Exhibition – Opera: Passion, Power and Politics

Opera requires gauze to be wrapped around the imagination. It is hoped that the power of music and that most versatile of all instruments, the human voice, helped along by the magic of lighting and design could help penetrate that gauze. So, it was with some trepidation that I went along to the preview of ‘Opera: Passion, Power and Politics’ at the Victoria and Albert museum... Read More

Exhibitions – Basquiat: Boom for Real at the Barbican

‘I get my facts from books, stuff on atomisers, the blues, ethyl alcohol, geese in Egyptian glyphs,’ wrote Jean-Michel Basquiat, the American artist who, in his short life (1960-1988), drew, painted, wrote, made lyrical, vibrant, radical, exciting, colourful, powerful works of art. ‘I don’t know how to describe my work,’ he said later. ‘It’s... Read More

La Vita Campari tells the story of Campari

Davide Campari was a fascinating character. In the early years of the 20th century the company heir set out to explore the potentials of art and ideas in creating a strong, global brand. Eschewing conventions, he joined Milan’s artistic circles, becoming intimately linked with the avant-garde who helped create product design such as the brilliant Campari Soda bottle,... Read More

Highlights of London Design Festival 2017

The creative industries are worth close to £90bn a year to the economy, offering some three million jobs here. It is a ‘serious, big, wealth-earning and reputation-enhancing’ sector, Sir John Sorrell told the Financial Times this weekend. These numbers came back to me as the London Design Festival (16-24 September) kicked off bringing colour and creativity to pockets of... Read More

Exploring the dark, cute and magical world of Yuko Higuchi

‘Magical Colouring Museum’ is a beautifully-illustrated picture book of sorts – cute, dark, surreal, funny, frightening at times. ‘Cats and Other Creatures’ features 24 stand-alone illustrations. Published by Laurence King, together they explore the imaginative world of the celebrated, cult Tokyo artist Yuko Higuchi. Higuchi is the voice behind the kawaii trend,... Read More

Interview Yana Peel: Serpentine Gallery CEO discusses arts and ideas

The Serpentine Galleries hold a unique position. They are nestled in Kensington Gardens in London’s glorious Hyde Park. They occupy discreet spaces and you may not even notice them walking by. Yet the two boutique galleries – Serpentine and Sackler – have held some of the most exciting exhibitions in the city. Then there is the annual commission for the Serpentine Gallery... Read More

Fresh perspectives as Volvo challenges photographer to use the car as camera

I love driving, sitting behind the wheel engaged in my personal thoughts, dreams and life, planning grand projects and picturing past memories, listening to my tunes as the world dances by. You feel protected from the outside world inside the cocoon of the motor car yet are very much connected. There are interactions and engagements, especially in a city like London, but there... Read More

The new V&A Exhibition Road Quarter in picture

Last night saw the opening of V&A Exhibition Road Quarter – the much-anticipated new addition to my favourite London gallery. The work of Amanda Levete and her architecture practice AL_A, it includes a dramatic entrance onto Exhibition Road, and an impressive courtyard that celebrates the V&A’s storied past. New spaces for exhibitions include the Sainsbury... Read More

Serpentine Pavilion 2017 by African architect Francis Kéré

This is Diébédo Francis Kéré’s gentle architectural installation for the annual Serpentine Pavilion project. It will sit here on the lawns of Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park in London until October encouraging the public to enter, sit, read, eat, interact. The 2017 Pavilion is a far cry from last year’s jazzy unzipped wall of cold, hard-edged metallic boxes by Bjarke Ingels.... Read More

Meet the virtual BMW Art Car by Chinese artist Cao Fei

BMW Art Car #18 by Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei takes the iconic series into the 21st century by going digital – through both virtual and augmented reality, inviting the viewer to participate and transform the M6 GT3 racecar into a living sculpture before racing at Macau in November. I go behind the scenes to meet the artist and see how her BMW Art Car reflects the... Read More