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Katja Novitskova: Invasion Curves - Whitechapel Gallery

Work by Katja Novitskova

Exhibition preview

INSTALLATION artist Katja Novitskova (b. 1984, Tallinn) is presenting an immersive environment at the Whitechapel Gallery, offering an unsettling vision of the future. Entitled Invasion Curves, it runs in Gallery 2 until September 2, 2018.

Novitskova’s work focuses on issues of technology, evolutionary processes and ecological realities. It explores the materiality and circulation of images – how they are used, recycled and re-contextualised. She is known for her dramatic, cut-out images of animals, presented alongside imagery drawn from financial and scientific sources.

Using elements from her acclaimed presentation at the Estonian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 2017, her installation at Whitechapel Gallery will feature sculptural cut-out figures alongside humanlike baby-rockers, mobiles and projections. The work imagines a landscape overcome by a ‘biotic crisis’, ecologically impacted by humans, where imaging and technology are used in a process of mapping the exploitation of life.

Her installation will show images captured by scanners, cameras and satellites or rendered by image processing algorithms, displayed as vivid sculptures, and projections.

Worms defy gravity and genetically modified life forms hatch from eggs among a tangled undergrowth of cables. At the heart of the exhibition, the modified baby-rockers gyrate eerily. Surrounding this unsettling landscape, floating resin clouds are inscribed with phrases speculating on the impact of global data on our consciousness and the environment.

Growth curves, derived from corporate culture, echoed in the forms of the worms and cables, offer a wry comment on humanity’s drive towards advancement in the name of profit.

Throughout, the human body is eerily absent from the installation, replaced by stand-ins who attempt to lull the viewer into a false sense of security in the hands of technology.

Admission: Free.

Opening Times: Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 6pm; Thursdays, 11am to 9pm.

Whitechapel Gallery, 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX

Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7522 7888


Kids Go Free at the London Museum of Water & Steam this Summer

AN amazing summer is about to happen this July and August with Free entry for children at the London Museum of Water & Steam.

Based at the historic Kew Bridge Waterworks, the London Museum of Water & Steam tells the story of London’s water supply, the site, its people and the water pumping engines that helped make London the city it is today.

What’s happening this summer:

. A summer family trail, designed to ensure kids have a fun and educational visit to the museum.

. Thomas Wicksteed, the mudeum’s narrow gauge railway engine, will be on hand on Wednesdays and weekends, to give visitors unlimited free train rides around the museum site.

. An August Bank holiday seaside special: have fun making a sandcastle on the childrens’ beach, see the vintage steam fire engine, enjoy candyfloss on the Waterworks Railway. There will also be themed crafts for children on the craft desk, as well as pumping engines in action!

. The Hindley Waterwheel, made in 1902 and restored by the Museum in 1993, will be running on July 21, 22, 28 and 29.

. The museum’s unique collection of steam water pumping engines will be in action at weekends. A full engine schedule is available on the website.

. The children’s Splash Zone will be in action throughout the holidays – an ideal way to cool down in the
summer heat!

. The café will be serving summery food and ice creams throughout the day.

The London Museum of Water and Steam is a great family day out, and this May celebrated its fourth year in a row of achieving Tripadvisor’s Certificate of Excellence.

Tickets: £12.50 for adults, £11 for Students/Concessions and £5.50 for Children 5-15. Under 5s are admitted for free. 10% discount is available for online advance booking from

Times: 10am to 4pm from Saturday, July 21 to Sunday, September 2, 2018.

London Museum of Water & Steam, Green Dragon Lane, Brentford, London, TW8 0EN (the closest underground station is Gunnersbury on the District Line and Kew Bridge on the Overground East London Line).

Free Family Events at Westminster Abbey this Summer

Westminster Abbey - Amy Murrell 2017

EXPLORE Westminster Abbey this summer with games, crafts and tours for families in the beautiful setting of College Garden. Brave the Knight School or have a go at using quills and ink to create an illuminated manuscript!

Places are free, but should be booked in advance by e-mailing or calling 020 7654 4965.

All activities are suitable for children aged 5+ accompanied by an adult.


