sat 08/08/2020

Visual Arts Features

Extract: What's That Thing?

Igor Toronyi-Lalic

In the former mining town of St Helens, a £2 million 66-foot baby’s head bulges out of the ground. On the approach to the new town of Cumbernauld, a 33-foot busty silver mermaid gestures at passers-by like a Vegas barmaid. Half a million pounds’ worth of hand-crocheted lions (pictured below left) will soon grace the streets of Nottingham. Another half a million will go into felling a stretch of Highland forest for a football pitch installation.

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theartsdesk in Leeds: OverWorlds & UnderWorlds

graham Rickson

It’s cold, grey and damp. Welcome to Leeds. The city centre has grown more homogenous, less distinctive since I arrived here in the 1980s, but there are still delights to be found.

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Collect 2012

theartsdesk

Collect is the international art fair for exquisitely crafted contemporary objects. Launched in 2004 by the Crafts Council, the fair represents galleries from around the world and showcases the best ceramic, glass, jewellery, textiles, wood, furniture and fine metalwork by new and established artists.

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Turner Prize 2012 shortlist

Fisun Güner

Where’s Marcus Coates? The gangly shaman-artist was last seen communing with the dark spirit of the soon-to-be demolished Heygate Estate in the Elephant and Castle, but, hell, he’s nowhere on the Turner Prize 2012 shortlist.

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theartsdesk in Liverpool: The Sea Odyssey

Glyn Môn Hughes

There is something surreal about emerging from an underground station in Liverpool and being confronted by an enormous giant lumbering its way up the street. Even coming up the escalator it is possible to hear the band accompanying this gigantic being merging with the roar of delight from the crowd. And crowds there have been. Over the three days of the Sea Odyssey it is estimated that 600,000 people have seen the latest street theatre creation from Nantes-based Royal De Luxe.

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Damien Hirst: Genius or Con Artist?

Sarah Kent

As Damien Hirst’s Tate retrospective looms large on the horizon, the million-dollar question is whether the work has withstood the test of time. Will exciting and provocative sculptures like the pickled shark, which became an icon of Brit Art the minute it swam into view at the Saatchi Gallery in 1992, still send shivers down the spine, or has it become too familiar to arouse anything more than a yawn of recognition?

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theartsdesk in New York: Battling for the Heart of Ground Zero

Markie Robson-Scott

Ever since we moved into an apartment building round the corner from Ground Zero a couple of years ago, I’ve been keeping an eye on One World Trade Center, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, soon to be America’s tallest building. Now it’s reached 92 of its eventual 105 floors at the rate of one floor a week, its octagonal steel panels covered in blast-resistant glass soaring skywards, and Condé Nast and J Crew have signed up as some of its future occupants.

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theASHtray: Homeland, Kings of Leon, and we need to talk about Aïda

ASH Smyth

So Homeland is here, and mid-ranking-CIA-operative Claire Danes is chasing Marine-Sergeant-and-possible-al-Qaeda-double-agent Damian Lewis all over the shop (but really only in their heads, so far), and neither of them is getting anywhere fast, so Claire goes home for a kip and sticks on some relaxing music, and would you Adam ‘n’ Eve it? – another bloody jazz nerd!

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theASHtray: Whitney, bin men, and the NPG's 'incautious' acquisitions

ASH Smyth

Right, out with it: who else had their Valentine’s dinner-out ruined by 36 consecutive requests for Whitney Houston? Not even the entire back-catalogue, either: just “(And I-ee-I-ee-) I…”, over and over.

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theartsdesk in Papa Westray: Art at the End of the World

Amy Liptrot

In the same way that some chase the thrills of extreme sport, extreme art fans can now take the challenge of visiting this small art festival, which is uncompromising in terms of location, climate and content. Orkney as a whole has natural beauty, a rich history and a thriving cultural life, with a disproportionate number of artists compared to the size of the population.

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