To celebrate the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games,The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William accompanying the Queen have shown their energy and support by attending the opening ceremony. Kate Middleton looked stylish in a cream dress coat by Scandinavian fashion brand DAY Birger et Mikkelsen – an outfit she has worn on previous occasions.
Taking inspiration from the values of the Paralympic Games, London 2012 Festival presents Unlimited, the UK’s largest ever series of commissions to deaf and disabled artists. A range of original and exciting works form part of the 29 commissions that will be showcased over the two weeks of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, including dance, visual arts, music, comedy, circus and theatre. The Unlimited programme has encouraged a series of collaborations and partnerships between disability arts organisations, disabled and deaf artists, producers, and mainstream organisations. (30 August – 9 September 2012). For the full programme, please see listings section.
This week, London 2012 Festival also takes art into unusual places, with a diverse series of outdoor projects and pop-up performances taking place across the streets and landscapes of the UK.
Hadrian’s Wall is set to be transformed by Connecting Light, a major new art installation along the line of the English Heritage site, designed by New York based digital arts collective YesYesNo and Zachary Lieberman. With 450 two-metre diameter weather balloons lit by internal LED lights, the installation will become a line of pulsating colours as messages are sent along Hadrian’s Wall. The installation will be visible in the evening and accessible to visitors at several locations. (FREE, Hadrian’s Wall, Various Sites, Hexham, 31 August – 1 September 2012).
Set on a cliff top in Portland, Harmonic Fields is an ensemble of more than 500 instruments, which will be played by the wind as it blows. A reaction against the overwhelming and unnecessary noise of the contemporary world around us, internationally acclaimed French composer and artist Pierre Sauvageot presents music in its most primal form – a piece he describes as ‘a symphonic march for 1,000 aeolian instruments and moving audience’. Covering approximately one mile of coastal path and off-road bridleways, views from the work provide vistas over both the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and the Paralympic Games sailing course in Weymouth Bay. (FREE, Bowers Quarry, Wide Street, Portland, 31 August – 9 September 2012).
Branches: The Nature of Crisis – award-winning Argentine choreographer and director Constanza Macras creates a new site-specific show in the forests of North Wales, featuring performers from her Berlin-based company DorkyPark alongside a cast of Welsh performers. A world-renowned creator of ground-breaking physical theatre, Macras’ new work sees city streets and party animals transported to the woods for a surreal experience, inspired by Welsh myths of the Mabinogion and tales of economic crisis from across the world. (Wepre Park, Connah’s Quay, 5 – 8 September 2012; to book tickets visit http://ntw22.eventbrite.co.uk/).
Column sees the installation of American artist Anthony McCall’s largest and most ambitious project to date: a spinning, vertical column of cloud that rises into the sky from the surface of East Float, Wirral Waters, on the edge of the Mersey and directly opposite the city of Liverpool. Up to twenty metres in diameter, the sculpture will ascend up to and beyond the cloud base and disappear and reappear as well as present itself in different ways, in response to changing weather and light conditions. Column is demonstrative of McCall’s fascination with using mist, projecting and light as artistic mediums. (FREE, East Float, Wirral Waters, Merseyside, 31 August 2012 – 31 August 2013).
As well as an exciting mix of visual arts and performance works, London 2012 Festival is treating audiences across the UK to a series of special pop-up events including comedy gigs, art installations, music concerts, and outdoor events. Highlights include:
· What You Will: Pop Up Shakespeare – To Be or Not To Be, created by award-winning actor Mark Rylance, 50 actors engage with the public in various London streets, bringing to life Shakespeare’s most famous characters. Cast by Shakespeare’s Globe and featuring deaf and disabled artists, actors will perform brief, intimate interactions with the public before disappearing back into the crowd. Footage from the first of the pop-up performances in Covent Garden is available for broadcasters to download from http://footagelibrary.london2012.com/ ) (London, 28 August – 2 September 2012).