MARVELLOUS MONARCHS – July 24 to July 26.

· Knight School – Tuesday, July 24 at 11am and 1pm.

Enrol in the annual Knight School with Squire Will. Try your hand at all the skills a young knight needs to defend the monarch – from swordsmanship to jousting! This popular session is for all brave and courageous children from across the realm.

· Family Tour – Wednesday, July 25 at 11am.

Hear the fascinating and funny tales of coronations through the centuries on this interactive tour of Westminster Abbey.

· Teen Tour – Wednesday, July 25 at 1.30pm.

Journey through the Abbey to explore how its thousand-year history reflects the reputation and identity of the UK today.

· Kings, Queens and Coronations – Thursday, July 26 at 11am and 1pm.

Visit the coronation church to hear about how kings and queens have been crowned there for hundreds of years. Help re-enact the coronation in the beautiful walled gardens, make a mini portrait keyring of your favourite king or queen, and take home a golden crown with you.

TOWER POWER – July 31 to August 2.

· Playful Spaces – Tuesday, July 31 at 11am and 1pm.

Calling all architects! Explore different construction methods to discover how the Abbey was built and then roll up your sleeves to build your own playful space in the gardens.

· Family Tour – Wednesday, August 1 at 11am.

Hear the fascinating and funny tales of coronations through the centuries on this interactive tour of Westminster Abbey.

· Teen Tour – Wednesday, August 1 at 1.30pm.

Journey through the Abbey to explore how its thousand-year history reflects the reputation and identity of the UK today.

· Secrets of the Stonemason – Thursday, August 2 at 11am and 1pm.

Find out how this amazing church was made and about the types of people who helped to build it. Learn about stonemasonry and have a go yourself with soap carving. Join in the paper tower building competition, and then make a beautiful mosaic tile to take home with you.

MEDIEVAL MONKS – August 7 to August 9.

· The Monk’s Garden – Tuesday, August 7 at 11am and 1pm.

Travel back in time to become a monk working the Abbey’s ancient garden. Use craft materials to help recreate the garden space as it would have once been. Plant paper petals and weave woollen wings for the bees of the monks’ hive to help the gardens really come alive.

· Family Tour – Wednesday, August 8 at 11am.

Walk in the footsteps of a medieval monk, play their games and learn their secret language on this interactive tour

· Teen Tour – Wednesday, August 8 at 1.30pm.

Journey through the Abbey to explore how its thousand-year history reflects the reputation and identity of the UK today.

· A Monk’s Life – Thursday, August 9 at 11am and 1pm.

Meet a monk from the past and hear about daily life in the medieval Abbey. Have a go at using quills and ink to create an illuminated manuscript. Find out about medieval medicines and see if you can survive the plague. Finally, discover what monks used to eat and make some gingerbread to take home.

FAMOUS FACES – August 14 to August 16.

· Garlands and Glory – Tuesday, August 14 at 11am and 1pm.

Over 3000 people are buried and commemorated in the Abbey. Choose your favourite – or someone you love – to memorialise in a wonderfully creative wreath.

· Family Tour – Wednesday, August 15 at 11am.

See how some of history’s most famous names are celebrated and remembered in Westminster Abbey. From kings and queens to unknown soldiers, find out why the Abbey really is a place to remember.

· Teen Tour – Wednesday, August 15 at 1.30pm.

Journey through the Abbey to explore how its thousand-year history reflects the reputation and identity of the UK today.

· Wigs and Windows – Thursday, August 16 at 11am and 1pm.

Find out how famous people are remembered at Westminster Abbey. Make a memorial stained glass window, and create your own coat of arms on a shield. Use props and face paint to become a real-life statue, and then take part in a treasure hunt to look for the famous scientists, explorers, and authors remembered there.

Family Dance Day 2018 at The Place

FOR one day only – Saturday, July 21 – The Place is being taken over by an explosion of dance performances and workshops selected especially for families in the aptly entitled Family Dance Day.

The day features the riotous The Buildy-Uppy Dance Show – an ever-changing playground constructed and inhabited by the audience – and the uplifting Tidy Up, a play of chaos and order finding out if they can ever live side-by-side.

