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Monthly Archives: August 2021

Summer Exhibition 2021 at the Royal Academy from 22 September 2021 – 2 January 2022

The Royal Academy presents this year’s Summer Exhibition, which has been delayed to the autumn for the second time in its long history due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. At a time when artists have been denied important opportunities to show work, the 253rd Summer Exhibition will be a unique celebration of contemporary art and architecture, providing a vital platform and support for the artistic community. It remains the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show and has been held every year without interruption since 1769, even throughout the war years.

Yinka Shonibare RA is the co-ordinator of the Summer Exhibition 2021 and the exhibition will explore the theme of ‘Reclaiming Magic’ to celebrate the joy of creating art. Shonibare said “This exhibition seeks a return to the visceral aspects and the sheer joy of art making.

Invited artists this year will include Michael Armitage, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Ellen Gallagher, Rita Keegan, Jade Montserrat, Magdalene Odundo, Faith Ringgold and Betye Saar. New work for the exhibition will be shown by Alvaro Barrington, Angela de la Cruz, Hew Locke, Cassi Namoda, andLawrence Lemaoana, who has created a large-scale textile kanga. The exhibition will be anchored to a special dedication to the self-taught American artist Bill Traylor (1853 – 1949) who was born into slavery and only began to draw his recollections and observations in 1939. Further self-taught artists will include Souleymane Fall, Nnena Kalu, Frantz Lamothe, Bärbel Lange, Marie-Rose Lortet, Frank Walter and Johnson Weree.

David Adjaye RA is curating this year’s Architecture Room which will consider architecture through the expression of ‘Climate and Geography (or vice versa)’ focusing on the context of site, geography, climate, political climate, people, community and culture. Royal Academician architects featured will include Farshid Moussavi, Richard Rogers and Caruso St John, and invited architects will include Sean Canty, Counterspace and Atelier Masomi. As part of the sound programme, Peter Adjaye, a conceptual sound artist, has created a ‘soundtrack’ for the Architecture Room.

In addition to the large number of public submissions, Royal Academicians and Honorary Academicians will be showing new works, including Phyllida Barlow, William Kentridge, Conrad Shawcross, Wolfgang Tillmans and Rose Wylie. John Akomfrah RA will have a dedicated gallery showing his video work Peripeteia, 2012.

This year, the Summer Exhibition will expand beyond the spatial and visual with a sound programme. The programme, which is intended to be played through personal headphones to enhance the experience of the exhibition, will include soundscapes and poetry by six artists.

Works from all over the world are judged democratically on merit and the final selection is made during the eight-day hang in the galleries. This year the Royal Academy received over 15,000 entries, of which around 1200 works, in a range of media, will go on display. This open, inclusive and democratic show supports the artistic community, art education and provides a display of creativity and joy for the public.

The majority of works in the Summer Exhibition will be for sale, offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original work. Funds raised support the exhibiting artists, the postgraduate students studying in the RA Schools and the not-for-profit work of the Royal Academy.

For more information and tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here

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London: Port City at the Museum of London Docklands from 22 October 2021 – 8 May 2022

At this time, the ‘Tuscania’ was operated by Cunard on the London – New York passenger route.

The Port of London is the subject of a major exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands in October, the exhibition entitled London: Port City explores how the Port of London has changed and shaped the city, its people, places and language, over centuries. The exhibition will trace more than 200 years of experiences and intense activity on a river.

The exhibition is in the Museum of London Docklands, itself originally part of West India Docks, London’s first enclosed dock system and packed with valuable cargoes from around the world from 1802 until its closure in 1980.

The first consignment of 28 railway carriages for Kenya & Uganda railways arriving at the Royal Albert Dock, lifted by the London Mammoth.

The exhibition will draw upon the extensive archives of the Port of London Authority (PLA) to present a wider picture of the complex operations that have enabled the Port to connect London to the rest of the world, from the final days of the 18th century to the creation of the huge London Gateway ‘mega port’ in the Thames Estuary. The exhibition will full of stories, incidents, major operations, characters, technological advances, pivotal moments, surprising details and little-known facts.

Imported bananas being handled at the Royal Docks.

Exhibition highlights include:

Revealing the stories behind 80 words and expressions that entered the English language and the place names of streets and pubs as a result of the docks including ‘crack on’, ‘aloof’ and ‘Mudchute’.

An impressive audio visual display that will transport visitors into the PLA control room, using large-scale projections to create a day in the life of the Port of London, with multiple spectacular views of the river and all of the activity happening 24 hours a day.

Deal porters being trained under Port of London Authority supervision at Surrey Docks.

An interactive timeline reveals stories from the docks since 1800, using 222 objects from the PLAs vast and eclectic archive. Material ranges from sandals with hollowed out soles to smuggle opium, seized in the 1870s, to original plans for the world’s most innovative purpose-built dock complexes.

Many of the dockers whose voices feature throughout the exhibition recall being hit by a heady aroma as a new cargo was unloaded or as they made their way through different areas of the docks. Visitors will experience a suite of distinct scents, carefully blended to capture the original pungency of the port.

Trade Winds: London, a new artwork by contemporary artist Susan Stockwell, using archive material and international currency to explore themes of international trade, economies, migration and empire. Elsewhere, a new artwork by Hilary Powell uses experimental photographic techniques and film to explore the container shipping industry and the people who keep it going.

Importantly, the exhibition will address the wider global context of London’s seaborne trade, most notably its historical dependence on the sugar trade and slavery. A document commemorating the original unveiling of the statue of merchant and slave owner Robert Milligan, which was removed from outside the museum in 2020, is displayed alongside original plans for docks.

For more information, visit the Museum of London Docklands 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