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Exhibition Review : Joseph Cornell – Wanderlust at the Royal Academy from 4th July to 27th September 2015

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The Royal Academy of Arts  presents an exhibition of works by American artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972). Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust  offers an overview of the artist’s career , surveying around 80 of Cornell’s  box constructions, assemblages, collages and films.

The last major solo exhibition of Cornell in Europe took place nearly 35 years ago at the Whitechapel Gallery in the UK.  His work is not widely known in the UK and is rarely shown in European museums and Art Galleries. Many of his works are in private collections especially in the USA.

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Joseph Cornell was born in Nyack, New York in 1903, although he was born into a well-off family, the death of his father in 1917, placed the family in strained financial circumstances. Cornell lived for most of his life in Queens, with his widowed mother and disabled brother Robert.

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The exhibition gives us some insight into his early works that were inspired by his love for collecting. He would often wander the streets of Manhattan buying books, engravings, prints, photographs and other objects. His collections, especially his paper ephemera became the material for his works and covered a wide range of interests including opera, European history, ornithology and astronomy.

It is possible that Cornell’s family restrictions gave rise to a heightened imagination in which he would explore far-away times and places and his work  especially the boxes provided a method to enable his creativity to find an outlet.

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The boxes in the exhibition offer intriguing insights into Cornell’s world view in the early part of the 20th century.  Some are relatively straight forward like Pharmacy with its miniature representation of glass bottles found in the local pharmacy. Others illustrate Cornell’s sense of humour, Habitat Group for a Shooting Gallery offers the view of birds behind a shattered glass with a bullet hole.

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The Soap Bubble sets offer perhaps a more enigmatic narrative, old clay pipes share the box with a map of the solar system , a glass and other items. One of his most famous series is the ‘Medici Slot Machines’  which  juxtaposes Old Master paintings with symbols of childhood amusement.

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Cornell never married and often uses the boxes as almost shrines to famous female film stars, opera singers  and ballerina’s. Cornell felt a great affinity to Emily Dickinson and his box Toward the Blue Peninsula : for Emily Dickinson indicates that like her he often felt caged by life and yearned for the blue skies beyond.

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Although sometimes considered to be an outsider from art scene, there is evidence in his dairies that Cornell engaged with the New York art scene at the time. He was friends with Marcel Duchamp and Robert Motherwell; he also knew Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning and received visits from younger artists like Andy Warhol. He exhibited regularly during his lifetime and had gallery representation which helped him sell his work. His influence can be detected in later artistic movements such as Pop Art and  Minimalism. In 1967, he had a retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York – at the time he was only the fourth American artist to receive this honour after Rothko, Alexander Calder and Barnett Newman.

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This intriguing exhibition offers the opportunity for many to discover Joseph Cornell for the first time. His work is often a narrative in which disparate items are bought together in a variety of box constructions, assemblages, collages and films. It is these narratives that often delight, amuse and confuse and probably that was what Cornell intended. They are often enigmatic but deeply personal pieces from an artist whose restricted life experiences gave forth to a vivid imagination.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here

Joseph Cornell : Wanderlust
4 July — 27 September 2015
The Sackler Wing, Burlington House
£11.50 (without donation £10).
Concessions available.
Friends of the RA and under 16s go free

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Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
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Review : RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – 30th June to 5th July 2015

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This year will be 25th year of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The show was first held in 1990 and created by Historic Royal Palaces and Network Southeast. In 1992 Network Southeast announced that it was withdrawing its subsidy, and the RHS was the successful bidder to take the show over. The first RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show was held in 1993.

Although it lacks the history of the Chelsea Flower Show, the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show has a Royal setting and in a relatively short time has established itself as one of the world’s largest flower shows.

It is the size of the showground that makes Hampton Court Flower Show very different from Chelsea with much more room to explore the gardens and the displays.

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The issue of small gardens in particular are in the news,  A new RHS campaign, Greening Grey Britain was launched in April to reverse the trend in declining green spaces after it was found that three times as many front gardens are now paved over compared to ten years ago – more than half of all gardens in London contain no plants. This is a cause for concern on many levels with plenty of evidence that green spaces play a major part in promoting health and wellbeing.

