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FEATURED: Queen Elizabeth II: Essex artist delighted after portrait chosen by BBC for Obituary Broadcasts across the World

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#AceNewsDesk – An artist who painted a portrait of the Queen said he was “extremely proud” his work was chosen by the BBC as a “definitive image” of Her Majesty for its obituary broadcasts.

Artist Richard Stone
Portrait artist Richard Stone has painted pictures of several members of the Royal Family, including the Queen Mother

Richard Stone, from Witham, Essex, took three years to paint the portrait which he gifted to Colchester in 1992.

The 8ft (2.4m) by 5ft (1.5m) canvas hangs in Moot Hall.

The portrait was later chosen by the Queen as the image for the Royal Mail airmail stamp.

Following the death of the Queen, the image has been used in BBC broadcasts across the UK and the world.

“When I was a four-year-old, I was outside Buckingham Palace holding on to the railings and shouted at the top of my voice, ‘I want to paint the Queen’,” said Mr Stone.

“Well, 35-odd years later, there I was at Buckingham Palace about to do just that.”

Portrait of the Queen by Richard Stone
Mr Stone described painting this portrait of Her Majesty, which he later gifted to Colchester, as “a labour of love”

The artist said prior to painting his first portrait of the Queen, he had spent years sifting through art history books and studying the grand masters.

” I was very aware of the great portraits painted by Holbein of King Henry VIII and Van Dyke of Charles I,” he said.

“I mean, monumental works that have transcended time and given us a window to another world, and frozen in time the look, the appearance, of great monarchs.

“And here I was being commissioned to paint a picture for history.”

Sketch of the Queen by Richard Stone
According to Mr Stone, the Queen said his first sketch of her would make a very good stamp

The Queen agreed to sit for him after Sir Bob Russell, the former mayor of Colchester and its MP, wrote to Her Majesty’s private secretary making the request.

Setting about the task in June 1989, Mr Stone said he did not simply want to “replicate what was in front of me, but to capture something of the spirit and personality of the lady who was the Queen”.

He said: “So it wasn’t just being overawed by the Queen wearing the crown and the great robes of state, but it was actually about capturing something of the very person, who had warmth, had, if you want, a steadfastness, all those attributes of not just a monarch, but of a real person.”

The Queen sat for Mr Stone on 10 occasions, over a period of a year, with each sitting lasting an hour-and-a-half.

“She was absolutely marvellous and totally professional. It’s an occupational hazard having a portrait painted,” he said.

Richard Stone, artist
“It was a huge privilege to spend so much time with the Queen,” said Mr Stone

For Mr Stone, the three-year period it took to complete the work was “a labour of love”.

“I enjoyed every single second of agonising over that picture. I so wanted to get it right.

“I mean, it was a huge privilege to spend so much time with the Queen.

“So on reflection, and here we are many years later looking back, it was very special. 

“The fact it has been chosen by the BBC as the definitive image means so much to me – that if it’s thought as one picture that I’m to be remembered by, my legacy, I’m a very proud man.”

presentational grey line
#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Sept.16: 2022:

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Ace Daily News

FEATURED: Long-Lost Banksy painting found in Tel Aviv, 70 kilometres from its original location in West Bank

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#AceBreakingNews – A long-lost painting by British graffiti artist Banksy has resurfaced in an art gallery in downtown Tel Aviv, an hour’s drive and a world away from the concrete wall in the occupied West Bank where it was initially sprayed.

A piece of art featuring a rat sits in a frame on the floor in a room with art on the walls.
A Bansy artwork’s 70 kilometre journey from the West Bank to Tel Aviv is shrouded in secrecy. (AP Photo: Oded Balilty)none

The relocation of the painting, which depicts a slingshot-toting rat and was likely intended to protest Israel’s occupation of the area, raises ethical questions about the removal of artwork from occupied territory.

The painting initially appeared near Israel’s separation barrier in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem and was one of several works created in secret around 2007.

Banksy’s trademark absurdist and dystopian imagery was used to protest Israel’s decades-long occupation of territories the Palestinians want for a future state.

It now resides at the Urban Gallery in the heart of Tel Aviv’s financial district, surrounded by glass and steel skyscrapers.

Israeli art dealer Koby Abergel, who bought the painting, said the gallery was simply displaying the work and leaving its interpretation to others.

