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October Arts Newsletter

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Thank you to everyone who came to Art in the Park a couple of weeks ago, it was a great success. We had over 2,500 visitors coming to see our art fair of 60 artists, sculpture trail of 10 sculptors and lots of activities that people could come and get involved in. We had a fantastic team of volunteers helping us and support from Friends of Cannizaro Park, Cannizaro House Hotel and Merton Council and our sponsors, thank you to all of them. This was our second Art in the Park as Common Works CIC – it is becoming a biannual event for the calendar. See you in 2025.
I haven’t had a lot of time in the studio recently as, as well as organising Art in the Park, I have been teaching quite a lot. However, I have long wanted to create a series based on Kew Gardens and I have made a couple of small oil sketches as a start. So if you can’t get hold of me in the next couple of months, you might find me in the Palm House in Kew…New exhibitions this month

The repeatedly-postponed Marina Abramovic retrospective at the Royal Academy has finally opened and it is performance art at its most effective. Although not actually performing herself (there are several actors, some naked) all of her iconic works are represented. Such as ‘Rhythm 0’ from 1974 where Abramovic stood still for 8 hours and invited the public to do what they wanted. She found herself stripped, stabbed and generally abused. The piece aimed to expose the ugliness found when you put people in a position of power. Not pretty. Please note, this exhibition isn’t for everyone – not one to take the kids to at half term! Royal Academy until 1Jan23.Happy Gas by Sarah Lucas at Tate Britain is another big one-woman retrospective (hurrah!). However, the serious, intense, depressing themes pursued by Abramovic are replaced by titillating, vulgar, childish and grotesque subject matter recurring in Lucas’s work. As a founding member of the YBAs in the 1990s Lucas has always used images to provoke and challenge our understanding of sex, class and gender. Again, this exhibition isn’t for everyone but if you have even a passing interest in 1990s British art, then don’t miss it… Tate Britain until 14Jan23 Rubens and Women at the Dulwich Picture Gallery is a bit more old school than the above recommendations. It aims to redefine the term ‘Rubenesque’ by scotching the idea that the artist only painted one sort of woman. With over 40 paintings and drawing amassed from international and private collections. The exhibition will examine his relationships in love, with family members and with female patrons. Come and discover a new side to Rubens. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 28JanFrans Hals at the National Gallery is the first retrospective of the artist in over 30 years. It brings together 50 works from smaller works to large group portraits and shows his talent for depicting his sitters looking relaxed and happy, something almost unheard of at the time. I’ve never been a massive Hals fan (slightly creepy some of those smiles?), however I prepare to be surprised and will go with an open mind to this show. National Gallery until 21Jan

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