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Tom Vek and Olga Bell, Meltdown Festival, Southbank Centre, 20 June

In the 21 years since Meltdown’s inception, the festival has played host to a conveyor belt of counterculture greats, including David Bowie, Patti Smith, Jarvis Cocker and the late John Peel. This year James Lavelle took the helm, bringing his genre-bending brand of subversion to the director’s chair. With a body of work spanning two decades – and an illustrious address book to match – the trip-hop pioneer and all-round creative powerhouse is known for pairing unlikely bedfellows and taking big risks. This was evident at the Southbank’s Purcell Room, where Olga Bell and Tom Vek united to perform collaborations from joint venture Nothankyou alongside their own solo material.

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PhotoIreland Festival, Dublin

The theme for the fifth edition of PhotoIreland Festival is Truth, Fact, Fiction, Lies. Looking at how photography is used for storytelling, the festival presents 27 photographers exhibiting in various venues around the city centre.

Interview with Aesthetica Art Prize 2014 Winner Sybille Neumeyer

German artist Sybille Neumeyer stunned judges with her eloquent piece, Song for the Last Queen (2013) in the Aesthetica Art Prize, a beautiful light installation comprised of 7,614 bees collected from a naturally collapsed beehive framed within vials of natural honey. Captivating at first glance, the work also invites audiences to reflect upon global issues and imbalances in our ecosystem; at once appreciating the pure and natural beauty of raw materials while confronting the growing gap between consumption and food production, as bees face an ever-rising risk of decline. We speak to Neumeyer about her practice and what inspired her to enter the Aesthetica Art Prize.

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Interview with Anya Oderyakova and Olya Korsun, Directors of Synesthesia

Synesthesia is a combination of interactive digital innovation and timeless fashion. Teaming up with Fred Perry for the Spring/Summer 2014 campaign, the website is an exploration of the phenomena of synesthesia, when one sensory response induces a sensation in another. The product of Olya Korsun, Anya Oderyakova and Poon Sap’s creative thinking, the team intend to both entertain and educate visitors to the website. We speak to Fashion Director, Anya Oderyakova, and Art Director, Olya Korsun, about the initiation of the project and how to match colours with sounds. 

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Aesthetica Art Prize Announces £5,000 for the Main Prize Winner

The Aesthetica Art Prize is a celebration of excellence in art from across the world and offers artists the opportunity to showcase their work to wider audiences and further their involvement in the international art world. This year the Main Prize winner, as chosen by an impressive panel of judges including curators, artists and the Editor of Aesthetica Magazine, Cherie Federico, will be awarded £5,000 prize money courtesy of Hiscox – presenting career-boosting opportunities for the artist.

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Final Week to Visit the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition

This spring and summer, the Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition presents eight shortlisted artists contributing outstanding works to contemporary art and will continue to run until 22 June showcasing artistic talent from around the world in a ground-breaking group show.

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Tunday Akintan: The Yorubeat Innovator

There are those that argue that talent is not innate. Rather, it is the ironclad will to keep on practicing in the face of impossibilities. Then there are others who garner talent by being born talent adjacent. Tunday Akintan is one such musician who is lucky in both ways.

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Cast Your Vote in the Aesthetica Art Prize People’s Choice Award

Aesthetica is inviting visitors to cast their vote for the Aesthetica Art Prize People’s Choice Award. The exhibition, housed at York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space, runs until 22 June and presents the work of eight shortlisted artists. Following on from the official announcement of the winners of the Main Prize and Student Prize Awards, Sybille Neumeyer and Harriet Lewars respectively, Aesthetica is giving audiences the opportunity to choose their winner. Additionally, voters are entered into the Free Prize Draw with a chance of winning an exclusive evening in York, including a meal for two at Le Cochon Aveugle, cinema tickets for Reel and champagne cocktails at 1331.

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Tallulah Rendall: The Banshee And The Moon, Rebecca Hossack Gallery

Tallulah Rendall is not a woman for half-measures. Having shed her six-piece band, the prolific songstress stands feet astride, juggling acrobatic vocals, loop pedals and guitars in a tumult of folk fury that defies her “female singer-songwriter” label to stride into unchartered terrain. Over two years in the making, Rendall’s ambitious third album The Banshee And The Moon seeks to open a dialogue between art, poetry and music. Her expectant audience huddles in the Rebecca Hossack Gallery, lined with the wistful black-and-white portraits Rendall commissioned to accompany each track, and in the corner lies a stack of hardback books brimming with the project’s poetry and artwork.

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Serpentine Park Nights 2014. Serpentine Pavilion, Kensington Gardens

Throughout the summer and autumn, the Serpentine Galleries will once again present Park Nights, an annual series of live art events, incorporating poetry, music, film, literature and performance. It takes place on selected Friday evenings in the Serpentine Pavilion 2014, which has been designed by architect Smiljan Radic.

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Theatrical and Visual Arts Experiences at Summerhall, Edinburgh Art Festival 2014

Rapidly becoming not only a central part of the Edinburgh Festival’s programme but a vital creative hub for the city’s all-year-round cultural scene, Summerhall unveils its strongest line-up to date as international audiences prepare to descend on the Scottish capital for the 2014 Festival.

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Aesthetica Art Prize: Call for Entries

The Aesthetica Art Prize, which is now open for entries, is an annual award given by the international art and culture publication Aesthetica Magazine, distinguished by its dynamic content, merging compelling critical debate and stunning images, to engage with all aspects of visual art and culture. The Aesthetica Art Prize celebrates excellence in art from across the world and offers both budding artists and established practitioners the opportunity to showcase their work to wider audiences and further their involvement in the international art world.

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Aesthetica Issue 59 June/July Out Now

Aesthetica Issue 59 is now available to purchase online and in stores internationally. The new edition explores the idea of the unexpected and the notion that what actually happens is different from what was originally planned. Inside this issue, we start with Barbara Kruger’s new major site-specific installation at Modern Art Oxford, alongside her iconic 1980s paste-ups that continue to critique our consumerist culture.

10 Degree Shows To See

Degree Show season is upon us once more and art students up and down the UK are in the process of preparing their final projects for examination. The concluding exhibitions offer a public audience an insight into the brightest new talents at work in the art industry. From Edinburgh to Plymouth, London to Norwich, Aesthetica takes a look at the best emerging artists.

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Clifford Owens, Better the Rebel You Know, Cornerhouse, Manchester

This summer Cornerhouse in Manchester will host the first major European show by American conceptual artist Clifford Owens, across all three of its galleries. Owens’ work explores the intersection of photography, video, text and performance. His practice seeks to challenge the boundaries of performance, and the possibilities of interaction between artist and audience.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Talks: Cherie Federico, Editor of Aesthetica Magazine

Cherie Federico is the Editor of Aesthetica Magazine, and judge for the Aesthetica Art Prize. She will be leading the fourth talk in the series held at York St Mary’s as part of the Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition – a dynamic and innovative display of outstanding contemporary art from around the world, running until 22 June.

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GENERATION: Toby Paterson Exhibition, Kirkcaldy Galleries

GENERATION is an ongoing nationwide series of exhibitions celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland. Toby Paterson’s show, organised by FCA&C with the Scottish Touring Exhibitions Consortium, is one of the first exhibitions to have opened as part of the project, which sees over 100 artists exhibiting works in more than 60 venues across Scotland throughout 2014.

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The Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition Continues for One More Month

Today there is one month left to visit the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition at York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space. Featuring eight artists working in media from photography to film and painting to installation, the show represents the breadth and quality of work being produced today in the UK and internationally. The finalists hail from New Zealand, Chile, Germany, Italy and Britain; and the works of a further 92 international artists is displayed on monitors with the gallery. To celebrate this landmark exhibition in contemporary international art, we highlight works within the Video, Installation and Performance category, which can all be viewed here via YouTube and Vimeo.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Talks: James Boaden, Lecturer in History of Art at the University of York

The third in the series of free lunchtime talks taking place as part of the Aesthetica Art Prize is led by University of York Lecturer and Art Historian, James Boaden. From 12.30pm to approximately 1pm on Wednesday 21 May, join Boaden at York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space, as he talks about the evolution of artists’ film, drawing upon the works in the exhibition.

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Hanna Tuulikki: Away with the Birds

Hanna Tuulikki’s Away with the Birds (Air falbh leis na h-eòin) is a performance piece exploring the mimesis of birds in Gaelic song. The performance is an ambitious site-specific project on the Isle of Canna and is an outdoor staging of Tuulikki’s score, fragmenting and re-weaving extracts of Gaelic songs into a soundscape that grows out of the landscape.

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Bang on a Can Plays Art, MASS MoCA, North Adams, USA

Bang on a Can Plays Art is the culmination of the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA. The festival takes places in the beautiful mountains of Western Massachusetts and is dedicated entirely to the creation, study, and performance of adventurous contemporary music. Featuring three weeks of intensive public performances, recitals and lectures, the final week is a brand-new extravaganza drawing inspiration from the visual art on exhibit in the galleries at MASS MoCA.

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Turner Prize 2014 Shortlist Announced

The four artists nominated for the Turner Prize 2014 have now been announced. Those shortlisted for the award are: Duncan Campbell, Ciara Phillips, James Richards and Tris Vonna-Michell. Founded in 1984, this year marks the 30th year of the Turner Prize. The competition was launched to promote discussion of new developments in contemporary British art. The variety of media used by the four shortlisted artists this year reflects the diversity of work being made in the UK today, often exhibited globally, from film and video to performance, collaborative working and installation. The art within the shortlist  includes work that manipulates and appropriates found film footage and online imagery, reflecting the impact of the internet, cinema, TV and mobile technologies 

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Aesthetica Art Prize Reviewed In The Northern Echo

The Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition is on show at York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space until 22 June, presenting the works of eight shortlisted artists spanning media from painting and photography to installation and performance. Winning artist Sybille Neumeyer talks to Steve Pratt from The Northern Echo about her light installation, which was inspired by her desire to save the world’s bees. Read Pratt’s full interview here.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Longlisted Artist Kathy Hinde

Piano Migrations by Kathy Hinde features in the Aesthetica Art Prize longlist of 100 artists from around the world. Her work, part of the Video, Installation & Performance category, unites the two practices of visual art and music composing.

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Angus McBean at Glyndebourne 2014

Glyndebourne Festival returns for its 80th year and to celebrate the momentous anniversary the opera house will be exhibiting rare images of Glyndebourne in the 1940s and 1950s from surrealist photographer Angus McBean.Visual art and sculpture have always played an important role at Glyndebourne, which runs between 17 May and 24 August in the stunning Sussex Downs.

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NOISE Festival Open for Entries

NOISE Festival is now open for entries. The award-winning national arts charity has announced an outstanding line up of Curators to handpick online entries for the 2014 event, including fashion designer Giles Deacon, games legend Ian Livingstone CBE (Tomb Raider), architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw (Eden Project), pioneering musician Brian Eno, acclaimed cartoonist Gerald Scarfe CBE (Pink Floyd’s The Wall), cult horror film writer Clive Barker, photographer Elaine Constantine, and arts broadcaster Tim Marlow (White Cube Gallery) and more.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition Talks: Artist and Finalist Deb Covell

Join leading contemporary artist and Aesthetica Art Prize finalist Deb Covell at the first in a series of talks that will discuss and debate developments in the art world. Starting on 23 April, the talks run on Wednesdays from 12.30 – 1pm at York St Mary’s and are open to the public and free to attend.

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The Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s

Taking place in Belfast 16 October to 1 November, this 17 day festival will see a high number of international premieres taking place in Northern Ireland for the first time. The Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s is Ireland’s biggest festival seeing over 60, 000 people attend from all over the world. Running for over 50 years this mix of music, dance, drama, poetry, literature, comedy and visual arts has attracted some of the most famous names in the arts including Laurence Olivier and Jimi Hendrix.

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Interview with Samaris

Samaris combine glacial electronica and bold, percussive beats with haunting lyrics from 19th century Icelandic poems. The Icelandic trio, made up of Þórður Kári Steinþórsson (aka Doddi), Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir and Jófríður Ákadóttir mix computerised sounds with clarinet and sweet vocals. Their new album, Silkidrangar, is released on One Little Indian on 5 May and reviewed in the current issue of Aesthetica. Jófrður speaks to us about the band’s influences and their future plans.

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Vijay Iyer: Mutations, Haus der Kunst, Munich

In the booklet of his new album, Mutations, Vijay Iyer states: “our intent, as players and observers, is to place ourselves fully in the moment with sound.” This desire was perfectly executed at the European Premiere of the record at Haus der Kunst, Munich, on 29 March. With his hands firmly attached to the piano, his head thrown back and his eyes shut, Iyer was lost in the midst of his creation; and so was the audience. The pianist-composer’s album is both captivating and mind-blowing, combing so many detailed fragments it is sometimes hard to comprehend how they slot together so perfectly.

