Coming Exhibition: Bharti Kher~ Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Bharti Kher:

Not All Who Wander Are Lost


Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

When: July 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016 (Hours Vary)


Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
25 Evans Way
Boston, MA 02115

More Information: Here.

Bharti Kher is the sixth artist-in-residence invited to create a temporary site-specific work for the Museum’s façade. Kher’s project reflects on maritime travel, highlighted by her interest in mapping and typography and references the migration of people in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Kher uses bindis, a popular forehead decoration worn by women in India, and a signature element in her work, to map demographic movement in an abstract way.

Bharti Kher’s (b. 1969, England) is an art of dislocation and transience, reflecting her own, largely itinerant life. Born and raised in England, the artist moved to New Delhi in the early 1990s after her formal training in the field. Consequently, the concept of home as the location of identity and culture is constantly challenged in her body of work. In addition to an autobiographical examination of identity, Kher’s unique perspective also facilitates an outsider’s ethnographic observation of contemporary life, class and consumerism in urban India.

Presently, Kher uses the bindi, a dot indicative of the third eye worn by the Indian women on their foreheads, as a central motif in her work. Bharti Kher often refers to her mixed media works with bindis, the mass-produced, yet traditional ornaments, as “action paintings.” Painstakingly placed on the surface one-by-one to form a design, the multi-colored bindis represent custom, often inflexible, as well as the dynamic ways in which it is produced and consumed today. The artist is also known for her collection of wild and unusual resin-cast sculptures and her digital photography.

Van Gogh and the decision that changed art history

Van Gogh and the decision that changed art history By Alastair Sooke via BBC Culture

Self-Portrait by Vincent van Gogh
STATE OF THE ART| 27 January 2015
Van Gogh and the decision that changed art history
Alastair Sooke
Art Art history Exhibition
Share this page

In 1878 Van Gogh was a struggling would-be preacher. At his lowest ebb, he began to draw. Alastair Sooke looks back at this pivotal moment in history.

In the spring of 1878, Vincent van Gogh turned 25. As he looked back over his short life, the Dutchman found little to celebrate among the meagre endeavours of his faltering career. By conventional, middle-class standards, he was a failure.

A stint working for an art dealership first in The Hague then in London and Paris hadn’t worked out: shy and awkward, he didn’t take to the profession, and in 1876, he was fired. That was followed by a couple of dead-end teaching jobs in England, as well as a short, forgettable spell working in a bookshop in Dordrecht, before he moved to Amsterdam to become a minister of religion, following in his father’s footsteps.

However, he didn’t have the patience or rigour to master the necessary study, so in 1878 – a few months after his 25th birthday – he left for Brussels, in order to enrol in a swifter training school for evangelists. Even this, though, was beyond him. After a three-month trial period in which his performance was less than mediocre, he was told that he would not be admitted to the course.

By now, Van Gogh’s family was beginning to despair. He had not curbed his socially inept and awkward manner, which was exacerbated by an eccentric tendency to dress in a deliberately unkempt fashion. How could an oddball like Vincent ever hope to scrape a living? His father was beginning to wonder whether his eldest son should be admitted to a mental hospital.

Van Gogh, though, was still fired with religious zeal and remained adamant that he could find work as an evangelist. At the end of 1878, he set off for the depressed coalmining district of the Borinage to the west of the city of Mons in Belgium, determined to establish himself as a lay preacher to the working

As a new exhibition, Van Gogh in the Borinage, at BAM (Beaux-Arts Mons) documents, he stayed in the region until October 1880, when he returned to Brussels. (Mons is one of the European capitals of culture for 2015.) Although ultimately his ambitions to become an evangelist would be thwarted – things got so bad that at one point his sister suggested that he should re-train as a baker – the Borinage was the making of Van Gogh in one fundamental respect. It was here, encouraged by his gentle brother Theo, that he decided to become an artist.

The startling thing is that his experiences in the Borinage seem to have set the template for many subjects and motifs that would continue to fascinate him as an artist over the next decade, until his death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest in the summer of 1890.