“We brought it to the main street of Tel Aviv to be shown to the audience and to show his messages,” he said.

Mr Abergel said the cracks and scrapes in the concrete served as “a fingerprint” that proved it was the same piece that appeared on the artist’s website.

He said he bought the concrete slab from a Palestinian associate in Bethlehem, but declined to disclose how much he paid for it. 

The 70-kilometre journey it made from the West Bank to Tel Aviv is shrouded in secrecy.

The concrete slab, which weighs about 400 kilograms, would have had to pass through Israel’s serpentine barrier and at least one military checkpoint. 

The graffiti artwork was spray-painted on a concrete block that was part of an abandoned Israeli army position in Bethlehem, next to a soaring concrete section of the separation barrier.

Sometime later, the painting was itself subjected to graffiti by someone who obscured the painting and scrawled “RIP Bansky Rat” on the block.

Mr Abergel said Palestinian residents cut out the painting and kept it in private residences until earlier this year.

Banksy graffiti
Banksy’s work depicts a slingshot-toting rat and was likely intended to protest Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.(AP Photo: Oded Balilty)none

He said relocating the work involved delicate negotiations with his Palestinian associate and careful restoration to remove the acrylic paint sprayed over Banksy’s work.

The massive block was then enclosed in a steel frame so it could be lifted onto a flatbed truck and rolled through a checkpoint, until it arrived in Tel Aviv in the middle of the night.

It was not possible to independently confirm his account of its journey.

Israel controls all access to the West Bank, and Palestinians require Israeli permits to travel in or out and to import and export goods.

Even when travelling within the West Bank, they can be stopped and searched by Israeli soldiers at any time.

Israeli citizens, including Jewish settlers, can travel freely in and out of the 60 per cent of the West Bank that is under full Israeli control.

Israel prohibits its citizens from entering areas administered by the Palestinian Authority for security reasons, but there’s little enforcement of that ban.

The Palestinians have spent decades seeking an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.

The peace process ground to a halt more than 10 years ago.

Mr Abergel said the artwork’s move was not coordinated with the Israeli military, and that his Palestinian associates were responsible for moving it into Israel.

He said he had no plans to sell the piece.

Painting ‘theft of the property of the Palestinian people’

According to the international treaty governing cultural property to which Israel is a signatory, occupying powers must prevent the removal of cultural property from occupied territories.

It remains unclear exactly how the 1954 Hague Convention would apply in this instance. 

Palestinian Tourism Ministry spokesman Jeries Qumsieh said it was a “theft of the property of the Palestinian people”. 

“These were paintings by an international artist for Bethlehem, for Palestine, and for visitors to Bethlehem and Palestine,” he said.

“Transferring them, manipulating them and stealing them is definitely an illegal act.”

The Israeli military and COGAT, the Israeli Defense Ministry body responsible for coordinating civilian affairs with the Palestinians, said they had no knowledge of the artwork or its relocation.

Banksy has created numerous artworks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in recent years and designed a guesthouse in Bethlehem, which is filled with his artwork.

A spokesperson for Banksy did not respond to requests for comment.

This is not the first time the street artist’s work has been lifted from the West Bank.

In 2008, two other paintings were removed from the walls of a bus shelter and butcher shop in Bethlehem.

They were eventually bought by galleries in the United States and Britain where they were exhibited in 2011.

AP 

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Aug.06: 2022:

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FEATURED AUSTRALIA NATSIA REPORT: Master Arnhem Land artist Margaret Rarru Garrawurra wins top prize in 2022

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#AceNewsDesk – Master Arnhem Land artist Margaret Rarru Garrawurra wins top prize in 2022 NATSIAA’s with sweeping woven sail

A smiling woman wearing a bright orange jacket standing in front of a large thatched artwork, inside an art gallery.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award winner Margaret Rarru Garrawurra. (Supplied: MAGNT)none

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-05/nt-in-pictures-winners-2022-natsiaas-aboriginal-art-award/101298496

A sweeping, large-scale woven sail, once used on fishing boats between Arnhem Land and Indonesia prior to colonisation, has won first prize in the prestigious National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.

Six other artists have won category prizes including bark painting and multi-media works, picked from 63 finalists from over 200 entries.

This year the NATSIAA’s became the richest art award in the country, with $190,000 in the prize pool overall and a doubling of the top prize to $100,000.

These are the winners.