· On 1 September, Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion will host a special drive-in screening of the classic 1969 British film The Italian Job, in the shadow of Richard Wilson’s Hang On A Minute Lads, I’ve Got A Great Idea… installation on the gallery’s roof, inspired by the film’s final scene in which a coach containing gold bullion and a gang of robbers hovers precariously over a cliff. On 2 September, there will also be a workshop led by artist Sharon Haward offering a playful interpretation of the Olympics for children and young people – more information is available at http://www.dlwp.com/event/lift-the-lid10
· Slung Low’s Knowledge Emporium is an old fashioned sweetshop in a converted 1950’s airstream caravan. Money is not accepted, however, throughout the week, the public are invited to share a secret- a fascinating fact, a favourite poem, a family recipe or whatever they like, in return for some sweets. At the end of the week, Slung Low will create a performance formed solely of the knowledge shared by visitors, celebrating the collective knowledge of our communities. (FREE 12 Noon – 4PM, Doncaster Town Centre, 28 August – 1 September 2012)
• Tickets are on sale for an autobiographical performance lecture on adventure capitalism by Mark Borkowski, one of most influential figures in the PR industry, at Bristol Old Vic Theatre (1 September 2012).
· Further dates have been announced for Sacrilege, the life-sized inflatable replica of Stonehenge for people to bounce on by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller. The installation will be popping up in Gateshead (30 August), Doncaster (1 September), Skegness (3 September), Whitstable (5 September), Stoke (7 September) and Preston (9 September).
There will be more pop-up events announced this week – including one of the largest events of the summer. To find out where and when the events are happening, sign up for email updates at www.london2012.com/festival and follow @london2012fest on Twitter.
Other highlights of London 2012 Festival programme:
Tony Cragg – Cass Sculpture – outdoor sculptures by British artist Tony Cragg will be presented in London’s first outdoor exhibition of his work. Five major new outdoor sculptures will be installed along Exhibition Road and a number of indoor works will be on display at the V&A, the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and Imperial College London (FREE, Exhibition Road, Kensington & Chelsea, London, 25 August – 25 November 2012).
Storylab – Imaginate: Scota-land is a touring show for children, which takes a fun look at the history of a fictional Scottish island, presented by Andy Cannon and Mull Theatre. (Touring schools throughout Scotland, 27 August – 7 September 2012).
Ha Ha Hackney –two unique performances in celebration of 66 years of comedy between the 1948 and the 2012 Olympic Games, Maggie, Maggie, Maggie … … …! is directed by Tony Whittle and stars Arthur Smith, in which a series of comedians provide their take on the Thatcher years. Special guests include Hardeep Singh Kohli, Terry Alderton, Tony Slattery and the Iron Lady herself – Spitting Image’s Steve Nallon. The show features a range of 80s music, from GRAEAE’s Reasons to Be Cheerful band. The following night, Ha Ha Hackney: Look Black in Laughter sees artists from shows such as The Real McCoy, The Posse, BiBi crew, Mixed Blessings and Desmond’s unite for a one-night-only show. Directed by Paulette Randall. (Hackney Empire, London, 1-2 September 2012).
Red Baraat – the Brooklyn-based dhol ‘n’ brass band, arrive for their debut UK tour. Bringing their eclectic live show of dhol, drums, percussion, a sousaphone and a five-piece horn section, their shows are renowned for being big, brassy and full of energy (Various locations, 1 – 10 September 2012).
World Shakespeare Festival continues to celebrate the global appeal of William Shakespeare. Highlights for this week of the London 2012 Festival include:
· Forests – Calixto Bieito – Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company joins forces with internationally renowned director Calixto Bieito and Barcelona Internacional Teatre to present an original play inspired by Shakespeare’s references to forests throughout his work. With a cast of English and Catalan actors, led by the great Catalan actor Josep Maria Pou, the play marks one of the highlights of the World Shakespeare Festival. (Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham, 31 August – 15 September 2012).
· King Lear – Michael Attenborough, artistic director of the Almeida Theatre, directs Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, with award-winning actor Jonathan Pryce in the title role. (Almeida Theatre, Islington, London, 31 August – 3 November 2012).
· Julius Caesar – Shakespeare’s greatest political thriller finds dark contemporary echoes in modern Africa, directed by RSC Artistic Director Designate Gregory Doran and featuring Paterson Joseph as Brutus. (Noel Coward Theatre, London, 8 August – 15 September 2012).
