creatives

  • Art

  • History of Art

  • DT

  • Art History

  • Music

  • Drama

History of Art:

 Recommendations

Podcasts

  • 'Art Matters'- great discussions on themes and periods throughout the history of art- available on Spotify and the episodes are detailed but short so easy to listen to 

  • 'Art History for All'

  • 'In our time: culture' 

  • 'Art History at Bedtime'

  • 'The Art History Babes'

 

Documentaries

 

  • 'shock of the nude' - Mary beard's personal and provocative take on the nude in Western art from ancient Greece to the present. Just why do artists and viewers seem so obsessed with nudity? 

  • 'Britain's Hidden Masterpieces' 

  • 'Whoever heard of a black artist? Britain's Hidden Art History'

  • anything by Waldemar Januszczak- This guy is the best and a lot of his stuff can be found on YouTube

  • 'A History of Art in 3 colours'

 

Books- History of Art books are the best because there are lots of pictures!

  • 'The Story of Painting'- Sister Wendy Beckett: a great overview of most artistic movements

  • 'Art in Minutes'- Susie Hodge: great if you want a SHORT overview of some artists and movements

  • 'Symbols and Allegories in Art'- Matilde Battistini: shows you what a ladder means but also how to spot the Virgin Mary in paintings

  • 'A Closer Look: Colour'- David Bomford, Ashok Roy: goes through basic colour theory and how pigments were historically created

  • 'Art in Detail: 100 Masterpieces'- Susie Hodge: great for those little details infamous works you've always wanted to know the meaning of

  • 'The Whole Picture'- Alice Procter: a re-evaluation of art history in the context of colonialism

  • 'Street Art, Fine Art'- Ingrid Beazley: an awesome mash-up of the 17th/18th Century and street art

  • 'Ways of Seeing'- John Berger: an eye-opening look into how men and women are seen from different cultural 'gazes', how men examine women but also how women examine women, a very interesting read.

Art:

 Recommendations

 
  • Blue Period  (Manga or Animated Netflix series) 

    • If you're feeling low on art motivation, just watch/read this Japanese series. It's about a boy in high school trying his hardest to improve at drawing as he prepares to apply for art school. There are moments in the series which feel like a free art tutorial, and there are moments when you can really relate to him as he navigates his way through creative blocks. The main character's drive to improve his skills is really inspiring, which makes a lot of readers want to do the same, even if painting/drawing isn't their favourite medium.
       

  • Abstract (Netflix Series where each episode focuses on a different kind of art eg. Fine art, Illustration, Photography etc.) 
     

  • 'Jackson Pollock's Non-Drip Paintings' - Solar Sands on Youtube. A short video just going through Jackson Pollock's lesser-known works. https://youtu.be/aArkZqYC99c
     

  • Only Artists - BBC4 Podcast on Spotify. (Two artists per episode, usually artists who are a fan of each other's work so their conversations about life and art are very insightful.)
     

  • "The Habits of Effective Artists" - Blender on Youtube 
     

  • Cool Tedtalk style video ft. Andrew Price (who talks about how he was given a challenge to complete or else he'd lose $1000.) https://youtu.be/vM39qhXle4g

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Created by Misha  (Art subject rep.)

Intersectionality

Design Technology:

 Recommendations

 
  • The Ingenia Engineering Magazine Subscription (it's free): Every 3 months you get a magazine with articles about the latest technological developments in a variety of areas, and interviews with different types of engineers.
     

  • Design: The Definitive Visual History by DK: Gives a detailed outline of design history, the different movements and styles over the years.
     

  • Emotional Design by Don Norman: Explores how emotions and psychology applies to design and the innovation of products.
     

  • A Very Short Introduction to Engineering by David Blockley: A very brief overview of the different engineering disciplines and their impacts.
     

  • Into the Factory (TV Series): Has some really interesting episodes about the manufacture of popular products. Each episode explores the manufacturing process of a particular product, from the raw material extraction to the final product.

How Influential was the Bauhaus Movement?

Design is fluid, ever-changing depending on significant events, emerging technologies, and culture. The word, “design” comes from the Latin word, “designare,” which means to ‘mark out or devise’ or to bring an idea on paper to life. Over time, these ideas, and their execution have changed, which can be traced through the many design movements over history including Art Nouveau, Constructivism, Space Age, Minimalism and Contemporary. All these periods of design have different characteristics and were influenced by changes in society, but the most influential was the Bauhaus because it was not only a design movement but a cultural one.

