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Review : Taste of London at Regent’s Park – 13th to 17th June 2018

Regent’s Park is once again transformed for a foodie festival with the return of Taste of London. The festival is in its 16th edition and has become a popular celebration of good food and drink and offers visitors the opportunity to sample dishes from some of the top London restaurants such as Roka, Club Gascon, Bao, Barrafina, Cinnamon Bazaar, Hutong, Corazon and many more.

The event is well-known for its relaxing festival vibe with plenty of free samples for the hungry crowds to sample as they made their way around the festival site.

The festival provides a large range of food and drink related experiences with wonderful aromatic dishes from  pop up restaurants and top chefs like Magnus Nilsson, Rohit Ghai, Neil Rankin, Andy Oliver and  Vivek Singh in attendance.

For a special treat, The Taste Residence includes bespoke 4-course tasting menus by world-leading chefs Magnus Nilsson, Niklas Ekstedt, Sean Gray and Manoella Buffara.

If you want to get more involved there are plenty of opportunities to take part in interactive masterclasses and demonstrations and try a wide range of activities including champagne, wine, whiskey and craft beer tastings.

If you are looking for something different, head towards the food markets where there are artisan producers and manufacturers offering exclusive and unique products with plenty of opportunities to sample before you buy. New this year is the Start-Up Collective to help you discover the food trends of the future.

Part of the popularity of the Taste of London festival is that there is something for everyone, if you are looking for something special you can treat yourself in the VIP Lounge or sip Champagne in the Laurent – Perrier Club House.

The Taste of London festival appeals to a wide range of people from the dedicated foodie who can sample dishes from top restaurants to those who enjoy the relaxing festival atmosphere with plenty of food and drink options to enjoy.

Each session at the Taste of London lasts between 4-5 hours and that gives you plenty of time to enjoy your pick of restaurant dishes, browse the artisan stalls and enjoy some of the many attractions.

Taste of London, Regent’s Park (13 – 17 June 2018)

Wednesday 13 June 17:30 – 21:30

Thursday 14 June 12:00 – 16:00 & 17:30 – 21:30

Friday 15 June 12:00 – 16:00 & 17:30 – 21:30

Saturday 16 June 12:00 – 16:00 & 17:30 – 21:30

Sunday 17 June 12:00 – 17:00

Visiting London Guide Rating- Highly Recommended 

For more information or book tickets , visit the Taste of London 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

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Exhibition Review – Frida Kahlo : Making Her Self Up at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 16th June to 4th November 2018

The V&A presents an exhibition that explores the life and times of Frida Kahlo, the exhibition entitled Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up is the first exhibition outside of Mexico to display her clothes and intimate possessions, reuniting them with key self-portraits and photographs to offer a comprehensive perspective on her life story.

The V&A, working in close collaboration with Museo Frida Kahlo displays more than 200 objects from the Blue House where Kahlo lived for most of her life. Kahlo’s personal items including outfits, letters, jewellery, cosmetics, medicines and medical corsets were discovered in 2004, 50 years after being sealed in the Blue House by her husband Diego Rivera, the Mexican muralist, following her death in 1954.

The beginning of the exhibition is centred around Kahlo’s early life at the Blue House, located in Coyoacán, on the outskirts of Mexico City. Kahlo’s father Guillermo Kahlo was a photographer and a number of his photographs are included in the exhibition. The section also includes early paintings and photographs of Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera and with some of their influential circle of friends including Communist leader Leon Trotsky who features in a rare film with the couple.

Kahlo suffered from a series of illnesses and injuries throughout her life starting from contracting polio when she was a young child to a near-fatal bus crash at the age of 18, which led her to being bed-bound and immobilised for protracted periods of time. It was at this time that she began to create a series of self portraits that often addressed her physical and mental condition at the time.

The exhibition features a number of medical and orthopaedic items that was discovered when the Blue House objects were found in 2004. Kahlo possessed many supportive bodices and spine back braces which sometimes were covered with religious and communist symbolism. Paintings from this time often included tragic imagery relating to her miscarriages.

