Outdated systems blocking creativity growth - CIF

Outdated systems blocking creativity growth - CIF

Growth in the creative industries is being stymied by government and policy bodies working by out-dated definitions, according to a report published today by the Cultural Industries Federation (CIF).

Pitzhanger to re-open after £12m restoration

Pitzhanger to re-open after £12m restoration

Pitzhanger Manor, the dream country home created for himself and his family by Sir John Soane, in his time England’s most celebrated architect, is to reopen in March after major restoration.  

TAITMAIL    Art, Larry, and how another Christmas saved the world

TAITMAIL Art, Larry, and how another Christmas saved the world

By Simon Tait

I’ll spare you another Brexit sermon, that can wait at least a week. Instead I can take advantage of the fact that today is December 7, the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, and make a connection with the extraordinary polymath Larry Holofcener, who died last year aged 91, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. 

‘Purity’ of boys’ voices – it’s Garrett v Bach Choir

‘Purity’ of boys’ voices – it’s Garrett v Bach Choir

Opera soprano Lesley Garrett’s call for an end to male-only choirs has been rebuffed by the head of one of the leading ensembles in the world, the Bach Choir.

New CEO for FACT

New CEO for FACT

FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) chooses Arts Catalyst's Nicola Triscott and new CEO

DEA BIRKETT Fifteen years ago, a museum visit changed my life

DEA BIRKETT Fifteen years ago, a museum visit changed my life

Last week we reported on the reopening of the V&A’s Cast Courts. Here, Dea Birkett recounts her own especial memory of them

Friends buy Burnley Empire for £1

Friends buy Burnley Empire for £1

The Victorian Burnley Empire has been saved by a friends group, days before it was due to go for auction.

Fitzwilliam’s gift of the Great Belzoni

Fitzwilliam’s gift of the Great Belzoni

The larger than life archaeologist, explorer and circus strong man known as the Great Belzoni is to adorn Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum.

The smartphone Turner Prize

The smartphone Turner Prize

Charlotte Prodger has won this year’s Turner Prize for visual art with a 32-minute film shot on her smartphone.

Rogers to leave Birmingham REP

Rogers to leave Birmingham REP

Executive director steps down after 17 years

To all Dome-loving humans…

To all Dome-loving humans…

David Shrigley has created this limited edition print with proceeds from sales going towards the Build Brighton Dome community appeal.

How WWI enriched contemporary art

How WWI enriched contemporary art

More than 35m people, half the population, have engaged with the 14-18 NOW commemorations of the First World War, which has now ended after five years.

Ally Pally theatre reopens after 80 years

Ally Pally theatre reopens after 80 years

Alexandra Palace’s theatre and East Court reopened at the weekend after a £27m, three-year restoration project.

What's up in… Bristol

What's up in… Bristol

AI looks at what's coming up around the country – this week, the arts in Bristol. 

Bid to save Turner’s Thames view

Bid to save Turner’s Thames view

The government has mounted a campaign to save J M W Turner’s painting Walton Bridgesfor the nation by placing an export stop on it.

Victorian art world – recast by the V&A

Victorian art world – recast by the V&A

The Cast Courts at the V&A, two of the museum’s original 1850s galleries, have reopened after a seven year programme, restored and refurbished as they were 160 years ago.

Brexit: May's deal and the arts

Brexit: May's deal and the arts

The Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement still leaves the arts and cultural industries in doubt about the future.

Rhian Harris takes over in Lakes

Rhian Harris takes over in Lakes

Rhian Harris, director of the V&A Museum of Childhood since 2008, is to be the new chief executive of Lakeland Arts.

What's Up In... Manchester & Salford

What's Up In... Manchester & Salford

In a new weekly feature AI looks at what's coming up around the country - starting with what's up in the arts in Manchester and Salford. 

Arts centre opens in Edinburgh observatory

Arts centre opens in Edinburgh observatory

A new contemporary arts centre, Collective, opens tomorrow, November 24, in one of Edinburgh’s most recognisable historic buildings.

All change at top of Oily Cart

All change at top of Oily Cart

Iconic children's theatre company Oily Cart has appointed Ellie Griffiths (right) as its new artistic director and Zoe Lally as its first executive director.

 Fight against climate change helps arts prosper

Fight against climate change helps arts prosper

Arts organisations are leading the way in sustaining the environment, according to a new report or Arts Council England, and benefitting financially as a result.

