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The ‘Ruin Lust’ exhibition on at Tate Britain reveals a collection of work that calls into mind the past, the historic and the lost.  The exhibition begins its focus on nineteenth century artists that explore ruined landscapes and the picturesque, such as Turner’s ‘Tintern Abbey: The Crossing and Chancel, Looking towards the East Window, 1794’.  This reminiscence of the past has been prevalent in art, with Renaissance artists looking to Classical art and the Antique for inspiration.  Roman ruins and sculpture were represented in a literal way with sculpted figures being made limbless to reflect the antique.

John Martin’s ‘The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, 1822’ looks to mythology for inspiration; the painting is an immense work.  With swirling areas of paint that engulf the scene, figures swoon with exhaustion in the foreground, and miniscule details of tiny figures appear in the ships at the shore of a churning sea.  The image is defined in shades of crimson, calling to mind a sea of blood, it is apocalyptic, and being at the beginning of the exhibition is the precursor to the ensuing ruin to come…

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The Work of William Kent

 

In recognition of the ‘Designing Georgian Britain’ exhibition at the V&A detailing the work of Georgian designer William Kent, here are some aspects of his life and work that led to a highly recognised era of design.

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An Exhibition recently opened at the Courtauld entitled: 'A Dialogue with Nature: Romantic Landscapes from Britain and Germany' showcases just 26 works, however each work acts as an insight into the practice of the greatest 18th and 19th century landscape painters.  Artist's include the most well known, such as JMW Turner and Casper David Friedrich to less known artists, such as Carl Phillip Fohr. 

The exhibition reveals a time where Industrialisation and uncertainty surrounding religion created works that explore a way of feeling, paintings that evoke a sense of emotion in the viewer.  Romantics did not want their work to be conceptualised, instead they wanted to elicit a spontaneous emotional response.  We are to look into the distance of a great landscape or to put ourselves in the place of the tiny figure surrounded by towering mountains, and to let a sense of awe wash over us...  

The links between art and science that begin to develop can be seen in the exhibition, with Constable's studies of clouds showing that artist's were observing nature to a greater degree.  Constable's interests were in portraying nature and a place repetitively to attempt to capture its essence, whereas JMW Turner moved towards capturing a sense of the mood of a scene.  Although this is a relatively short comparison, it attempts to show how wide ranging Romantic practices were.  If you would like to be astounded by the intricacy and immensity of the landscape, go and visit 'A Dialogue with Nature: Romantic Landscapes from Britain and Germany'.  The exhibition runs until the 27th April at the Courtauld Gallery.

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The National Potrait Gallery's newest exhbition, Stardust is the talk of London. The retropsective will feature 250 photographs, personally selected by David Bailey. The showcase looks back at Bailey's iconic work that changed Photography and Visual arts through a career that spanned over half a century. If there is only one museum exhbition you go to in London it has to be Stardust. 

 

 

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"Imagination is the mother of originality." Henry Gordon Selfridge

In today's world, our retinas are bombarded with distractions, Gif after Gif with the cutest cat wearing a hat, or the funny baby video that has gone viral that we need to watch in between writing that report that has been sitting on your to-do list for far too long. It can seem we have no time to just let go and relax our minds. Many of us are hardwired to believe that getting through the work week is all that matters or are too busy or stressed to make time for creativity. The importance of visualisation for stress-relief, confidence and general well being has been well document and yet imagination is often deployed as the domain of child's play, or the frolicking of the lucky few in the creative industries. The truth is, imagination is vital to our modern existence, every single ground-breaking technology or revolutionary idea has originated in the mind's eye, this year the ever-innovative Selfridges department store has given Imagination a mainstream platform. 

In line with Selfridge's mantra the department store has kick-started the year the festival of imagination. The inspiring programme includes future-gazing talks about Bio Fashion (growing clothes and accessories) and how to make the most of your mind with Dan Hurley. Swetty Betty are hosting aerobic classes designed to help you unwind and open your mind, with a fusion of Thai-boxing, breathing, stretching and creative visualization.  

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