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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Art Listings

Exhibitions

Written by Violette Nlandu Ngoy

In case you missed it, healing visit web everyones favourite nostalgic treat – Cadbury’s Dairy Milk – is moving with the times and going Fairtrade. Last week, cost Cadbury’s announced that from the end of Summer 2009, nurse it will receive Fairtrade certification, a move which will triple the amount of Fairtrade cocoa sold in Ghana (where Cadbury sources its cacao beans). Cadbury’s believes that this will also open up new opportunities for farmers to benefit from the Fairtrade system. It is a worthy – and savvy- move for a food item which, at least in my mind, is so rooted in the past. In recent years the general public have moved away from the old-school confectionaries and embraced the more ethically produced chocolates; Green and Blacks, Fairtrade’s own Divine chocolate to name a few. While Dairy Milk always maintained a strong foothold in the market – with 300 million bars sold annually in Britain and Ireland – Cadbury’s clearly see that the current zeitgeist is ethical, ethical, ethical and wants a piece of this pie too.

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Am I a dissenting voice here? Is it bad form to rise a cynical eyebrow over what appears to be a good deed? At the end of the day, whether this is a PR exercise or not becomes irrelevant because there are thousands of farmers who will be better off regardless of Cadbury’s motivations. Still, while the response has been generally warm, some issues have been raised. The publics general idea of a Fairtrade business is a co-operation or small business – which Cadbury certainly is not. And while we would be forgiven for thinking that when an food item is bestowed the coveted Fairtrade status, it must be 100% Fairtrade. Not quite. Especially when it comes to something with as many ingredients as a choccie bar.

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The key components of a humble square of chocolate are cocoa beans, sugar and milk. So the cacao is covered, what about the other ingredients? Wanting to do a bit of journalistic digging, I went onto Cadbury’s blog and was reassured to see that the general public remain an inquisitive and suspicious bunch. There were enough people asking about the origins of the other ingredients to warrant a response from Cadbury’s PR in the form of a written explanation and a live web Q+A. So here’s facts. The sugar is also Fairtrade certified, but the milk is not. The milk comes from British farmers, who Cadbury’s are keen to continue a relationship with. So there is a little bit of a percentage issue arising here. Barbara Crowther from Fairtrade defended this slightly tricky situation, saying

“For ingredients like cocoa and sugar which primarily grow in developing countries, our rules say that anything that can be Fairtrade, should be – 100%. Also, if a product (like chocolate or cakes) has lots of different ingredients, there must be at least one that makes up 20% of the product. Ideally, the total combination should be 50% or more (this isn’t always possible if only one ingredient can be Fairtrade. Otherwise we agree, there’s not enough Fairtrade content there to justify the FAIRTRADE Mark.”

So there you have it; some might say that Cadbury have slipped through the net with this one. The concept of what constitutes a product being Fairtrade was always fixed in my mind; perhaps I need to adapt my pre-conceived notions a touch. Still, once it gets its certification, I look forward to picking up a Dairy Milk for old times sake.
If the thought of leaving zone one gives you a nose bleed, sick it’s time to get out of your comfort zone as I profile my favourite galleries that are just that bit out of the way.

South East.
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Illustrations part of a project by Thomas Ronson

Living in New Cross since the closure of the East London line I know that South East London isn’t the most easily accessible place. The great thing is however, viagra sale once you’ve made the journey there’s so much to see. I’ve heard the term ‘the new Shoreditch’ a few times in relation to New Cross recently and while this isn’t a label I particularly care for, pills there is a definite buzz in the area at the moment.

Art collectives such as The Sunday Painter, LuckyPDF and Friendly Street Gallery all have artist-run spaces in the Camberwell/Deptford area. Off Modern also have a monthly installment of art and music at Corsica Studios. These are all really new projects so they’re worth going to in order to get an exciting first look into still developing gallery spaces. These venues fit in nicely with long running galleries such as APT in Deptford. The next Apt show takes place 19th March – 5th April and is a group show of six artists with works in ceramics, paper and in print.

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Bargain hunters check out Deptford market, which is just by the station, on the way. It’s on pretty much everyday of the week and the stuff ranges from the fantastic, antique furniture for under a tenner, to the downright disgusting, an Amelia’s intern once spotted half a tube of foot cream for sale!

