Our pick of this week’s art events: 17 – 23 June

Published 17 June 2016

From ink drawings that look at the destruction of Syrian relics to a multimedia celebration of fabric and textiles, we guide you through the best of this week’s art events and exhibitions.

  • Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design

    Victoria and Albert Museum, 18 June – 6 November
    Imagine. A Sydney skyline without the Opera House. Paris without the Pompidou Centre. It is thanks to the work of philosopher-engineer, Ove Arup, founder of design engineering firm, Arup, that we are able to enjoy these cultural icons. Victoria and Albert Museum is celebrating Arup’s achievements in an extensive new exhibition featuring more than 150 previously unseen drawings, films, photographs, prototypes, models and archival material. Particularly topical – given the project’s imminent completion – is the photograph of Crossrail’s boring machine, lovingly named Jessica, which we see breaking through into Stepney Green cavern. But it wasn’t all serious business for Arup – his firm’s spoof Christmas Party pamphlet from 1963, Private Ove, proves they also knew how to have fun!

  • , ‘Private Ove’ Ove Arup and Partners Christmas Party Pamphlet

    ‘Private Ove’ Ove Arup and Partners Christmas Party Pamphlet, 1963.

    Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design, supported by Volkswagen Group, with additional support from Tideway, from 18 June – 6 November 2016 at the V&A vam.ac.uk/EngineeringSeason.

    © Private Collection.

  • Duro Olowu: Making & Unmaking

    Camden Arts Centre, 19 June – 18 September
    The way we dress can speak volumes about us; we style ourselves to convey a message to the world. Fashion designer Duro Olowu is interested in looking beyond this carefully formulated exterior towards the ‘overlooked’ and ‘disregarded’. Olowu has guest-curated Making & Unmaking at the Camden Arts Centre, choosing works that explore beauty, gender, sexuality, innocence and the body through a range of mediums, from sculpture to collage. Known for his brightly coloured and patterned fabrics, the designer has focused on works that feature textiles in some form. A highlight is Sheila Hicks’ Cordes Sauvages / Hidden Blue (2014), resembling a mass of thick, coloured hair braids that appear to be growing out of the gallery wall.

  • Sheila Hicks, Cordes Sauvages / Hidden Blue

    Sheila Hicks, Cordes Sauvages / Hidden Blue, 2014.

    Courtesy of Lady Alison Deighton Collection and Alison Jacques Gallery.

  • Loewe Craft Prize

    Loewe Prize, submissions close 7 November
    Spanish fashion house Loewe is synonymous with luxury, but at its heart sits an appreciation of craft. The launch of the Loewe Craft Prize is a tribute to the brand’s artisanal roots. Creative director Jonathan Anderson was inspired to create the annual prize after meeting Japanese ceramicist Tomoo Hamada, who was trained by, and works alongside, his father and grandfather. Seeing knowledge passed down through the generations made Anderson realise that craftsmanship all too rarely gets the recognition it deserves. The prize invites craftspeople around the world to submit works fashioned by hand. An exhibition of the winning and shortlisted work will be exhibited in Loewe’s Madrid store in May next year.

  • , LOEWE craft prize
  • The Town Moor – Portrait in Sound

    The Gallery, Tyneside Cinema, 21 June – 24 July
    Keys jingle, a bolt is pulled back, a door slams, footsteps plod. We’re in the Victoria Tunnel in Newcastle. Sound artist Chris Watson has spent the past year documenting the various sounds in the area to create an aural picture of the Town Moor, an enormous grazing common located in the centre of the city. The 40-minute-long sonic work will be broadcast around the gallery space to create a fully immersive experience that will have visitors appreciating familiar sounds like the blackbirds’ dawn chorus, as well as discovering the less known clicking of the pipistrelle bats as they hunt their prey.

  • Chris Watson, Dawn Tree Copse

    Chris Watson, Dawn Tree Copse.

    Photo credit: Courtesy BBC Newcastle/ Kaleel Zibe and Jacky Longstaff.

  • Razed: Syrian Ruins

    gallery@oxo, 23 June - 3 July
    As news of ISIS’ deliberate destruction of Palmyra spread last year, the Western world responded with outrage. In his new exhibition, Razed: Syrian Ruins, artist Arthur Laidlaw asks why there was such a strong reaction to this news, when the violence of the Assad regime had been largely ignored by the Western world. In his first solo exhibition since 2009, Laidlaw presents a series of monochrome ink drawings based on photographs taken in Syria. We see the dome of Damascus’ Umayyad Mosque and the soaring columns of Apamea, but they have a weathered, worn appearance; they are not sharply outlined but appear hazy, like a memory.

    Proceeds from the sale of artworks and catalogues will go to The White Helmets, a charity supporting Syrian civilian volunteers

  • Arthur Laidlaw, Apamea

    Arthur Laidlaw, Apamea.

    Laser toner, acrylic primer, masking tape, and etching ink on planning paper. 60 x 84 cm.

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