Review: Ghostbusters: Afterlife

We have all waited a long time for 'Ghostbusters 3’. Hell, we have waited years for a worthwhile follow-up at all really. After Something strange went on in the neighbourhood back in 1984, we could not resist wanting to see more from the ghoul-snatching gang, but director Ivan Reitman’s 1989 sequel to his own classic was - and remains - one of the most polarising movie sequels ever made. And as everyone waited for the inevitable part three, it just never…

Interview: Alison Bartram Of The Heart Gallery, Hebden Bridge

Anyone strolling through the bohemian delights of Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire is likely to benefit from the palpable, resolutely resilient creative energy which connects its denizens with each other. A vibrant array of local businesses crowd together, each amplifying the unique essence of this culturally diverse crucible of inclusivity, community spirit and non-judgemental tolerance, all grounded in good old Yorkshire grit. To establish herself with those she hoped to support. "Some were cautious, some were brave – all of them…

Review: Dune

It has been said about a great many written stories that they are “unfilmable”. Some have remained that way, but others have managed to make it to the silver screen against all odds. Among this crop you can count the likes of Zack Snyder’s Watchmen, based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ influential graphic novel; The Wachowskis' and Tom Tykwer’s Cloud Atlas, based on David Mitchell’s vast book; and David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch, based on William S. Burroughs’ challenging text.…

Contemporary Art, With An Ancient Past: Interview With Matt Leak – Mosaics Artist

Mosaic art is one of the oldest and most impressively dextrous manifestations of mankind’s aesthetic creativity and our ideological paradigms. Its ancient roots can be traced to eighth century floor mosaics found in the city of Gordion in Asia Minor. Mosaics appeared in Greece around the sixth century BCE, flourishing and eventually garlanding opulent buildings as hugely venerated architectural ornament. The Roman empire, ever eager to consolidate its status as the acme of cultural taste, embraced this Greek tradition, mastering…

Experiments In Creative Collaboration: Dovetailing Responses In Ilkley In November

Dovetailing Responses, an exhibition combining film, music and mobile sculpture with visual arts, poetry, dance, live music and an interactive soundscape, will take place at the Manor House in Ilkley from 4th to 7th November. The exhibition will seek to evolve into several resonating layers of interaction. Encouraged to take an individual path through an immersive forest-like installation by sculptor Juliet Gutch, filmmaker Clare Dearnaley and music-composer Sally Beamish, audience participants will be exposed to a unique experience replete with light,…

The Underdogs – Artwork From Beyond The Settle Graveyard Project

Perhaps appropriately for a period that covers Halloween, the new exhibition at Gallery on the Green in Settle, which runs from October 17 to December 11, features works created by local illustrator Teresa Gordon as her contribution to the fascinating Settle Graveyard Project. The graveyard project began in 2018 when local historian and writer Sarah Lister started to research the lives of those buried in Settle Graveyard. The research has revealed incredible tales of survival against the odds, incredibly rich and…

'The World Of Reality Has Its Limits; The World Of Imagination Is Boundless' : Interview With Kate Lycett

As an inveterate maverick, I gravitate towards that which eschews normative convention, a trait which is especially true in respect of my aesthetic predispositions. Artistic competence can of course produce images of exquisite beauty, yet however pronounced the artist’s dexterity, without an innate stylistic singularity, such works can blend into the muddied waters of the indistinguishable, and therefore unremarkable. For me, fine art combines an almost haptic sensibility on the part of the artist for their materials, and something profoundly…

Cézanne – Muse, Guide And Maestro: Interview With Phil Fraser – Watercolour Artist

Landscape watercolour artist Phil Fraser works from his idyllic, light-filled studio situated in Grassington, surrounded by the dramatic majesty of the Yorkshire Dales. Hiking around this verdant countryside is to marvel at nature’s capacity to delight the soul as well as the eyes. Serendipity enabled me to stumble across Fraser’s gallery, his artworks all sublimely aesthetic responses to the picturesque beauty inspiring this gifted practitioner. Fraser’s dextrously nuanced use of light dazzled me, as did his apparent creative sympatico with…

New Light Prize Exhibition - Brian Shields

There are few sculptures in the New Light Prize Exhibition. Easily the most interesting and eccentric, is The Patronage of Icarion John (John Clare poet) by Brian Shields. The diminutive figure of a man in Nineteenth Century clothing sits on a swing in a parrot’s cage. There are miniature books on the floor of the cage and the figure has wings attached to his back and a long pointed nose. This is Shields’ vision of John Clare, the so-called…

