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Art Industry News: A Beloved British Broadcaster Swears He’s Not Banksy Despite the Circumstantial Evidence + Other Stories – artnet News



Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 8.


Pipilotti Rist Gets the New Yorker Profile Treatment – The 58-year-old artist has “the energy and curiosity of an ageless child,” writes New Yorker scribe Calvin Tomkins. The two came to know each other by way of studio visits before lockdown. Like many artists, Rist (whose immersive works are particularly unfriendly to socially distancing) has had major shows postponed or canceled this year. Tomkins charts her trajectory from a modest childhood in Switzerland (she didn’t like her name and decided to rechristen herself) to one of the world’s preeminent sound and video installation artists. Of Beyoncé’s homage to her in the music video “Hold Up,” in which she adapts Rist’s famous video smashing windshields with a flower sculpture, she said, “I would have preferred that Beyoncé did it with a flower and not a baseball bat, because it changes the meaning. But, no, I was very flattered.” (New Yorker)

John Cage’s 639-Year Concert Changes Its Tune – Organ²/ASLSP, a piece of music composed by John Cage that aims to be the slowest concert in the world, kicked off in 2001 and is set to finish in 2640. But a big development happened last week: it played a new sound. The work, installed in Halberstadt, Germany by the artist’s foundation, changed its tune for the first time since 2013. The town’s mayor said that the performance, which has remained constant amid a series of tumultuous decades, raises “philosophical questions about how we confront time.” (New York Times)

Art Attack’s Neil Buchanan Denies Banksy Theory – A social-media rumor run amok has compelled the beloved former host of the television show Art Attack, Neil Buchanan, to publicly deny that he is the world-famous street artist Banksy. “Neil Buchanan ISN’T Banksy,” reads a statement posted to his website this week. “We have been inundated with enquiries over the weekend regarding the current social media story.” The theory first circulated as rumors spread that Banksy works were showing up in places where Buchanan’s former band Marseille was playing gigs. The statement clarifies that “Neil spent lockdown with vulnerable members of his family and is now preparing to launch his new art collection in 2021.” But really, isn’t that just what Banksy would say? (BBC)

Locals Debate a New Antony Gormley Work – A new work by UK sculptor Antony Gormley, which is due to be unveiled in Plymouth later this month, has incited fierce debate among locals. Some have questioned the cost of the 12-foot, three-ton cast-iron figure, which is part of the inaugural exhibition at the Box, a new multi-disciplinary art center. The city has declined to disclose the cost due to a confidentiality agreement with the artist, but its tight-lipped response has only added fuel to the fire. (The Art Newspaper)


The Art World Tiptoes Back to Life – Galleries are tentatively reopening across the US, although much of the action remains online. Pace’s Marc Glimcher isn’t sure that visitors will flock to art spaces after Labor Day, but he says the show must go on. “We can’t just push everything off indefinitely,” he says. “Art doesn’t wait, trembling in a corner, for things to change. Art finds a way.” (Wall Street Journal)

1-54 London Exhibitors Announced – The contemporary African art fair has revealed the exhibitors that will be taking part in its 2020 London edition from October 8 to 10. The blended online and offline iteration will include 29 exhibitors, from Zimbabwe-based Gallery Delta to Lagos’s Polartics, showing work in person at Somerset House as well as on an online platform powered by Christie’s. The auction house is also hosting a pop-up exhibition of the fair at its Duke Street Gallery. (Press release)


Man Arrested After Protesting Benin Bronzes – A man who was arrested in January after protesting a display of Benin Bronzes at the Museum of London Docklands faces trial on September 18. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of using threatening language with intent to cause harassment. Although the museum does not want to press charges, one of the objects was slightly damaged in the incident, which some activists are describing as a “wake-up call for museums that still exhibit stolen African art.” (TAN)

Museum of British-Somali Heritage Comes to London – The artist Kinsi Abdulleh is crowdfunding to create a museum dedicated to the arts and heritage of the UK’s Somali community. Abdulleh plans to open her museum in East London in mid-2022, and will showcase British-Somali artists as well as celebrate Somali heritage, host educational workshops, and operate a community kitchen. (TAN)