Following the Mexican Revolution, Kahlo began to show her cultural and national pride by using the art and traditions of indigenous people of the country in her work. On one of the walls, there is number of ex votos, from Kahlo and Rivera’s collection. These small votive paintings of popular art, made mainly in tin, offered to a saint or to a divinity in gratitude for the fulfillment of a miracle.

Other people began to explore some of the attractions of Mexico in the 1920s, foreign artists, writers, photographers and documentary film makers began to document Mexico and often gravitated to Kahlo and Rivera who were making a name for themselves inside and outside of Mexico. The exhibition features a number of photographs from this period by Edward Weston, Tina Modotti and Nickolas Muray.

Kahlo and Rivera separated in 1935 and Kahlo’s work began to be noticed by American galleries leading to a 1938 solo exhibition in New York. Kahlo had an exhibition in Paris in 1939 organised by surrealists Andre Breton and Marcel Duchamp, one of the paintings entitled The Frame was bought the Louvre which was their first acquisition by a 20th century Mexican artist.

The final room in the exhibition is devoted to the many garments from Kahlo’s collection including rebozos, a traditional Mexican shawl, huipiles, an embroidered square-cut top, enaguas and holanes, long skirts with flounces, and jewellery ranging from pre-Columbian jade beads to modern silverwork. One of the highlights is a resplandor, a lace headdress worn by the women of the matriarchal society from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region in Southern Mexico, paired with a self-portrait of Kahlo wearing it.

This intriguing and unusual exhibition illustrates many aspects of the complex life of Frida Kahlo. Her long-standing health problems influenced much of her early art which often included a retreat in mythical imagery to show some of the pain she was enduring. However there was another side to Kahlo’s personality in which she became something of a ‘celebrity’ and enjoyed life to the full and led her to create an identity that seems to resonate with many people.

In the past 20 or more years, Frida Kahlo has become an ‘icon’ for many groups. A visit to this exhibition will provide some evidence why she is considered something of a countercultural and feminist symbol.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information , visit the V & A 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

Exhibition Review : BP Portrait Award 2018 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery – 14th June to 23rd September 2018

The BP Portrait Award, now in its 39th year at the National Portrait Gallery and 29th year of sponsorship by BP, is a highly successful annual art event aimed at encouraging artists to tackle the theme of painted portraiture within their work. The BP Portrait Award, one of the world’s most prestigious art competitions, has a first prize of £35,000, making it one of the largest for any global arts competition.

The BP Portrait Award is popular with artists with 2,667 entries from 88 countries; it is also popular with the public, last year the BP Portrait Award exhibition received over 300,000 visitors.

The entries were narrowed down to the final 48 works selected for the BP Portrait Award 2018 exhibition, the winners were selected from the portraits chosen for the exhibition.

The prestigious first prize was won by London-based artist, Miriam Escofet for An Angel at my Table, a portrait of her mother drinking tea. Miriam Escofet’s prize is £35,000 and a commission, at the National Portrait Gallery Trustees’ discretion, worth £7,000 (agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist).

The second prize of £12,000 went to American painter, Felicia Forte, for Time Traveller, Matthew Napping, depicting her boyfriend Mathew asleep in bed.

The third prize of £10,000 went to Chinese artist, Zhu Tongyao for Simone his portrait of his neighbours’ child from his time staying in Florence.

The BP Young Artist Award of £9,000 for the work of a selected entrant aged between 18 and 30 has been won by 28 year-old Suffolk based artist Ania Hobson for A Portrait of two Female Painters a portrait of the artist with her sister-in-law.

The winner of the BP Travel Award 2018, an annual prize to enable artists to work in a different environment on a project related to portraiture, was Robert Seidel for his proposal to travel along the route of the river Danube by train, boat and bike to connect with people and make portraits in the regions through which the river passes. The prize of £8,000 is open to applications from any of this year’s BP Portrait Award-exhibited artists, except the prize-winners.

Part of the attraction of this free exhibition is to enjoy the wide variety of portraiture which features some famous and not so famous faces. The standard is consistently high and it is fun when you wander around the exhibition to pick out your own particular favourites and decide whether you agree with the judge’s choices.

