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3:32pm Friday 9th November 2012
Five years ago Oxfordshire celebrated its 1,000th birthday, but I remember thinking at the time —and I hate to carp — that surely counties, like languages, came into existence gradually, rather than with a single event.
3:31pm Friday 9th November 2012
3:26pm Thursday 4th October 2012
3:24pm Thursday 4th October 2012
Fairford Church, just over the county boundary in Gloucesteshire, has the most complete set of early 16th-century stained glass windows in England, consisting of 28 windows dating from 1517, miraculously left more or less undamaged by either Henry VIII’s henchmen in the Reformation, or the Puritans 100 years later.
2:02pm Wednesday 29th August 2012
How Norman was the saint and king, Edward the Confessor, born in Islip in about 1005, and now regarded as one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings? Answer: very. He left England for Normandy when he was only eight years old, and did not return for 28 years — apart from a short visit in 1036, following the death of his step-father King Canute of Denmark and England. Then he reappeared here in 1041, the year before he became King of England.
1:57pm Wednesday 29th August 2012
2:59pm Wednesday 22nd August 2012
2:19pm Wednesday 22nd August 2012
You have a new picture. Where to put it? Take something down, shift things around, a radical rethink, or what? Imagine if you have 29 works of art from the 1950s — rarely-seen paintings, photographs and sculptures — on loan from the Arts Council Collection to hang around the house. This was the task facing Donald Ramsay when the National Trust-owned Georgian mansion, Basildon Park, near Reading, was chosen as one of five properties to host loan pieces from the Arts Council Collection as part of the Trust New Art programme promoting contemporary and modern art in its historic places.
1:00pm Wednesday 15th August 2012
12:31pm Wednesday 15th August 2012
12:26pm Wednesday 15th August 2012
10:29am Thursday 9th August 2012
9:46am Thursday 9th August 2012
Tucked away near the church, in the picturesque town of Bampton, Erin Singleton, a perceptive artist, has mounted a thought-provoking exhibition on the 1930s through to the 1960s. Using wood, paint and different printing techniques, she selects found objects, coins, buttons, photographs and games, to create her assemblages that represent chance and mutability. Her ‘family’ series illustrate changing fashions in the domestic scene with disturbing intimations of gambling, drinking and abuse. Erin’s grandmother was very strict with her children, hence the tiny but cruel clothes hangers. Each collage features a paper bird affected by time; the first one is pure and perfect, while the wings of the second bird are singed, indicating wear and tear, History and nostalgia infuse this exhibition. In her greeting cards Erin plays with pop, propaganda slogans and advertising as “pin-up girls and suburban housewives take centre stage . . . during a time of great social upheaval and political unrest”. In one of ‘The War Girls’ series, reminiscent of propaganda war posters, a sexy silhouette of a girl leans provocatively against a dartboard with the text ‘keep ’em firing!’ showing her to be the real target.
1:44pm Wednesday 1st August 2012
1:41pm Wednesday 1st August 2012
1:36pm Wednesday 1st August 2012
11:02am Thursday 26th July 2012
10:53am Thursday 26th July 2012
9:18am Thursday 26th July 2012
11:25am Thursday 19th July 2012
11:04am Thursday 19th July 2012
This year is particularly significant for the Alice Day celebrations which take place each July, as it is the 150th anniversary of the year in which Lewis Carroll told his tale of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Alice Liddell and her sisters. Fourteen artists have contributed to the exhibition, beautifully curated to provide a visual journey, enhanced by each artist’s take on the story. The show makes clever use of the two levels of the O3 Gallery, providing a natural progression through the story. In addition, there are audio pieces by Goldsmiths’ Music Faculty. There are DVDs from the University of California’s Wonderland Film Award, plus the opportunity to buy from the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Installation.
9:37am Thursday 19th July 2012
The talented artist, Marion Yorston’s latest exhibition Translucent delves into evolution. Marion came here from the Orkneys, renowned for its archaeology, history, art and wild landscapes. Her formative years were spent in Scotland and Canada. “My earliest memories are filled with coastal walks, finding treasures in rock-pools and being fascinated by the beauty of the natural world,” she says.
9:32am Thursday 19th July 2012
This varied exhibition in Bampton draws on both past and future. Victoria Borondo, inspired by vintage dresses, botanical paintings and china designs, favours a muted palette. Her bags, purses and brooches, made of silk, satin and lace, and decorated with pearls, buttons and Victorian lace, are timeless.
9:02am Thursday 19th July 2012
Ivan Green is an artist who has developed a revolutionary method of print making which results in works both richly textured and hauntingly atmospheric. As a celebration of the Olympic Games, Dadbrook Gallery is showing all his prints, including his London series. Clico Kingsbury, the gallery director tells me: “We wanted to mark the occasion in an original way and Ivan’s work is a perfect choice. He depicts some of London’s best known buildings in London but re-interprets them in an astonishingly creative way.” Ivan’s method is to note his initial feelings and thoughts on site and then research to understand the vision of the original architects or sculptors, aiming to create a resonance of mind and spirit. The final image is a palimpsest with layers worked and re-worked in a montage of growing locational information. Like much great art of the past, his works reward the viewer’s close scrutiny: Tower Bridge, St Pauls (pictured), Westminster Abbey, Horseguards and others all take on new and sometimes startling additions which draw attention not just to the original structures and forms but also ask us to reconsider them thoroughly. As these limited edition prints are the creative re-interpretations of some of the finest buildings and sculptures in the Cities of London and Westminster, Green challenges us to re-assess the familiar and to engage with his vision of our capital. Dadbrook Gallery will be showing his complete works to date, which also include Stowe and Aylesbury. Ivan is currently working on images of Oxford for the 2013 Oxford Almanak. Previous artists for this annual almanac, produced by the OUP include Turner and John Piper. His work is collected by many institutions including the Ashmolean. Prices start from £295. Ivan Green’s limited edition prints will be shown at the Dadbrook Gallery from Saturday until July 29, daily 10am to 5pm. Dadbrook Gallery, Dadbrook House, Cuddington, Bucks, HP18 0AG. Tel: 01844 292459 or 07776 201 062 (www.dadbrookgallery.co.uk ).
3:55pm Wednesday 11th July 2012
Like a fragile flower struggling to survive in less than fertile soil, Oxford University came into existence some time in the middle of the 12th century. But ironically, it was the riots between Town and Gown of the 13th century — which nearly destroyed it for ever — that were ultimately the making of it.
3:25pm Wednesday 11th July 2012
Every July, 400-plus artists, craftspeople, performers, musicians and lecturers come together in the beautiful house and grounds at Waterperry (right) to demonstrate their skills and their love of their chosen art form. The result is a hugely rich experience for the 25,000 visitors.
3:19pm Wednesday 11th July 2012
This exhibition, 40 years after the death of this remarkable artist, focuses on his later work of lithographs and colour prints. It provides a wonderful introduction to, or re-acquaintance with, Richards’s work and a spur to seek out more of it, including the substantial collection at The Tate and The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea where Richards held his first show in 1930.
3:07pm Wednesday 4th July 2012
2:57pm Wednesday 4th July 2012
It’s been quite a year for flesh. Lucien Freud in London to begin with, heroic nudes over at Christ Church Picture Gallery, Oxford in time for the Olympics, and now at Modern Art Oxford (MAO) British painter Jenny Saville.
4:25pm Wednesday 27th June 2012
That dangerous debunker and radical, William Cobbett (1763-1835), conducting his Rural Rides into Oxfordshire in the 1820s, spent much of his time denouncing exactly the same social changes that many grumpy old men enjoy complaining about now.
4:09pm Wednesday 27th June 2012
A giant House of Cards stands on the parterre at Waddesdon Manor. Its four sheets of steel lean one against the other, the precarious balancing act of American artist Richard Serra’s work sustained by weight and pressure alone.
10:17am Thursday 21st June 2012
1:58pm Wednesday 20th June 2012
There is trouble in Paradise. I don’t mean Paradise in the hereafter that some of us hope to reach some day, but the one up river from Oxford near Kelmscott — the place that 19th-century Pre-Raphaelite design guru William Morris famously described as “Heaven on Earth”. The trouble centres on Brandy Island, now sitting undisturbed and tranquil in the River Thames near the lovely church of St Michael and All Angels at Eaton Hastings, a deserted medieval village, and St Mary the Virgin at Buscot.
12:08pm Wednesday 13th June 2012
3:10pm Wednesday 6th June 2012
Odd, when you come to think of it, that Burford should one day have commemorated the actions of someone who beheaded a monarch; and then, just weeks later, celebrated the fact that another monarch has been on the throne for 60 years.
3:06pm Wednesday 6th June 2012
2:56pm Wednesday 6th June 2012
In the same way as lines of ink on a page become writing, become a novel, become the reality of a story in the imagination of writers like Robert Harris, and in turn that of the readers, so the lines artist Angela Palmer creates with an engraving tool on sheets of glass transmute in her artworks into other realities.
2:53pm Wednesday 6th June 2012
The pun in the title of this exhibition makes reference to both the academic aspects of the city and to the act of donning regalia, insignia, jewellery and other badges or markers that establish an association between the wearer and his or her Oxford. Each of the 19 artist jewellers involved have created their own ‘donnings’.
2:55pm Wednesday 30th May 2012
Throwing buns from County Hall in Abingdon as a way of celebrating Royal and national events —including, of course, next week’s Diamond Jubilee — is a tradition at least 250 years old. The first recorded chucking of ‘cakes’ as they were then called (I hope penny tea-cakes, not squidgier items) by bigwigs, such as councillors and so forth, on to the populace in the square below happened on the occasion of the coronation of King George III in 1761.
3:25pm Tuesday 29th May 2012
‘I am sick of portraits and wish very much to . . . walk off to some sweet Village where I can paint Landskips and enjoy the fag End of Life in quietness & ease,” Thomas Gainsborough grumbled in a much-quoted letter he wrote to a friend.
3:22pm Tuesday 29th May 2012
The English Prize: The Capture of the Westmorland, An Episode of the Grand Tour: The Ashmolean Museum
3:19pm Tuesday 29th May 2012
In January 1779, the Westmorland, an armed merchant ship sailing from Livorno to London laden with the mementoes of wealthy young men on the Grand Tour, was captured by two French frigates and declared a ‘prize of war’. Towed into Malaga, its cargo — 90 crates of antiquities and works of art, souvenirs ranging from Piranesi engravings and Cozens watercolours to books, maps, and fans, as well as anchovies and 32 wheels of Parmesan cheese — was seized and sold on in Spain. Most were bought for King Carlos III of Spain, and over time the contents dispersed across Spanish museums. Nothing reached these shores.
1:21pm Friday 25th May 2012
10:32am Thursday 24th May 2012
Strange, I have always thought, as I walk to work of a morning, that a sign on the path alongside the Thames at Osney, reads “No Horses”. Supposing I wanted to tow a barge? After all, is that not what a towpath is for? But thereby hangs a tale . . .
10:28am Thursday 24th May 2012
Red kites swooping over Fillington Farm, at Piddington, near High Wycombe, suggest an avian theme for Art of Africa (until Sunday) at Fillington Farm, Piddington. Gemma Orkin’s elegant, handmade ceramic bowl boasts a long-tailed Sugar Bird, the pen and ink lines suggest feathers while its maroon coloured claws clasp a spiky branch. Also from the Cape, Sonya Moore’s serene hand-thrown platter Bird on a Wire displays her signature design, a bird etched out of the delicate celadon glaze.
10:19am Thursday 24th May 2012
Claude’s 1648 painting Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba proved too much for J.M.W. Turner. He apparently burst into tears when he first saw it. The busy Italianate harbour scene painted in exquisite detail, illuminated by a tranquil rising sun placed fractionally off-centre, captivated the young English painter.
2:34pm Thursday 17th May 2012
12:40pm Thursday 17th May 2012
12:40pm Thursday 17th May 2012
In celebration of Artweeks’ 30th anniversary, photographer Simon Murison-Bowie has photographed 30 Oxfordshire artists at work in their studios, his intention being to explore the interaction between those creating, their personal workspace and the tools and methods they use to produce their work.
12:40pm Thursday 17th May 2012