Queen Elizabeth Hosts a Drive-In Movie Theater – Queen Elizabeth’s Norfolk residence Sandringham House is opening up to visitors for a series of drive-in movies this fall. From September 25 to 27, visitors can drive on in to watch movies including Bohemian Rhapsody and Moana at the royal residence. (House Beautiful)

A New Show Explores the Bond Between Celebs and Their Dogs – The British artist David Remfry has painted a series of portraits of celebrities and their dogs that will go on view at the Lightbox Gallery in the UK beginning October 8. Actors including Susan Sarandon and Ethan Hawke are featured with their pups. (TAN)

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Cape Breton art festival shining bright –




This year’s Lumière festival will shine an even brighter light on contemporary art.

Normally a one-night event featuring dozens of installations throughout downtown Sydney, the current pandemic-related restrictions led organizers to stretch the event over two weeks, from Sept. 12-26.

Suzi Oram-Aylward


And Suzi Oram-Aylward believes that’s better for her fellow artists and audiences.

“The online component has opened up Lumière to the rest of the island. Before the core of it was in Sydney — it was presented in Sydney and therefore a lot of the artists that presented were from that core. This year it’s really amazing to see all of the artists and the scope of it, it’s really opened it up for a lot of really brilliant people to be able to participate in a way that they really haven’t been able to before,” said Oram-Aylward, who will be taking part in the festival for the third time.

“I think that in previous years you had the one night to get out and explore and it led to this sense of community engagement and it felt really nice, but on the other side of that it meant that a lot of the events were at one side of the city and others were at the other side, so in some cases, people had to pick and choose which events they got to choose and participate in. One of the good things about the way things are set up this year is the online aspect of it and the way that it’s spread out over the span of two weeks really allows you to participate in all of it and it makes it more accessible in that way.”

Greg Davies, chair of the Lumière Arts Festival Association, agrees.

Greg Davies
Greg Davies

An accomplished artist and curator of the Cape Breton University Art Gallery, he said the two-week format and ability to deliver exhibits online will help showcase a significant number of local artists and provide a quality experience for the public and artists.

He’s particularly excited that people will have ample time to savour each piece of art, rather than gulp them all down in a few hours.

“If you’re looking at it from the perspective of a curator or an artist, there are some disadvantages to it as a one-night event. The disadvantage is that while it becomes a public spectacle to have a one-night event: There’s a lot of energy and a buzz, but it’s rather like a very large art opening, and if you know something about exhibition openings, they can be a lot of fun but they’re also one of the worst ways to see or experience art,” he said. “It’s very hard in that kind of environment to actually have the time to reflect upon the work, and if the work has any sort of subtlety to it, if it’s meant to be appreciated in a kind of quiet environment — and a lot of art is; not all of it, but a lot is — then it makes it very difficult to connect with the artwork as a viewer in the way that the artist had perhaps hoped you would. It’s like a Catch-22 because the spectacle side of it is important to the community as well — it brings people together and it creates a buzz that’s very fulfilling. If you remove that, or you lose that aspect of it, but you may gain on the sort of one-to-one experience with art. What we’re trying to do is try to see if we can find a way to balance those two.”

This is one of the paintings Suzi Oram-Aylward will feature in her Lumière project The Future is Unwritten. CONTRIBUTED
This is one of the paintings Suzi Oram-Aylward will feature in her Lumière project The Future is Unwritten. CONTRIBUTED


Oram-Aylward, whose previous works were typically composed of items like plastic water bottles and other found or discarded objects, has even taken a different approach for this Lumière.

A room-sized miniature landscape made of papier-mache, chicken wire and paintings, she describes her project, The Future is Unwritten, as a surreal rollercoaster ride depicting two possible futures. It will be filmed in her attic this weekend and broadcast online Monday at 7 p.m.

“It’s been really fun and messy. I’m really nervous and excited to show it. It’s different than anything I’ve ever done,” she said. “There’s definitely an apocalyptic side to it and then a much brighter side — it really depends on what ways it’s viewed. And then there’s a train track built on it that will take you on an adventure.”

Lumière Arts Festival Schedule





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The healing power of art – Coast Reporter



The other day, while gossiping with a friend, she used the phrase “emotional palette” in a description of her general state of mind. 