True to form, life for Van Gogh in the Borinage was not straightforward. He lived in a humble hut, gave away much of his money, and swapped his smart clothes for the practical work-wear of the ‘Borins’. Unfortunately, he was not a gifted orator, so his meetings were sparsely attended. His inability to connect with the local coalminers was compounded by a practical, linguistic difficulty: he couldn’t make head or tail of their quick-fire patois known as ‘Walloon French’, while they were mystified by his own attempts at French, which to their ears sounded overly formal and fussy. In July 1879, only half a year after he had arrived in the region, he received another setback: the authorities terminated his trial appointment as an evangelist, precipitating a crisis of self-doubt.

Read More

Europe’s Largest Display of Chinese Lanterns and Illuminations for Festival of Light at Longleat

“Europe’s Largest Display of Chinese Lanterns and Illuminations for Festival of Light at Longleat”

by Nancy Connolly via “Bath Chronicle

Finishing touches are being added to a stunning display of illuminated Chinese scenes at the Longleat estate and visitor attraction in Wiltshire.

A total of around 7,000 individual lanterns, miles and miles of silk and thousands of dazzling LED lights are being used to create a series of stunning tableaux for the Festival of Light at the rural estate.

The highlights of the spectacular event include a 70 metre dragon made up of 23,000 lit porcelain cups, bowls and plates,  and mythical creatures called ‘qilin’, which are each made from over 65,000 glass phials filled with coloured liquid.

The outdoor extravaganza also features a 20 metre tall Chinese temple, huge traditional Chinese masks, a family of life size pandas in a bamboo forest, giant elephants and other animals including zebras, lions and deer.

In total, 30 tonnes of steel has been used to build the frames for the illuminated structures.

A team of 100 highly skilled craftsmen from the village of Zigong in China’s Sichuan province have spent six months creating the structures, which will remain at Longleat from November 14 until the New Year.

Written records of lantern festivals in China date back 2,000 years, and Zigong is considered to be their spiritual home.

Bob Montgomery, Longleat’s chief executive, said: “The Festival of Light is something truly unique.

“We are taking the age old tradition of the Chinese lantern and completely transforming it for a modern audience using giant LED illuminated structures.

“There will be around 20 different scenes to explore within 30 acres, featuring literally thousands of individual illuminations, created from a mixture of silk, satin and vinyl.

“Nothing like it has been attempted on this scale before in the UK – it’s about as far away from those familiar lightweight flying lanterns as it is possible to get.”


Arrests over 18th Century icon theft from Chester Cathedral

Arrests over 18th Century icon theft from Chester Cathedral

via “BBC

The artwork seized by police

Five people have been arrested over the theft of an 18th Century piece of religious art from Chester Cathedral.

Police discovered the Greek Orthodox icon “The raising of Lazarus”, which was stolen in August, at a property in Edleston Road, Crewe, on Wednesday.

Officers also seized other artworks at the property and said they were trying to identify where they have come from.

Four men aged between 31 and 59 and a 57-year-old woman are being questioned over the theft.

The icon was gifted to the cathedral by the late Dean Ingram Cleasby’s family.

Vice Dean, Canon Peter Howell-Jones said it was taken from the altar of the Chapel of Saint Anselm and a small Christmas tree decoration of an angel was left in its place. .. . .


Guinness World Record: 100 International Female Street Artists Mural

Guinness World Record: 100 International Female Street Artists Mural

by Vidar via “Street Art Utopia

Street artist Miss Hazard adds her addition to Leake Street Tunnel

By Miss Hazard.

“Femme Fierce, the largest all-female street art event in the UK is dedicated to unearthing and highlighting the best of the burgeoning female artists on the street art scene. Coinciding with International Women’s Week, Femme Fierce is a celebration of women that create art in studios, lurk in dark alleyways, scale roof tops, enter abandoned buildings and add colour to the grey concrete walls that make up our cityscape for the love of the covert and oft-maligned world of street art and graffiti.” Femme Fierce.

In Leake Street Tunnel, south London, England.

A mural of a cat, by Susie Lowe:Suzko (more…)