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Review: MCM London Comic Con at ExCeL London – 25th to 27th May 2018

If you are wandering around London in the next few days , do not be surprised to see some unusual sights because the ever popular MCM London Comic Con returns to ExCel London on 25th to 27th May with a line-up of special guests, games, sci-fi, comics, anime and cosplay content to entertain the show’s 60,000 plus visitors.

The MCM London Comic Con celebrates a wide range of media from television, film, comics and video games. It also attracts in large numbers, those who want to dress up as their favourite character, London Comic Con is the UK’s largest cosplay event.

The show attracts a number of different types of visitors who support their own particular favourite genres whether it is television, films, comics, videogaming and numerous others.

The Comic Village is packed with artists, writers and graphic novels; people watch on-stage panels, play the latest games and much more. Different parts of the show tend to feature a particular genre but everyone mixes well in the friendly and easy-going atmosphere.

Many visitors are attracted by the special guests from a wide range of film and television including members of the cast of  Orange is the New Black – Taryn Manning and Jackie Cruz, stars of superhero sequel Deadpool 2 – Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapičić and Zazie Beetz, Khary Payton and Cooper Andrews from The Walking Dead, ‘Queen of Geek’ Felicia Day, Michael Biehn (Aliens, The Terminator), Kevin Conroy (famous for portraying Batman in classic ‘90s cartoon Batman: The Animated Series), Taylor Gray (Star Wars Rebels), Tara Sands (Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Overwatch heroes Lucie Pohl and Gaku Space.

MCM London Comic Con also attracts games developers including Bandai Namco and Nintendo, who bring their new & upcoming games, film companies like Universal and Warner Brothers, Amazon and much more.

Other sections are devoted to PopAsia which offers a fusion of Japanese, Korean & Asian culture. Cosplay Masquerades, CreatorScape which highlights bloggers, vloggers, artists and makers, Kidzone, gaming areas and plenty of merchandise to browse.

MCM London Comic Con is one of the capital’s more unusual shows where the visitors are very much part of the show with an amazing array of costumes and designs. The show is often a pilgrimage for fans from all over the world and is very popular especially on the Saturday and Sunday. If you are interested in any of the genres, the show really does cater for a wide range of tastes and interests.

The show is held in the ExCel London Exhibition centre which has a large number of food and drink options.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or book tickets , visit the MCM Comic Con website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review – Charles Dickens: Man of Science at the Charles Dickens Museum from 24th May to 11th November 2018

The Charles Dickens Museum presents a new exhibition entitled Charles Dickens: Man of Science that challenges the long held belief that Dickens had little interest in science.

The misconception about Dickens and science can be traced back to writer George Henry Lewes who when he saw Dickens’s library at Doughty Street in 1839, he declared him ‘completely outside philosophy, science, and the higher literature’.

However by drawing on his novels, journalism, letters and exchanges with friends, the exhibition illustrates that Dickens saw science as a potential force for good especially regarding curing disease and creating a cleaner and more healthy environment.

The exhibition reveals Dickens links to some of the greatest scientists and reformers of the day including Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin, Ada Lovelace, Mary Anning, Florence Nightingale and many more.

A little known aspect of Dickens is that his acute observations were sometimes used by the medical profession to aid diagnosis. A small wax figure of the ‘fat boy’ in Pickwick Papers is a reminder that his work was used by doctors in the 1950s when they were looking at why obese people sleep more than normal.

Dickens was fascinated by optical technologies and the exhibition features his telescope and a magic lantern. 

Although Dickens was believer in mesmerism or animal magnetism, he did not believe in Spiritualism and would often join with others to expose tricks used by those who wished to exploit the ‘vulnerable’. The exhibition includes a version of Pepper’s ghost which uses glass to create the illusion of a ghost. John Henry Pepper was a professor at The Royal Polytechnic Institute where he saw in 1862, inventor Henry Dircks Phantasmagoria which was an optical illusion to make a ghost appear on-stage. Pepper realized that the method could be used to incorporate into existing theatres. Pepper first showed the effect during a scene of Charles Dickens’s The Haunted Man, to great success.