It’s a cool metaphor – one that is compellingly evocative. And one that can help us better visualize and describe the state of our mood. Think about having the blues. Or a rosy disposition. Or, heaven forfend, be in a black state of mind. White with rage. 

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I’m not surprised about the ubiquity and utility of this metaphor, because colour is everywhere and we are primarily visual creatures. 

We are also, crucially, hearing animals. Sound (and as we shall see, music) is a vital facet of our sensory experience. 

And it is for these reasons that art – in the doing as well as in the observing – has such a deep connection to and effect on our well-being. 

I first began to wonder about the power of art when I was 10. We lived in London, and every weekend I’d take the tube to one of the many museums and galleries in that great city. What struck me was the sense of peace and reverence evident on the faces of the adults around me. Ten-year-old boys did not frequently experience that from grown-ups. 

In my own, private life, my greatest sense of self and inner harmony came when I played my guitar. Still does. Some musicians call that state the “zone.” 

It was years later, as a friend studied and then practiced art/music therapy for kids, that I made a few connections. 

When I asked why this (sometimes controversial) therapy had such a positive effect, she hypothesized that experiencing art ignored the rational aspect of the mind and instead directly engaged deeper, more fundamental processes. 

More recently, when I was on the board of the Arrowhead Clubhouse Society, by far the most frequent budgetary request from members was for art programming. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. 

So, you ask: What’s going on inside the brain? There is a lot of very detailed, arcane work out there, but in general there are three broad ideas that are quite sufficient for a general understanding. 

First, studies have shown that experiencing/doing art increases blood flow in the medial prefrontal cortex. This is a major reward centre of the brain, and increased activity there has led to improvements in mood among folks with eating disorders, addictive behaviours, and mood disorders. 

The second observed effect is a lowering of the hormone cortisol, which is associated with stress as well as the so-called fight-or-flight state. We can all do with less stress, and it seems like art is a way to achieve that. 

The third brain state is one that leads – as I mentioned above – to the “zone” or “flow” state. When we are there, we lose ourselves, are in the moment and utterly present. We are relaxed yet fully attentive, and deeply attuned to our sense of pleasure. There is interesting neurophysiology to explain this, but for today I think that would ruin the fun. 

I should add, with emphasis, that one need not have huge talent or skills to achieve the benefits mentioned above while doing art. Indeed, in most of the research, just doodling was sufficient. 

So, find a pencil and paper and go looking for your zone.

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Final Uptown Open Street Showcases Edible Art –



A mouthwatering example of chef Kimberly Steele’s cake creations (Credit: Sarah Tariq)

Cobalt Art Gallery is hosting its first exhibition since the pandemic, Cobalt Art Gallery Presents: Women In the Arts, this Saturday.

Gallery Director Sarah Tariq said they are collaborating with businesses on Prince William Street, including The Art Warehouse and East Coast Bistro, to hold the event.

“We just wanted to appreciate the fact that there are so many amazing women uptown doing cool things,” said Tariq, adding the gallery wanted to take the opportunity of the final Prince William Open Street to create space and have as many people attend while maintaining social distancing.

The exhibition will feature local artists Leanne Macdonald’s pottery, Pamela Pierce’s visual art pieces, some of Tariq’s watercolours and East Coast Bistro chef and owner Kimberley Steele’s food creations.

“She’s going to be doing a feature cake for the event and it’s going to be on display and then at some point probably later in the day, we’ll cut into it and serve it for everyone,” she said.  Steele will also make croissants, breads and other to-go pastries.

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Macdonald is Cobalt Gallery’s newest artist and was originally supposed to join in March, but the pandemic put plans on hold.  Women in the Arts will be her first show.

“We wanted to have the show to open for her, to bring her into the gallery, to introduce her to everyone and then we decided to toss in a few more awesome ladies,” Tariq explained.  “Leanne does a lot of pottery based off of the earth, she very much draws from like Earth textures, she doesn’t do anything perfectly smooth finished.”

Cobalt Art Gallery Presents: Women In the Arts will held Saturday at 12 PM to 5 PM.

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