London Mural Festival Is Now Open To The Public

The eagerly awaited London Mural Festival (LMF) is now open to the public. Over 200 artists painted murals from Walthamstow to Wembley Park throughout September and October, with 75 plus large-scale murals and activations, most of which will last for years to come. The public are encouraged to download the latest map – https://www.londonmuralfestival.com/map and go and explore murals by well-known artists such as Camille Walala, Conor Harrington, D*Face, Marija Tiurina and Seb Lester. You can expect…

Pete Lapish Galleries Go On Line

I defy anybody to look at one of Pete Lapish’s paintings and not experience a warm glow and an urge to possess it. Anybody that is except, perhaps, an art critic, an academician, a modernist. You’ll no doubt have admired his paintings of local scenes, hills, dales and coast, on covers of Yorkshire magazines, biscuit tins, postcards, and even on jigsaws, without knowing who did them. His lovingly nostalgic recreations of the age of steam engines, trams and canals are particularly…

Artistic Mind: Abigail McGourlay

Abigail McGourlay was in the middle of finishing her 2nd year of studying Fine Art at The University of Leeds and was working as a swimming instructor when lockdown hit. She has been furloughed from her job and has been continuing her studies from home. Inspired she created some new artwork, and has now found herself shortlisted for The Arts Society’s prestigious Isolation Artwork Competition with two pieces. We caught up with her to find out a little more. Can

Directors And Composers – Sergio Leone And Ennio Morricone

Few, if any, film directors have integrated music so closely with narrative as Sergio Leone. Leone was so dedicated to music as an integral part of his films that he often had his old school mate, Ennio Morricone, compose the score at the same time as the script writing and often had it played on set in the course of the action. The effect on the actors is clearly visible, especially with Leone’s characteristic close-ups and extreme close-ups. Ennio Morricone has, reputedly,…

The Artistry Of Lancashire: Bonkers Clutterbucks

Lockdown has, for some, provided the perfect opportunity to indulge in creative projects often left aside until there is more time to spare. Indeed, it is outstanding how much resource has been available online to those knowing where to look. From virtual gallery tours to Zoom master classes in arts and crafts, creativity has become a new pastime for many. I've taken time to discover more about the art world in Lancashire, as part of my own exploration of the county…

Artistic Mind: Emma Money

18-year-old Harrogate artist Emma Money has been shortlisted for The Arts Society’s prestigious Isolation Artwork Competition in support of young artists and students across the UK during lockdown. The 8 shortlisted artists were asked to respond to the theme of isolation and have produced new works that reflect their lockdown experience. With a striking piece based on the Zoom connection we have all come to rely on, her piece resonates with the new normal. We caught up with her to…

'I Thought I Was Going To Die From All The Art': Judith Levin And The Art Of The Moors

‘I want to feel lost in it,’ says Judith Levin as we look at the moor scene propped up on the easel. Levin works on landscapes from the Yorkshire Moors in her studio and apartment, located on the outskirts of Leeds; or should that be apartment and studio? Paintings, draped in dust sheets, line the halls and, in the kitchen, a skylight glows blue above her easel as the living and artistic space blur. I’m not lost, but I am…

Pre-Raphaelite Knights: Reinventing The Medieval World At The Bowes Museum

This exhibition is all about colour, beauty achieved through attention to detail, and above all it asks the viewer to imagine what life was like if you had lived in a mythical world full of legends. It features some of the masters of the Pre-Raphaelite art movement: John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Sir Edward Burne-Jones and William Holman Hunt. These artists and their colleagues were controversial. They prompted a huge debate because they believed art should, first and foremost,…

Review: Birds Of Prey And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is a project that has been a long time coming for Margot Robbie. After excelling in Suicide Squad as fan favourite DC comics villain/antihero Harley Quinn, Robbie was very much at the forefront of the development of this new adult-aimed all-female ensemble project inspired in part by Jordan B. Garfinkel and Chuck Dixon’s “Birds of Prey” comic books, even pitching it to Warner Brothers. And boy has the effort…

Bill Brandt And Henry Moore: At The Hepworth, Wakefield

This exhibition explores the fascinating parallels of the works of photographer Bill Brandt (1904-1983) and sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986). Brandt and Moore crossed paths during the Second World War, when they were both creating images of civilians in the London Underground during the Blitz The exhibition opens with the occasion they both met in 1942, when Brandt photographed Moore in his studio for an article in Lilliput magazine. That article put side by side the two artists' shelter pictures, and explored their…

Review: Life In Our Hands at Settle Stories

This living hand, now warm and capable Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold And in the icy silence of the tomb, So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights That thou would wish thine own heart dry of blood So in my veins red life might stream again, And thou be conscience-calm’d – see here it is – I hold it towards you. John Keats The inherent expressiveness of hands, the power to describe, to dexterously fabricate, to gesticulate wildly, to…

Turner: Northern Exposure At The Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate

If you have never been to The Mercer Art Gallery, then now is the time to break your duck. For those more familiar with Harrogate's jewel, The Mercer, then you need to schedule another visit to see this outstanding exhibition. The exhibition retraces JMW Turner's northern tour of 1797, and includes rarely seen paintings. We could wax lyrical about Turner's visit being a formative part of Turner's development, but we won't because judging from his output he was already truly accomplished, and…

Zombie Attack In Leeds (Playhouse!)

