September 22, 2011


Between Heaven and Earth: Contemporary Art from the Centre of Asia

For many in the West, if they think about the area at all, Afghanistan, Mongolia and the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are seen through the lens of the Silk Road or the "Great Game" played by the British and Russian empires in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Others see the "Stans" as little more than post-Soviet wastelands, ravaged by environmental degradation, religious conflict and war. Yet the real Central Asia has witnessed the emergence of the vital, self-confident contemporary art scene explored in this ground-breaking exhibition at Calvert 22 - a foundation and gallery focusing on work from the former Eastern Bloc - until 13 November. Many of the participants have never had work shown in the UK before.

Charleston, East Sussex

Small Wonder: The Short Story Festival

From digested versions of literary classics to One Thousand and One Nights, a lost gem by Virginia Woolf read by Juliet Stevenson and Emma Fielding, contemporary responses to Daphne du Maurier and a discussion of journalism's appeal as a subject for satire, this year's Small Wonder festival examines shorter fiction and non-fiction of just about every kind. It takes place in a converted barn and "Arabian tent" at Charleston, the Bloomsbury Group's country home-from-home, from 22 to 25 September. Participants include Naomi Alderman, Hanan Al-Shaykh, Geoff Dyer, Maggie Gee, Sarah Waters and Ben Watt. The Small Wonder Slam offers a £100 prize for the best three-minute story read aloud, with competitors' names drawn from a hat and the audience choosing the winner.



Nothing in the World But Youth

Margate has long been associated with holidays and carefree youth. This exhibition at Turner Contemporary (until 8 January 2012) captures the energy and creativity of the young and the anxieties they have sometimes aroused. There are more than 200 works by 94 artists, including Peter Blake, Sarah Lucas, Andy Warhol, David Hockney and the adolescent Turner himself. Also on display will be a jacket customised by a teenaged David Bowie, iconic footwear and a collection of magazines, posters and post-punk memorabilia from the Mott Collection. The show is built around the themes of territory, groups and individuals, rebellion and responsibility, sexuality and growing up.


Origin: The Contemporary Craft Fair

Planned to overlap with the London Design Festival (17-25 September), Origin returns to Old Spitalfields Market from 22 to 28 September and brings together a diverse range of high-quality original crafts by more than 200 makers, from furniture to fashion accessories and metalwork to knitwear. As in 2010, an open-roof pavilion has been constructed under the cover of the market's beautifully refurbished glass and ironwork atrium, and falcons have been brought in to deter the pigeons. Liberty has joined as a partner, this year curating five display windows. A new space supported by Nokia Design, Lux Craft, offers 10 designers the chance to showcase lighting installations.


Atkinson Grimshaw: Painter of Moonlight

The evocative paintings of moonlit suburban lanes, gas-lit city streets and docksides by John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-93) are some of the most enduringly popular images of the Victorian era. This, the first major exhibition of his work for more than 30 years, continues at the Guildhall Art Gallery until 15 January 2012 and includes more than 60 paintings, ranging from his early Pre-Raphaelite-inspired landscapes to the Impressionist-style seascapes of his later years. The gallery's first quarterly "late view" on 21 October is titled "Moonlight Madness" and promises an atmospheric evening of music and magic lanterns, poetry and performance, and "moonbeam cocktails" in the gallery's pop-up bar.

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