Audiences can also take part in bespoke workshops to help give inspiration to artists from The Place; help Igor & Moreno rethink their hit show by jumping with them and Protein Dance get inspiration for their new show, The Little Prince; and learn to breakdance and Romp & Roll to some great music, plus much more.

Lia Prentaki, Youth and Families Producer at The Place said: “This festival has a special focus for us, it is a simple one really: to help families make memories, create snapshots together and to do that by watching, doing and experiencing dance.”


Peut Etre – July 21 at 1pm and 3.30pm. Price: £10 (£8). Age recommendation: 3+.

When it all starts out ship shape there’s only one way for it to go.

This dance-theatre show gets all messed up. As we wriggle our way through the muddle of life we often discover things anew. So why can’t tidiness be exciting for children or chaos joyful for parents? Who said there’s a ‘right way’ anyway?

Inspired by the child’s desire to create order, patterns and systems, this show is a witty and uplifting journey discovering if chaos and order can ever live side-by-side…. With plenty of surprises, Tidy Up is an unforgetable party!

The production was developed in partnership with GOSH Arts, patients and families and the psychological services at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Anatomical – July 21 at 11am and 2pm. Price: £10 (£8). Age recommendation: 5+.

From the team that created The Doodle Dance Show, this is a magical hour of building, music and dancing.

Let your imagination run riot as hundreds of boxes are stacked, squashed and rebuilt. Help create enticing caves, wonky castles and fabulous creatures, as together we learn that the strongest thing we can build is friendship.

Awar- winning performers Anna Williams and Tom Roden create an enchanting, ever-changing playground constructed and inhabited by its audience.

Protein: The Little Prince: A Workshop for Families – July 21 at 11am and 1.30pm. Price: £4. Suitable for families with children aged 3 – 10 years.

Award-winning dance theatre company, Protein, are devising a new dance theatre show based on the much-loved Antoine de Saint-Exupéry classic The Little Prince and have invited you to help.

Join artists from Protein to reimagine the story through play, movement, storytelling and props. Feel free to come dressed up… as a fox perhaps, a snake or a little prince and be a part of the making of this magical family fairy tale for children and their grown ups.

Tidy Up

Family Dance Jam – July 21 at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm. Price: £4.

Family Dance Jam is the perfect space for your child to get creative and let loose. Structured around games and dance routines, the dance jam is a safe space for parent and child to get together and have fun. Watch as your little one gets their chance to bounce, spin, jump, run, jiggle, and shake across the studios. This is the space to get creative, enjoy moving with music and show off your individuality. Bring friends, make friends, have fun and dance!

11 – 11.45am: 5 – 8 years and parent
12 – 12.45pm: 3 – 4 years and parent
2 – 2.45pm: 3 – 4 years and parent
3 – 3.45pm: 5 – 8 years and parent

Family Break Dance – July 21 at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm. Price: £4.

Join this action packed workshop, break some fresh moves, make some new friends and take you and your little one on a cool and funky journey. Learn the basic skills of break dance, improving your co-ordination and flexibility in an environment that encourages freedom and individual expression.

Expect amazing teachers, a buzzing environment and music that you and your little one just can’t help but groove to.

11 – 11.45am – 3 – 4 years and parent
12 – 12.45pm – 5+ years and parent
2 – 2.45pm – 5+ years and parent
3 – 3.45pm – 3 – 4 years and parent

Romp & Roll – July 21 at 11am, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. Price: £4.

Children and their adults can dance together to great music (no kiddy tunes) and become creative collaborators in this playful and creative session.

The session follows a soft learning approach to dance, initiating the learning of rhythm, coordination and motor skills. Physical contact including lifting, features strongly.

It going to be a lot of fun so come and join us, take your shoes and socks off and get ready to roll on the floor!

11 – 11.45am – 1-2 years and parent
1 – 1.45pm – 2 – 4 years and parent
2 – 2.45pm – 2 – 4 years and parent
3 – 3.45pm – 2 – 4 years and parent

A Jumping workshop with Igor & Moreno – July 21 at 12pm and 1.15pm. Price: £4.

