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    Entries in Reviews (3)


    Hebemedia Makes The Indy 50 Best... Museums And Galleries

    The Independent's Information supplement containing a guide to the Best 50 Galleries and Museums, 10 of which were picked by our very own Simon Zimmerman. Click the image to visit the online version of the guide.

    On the 23rd of October 2010 the Independent published an "Indy Best" with a guide to the top 50 galleries and museums in Great Britain. When we say Hebe Media made the list, we mean it quite literally... Read on to find out more!

    Whilst we here at Hebe Media frown on shameful self-publisicts, we couldn't overlook that fact that 10 of the "50 Best" were picked by our very own office mate, Simon Zimmerman. Simon was invited to join the panel to make a selection for the guide because of his long term commitment to the arts: working for Arts Council England for almost a decade, and helping artists and arts organisations around the country.

    Simon was asked to select two venues in each of five categories. "It was incredibly difficult to make a choice", says Simon. "I've been extremely privileged in my work to be able to visit many of our national and regional galleries and museums, as well as many of the artist-led and temporary spaces that exist. There is just so much to be proud of in the country, and I wanted to celebrate all of it. However, the challenge was to pick out 10 of the best, and that is what I have attempted to do here."

    We've included the full text submitted by Simon, for each of his 10 venues. For the full list of 50, please click the image above and you will be redirected to The Independent's own website...


    BALTIC, Gateshead

    BALTIC attracts world-class exhibitions year-round, and has played host to the British Art Show and the Turner Prize. Recent exhibitions include major shows by Yoko Ono, Jenny Holzer, Malcolm McLaren, Martin Parr and Cornelia Parker. It is an international centre for contemporary art and one of the friendliest and most approachable museums in the country.

    Whitechapel, London

    The jewel in the crown of London’s East End, Whitechapel is recognised around the world as a touchstone of contemporary art. Its doors have been open for more than 100 years, and in that time it has shown work by modern masters, from Picasso to Pollock. In more recent times, a masterful expansion of its galleries has enabled the Whitechapel to host major shows by contemporaries, like last year’s ‘Talking to Strangers’ by Sophie Calle.

    Family friendly

    New Art Gallery Walsall

    Britain is a world leader in gallery education, and New Art Gallery Walsall is an example of why. In the first ten years of being open to the public more than 48,000 school children visited its galleries, and 23,000 people of all ages participated in one of its many educational activities. For family explorers, young and old, there is a unique interactive gallery space called Disco, and there are multi sensory sessions for parents to spend time with babies too.

    Nottingham Contemporary

    The iconic Nottingham Contemporary is one of the most exciting gallery spaces in the UK, and has attracted more than 200,000 visitors since it opened at the end of last year. It already has a strong track record of offering well considered programmes for people of all ages, and over the Summer of 2010 it pushed the boat out with a programme of free activities for families, children and teenagers, including a 12 metre tall interactive photo booth inspired by the recent Diane Arbus exhibition.


    Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield

    Image from: Sculpture Park’s spectacular landscape, and award winning gallery spaces each play their own part in making this one of the few places in the world able to host major, large-scale sculpture exhibitions like the current review of Welsh sculptor, David Nash’s 40-year career. With the stunning Hepworth Gallery (also in Wakefield) opening in 2011, and the Henry Moore Institute in the heart of Leeds’s cultural quarter, Yorkshire is celebrating its reputation as the birthplace of modern sculpture.

    FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Liverpool

    The future is digital! The team at FACT know this and are dedicated to delivering outstanding and thought provoking exhibition programmes, for people of all ages who want to engage with the possibilities of tomorrow’s digital and interactive art, film and media landscape. 

    Small but perfectly formed

    Shandy Hall, Coxwold

    Formerly the home of celebrated writer Laurence Sterne, and now a museum dedicated to his legacy and continuing contribution to the arts, Shandy Hall is nestled in the picturesque village of Coxwold, North Yorkshire. Through exhibitions and artists’ residencies, the museum seeks to explore how the experimental spirit of previous generations of artists, like Sterne, can help us to unlock the work of contemporaries and vice versa. The current exhibition, The Perverse Library, is the first of its kind in Britain, and contains works of ‘conceptual writing’ by Kathy Acker, Kenneth Goldsmith, Pavel Buchler and others, from a generation of artists who have sought a radical reconsideration of the relationship between literature and the visual arts.

    Artsway, Sway

    The South East is a rich hive of contemporary art activity and set in The New Forrest National Park, Artsway is one of the cornerstones. It began life as the vision of a group of local artists, working from self-made studios in an abandoned old coach house, for a high quality exhibition space. Now a purpose-built and architecturally important gallery, Artsway is best known for commissioning new work; hosting residencies that push the development of artistic practice; and showing work by well-known and emerging artists, including Richard Billingham, Anne Hardy, Jordan Baseman, Alex Frost and Gayle Chong Kwan. Since 2005, Artsway has been re-presenting commissioned work at the Venice Biennial, and has built an international reputation for artistic excellence.


    Grizedale Arts, Grizedale

    Grizedale Arts is based in the central Lake District, just round the corner from John Ruskin’s final resting place, and is committed to exploring how contemporary art and artists (the Grizedale Arts alumni is a who’s who of contemporary art) can contribute to the social, cultural and economic context within which the organisation operates. Strictly speaking, this is not a gallery or a museum. However, its groundbreaking approach might just provide a model for the cultural institutions of tomorrow.

