RA Arts Festival
at the Mayfair Art Weekend
Friday 30 June - Saturday 1 July 2017
Royal Academy of Arts
The RA hosts a special arts festival as part of the Mayfair Art Weekend, celebrating this unique arts district as a vibrant hub of creativity and craftsmanship. All activities are free and open to all ages.
Taking inspiration from Eileen Cooper’s direction for the 2017 Summer Exhibition, the RA programming will provide a platform for young up and coming artists and encourage the involvement of the public in artistic practice. Alongside the Summer Exhibition, there will be the special chance to visit the often hidden RA Schools and see the final year show.
Recent Schools alumni have been commissioned to create temporary installations and interventions for the weekend that include Oh Brother Where Art Thou 2: The Expedition Files by Adele Morse, an artist residency with Murray O’Grady in the Burlington Arcade and a site-specific work by Frank Kent and Jonathan Kipps in a little-known passage off Piccadilly.
The RA Courtyard will host creative workshops run by the Bedroom Artist Collective. On Sunday, there will be a special family activity where artists of all ages can build their own Mayfair art gallery.
Musician and comedian Harriet Braine will perform a series of her Art History Songs throughout the weekend; a lively set of comedy songs about art and design and the people who make it from Matisse, Picasso, the Bauhaus, Banksy and Damien Hirst.
Tim Marlow, Vanessa Jackson RA, Charles Saumarez Smith and Kate Goodwin host On the Beanbag, a series of informal conversations with artists, gallerists and initiatives such as ARTiculation – a forum for young people to express their ideas on art. Talks will take place throughout the day in the courtyard on large-scale beanbags made from prints by Yinka Shonibare RA.
All activities are free and open to all ages.
This event is part of Mayfair Art Weekend.
Burlington Arcade Friday 6-8pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-6pm
“There is something really visceral about the Orang-Pendek, I cried, you know...... It’s like a pin prick on a certain psychological point where you feel intense emotion” – Jeremy Holden, wildlife photographer and eyewitness.
This exhibition is the culmination of five years of research by artist Adele Morse on a creature currently unknown to science, the Orang-Pendek. It took her on an 18-day expedition to the Sumatran jungle acting as a cryptozoologist in search of DNA and scientific evidence of the species. The work brings together image, casts, models, documentary and DNA findings that make the viewer question their own idea of what it really means to be a conscious species.
Burlington Arcade Friday 6-8pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-6pm
Artist Murray O'Grady has an enthusiastic interest in the history of London and Mayfair in particular; from the mythology of Beau Brummel to the branding of Fortnum & Masons. During his residency in the Burlington Arcade, he will conduct research into the historical and contemporary culture of the place as it relates to ongoing investigations in his practice; the relationship between history and fiction, of identity and performance (particularly in relation to social class) and how these ideas relate to a fetishized idea of "Englishness" and theories of Dandyism.
In an intense period of creation, he will generate a body of work through writing, photography, digital design, print and collage. There will be the chance to review the material as it is being produced and talk to the artist as he works.
West Yard Friday 6-8pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-6pm
The West Yard is a little-known, disused Victorian passage running parallel to the Burlington Arcade. Normally out-of-bounds to the public, this space is being opened up for Mayfair Art Weekend to house a new collaborative installation by London-based artists Frank Kent and Jonathan Kipps.
The impressive wooden door that normally blocks the view of West Yard will be open, with a large velvet curtain by Kent. The curtain, visible from Piccadilly, marks the entrance to the installation and gives way to reveal a new sculptural work by Kipps and a second curtain by Kent. With a combination of low-fi plasterboard construction and column-like shapes, Kipps’s sculpture draws attention to West Yard’s contrasting surroundings and its relationship to affluent Mayfair, while Kent’s fabric works divide the space, revealing and obscuring views and providing a shifting sense of scale.
Bedroom Artists Collective – drop-in artist-led workshops
The Bedroom Artists Collective was established in response to a need to help talented unknown artists exhibit – those who create, but don’t have gallery representation or even a network to support them. Many work without a studio, or from their bedrooms.
A selection of their artists will host creative, drop-in workshops throughout the day, based around particular art techniques. Workshops include stealth drawing with Nora Emilia, silkscreen printing with Charlotte Whiston and Nerikomi workshop by Corinne Scurr, an ancient eastern pottery technique.
12-5pm Saturday and Sunday
Drop-in family workshops
On Sunday, there will be a special family activity where artists of all ages can build their own Mayfair art gallery.
Harriet Braine – comedy
Musician and comedian Harriet Braine will perform a series of her Art History Songs; a set of comedy songs about art and design and the people who make it, from Matisse and Picasso, to the Bauhaus and Damien Hirst.
Three sets, both Saturday and Sunday afternoons
Perhaps Contraption – progressive brass band
Part, choir, part chamber orchestra, part avant-rock troupe, Perhaps Contraption create a unique musical experience, melding elements of jazz, punk, art pop and post-minimalism in lively brass band promenade performances.
On the beanbag talks
A series of short informal talks taking place throughout the day in the courtyard, on large-scale beanbags made from prints by Yinka Shonibare RA
12pm: RA Artistic Director Tim Marlow in conversation with Oliver Beers
2pm: ARTiculation Prize winners
Hosted by RA Secretary and Chief Executive Charles Saumarez Smith and artist Vanessa Jackson RA.
About Mayfair Art Weekend
Mayfair Art Weekend features an extensive programme of exhibitions, events, talks and tours. Over 60 galleries, auction houses, leading fashion brands and restaurants in Mayfair and St. James’s will open their doors to the public, inviting culture seekers to explore the capital’s commercial galleries out of hours and engage with the world-class curatorial expertise on offer, through a series of special events. Find out more at www.mayfairartweekend.com
Mayfair Art Weekend features an extensive programme of exhibitions, events, talks and tours. Over 60 galleries, auction houses, leading fashion brands and restaurants in Mayfair and St. James’s will open their doors to the public, inviting culture seekers to explore the capital’s commercial galleries out of hours and engage with the world-class curatorial expertise on offer, through a series of special events.
Find out more at www.mayfairartweekend.com