20. September 2010 17:14
I'm looking forward to watching the next instalment of Climbing Great Buildings.
‘Climbing Great Buildings’ is currently showing every night for the next couple of weeks, BBC2 at 6.30pm. Dr Jonathan Foyle, architectural historian and novice climber, scales Britain's most iconic structures, from the Normans to the present day, to reveal the buildings' secrets and tell the story of how our architecture and construction has developed over 1000 years. Jonathan is shown the ropes by Britain’s top female climber, Lucy Creamer. They explore British icons like the Lloyds Building, Glasgow School of Art, St Pancras and Coventry Cathedral.
On Wednesday Jonathan scales the heights of the Mackintosh Building at the Glasgow School of Art. Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, it is one of Britain's most celebrated buildings and last year it was voted the best designed building by a British architect of the past 175 years in a poll organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
With unprecedented access, Jonathan, aided by top climber Lucy Creamer, scales the school to reveal some of the hidden secrets and influences that Mackintosh combined to create his modernist masterpiece. On his architectural treasure hunt Jonathan scales over 90 feet to reveal how Mackintosh's building is modelled on a baronial castle and he discovers how Mackintosh plays games with traditional architectural forms.
Jonathan then explores the atmospheric Library, a timeless place where nature and the industrial revolution combine to create a wondrous symphony for the senses.
The oriel window of the Library
1. September 2010 19:09
Last weekend, while taking a large group on a Mackintosh tour of Glasgow, Juliet at the Glasgow School of Art told me of an interesting design blog, ‘Upstaged by Design’ http://upstagedbydesign.wordpress.com/ The blog highlights furniture design in films and has a couple of Mackintosh related stories.
The most recent post is 'The Architects of Simplicity' about the film Inception. The film is a contemporary sci-fi action film set within the architecture of the mind and has Leonardo DiCaprio playing the lead. Inception was written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan.
The sets were inspired by a mix of Japanese architecture and Western influences. As mentioned in the blog, at the start of the film, there is a scene where the Cashiers Chair from the Willow Tea Rooms appears in The Dining Room. This is reminescent of Blade Runner where the same chair designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh appears in Deckards apartment. So not original.
The Cashiers Chair from The Willow Tea Rooms
Even the light fixtures, both in the Japanese dining room and in the main hall appear much like fixtures designed by Mackintosh for The Hill House and Windyhill.
Leonardo DiCaprio stands in the main hall of a Japanese house under Mackintosh style lighting fixtures.
Upstaged by Design is an excellent blog and definately stimulates the mind. Good Luck.
24. March 2010 06:56
Brad Pitt attended at a star-studded after-party in the Notting Hill home of supermodel Claudia Schiffer for the London debut of Kick-Ass. The film, which stars Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong and Chloe Moretz, has been helped to the screen by Jane Goldman, wife of Jonathan Ross.
Schiffer's husband, Matthew Vaughn, directed the film and Pitt, its producer, was over from Venice for the rained-out premiere.
He revealed a passion for Dizzee Rascal and all things Scottish.
Pitt, who appeared without his partner Angelina Jolie, went on to say: 'I went to Scotland and travelled around years ago. I went everywhere, saw it all. Edinburgh and Glasgow were special – the architecture is something there. Charles Rennie Mackintosh, he was the man. You talk about subculture and high culture – you've got it all there. I even went to Loch Ness to see what that was all about.'
Pitt has kept his eye on possible Scottish movie projects ever since. 'Last year Matthew and I were looking at doing some filming there. We had a look at some castles. We'll definitely be back.'
Recently Barbra Streisand also talked abour her love for the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh on the Jonathan Ross Show. It's a small world.
18. August 2009 06:30
Rick Gekoski has been commissioned by the BBC to make another series of his popular radio programme, Lost, Stolen or Shredded. The new series began on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 11 August – and every subsequent Tuesday until 8 September 2009. Don’t miss it or listen again on iplayer.
Lost, Stolen or Shredded is a series of five programmes in which antiquarian book dealer Rick Gekoski tells the stories that lie behind five very different missing works of art.
Episode 2 was broadcast today: The Lost Career of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Architect, designer and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh is internationally celebrated as one of the most significant talents of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. His creative genius and contribution to modern architecture and design is unquestioned, with his design for the Glasgow School of Art undoubtedly his masterpiece. But commissions were few and support for his work limited.
Rick examines Mackintosh's life and work and asks why he received so little support during his lifetime.
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.
22. July 2009 19:06
Last night the BBC launched a new six part drama series, Desperate Romantics. Set in and among the alleys, galleries and flesh-houses of 19th century industrial London, Desperate Romantics follows the life and love affairs of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of revolutionary artists as well-known for their intertwining love lives as for their ground-breaking paintings.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and John Millais declare their irreverent genius to the Victorian artistic establishment as frequently and as loudly as they can. Unfortunately for them, only one man seems to be listening. Fred Walters is a shy hanger-on who ingratiates himself with the Brotherhood by locating the “perfect model” – flame-haired Lizzie Siddal, a hat-shop assistant. Though none of them quite yet realise it, she is soon to be the most famous model in Britain.
The Royal Academy might turn up its collective nose, Charles Dickens may disapprove – but the influential critic John Ruskin, eventually comes on board. And suddenly the Pre-Raphaelites are hot. So what did you make of this light-hearted romp. You might say it is not accurate; but such is the contemporary feel of Bowker's script just be grateful Rossetti doesn't go home and Twitter.