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Sex Education meets art history – Apollo Magazine




Sex Education meets art history | Apollo Magazine

9 February 2020

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories

Among the glut of shows recently released on Netflix is the second series of Sex Education, a delightful if improbable story about Otis, a teenage schoolboy (Asa Butterfield) who dispenses sex and relationship advice to his peers.

The show’s creator Lulu Nunn is clearly a fan of cultural mash-ups: the series is filmed in the Welsh countryside, with a cast of British-accented actors, playing teachers and students at the quintessentially American Moordale High (think varsity jackets, swim teams and bullying by the lockers). No surprise, then, that ­– as the eagle-eyed art dealer Philip Mould pointed out on Twitter – the posters for the new series take a similarly hybrid approach. Cue: Otis as Caravaggio’s Boy with a Basket of Fruit (or, rather, fleshy vegetables).

Your correspondent can’t resist trying to match further Sex Education posters to Old Master paintings – with mixed success. Let Rakewell know if you can do better.

First up: the headmaster’s son Adam Groff and his pet pup Madam – as Rembrandt’s Portrait of a Lady with a Lap Dog (c. 1665)?

The studious Maeve Wiley appears to have taken notes from this portrait of a certain Geronimo Foscarini, Procurator of St Marks, by Jacopo Tintoretto.

The kids of Sex Education are no saints – but Maeve’s best friend Aimee certainly has a beatific air here. Guido Reni’s St James the Great (c. 1636–38), anyone?

And finally, with flamboyant ways, it’s only fitting that Eric Effiong model his look on the queen of excess – Marie Antoinette as rendered by Vigée Le Brun.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at or via @Rakewelltweets.

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A new way to connect to Winnipeg's world of art – CTV News Winnipeg



The Winnipeg Arts Council is rolling out a new app that helps bring the city’s art right to your phone.

Over the last several months, the Winnipeg Arts Council has been working on making Winnipeg’s art world more accessible and fun. Tamara Rae Biebrich, senior public art project manager for the Winnipeg Arts Council, said there are usually guided walking and bike tours through the summer, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things had to change.

(‘Metis Land Use’ by Tiffany Shaw-Collinge at Markham Station. Photo by Anna Mawdsley)

“We thought this is really the right time to create a mobile app so that people can have a self-guided experience, so that they have a safer social distance way to explore the city and to kind of make sense of the strange times we are living in,” says Biebrich.

The Winnipeg Public Art Works app features art and murals all over the city. Biebrich says along with maps, there are also interactive elements, including trivia questions, fun facts about each piece, and even clips from the artists talking about their work.

Each art piece that is included in the project has been commissioned by the City of Winnipeg’s Public Art program.


(“Bokeh” by Takashi Iwasaki and Nadi Design in Kildonan Park. Photo by D Works Media)

“We have been working with artists and city administration and community members for the last 15 years, creating art work throughout our city,” Biebrich said. “So, we included all of those pieces that are owned by the City of Winnipeg and are part of the city’s collection.”

You can find the app by searching for Winnipeg Public Art Works in the App Store or Google Play.


(Monument by Michel de Broin. Photo by Michel de Broin)

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Creative minds for reimagined times; PG Art Scene lives on –



By Ethan Ready

PG Art Scene

Sep 29, 2020 4:09 PM

PRINCE GEORGE – The arts are alive and well in the Northern Capital according to the Executive Director of the Community Arts Council of Prince George and District.

“In an odd way, demand for art and culture, and hands-on participatory in arts and culture, has never been this high,” stated Sean Farrell, Executive Director fo the Community Arts Council.

Farrell says they’re seeing people buying tickets to events that they never had any intention in attending, but are wanting to support local.

“I think a big goal for Prince George’s thriving arts and culture and entertainment community is to preserve this year,” said Farrell. “There’s a real effort right now, let’s get through to the other side and make sure what we had going into the pandemic and the shutdown gets through to the other side. It’s really interesting to see how many organizations like ours are reimagining how they can do things.”

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Artist uncovers ethically dubious history of statue in MacKenzie Art Gallery collection –



The MacKenzie Art Gallery and the University of Regina are taking on a quest to return a statue to its original home in India.

Winnipeg artist Divya Mehra sparked the investigation when she uncovered the story of how the small stone sculpture came to be in the Norman MacKenzie collection. 

“Norman McKenzie was known for taking trips across the world and collecting artifacts for his collection,” said John Hampton, interim executive director and CEO of the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina.

In 1913, on a trip down the Ganges River, he saw a sculpture near Benares, India, in a shrine that was actively being used by people in the area.

“He said, ‘I want a statue like that,'” Hampton told CBC’s The Morning Edition. “And he found someone that was willing to get it for him.”

Hampton said this was ethically suspect, but was a common practice at the time. 

“You’ll find many similar and maybe even more suspect stories across all [Western institutions], which just brings into question how these collections are built.”

The centerpiece of Divya Mehra’s exhibition at MacKenzie Art Gallery is an inflatable Taj Mahal. The exhibition explores the theme of reproduced, misclassified, staged and stolen cultural property. (Supplied by MacKenzie Art Gallery)

Hampton said Mehra’s findings “set a wave of motion into effect,” including conversations about whether the gallery had a right to show the artifact and who the artifact truly belonged to.

Norman MacKenzie’s collection technically still belongs to the University of Regina, so the MacKenzie Art Gallery started conversations with the university about repatriating the work.

“We’re going to make the offer to the Indian government to return this object,” Hampton said. “There’s no guarantee that they’ll accept that offer. But we’re all in agreement that it’s something that we should be doing.”

The gallery is also taking a closer look at the other 5,000 objects in its collection.

“It’s sparked our interest to make sure that we have a fulsome history of the provenance of all of these objects and to make sure that we know if there are any more,” Hampton said.

‘Dude, that’s a woman’

Divya Mehra has an exhibit at the MacKenzie until January 2021. It examines some of the themes from her research — including a piece inspired by Indiana Jones.

“It’s a sack of sand that weighs the same as the sculpture,” Hampton said. “She wants to swipe that piece from our collection and return it to the proper home and then replace it with a bag of sand as if there’s some booby traps, institutional booby traps that could prevent it.”

The object was previously identified as a statue of Vishnu, but Mehra noticed that didn’t seem right.

“I think her words were, ‘Dude, that’s a woman,'” Hampton said.

Dr. Siddhartha Shah with the Peabody Essex Museum of South Asian Art correctly identified it as an Annapurna, Hindu goddess of food and nourishment. 

“We’re a cultural institution and we want to represent those cultures accurately and ethically, and we have to make sure that we have buy-in from the people who produce this work and where it comes from,” Hampton said. 

“If we don’t have that right, then we don’t believe that we should be showing it in that light.”

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