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Winners of the Aesthetica Art Prize Announced

German artist Sybille Neumeyer was announced as the winner of the Main Prize for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2014 at the exhibition preview last night. Her stunning light installation Song for the Last Queen (2013) is comprised of 7,614 bees – one eighth of the colony – that were collected from a naturally collapsed bee hive and placed as a rhythm of black spots in honey creating a silent score.

Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition Shortlisted Artists

The Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition opens this week on 3 April at York St Mary’s, York. Celebrating innovative and outstanding artworks, the display features shortlisted pieces from artists in the following categories: Photographic and Digital Art; Three Dimensional Design and Sculpture; Painting and Drawing, and Video, Installation and Performance. The presentation highlights artistic talent from locations including Germany, New Zealand, Italy, Chile and the UK. We take a closer look at the eight selected individuals.

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Aesthetica Issue 58 April/May Out Now

Aesthetica Issue 58 April/May is now available online and in stores. We are at a particularly good time for artistic output. It’s not a coincidence that this reflects the extraordinary things that are happening in the world. The first 14 years of this millennium have progressed so exponentially, it’s simply staggering. It’s a moment of reflection, but also one of anticipation; the artists of today are helping us to make sense of it all.

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5 To See This Weekend

This weekend offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy the best of contemporary art. The Biennale of Sydney and Art Paris Art Fair bring together fascinating and varied selections, while exhibitions at the Camden Arts Centre, Timothy Taylor Gallery and Ffotogallery showcase the impressive work of individual artists. The photography of Paul Reas and paintings of Alex Katz use bold colour to create striking images of their societies, while the delicate beauty of SIlke Otto-Knapp’s art creates a dreamy state inspired by dance and performance. Here is our selection of this weekend’s best exhibitions.

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Interview with Video Artist Clara Aparicio Yoldi, Longlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize

The Aesthetica Art Prize 2014 opens its new ground-breaking exhibition this spring, showcasing the very best of emerging talent in contemporary art internationally. Managed by Aesthetica Magazine in partnership with York Museums Trust, the exhibition will take place from 4 April to 22 June at York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space.

Review of Yoko Ono: Half-a-Wind Show, Guggenheim Bilbao

Described by John Lennon as the world’s most famous unknown artist, Yoko Ono has spent a lifetime living in the shadow of her famous marriage and her revered late husband. Half-A-Wind Show, an epic retrospective visiting the Guggenheim Bilbao, is the chance to allow her the recognition she deserves…

Interview with Woman’s Hour Vocalist Fiona Burgess

Woman’s Hour are a four piece band based in London and formed in 2011. The band consists of siblings Fiona Jane (vocals) and William (guitar), along with Nick (bass) and Josh (keyboards). Their latest single Her Ghost is out now via Secretly Canadian. Their unique sound is enhanced by their interest in visuals and they have worked regularly with artistic duo Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, allowing them to collaborate on videos and artwork. We speak to vocalist Fiona Burgess about August Sander and the band’s search for inspiration.

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Interview with Gabby Young and Other Animals

One Foot in Front of the Other is the latest album to be released by Gabby Young and Other Animals, and will be available from 28 April. One Foot In Front of the Other covers the musical styles fans will be accustomed to and, as with the previous two albums, continues to defy labels, effortlessly moving between moments of jazz, opera, folk and cabaret. We speak with Gabby Young about her recent projects, aspirations and future plans.

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… all silent but for the buzzing … Royal College of Art

This new exhibition, featuring graduating RCA Contemporary Art Students, explores the indistinct spaces that reside between chatter and silence. Open 6 until 23 March at the Royal College of Art galleries, it features the likes of John Cage, Alexandrina Hemsley and Lina Lapelytė.

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Interview with ECM Artist Tord Gustavsen

Tord Gustavsen has recorded his sixth album for ECM and is due to go on tour across the USA, UK and Europe this spring and summer. The Norwegian pianist is joined once more by his quartet for Extended Circle, made up of Tore Brunborg on tenor saxophone, Mats Eilertsen on double bass and Jarle Vespestad on drums. The group’s interactions draw strength from restraint, patiently building the music toward its climaxes. Aesthetica speaks to Gustavsen about his approach to music making and his quartet.