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It was founded by Walter Gropius in 1919 after the First World War. It followed a “less is more,” and, “form follows function,” philosophy of which the belief was that designers should focus more on the function of the product rather than the aesthetics. It promoted experimentation with current materials and a consideration of what society would need in the future. By experimenting with different materials there was innovation with how current materials were used, which proved revolutionary at the time. An example of this was Tubular Steel which was created through experimentation by Marcel Breuer in 1928 and is still used today for the legs and handles of chairs.

Figure 1:MR armchair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

A key feature of the Bauhaus movement was, “Geometric Metalware”, where designers started to use geometric shapes like cylinders, cubes, and spheres, as inspiration for lamps, kettles, and jugs. This approach was taken by Marianne Brandt, Wilhelm Wagenfeld and Hendrik Gispen whom all created very elegant, industrial products. This style of metalwork was used internationally because the products were easily manufactured due to the simplicity of designs. Examples included the Piano Lamp by J.J.P Oud and the Wilhelm Wagenfeld’s Table Lamp, crafted with geometric shapes to ensure simplicity and is still produced today.

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Figure 2: Table Lamp by Wilhelm Wagenfeld

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Bauhaus had a huge influence on product design, with many designers in the 1930s adopting a “form follows function,” approach. Consumers started to favour the streamlined, industrial feel for products which led to the use of chrome plates, rounded corners in many products. An example of this was the vacuum cleaner by Lurelle Guild who made an Electrolux cylinder cleaner using chromium plating. It had slopped ends and steel gliders which made it easy to pull the vacuum along the floor.  This product had such a positive impact in the industry that it was produced for 20 years after it was launched in 1937.

Figure 3: Vacuum cleaner by Lurelle Guild

Bauhaus didn’t only influence the design of physical products, but also graphic design all over Europe. As a result, several movements emerged like de Stijl in the Netherlands and Russian Constructivism which was also used in Czechoslovakia. The main theme for this change was for posters and magazines to be visually less cluttered. It also led to a more disciplined approach to typography that was simple and elegant. Graphic design at this time included the use of primary colours, straight lines, blocks, and patches of colour. Another, example of Bauhaus influencing graphics, was the ‘Penguin Books’ covers, designed by Edward Young. They consisted of a white panel in between two blocks of colour, the colour of the book helped to categorize the type of book. This proved to be quite successful as the covers weren’t changed until the early 1950s and it contributed to the company’s success because they stood out on the bookshelves

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Figure 4: The Penguin Books by Edward Young

Overall, the Bauhaus Movement was extremely influential because it didn’t only inspire one type of design. There are so many types of design whether it is physical or graphical, and Bauhaus managed to have an impact on both types. It created the rules for designers to follow, and then later down the line, break, during the postmodernism movement. Without those rules, postmodernism wouldn’t have been able to evolve, and we wouldn’t have much of the design we have today, which shows how influential the Bauhaus movement was during the early twentieth century to today’s design world.

Written by Chehara (Design Technology subject rep.)

Drama:

 Recommendations

 

Shows Currently Running

  • Cabaret ft Eddy Redmayne

  • Moulin Rouge

  • Cinderella

  • The Great Gatsby - the immersive production

 

New Movie Musicals (I haven't seen them yet but I have heard good things)

  • Tick Tick Boom

  • West Side Story

Plays to read 

Podcasts

The Essence of Japanese Noh Theatre

When we think of theatre we usually are drawn to mainstream theatre, specifically musicals or naturalist plays. We are reminded of Les Misérables, Hamilton, Waitress and to those more accustomed to plays, those of Chekhov, Williams and O'Neill. Although these are still incredible, there are other styles of theatre from various cultures that should be given the same importance and appreciation. Theatre reveals truths about society and reflects the society in which it is created. It is a great medium to understand a culture that is unknown to us and gives us an insight into the values of that society. For this reason, we are going to delve into Japan’s Noh theatre.

Noh theatre is one of the oldest styles of theatre in the world, with its name being derived from nō, meaning ‘talent’ or ‘skill’. It is a classical Japanese's style of theatre consisting mainly of music and dance and usually retells legends from the Muromachi Period (1336-1573). Originally a festival drama performed in temples in the 12th and 13th centuries, it became a distinctive form in the 14th century. It was then refined as a style up until the Tokugawa period between 1603-1687, later becoming a ceremonial drama performed on occasions for the warrior class as a prayer for prosperity, longevity and peace for the social elites. Although less popular, there were performances that the public could attend. However, with Japan being pressured to industrialise by the West and the Meiji Restoration (1868), the existence of Noh theatre was threatened. Despite this, a few notable actors attempted to maintain the tradition, and following the Second World War, an increased interest amongst audiences led to the revival of the form.

