enlightenment in the east of england

Category: Culture (page 1 of 4)

Buildings, spaces and optimism for humanity…

The architect, Lord Norman Foster, has been recently talking about his latest project, the InHub la punt in the Swiss Engadin Valley. Foster, in the video below, talks about the changing nature of buildings and how innovation can be accommodated, often in architecturally provocative ways, whilst offering communities new spatial and intellectual resources.

‘…designed as a centre for innovation, the project seeks to bring new visitors together with the local community to increase prosperity, create jobs, and revitalise local crafts and produce. Separate from the home or office, the setting is conceived as a ‘third place’ for collaboration and creativity. The 6,000-square-meter (64,583 square foot) project will comprise work and seminar spaces, sports facilities, retail outlets, a restaurant, as well as an underground car park…’

Foster is aware of the controversy some of his firm’s designs can create, but is always enthusiastic for intellectual collaboration and human engagement. He also reflects about the context of pandemics in the human experience and, importantly, the sustaining nature and enduring qualities of community.

An important, sustaining position to take, we would argue, in the current epidemiological climate.

You can see more details of the work and images of the proposed project here on the pages of designboom magazine.


Peace, tranquility, song and reflection in the East Anglian landscape…

We thought this was lovely.

”…in March 2020, the choirs fell silent. The Voice Project had planned to start rehearsing a new show, Arc of the Sky, inspired by the idea of a bird’s-eye view of Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh, known as the Cathedral of the Marshes, the landscape it sits in – the Blyth estuary – and the coastline.

Performances were planned there for July. Instead, we made this film with the singers recording and filming themselves. This is the result…”

Source: The Voice Project – Discover more here https://www.voiceproject.co.uk/about/

                                  See this wonderful creation on YouTube here

Beautiful filmic and voice creative work. Uplifting and contemplative also – but firmly anchored with their humanity.

Perfect for these difficult times.

Travel from the seated posture…

We thought that these two U.S based projects were delightful examples of how, using remote technology, you can explore both art and place from your armchair.

They are not intended for the casual, under resourced visitor certainly, in terms of expected project outcome. However, they are wonderful case studies of how their subjects can be explored in depth from the laptop.

As well as successfully cultivating a world wide audience. See what you think…they might offer a new template for action in these difficult times?

See more details here…

Open House New York

October 17–18, 2020  See more at https://ohny.org/weekend

Yes, this citywide celebration of architecture is happening. (And, yes, things are a bit different this year.)

What will I be able to sign up for and see?

  • Self-Guided Tours: itineraries for outdoor exploration of an area by foot, by bike, or by boat.
  • On-Site Video Tours: video walkthroughs of a project with architects, historians, and other experts.
  • Open Studios: virtual presentations by architects and artists of a single project.
  • Podcasts: audio recordings about a single site.
  • Exhibitions: self-guided explorations of digital exhibitions.
  • Virtual Programs: panels, interactive tours, live Q&As, performances, and more

EDITIONS / ARTISTS’ BOOKS FAIR – New York

OCTOBER 14 – 28, 2020

See more here…

We are thrilled to announce E/AB Fair 2020, fully online, October 14 – 28 on this website.

A world class array of visual art book publishers in a virtual conference hall venue.

The fair will gather an international community of over 60 publishers and dealers, featuring emerging and mid-career contemporary artists. Each exhibitor will have their own viewing room and, as always, they will be accessible for artwork discussion and special insights.”

For a New York based initiative you can expect to find a vast array of visual art exhibitors from the East Coast of the USA. But there also, in the catalogue, a healthy assortment of non-East Coast based creative centres.

These include, for example the Glasgow Print Studio, Stoney Road Press from Dublin and the Flatbed Centre for Contemporary Printmaking in Austin, Texas’

Just visiting these web pages is inspirational. We wish all the contributors to the event good luck.


So if you are visiting OHNY this weekend, why not stay in New York for another week and take in the visual feast that is the E//AB Fair.

All without leaving your armchair!

The Edinburgh International Book Festival 2020 starts today – on-line

The Edinburgh International Book Festival starts today. Events are free and you can visit the very impressive festival web pages here – https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/

Edinburgh books made tangible: Florencia Viadonna, Creative Commons, Unsplash

Taking place in your web browser from the 15th to the 31st August 2020.

