GUTS Fighting Bowel Cancer opens registration for annual fundraising charity run
GUTS Fighting Bowel Cancer has officially opened registration for its annual fundraising run, The Bolt, which takes place on April 3rd 2016. Sponsored by BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital and organised by aat events, for the first time in seven years the race will be held at a new course over the Loseley Park Estate, closer to the charity’s base at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford. The race has previously been staged at Alice Holt Forest near Farnham.
The race offers three distances, 5k, 10k and 21k, with a 5k race for juniors and a 1k fun run for children aged 6-9. Cani-cross runners (ie with harnessed dogs) are also welcome.
The charity’s manager, Nerissa Deeks said: “Loseley Estate offers some fresh challenges for those who have taken part in the race previously - there are more hills but that extra effort is more than compensated by the fabulous views and variety that the course offers. We are delighted to be working alongside aat events once again and especially pleased to have the support of BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital, who will also be providing free post-run sports massages and physio advice.”
Starbucks will also be supporting the event, Guildford running shop Fitstuff will be sponsoring prizes for the winners of each distance and Stanley’s Patch will be providing prizes for the four-legged runners. Businesses interested in sponsorship opportunities can contact the charity on 01483 408316 or visit www.gutsfbc.co.uk to find out more. For further information and online registration go to www.aat-events.com
Shake off those winter blues and plan an exciting summer skydive with Princess Alice Hospice.
Tandem sky-dives, where jumpers are safely strapped to a qualified instructor, will be taking place throughout the summer in aid of the Hospice. It is an exhilarating experience and places always go fast.
Emily East from the Hospice’s Fundraising Team explained: “It’s a great way to try a first skydive and people often say they want to do it again as soon as their feet have touched the ground!
“Some of our fundraisers are fearless thrill seekers, after-all jumping from a plane at 10,000 feet is quite an adrenaline rush! Others simply want to overcome a fear of heights and prove to themselves that they are braver than they thought.
“They are all united, though, in wanting to raise money for the Hospice. Every jump really does make a difference to us.
“These are always very popular fundraising events so if you’ve ever thought about giving skydiving a go, now is the time to get your name down.
“You will be raising valuable funds that will help the Hospice to provide vital care and support for its patients and their loved ones.”
Registration is free, with the skydivers pledging to raise £395 in sponsorship. The skydives will be taking place on Sunday 12 June, Sunday 7 August and Sunday 18 September.
For further information contact the Princess Alice Hospice Fundraising Team on 01372 461808 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Announce Stranger Days EP due March 25 via Scruff of the Neck records
October Drift announce their debut EP Stranger Days for release via Scruff Of The Neck Records on March 25, with a subsequent UK tour beginning with a sold-out show at Manchester’s St Phillips Church.
Lead track ‘Losing My Touch’ sets a stark tone tinged with melancholy, “I’m silver all the time” being the central lyrical motif. “It's a song about self-doubt”, frontman Kiran Roy explains. “When you question whether you've made the right decisions, how the lifestyle of being in a band has put a strain on a relationship, the constantly being away, having no money and having to work minimum wage jobs to fund it. This song is about questioning whether it's all worth it, or whether we're just chasing a deluded dream whilst we watch other opportunities pass us by.”
Stream ‘Losing My Touch’ on SoundCloud here. Elsewhere tracks like 'Still Here' battle the difference between imaginary worlds and what’s real, as swirling soundscapes send the band soaring to their epic best over Chris Holmes' unshakable drumming. 'Champagne' brings past romances back to life as old ground is re-tread, with meditative EP closer 'I Left My Heart In Amiens' bestowing a modern day 'Blowing In The Wind' upon a paranoid and direction-less generation.
Having spent 2015 selling out venues up and down the UK off the back of their acclaimed first singles, ‘Whoever’, ‘You Are, You Are’ and ‘Robots’, which gained support from the likes of BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq, Radio X’s John Kennedy, Q Magazine, Clash and more, the Stranger Days EP comes inspired by the duality of life on the road, before returning home to part-time jobs in bars, bowling alleys and super markets in a town with no music scene.
After writing together informally for over six years, Stranger Days sees October Drift as one of the most focussed and sonically ambitious bands on the UK independent circuit. Based in Somerset, the band’s studio has quickly become the heart of the group when not on the road - whilst recording early demo's it even became their home for a month, as they couldn't afford the petrol to keep travelling between the studio and their homes across their remote countryside locale.
Following sold-out 2015 gigs in Bristol, Leeds, Sheffield and London, 2016 has already seen a performance at BBC 6Music Festival, with and a 15 date UK tour beginning March 18 at Manchester’s St Philips Church.
October Drift are: Kiran Roy (vocals, guitar), Chris Holmes (drums), Alex Bispham (bass) & Daniel Young (guitar).