Noh can be divided into two categories: Genzai Noh, which focuses on telling stories in the present and Mugen Noh, which has more of a complicated structure, usually interweaving dreams and visions into a present story. The structure is usually simple and, instead of there being actors or ‘representers’ (traditionally all men but recently women have been involved too), performers are storytellers who simply use their movements and appearances to suggests the essence of the story, rather than acting it out.

The main role in a Noh production is called the shite and this person usually acts as director and producer as well. In the first half, the shite is called the maeshite and in the second they are called the nochishite. These may be completely different characters but are usually played by the same performer. The waki, known as the secondary role, is crucial to nearly all Noh productions, playing a variety of roles such as a travelling priest, a foe to the shite and, in Mugen Nohs, when the shite of afflicted in some way, the waki provides a form of release. Occasionally, there are other performers involved, however, the main roles are the shite and the waki.

Noh can be divided into different categories: god, man, woman, mad-woman and demon. In a full Noh production, one from each category would be represented. This is known as the tradition of gobandate and was developed in the Tokugawa period. Between each Noh, a kyōgen (comedy) would be performed. A traditional gobandate would start in the morning with a god Noh (promise of peace, happiness, abundant crops etc), then move on to focus on a warrior’s story (tales predominantly based on Heike Monogatari in which a warrior seeks redemption from warrior hell, where all warriors are fated to enter). This would be followed by the story of a beautiful woman (usually about the ghost of a woman who has been condemned to wader the earth trapped by the love she feels) and later move on to the madwoman’s tale (usually driven mad by a terrible experience). Lastly, otherworldly spirits would be depicted in the demon Noh, usually consisting of intense dance, complicated drumming and lively music.

Song and dance are crucial parts of the performance and the music is played by the hayasha. This is made up of four instruments: the fue (flute), kotsuzumi (shoulder drum), otsuzumi (hip drum) and taiko (stick drum) and they set the mood and pace of the show. The musicians also use their voices to create rhythms for the performance. The character’s movements are usually to this beat and are generally slow and precise, though occasionally a quicker sequence may occur.

Noh also uses a variety of performance elements to create a masterpiece. Masks are essential and are used to represent a character’s masks to signify the characters' gender, age, and social ranking and personality, with emotions easily being conveyed by head motions. Evidently, some masks may look like they are smiling when tilted upwards but frowning when tilted down. They are crafted by skilled artists and are treasured by Noh families. Costumes, including kimonos, are vibrantly coloured and heavily embroidered which is a remnant of the days when Noh was supported by the elites. Like the masks, costumes display the age, gender, occupation and social status of the character. For example, the colour of the collar (eri) represents the nature of the characters and red is reserved for young women. Props are also used in performances; known as tsukurimono (meaning made things), they are simpler and more modest. They are usually hand-fashioned from material like bamboo and are usually more symbolic than realistic, implying structures such as boats or graves.

Noh is evidently a very fascinating and unique form of theatre that is worthy of a larger audience than it receives. Immersing ourselves in the theatre practices of different cultures gives us a deeper understanding of the values of that society and celebrate them. Noh theatre is only one of countless different theatre styles developing from different cultures around the world and it is worth stepping out of our comfort zones and exploring more about these.

 

If you are interested in learning more about Noh Theatre, here is a list of some resources:

https://www.the-noh.com/en/world/index.html

Kashu-Juku Noh Theater

Written By Layal (Drama subject rep.)

 

Music:

 Recommendations

Classical Music recommendations

 

Podcasts – these can all be found on BBC Sounds

  • This Classical Life with Jess Gillam; Jess Gillam is a saxophonist who was a BBC Young Musician Finalist in 2016 and now performs as a soloist and is the youngest ever presenter on BBC Radio 3.

  • Radio 3 in Concert

  • Composer of the Week

  • Desert Island Discs

 

Books

  • Beethoven's A Life in Nine Pieces by Laura Tunbridge

  • Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks; this book explores the power of music through the experiences of people with different neurological conditions including Tourette’s Syndrome, amnesia and amusia. It’s fantastic for anyone interested in music and psychology!

 

Chamber Pieces

 

Orchestral Pieces

 

Solo Pieces