This fascinating small exhibition illustrates that far from having no interest in science, Dickens used many of the latest scientific developments in his writing. Dickens had an extraordinary ability to observe some of smallest details of everyday life, but also saw the bigger picture. Whilst pointing out some of the human cost of the rapid industrialisation of the 19th century, Dickens had some faith that medical advances and scientific knowledge could have some beneficial benefits if practical uses could be found.

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The  Charles Dickens: Man of Science exhibition runs from 24 May – 11 November 2018 at the Charles Dickens Museum and is included in the admission ticket to the museum.

Visitors to the exhibition can also explore the Charles Dickens Museum at 48 Doughty Street, Bloomsbury, the London Townhouse into which Charles Dickens moved with his family in 1837. The Charles Dickens Museum holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dickens-related material, including the desk at which he wrote Great Expectations. 

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

London : 1968 at Tate Britain – 7th May to 31st October 2018

Vote for Guy Fawkes, 1968 Screenprint – Courtesy Alexander Peter Dukes

To mark 50 years since the protests of 1968, a new free display at Tate Britain reveals how artists in London responded to this watershed moment in political and social history.

1968 witnessed a series of protests across the globe. Although the different movements were not united by one singular goal, there was a shared sense of youthful rebellion and a struggle against oppression that was both personal and political.

 

1968 Screenprint – Courtesy Alexander Peter Dukes

London: 1968 features a series of iconic agit-prop posters by the Camden Poster Workshop, who moved their studio into the London School of Economics during the student occupation in October. Inspired by the Atelier Populaire in Paris, between 1968-1971 anyone could commission a poster from the workshop, using screenprinting equipment to create posters for workers, tenants’ associations and liberation movements from all over the world. The posters leave behind a permanent visual record of pertinent issues of the time such as rent and industrial strikes, the Vietnam War and civil rights movements in Ireland, America and South Africa.

 

Vuka: Stand by the Revolutionary Patriots of Victoria West, South Africa, 1969 Screenprint – Courtesy Alexander Peter Dukes

Also in the display, a film by Patricia Holland looks at the occupation of Hornsey School of Art by its students, while archive material delves deeper into the activities of these artists and the wider impact of May 68.

London: 1968 brings together work by radical artists including Barry Flanagan, Richard Long, Joseph Beuys and Mario Merz who participated in the landmark exhibition When Attitudes Become Form at London’s ICA in 1969. The exhibition was initiated and researched in the immediate aftermath of May 68, reflecting its idealism. Just as the student protestors were questioning the political, social and cultural establishment, these artists were questioning the nature of the art object.

 London: 1968 coincides with 1968: Protest and the Photobook, a free display at Tate Modern bringing together politically engaged photobooks made during this period. The photobooks reflect a surge of political activism in places such as France, Japan, Italy, Mexico and Czechoslovakia. Some document marches and demonstrations, with the photographer bearing witness to collective action, while in others, the photobook is itself a medium of protest, conveying a specific perspective on events.

For more information, visit the Tate Britain website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Ed Ruscha: Course of Empire at the National Gallery – 11th June to 7th October 2018

Ed Ruscha helped to shape the way that we see the American landscape over the span of his influential six-decade career. Elegant, informed, often humorous, Ruscha’s work conveys a unique brand of visual American art.

In June, for the very first time in the UK, visitors to the National Gallery have the chance to experience his modern take on the cyclical nature of civilisation with an exhibition entitled Course of Empire.

In 2005 Ruscha was invited to exhibit in the US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. He selected a set of five black-and-white landscapes which he had painted in 1992 called Blue Collar Series, all of which feature his home city of Los Angeles. Seven years later he revisited each site, seeing how the buildings had changed in the interim and this time painting them in colour, describing the works as ‘an accelerated, aged version of the same urban landscape.’ 