Tour Dates March 18 Manchester, St Philips Church SOLD OUT 21 Guildford, The Boiler Room 22 London, The Old Blue Last 23 Oxford, The Bullingdon 24 Bath, Moles 25 Liverpool, Maguire Pizza Bar 26 Manchester, Deaf Institute 27 Glasgow, The Buff Club 28 Edinburgh, Bannermans 29 Leeds, Oporto 31 Hertford, Dog & Whistle
April 1 Scunthorpe, Café Indiependent 2 Sheffield, The Leadmill SOLD OUT 7 Cardiff, Undertone 9 Bristol, The Louisiana
Quite simply, the most influential living Western artist in China.
ARTIST FINDS KEY TO CHINESE TASTE AND SELLS 13 SCULPTURES TO BEIJING FOR £100,000 TO £1M A Czech-born Monaco resident, now in her seventies, Anna Chromy is the first Western artist invited to hold a solo exhibition in the National Museum of China on Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Staged in October 2015, Harmony: Canon & Contemporaneity was curated by three of the most influential figures on China's domestic art scene.
The honour was simply the latest in a decade of Chinese plaudits for an artist who, following a life-threatening accident in 1992, turned her attentions largely to sculpture.
Wan Siquian, the former Vice-Major of Beijing responsible for the construction of the Olympic Facilities and the National Grand Theatre, as well as it sculpture programme, “deeply regretted” only meeting Chromy after the 2008 sports fest. Otherwise he would have included her work, saying: “In all these years, I have not come across works as powerful and elegant as seen now in Anna’s exhibition in the National Museum of China. Ten years earlier and the City of Beijing would be full of her works”.
Wang Chunchen, of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Wangjing, Beijing, explains Chromy's particular appeal in a lengthy introduction to the exhibition catalogue, noting that while her works are inspired by European classical sculpture, they are not simply copies or re-imaginings, but "are endowed with new distinctive life elements by the artist".
“After we deconstruct the relationship between form and object we fall into the void," writes Wang. Chromy's sculpture is what emerges on the other side, representing "a meaning of enlightenment to today's sculpture art in China".
In short, what Wang appears to be saying is that Contemporary Chinese art and taste has, to an extent, lost its way and Chromy acts as a beacon to guide it back to the right path, both in terms of her focus on the myths and philosophies of our ancestors and in her mastery of contemporary techniques.
According to Wang, Chromy has "walked through the fracture between modernism and classical sculpture to once again continue such an elegant graceful sculpture heritage". Wang believes that: "We have to encourage such spiritual enlightenment and care in the Chinese context of sculpture creation and practice, which is the root to and is necessary for rebuilding Chinese new culture and civilization."
Chromy declares herself to be strongly influenced by Eastern cultures as well as the Western Classical tradition. Wu Weishan, Director of the National Art Museum of China, also writing in the exhibition catalogue, notes the importance of Lao-tzu and Confucius in her thinking and approach. She has found inspirations from them, says Wu, "which in her own words 'get energy on a particular aspect of conscience'."
So much for the philosophy and approach. What about the facts of her success so far? To start with she has more public art permanently on show in China than any other living Western artist; 13 works in all.
She first came to Chinese attention in July 2005, when two national Chinese TV networks, CCTV and Phoenix, covered her show of 24 monumental sculptures in the Place Vendôme in Paris. In December that year she was the guest of honour at the Guangzhou Art Fair.
This led directly the Art Museum of Guangzhou – the third largest in China – acquiring two of her works, Sisyphus and Carmen, in 2006.
A year later she took part in the Shanghai Art Fair, and in 2009 held a solo exhibition at the Beijing Clubhouse of the prestigious Hong Kong Jockey Club.
In 2010, Chromy created the installation Galileo Galilei in the new Science City in Guangzhou, following this up two years later with another solo show, this time at the Art Museum of Foshan near Guangzhou. In the same year she was also inducted as an Honorary Fellow of the National Sculpture Association of China in Beijing by Wu Weishan, its director, and her work, Olympic Spirit, entered the collection of the Association's Museum.
While participating in the 2013 Beijing Art Fair, Chromy was appointed as the only foreign judge in the National Sculpture Competition of China by the President of CCTV.
Her star rose even further when the Sunshine Insurance Group, one of the largest companies in China, commissioned her to decorate their new Beijing headquarters with eight of her monumental sculptures, installing her 10m high Sunshine Goddess as the company symbol at the HQ's entrance gates, in 2015, and adding a fountain with the five musicians comprising her piece Music of the Rivers, as well as several other smaller versions of Sunshine Goddess for their regional offices.
Fang Shao, Chairman of China Central Place, Beijing’s most exclusive real estate development, is another fan: “Five years ago, when I opened China Central Place I launched a public tender for sculptures to go on our central squares. There was no proposal, which would satisfy me. Therefore, the places are still naked. I am glad to have found now with Anna Chromy an artist whose works do justice to the beauty of our buildings and will add an extra European touch to them.”