Telstra Art Award

Women sitting beside a large woven artwork.
Margaret Rarru Garrawurra with her winning work.(ABC News: Pete Garnish)none

The major prize this year went to senior Yolngu artist Margaret Rarru Garrawurra for Dhomala (pandanus sail).

Ms Garrawurra, who lives in Milingimbi in north east Arnhem Land, recreated the type of sail used on Macassan fishing by boats, which came to trade with Yolngu in north east Arnhem Land prior to colonisation.

A photograph of a orange and black woven sail
Ngangkari Ngura, by Betty Muffler.(Supplied: MAGNT)none
#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Aug.05: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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Ace Daily News

FEATURED AUSTRALIA: In the 1950s, Albert Namatjira’s iconic watercolour artwork sold on streets of Alice Springs for just a few shillings now its setting new records

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#AceNewsDesk – Albert Namatjira’s work hitting new highs on the art market as demand surges

A man stands beneath a framed watercolour painting
Auctioneer Jim Elder with a Namatjira painting that sold under the hammer for $54,000 in July.(Supplied: Jim Elder )none

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this article may contain images of people who have died.

In the 1950s, Albert Namatjira’s iconic watercolour artwork would often sell on the streets of Alice Springs for just a few shillings.

Over the years and following his death in 1959, his paintings of the vast Central Australian landscape became highly sought after, with collectors across the world clamouring to own a piece of his work.

Now there’s been a renewed interest in the Arrernte artist and father of the Hermannsburg School with his work setting new records.

Namatjira’s Glen Helen Gorge on paper fetched more than $120,000 when it went under the hammer in Melbourne earlier this year.

In July his painting The Granseur – Mount Sonda sold in Adelaide for $54,000, an unprecedented price almost $10,000 above expectations.

Albert Namatjira, photographed by Jim Gallacher at Areyonga in 1950.
Albert Namatjira was a pioneer of the Hermannsburg School of painting.(Supplied: Northern Territory Library)none

“Namatjira’s work doesn’t come on the scene very often, but those works … bringing enormous value,” said Jim Elder, auctioneer and proprietor at Elder Fine Art in Adelaide.

“I don’t feel that the people in Alice Springs would be would au fait with what has actually happened to his work.

“He should be taken a lot more seriously and I think it’s at this present time that people are waking up to how important an artist he really is.”

Born and raised at the remote Hermannsburg Lutheran Mission, southwest of Alice Springs, Namatjira was taught the art of watercolour by visiting European artist Rex Battarbee and greatly encouraged by the local pastor.

His status grew rapidly in Australia, and as a result became the first Indigenous person to gain full citizenship, enabling him to vote and buy alcohol in 1957.

A Christmas card with watercolour painting of a landscape
A Christmas card from 1954 featuring artwork by Albert Namatjira.(Supplied)none

Mr Elder said the whole Australian art market was enjoying a rush of buoyancy of late, but Namatjira’s work had far surpassed the market trend.

“What’s driving all this is availability, naturally, and people are coming more au fait with where this artist actually stands in the history of Australian Art,” he said.

“One wonders today, if Namatjira didn’t come along and Rex Battarbee didn’t come along and discover him, that whole school of paintings wouldn’t have existed.

“We owe a debt, a great debt, to the likes of Albert Namatjira, Rex Battarbee, and the Hermannsburg School of artists.”

Legacy painting the way for others

Selma Coulthard was just a small child when Albert Namatjira died.

She does not remember much about his funeral, but said seeing his artwork left her in no doubt about what she wanted to do when she grew up.

Now an accomplished artist at the Namatjira School of Art in Central Australia, Ms Coulthard has spent the past three decades carrying on the art movement that Namatjira first inspired in Hermannsburg all those years ago.

“We’ve tried to revive his image,” she said.

“Some people don’t remember him because most of his children are gone, so we are the relatives actually carrying on his work and talking about his life here.”

A woman sits beside her watercolour painting in progress
Selma Coulthard has been painting for more than 30 years.(ABC Alice Springs: Lee Robinson)none

She said Namatjira, widely considered the most famous Indigenous Australian of his generation, always maintained his connection to family and country.

“His connection was with the whole family tribe. No matter who it was it was called family,” she said.

“He was a really famous person and his mind was always there because he loved painting.

“He was putting down what he sees, and it showed, because his love for his country — the land as well — was there on the paintings that he did.”