  • Book attendance at over 140 events – see more.
  • Browse the very comprehensive Festival Bookshop – see more.
  • What’s happening with the Baillie Gifford Children’s Programme? – see more.

Some highlights for us…

The New York Times Series

‘For the second year running, The New York Times and Edinburgh International Book Festival are collaborating to bring a timely and thought-provoking celebration of writing and ideas to readers around the world’.

Sessions include Women in Politics, live NYT book reviews, Inside the NYT Crossword and Should Capitalism Survive Climate Change? In turbulent times this festival theme will help crystallise your take on the socio-political tensions that wrack the country in 2020. See more.

Outriders Africa

Having supported ten writers to explore and re-imagine the landscape in the US in 2017, the festival this year will send ten writers on journeys across Africa.

‘Outriders will again see ten writers explore a region of the world – this time in Africa. Each pair of writers will embark on an international journey through Africa, meeting writers and communities along their way and engaging in discussions around migration, colonial legacies, inequalities and the impact of globalisation and environmental change. Each of the ten Outriders will create a new work in response to their journey which will be presented at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2021’.

You can find this important work, challenging perceptions here.

Made in Scotland

If you needed evidence of the intellectual  powerhouse that is Scotland, find it in this festival theme here.

You can find the festival full programme here.

You can explore how to book here.

You can donate and support the festival here.


Smithsonian Open Access – we had to sit down…

In the U.S. the Smithsonian Institution has created an Open Access resource of staggering diversity.

Update July 2020: If you are interested in furniture, specifically in growing your own furniture – check out this fabulous article on the BBC web pages – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32977012


Swiss/German side chair, late 17thC – early 18thC – Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

“Smithsonian Open Access, where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking. With new platforms and tools, you have easier access to nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items from our collections—with many more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo”.

Source: https://www.si.edu/openaccess

As always with Open Access resources, despite millions of electronic artifacts in the Public Domain on the Smithsonian web pages, some do have license/usage restrictions. Always check before use!

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966

For the inquisitive, there is a wealth of subject matter and themes to explore on the Smithsonian pages. Whether your interest is art, ceramics, photography, science or zoology…there will be a reservoir of interesting items to peruse.

A search of the archive for ‘film’ produces a delightful range of posters, lobby cards and images of garments worn in Hollywood movies.

See an example search here.

This is a creative archive in the public domain, bar none. It is easy, even in a short time, to find resources that can inspire your next creative project.

We recommend a visit to the Smithsonian.

 


The Essex Book Festival 2020

Update: 5th Feb: Not long now! Check ticket availability here

Another fabulous series of literary treats available again this year. An imaginative, stirring and diverse programme of author and book occasions. 28th February to 31st March.

See more here…

We are looking forward to rounding out the Festival with the Golden Age of Crime Weekend, for example…Saturday 28th & 29th March, hosted by the Radisson Park Inn Palace Hotel in Southend on  Sea.

Discover more here:

Or, if crime fiction is your thing, you can even begin the calendar of events in the company of Val McDermid at the launch event: How the Dead Speak. On February 28th in the evening at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford.

Young Essex has not been forgotten either – with a full range activities for the young reader. We particularly like the Manifesto for Essex launch, where young people can give voice to their thinking about Climate Change.

Also for Young Essex is a great idea, the pop-up storytelling armchair. Springing into events across a range of different locations in Chelmsford, Basildon and Harlow.

 ‘A super comfy treat for book lovers young and old to enjoy their favourite stories out loud! Free and open to all – come along and hear a story…’

Whatever your age, check out the Festival full events list here.

Find out how to book here.


Are you a Primadonna?

Primadonna  is a festival of writing, taking place at Laffitts Hall in Suffolk.

Date: August 30th, 31st and September 1st 2019.

