Syndicated reviews

Newsquest have syndicated a lot of the reviews listed below. Here is one of them. Maybe it is down to my Cornish heritage but I loved reviewing this exhibition.

http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/leisure/history_heritage/8958121.Alfred_Wallis_and_Ben_Nicholson__Compton_Verney/

Until recently I wrote two reviews a month for Weekend which is The Oxford Times equivalent of Time Out. The story of  

How it All Began is probably not what readers will expect!

That amusing tale is followed by a list of some of the exhibitions I have reviewed to give an idea of the breadth and depth of my features.

REVIEWING ART EXHIBITIONS : HOW IT ALL BEGAN

My first non-antiques feature in Weekend magazine, The Oxford Times equivalent of Time Out appeared in early January 2004. The arts editor, Chris Gray, titled it ‘The elegant spirit of our time’. I had telephoned him in November 2003 asking if I could review the Eric Ravilious exhibition at the Imperial War Museum and he replied, “No” then after a moment’s hesitation, continued “But you can do the Armani at the RA” .

I had deliberately chosen the subject of costume for my first antiques feature in Oxfordshire Limited Edition because it was treated like Cinderella by the antiques trade so maybe Chris thought I was a fashion expert? I didn’t hesitate: I just said ‘yes’ and headed off to London dressed in my vintage tweed jacket. Surrounded by main stream fashion reporters sporting Armani suits, I found the occasion amusing. My opening sentence was…

“ A fashion exhibition? Over my dead body,” so said Norman Rosenthal, Exhibitions Secretary of The Royal Academy of Arts I watched as a very much alive Norman introduced Giorgio Armani to the assembled members of the press. I presume Giorgio’s donation of a few million pounds to the RA must have persuaded him to change his mind. I tackled the review not with a fashionista’s eye but through the lens of history. Observing how his clothes changed along with women’s role in society was fascinating. The piece looked good, so maybe that was why Chris relented and said I could review the Eric Ravilious.

Weekend Magazine: a selection of mostly full page reviews.( 900 words)

2003

April: The Art Deco exhibition at The V@A

NB My castaway Ray Foulk – an antiques dealer as well as founder of The Isle of Wight Festival (1968) helped furnish the French room.

November: Glass Act lll @ The County Seat:  Geoffrey Baxter and Whitefriars

2004

January: Review of The Giorgio Armani retrospective at The Royal Academy.

January: A celebration of Eric Ravilious @ the Imperial War Museum

May: Anarchy to Glamour: Vivienne Westwood @the V&A

June: Bill Brandt Retrospective at the V&A

October: A coming of Age? Black British style @The V&A

November: Christopher Dresser: Britain’s first professionally trained designer.

@The V&A

 2005

January: A Cut Above: Matisse @ Banbury Museum.

March: Let’s go to Egypt: The Ashmolean for children.

March: Africa Remix @ the Hayward Gallery –A Mix of Sadness and Hope.

June: A Portrait of an Epic Life: A Stars Art Movement founder, Qu Lei lei @ The Ashmolean.

July: Hidden Treasure: The Pitt Rivers

July: A Picture of Britain: Tate Britain

September: Imagine: Budding Artists @ Modern Art Oxford (Schools Show)

December: T.E Lawrence.  The Imperial War Museum

 2006

January: China: The Three Emperors @ the RA

NB. This magnificent show was curated by Jessica Rawson who became one of the first women to be appointed Master of an old Oxford College ( Merton). In 2011, I had the privilege of casting her away on Oxtopia.

February: Tom Philips @ the Ashmolean

September: Tiffany at  Somerset House

October: An Empire built on furniture: Self-assembly furniture from the days of the Raj!  Exhibition @ Christopher Clark Antiques

November: A Portrait of the Artist as Pure Genius: Leonardo’s notebooks @ the V&A

2007

January: Chola: Sacred Sculptures@ the RA

January : Visual Haiku: Michael Kenna @ Banbury Museum

February: Citizens and Kings @ The RA

May: Antony Gormley’s Blind Light @ the Hayward Gallery

June: The Summer Exhibition @the RA

August: Pub Signs @ the Banbury Museum

September: China: The First Emperor @The British Museum

November: The Golden Age of Couture @ the V&A

November: China Prints @ The Ashmolean

(This feature was translated into Mandarin and published in Beijing by  Sanping Wu)

2008

January: Oxfordshire Print Collective at Sanders Oxford

February: A Talented Trio: My Ashmolean.  Children’s imaginative artistic responses; the best for display on the back of buses and outside the museum.