North East.
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Ok so Hoxton is hardly out of the way, but to get to Limoncello you need to head away from the White Cube and the vintage shops and up Hoxton Sreet towards Greggs bakers and Peacocks. Although the space is only small Limoncello has 11 diverse artists that usually have a month long show each a year. The next artist to show is Jack Strange, if ever an artist was named for greatness it was him. The exhibition opens Friday 27th March and will no doubt have the same charm and wit as his previous offerings.

Once you’re done at Limoncello head over to 17 Kingsland Rd to the slightly less imaginatively named SEVENTEEN. As you enter the gallery you’re first faced with the standard white cube, but to get downstairs one has to pass not only the gallery ‘office’, but also the staff kitchen. Something really excites me about the transparency of the gallery allowing you to see all the bits they usually keep hidden. Downstairs they’ve completely dispensed with the usual modernist aesthetic of – ahhh keep out the rest of the real world lest it contaminate the art! It’s dark and dingy and it’s usually where they show the videos, which you can sit and watch on chairs that look like they’ve been picked up from the side of the road. The next show opens on 18th March; the artists Mike Harte and Jamie Shovlin will be occupying the basement of the gallery for seven evenings leading up to the exhibition. Every night they will drink a different branded bottle of Bourbon and, using the Bourbon as their medium, create a single painting of the word joy.

I once went to see a friend’s band in Leytonstone before I moved to London. Such was the fear induced in me from walking those streets in the early hours of the morning, that I made an unofficial pact with myself never to go further North on the Central line than Liverpool Street. Despite being between Liverpool Street and Leytonstone, Mile End is a surprisingly nice setting for Matt’s Gallery. Walking through the park to get there I could completely imagine taking a picnic and refuelling on peanut butter sandwiches before seeing some art. After arriving at the gallery the advantages to being further out of central London are immediately obvious. For an artist-run space it’s huge. Being that bit further out means that rent is much cheaper, because it’s not as high in demand and exhibition space can be much bigger.

Their current show is It has to be this way. by Lindsay Seers, who currently has one of the best pieces in the Altermodern exhibition on at Tate Modern at the moment. Seers uses as material for her art personal narratives that are so insane you’re never really sure whether it’s the truth. “These narratives are punctuated by incredible plot devices – stalkings, burglaries, shipwrecks – that mimic the rupture at the heart of image production, creating a dramatisation of selfhood in all its melancholy and failure.” This body of work centres on the artists stepsister Christine who had an accident that left her with severe memory loss in 2001 before then going missing in 2005.

South West.
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Studio Voltaire boasts that it’s the first and only artist-led gallery and studio complex in South West London. This is a bit annoying because it means there are no other galleries to look at in the area, but they do get big enough artists showing there to make it worth the trip. The next artist to exhibit is the rather newly famous figure of Cathy Wilkes. For a chance to check out the work of a Turner Prize nominated artist in a more intimate setting make your way to Clapham between 11th April and 24th May.

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She gives me the shivers. She hasn’t even got an album out yet, pills and already we know she’ll be huge. Florence Welch, drugs a.k.a Florence and the Machine has stormed onto the scene and is set for a fantastic year.

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It was her cover of Cold War Kids “Hospital Beds” that first drew me in whilst surfing music blogs. I love the song anyway, dosage but hearing her distressed, soulful wail refreshes my appreciation anew.

Yet covers aren’t all she’s good at, she can write too. Her lyrics are a self-professed fairy tale, not wanting to be too realistic as she says the song-writing of Kate Nash and Lily Allen makes her feel too exposed. Her first single Kiss with a Fist was assumed by critics to be about domestic violence, all slapping and hitting and smashing. But Welch defends her choice of vocabulary by saying “if you’re a writer, you’re just expressing your perception of what’s going on.”

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What else is great about Florence, is that it seems she has many different personas without ever leaving any of the behind. On The Girl with One Eye her sultry snarl is reminiscent of Cat Power, yet the high pitched shimmer on Postcards from Italy reflect a bit of Kate Bush. But to compare Welch to any of these should not attempt to take away from her own voice. The girl has a pair of lungs on her that could stir up a hurricane, but she never overdoes it. She can switch automatically from a soft whisper to a powerful bellow.