    Simon asked us to include this short video made by Juneau Projects, and commissioned by Grizedale.

    The Study Room, Live Art Development Agency, London

    The protagonists of body centred performance and Live Art have been the producers of some of the most significant documents and artefacts of contemporary art. Indeed, the document has become a kind of site for performance. The Live Art Development Agency has been something of an expert hunter-gatherer in this field and the free, open access Study Room provides a gateway into this provocative and challenging world.

    Click here to visit the Independent's online version of the guide...


    Conceptual writing is "decidedly avant-garde" and the ICA is not, says the Independent. What do you think?

    I know the Hebe Arts pages are getting top-heavy with information about the current exhibition of conceptual writing at Shandy Hall, and I promise to shift focus soon enough. But, whilst the air is filled with excitement about what is going on under Laurence Sterne's roof I thought I'd flag up an article in this week's Independent, which acknowledged The Perverse Library exhibition and recognised the immediacy of conceptual writing in art today.

    The article, 'Trouble at Mall' was a critique of the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), London: an organisation founded in 1946 to provide a space for the artistic and intellectual avant-garde to meet, exchange and exhibit. In its heyday the ICA was a hot-bed for experimental, provocative and often controversial work. However, in recent years, the article suggests, contemporary art has lost the need for a gatekeeper and the ICA has been left struggling with it's identity and relevance. Kind of ironic, for an organisation whose outgoing leader, Ekow Eshun, said roughly the same about Live Art when he cut off the ICA's support for the artform?

    Image from The Perverse Library at Shandy Hall: Carbonised book from The Black Library by Greville Worthington | Nick Hill © 2010
    Have a read and post any thoughts in the comments below - is there still a place for the ICA?
    Take special notice of the reference to 'conceptualism' towards the end (copied below) and if you haven't already, visit today and book you place on the free bus tour from York train station to Shandy Hall.
    "What is decidedly avant-garde is conceptualism in a quite different art form – literature. Visit Shandy Hall in Yorkshire, where Laurence Sterne wrote his experimental novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, and one will encounter the first exhibition in Britain of conceptual writing. Conceptual writers sometimes steal from other writers, reordering their text and jumbling it up. Bringing together conceptual art and language, this movement has led to fierce attacks from conventional authors. Influenced by Sterne himself (who plagiarised and rearranged passages) and writers like James Joyce, one leading figure in the movement says conceptual writing “seeks to ask what would a non-expressive poetry look like? A poetry of intellect rather than emotion.” Conceptual writing determinedly makes no claim on originality. It includes a transcription of a year’s weather reports and, in the case of one conceptual writer, the simple repetition of the sentence “I will not make anymore boring art.” It’s fitting that the house where one of the world’s most famous experimental novels was written is in the forefront of avant-garde literature." Read more...

    Image from The Perverse Library at Shandy Hall: Bouvard et Pécuchet's Invented Desk for Copying by Gareth Long with Wilf Williams | Nick Hill © 2010

    Knight And Day Film Review

    Cameron and Tom in Seville amid the running of the bulls! Yikes!

    The Plot: Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) is  a secret agent involved in a deadly federal investigation and he accidently involves June Haven (Cameron Diaz), a hopeless romantic who is en route to her sisters wedding. Once June is brought into the chaos, both Roy and June find themselves being chased and must work together to not be killed. But in such a deadly game the most important thing between these two strangers is that June trusts Roy, but can she trust him?

    My opinion: I saw this film last night and wasn't expecting too much, especially from Cameron Diaz. I mean don't get me wrong, I used to love her before The Holiday and The Box but lost faith during The Holiday due to her scenes alone when she would talk to herself in a cheesy way, whilst Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black made the film very watchable and romantic. Just as I predicted, in Knight and Day, she was as cheesy as ever with yet even more scenes of her having a one person conversation in a mirror or in a car for example. This issue actually wasn't too bad as the film was quite lighthearted and fun so I will let this minor irritation slide. Cameron is very funny and looks fabulous as always. The guys will love the bikini scenes as much as the girls will love Tom Cruise's topless scenes! Both of them really do work out! Tom cruise in particular did most of his own stunts in this film. Cruise is brilliant: He is funny, a great actor and lovable. His scenes with Cameron worked well and their onscreen chemistry was sweet and fun.

    Best scene/s: Definitely the scenes where Roy drugs June. I was in absolute stitches in the cinema.

    Rating: 3.5/5 It is a great action rom-com and it is definitely better than the likes of the Bounty Hunter and some of the other stuff I have seen released recently (sorry Gerard Butler and Jen Aniston, I love you both but switched it off half way through!)

    Venue: The Showcase cinema towards Batley, Leeds (just off the M621) was actually very quiet on a Monday night at around 7pm. It was nice and there is also a student discount if you have a valid NUS card. A whole pound less! The snacks, in total, cost as much as the tickets and we shared a drink but the food is still slightly cheaper than the Vue cinemas in Kirkstall and The Light Leeds. All in all, a good night and, although we passed it up last night , there is a Nandos just next door :-)