· Troilus and Cressida – Working for the first time together, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Wooster Group present an Anglo-American production of Shakespeare’s epic Trojan play. Co-directed by Elizabeth LeCompte and Mark Ravenhill. (Riverside Studio, London, 24 August – 8 September 2012).
Emoto – Visualising Global Emotion is a data art project that sets out to visualise the online emotional response to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The artwork, created from the collected data, can be experienced online, as well as via an on-site installation in Trafalgar Square, from 29 August. A ‘data sculpture’ will then be presented at the North West’s closing celebration for London 2012 in Preston. (FREE, from 29 August, Trafalgar Square, London; Preston Guild, Preston, 7-9 September 2012).
BBC Proms, the world’s biggest classical music festival, this year forms part of the London 2012 Festival. The eight-week season of concert and events features the world’s leading artists and orchestras, the largest number of new commissions for a Proms season, record youth participation and a celebration of London and composers and pieces. Highlights include:
• One of the world’s greatest living conductors, Sir Simon Rattle, conducts the Berliner Philharmoniker through works by Ravel, Debussy and Sibelius (Prom 63, 30 August), and a programme featuring works by Brahms and Lutoslawski (Proms 63, 31 August).
• The world premieres of Eric Whitacre’s Higher, Faster, Stronger and Imogen Heap’s The Listening Chair (Prom 62, 29 August) and the London premiere of The Spirit of Django, performed by Guy Barker and his Orchestra (Prom 65, 31 August).
• The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra play two Proms with conductor Riccardo Chailly. They are joined by violinist Nikolaj Znaider for a night celebrating the works of Mendelssohn (Prom 67, 1 September); and Messiaen’s Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum and Mahler’s powerful Symphony No. 6 in A minor (Prom 69, 2 September).
Listings for London 2012 Festival for the week beginning 29 August 2012:
Art, Design & Exhibitions
• Imagine Peace – Yoko Ono (19 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), London 2012 Live Sites
• Arthur Bispo do Rosario (13 Aug -28 Oct 2012); Victoria & Albert Museum, London
• Art in the Park (From 27 Jul 2012), Olympic Park, London
• Tino Sehgal – The Turbine Hall Commission (24 Jul – 28 Oct 2012), Tate Modern, London
• The Tanks: Art in Action (18 Jul – 28 Oct 2012) Free, Tate Modern
• Changing Rooms – (15 August – 30 September 2012); The Underground Gallery/The Hub-Westminster/Davenport’s Ticket Shop, London
• BT Road to 2012 (19 Jul – 23 Sep 2012), National Portrait Gallery, London
• Casa Brasil (21 Jul – 8 Sep 2012), Somerset House, London
• Damien Hirst (4 Apr – 9 Sep 2012), Tate Modern, London
• Design Stories – The Architecture behind 2012 (25 Jun – 25 Sep 2012), Royal Institute of British Architects, London
• Designing the Extraordinary – Heatherwick Studio (31 May – 30 Sep 2012), Victoria and Albert Museum, London
• International Architecture and Design Showcase (23 June – 23 Sept 2012) Embassies and Cultural Institution, London
• Frieze Projects East (18 Jul – 31 Aug 2012), multiple venues, London
• Government Art Collection at the Whitechapel Gallery (19 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Whitechapel Gallery, London
• London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Posters (21 Jun – 23 Sep 2012), Tate Britain, London
• Metamorphosis – Titian 2012 (11 Jul – 23 Sep 2012), National Gallery, London
• Next Generations – BP Portrait Awards (21 Jun – 23 Sep 2012), National Portrait Gallery, London
• Official London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Poster Display (21 Jun – 21 Sep 2012), Tate Britain, London
• Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2012 – Ai Weiwei & Herzog and de Meuron (1 Jun – 14 Oct 2012), Serpentine Gallery, London
