised Celtic past, expressed in art and literature such as the painting The Druids: Bringing in the Mistletoe by George Henry and Edward Atkinson Hornel, 1890. Druids emerge from a grove of oaks where they have been ceremonially gathering mistletoe in this romantic Victorian reimagining of a scene described by Roman author Pliny the Elder.

In an attempt to evoke an authentic Scottish past, the artists incorporated things that they thought of as Celtic: spiral motifs, the brilliant colours of illuminated manuscripts and a snake design inspired by Pictish stones. The painters claimed the faces were based on ancient ‘druid’ skulls. But the features of the central druid were really inspired by photographs of Native Americans.

Today, the word Celtic continues to have a powerful resonance. It calls to mind the ever shifting relationships between the different nations that make up Britain and Ireland, and their diaspora communities around the world. The idea of the Celts also confronts us with the long history of interaction between Britain and the rest of Europe.

Spotlight tour: Reflecting on the Celts

From Autumn 2015 to Autumn 2016, as part of the National Programme activity around the Celts exhibition, the British Museum and National Museums Scotland will profile two Iron Age mirrors, one discovered in England and one in Scotland, as a Spotlight tour to partner museums across the UK.

Metal mirrors with a polished reflective surface on one side and swirling designs on the reverse were first made around 100 BC. They are rare objects, and were only made in Britain. Two thousand years ago, these mirrors might have held a special kind of power in a world where reflections could otherwise only be glimpsed in water.

The two mirrors tell very different stories, revealing both similarities and local differences. The Spotlight Tour explores the relationships between communities across Britain 2,000 years ago, in a world that was being rocked by a new upheaval: the Roman conquest of southern Britain.

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

Tel: 020 7323 8181


Lucas Posada: Entanglement - Colombian Consulate

Work by Lucas Posada

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION of works by the distinguished Colombian artist Lucas Posada, entitled Entanglement, will be on display at the Consulate General of Colombia in London from September 9 to October 8, 2015.

Entanglement is an extension of Esse et non Esse, Lucas’ one man show displayed earlier this year at the Historical Museum of Cartagena, in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

It is the product of an intense research period, in which the artist was concerned with understanding the quest for spiritual paths that results in the construction of consciousness.

Speaking about the exhibition, Posada said: “Our universe is entangled at all levels in a fractal-like progression, from the very very small to the very very large. Mathematic and geometry languages allows us to visualize the symphony and communication that is present between different levels of reality.”

And Ana Maria Escallon said: “The show is composed by several pieces including: a toroidal installation composed by a pointed head to pointed head arrangement of stupas; a series of paintings of upward and downward faces offering a probabilistic approach to reality; a group of relevant selected paintings key to Lucas´s 30 years of artistic research which show the evolution of his work, and a few transparent resin faces sculptures which are part of the whole arrangement.”

In this exhibition, the 3D expression of the spiral allowed a journey of his poem – Temple to the Ego – to depict a picture of the etiology of consciousness. The spiral prolonged on the third dimension gives the symbol of the stupa, and is the regular path of perception of events in consciousness along the path of time. Each stupa is nothing else but a metaphor of the self, with all the diverse levels of being brought along.

As Posada explains: “Within me lies a deep epistemological and metaphysical obsession to understand who I am. Along the way in that search, I managed to taste realities and transcend the ordinary experience of a mask erected under a skin and a body, an identity and an ego.”

The exhibition is curated by Sandra Higgins, Independent Art Advisor and Curator.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9am – 1.30pm; 3pm – 5pm.

ICE Totally Gaming 2016


Preview by staff writer

THE ICE Totally Gaming 2016 is one of the most awaited big event of the year in Europe for the global gaming industry, where thousands of delegates representing more than 60 countries from around the world will be sharing booths at the Excel conference centre in London from February 2 to 4, 2016. Here you will definitely find everything that can tickle your gambling sense!

The ICE Totally Gaming 2015 was indeed a great success after attracting over 25 thousand attendees from 133 countries. Operators of various gaming sector such as Casino, betting, poker, bingo, social games, lottery, skill games, amusement, and street are expected to be present in this international gaming event.

The forthcoming gaming event, due in February 2016, is set to be one of most comprehensive and largest trade event in gaming. This will definitely be the one and only event where you will discover a whole plethora of products and contents which will be driving gaming businesses forward in 2016 and beyond.

This event is the annual launch pad for gaming innovation, where hundreds of gaming products will be launched to the delight of gaming providers and gamers. Gaming experts will also be available during these 3 days of ICE, where they will provide solutions for key challenges in the various gaming sectors.

Magical Vegas is one innovative mobile casino that strives to provide its players with an enhanced gaming experience.

They will definitely be taking advantage of the ICE Totally Gaming 2016, where they will be able to pretty much see what everyone else in the gaming industry is up to, and how they can enhance players experience further.

Many will be coming to this gaming exhibition to build their contacts, where they will be able to arrange meetings and build partnerships with minimum fuss and maximum convenience. ICE is most probably going to lead the European casino gaming industry, and some exhibitors are already hinting that the London event will most probably eclipse Las Vegas.

Mobile gaming is one of the fastest moving sector in gaming and there is no better place to stay connected with its developments and take advice from individuals and companies driving it forward than at ICE.

The most innovative marketers, the smartest brains, and cutting edge developers will be using ICE as the focus of their future activities, where they will be able to explore how they can exploit the vast commercial opportunities of the mobile gaming sector.

Some of the top exhibitors that you may find at the ICE Totally Gaming 2016 include Skilrock Tech, Bally Technologies, Sporting Index, Play’n Go, Amaya, NetEnt, IGT Interactive, iSoftBet, Bet Genius, Playtech, Microgaming, and many others.

Bingo, which is considered as the show-business of online gaming, will also be the focus for the development of new products and innovative methods will be revealed to maximise spend per head, boost admissions and retain customers in this sector.

The ICE 2016 London exhibition is a must attend and essential event for operators, suppliers, regulars, and all those who are associated with any type of gaming sector. This is one exceptional platform where you can reach everyone in the international gaming industry and discover the latest trends and innovations.