Igor and Moreno love dance.
They wanted to make a dance that would change the world.
They started the dance by jumping.
That made them feel like idiots. They kept jumping, and kept jumping, and kept jumping!
Will you help them?
Will you jump and sign and laugh and jump some more with them?
No bouncy castles, no trampolines, no pogo sticks required.
Just bring your feet, your smiles, your laughter and your energy.

12-12.45pm – 3+ and parent
1.15-2pm – 5+ and parent

Free events include face painting and Under and through – I found you!: a fabric installation for pre-walkers.

The Place, 17 Duke’s Road, London, WC1H 9PY

Tel: 020 7121 1100


Circus 1903 comes to the Southbank Centre for Christmas 2018

Event preview

THIS Christmas will see the European premiere of Circus 1903 at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, where it will play from December 19, 2018 to January 5, 2019.

From the producers of the world’s biggest magic show, The Illusionists and the award-winning puppeteers who created War Horse, the internationally acclaimed turn-of-the-century family spectacular arrives in London fresh from the Paris Theatre in Las Vegas.

This year marks 250 years since the world’s first ever 42ft circus ring was laid down on an abandoned patch of land in Waterloo by the ‘father of modern circus’ Philip Astley.

Circus 1903 includes stunningly created, larger-than-life puppet elephants alongside a huge cast of the most unique, amazing and dangerous circus acts. From acrobats to contortionists, jugglers to trapeze, high wire performers and much more, this show will amaze, captivate, and transport audiences of all ages to the mesmerising Golden Age of Circus.

Photo Gallery

Performance Schedule

Wednesday, December 19 at 3pm and 7.30pm
Thursday, December 20 at 3pm and 7.30pm
Friday, December 21 at 3pm and 7.30pm
Saturday, December 22 at 11am, 3pm and 7.30pm
Sunday, December 23 at 3pm and 7.30pm
Wednesday, December 26 at 3pm
Thursday, December 27 at 11am, 3pm and 7.30pm
Friday, December 28 at 11am, 3pm and 7.30pm
Saturday, December 29 at 11am, 3pm and 7.30pm
Sunday, December 30 at 11am and 3pm
Tuesday, January 1 at 3pm
Wednesday, January 2 at 3pm and 7.30pm
Thursday, January 3 at 3pm and 7.30pm
Friday, January 4 at 3pm and 7.30pm
Saturday, January 5 at 3pm and 7.30pm

Tickets: From £25. To book, call the box office on 020 3879 9555 or visit or

Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Michael Jackson: On the Wall - National Portrait Gallery

Michael Jackson

Exhibition preview

MICHAEL Jackson: On the Wall, a landmark exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, will explore the influence of Michael Jackson on some of the leading names in contemporary art, spanning several generations of artists across all media.

Curated by Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, the exhibition will open in the summer of 2018 to coincide with what would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday (on August 29, 2018).

Michael Jackson is one of the most influential cultural figures to come out of the 20th century and his legacy continues into the 21st century. His significance is widely acknowledged when it comes to music, music videos, dance, choreography and fashion, but his considerable influence on contemporary art is an untold story.

Since Andy Warhol first used his image in 1982, Jackson has become the most depicted cultural figure in visual art by an extraordinary array of leading contemporary artists.

For the first time, Michael Jackson: On the Wall will bring together the works of over forty of these artists, drawn from public and private collections around the world, including new works made especially for the exhibition.

Michael Jackson: On the Wall is produced with the co-operation of the Michael Jackson Estate.

Dates: June 28 to October 21, 2018.

Tickets: with donation from £17.50 – £22; without donation from £15.50 – £20. Advance booking is highly recommended.

Times: Open daily from 10am to 6pm. Open late Thursday and Friday until 9pm.

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


The West End musical Thriller Live is also celebrating the genius of Michael Jackson during 2018.

Mantegna & Bellini - National Gallery

Exhibition preview

IN AUTUMN 2018, the National Gallery will present a tale of two artists, their families and their cities; an interlinked story of art, family, rivalry, marriage, pragmatism, and personality – Mantegna and Bellini.

