INTERESTING exhibition at Tate Britain in London ...the Guardian has unveiled its annual commission to mark the Christmas season and anarchic artist Monster Chetwynd has installed two giant and illuminated leopard slug sculptures, containing recyclable hessian and wicker and each over 10 metres long.

They are accompanied by swathes of blue and white LED slug trails across the building’s historic facade

She said she was was inspired by a TV documentary that revealed the tricky mating rituals of leopard slugs!

Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson said: “Monster’s commission is playful and anarchic but also engages with the major environmental challenges we face today. I look forward to her giant leopard slugs lighting up the long winter nights and months.”

 

 

Supplies of Christmas trees were threatened because of heatwave conditions in the summer, reports The Independent.

Though customers are unlikely to be left without a tree for Christmas, farmers say they must adapt to a future of extreme conditions in order to protect supplies.

“Trees planted in the last two years have suffered significant losses … because the weather was unseasonably dry and hot,” said Adrian Morgan from the British Christmas Tree Growers Association.

 

 

A threatened Christmas 'ban' at the Lady Lumley's School in Pickering, North Yorkshire has been overturned.

The BBC says the school had previously told pupils it would ban all festive activities with Religious Education teacher Chris Paul claiming "an avalanche of commercialisation" had robbed the season of its meaning.

However, after hundreds of emails and letters the school relented.

Head teacher Richard Bramley said: “Those students who really thought about the situation and challenged the decision appropriately created the change and brought back Christmas. I hope they and everyone else has a good Christmas.”

He said the challenge was to make students consider the way in which society celebrates Christmas and think about the social problems that arise around this time.

 

 

The Guardian informs us that previously unpublished portraits of the composer Igor Stravinsky have come to light following the death of the artist Milein Cosman who died last year at the age of 96.

Cosman also sketched composers including Benjamin Britten, Richard Strauss and Leonard Bernstein, drawing them from life, observing them during rehearsals or concerts, often when they were unaware of her presence.

The collection given to the RCM includes 50 drawings of Stravinsky alone, most sketched at the BBC Studios in Maida Vale, west London, when the composer visited London in 1959.

One of Cosman’s close friends, Julian Hogg, her executor, said: “There are literally hundreds of sketchbooks which we haven’t looked through yet.”

 

 

An article in The Independent reports that archaeologists excavating the site of London’s so-called super sewer have discovered a skeleton, thought to be 500 years old, of a man wearing thigh-high leather boots.

The remains were found face down in the mud on the shores of the River Thames in Bermondsey.

Experts said this suggests he fell or drowned and was quickly buried under the silty riverbed as it moved with the tide.

His expensive leather boots, thought to be waders, were reinforced with extra soles and stuffed with an unidentified material – possibly moss – for warmth or comfort.

It indicates the man made his living from the Thames, possibly as a mudlark – who scavenged riverbeds for items of value – or a fisherman.

Reference list
The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

The Independent (www.independent.co.uk)

     

    BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)