Washington View: Seattle, Nature & Landscapes (4K)

Seattle, a city on Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, is surrounded by water, mountains and evergreen forests, and contains thousands of acres of parkland. Washington State’s largest city, it’s home to a large tech industry, with Microsoft and Amazon headquartered in its metropolitan area. The futuristic Space Needle, a 1962 World’s Fair legacy, is its most iconic landmark. 

Views: Snowdrops From The Caucasus, Georgia

Khatuna Jakeli loves snowdrops. Not only because they’re pretty, but because they provide her with an income. Every year in April and May, she treks through the Caucasus mountains of Adjara and collects the wildflower bulbs. The bulbs are then sold to the Netherlands, from where they are shipped to flower stores throughout Europe.

The Caucasus delivers 22 million snowdrops to the Netherlands every year, including 15 million wild snowdrops. A lucrative business, from which little remains for Khatuna Jakeli. Yet it is her most important source of income. A report by Juri Rescheto.

Ceramics: Ancient Athens Red-Figure Vase Painting

In this five-minute animated video, journey back to the 6th-century BCE workshop of the Athenian master Andokides and witness an ancient artist’s moment of creative ingenuity. For generations Athenian vase painters had employed black-figure technique, in which the figure is painted in a mixture of clay and water called slip and details are incised with a sharp tool.

At some point—we don’t know precisely when or why—a vase painter had the idea to reverse the scheme, leaving the figures the color of the clay and painting details with a brush. We now call this red-figure technique. Learn how ancient vase painters created vases in both styles and marvel at the technical virtuosity of the multi-step firing process that contributed to their distinctive, high-contrast look.

Cover Previews: Britain Magazine – July/Aug 2022

A TASTE OF THE JULY/AUGUST 2022 ISSUE

Big Ben: The time machine

Credit: PjrTravel / Alamy

Big Ben, the world’s most famous clock has been under wraps for four years, its iconic bell silenced. This year, restored to its former glory, Big Ben once again shows its face.

Read more here. 

Richmond: Down by the river

Credit: Maurizio Rellini

Between Richmond and Hampton Court is a storied stretch of the River Thames, whose banks are lined with grand houses, royal parks and Henry VIII’s favourite palace.

Read more here.

King Arthur’s Cornwall: Searching for Camelot

Tintagel Castle. Credit: Matt Jessop

The timeless legends of King Arthur and his brave knights live on in the magical landscapes of North Cornwall.

Read more here. 

Town Walks: Cambridge In Eastern England (4K)

Cambridge is a city on the River Cam in eastern England, home to the prestigious University of Cambridge, dating to 1209. University colleges include King’s, famed for its choir and towering Gothic chapel, as well as Trinity, founded by Henry VIII, and St John’s, with its 16th-century Great Gate. University museums have exhibits on archaeology and anthropology, polar exploration, the history of science and zoology. 

Australian Architecture: ‘Round Choreography’

Evolving from a symmetrical design, Round Choreography is a playful geometric home with a familial tenor. With the architecture, interior design and build undertaken by mckimm, the forever house sees a clear design intent rigorously executed.

00:00 – Introduction to the Forever Home 00:38 – Designing with Unique Geometries 01:08 – In-Situ Concrete 01:40 – Intuitive Design 02:14 – Wellness and Gym Area 02:31 – Collaborative Approach to Design 03:28 – The Material Palette 04:07 – What the Architect’s Are Most Proud Of

Settled into the leafy suburb of Malvern, Round Choreography is named in homage to the original floorplan of the home that flourished into the completed forever house. Geometric in nature, the interiors celebrate a circular motif, visible from the kitchen to the ensuite and the internal courtyard of the home’s lower level.

As architect, interior designer and builder, mckimm’s construction team had intimate knowledge of the design intent, enabling efficiency to undertake strenuous tasks to deliver the desired forever house. The unique frameless window in the living area is a particular triumph. The practical nature of the forever house extends to its materiality. mckimm chooses a durable palette comprised of concrete, timber and stone to express a commitment to longevity whilst celebrating aesthetic rawness.

Polished concrete flooring with hydronic heating meets walls of the same material, creating an architecturally consistent envelope. Designed in the knowledge that the clients are growing their family, Round Choreography captures the excitement of embedding oneself in a location. The light-filled forever house marks the beginning of family life.