This exhibition is the first ever devoted to the relationship between two of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance: Giovanni Bellini (active about 1459–1516) and Andrea Mantegna (1430/1–1506).

Through exceptionally rare loans of paintings, drawings, and sculpture, travelling to London from across the world, Mantegna and Bellini offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compare the work of these two important artists who also happened to be brothers-in-law – a family connection from which both drew strength and brilliance throughout their careers.

Neither’s career or artistic development would have existed without the other, and without these works imbued with their creativity and innovation, Renaissance art, by the likes of Titian, Correggio, and Veronese, would not exist as it does today.

The son of a carpenter, Andrea Mantegna was a self-made man. In 1453, the prodigiously talented young painter from Padua, married into the greatest artistic family of nearby Venice – the Bellini.

Mantegna’s new brother-in-law, Giovanni Bellini, was also a phenomenally gifted artist who was bringing new innovations to the Venetian use of colour, observed light, atmosphere, and landscape to create an entirely new form of art. Their admiration and respect were mutual.

For seven years Mantegna and Bellini worked in close creative dialogue – something visitors to the exhibition will be able to observe at first hand through key groupings of subjects both artists portrayed.

Inspired by each other’s example, they both experimented and worked in ways they were not entirely comfortable with in order to hone their artistic skills and identities. While Mantegna exemplified the intellectual artist, Bellini was the archetypal landscape painter, the first to use the natural world to convey emotion.

In 1460, Mantegna decided to pursue his own artistic path and moved to Mantua, where he occupied the post of court painter to the ruling Gonzaga family until his death in 1506. Bellini, who died 10 years after Mantegna, spent his entire career in Republican Venice.

Despite the distance between them, their creative exchange continued throughout their long lives. Each artist continued to scale new heights in skill and ingenuity but remained forever shaped by their time together and by the knowledge of the other’s work and achievements.

At the core of the exhibition are two historic juxtapositions of Mantegna and Bellini’s work: depictions of The Agony in the Garden, (Mantegna’s about 1458-60, Bellini’s’ about 1465) which have hung side by side in the National Gallery since the late 19th century, as well as two paintings of The Presentation of Christ to the Temple (Mantegna’s version of which is in the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) and Bellini’s in the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice).

Room One of the exhibition is called Beginnings and will introduce the distinctive cultural environments of the two cities that shaped Mantegna and Bellini – Padua and Venice. It will show how the tastes of dominant patrons and their working environments (including the family-run workshop) played a role in the development of the artists.

A highlight here will be The Jacopo Bellini album on loan from the British Museum, which has been exceptionally generous in lending 18 works to the exhibition. This sketchbook – which has only been lent once in the last 100 years – is a key starting point for Mantegna and Bellini.

Explorations in the following room will examine the mutual impact of each artist on the other during the years of their closest creative exchange, around the time of the marriage that made them brothers-in-law.

In this second room a number of juxtapositions will compare and contrast their approach to near identical compositions: Mantegna’s The Descent into Limbo (Private Collection) and Bellini’s The Descent into Limbo (1475–80, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery), Mantegna’s The Crucifixion (1456–9) and Bellini’s Le Calvaire, both from Musée du Louvre, Paris.

Room Three is entitled Pietà and focuses on the origins and development of a distinctive new type of image – the Dead Christ supported by Angels. The works here will include sculptural reliefs (such as Mantegna’s Grablegung Christ, Kunshistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer) as well as works on paper (Mantegna’s Pietà, 1456–9, Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice) and Bellini’s tempera on panel Pietà (Galleria degli Uffizi).

Landscape (Room Four) explores the enormous importance of Bellini’s particular contribution to the history of art – the depiction of beautifully observed landscape, natural light, and atmosphere as a key element of the composition and meaning of religious works (such as in Bellini’s The Resurrection of Christ, about 1478/9, Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin). A particular highlight will be a first chance to see the newly restored National Gallery work, The Assassination of Saint Peter Martyr (about 1507).