The BP Portrait Award 2018 exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from Thursday 14 June to Sunday 23 September 2018. Admission is free.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Recommended

For more information, visit the National Portrait 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 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

Exhibition Review – The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy from 12th June to 19th August 2018

The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition is the world’s longest running annual exhibition of contemporary art and has been held each year without interruption since 1769. To celebrate the 250th anniversary, the Royal Academy presents a special exhibition that will run alongside the 2018 Summer Exhibition, The Great Spectacle tells the story of the annual show by featuring highlights from the past 250 years.

The exhibition features over 80 paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints from the first Summer Exhibition through to the present day by artists such as Sir Joshua Reynolds, Angelica Kauffman, Elizabeth Butler, Thomas Gainsborough, Thomas Lawrence, John Constable, J.M.W. Turner, John Everett Millais, Sir Frederic Leighton, John Singer Sargent, Peter Blake, Tracey Emin, Zaha Hadid, Sir Michael Craig-Martin, David Hockney and Wolfgang Tillmans, amongst others.

The exhibition begins with William Powell Frith’s, A Private View at the Royal Academy, 1881 exhibited in 1883, which depicts the characteristic hang of the Summer Exhibition with the familiar crowded arrangement of pictures.

The Summer Exhibition has since 1769 played an important role within London’s art world by allowing artists and architects to showcase their talents and compete with their rivals for the popular and critical acclaim.

The Great Spectacle exhibition is arranged in chronological sections: A Georgian Parade; The Rise of Genre Painting; The Triumph of Landscape; The Pre-Raphaelites Arrive; Victorian Acclaim; Dealing with the Modern; Exhibiting Architecture; Post-War Visions and New Sensations to allow visitors to take a journey through British art.

As you wander through the small intimate rooms, the story begins to unfold. Works from Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough vie for your attention as they would have done in the 18th century. 

Works from John Constable and Turner provide evidence of another golden age for British painting in the 19th century. 

The Victorians were great supporters of the Summer Exhibition which they attended in their thousands, John Everett Millais was a general favourite with the crowds.

Rodin’s The Age of Bronze provides a glimpse into the future with works by John Singer Sargent and Laura Knight providing some sense of the period at the start of the 20th century. 

Sir Winston Churchill’s Winter Sunshine, Chartwell was submitted in 1947 under the pseudonym David Winter and Pietro Annigoni’s Queen Elizabeth II attracted huge crowds when exhibited in 1955.

Peter Blake bought a sense of the 1960s which led the rise of Brit Art and artists who created works like Tracey Emin’s There’s a Lot of Money in Chairs exhibited in 2001 and Michael Craig-Martin’s Reconstructing Seurat (Orange exhibited in 2007. 

The intriguing Great Spectacle exhibition provides visitors with plenty of evidence that the Summer Exhibition is often an uneasy balance of the traditional and the new. Although we would consider Constable and Turner as traditional painters, in their day they were considered radical.

Over the period of 250 years, it is safe to say that some periods are more exciting than others but that is often seen in hindsight. People have attended the Summer Exhibition because they wanted to be amused and surprised by contemporary art. This is perhaps one constant that has changed little over the last 250 years of the exhibition.   

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, 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
here

Exhibition Review : The 250th Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy – 12th June to 19th August 2018

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is one of the great English Art traditions, it is the world’s oldest open-submission exhibition being established in 1768 whose long line of exhibitors reads like a Who’s Who of British Art. Some of the earliest exhibitors included the likes of Reynolds, Constable and Turner, however the exhibition prides itself that it offers a snapshot of contemporary art.

This year, the Royal Academy celebrates its 250th Summer Exhibition, and to mark this momentous occasion, the exhibition is co-ordinated by Grayson Perry RA.  Perry, alongside the Summer Exhibition Committee, celebrate the democracy of the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show by exhibiting a range of art being made in this moment in time with the theme of ‘Art Made Now’.  For the first time, the Summer Exhibition spreads across the new RA and the streets of Bond Street, Piccadilly, Regent Street and Regent Street St. James’s with Royal Academicians Rose Wylie, Grayson Perry, Cornelia Parker and Joe Tilson decorating the streets with an installation of over 200 flags.

Some of the highlights of the exhibition include the Anish Kapoor’s monumental sculpture Symphony for a Beloved Daughter, which is installed in the Royal Academy’s Annenberg Courtyard.

