A Lebanese art collector has opened his private art collection to the public. Housed in a Bekaa Valley mansion, merely a few miles from the Syrian border, the precious and relevant works number around 800. During the Lebanon war in 2006, many pieces were sold for fear of being destroyed however the remaining collection still remains diverse and vibrant with many original works.
Emile Hannouche, a successful businessman, is the owner of the stately home and artworks within. Opening the home to public viewing four days a week, under the wing of local artistic director Pascal Odille, who has catalogued the museum's inventory, the collector can assure the upkeep of the museum plus provide its significance to all.
The collection, which is mostly made from contributions from the 19th and 20th centuries, is spread thickly across the walls, with little space between them. The floor to ceiling, corner to corner exhibits provide an instant submersion in the rich and diverse culture portrayed in Lebanese art.
During its opening weekend, the museum saw over a thousand visitors including the President, Michael Aoun. Among the Lebanese art, including Kanaan Dib, Daoud Corm, and Omar Onsi, a large selection of 130 early Japanese prints are also on display. These are to be joined by a collection of 250 Christian icons sometime in the summer 2018.
Visit the museum online to get a glimpse of what is on offer
Pussy Riot and Post Soviet Protest Art at The Saatchi Gallery | Alternative Fruit
All girl punk band, Pussy Riot, make a theatrical performance as part of the Saatchi gallery Post Soviet Protest Art exhibition this winter. Along with Pyotr Pavlensky and Oleg Kulik, the notorious anti-establishment quintet take to the stage to tell their story of oppression and cultural revolution in their homeland of Russia.
Inside Pussy Riot, the name of the show, places the viewer into their world, from a post-punk pop art perspective, complete with funky balaclavas. The gritty content of the delivery is intended to prod and poke at our moral conscience, depicting humiliation and belittlement as part of the custodial sentence placed on one of their members.
Theatre goers are made to wear the balaclavas too, as well as prison style clothing. While there, they are treated to a glamorised version of events similar to that which occurred to Nadya Tolokonnikova by the activist herself. A mock court hearing and prison sentence take place in the art gallery and a version of hard labour is given to each participant.
By mixing the outlandish and ridiculous with the tough and harrowing, Inside Pussy Riot reveals what it could be like being an active member of an outspoken group in a country such as Russia. To say that the event is taking place in London amidst the high class and luxury shopping venues, banks, and offices, a little piece of Soviet discipline can be yours too. The show runs until the 31st of December.
Browse popular shows with special discounted tickets when booking this week only, what have you been to see recently?
Creative Courage is an innovative project founded by art teacher, Tori Wardrip. The Lewis and Clarke Middle School, Montana educator had noticed that some of her students were showing signs of troubled mental health. Combining her knowledge in the arts and her care for the pupils she was employed to teach, Ms. Wardrip decided to begin with this fantastic outreach project.
Especially in low income communities, a solid arts education has been shown to improve the quality of life in several ways. The support group is intended to give students an artistic voice without the criticism they may receive in the classroom. Rather than teaching art from a top down perspective, the group encourages pupils to express their feelings in a safe and considerate environment.
Prompting students with interesting ideas and methods of expression is part of the process, like tapping on the eggshell and then seeing what flows out. Mental health is unique to the individual, and with the boundaryless realm of creative expression there can be a direct correlation between feelings and communication that words and talking therapies can't reach into. Combined with the talking, art is able to holistically address the deeper foundations to life's issues.
Many adolescents struggle with depression and anxiety. This often overlooked and brushed aside condition requires healing and therapy in order to be free from it. Nipping it in the bud at young ages while people are still of school age is ideal for preparing them for adult life. Rather than pretending it is not there, or expecting it to pass naturally, teenagers are finding exceptional benefits from working through it creatively instead.
Check out some of Tori Wardrip's great work here
Do you think that art therapy is something you can make use of, for yourself or your friends? There is a great course on Udemy, that I have taken myself, and I do highly recommend anyone to take it.
Unusual Photography | Alternative Fruit
For photographers, the winter months may signal less time in the field. As the light levels dwindle to only a few hours per day, getting to the right place at the right time becomes more difficult. It perhaps seems obvious, however for some this just isn't the case. For Michael Streckbein, the night time offers a fascinating world of shadows and gloom to be captured by his trusted camera.
In his second series of shots, Nightland II, Streckbein has taken his lens to deserted city scenes during the little hours when all the mystery of the dark comes out to play. Utilising silhouettes and lighting to contrast against the grainy and often abstract depth of the night, the photographs examine a sensual and quiet world at rest.
When lighting isn't an issue and all the vibrancy of day can be given its place on the image, getting out the colour and interesting shapes offers a way to creating unique and exciting photographs. Elise Mesner has taken to her Los Angeles studio to capture interesting and creative portraits that make use of colours and posture in iconic and thought provoking ways.
A far stretch from the original portraits from when photography first became accessible to the masses. The original pioneers of portrait artists in photography can always been rested upon for clarity and exceptional value for inspiration.
When capturing people, getting the natural side of the individual is often difficult. People like to pose, and when having a picture taken, we consciously position ourselves, and hold our smiles as if by clockwork. Finding the right moment to catch human expression in its raw and untampered form is about getting to those places where the mood is electric and people stop concerning themselves about the minor issue of a photo.
The recent same sex marriage legislation in Australia indeed was one of those times, with several photographers finding the time to encapsulate the day with memorable and empathic images of joy and elation.
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A new light and sound exhibit is demonstrating the physical side of computer processes involved in graphical display. With the line of fluorescent lights enveloped by segmented moveable cylinders, the device named “True/False” mechanically outputs the computational commands one by one to reveal patterns and motifs which visually represent commands written by the algorithm.
Inspired by mechanical technologies with computational power or abilities, the True/False installation forms an atmosphere of hypnotic charm as it grinds and flashes to its steady program. By showing the step by step implementation of computer commands in this way, the artwork removes the veil between us users and them, the digital calculating machines.
By combining the shifting sounds and lights as well as the holistic image displayed on the entire face, the simple algorithm is transformed into a dance of logic and synchronous play which can become a fascinating thing to stare at and allow to induce an appreciative trance.
The incredible skill and dexterity required to fashion origami models is undeniable. Folding the paper in exactly the right places, getting the tension right and without letting go, folding something else over the top to hold it together. It baffles me how anyone could perceive the method in their mind, let alone repeat it at will. However, as the origami artists continually demonstrate, paper-folding can be mastered and used to create an almost infinite number of objects.
So when we meet Anja Markiewicz, and we witness her delightfully tiny and adorable origami creations, speechlessness is about the only appropriate reaction. She uses a toothpick to manipulate tiny inch wide paper slips to fold amazing and wonderfully accurate models of all kinds of things. Flowers, insects, and animals each adorn her shelves, which she photographs and uploads to a flickr account.
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