@MarDixon Passionate about culture. Champion for the next generation of Cultural visitors. Defender of Libraries. Digital, Wearable Tech Enthusiast. Sharing knowledge. Troublemaker and/or advocate, depending on what you need.
  • scissors
    May 31st, 2017mardixonCulture

    Today we attended the Canaletto & the Art of Venice at Queen’s Gallery. Rachel has provided this guest blog – hope you enjoy!

    Canaletto, a unique artist, captures the beauty of Italian architecture and city scenes from the 18th Century, which we are able to still enjoy and recognise today.

    This morning, Lucy Whitaker, Senior Curator of Paintings at the Royal Collection Trust of the Queens Gallery (part of Buckingham palace) gave a tour of the Canaletto exhibition.

    She informs us that while 18th century’s Venice was no longer the political powerhouse  it used to be after Napoleon invaded, the City of Venice was still in its last great century of glory. This exhibition celebrates Venice at that time and the artist Canaletto forms our idea of Venice as we see it through his eyes.

    Whitaker explains that Canaletto might not have been so successful without the support of Joseph Smith, a British merchant and art collector and dealer who lived in Venice and became an avid collector of his work.

    Because of Smith, Canaletto’s work travelled across Europe and was especially popular with the British aristocracy who were particularly drawn to the city of carnivals, music and costumes.

    As we enter the exhibit, we are greeted with two great paintings of a Regatta on the Grand Canal on Ascension day in Venice. The paintings reveal the grandeur of the Regatta, as gondolas float under the Rialto Bridge.  This day was a great festival, to which many British hurried across Europe to see. A ring would be thrown into the sea from a gilded barge, a symbolism of Venice’s maritime power at that time.

    Because Joseph Smith was close to Canaletto and was his biggest supporter, he commissioned a series of six drawings of Venice in 1723. Smiths collection in the end contained 200 pieces of Canaletto’s work when Smith finally sold his collection for £20,000 to George III.

    Now the pictures are at the Royal Collection gallery infrared images have been done to see the meticulous drawings Canaletto made underneath in the process of producing his paintings.

    The gallery has made the exhibit so it seems as if you are moving through personal Palazzo of Smith. He had earned his fortune from trade and lived in Palazzo Balbi, near the Rialto, which Canaletto later included in one of his Venice paintings. Later in the exhibit there are also paintings of Rome that Canaletto completed from some sketches and his memory, while living in England many years later.

    Unlike British tourists,  Venetians didn’t buy the work of Canaletto as they didn’t like the typical views and city sights that he often depicted. In this time paintings of history and mythology were the most prestigious paintings.

    This exhibition shows however characteristics that link Canaletto with the other artists of his time by revealing his amazing knowledge of oil painting techniques.

    Alongside Canaletto’s stunning works is art work by the female artist Rosalba Carriera. It was unusual to have successful female artists at that time but she was also supported by Smith in the 1720’s. She started by painting Snuff boxes and then moved onto art pastels drawn in chalk, which became very popular. A good luck token, very common in the 18th-century, has been found hidden inside Rosalba Carriera’s pastel A Personification of Winter by Royal Collection Trust’s conservators.

    This is for me, the most beautiful of her paintings at the exhibit and I was drawn to it before knowing it was where she hid her good luck token. Hidden between the pastel’s wooden support and canvas liner, the token was found during conservation work.

    Instead of framing the good luck token, the Museum team decided to keep it on the frame of the Winter picture to preserve it’s good luck.

    A multimedia guide provided to all visitors is the perfect companion (2nd to a personal curator tour!) for interpreting the exhibition. A well written tour that presents interesting interviews and expert opinions, it’s another fine tour production from ATS Heritage.

    Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

    The learning room was also a source of joy with different activities available for all ages.

    The exhibition is on from Friday, 19 May 2017  until Sunday, 12 Nov 2017.

    Rachel Rigby is a freelance travel and events journalist who is always looking for her next adventure. For more information contact her on rachelrigby@hotmail.com.

     

    Tags: , , , ,
  • scissors
    January 25th, 2017mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    This is a guest post from Fabio Viola.  

    Sometimes dreams come true. For a guy grew up in the ’80s with a game pad in his hands and history in his mind, the co-presence in the same space of astonishing Farnese’s collection statues and displays showing a videogame has been a “connecting the dots” moment.

    Yesterday the Archeological Museum of Naples showcased “Father and Son”, a coming soon videogame that set a first time, in Italy and worldwide, of a museum acting as a pure game publisher.  Since the’90s, cultural institutions has experienced videogames mainly as an educational platform with the aim to spread the message among a young audience (k6 target).  With Videogames entered in the adulthood and videogamers almost equally split among men and women  aged 35 years old, I strongly believe it is the right time to connect this young art form with the “established” cultural forms creating an intangible thread between on-site and online experience. A useful tool to bring the museum outside the museum and shift from the “traditional “storytelling to what I call storydoing.

    “This game helps us to achieve one of the museum’s new Strategic Plan objectives activating a new way to connect with the audiences. From anywhere around the world, you can interact with our Institute and the city of Naples. We want to be perceived in the world as an innovative hub, a place where the cultural vision is pursued without barriers”, says museum’s director Paolo Giulierini

    Father and Son is a 2D side scrolling narrative game that explores the feelings of love, dreams, fear and the passing of time through the story of an archaeologist and the son he never knew. Throughout the game, the main character crosses the lives of people from different historical eras: Ancient Rome, Egypt and Bourbon Naples. What begins as a personal experience, becomes a universal and timeless story where the present and the past are a set of meaningful choices. Players will assume the role of Michael: after receiving a letter from his archaeologist father he never knew, the protagonist goes to MANN to find out more. From here a journey through the ages begins, from ancient Rome to Egypt, passing through the Bourbon age and coming up to the Naples of today. The player will thus be able to explore the streets of Naples, along the halls of the museum and interact with the stories through the ages.