Venue: Laffitts Hall, Framsden Rd, Pettaugh, Stowmarket IP14 6DT

Primadonna image and web link

Discover the Primadonna in you here…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘The Primadonna Festival is the brainchild of a group of women from publishing and entertainment, who include Sabeena Akhtar, Joanna Baker, Jane Dyball, Catherine Mayer, Kit de Waal, Shona Abhyankar, Jude Kelly, Alexis Kirschbaum, Lisa Milton, Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, Sonia Purnell, Monisha Rajesh, Catherine Riley, Athena Stevens, Cathryn Summerhayes, Sandi Toksvig and Sioned Wiliam.

Together, these 17 women—the “Primadonnas”—have worked to create a festival of brilliant writing, borne out of a desire to give prominence to work by women and spotlight authors from the margins—and to create a thoroughly joyous and accessible experience. There will be live music, films and comedy and all sorts of writing represented. ‘  Source: Primadonna web pages.

The dictionary defines a primadonna as a  temperamental person, an unpredictable person, a self-important person! However, the event will be characterised by impeccable behaviour and scintillating intellectual challenges, given the stellar line-up of originators above.

The origins of the title are in the 18th Century, in Italy of course, where a literal translation is ‘first lady’. A veritable melange of premier writing and performance talent, we are sure.

E.M. Forster wrote …Beauty ought to look a little surprised: it is the emotion that best suits her face. The beauty who does not look surprised, who accepts her position as her due – she reminds us too much of a primadonna.

We are in for a surprising event, undoubtedly. Packing our tent and weekend bag as we write…

You can book tickets here: https://app.etickets.to/buy/?e=17316

You can explore the first draft of the event line-up here: https://www.primadonnafestival.com/line-up-1

Image: Kunqu Opera, the Peony Pavilion- from Pixabay

Writing: Making Your Mark

An exhibition at The British Library – Writing: Making Your Mark

 –  Book your tickets here

PACCAR 1, The British Library,  96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

“Discover the extraordinary story behind one of humankind’s greatest achievements: through more than 100 objects spanning 5,000 years and seven continents

Follow the remarkable evolution of writing from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs carved in stone and early printed text such as William Caxton’s edition of The Canterbury Tales, to the art of note-taking by some of history’s greatest minds, and on-wards to the digital communication tools we use today.”                                     Source: The British Library web pages

This new exhibition provides wonderful insights into the both the future of writing and the past development of the craft.

From quill pen to digital tablet, how we create and communicate has been beautifully illustrated for us, ‘…in an interactive exhibition gives you the chance to reflect on works of genius that wouldn’t exist without the writing traditions of civilisations past’.

Discover more at The British LIbrary here…arrive clutching your biro and notepad!

Cambridge Open Art 2019 diary date!

Dates of the next Cambridge Open Art Exhibition are:

Friday 11th October 2019 to Sunday 13th October 2019

At Swavesey Village College, Gibraltar Lane, Swavesey CB24 4RS

See more of the work of the Cambridge Open Art Exhibition – https://coax.org.uk

You can join the COAE mailing list here

Reflecting on glass!

We have been sinking deep into the sofa in the evenings to follow the craft, technique and skill offered to viewers in the BBC 2 broadcast The Repair Shop.

Myglassroom, Surinder Warboys course in stained glass

Artistry, craft technique and civility – the perfect workshop course…

As well as offering craft and artistry of the highest calibre, the programme is the perfect antidote and respite  from a stressful day at the office, that meeting you regret or that article idea that will not congeal yet in a tired mind.

In Mellis, Suffolk the workshop at Myglassroom is offering the opportunity to engage with this craft and artistry in stained glass creation.

Myglassroom: a studio committed to achieving excellence in contemporary architectural stained glass, conservation & restoration. Established 1990 by Surinder Warboys, Stained glass artist and conservator’.

Architectural Stained Glass /Painting on Glass Courses

One day taster sessions in painting and staining:

Saturday 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th Sept. 2018    10am – 4pm  IP23 8EE

You can discover more about Surinder Warboys one day courses, contact the workshop for details of fees applicable and to see the work of recent ‘glass’ students…see more at http://www.myglassroom.com/index.html

The essayist Robert Louis Stevenson said that ‘…no man lives in the external truth among salts and acids, but in the warm, phantasmagoric chamber of his brain, with the painted windows and the storied wall‘.

What better than a trip to Mellis in glorious Suffolk, in order to craft your own idea?

(…whatever your gender…Ed.)