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The Wellbeing of Women Garden champions the therapeutic benefits of gardening. Wellbeing of Women is a charity that funds research into issues that affect women’s health. Garden designers Wendy von Buren, Claire Moreno and Amy Robertson were inspired by personal experience, to champion the charity’s work and shine a spotlight on the health benefits of gardening.

Each year the show has particular themes and this year  they are  Grow, Feast and Inspire.

In Grow, keen gardeners have access to a range of nursery displays and plant stalls, with RHS advisors on hand to offer expert tips to take back to their own gardens. Dominating the Grow zone is the Floral Marquee  where you can see award-winning nurseries from the UK and abroad and buy from a large selection of beautiful plants.

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Next to the Floral Marquee is The Plant Village with a wide range of stands to find those gifts and Plant Heritage where you can  get specialist advice .

Food is the priority in the Feast zone , visitors can find out how to grow their favourite vegetables, taste a wealth of fine foods and take away growing ideas to try at home.

Over the week top  cooking and growing experts will be demonstrating their skills including James Wong, Greg Wallace, Rachel de Thame and Rachel Allen.

There is plenty of top food outlets around the showground to explore and many producers have stands in the Great Tastes market.

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One of the highlights of the show is the small gardens that encourages and inspires visitors to think about contemporary garden design.  There are a large number of  Show Gardens, Conceptual Gardens and Summer Gardens, World gardens celebrating  Turkey, Sri Lanka, USA, Normandy and the Aegean  give the show an international feel.

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This year there are Historical Gardens that celebrate Winnie the Pooh, the Magna Carta and the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

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Other highlights of the show are the Festival of Roses, Floristry Marquee  and top gardeners giving talks in the RHS Celebrity Theatre.

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The show has everything for the horticultural minded with a large number of trade stands and RHS stands that tell you more about the work of the RHS and give advice and information about community and gardening groups.

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The show has its own child’s area marked by a giant scarecrow, other scarecrows can decorated by children for a competition. Children are entertained in a number of ways including a Kid’s Cookery School.

With good weather expected for this week, the Hampton Court Flower Show will be a popular destination for plant lovers, in its picturesque setting next to Hampton Court Palace and the Thames it offers a great deal to visitors.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Show times

Tuesday to Saturday (30 June – 4 July) 10am – 7.30pm
Sunday (5 July)10am – 5.30pm *

* (plant sell off 4.30pm)

Tickets

Tuesday and Wednesday are days reserved for RHS Members Only

Tickets are available for Thursday to Sunday for the General Public.

Transport

Hampton Court and Kingston stations are approximately 30 minutes from London Waterloo, with frequent trains. The showground is a 15 minute walk or short ferry ride (£2.50 for a single journey) from Hampton Court station, or a 30 minute cruise from Kingston station (£6 single, £7.50 return).

To find out more about the event or to buy tickets to the show , visit the RHS 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 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

Prom 1: First Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall – 17th July 2015

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Prom 1: First Night of the Proms
19:30 Friday 17 Jul 2015,  Royal Albert Hall

Nielsen
Maskarade
overture (5 mins)

Gary Carpenter
Dadaville
BBC commission: world premiere (6 mins)

Mozart
Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor   (31 mins)

INTERVAL

Sibelius
Belshazzar’s Feast – suite  (16 mins)

Walton
Belshazzar’s Feast  (34 mins)

Lars Vogt   piano
Christopher Maltman   baritone
BBC Singers
BBC National Chorus of Wales
BBC Symphony Chorus
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Sakari Oramo   conductor

Two Nordic anniversaries launch this year’s BBC Proms: Denmark’s Carl Nielsen and Finland’s Jean Sibelius both celebrate their 150th-birthday years. Two  musical retellings of the story of the Babylonian king Belshazzar are included in the first of this summer’s feast of choral works. Celebrated German pianist Lars Vogt is soloist in the first of six late great Mozart piano concertos, and British composer Gary Carpenter spearheads the 32 premieres this season .