Reviews: ‘The Week In Art’

We talk to the writer and critic Amy Castor about what effect the tumbling crypto markets might have on the until-now booming world of non-fungible tokens or NFTs. 

As Norway’s vast new National Museum opens, we speak to its director Karin Hindsbo. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Folding Screen with Indian Wedding, Mitote, and Flying Pole, made in Mexico in the late 17th century. It is one of the major pieces in a new show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, called Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800. Ilona Katzew, the curator of the exhibition, talks in depth about the meanings and purpose of the work.

You can read Amy Castor’s thoughts on crypto and NFTs at amycastor.com.

The National Museum in Oslo opens on 11 June.

Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 12 June-30 October.

Top Exhibition Tour: 19th Century Japanese Painter Kawanabe Kyōsai, London

The Japanese painter Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831–1889) was one of the most innovative artists of his day. He lived during a turbulent time, experiencing the downfall of the Tokugawa shogunate (the hereditary military government) and the new imperial regime’s reforms to modernise and Westernise the country. Kyōsai’s drive to capture the world with his brush earned him the nickname ‘demon of painting’ – which he lived by.

00:00 Room 1: From Tradition to Innovation

Kyōsai, as a highly trained painter, was proficient in traditional methods and subjects. He broke with convention by blurring the established boundary between ‘serious’ and comic pictures. Traditionally, complex painting techniques were reserved for literary classics, historical and legendary figures, auspicious themes and religious images. Comic pictures were typically produced in a lighter, more fluid style.

Kyōsai often saw humour in ‘serious’ subjects and introduced comic and everyday content in highly finished, detailed paintings. The selection in this room demonstrates Kyōsai’s range and skill across diverse genres. Subjects include animals, monsters, ghosts, protective deities and Buddhist icons. Some paintings display powerful Kano-style ink techniques, others depict humorous creatures – recalling works by his first teacher, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, and referencing medieval picture scrolls. He can be seen exploring Western techniques such as perspective, shading and the study of anatomy, which attests to his insatiable curiosity and desire to push beyond tradition.

04:17 Room 2: Laughing at Modernity

Kyōsai had a keen interest in society, and captured contemporary events in his pictures with humour and piquancy. His satirical prints from the 1860s, the period leading up to the collapse of the shogunate regime, reflect widespread anxiety about the political turmoil, economic instability and foreign presence. He channelled the febrile atmosphere into dynamic images of frog battles, monster parties and wildly dancing tengu (mischievous, semi-human creatures). Under the new Meiji government, the sudden influx of Western-style culture greatly shocked many Japanese, after over 260 years of relative isolation.

Kyōsai’s comic pictures express both the excitement of the new era, with modern technologies such as the telegraph and trains, and a certain scepticism towards those who blindly followed the new trends. The government’s policy of hiring European and American specialists to teach at new institutions in Japan brought the painter a personal benefit. The British architect Josiah Conder (1852–1920) became his pupil around 1881, and remained a student, patron and friend until Kyōsai’s death in 1889.

05:54 Room 3: The Artist Meets His Public

In nineteenth-century Japan, artists often produced works impromptu in front of an audience. The creative process was appreciated as a performance. At commercially organised calligraphy and painting parties called shogakai, attendees would pay for admission, and once inside, could ask the artists to create works for them at no extra charge. These gatherings were frequently a platform for collaboration. Multiple painters would complete a picture together or a calligrapher would inscribe a poem by the painter’s work. Kyōsai often depicted a scene of art viewing, and the artworks within the image would be painted by other artists.

Collaboration has always been an important part of the creative process in Japan, among artist friends or between teacher and pupils, sharing and marking the occasion. Event flyers, newspaper articles and anecdotes attest that Kyōsai was famous for his speedy, skilful and witty performances. The parties involved copious alcohol. Kyōsai loved saké and his brush became even more playful and expressive when intoxicated. Josiah Conder wrote in his master’s obituary: ‘under the influence of BACCHUS some of his strangest fancies, freshest conceptions and boldest touches were inspired.’

Morning News: January 6 Panel Focus On Trump Role, Wolf Populations

The committee investigating the Capitol attacks of January 6th 2021 held the first of several public hearings last night, having gathered evidence for the past year.

The hearings may not break Donald Trump’s hold on the Republicans, but they are creating a vital record of an attempted coup. As wolf populations grow, humans are learning to live with them. And why the corporate world has taken an interest in psychedelic drugs.