Following a decades-long struggle, the copyright for Namatjira’s work was returned to his family in 2017 after it was sold by the Public Trustee in 1983 for $8,500.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Aug.03: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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Ace Breaking News

BREAKING U.S ART NEWS: Swedish Born Claes Oldenburg: Radical pop art sculptor dies at 93

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#AceBreakingNews – Influential Swedish-born sculptor Claes Oldenburg – whose giant works of everyday objects delight millions – has died in his New York City home aged 93 according to BBC Art News

Claes Oldenburg. Photo: February 2012
Claes Oldenburg once said: “My intention is to make an everyday object that eludes definition”

The Pace Gallery that represented him said he had recently suffered a fall.

It described him as “one of the most radical artists of the 20th Century… in the development of pop art”.

Oldenburg, who moved to the US in the 1950s, is known for his trademark works depicting clothes pegs, baseball bats, hamburgers and electric plugs.

Many of his sculptures adorn public spaces in the US and around the world.

Oldenburg made Bottle of Notes, which sits outside the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

One of Oldenburg’s most famous sculptures is the 14m (46ft) steel Clothespin (clothes peg) in Philadelphia”My intention is to make an everyday object that eludes definition,” he was quoted as saying in The New York Times.

Many of his works were made in collaboration with his wife Coosje van Bruggen, who died in 2009.Getty ImagesOldenburg and his wife Coosje van Bruggen’s Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture in MinneapolisGetty ImagesApple Core, a sculpture by Oldenburg and van Bruggen at the Israel Museum in JerusalemIn a BBC interview in 2015, Oldenburg said: “At the end of the ’60s, I started to become interested in architecture and in turning objects into architecture.”So I made a number of studies of buildings that I would propose for cities in the form of objects. There’s a whole collection of them, including several for New York.”Getty ImagesPlantoir Blue at the Rockefeller Center in New YorkGetty ImagesBig Sweep at the Denver Art Museum in ColoradoHis proposals took the form of self-consciously absurd drawings. In one sketch from 1965, for instance, he presented a gargantuan teddy bear sitting slumped at the north end of Central Park – turning the entire city into a playground. The sculptor himself never believed that his tongue-in-cheek ideas would actually be built – he was more interested in creating playful ideas that were at the same time amusing and slightly sinister.Getty ImagesThe Typewriter Eraser sculpture in Las VegasGetty ImagesCupid’s Span, by Oldenburg and van Bruggen, located in San FranciscoGetty ImagesThe Binoculars Building in Los Angeles, a collaboration between Oldenburg and architect Frank Gehry

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: July.20:  2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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Ace Breaking News

BREAKING SCOTLAND: A self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh hidden for more than a century has been discovered hidden behind another of the artist’s paintings.

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#AceBreakingNews – Vincent Van Gogh self-portrait hidden for more than 100 years discovered hidden behind Head of a Peasant Woman painting

Vincent Van Gogh Photo X-Ray
The new work was only discovered when experts X-rayed the canvas. (Reuters: Neil Hanna/Handout)none

The National Galleries of Scotland said the previously unknown portrait was found on the back of Van Gogh’s Head of a Peasant Woman.

Experts at the Edinburgh gallery uncovered the painting when they X-rayed the canvas ahead of an upcoming exhibition.

The work is believed to have been covered by layers of glue and cardboard when it was framed in the early 20th century.

Van Gogh was known for turning canvases around and painting on the other side to save money.

The portrait shows a bearded sitter who experts said was instantly recognisable as the artist himself.

A woman wearing gloves holds a painting of a woman. A computer showing X-Ray of a man's painting in background.
The portrait was hidden behind Head of a Peasant Woman, another of Van Gogh’s works. (AP: Neil Hanna)none

The gallery’s senior curator Frances Fowle said the discovery was “thrilling.”

“Moments like this are incredibly rare,” she said.

The back of a canvas painting. Glue and taped down labels also visible.
Layers of glue and cardboard had papered over the self-portrait. (AP: Neil Hanna)none

“We have discovered an unknown work by Vincent Van Gogh, one of the most important and popular artists in the world.”

Experts are evaluating how to remove the glue and cardboard without harming the other painting.

A light-box image of the X-ray will be on display at an upcoming Impressionist exhibit at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh.