Ruscha called the combined series of 10 works Course of Empire in response to a sequence of paintings created by Thomas Cole (1801–1848) in the 1830’s, which is concurrently on view at the National Gallery in Thomas Cole: Eden to Empire. This is the first time ever that these two very different approaches to the same subject have been brought together simultaneously at a single institution.

Cole invented a genre of specifically American landscape painting. In The Course of Empire (1833–1836, The New-York Historical Society, New York) he traced the rise, glory, and inevitable destruction of an imaginary civilisation and his series ends in war and destruction. Ruscha also invented a new way of seeing his city and a new American urban landscape tradition. However, unlike Cole’s grandiose vision of the rise and fall of an imaginary classical civilisation, Ruscha’s Course of Empire shows the industrial buildings of Los Angeles – simple, box-like, utilitarian structures with no pretension to beauty, but suggestive of economic impact and global corporate relationships.

For more information, visit the National Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Thomas Cole: Eden to Empire at the National Gallery – 11th June to 7th October 2018

In June at the National Gallery, visitors will see the American wilderness through the eyes of British-born Thomas Cole (1801–1848).

Known for epic vistas, dramatic natural settings, and imaginative landscapes, Thomas Cole’s work depicts nature at its most powerful and vulnerable. His paintings glory in the unique terrain of the American Northeast – largely still unspoiled in his time – while serving as a cautionary tale about the use of natural resources in an increasingly industrial age.

The exhibition includes 58 works, the majority on loan from North American collections. It includes Cole’s iconic painting cycle, The Course of Empire (1834–6, New-York Historical Society) and the masterpiece that secured his career and reputation – and which has never been seen in the UK before – View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm – The Oxbow (1836, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Cole’s paintings are shown alongside works by British artists with whom he was personally acquainted, as well as those who influenced him most, including Joseph Mallord William Turner and John Constable.  

Cole is recognised as the father of landscape painting in the US. However his career was shaped by his formative years labouring in the textile mills north of Manchester, and by his later study of the European masters whose works he travelled to see in London, Paris, and Rome.

In the five years following his return to New York late in 1832, Cole painted his greatest works in response to his time abroad.  Working from drawings and oil studies, he completed his epic painting cycle The Course of Empire and The Oxbow almost simultaneously in this period – both of which may be seen as the culmination of what he took away from his experiences in London, Florence, and Rome. The Course of Empire depicts the rise and fall of an imaginary civilisation in an ancient style, but was intended to highlight the dangers of politics and commerce.

Before his untimely death in 1848 at the age of 47, Cole launched the first American school of landscape art by addressing the subject of a new country’s development with respect to its relationship with nature. Ultimately, generations of artists were influenced by Cole’s vision and resonance with the natural world.

For more information, visit the National Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibition Review – Tacita Dean: LANDSCAPE at the Royal Academy from 19th May to 12th August 2018

Tacita Dean: LANDSCAPE  is the final exhibition of three distinct exhibitions by the artist, PORTRAIT is shown at the National Portrait Gallery and STILL LIFE  at the National Gallery.

To have three exhibitions running consecutively at London’s top galleries is unprecedented and Tacita Dean: LANDSCAPE  also has the honour of inaugurating the new Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries in Burlington Gardens, part of the new look Royal Academy.

The artist defines landscape in its broadest sense and the exhibition includes collections of natural found objects, a mountainous blackboard drawing and a major new, two screen 35mm film installation, Antigone, that uses multiple exposures to combine places, people and seasons into the single cinematographic frame.

Dominating the exhibition is the snowy mountain landscape entitled The Montafon Letter (2017), which is over seven metres wide and was created using traditional chalk on blackboards.

Majesty (2006), a huge over painted photograph of the ancient Fredville Oak in Kent provides a link with the ancient and the modern world.

A series of chalk, gouache and charcoal pencil drawings of clouds fill the wall and their titles suggest some of the artist’s modern day concerns.  