• The English Flower Garden – Paul Cummins (31 Aug – 09 Sep 2012), Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
• To The Light – Yoko Ono (19 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Serpentine Gallery, London
• Whitechapel Gallery Commission – Rachel Whiteread (From 14 June 2012), Whitechapel Gallery, London
• Globe Head Ballerina: Yinka Shonibare (From 21 June 2012), Royal Opera House, London
• The Changing Room (15 August – 30 September 2012), The Underground Gallery; Davenport’s Magic Shop; The Hub, London
· Caroline Bowditch: Leaving Limbo Landing (31 August – 9 September 2012), Royal Festival Hall, London
· Sinead O’Donnell – CAUTION (1 – 2 Sep 2012), Southbank Centre, London
· Unlimited Global Alchemy – Rachel Gadsden (31 Aug – 9 Sep 2012), Southbank Centre, London
· DASH Arts: M21 (31 Aug – 9 Sep 2012), Southbank Centre, London
South of England
• Cass Sculpture Foundation – Tony Cragg (21 Jun – 4 Nov 2012), Cass Sculpture Foundation, West Sussex
• Ballast Seed Garden – Maria Thereza Alves (21 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Floating Harbour (North side), Bristol
• Edmund de Waal (20 Apr – 28 Oct 2012), Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury
• Give me tomorrow – Alex Katz (19 May – 23 Sep 2012), Tate St Ives, St Ives
• Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea… – Richard Wilson (7 Jul – 1 Oct 2012), De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill On Sea
• Piercing Brightness – Shezad Dawood (23 Jun – 29 Sep 2012) Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance. (30 Jun – 15 Sep 2012), The Exchange, Penzance
• She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea – Tracey Emin (26 May – 23 Sep 2012), Tuner Contemporary, Margate
• The English Flower Garden – Paul Cummins (1 Jun – 17 Sep 2012), Blenheim Palace, Oxford
• The English Flower Garden – Paul Cummins (11 May – 1 Sep 2012), The Secret Gardens of Sandwich, Sandwich
• Harmonic Fields (31 Aug – 9 Sep 2012), Bowers Quarry, Portland
• B-Side Multimedia Arts Festival (29 Aug – 9 Sep 2012) Mutliple Sites, Portland
• CORE – Kurt Hentschläger (23 Mar – 30 Sep 2012), Enginuity, Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, Telford
• The English Flower Garden – Paul Cummins (11 May – 1 Sep 2012), Althorp Estate, Northampton
• Boyd & Evans: Views (18 Jul – 2 Sep 2012), Ikon Gallery, Birmingham
• Walking – Robert Wilson (20 Aug – 2 Sep 2012) Holkham, Norfolk
North of England
• Connecting Light (31 Aug – 1 Sep 2012), Hadrian’s Wall, Various Sites
• Mobile Republic: Digital Caravans (30 Aug – 02 Sep 2012), First Street Manchester, Manchester
• Niet Normaal: Difference on Display (13 July – 2 Sep 2012), The Bluecoat, Liverpool
• Richard Long (Artist Rooms) and Luke Fowler (23 Jun – 14 Oct 2012), The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield
• The English Flower Garden – Paul Cummins (1 Jun – 31 Aug 2012), Castle Howard, York
• We Face Forward – Art from West Africa Today, Gallery of Costume, Manchester (2 Jun – 15 Sep 2012) Whitworth Art Gallery/Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester (2 Jun – 16 Sep 2012)
• Column (31 Aug 2012 – 31 Aug 2013) East Float, Wirral Waters, Merseyside
• Blue Crystal Ball: Samsung Olympic Games Media Art Collection (29 Aug – 2 Sep 2012), AND Festival, Manchester
• Making Triangles – Richard La Trobe-Bateman (7 Jul – 9 Sep 2012), Ruthin Craft Centre, Ruthin
• Rooms of Dreams – Wendy Ramshaw (7 Jul – 9 Sep 2012), Ruthin Craft Centre, Ruthin
• Flags – Hans Peter Kuhn (20 Aug – 4 Sep 2012), Giants Causeway, Belfast
• Godot Tree – Antony Gormley (2 Jul – 13 Sep 2012), The Grand Yard at Castle Coole, Enniskillen
• The Screaming Silence of the Wind – Maurice Orr (31 Aug – 09 Sep 2012), Festival Village, Southbank Centre
• Timeline – Susan Phillipz (2 Aug – 2 Sep 2012) Edinburgh
• NVA – Speed of Light (9 Aug – 1 Sep 2012) Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh