SIMON TAIT'S DIARY

Art looking up at ITV   ITV is hoping to catch up with other channels in its arts coverage, a bit of a stop-start mission over the years, with Great Art, its answer to the BBC’s revived Civilisation.

The channel is teaming up with Phil Grabsky’s Seventh Art Productions which has made its niche with high quality documentary full–length films going alongside major art exhibitions, fronted by the Royal Academy’s artistic director Tim Marlowe. The five part series starts on January 4 and peers into the life and work of Canaletto, the Impressionists, Rembrandt, Vermeer and, of course, Michelangelo whose David has been captured here by Seventh Art’s brilliant cinematographer David Bickerstaff.

Upwardly West

It’s been an extraordinary year for the independent ballet school nestling in the Highland forests, Ballet West. As well as feeding companies like the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Scottish Ballet, it is as of 2017 offering BA Hons dance degrees, had three of the ten semi-finalists in the BBC Best Dancer awards, and has for the third year running had a student winning the Royal Academy of Dance’s highest award, the Solo Seal. This time it was Oscar Ward. In 2018 the company goes on its Scottish tour with its ghost story inspired Giselle ou les Wilis featuring Natasha Watson seen here in the role performing in the eerie Scottish greenwood.

Fat chance

This is to be a star exhibit in the Museum of London in 2018. It is what it looks like, oozing fat – or to be exact part of the fatberg, the monstrous lump of fat found in the Victorian sewers under Whitechapel. It’s the last remaining piece of the 130 ton fatberg as big as 11 Routemaster buses and 250 metres long, the largest ever found in London, and is to feature in the Museum’s year long season City Now City Future about the issues of modern living. The exhibition opens in May.

It’s still all you need…

This is Eliza Griffith, a first year student at Liverpool John Moores University, with her silkscreen print inspired by All You Need Is Love, her “Summer of Love” take on the Beatles’ song that was broadcast live in June 1967 as part of the BBC’s first global live link. You're likely to see a lot more of it. It beat 100 student entries to be included in the Sony/ATV Music Publishing’s art collection It’s Pop It’s Art series of limited editions. “I wanted to capture that hippie, free love feeling that was around at the time this song was released. When I imagine that time, I picture music festivals, everyone dancing and having fun and believing love was the answer to everything” she says. And isn’t it?

V&A warders go fashion cool

If you’re expecting to see V&A staff still sporting their blue serge prison warder uniforms with massive looping key chains jingling at their hips that have become their badges of office, you’ll be disappointed. This is what they’ll be looking like from today. The new uniforms have been developed by the fashion designer Christopher Raeburn - “garments and accessories that can be mixed and matched” it says here – based on a print inspired items from the museum’s collections. They are an exciting development for our team and a reflection of the V&A’s contemporary style, as we look forward to another ambitious year of activity in South Kensington and around the country” says the V&A’s director Tristram Hunt.  But where are the key chains?

 

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