One of the highlights of the exhibition will be a major new, experimental 35mm film, Antigone, shown as two simultaneous cinemascope projections. This quasi-narrative film features writer/poet Anne Carson and actor Stephen Dillane. Dean has been an ardent supporter of analogue film and continues to shoot her work on celluloid. Her Turbine Hall commission at Tate Modern titled FILM in 2011 was an homage to the medium which is threatened to be swept away by digital technology. Antigone takes Dean’s interest in landscape from the unspoilt landscape of Bodmin Moor in England to the open rangelands of Wyoming in the American West to film a rare solar eclipse.

This interesting exhibition concludes the three exhibitions by the artist, in all the exhibitions the artist has played with the traditional aspects of the genres whilst looking at new ways of exploring new avenues. This LANDSCAPE exhibition has similarities to the nearby works by Constable and Turner with approaches to the genre that create a new take on familiar themes.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Recommended

For more information , visit the Royal Academy website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Review: The New Royal Academy of Arts 2018

The Royal Academy of Arts will open its new campus to the public on Saturday 19 May 2018 as part of the celebrations of its 250th anniversary year. The redevelopment, designed by internationally-acclaimed architect Sir David Chipperfield has enable the Royal Academy to open up and reveal parts of the building and some of its historic treasures from its Collection. The changes will also enable the RA to further highlight the work of its Royal Academicians and the Royal Academy Schools.  

The redevelopment has created a link between Burlington House and Burlington Gardens which unites the buildings and creates up to 70% more space than the RA’s original Burlington House footprint.  

One of the highlights of the redevelopment is the creation of a new Royal Academy Collection Gallery which presents The Making of an Artist: The Great Tradition highlighting works from the RA Collection, including the ‘Taddei Tondo’ by Michelangelo and the RA’s almost full-size sixteenth century copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, along with paintings by Reynolds, Kauffman, Thornhill, Constable, Gainsborough and Turner.

The Architecture Studio provides a creative space that invites audience engagement with innovative and critical ideas on architecture. The space opens with Invisible Landscapes which explores the impact of technology in people’s environments.

Learning from the past has been enabled by displaying a series of historical architectural casts in The Dorfman Architecture Court.

Near to Weston Bridge, which now connects Burlington Gardens into Burlington House, The Ronald and Rita McAulay Gallery will stage site-specific installations by Royal Academicians. The first major work will be Tips for a Good Life by Bob and Roberta Smith RA (September 2018 – September 2019), on the subject of gender in the history of the RA.

The Weston Studio which is within the Royal Academy Schools complex will be the site for displays and projects developed by students and graduates, it opens with a group exhibition of works by first year students.  

Teaching has been at the forefront of the RA since the RA Schools’ foundation in 1769. In the Vaults area is an exhibit entitled The Making of an Artist: Learning to Draw which displays a remarkable selection of plaster casts from the early years of the RA Schools with works on paper from the RA’s teaching collection.

Tacita Dean: LANDSCAPE inaugurates the new Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries in Burlington Gardens which will complement the other exhibition spaces and allow a wider breadth of exhibition space to enable the RA to expand its exhibition programme and to create new and free displays of art and architecture across the campus for visitors year-round.

The new RA will encourage a public discussion and debate with a new 250 seat Benjamin West Lecture Theatre with a series of talks, festival and educational programmes.

Attending the Royal Academy is always a pleasure because there is so much history ingrained into the fabric of the building. It was reassuring the new development has not tried to bring the building up to date but rather highlighted some of the idiosyncratic aspects of the building. So the brickwork in the Vaults provides a welcome relief from the more classical aspects of the entrances and stairways.  

The Royal Academy of the Arts has great traditions but because it is run by artists is well aware that it is often about paying homage to the past but not being constricted by it. In recent years, the RA has built a great reputation by maintaining the often fragile balance between promoting new art and preserving the traditions of the organisation. This new development is yet another milestone in the illustrious history of the organisation and provides evidence that it can celebrate its 250th anniversary year with confidence in its future.

Royal Academy will unveil the new and transformed campus to the general public on the 19th May 2018.

For more information , visit the Royal Academy website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
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