Silbert switch to Hampstead

Silbert switch to Hampstead

Birmingham Rep’s artistic director Roxana Silbert is moving to London’s Hampstead Theatre next year

Lost young Dickens found – in a trinket box

Lost young Dickens found – in a trinket box

A lost portrait of Charles Dickens at the age of 31 has been found, in a South African trinket box.

SIMON TAIT'S DIARY Flagging up Jack

In 1797 Jack Crawford nailed his colours, the ship’s union flag, to the mast of HMS Venerable and helped win the Battle of Camperdown, ruining Napoleon’s planned invasion of Ireland. But what happened to the colours?

Crawford was a 22-year-old press-ganged keelman in Admiral Duncan’s flagship in the battle when the flagstaff was blown away. So that the loss should not be misintepreted by the fleet as a surrender, the sailor climbed the mainmast with the flag and nailed it to the top, an action which won him a silver medal from his home town of Sunderland and a pension from the king (use of this etching is thanks to the Sunderland Antiquarian Society). In 1890 a statue to Jack Crawford was unveiled in Sunderland by Duncan’s grandson, when the colours are believed to have been displayed -  but they have never been seen since. So a national appeal has gone out to find them in time for the start of the Tall Ships Race starting form Sunderland next July.

 

How to have a good time…

The painter Maggi Hambling first met the jazz singer/writer/critic George Melly in the 1970s at a garden party, lying in a path and having a very good time, thereby living up to his nickname. Their close friendship endured until his death ion 2007, and she painted him many times. The best was probably this one, Good Time George, which was first hung in the Walker Art Gallery in Melly’s birthplace of Liverpool in 2009 in an exhibition of 20 Maggies of George. It says everything about having a good time, and it gets gets a solo special place now, though, because she has given this gorgeous thing to the Walker. n

 

Canal colour

A rather dour emblem of the industrial revolution, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, will get to show its true colours as an art gallery and performance space, thanks to a £1m Arts Council grant from its People & Places programme. Part of the Cabal and River Trust’s Arts of the Waterways programme, for three years the stretch through Pennine Lancashire will host a series of commissioned arts projects as Super Slow Way, with support from local authorities along the way, reflecting the communities that have settled along the canal in the last 200 years. The image is of this year's Burnley Canal Festival.

 

Life boat

The main annual RIBA prize, the Stirling Prize, gets the headlines (it's Hasting Pier this time in case you missed it), but there's another RIBA award just as interesting, the Stephen Lawrence Prize. It’s been won for 2017 by this construction, TheHouseboat, designed by Rebecca Granger and Mole Architects’ Meredith Bowls. Isn’t it terrific, who wouldn’t want to live in that? The prize was first awarded in 1998 in the name of the murdered teenager whose ambition was to be an architect, and the prize is to encourage new, experimental talent. Designed to be a seaside retreat for architect clients, TheHouseboat has a 1930s feel about it, and is fitted out with second hand salvaged ship lounge joinery.

 

Big band sound

This is not only the weirdest upright joanna you ever saw, it’s the earliest known keyboard instrument, a clavicytherium - sounds moralise a prehistoric sea monster - dating from about 1480. It’s one of the 20,000 historic instruments brought together from 200 different collections around the UK by the Royal College of Music for the new website www.minim.ac.uk. Compiled in partnership with the Horniman Museum, the Royal Academy of Music, Edinburgh University and Google, with funding from the Higher Education Funding Council, the site has instruments owned by Charles II, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria and composers such as Elgar and Chopin, as well as ancient Egyptian bone clappers in the form of human hands and an extremely rare narwhal-horn flute. Some have never been exhibited before, some go back 5,000 years, and you can even hear what 400 of them sound like.

Rabbie’s festival

This is Calum Colvin’s Burnsomania, created to announce Burns Unbroke. Yes, Burns Night, for 200 years and more an excuse for Scotsfolk to get out the Scotch to kill the taste of the traditional haggis, is going to get art in the form of a new contemporary arts festival, and the first one will be launched next Burns Night, January 25. Supported by Creative Scotland, the Scottish Winter Festivals Fund and the Isle of Arran Distillers it will feature 30 visual artists and four newly commissioned works, as well spoken word performances and music. Oh, and the name comes from a Burns epigram.

 

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