In the Main Galleries, David Hockney shows two vast new works which combine photographs taken from many view-points into a single monumental image. 

The Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos show an enormous textile body Royal Valkyrie in the Central Hall.

Further artists exhibiting include Mona Hatoum, Antony Gormley, Michael Landy, Richard Long, Bob and Roberta Smith, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jane and Louise Wilson, Bruce Nauman and Ed Ruscha.

Piers Gough curates the Architecture Gallery which features models of varying sizes and mediums.

This year, the exhibition features over 1,300 works on show, unlike many major exhibitions, many of the works in the exhibition will be on sale.

Each room offers a kaleidoscope of colour and images in a range of media, from painting, printmaking, film and photography to sculpture, architectural works and performance art.

The Summer Exhibition offers a platform for emerging and established artists and architects to showcase their work in front of a large international audience. The Summer Exhibition also plays a practical role in training young artists, it raises funds to finance the current students of the RA Schools. The RA Schools is the longest established art school in the UK and offers the only free three-year postgraduate programme in Europe.

This fascinating exhibition has a large number of wonderfully eclectic works on display, there is really something for everyone regardless of your particular artistic taste. The Summer Exhibition is one of the highlights of the art world’s summer and attracts a wide range of visitors. It also offers a rare opportunity to buy works from well-known and not so well-known artists with prices ranging from a few hundred to over a hundred thousand pounds.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, 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
here

 

Exhibition Review – Aftermath: Art in the wake of World War One at Tate Britain from 5th June to 23rd September 2018

Tate Britain presents an exhibition entitled Aftermath: Art in the wake of World War One which marks 100 years since the end of the First World War and explores the immediate impact of the conflict on British, German and French art. The exhibition brings together over 150 works from 1916 to 1932 by artists including George Grosz, Fernand Léger, Jacob Epstein, Paul Nash and C.R.W. Nevinson.

The first room in the exhibition illustrates some of the problems faced by artists in portraying the war. With many artists restricted by state censorship, many of the pictures are symbolic with devastated landscapes or soldier’s helmets or other equipment scattered on the battlefield. Pictures such as William Orpen’s A Grave in a Trench 1917 and Paul Jouve’s Tombe d’un soldat serbe a Kenali 1917 became part of the visual culture of portraying the conflict.

After the armistice, the attention moved from the battlefield to official public memorials which would provide a focus for mourning and remembrance. In the UK, the Cenotaph and the Tomb for the Unknown Soldier became important memorials which were used in remembrance ceremonies. Artists including Käthe Kollwitz, André Mare and Charles Sargeant Jagger produced sculptural memorials to commemorate those who lost their lives in the conflict. The large memorials contrasted with some of the more smaller and more personal memorials that used relics of the battlefield such as shrapnel and mortar shells.

The exhibition illustrates that although the dead were mourned after the war, those that had survived but suffered terrible physical and psychological scars faced an uncertain future with little infrastructure to deal with the scale of the problems. In Britain, images of wounded soldiers such as Henry Tonks’s medical pastel portraits give some idea of some of the issues. In Germany, Works such as George Grosz’s Grey Day 1921 and Otto Dix’s Prostitute and Disabled War Veteran 1923 were used in a more political sense.

For some artists, the traditional genres of painting seemed incapable of illustrating the fragmentation of societies and psychology of the self. Jacob Epstein had produced the powerful abstract Torso in metal from the ‘Rock Drill’ in 1913-14 but after the war the birth of dada and surrealism in the work of Hannah Höch, Max Ernst, André Masson and Edward Burra began to create new visual forms to process experiences and memories of the conflict. Heartfield’s The Petit-Bourgeois Philistine Heartfield Gone Wild. Electro-Mechanical Tatlin Sculpture 1920 provides a very different approach to portray physical and psychological scars.

Prints became a popular way to portray some of the aspects of the conflicts and the Print Portfolio room has a series of prints by Max Beckmann, Käthe Kollwitz and Georges Rouault.

The final rooms examine how post-war society began to rebuild itself, some artists such as Georges Braque, Christian Schad and Winifred Knights sought  reassurance from the past whilst others such as Fernand Léger, Paul Citroen, and C.R.W. Nevinson turned their minds to visions of a technological future in the modern city.