A number of pairings will reveal the differences in approach to landscape between the two artists – and also reveal the ways in which Bellini’s exceptional talent had a lasting effect on Mantegna (such as in his astonishingly accurate view of Mantua in his Death of the Virgin, 1462, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid).

Devotional Paintings and Portraits (Room Five) will provide a focused insight into a particular contribution to Italian Renaissance art – the development of the ‘sacra conversazione’ in which the seated Virgin and Child appear in the company of saints (‘in conversation’) as if occupying the same space and breathing the same air.

Here Mantegna’s Holy Family (about 1495–-1500, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden) and Madonna and Child (about 1455­–-60, Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) will be seen side by side with Bellini’s Madonna and Child with two Saints (Gallerie dell’Accademia) and The Virgin and Child (about 1475, Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin).

The final room of Mantegna and Bellini (called Antiquity) will feature some of the largest and most spectacular loans, which showcase Mantegna’s particular brilliance in the use of antique models and subjects to drive innovation in his art. A highlight will be three of his great Triumphs of Caesar (The Bearers of Standards and Siege Equipment, The Vase-Bearers, and The Elephants, c.1484–92) , monumental tempera on canvas works measuring almost three metres square, lent by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection.

Contrasted with these will be sculptural monochromes by Bellini, including An Episode from the Life of Publius Cornelius Scipio (about 1506, National Gallery of Art, Washington) and Two men in antique dress (Fondation Custodia, Collection Fritz Lugt, Paris), along with one of his final paintings, The Drunkenness of Noah (about 1515, Besançon, Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie).

Dr Caroline Campbell, Director of Collections and Research at the National Gallery and curator of Mantegna and Bellini says:

“Exhibitions focusing on 15th-century art are rare as the works involved are often fragile and so cannot travel very often – therefore Mantegna and Bellini really is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to explore the relationship and work of these two artists who played such a pivotal role in the history of art.”

Director of the National Gallery, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, says: “Mantegna’s passion for the ancient world and Bellini’s love of nature are crucial elements of the Italian Renaissance. This exhibition bringing their work together is unprecedented and probably unrepeatable.”

The exhibition is organised by the National Gallery and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin in collaboration with the British Museum.

Dates: October 1, 2018 to January 27, 2019.

Tickets: From £14. Members and under-12s (ticket required) FREE. For advance tickets to Mantegna and Bellini, visit or call 0800 912 6958 (booking fee). You can also book tickets in person from the Gallery. Overseas customers should call +44 020 7126 5573. Book online and save.

Times: Daily: 10am–6pm (last admission 5pm); Fridays: 10am–9pm (last admission 8.15pm).

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition - Leake Street

Photograph © Peter Morey

Exhibition preview

LAWYER. Revolutionary. Political prisoner. World leader. Elder statesman. Symbol of the struggle against oppression. Nelson Mandela has been all these things to so many people across the world in the past 50 years and five years after his passing, he continues to remain a human rights icon and to be seen globally as an advocate for change.

Now a major new exhibition, Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition, celebrating his life and legacy makes its World Premiere at 26 Leake Street, where it will be on display from February 8 to June 2, 2019.

Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition is designed to educate, entertain and inspire using many personal belongings and objects never previously seen outside of South Africa.

These items – including the suit worn for the opening of the South African parliament in 1996; a traditional head dress gifted to him by The King of Xhosa people, King Xolilzwe Sigcawu as he awarded Mandela the ancient tribal warrior honour of the Isithwalandwe Sesizwe, for the first time in two centuries; his presidential desk and chair and his much loved iconic beige trench coat – combine with immersive media presentations and scenic re-creations, to enable visitors to actively engage with and experience key moments in Nelson Mandela’s life.

Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition reveals his epic story in a series of experiential zones. It takes visitors on Mandela’s life journey, from his little-known beginnings in rural Mvezo, Transkei, through decades of turbulent struggle against the apartheid regime, to his eventual vindication and final years as South Africa’s first black president, ‘Father of South Africa’, and a globally loved and respected figure.

Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela says of today’s announcement:

“The Royal House of Mandela is delighted to endorse this exhibition honouring the life and legacy of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela as it truly captures the spirit of our global icon whose name has become synonymous with international solidarity, justice and peace. It succeeds in quintessentially depicting the man and the legend whose struggle and sacrifice has captivated the hearts and minds of millions around the world. This exhibition is truly an inspiration and an inspired effort; I believe that everyone who sees it will agree that the legacy lives on and that the dream will never die.

“London and the United Kingdom more broadly was home to many South African exiles and activists in the anti-apartheid struggle. In the 1980s and ‘90s Trafalgar Square and South Africa House was the scene of many a picket and protest action and this news found its way to Mandela in his cell, either in encoded messages, by word of mouth and in the latter years, via news clippings. It was therefore no surprise that Madiba chose London as one of the first cities outside Africa to visit as a free man after his 27-year incarceration. I can say without the slightest doubt that Madiba would have given his stamp of approval to staging this exhibition in London.”

Lizzy Moriarty, Exhibition Advisor to Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition said:

“It is only once in a professional lifetime that a chance comes along to work on an exhibition of such magnitude, with objects which tell such a powerful story so relevant to our times. The exhibition is unusual in that it gives people the chance to get close to the man himself, as a family man, as an activist and as the peacemaker of his time.

“Many of the objects in the exhibition come from his house and have never been catalogued or curated before. They accompanied him through his life and through them, we can speak of his extraordinary life and his contribution to reconciliation. It will be like wandering through his life with him guiding you and asking you what you would have done in the same situation.”

Nelson Mandela’s story has been told many times before, not least of all by the man himself in his own words. So, what makes Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition different? The exhibition features unique insights from across the spectrum – from close family, friends and others who admired him from afar. Personal artefacts and other material also reveal the deeper stories behind the headlines and bring us closer to the man behind the myth.

Steven Swaby, Narrative Producer concludes: “This unique exhibition goes beyond the well-known ‘Mandela myth’ and reveals the inner stories of a remarkable life lived with remarkable courage, conviction and compassion. It asks us to consider the meaning of Mandela in the here-and-now and explores the complexities of his legacy in a world where inequality and injustice are still a daily fact of life.”

Mounted in collaboration with the Royal House of Mandela and the Mvezo Development Trust, Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition is presented in celebration of the 100th year of his birth and to honour the 5th year of his passing.

Official Website.

Image: Nelson Mandela – The Official Exhibition. Photograph © Peter Morey (

Tickets: by phone on 0844 453 9094 or online at

Venue: 26 Leake Street, South Bank, London, SE1 7NN (nearest Tube Waterloo).

Rare timepiece depicted in enigmatic painting solves mystery of Burrell wall clock

Wall Clock, Burrell Collection.

Exhibition preview

A MAJOR exhibition at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, organised in partnership with the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, USA, is on display until September 23, 2018.

The exhibition, The Paston Treasure: Riches and Rarities of the Known World reunites, for the first time in three centuries, rare 17th century works of art and objects originally featured in a large mysterious painting The Paston Treasure.

Painted by an unknown Dutch school artist, circa 1663, the painting’s unique and cryptic subject continues to mesmerize and puzzle art scholars and historians.

Featuring an array of exotic treasures from around the world, the painting chronicles a fraction of what was once one of the greatest private art collections of 17th century England, amassed by Norfolk’s Paston family, famed for their medieval letters.

One piece, a pendulum wall clock, is so accurately depicted in the painting, that Jonathan Betts, leading horological consultant and conservator and Curator Emeritus at the Royal Observatory National Maritime Museum Greenwich, has been able to draw remarkably accurate conclusions as to its origins.

As a result, a pendulum wall clock, on loan to the exhibition from the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, has now been attributed to the eminent and clockmaker Henry Jones of London as a result of Jonathan Betts’ research. Henry Jones was one of a small group of prized Horologists making clocks in the reign of Charles II and was Master of the Clockmakers Company in 1691.

At the time, the pendulum revolutionised accuracy and made clocks into must-have objects among royalty and the aristocracy, most of whom turned to great London makers such as Henry Jones to build them the finest possible timekeepers.

The wall clock from the Burrell Collection joins more than 130 objects on loan from national and international museums and private collections.

