Saturday, May 06, 2006

The V&A's new Islamic and Middle East gallery

And if that’s not enough… [see previous post about contemporary Art from the Middle East at the British Museum] …the V&A has received a substantial donation to transform its Islamic Middle East gallery, as part of its FuturePlan programme. The new gallery will be named the Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art.

The new gallery will house treasures from the V&A's superb collection of Islamic art from the Middle East, including such famous pieces as the Ardabil carpet from 16th-century Iran, which is one of the largest and finest carpets in existence, and an exquisite rock crystal ewer from 11th-century Egypt.

The displays will explain how Islamic art developed from the great days of the Islamic caliphate in the 8th and 9th centuries AD. They will encompass carved ivories from Islamic Spain, inlaid metalwork from medieval Egypt, Iznik ceramics from Ottoman Turkey, tilework from 14th-century Uzbekistan and oil paintings from 19th-century Iran.

Middle East Art Now at the British Museum

There’s a new exhibition on Middle Eastern Art coming up at the British Museum which starts later this month called Middle East Art Now.

It features art, calligraphy, poetry, music and lectures of the Modern Middle East which from the online map includes: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel and Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and the Yemen.

It’s on from 18th May until 3rd September 2006, and includes a series of events, performance, films, of which there’s a selection here:

  • North African artists in the African galleries
  • Poems in Persian calligraphy
  • Words, letters and beyond
  • Cut and sparkle: insights into Sasanian glass
  • Early discoveries in the Middle East
  • Curator’s introduction to Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East
  • Ancient Iraq in Conflict
  • Arabic calligraphy in the Middle East
  • Dakhla and the oases of Egypt’s Western Desert
  • Sense of Place: European Images of the Middle East
  • Arabic calligraphy in art
  • A source of inspiration: the Arab world in
  • Ancient board games of the Middle East
  • An evening of Sufi music and poetry
  • Literature and the conflict in the Middle East
  • Orientalism Now: the legacy of Edward Said
  • Middle Eastern food
  • 1001 Nights

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Most Original Wedding of the Year

There’s a new film out about the events industry: Confetti tracks three couples through the process of organising their own weddings and as they strive for the title of ‘Most Original Wedding of the Year’.

Channel Four film reviewers say: “A veritable 'Who's Who' of British comedy talent, Confetti is entirely improvised, seeking to channel the spirit of Christopher Guest (This Is Spinal Tap, Best In Show, A Mighty Wind). While it never quite reaches that level of perfection, it's nevertheless pretty funny.”

If I’ve read the press release correctly, Confetti is out on Friday 5th May.