This fascinating exhibition is the latest in a series of exhibitions and events in London that have portrayed different aspects of the First World War. This exhibition deals specifically with the impact on British, French and German art and it is noticeable that the artistic response in many ways reflected how the various nations were impacted by the war. Britain had suffered very little physical damage but suffered considerable psychological damage with its large losses and injuries. France had to deal with large areas of physical and psychological damage. Germany had suffered less physical damage, but the war and the paying of reparations led to considerable political turmoil that would eventually lead to rise of Nazi Germany.

Visiting London Guide Rating  – Highly Recommended 

For more information or to book tickets, 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.
To find out more visit the website
here

Music and the City : New Tracks from Musicity London

Do you associate a place with a piece of music ? A new project is taking this concept a stage further by creating new songs and music inspired by the buildings of London.

Musicity London combines music, architecture and technology to build a living archive of the sounds of cities.

Musicity invites musicians to choose a building and then create new songs and compositions inspired by the design, history or their personal connections to that place. The new track is then available for free streaming or download via the new, free Musicity app on any smartphone, but only at that particular location..

Created by BBC broadcaster, DJ and music curator, Nick Luscombe, Musicity is a new kind of travel guide to a city, exploring the ways in which cities influence the culture that emerges from within them and the melodies and stories inspired by our personal experiences of architecture. The plan is to build soundtracks of cities – with compilations of the tracks eventually being released as a physical box set.

From Saturday 2 June 2018, an assortment of London buildings will be given their own new soundtrack, as part of a project which invites musicians and recording artists to compose tracks for buildings in cities around the world. In the latest instalment of the Musicity project, seven artists have created seven new songs or pieces of music especially for seven London buildings. Each composition can be streamed and downloaded free of charge but only by visiting each building with a smartphone. Once there, people can listen to the new music on musicityglobal.com while taking in the architecture and neighbourhood that inspired it. 

The chosen buildings include twenty 18th century almshouses built for the ‘poor decayed men’ of Southwark, the White Cube Bermondsey gallery, the box-shaped tribute to pioneering scientist Michael Faraday that sits at the centre of Elephant and Castle gyratory system and Southwark Cathedral, parts of which date back to the 13th century. Each track is geo-tagged so that they become available to hear when a person – and their smartphone – reaches each building.

Participating artists include The Memory Band, led by producer and bassist Stephen Cracknell and combining digital machinery and acoustic instruments to make ‘traditional music from the future’; Shamus Dark, who performs songs from the ‘American Songbook’ using contemporary arrangements and digital technology; Langham Research Centre, whose sound emerges from classic radiophonic instruments, vintage electronics, tape recorders and sine-tone oscillators; Lossy, aka composer, prouder and multi-instrumentalist Sam Sharp working with talented singers and musicians from the Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey; Hatis Noit, hailing from northern Japan, self-taught and inspired by everything from Gagaku (Japanese classical music) and operatic styles, Bulgarian and Gregorian chanting, to avant-garde and pop vocalists; singer-songwriter, actor, dancer and performance artist, Chisara Agor, who is influenced by jazz, folk, storytelling and electronic sounds; and music producer and interior architect, Sooski, who pursues both professions in parallel and with equal passion.

 Artists and their buildings:

The Memory Band – Flat Iron Square, 68 Union Street, SE1 1TD

Shamus Dark – Hopton’s Almshouses, Hopton Street, SE1 9JJ

Langham Research Centre – Tate Switch House (aka Blavatnik Building), Hopton Street, SE1 9TG

Lossy – Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge, SE1 9DA

Hatis Noit – White Cube, Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TQ

Chisara Agor – Faraday Memorial, SE1 6TG 

Sooski – Siobhan Davies Studios, St George’s Road, SE1 6ER 

The introduction of the seven new works means that there is now a total of 14 Musicity songs waiting to be collected at all sorts of buildings across Southwark, one of the oldest parts of the capital and an area in the midst of dramatic architectural transformation. These include Peckham Library, The Shard, Canada Water Bus Station and Borough Market. And the project is not limited to London; so far, 43 tracks have been created across 7 cities, including, Oslo, Tokyo and Singapore.

For more information , visit the Musicity 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

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