The songs we’ve heard so far remind you of the happiest but the saddest day of your life all in one go. A summers day with pour of rain, but in the end leaving a teary smile on your face. She’s one to watch this year for sure.

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The Autumn/Winter ’09 catwalk circuit is coming to a close as editors and buyers steer their weary heels back to the comforts of their own cities to convene, sildenafil consider and begin the distillation of this fall’s hottest runway looks. Designers are taking a heaving breath before diving under another (hopeful) tidal wave of production orders. Milliner J. Smith Esquire is hard at work right now making toppings for the têtes of ladies flanking both sides of the UK and well beyond. His spring collection Kaleidoscope is a cluster of delicate net headpieces that are completely interchangeable and utterly beguiling.

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While creative director at Toni & Guy, buy more about J. Smith Esquire (how regal!) began exploring an understandably tangential interest in millinery. Several awards, drug including an i-D styling award and an MA in millinery from Royal College of Art, this multi talent is now showing his fourth independent collection, inspired by the myriad possibilities of a kaleidoscope. What girl doesn’t love options?! Some of the intricate orbs and bows have managed to capture their own little objects and others allow you the temporary frivolity of glossy spherical pigtails.

Forget the prosaic archaeology that is Picasso at the National. Mythologies is surely the most ambitious shebang in London for a long time. The Haunch of Venison has got new digs. Very swanky new digs indeed. Round the back of the Royal Academy has always felt like strange aristo-ghetto. Where Hackney replicates the warfare of Bloods and Crips, sildenafil this postcode is a no-man’s-land of Blue-Bloods and Quentin Crisps. The threshold of Cork Street leaves students feeling unwelcome, and les petits bourgoises a little dishonest, however well dressed they thought they were when they left the house.
Yet as of this week, the courageous few that traipse north of Piccadilly, either thoroughly invigorated by the Academy and craving more, or too poor to get in, will find a free admission palace where everything is for sale, yet nothing is as trite as another bloody Cork Streety, Barry Flanagan rabbit.
This luxurious space was once the Museum Of Mankind, and HoV is now seeking to reference this inheritance by mounting a show that explores ethnography, anthropology and creation myths. Not in a British Museum way, exactly. This is a big league statement show, featuring the likes of Damien Hirst, Tony Cragg, Keith Tyson, Mat Collishaw, Bill Viola, Sophie Calle, Noble and Webster, as well as a lot of artists that still have a lot to gain from this kind of exposure. There are over forty artists shown here, and yet it all feels strangely coherent. Sure, many artists have produced work especially for the theme, but I also get the feeling that these issues have been gestating in the post-YBA universe anyway, maybe as a form of cultural rebirth, since our hitherto irony-saturated art culture was surely beckoning death.
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Ever since Damien Hirst’s For The Love Of God became yet another wave in his ceaseless domination of the art world, selling for £50m in 2007, the art sages have wondered about the differences between shark and skull. While the shark felt, even at the time, like a smartarse playing the system, the skull instantly has archaeological associations. As though it had been found in a crypt in an Incan temple, or indeed might one day serve as a relic of our own civilisation. An artist that gets someone to pickle a shark for him has become a millionaire who commissions diamond-setters to cover a human skull: an altogether vainer act, worthy of anthropo-historical documentation. Hirst, for me, is less artist now, and more emperor or shaman.
The skull isn’t here, but an enormous pair of photo-portraits of it, one straight on, the other in profile, lacquered and then studded to recreate the diamond effect (but presumably without the ludicrous expense) hangs in the upper galleries. They stand out as being iconic, but they are by no means in a league of their own here. And it’s also a factor that, as you’ve never been here before, you have no idea how big the place is. It’s big. And grand. Saatchi must be pretty jealous now. He may have lush grounds, big spaces, good light, and he’s very close to a Pizza Express, but the new HoV has class, design, flow, shape, and grandeur galore. You take this show in phases, with phase one being No Idea How Grand It Is, and phase two being Still No Idea…
In phase one, I saw Jennifer Wen-Ma’s work for the first time in my life. She is showing two works, one a video and the other a stone sculpture with projection. The sculpture is a beaut. It just sits there on its plinth, a raised open hand, with smoke spewing fom a slit on front of it, and a line-drawn staff-wielding Monkey King doing smoke-distorted cartwheels in the palm, projected from above in a vivid electric blue. As the first thing I saw here, this boded well. It’s international. It’s vibrant, vital and defiant. Leaping into the air and kicking my heels, I marched on to investigate, holding my imaginary martial weapon aloft.