ABC/AP

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: July.15:  2022:

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Ace Daily News

LONDON: Catholic Artist Mike Quirke Exhibits in Bloomsbury & Mayfair

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Journey in the Wilderness: A Lenten Image by Mike Quirke

#AceNewsDesk – Dynamic Catholic artist Mike Quirke has opened two concurrent London exhibitions profiling a wide range of his inspiring work ICN News

  • Amanda C Dickie
  • Mar 28th, 2022 (Updated Mar 29th, 2022)

Journey in the Wilderness: A Lenten Image by Mike Quirke

His shared exhibition with works from three other artists at Lumen Centre, Bloomsbury, is enhanced by the wonderful light at this unique space which Mike remarks is “quite impressive”.

The URC building was renovated by Theis and Kahn architects with features by Alison Wilding and Rona Smith as a multi faith place of worship. A shaft of light is central to the venue and an impressive stained glass window. An art gallery is incorporated into this vibrant backdrop for religious art .

His most recent painting is Tobit and Sarah Praying, portraying them at their nuptials in a contemporary style. Asmodeus, “that worst of demons” is seen lurking forbiddingly behind Tobit. There is also a delightful mixed media representation of Tobias and the Angel after Verrochio with the youth linking arms with the Archangel Raphael.

Forty of his pictures are hanging on the walls and include his impressive iconic Supper at Emmaus with a male and female disciple either side of the resurrected Christ. Prints are available of this too.

Quirke originally intended Journey in the Wilderness: A Lenten Image to portray Christ with the Devil beside him but changed tack and turned him into Everyman – one of us, who are all sinners. It is a haunting canvas in pastels with oxydised elements. Jesus walks besides us, accompanying us through the desert journey to light . Both the figure of Jesus and his companion look straight ahead . Quirke says the Divine Face is inspired by Duccio’s face of Christ. His hair is windswept from a violet wind, maybe indicating the power of the Spirit enfolding Jesus as well as the tussle between good and evil that we are all faced with as we are tossed and turned by the tumult of life and death. Jesus takes all this on himself. The other figure is more contemporary in style – representative of everyone. The force of the wind envelops all as both figures clutch their cloaks about them. Both have their hands resting on their hearts as they journey forth side by side .A restlessness seems to emanate, present in the artist in his own journey to replicate themes in new ways to resonate with us today. There are also prints available at a more modest price of this and other subjects.

A mixed media print of Saints Cyril and Methodius catches the eye. These Greek brothers known as Apostles to the Slavs are very much to the fore at this time of war in Ukraine and uncertainty in the surrounding countries that were culturally influenced by them.

Eighteen figures of saints and modern inspirational figures such as Bonhoeffer and CS Lewis are represented in affordable prints ranging from £30 -75. Newer saints such as Teresa of Calcutta in black and white monoprint and Josephine Bakhita in colour and black and white are alongside more traditional figures such as St Scholastica, a beautiful image with her attribute of a dove.

Other larger scale paintings depict the Crucifixion and The Holy Family Fleeing into Egypt. Icon representations of Christ Pantocrator and the Virgin of Tenderness are familiar themes he returns to whilst exploring different mediums and techniques.

A collection of smaller works can be seen in racks. All of his pictures are for sale.

There are also 100 postcards representative of his output. 

There is still time to see this stunning exhibition.

Another recent shared exhibition in Mayfair showed a select few of his pictures on the theme of poverty and misfortune. 54, the Gallery is a small space but unlike an earlier exhibition did not display his works to best advantage, completely omitting the window space previously utilised- a perfect space for his smaller frames. I was particularly taken with a black and white self portrait of Quirke sitting in a cafe in the 1970’s when he was on the dole, entitled Social Security. These can all be seen on his website. Several other prints in his mixed media style or black and white mono prints were inspired by pictures of Murillo, Dorei, Van Gogh and Bosch.

Quirke says: “I find I want to align myself with artists of the past. They noticed suffering of the poor, often echoed in their own lives,” adding that in the face of Covid there was confusion and uncertainty that resonated with these themes of misfortune past and present.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Mar.29: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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World History & Research Reports

HISTORY: Best Loved Artist Maria Prymachenko, Honoured on Ukraine Money

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AceHistoryDesk says Maria Prymachenko, honoured on Ukraine’s money, created seemingly happy scenes of animals and rural life. But look closer and you can see the horrors unleashed on her country by a brutal dictatorAt the 1937 International Exposition in Paris, two colossal pavilions faced each other down.

One was Hitler’s Germany, crowned with a Nazi eagle. The other was Stalin’s Soviet Union, crowned with a statue of a worker and a peasant holding hands.

It was a symbolic clash at a moment when right and left were fighting to the death in Spain. But somewhere inside the Soviet pavilion, among all the socialist realism, were drawings of fabulous beasts and flowers filled with a raw folkloric magic.

They subverted the age of the dictators with nothing less than a triumph of the human imagination over terror and mass death.These sublime creations were the work of a Ukrainian artist, Maria Prymachenko, who has once again become a symbol of survival in the midst of a dictator’s war.

Prymachenko, who died in 1997, is the best-loved artist of the besieged country, a national symbol whose work has appeared on its postage stamps, and her likeness on its money.

Ukrainian astronomer Klim Churyumov even named a planet after her. Continue reading…………………https://t.me/the_guardian_news/235527
The Guardian news, [Mar 18, 2022 at 12:30]

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Mar: 18:   2022: 

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HISTORICAL

HISTORICAL: Google Updates: Art & Culture Platform From West Africa & Timbuktu

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#AceSocialDesk says Tech Crunch News Report: Google’s Art & Culture platform updated with documents and working with historians from West Africa, has been working to digitize contemporary art, cultural and historic sites about Mali, and the digital library went live on Google Art & Culture (GAC) today, making these items available for exploration by the world.

Known as Mali Magic, the project has over 40,000 assets of digitized manuscript pages, a street view capture of nine heritage sites and a 3D model and annotated tour of the Djenne Mosqué, the largest adobe structure in the world, initially built in the 13th century.

The catalog also contains an original music album, Maliba, which was exclusively created for the project by Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara to provide information about the country’s cultural legacy.

“[The manuscripts] are more than important historical documents. Central to the heritage of the West African nation of Mali, they represent the long legacy of written knowledge and academic excellence in Africa, and hold potential to inspire global learning from the actions of the past in confronting modern day issues,” said Dr. Abdel Kader Haidara, the ‘badass librarian’ known for smuggling the manuscripts out of Timbuktu (a city in Mali), also a collaborator in the Google project.

Timbuktu has always been used as a euphemism for a place that is far away. What most people don’t seem to realize is that the Malian city was a key trading post on the trans-Saharan caravan route during the medieval times, a history that made it an important center of learning. This active history made the city a repository of manuscripts, music, monuments and other art forms that provide a sneak view into the history of African trade, education, religion and culture.

“The Malian city of Timbuktu gave birth to an abundance of learning in the fields of human rights, morality, politics, astronomy and literature captured in thousands of manuscripts. When this ancient knowledge was threatened by extremist groups in 2012, local communities raced against time to preserve these treasures. This legacy is now available for people across the world to explore,” said Chance Coughenour, the program Manager and digital archaeologist at Google Arts & Culture.

The library is available on the web, and via apps on the Google and Apple stores. Launched in 2011 as a digital platform that puts the treasures, stories and knowledge of over 2,000 cultural institutions from 80 countries, Google Arts & Culture has been incrementally documenting museums and heritage sites from across the world.

South Africa’s Robben Island Museum was the first from Africa to make the library, in 2015, followed by Kenya’s Nairobi National Museum in 2019. Nigeria’s African Artists’ Foundation, the Rele Art Gallery and arts and culture center Terra Kulture were added in 2020, the same year as the Origins Centre of South Africa’s Wits University. The addition of content from Mali brings to over 400,000 the total number of digitized pages written by African scholars across nine centuries.

Aside from acting as an archive of historical documents and artifacts, the Google Arts & Culture platform also has some unique features, including a 2021 update that matches pet photos with artwork in museums.

#AceNewsDesk report………….Published: Mar.10: 2022:

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ARTWORK BY ROXANA HALLS JOINS COLLECTION: #COVID19 Collecting Project

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#AceSocialDesk – As part of the Science Museum Group’s #COVID19 Collecting Project we have acquired a portrait by Roxana Halls of Katie Tomkins, Mortuary and Post-Mortem Services Manager at West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, created as part of the Portraits for NHS Heroes project in response to the pandemic.

During the first national lockdown in spring 2020, artist Tom Croft started a series on Instagram entitled ‘Portraits for NHS Heroes’. Working in his studio, listening to the rolling news cycle of the pandemic, Croft found himself unable to work and wanting to help.

For Tom, ‘A portrait is a permanent physical record of someone’s existence. It also immortalises people, as the portraits are likely to last far longer than their subjects.’ He realised that sharing portraits of NHS workers would be one way to raise their status, say thank you, and immortalise their work for future generations. Over 13,000 paintings were created by artists around the world.

One of those portraits, Katie Tomkins, Mortuary and Post-Mortem Services Manager by Roxana Halls is now part of the Science Museum Group’s collection.

‘When I look at Roxana’s painting, I see someone who’s exhausted, slightly burned out, but determined to get the job done. That’s exactly how I felt.’ Katie TomkinsKatie Tomkins, Mortuary and Post-Mortem Services Manager by Roxana Halls

Katie Tomkins, Mortuary and Post-Mortem Services Manager by Roxana Halls

Natalie Miles-Kemp, Head of Strategy at West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, nominated her colleague in recognition of Katie’s leadership through the COVID-19 crisis: ‘Katie looks defiant and determined which summarises so much of the mindset of my NHS colleagues throughout the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic.’

Post-mortem and mortuary services are rarely talked about publicly. The few news reports centred on temporary COVID-19 mortuary facilities being set up with a focus on the growing death toll. People working in these services are not often thought of as frontline staff, but still have a crucial role to play in hospital life, a fact which Katie raises as a lesser-known aspect of her team’s work.

Behind each number in the daily report of COVID-19 deaths is a person and a life lived. For those who care for them, including Katie and her team, this is at the heart of how they treat people after death. As the manager of the service, Katie had a huge responsibility to the growing numbers of people who had died, their loved ones and to her team. Katie continued to always be there for the people who needed her, while under colossal stress. Despite her 20 years’ experience working in post-mortem services and anatomical pathology, Katie said ‘Nothing really prepares you for this.’

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has long been worn by those working in post-mortem services to prevent potential infections but extra layers of PPE and enhanced cleaning of their workspaces were all put in place during the pandemic. It was essential that Katie and her team protected themselves from coronavirus for their own health and to ensure their services remained open.

One service that had to be restricted during the pandemic was loved ones coming to view and see people they had lost. Prior to COVID-19, Katie and her team would guide them through the process. For some people, this opportunity to visit can be an important part of their grieving process and coming to terms with their loss. Katie’s team had to adapt the service they provided to ensure they were still able to support grieving families, all while under new challenging conditions.

Listen to Katie in her own words talking about her experience of working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through a series of video and photographs, artist Roxana Halls got to know Katie and her team and more about the services, respect and care they provide. Roxana said: ‘In combination with [Katie’s] contemporariness, her style suggested for me something of the Rosie the Riveter archetype and the wartime portraits of Dame Laura Knight. I hoped with my portrait to evoke something of the focus, resolve and heroism of Knight’s subjects, placing Katie within the sanitized realm of her highly-skilled and indescribably challenging work.’

Roxana documented her process of painting Katie’s portrait on her Instagram account, sharing details of Katie’s tattoos and PPE before revealing the final and finished image in June 2020.

Katie’s portrait was displayed at the Royal College of Pathologists and for the first time Roxana, Katie and Natalie met in person.Roxana Halls and Katie Tompkins with Katie’s portrait © Roxana Halls

Roxana Halls and Katie Tompkins with Katie’s portrait © Roxana Halls

Roxana Halls’ work is ‘interested in posing questions about the ways in which within contemporary culture women are appraised, influenced and policed’.  In Episode 1 of BBC Arts series Extraordinary Portraits you can watch Roxana capturing twins, Georgia and Melissa, who survived a near-fatal crocodile attack whilst swimming in Mexico. Episode 1 airs on 27 February on BBC One at 18.30. After it airs you’ll be able to watch it back here.

Art works like Roxana’s portrait provide a glimpse into the bravery and fortitude required of healthcare workers in a crisis, but also of the person beneath the PPE. As well as being a testament to Katie’s career and her work during COVID-19, I for one am comforted to know that there are people like her caring for those that have died, especially at a time when coronavirus has separated family, friends and loved ones.

#AceNewsDesk report …………..Published: Mar.01: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts from Twitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com