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Cultural Quarters

1985 should be a year that artists remember. It was then that a Greater London Council report introduced the idea of culture as an industrial sector. Of course, there's been a continuous argument raging since 1945, when the Arts Council was founded and the arts became something for government to be involved in.

This book, a collection of useful short essays, looks in depth and the economic and social arguments for setting up a dedicated Cultural Quarter in a town or city. If you're an artist and you think there should be one in your town, this book should be on your desk and you should be thinking about the arguments, evidence and case studies it puts forward. And if you've already got one, the examples, ideas and inspiration found here should help you to develop what you've got.

This book breaks the idea down into useful chunks, with plenty of meaty content about the landscape of Cultural Quarters. There's the historical background and economic arguments, a look at the policy framework and a shopping list for the ingredients of success. At times, the writers can be quite dry and make culture-led regeneration sound quite lifeless; it's worth remembering that colour and creativity are what makes this stuff work, but it is also useful to have the academic arguments and economic examples to hand. This is stuff that artists should learn – I have found that nothing scares a council officer more than a mad artist who not only a vision, but also solid evidence and sound examples.
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Book review: The Fire In Your Eyes - Martine Daniel

Luci and Luke are identical twins who have been extremely close since birth. Their mother, Elvina is an alcoholic, and shows very little interest in anything except her beloved vodka. Their Father Jack, a school Head Teacher has been having an affair with Ruth, their best friend Alex’s mother from across the road, and has left to start a new life leaving the twins behind. Luci and Luke spend all of their time together, alone or with Alex.
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Encounter, Test Bed @ Oriel Davies

Test Bed is an experimental exhibition space dedicated to emerging art and artists from Wales and the Border regions. As part of an ongoing exhibition program organisers are developing a project that aims to highlight the creative conversation taking place between Art and Science and the potential of collaboration.

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Horsham Ukulele Society Needs You

Do you play the ukulele? If you are in the Horsham area and are a beginner, an old pro or fall somewhere inbetween - and want to help start a Ukukele group in Horsham - a recent convert to the uke would love to hear from you.
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Dinner for Schmucks - come dine with me!

Review by: Veronica Pullen

Fortunately I was not invited to dinner, so I gate crashed and had to take my own food in order to write this review. What ensued over the following 114 minutes was a hilarious farce. A comedy journey which saw Barry (Steve Carrell - US Office) causing chaos to the life of Tim (Paul Rudd – I Love You Man) in a series of unbelievable situations
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Films shown in perfect locations

A film festival with a difference is returning to Worthing in September for a second year. The On Location film festival runs from Friday 17th - Wednesday 29th September with the screening of five films in five perfect locations.

Romantic film fans will be taken back to the 1940s to enjoy tea and cakes while watching the classic film Brief Encounter in a waiting room on Worthing station, whilst fans of the Coen brothers can sip on a White Russian cocktail while watching The Big Lebowski at Worthing's bowling alley - with a free game of bowing after the film has finished!

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Piranha 3D - fab or fishy?

Review by Veronica Pullen

If I said Piranha 3D was a bloodier Jaws, but with Piranhas instead of sharks, I could end this review here, and you’d have enough information to decide whether you wanted to see this film or not.
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Banksy in Hastings?

It's August, and in true British style even the artists have been heading for the seaside.

Debate has been raging on the Hastings Creatives mailing list after a piece of stencil-cut graffiti appeared in the town. Resembling a Banksy, it shows a child building a sandcastle decorated with the word 'Tesco'. So is it or isn't it an original by the notorious artist?

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Soho's god and monsters captured in new exhibition

A new exhibition pairs iconic portraits of British artists by Vogue photographer John Deakin with major paintings by each artist, providing a unique view of post-war British art and the artistic bohemia of London’s Soho.

Artists and subjects include Michael Andrews, Francis Bacon, John Craxton, Lucian Freud, John Minton, and Eduardo Paolozzi.

Until recently John Deakin has been missing from photographic history. His career began with Vogue but, despite achieving recognition for the photographs he took there he never took it seriously and never expected it to make him a living. Deakin’s bad behaviour was legendary and he remains the only staff photographer in the magazine’s history to be hired and fired twice by the same admiring but exasperated editor.

Deakin yearned to be a painter like his friends Francis Bacon, Robert Colquhoun, Lucian Freud and Michael Andrews.
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Crafty interventions at Pallant House

There's more interventionist madness at Chichester's Pallant House Gallery this autumn.

Contemporary Eye: Crossovers, is a series of interventions in the eighteenth-century house and new wing galleries by international contemporary artists exploring traditional craft techniques such as ceramics, glass, textiles, wood carving, and taxidermy. Artists include Grayson Perry, Gary Hume, Edmund de Waal, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Polly Morgan.

In recent years artists have used craft techniques to make art with a radical or subversive edge. Since Grayson Perry won the Turner Prize in 2003 for his decorated coil-pots, the art world has lost some of its fear and disdain for the word ‘craft’.

Contemporary Eye: Crossovers celebrates this experimentation, featuring works which challenge associations of twee country craft-shops. Artists such as Grayson Perry, Barnaby Barford and Debbie Lawson re-imagine traditional techniques to bring new meanings to their work.