Behold, a palace of treats: A John Isaacs cuboid of human flesh, tiled or bricked in at the edges, heart limply sat atop, reimagines the essence of our earthly form. It’s as though God were preparing man for the kiln. A fantastic 2-sided video projection by Carlos Amorales provides a narrative of human creation, rent by flocks of birds, expectant mothers in silhouette with uncertain postures. Are they lost? Are they intimidating? Are they resigned to futile fate? Bloody womanflesh is inhabited by tree-dwelling monkeys. And all in a palette of black, white and blood, with a dozen undulating wave-like lines in algorithmic tandem as a backdrop, or matrix. It’s called Useless Wonder. Probably best leave it at that, then, Carlos?
Tim Noble and Sue Webster’s new piece is one of their best. Wall Of Shame is a set of wall hangings, flat white-painted brass figures of lust and frustration, dangling a couple of inches from the wall. As ever, it’s the floor-based light projector that converts these little doodahs into flickering gremlins of your id and ego. They are toy-like, yet also figments of the real, as though you found a voodoo mini-me in a Kinder Egg. Shadow-puppetry pops up again later in a Christian Boltanski piece. A whole room has been given over to a work of his from 1986. Tiny figures laughingly dance an evil Rite of Spring, or Wicker Man jig, their shadows cast hugely across a room the viewer cannot fully enter, but merely view from a high walkway, while strolling between two rather more ordinary galleries.
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At some point around now, you’ll be grasping that the space is big, and there’s a lot of show. Not all of it is first rate. There are a few pieces that I found weak or unremarkable. But I’d still say it’s one of the best shows I have seen in a long time, and certainly a very important mount. Curatorially, it is very bold, with the vast majority of the work compellingly aligned to the same magnetic north, and some skilful use of the space and corners to bring out the best in the work and create surprise. Finding the Boltanski is an obvious such treat. In a later gallery, a luscious gasp of awe meets the corner you turn into Ed & Nancy Kienholz’s huge collection of crucifixes. These ornaments have been made at once more and less real. More real by the addition of doll arms and painted facial portraits of Jesus set in place, less real by the ridiculous number of them. The connection between viewer and events on Calvary are stretched here, as the viewer looks into Christ’s eyes, and then into another Christ’s eyes. And another, and another, until utter hateful banality wins out.
Another sharp intake of breath accompanies Jannis Kounellis’s installation. Dark overcoats arranged neatly on the floor in a rectangle that fills a large room, bordered by an orderly single-file of shoes. All these garments look a bit tired or trampy, yet they are laid out very neatly. The gallery blurb says that the work speaks of warmth and protection. I couldn’t help but imagine a Heaven’s Gate cult of movie-extra vagrants calmly vacating their worldly garments and hitting the great flaming trashcan in the sky.
The standout pieces would have to be Keith Tyson’s The Block series (which is a fairly comprehensive story of the Universe and Life, flippant yet poetic: whimsical, but with a hint of sinister intent on the part of the forces of Creation), Hyungkoo Lee’s gorgeous museum skeletons of Sylvester and Tweety, some cleverly cute and creepy taxidermy works by Polly Morgan, Tony Cragg’s giant multi-profiled bust, and I should also mention Jennifer Wen Ma’s other piece. This video shows another of her linear animations projected on smoke puffs, this time over Tiananmen Square. Like much Chinese art, it disarms with its earnestness.
The biggest disappointment is that it’s only running to April 25th. Though I should be opposed to a show with overt capitalism coursing through its veins, I rate this show as a healthier and worthier successor to Sensation certainly than Apocalypse was. It should be a summer blockbuster, not a round-the-back showcase for those in the know. There should be billboards involved. The HoV call it “one of the most ambitious group exhibitions ever mounted in London by a private gallery”. Truly. Hoi Polloi could overwhelm this free venue, and would do little to serve the ultimate need of a gallery which is now the contemporary wing of Christie’s; sales. It will be interesting to see what, if any, commercial upshot will be, coming at a time when you can hardly shift Banksies with two-for-one vouchers. In a perfect world, they would have sold tickets at £6, slapped a few posters across the Jubilee Line, and baited the Daily Mail with a shock-piece. But this is a show that’s about being good, hoping to shift a few units, and is thus unprepared for a huge audience. I only hope that when a contemporary art summer blockbuster finally does come along, it’s as good as this.