Her October 2015 National Museum of China exhibition, organised by the City Sculpture Committee of China, resulted from an invitation by Director Chen Luchen
Phoenix TV have invited Chromy to be the guest of honour on their Ideas without Borders programme and have now moved the October exhibition to their telecast centre in Beijing for another three months' display, which they are actively promoting through their scheduling.
Chromy also has more sculpture on public display in Europe than any other living artist – 60 works in all – and, astonishingly, has created the monumental icon Cloak of Conscience as a symbol not just of her existential philosophy, but also of the philanthropic awards scheme she and her husband Wolfgang run through the Conscience Institute.
The largest sculpture ever carved from a single block of Carrarra marble – yes, at 250 tons even bigger than any Carrara marble block Michelangelo ever managed to get his hands on – the 5m high cloak took her four years to create, with the help of assistants, and is so large that you can even view it from its hollow insides.
Carved in situ at Carrara, it will be installed permanently in a symbolic space before the end of 2016.
Chromy’s dual pre-eminence in the West and East helped inspire the Ministry in charge of the China Pavilion at Expo 2015 in Milan to offer her another commission. This was to illustrate President Xi Jinping’s massive international infrastructure project under the motto "One Road, One Belt". The result was The Silk Road, a symbolic piece showing two towers engraved with scenes from the ancient silk routes, supporting a globe held by the hand of the East and the hand of the West, surmounted by the Angel of Peace, a tribute to the City of Xi'an (Eternal Peace), located at the beginning of the Silk Road.
Wu Zhuyou, Director of the Counsellors Office at the State Council considered her achievement of such quality, he concluded: “Anna Chromy has been definitely welcomed in the circle of our Grand Masters.”
Wu Weishan and Wang Chunchen agree that the transcendent nature of Chromy's art is particularly appealing to Chinese taste, as is the way it resolves the differences between classical form and abstract modernism. They find her pieces both haunting and a focus for reflection, and in simple terms they appreciate the strength of her forms and the sheer artistry of her craftsmanship.
Private commissions have followed the public displays and, while the art speaks for itself in appealing to Chinese taste, Chromy's understanding and interest in Eastern philosophy certainly adds to the mix, especially when it comes to explaining each piece.
Perhaps the true secret of her success is that Chromy has avoided the trap of looking at the concept of art from a narrow Western perspective. She does not adopt the elitist attitudes that some members of the New York and London art world cognoscenti purvey in dismissing representational forms.
Whether you like her art or not, Anna Chromy is undoubtedly a taste-maker par excellence. Whatever else buyers may want in future, these forms have proved that they will feature prominently on Chinese shopping lists.
8 February 2016 – Today Turner’s House Trust announces a four-week crowdfunding campaign to bridge the funding gap required to fully restore Sandycombe Lodge, the Twickenham villa designed and built by JMW Turner. Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Architectural Heritage Fund and many other generous funders and private supporters, the Trust is now only £125,000 away from its fundraising target of £2.4 million.
A loan offer from the Architectural Heritage Fund has enabled the Trust to appoint contractors and urgent restoration works will begin in early April, with the house scheduled to reopen to the public in 2017.
“Until all the money is raised our work is not done,” said Catherine Parry-Wingfield, chairman, Turner’s House Trust. “We do not want to take up a loan we have no funds to repay. Meeting the funding gap is now urgent.”
“Sandycombe Lodge is a rare three-dimensional work of art by Turner, England’s internationally renowned landscape painter. We must save it for future generations.”
It is now 200 years since Turner built the house, listed Grade II*, which is still almost totally intact with some unsightly additions. Now it is threatened by damp and decay, is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register and in need of urgent major conservation.
Actress Samantha Bond to highlight the Holly Lodge Centre’s annual Spring lunch
16 March 2016 “In conversation with Samantha Bond” will be the centre piece of the annual Holly Lodge Centre Spring Lunch on Wednesday16 March at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park. Supporters of the Centre will have a chance to interact with Samantha about her distinguished career in film, theatre and television. Perhaps best known as Lady Rosamund Painswick in Downton Abbey and Moneypenny in four 007 movies, Samantha also has numerous other credits to her name. Shakespearean roles include “Romeo and Juliet,” ‘Much Ado about Nothing” and “Macbeth.” Among other West End appearances have been in Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia,” “Three Tall Women” (with Dame Maggie Smith), “Amy’s View” (with Dame Judi Dench), “A Woman of No Importance” and Michael Frayn’s “Donkey’s Years.” She has played numerous television roles most recently including as Angela in “Outnumbered” on the BBC and as Frances Barden in “Home Fires” on ITV.
In addition to enjoying the stories of Samantha Bond, attendees will have the opportunity to peruse the clothing and gift ideas presented in several select stalls from 11:30 am onwards. During a Prosecco reception from 12:15 pm the stunning new Holly Lodge Centre video will be shown -- everyone agrees it is a brilliant encapsulation of the spirit of the Holly Lodge Centre. A three-course sit-down lunch will be served at 1:00 pm with coffee, mints and a raffle.