Stephen Duffy founded Duran Duran then left before they got famous. He then became a pop star in his own right before leaving the world of Top of the Pops for life as a folk troubadour with his much loved band The Lilac Time.
He returned to the spotlight many years later, first as a britpop star in the short-lived supergroup Me, Me, Me, and then as co-writer of Robbie Williams’ huge selling Intensive Care album. He then shuffled back to life outside the public eye, returning to reconvene where he left off with The Lilac Time.
Artbeat popped round to Stephen Duffy’s house in Cornwall for a nice cup of tea and a natter about his music career. Stephen’s first solo album was titled ‘The Ups and Downs’, which turned out to be brilliantly prophetic.
The Lilac Time are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. To find out more about Stephen Duffy and The Lilac Time, head to thelilactime.com
Britain’s biggest exhibition of neon art to date was recently hosted by Blackpool’s Grundy Gallery. ‘Neon: The Charged Line’ brought together a wide assortment of neon art, showcasing the striking beauty of neon when used as an art form.
The Grundy Gallery, bathed in dazzling neon colours, was a perfect venue for the exhibition, located in a seaside town world famous for its illuminations. Blackpool was a truly innovating town in its use of neon, bringing neon art to the illuminations as far back as the 1930s.
Artbeat.tv’s illuminating film explores the love affair artists have with neon. It was filmed in Blackpool and at a neon workshop in Wakefield, Yorkshire.
You can find out more about neon workshops at neonworkshops.com and what’s on at Blackpool’s Grundy Art Gallery at grundyartgallery.com.
In 1966, during their final world tour, The Beatles were scheduled to play a series of gigs at The Budokan stadium in Tokyo. The gigs were controversial as the Budokan was built for martial arts competitions and ultranationalists were unhappy about pop concerts being played there.
Protests took place against the concerts and 35,000 policemen were brought in to provide security. During the controversy, The Beatles had no choice but to lay low in their hotel – the Tokyo Hilton – between shows.
To pass the time, the band painted a canvas called ‘Images of a Woman’, which is the only known painting The Beatles made together.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the painting, art/music social enterprise Eazl organised for 20 musicians and bands to make their own painting, using the same size canvas and similar paints to those used by The Beatles.
Those taking part in the project, called ‘Art in a Corner’, include Brian Wilson, Elvis Costello, Florence Welch, John Ilsley (Dire Straits), Jerry Dammers and the comedian and writer Charlie Higson.
All 20 paintings – many of which are genuinely impressive pieces of art – are being sold off in aid of children’s charities, including Children & The Arts and National Foundation for Youth Music. Artbeat caught up with Eazl and a number of the artists to find out more about the Art in a Corner project.
Welcome to the work-in-progress site for artbeat – a new online quarterly magazine that explores, investigates and highlights what is important in the arts today. artbeat, supported by The Courtauld Institute of Art’s Sackler Research Forum, brings together world-leading commentators on the arts and professional film producers. Together, we create free, considered and inspiring commentary on the arts. If you like what you see, then connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
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The Museum of Everything is a wandering exhibition. Founder James Brett evangelises about the artists who are basically untrained and unintentional and, in the main, private practitioners of art. Filmed at the museum’s biggest show to date in Rotterdam in May 2016, James explains why his show of over 2,000 objects by some 120 artists is important.
After you have watched the film, find out about Everything at the Museum’s website.
The performance artist and exhibitionist Richard DeDomenici takes a look back at his work over the last 10 years. He says his work causes uncertainty that leads to possibility.
Richard explains what The Redux Project is about and how the success of the project has meant Richard has now made over 60 ‘Redux’ films, from Superman 4 shot in Milton Keynes to The Matrix filmed in Sydney.
To find out more about Richard DeDomenici, visit dedomenici.com
For over 50 years, artists have been experimenting with technology. This films looks at both the pioneers in this field and young innovative artists of the present day, with the help of London’s Makerversity.
Find out more about this pioneering organisation at makerversity.org
Matt Johnson of The The made a film of the band’s Infected album in 1986, which featured a video for each track on the album. The film had been gathering dust for 30 years until The ICA in London screened the film along with a Q&A session with Matt Johnson and guests including the director Tim Pope over three nights in September 2016.
This mini-documentary recounts stories about the making of the film, like when Tim and Matt needed police protection to film in Spanish Harlem and in a brothel in New York. The album Infected was visually, musically and lyrically far ahead of its time and so were the political ideas expressed in the music that still ring true today.
The The’s official website
The band’s Facebook page
The The on Twitter
Anthony Stern’s passion for the synthesis of image and music led to his discovery of glass and the healing possibilities of colour. The thread that unites his work in glass and film is the manipulation of transparent material that records movement.
Anthony Stern was first exposed to glass as a child via a collection of antique glass marbles from Czechoslovakia. He grew up in Cambridge and experimented with music and painting. He had his first exhibition of paintings with Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett in 1963. While studying English and History of Art at Cambridge University he started to direct experimental non-linear films, most notably ‘San Francisco’, which decades later has been included in exhibitions at Tate Liverpool and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In addition to his body of work, which encapsulates the psychology of the Psychedelia movement, Anthony travelled to Afghanistan in 1971 and made a impressionistic documentary entitled the ‘Noon Gun.’ The film was re-edited in 2004 and premiered at the Melbourne Film Festival the same year.
Anthony has made glass his first language. He can express an endless variety of ideas and thoughts from the functional and prosaic to lyrical, healing and mystical. Anthony was filmed for this short film in 2011.
Find out more about Anthony Stern at anthonysternglass.com
The Courtauld Institute of Art recently held a competition for its 115 PhD students, with the prize being for a film to be made about their theses. To enter the competition, which was called ‘Doctoral Docs’, students had to pitch why their thesis would make a good film. The four winning students each had a film made about their thesis by artbeat.
Edwin Coomasaru- PhD Candiate
Northern Irish Masculinities and the legacy of the ‘Troubles’. 2005-2015
Sarah Hegenbart- PhD Candidate
Total Work of Art, “Gesamtkunstwerk”.