Have you heard of Housmans? Chances are that if you are buying your books from Amazon then you probably haven’t. But don’t let me get too sanctimonious on you, viagra 40mg because until Wednesday night I hadn’t either. So, let me fill you on in a few details. Housmans proudly state that they are London’s premier radical booksellers ( and have been since 1945). Tucked away a few streets behind Kings Cross station, this little gem stands firm admist the Borders and Waterstones which cast a dark shadow over their territory. Having read the rather serious sounding blurb on their website about their political convictions, I was not quite sure what to expect when I walked in on Wednesday evening, I will say that I didn’t expect to be served wine upon entering! (And to be encouraged to refill as much as I wanted to). Gazing around the well-stocked shop, wine in hand, I thought about the way in which they describe the premise of this establishment; that they ” are a not for- profit organisation which seeks to promote and supply the peace movement” Does your local Borders do that?

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I spied sections on such matters as Climate change, Gender, Civil Liberties (which included a book by Ice – T, of all people), Socialism and Political Thought. But what heartened me the most was the unexpected sight of a selection of cards and gift bags. What does that tell you? Even radicals like their gifts to come in pretty bags. Political groups maybe firmly divided in thought, but if you want to unite them, it appears that stationary is the great leveller. So, back to the night. I had come here because Housmans were hosting a book reading which I was keen to go to. The author Mark Gold had written a novel entitled “Cranks and Revolutions”; a light hearted tome about radical protests in the last fifty years. The subject matter of which was clearly close to the heart of Housmans and also the audience who came to hear Mark speak. Political radicals maybe, but everyone present was savvy and self-aware enough to see that even heavy subjects can be poked fun of. A spirited discussion later took place about the importance of self -mockery and laughter in campaigning. I was interested to see plenty of nodding of heads and general agreement when Mark read an extract which acknowledged the dark side of campaining and campaigners – and referred to the ‘infighting, eccentrics, madness and self-rightousness which can often come close to destroying causes. ”

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Nearly everyone in the audience was, or had been a campaigner at one point in their lives. I sat next to two ladies in their seventies who had been campaigners for CND in the 1960′s… “And still are!”, they proudly told me. When he is not writing, Gold has a long standing involvement with Animal Aid, and is also a vegan of many years. This led the discussion to veer off into an unexpected, but interesting reminicance of the horrific “food” that well-meaning veggies had to eat in the 70′s and 80′s. Being raised in a primarily vegetarian household in the 80′s, I can emphasise, I remember being served veggie suet which was hard enough to be considered a weapon (it was much more fun to use it as such too). There was more wine to be had afterwards, and I got a copy of my book signed by Mark. As far as my first taste of radicalism goes, it was pretty tame, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Mike Harte and Jamie Shovlin: Bourbon Joy

Bourbon + Art = Joy? The two artists will drink their way through seven bottles of bourbon
over seven evenings, hospital Harte will then produce a set of seven bourbon joy paintings.
SEVENTEEN, order London, 18th March- 25th of April
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Modern British Sculpture

A stunning collection including works by Henry Moore, Anish Kapoor, F.E McWilliam, Dhruva Misty.
Grosvenor Gallery 10th-20th of March
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Ellen Gallagher
: An experiment of unusual opportunity

A collection of paintings themed around identity, race and transformation within different cultures.
South London Gallery 18th March- 3rd May
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Leah Gordon Kanaval

An exhibition of black and white photographs taken over thirteen years. The works is strongly influenced by portrait photography and gives us a unique insight into Haitian culture.

Photofusion gallery, electric lane London,
13th- 24th April, Private view 1 March 18:30- 21:00 free bar until 1:30
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Ai Weiwei

The Chinese artist presents a multimedia body of work that focuses on the complexity of vision.
Albion Gallery, London SW11, 16th- 28th March
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One Response to “Art Listings”

  1. Adrian Callum says:

    For listings people should check out Artupdate.com. And for London they now have easy printable A4 maps as well as the bigger map in most galleries. http://www.artupdate.com

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