March: From Russia with Love?  From Russia @ the RA

April: Back Home:  Jean Preston’s bequest to the Ashmolean: Burne Jones’ Music Room.

May: China Design Now @ the V&A

August: A Light- hearted Look at The Seventies: Oxfordshire Museum

October: Oscar Kokoschka and Jack B. Yeats @ Compton Verney

October: Byzantium @ the RA

 2009

January: Darwin @ the Natural History Museum (London)

February: Palladio @ The RA

May: Oxford Brookes University Graduate Art Show

June: Theo Chalmers’ photographs on the forecourt of The Ashmolean

June: A Walk through Bagley Woods

July: Constable Portraits @ Compton Verney

December: Wild Thing @ the RA. Epstein,Gill and Gaudier Brezeska.

2010

January: Britain’s Finest Gardens @ Blenheim Palace

February: In Henry Taunt’s footsteps @ Oxfordshire Museum,Woodstock

February: The opening of the refurbished Medieval and Renaissance Galleries @The V&A

May: Bacon in Camera @ Compton Verney

NB This inspired me to write this poem

Bacon in Camera by Sylvia Vetta

I trod on layer upon deep layer

of canvas and paint encrusted  paper;

upon dreams, once vivid now discarded.

Before a bizarre collage, my steps jarred.

Arranged in chaos, deeply ordered

were myriad photo f r a g m e n t s

of models torn, ripped apart; pasted layers

of bent legs, noses and penises.

Hanging here and there were scribbled notes.

and

leering over me, an image with brushstrokes

of raw emotion: a seated portrait

of George Dyer in his pants, like Podarke.

I had stumbled on a private place, seen a secret;

the artist’s damaged spirit,

wounded by that painted man, his lover.

Francis Bacon caught in camera.

 

November 2010: Kurt Tong photographs @ Compton Verney

2011

January: Gladys @ Blenheim Palace

April: Cultural Revolution (China) @ The Ashmolean

April: Why Picasso was inspired by African Art: Champungu Sculpture @ Waterperry Gardens.

April: Alfred Wallis and Ben Nicholson @ Compton Verney

May: Mathematics Meets Art: Oxford Brookes Graduate Art Show

June: Majolica @ Waddesdon Manor

October: Kerry Tribe:  Modern Art Oxford

2012

January: John Piper @ Blenheim Palace.

February: A Passage to India: Howard Hodgkin’s collection of Indian art @ the Ashmolean

June: Art on the Edge: Sculpture for the Cultural Olympiad @ the Ashmolean

August: Flight and the Artistic Imagination: Compton Verney
Compton Verney – Flight and the Artistic Imagination
comptonverney.org.uk/modules/events/event.aspx?e=145&title.

September: Ted Dewan’s Story Loom and Tea with Alice @ The Story Museum.

(Ted was the inspiration behind turning Beechcroft Road into a living room! Zoe Broughton made a fun film to celebrate it)

 2013

January: Lights Camera Action: Blenheim Palace as a film location.

March: Xu Bing Landscape/Landscript @ The Ashmolean

June: Making Connections: Steven Willats and the Oxford Community Data Stream

@Modern Art Oxford

August: Sketching from Nature: Turner and Constable @ Compton Verney

Masterpieces of Chinese Painting @ the V&A.

2014

When Blenheim was made into a hospital

The State of Denmark : Stuart Brisley at MAO

Ai Weiwei @ Blenheim Palace

Love is Enough ( Warhol and Morris) @ Modern Art Oxford

Fang Zhaoling @ The Ashmolean

2015

Children’s art at the ROQ

(You can find the copy of some of these features posted on this site)

I also regularly review books for Maggie Hartford’s book page

 

 

 

 

 

 

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