Nowadays it may seem like a movie that is best left in 1968, but dismiss George Romero’s iconic horror flick – Night of the Living Dead - too quickly, and you ignore a ground-breaking film that was key to shifting the public psyche away from Hammer horror, where something terrifying had to have two bolts through its neck or a pair of blood-sucking fangs! So, I was intrigued, and a little excited, at the prospect of seeing Imitating the Dog’s ‘Remix’…

Review: 1917

Sam Mendes’ strange, magnificent re-imagining of a Great War odyssey holds several moments of real beauty in sharp relief. And counter-intuitive though they may appear in the context of the Flanders charnel house, such moments enhance the viewer impression as magically as birdsong in darkness. Emerging from a broken copse of shattered stumps and silence, the film’s two main protagonists chance upon an enclosed cherry orchard, whose trees are cut down but continue to flower. ‘Will they die?’, asks one…

Review: Cats

Some months back, something rather remarkable happened, for one night, the internet united. This unheard of moment, thought impossible, occurred on the 18th July with the reveal for the first full trailer for Tom Hooper’s Cats. Adapted from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s unusual but successful stage musical of the same name (which first played in 1981), itself based on the poetry collections of T.S. Eliot “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”, Hooper’s film really looked like something. Unified in their shock,…

Review: The Irishman

If ever there was a Mount Rushmore assembled for film directing, Martin Scorsese would have to be at the forefront of that conversation. The oscar winning filmmaker, responsible for landmark movies like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, under appreciated master works like The King of Comedy and modern classics like The Departed and The Wolf of Wall Street, has proved time and time again that the passing years have - like a fine wine - only ripened his directorial talents…

Review: Knives Out

After the controversial (but brilliant) Star Wars instalment Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, writer/director Rian Johnson has certainly faced his fair share of online rage but it has thankfully done little to dampen his creative fires. And after giving Star Wars formulas a shake up, the Looper and Brick director continues his winning ways with Knives Out, a whodunnit bobby-dazzler reliant on confident audiences thinking they're one step ahead of the game, before revealing they're playing a different…

Dora Maar: Tate Modern

"Dora for me, was always a weeping woman..." Pablo Picasso. Dora Maar; muse, catalyst, or genius? She was arguably all of these. Remembered as the lover of Picasso, Tate Modern presents the first UK retrospective of the work of Dora Maar, who was both a photographer, and painter. Her ideology was aligned with the left wing politics of France in 1930's, she was an agitator, and an avowed anti-fascist. She most certainly had a strong social conscience. Born 1907 in Paris,…

Norman Cornish: The Definitive Collection At The Bowes Museum, Co Durham

"He stands as a magnificent Chronicler of one of the most important passages in English history." Melvyn Bragg - Broadcaster and Author. Norman was born 100 years ago on the 18th November 1919, in the small County Durham town of Spennymoor, which was built on mining. In 1933, despite having passed his 11 plus Norman aged 14, commenced work at the Dean and Chapter Colliery, known locally as "The Butchers Shop" due its high accident rate. From childhood, drawing for Norman…

Review: Le Mans ‘66

One of the best things about films is how they can bring to life a story for you, even if you have next to no knowledge about that particular area of expertise. Take films like The Damned United, Straight Outta Compton or Eddie the Eagle for instance. A good story is not bound by your knowledge of the sport or the star or figure that inspired it, but by your feeling, and cinema allows for you to be invested in…

Barbara Hepworth: Musée Rodin, Paris

"I, the sculptor, am the landscape". Barbara Hepworth What do Barbara Hepworth, and Paris have in common? They have both deservedly earned the epithets 'pioneering' and 'revolutionary'. The Musée Rodin is therefore a worthy stage, on which, to celebrate these shared traits with their new exhibition 'Barbara Hepworth'. The Musée Rodin is one of the few museums in France to have previously exhibited Hepworth's work in her own lifetime, but that was over 60 years ago. Dame Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975), born in Wakefield, Yorkshire…