Image: Pendulum wall clock, Burrell Collection. © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

Berenice Sydney: Dancing with Colour - SALON at Saatchi Gallery

Berenice Sydney, Untitled, 1966, oil on canvas.

Exhibition preview

SALON, in collaboration with Mallett and Dreweatts 1759, has announced Dancing with Colour, a selling exhibition of paintings by the British artist Berenice Sydney (1944 – 1983) – from June 23 to July 8, 2018.

This show, remarkably the first presentation of her work staged at a major public art gallery in over thirty years, is comprised of a selection of oil paintings and works on paper that reflect Berenice’s – as she was professionally known – signature lyrical and highly animated graphic style.

Her paintings, notable for their fluency of form and movement, are inscribed with her passion for music and dance – she studied classical ballet, guitar and flamenco – as well as the sense of liberation and freedom of expression which prevailed in Britain during the 1960s.

Paintings such as Untitled (1966), and Lady Enjoying the Sun (On the Beach) (1966), both of which are featured in Dancing with Colour, are typical of her work, in that they reflect the influence of cubist and fauvist vocabularies that were central to Berenice’s practice, in contrast to the then-prevailing Pop Art aesthetic.

Although she died shortly before her thirty-ninth birthday, her work was widely shown in Britain and abroad in her lifetime and is held in over 100 important private and public collections; these include the Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate and the Smithsonian, Washington D.C.

Of her first solo show at the Drian Galleries in London in 1968, the critic Marina Vaizey in Arts Review praised Berenice’s drawings based on Greek myths as ‘neo-classical in technique and vaguely reminiscent of the famous period of Picasso, arguing ‘a tough self-training’ and as being ‘coherent and elegant exercises.’

One of the most expressive and original artists working in Britain in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Berenice’s oeuvre spans paintings, drawings, prints, children’s books, costume design and performance. She travelled widely throughout her life, including to Greece, the Aegean islands and Egypt; the history and mythology of which provided subject matter for many of her paintings.

She continued to explore themes in her work relating to Persian mythology, Christian symbolism and Greek mythological subjects as well as referencing Ancient Egyptian art, creating a hieroglyph of her professional name and working on papyrus.

As her style developed, Berenice abandoned figurative representation for total abstraction, in which geometric or freely composed forms created rhythmic and harmonious compositions. The multifaceted experiments of this nature have been described as depicting her own ‘floating cosmos’. As is witnessed in another featured painting, Untitled (1983), the vortex-like compositions of these later works generate a dynamic structural frame that expresses joy, exhilaration and the artist’s extraordinary freedom of spirit.

Philippa Adams, Senior Director, Saatchi Gallery said: ‘SALON is delighted to be working with Mallett and Dreweatts 1759 to bring this fascinating artist to wider public attention. Berenice Sydney was a brilliant colourist who uniquely combined British and European sensibilities in her work, with an enduring appetite for experimentation that was, tragically, cut short.’

Jennie Fisher, Head of Pictures, Dreweatts 1759 said: ‘Mallett in association with Dreweatts 1759 is very excited to present this exhibition of works by Berenice Sydney. SALON at the Saatchi Gallery provides an intimate venue and the unique opportunity to review and re-position her work within the wider spectrum of 20th century British art. Her vibrant paintings and works on paper reflect influences as diverse as Greek mythology and flamenco dancing, all executed with a flamboyant lyrical style’.

Proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to the Royal Academy Schools. A spokesperson said: ‘We are delighted that proceeds from the Berenice Sydney exhibition will contribute towards an award to a student studying at the Royal Academy Schools. The award will be made at the annual Premiums Exhibition and will give vital support to the development of the recipients work in their final year of study.’

SALON, Saatchi Gallery’s new project space has been created to present the work of leading international artists who have had limited exposure in the UK. Located in its own self-contained space at the Saatchi Gallery, this new venture will collaborate with galleries and artists’ estates in selling exhibitions, and is directed by Philippa Adams, Senior Director, Saatchi Gallery.

Image: Berenice Sydney, Untitled, 1966, oil on canvas.


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