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  • Writer's pictureAndy Bell

What's on in the City

Skillshare at Primary Tuesday 1 March, 18:30 - 20:30

Last month we visited the Beam Gallery at Primary to view the Anthony Wishaw exhibition and learnt more about Beam’s publishing company and their new gallery programme. We were also shown around the gallery spaces at Primary and even had the opportunity for a sneak peek into Yelena Popova’s studio. Yelena is one of Primary’s resident Artists and works across a range of media, including painting, tapestry, video and installation.

Primary is an artist-led contemporary visual arts organisation who prioritise creative research, provide studios and development for artists, and run a free public programme of exhibitions and events.

We are delighted to be working in partnership with them to offer some bespoke activities and opportunities for ArtSpeak members including Artist studio visits and workshops. We are keen to involve members in the development of this programme to establish some core activity that is valuable to you. Watch this space for more details and how to get involved.

In the meantime, we wanted to let you know about their Skillshare sessions. Primary’s skillshare sessions are an opportunity to learn, meet new people and discuss the resources and skills that can be shared in our communities. They’re open to all and are free. There’s always a theme for each period of the skillshare programme and between September 2021 – March 2022 the theme is Intuition.

This current programme will focus on exploring your intuition and being creative with materials and processes. During each Skillshare, the workshop facilitator will demonstrate a creative or practical skill. However, each session will encourage communities to use their pre-existing knowledge and instincts to make something unique. The programme is curated and produced in collaboration with Raisa Mcclarey Francis.

Artist Roo Dhissou is running the first Skillshare of this series on Tuesday 1 March, 18:30 – 20:30. Roo is inviting participants to braid, bind and bunch wheatgrass.

During the workshop Roo will share techniques, questions, skills and learned knowledge of indigenous practices of broom binding as well as sharing ideas from her practice which delves into utilitarian objects and our relationships to them in terms of culture.

To read more about this workshop and to find out more about Roo’s practice click here.

Classical Music Concert to see BBC Philharmonic - Discovering Elgar

Tuesday 22 February 19:30

The Royal Concert Hall

The Royal Concert Hall Discovering Classics series is a fantastic way to enter the world of classical music and discover classical composers. Tickets are a set price of £15 for any seat and performances last just over 2 hours.

The next discovering classics performance will be Discovering Elgar, by the BBC Philharmonic who will be performing Symphony No.1. Acknowledged as a masterpiece, Elgar’s First remains arguably the finest symphony ever written by a British composer. Sir Edward William Elgar (1857–1934) was an English composer, whose best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies.

There will be a free pre-concert performance at 18:20 by Emily Hodkinson (mezzo-soprano) performs Elgar’s Sea Pictures

ArtSpeak Programme Manager Sharon Scaniglia will be attending the concert and invites you to join her. Tickets are £15, if you’d like to go please let us know by emailing by Monday 14 February and if we can gather a small group, we will arrange booking seats together.

There'll be the opportunity to gather for a drink and a chat afterwards to discuss the performance.

About Elgar Symphony No. 1

It was the fallen Victorian military hero, Major-General Gordon, who provided the inspiration for Elgar’s First Symphony, although by the time it was completed the composer had abandoned the idea in favour of a piece of absolute music that stood on its own terms. Its premiere in 1908 attracted huge public interest and it didn’t disappoint: the conductor, Hans Richter, proclaimed it ‘the greatest symphony of modern times’ and it received over a hundred performances worldwide in the following year. As is often the case with Elgar, there’s a strong sense of poignancy throughout, not least in its glorious central adagio, but its majestic sweep also proclaims the confidence of the Edwardian age and of a composer at the height of his powers.

Leading British conductor Mark Wigglesworth is joined by broadcaster Stephen Johnson, who’ll be shedding light on the origins and form of the First Symphony, with live extracts from the BBC Philharmonic, before a performance of the complete work.

Cinema visit to see Exhibition on Screen, Frida Kahlo Encore

Wednesday 9 March, 18:30

Savoy Cinema, Derby Road

You might have spotted our feature on Frida Kahlo in the lastest Artbook and our mention of this engaging film that is being shown at the Savoy Cinema next month.

We’ll be going to the screening and invite you to join us to watch the film together and have a chat about it in the café/bar afterwards.

Tickets are £11 and if you would like to join us to go to the screening on Wednesday 9 March, at 18:30 please get in touch at by Wednesday 16 February to let us know and we will book seats together. The film will finish at approximately 20:06.

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter known for her many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artefacts of Mexico. If you’re interested in reading more about Frida Kahlo revisit page 4 & 5 in our artbook by clicking here

More about the film -

This highly engaging film takes us on a journey through the life of one of the most prevalent female icons: Frida Kahlo. She was a prolific self-portraitist, using the canvas as a mirror through all stages of her turbulent and, at times, tragic life. Guided with interview, commentary and Frida’s own words, EXHIBITION ON SCREEN uncovers that this, however, was not a life defined by tragedy.

Featuring key exhibitions and interviews with world-renowned Kahlo curators, EXHIBITION ON SCREEN explores the extraordinary symbolism and themes in these personal canvases to seek a deeper understanding of the real Frida Kahlo.

Using cinema to take an up-close and intimate look at her works we examine how great an artist she can be considered. Displaying a treasure trove of colour and a feast of vibrancy on screen, this personal and intimate film offers privileged access to her works and highlights the source of her feverish creativity, her resilience and her unmatched lust for life, men, women, politics and her cultural heritage.

We might think we already know Frida Kahlo – the image of floral crowns, big brows and folk style clothing have made her a muse to generations – but what lies beneath the surface of this intensely passionate woman?

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