If you would like to find out more about the Prom or buy a ticket, visit the Proms 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 , 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

 

Prom 19: Alina Ibragimova plays Bach at the Royal Albert Hall – 31st July 2015

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Prom 19: Alina Ibragimova plays Bach
22:15 Friday 31st July 2015,  Royal Albert Hall

Bach

Sonata No. 1 in G minor for solo violin, BWV 1001  (17 mins)
Partita No. 1 in B minor for solo violin, BWV 1002  (28 mins)
Sonata No. 2 in A minor for solo violin, BWV 1003  (24 mins)

Alina Ibragimova   violin

It is daunting for a single, solo instrumentalist to play in the Royal Albert Hall, but acclaimed violinist Alina Ibragimova  takes up the challenge at a Late Night Prom, Ibragimova will be  making the first of several appearances this season, performing Bach’s complete Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, split across two concerts.

If you would like to find out more about the Prom or buy a ticket, visit the Proms 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 , 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

 

Prom 15: Prokofiev, Qigang Chen and Rachmaninov at the Royal Albert Hall – 29th July 2015

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Prom 15: Prokofiev, Qigang Chen & Rachmaninov
18:30 Wednesday 29th July 2015,  Royal Albert Hall

Prokofiev
Symphony No. 1 in D major, ‘Classical’  (15 mins)

Qigang Chen
Iris dévoilée  (42 mins)

INTERVAL

Rachmaninov
Symphony No. 2 in E minor  (59 mins)

Meng Meng   soprano
Anu Komsi   soprano
Piia Komsi   soprano
Jia Li   pipa
Jing Chang   zheng
Nan Wang   erhu
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Xian Zhang   conductor

After the  Prokofiev piano concerto cycle, this Prom opens with the Russian’s bright and joyous ‘Classical’ Symphony, which surprised critics of the young firebrand composer with its formal elegance. It’s paired with Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony – beloved for its intimate, lyrical slow movement. Rachmaninov might be the original composer of the ‘big tune’, but it’s an instinct China’s Qigang Chen – a pupil of Messiaen – shares. East and West come together for his evocative Iris dévoilée, pairing traditional Chinese instruments with Western harmonies.

If you would like to find out more about the Prom or buy a ticket, visit the Proms 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 , 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

Prom 13: Holst – The Planets at the Royal Albert Hall on 27th July 2015

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Prom 13: Holst – The Planets
19:30 Monday 27 Jul 2015,  Royal Albert Hall

Pierre Boulez
Notations 1–4 & 7  (17 mins)

Luca Francesconi

Duende – The Dark Notes
BBC co-commission: UK premiere (26 mins)

INTERVAL
Holst
The Planets  (51 mins)

Leila Josefowicz   violin
Elysian Singers (women’s voices)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Susanna Mälkki   conductor

Acclaimed composer Pierre Boulez was born 90 years ago. The Proms celebrations continue with one of his earliest works. Originally a series of 12 brilliant miniatures for piano, Notations is gradually being expanded by the composer into an orchestral cycle. Holst’s The Planets brings musical imagery of a different kind. Violinist Leila Josefowicz makes a welcome return to the Proms, with a new concerto composed specially for her by one of Italy’s greatest living composers.

If you would like to find out more about the Prom or buy a ticket, visit the Proms 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 , 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

Prom 11: Fiddler on the Roof at the Royal Albert Hall – 25th July 2015

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Prom 11: Fiddler on the Roof
19:00 Saturday 25 Jul 2015,  Royal Albert Hall

Bock
Fiddler on the Roof
(semi-staged) (165 mins)

Bryn Terfel   Tevye
Janet Fullerlove   Golde
Charlotte Harwood   Tzeitel
Katie Hall   Hodel
Molly Lynch   Chava
Rebecca Wheatley   Yente
Anthony Flaum   Motel
Jordan Pollard   Perchik
Cameron Blakely   Lazar Wolf
Houcheng Kian   Fiddler
Grange Park Opera
BBC Concert Orchestra
David Charles Abell   conductor

The popular musical Fiddler on the Roof gets the Proms treatment, with numbers such as ‘If I were a rich man’, ‘Sunrise, sunset’ and ‘Miracle of Miracles’. Hampshire’s Grange Park Opera makes its Proms debut with a semi-staged performance of its new production starring Bryn Terfel as Tevye, the village milkman in pre-Revolutionary Russia trying, in vain, to bring up his five daughters within the time-honoured traditions of his Jewish forebears.

If you would like to find out more about the Prom or buy a ticket, visit the Proms 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 , 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