    Ludovico Solima, associate professor of Management of Cultural Organizations, Second University of Naples: 

    “With ‘Father and Son’ the museum aims to reach and engage new worldwide audiences in an unexplored way.  We’ll evaluate carefully the qualitative and quantitative results of this first time approach to the gaming”.

    In Father and Son, each player’s choice will affect the story and lead to different endings. Michael will interact with different characters and will have to make important decisions that can influence the entire narrative. The aim is to fill in gaps not only about his father’s life, but also the characters he meets along the way. And only at the end, will Michael be able to rediscover himself, thanks to meetings with characters from the past and present.

    All this would not be possibile without TuoMuseo, a no profit organization active in the intersection between cultural heritage and videogames/gamification made up of a team with years of experience in the industry: Fabio Viola (Electronic Arts Mobile, Vivendi Games Mobile,), Sean Wenham (Ubisoft, Sony), Alessandro Salvati, Arkadiusz Reikowski, Salvatore Savino, Vitalba Morelli, Massimiliano Elia, Fabio Sarracino.


    The free game will be downloadable on mobile devices, via App Store and Google Play, with furthers platform under evaluation during the 2017.

    Thanks again Mar Dixon for your hospitality and for your vision of a museum as a “wonderful playground”.

    Follow the game on the official website or feel free to reach us out on Facebook or Twitter or info[at]tuomuseo.it.

    Tags: , , , , ,
  • scissors
    May 8th, 2016mardixonHealth, Personal, Tech

    Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 09.19.40A very good friend wrote this piece and with permission I’m sharing here as find it’s importance critical.

    Dom Cushnan is part of the Open Community Lab/MuseomixUK community.  He gets how collaboration between sectors breathes creativity and real changes.  He gets that private sectors have a role in these changes also – sometimes through action and other times through lessons.

    Our community (OCL_Community) is currently planning a remix at an NHS hospital for this summer.  Let us know if you’re interested! 

    Read this and let me (and Dom!) know your thoughts:

    Uberisation of health services

     

    The abundance of ever-cheaper, more powerful technology allows small teams with the right approach to accomplish feats previously only achieved within the province of governments and major companies — and to do so faster and more effectively than their bigger competitors.” Nabyl Charania (@nabylc)

    There are times in every industry when processes become stagnant even oppressive and if this is not addressed then current attempts at change no longer have the desired effect.

    Uber is a prime example of disrupting an industry. By leveraging the abundance of available drivers and the power of algorithmic pricing software, the low-cost vehicle service is replacing traditional taxi fleets, with their endless costs and liabilities. And Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is doubling down on the “urban logistics fabric” that Uber is spinning across the globe, hinting at disrupting logistics across all industries, and launching food delivery pilot programs in Chicago and New York City

    But exponential companies aren’t simply more competitive. They’re also, in many cases, the only types of organisations set up for long-term survival.

    In today’s world, as products and services are becoming more and commoditised and software is eating the world, entire industries are being disrupted by organisations that are growing at exponential rates. Software algorithms are controlling the on-demand needs of its users.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , , , , , ,
  • scissors
    August 24th, 2014mardixonCulture, International

    Andrew MandinachBy Andrew Mandinach

    I grew up in a museum. As long as I can remember, I spent every summer in a summer camp at the Palm Springs Art Museum. In middle school I joined their teen afterschool program, and I even went on to become a camp counselor one summer in high school. At that time, it was the Desert Museum and they had a fantastic summer camp that focused on science, theater, and art. Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , ,
  • scissors
    June 12th, 2014mardixonCulture

    Background:  After the launch of the Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport  Sajid Javid, recent report, a few of us had a … healthy discussion on Twitter.  Whilst I love Twitter, sometimes the 140 characters really limit a good debate, hence this Guest Blog.  What are your thoughts? 

    Diversifying cultural audiences

    The nature of adversarial politics has changed dramatically over the past twenty years. Where once parties argued into the night over positions that were ideologically opposed, we now seem to operate in a consensus where the argument is just who is better able to fix the problem. It’s like we all secretly agreed a narrative overnight, and now there is just accepted wisdom on the environment, on the economy, on health, on welfare, and even on culture.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , , , ,
  • scissors
    February 28th, 2014mardixonInternational, Tech
    How to go outside with this strange looking glass, on top of my prescription glasses? How to answer people’s questions? How to do it? Can I really chat with people wearing this? How to go outside with this Glass?

    hedphonThat’s really a question I started to battle with in the end of December 2013, when I received my Google Glasses, in London (UK)!

    Of course, I could have been thinking about health implications of the device, or the actual safety of going outside with a $1500 gadget but my main worry was this one.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , , ,
  • scissors
    August 6th, 2013mardixonCulture

    ironbridgeYAC 2Guest blog by Vivian Culshaw

    Saturday, 27th of July was a stepping stone for the new YAC (Young Archaeologist Club) branch at Ironbridge, Shropshire. A Young Archaeologists Club Taster Session was organised to celebrate the Festival of British Archaeology and to introduce the new Club to children aged between 8-17.

    First of all, do we all know what YAC is? Who is YAC for? What does it represent? Well, just in case allow me to tell you a little bit more…

    yacThe Young Archaeologists’ Club is the only UK-wide club for young people up to the age of 17 interested in archaeology. YAC’s vision is for all young people to have opportunities to be inspired and excited by archaeology, and to empower them to help shape its future.

    The free YAC taster session was really all about inspiration, excitement, discovery and involvement. The activities were organised and supervised by our YAC team leaders and assistants. This is really a joyful team of professional archaeologists fond of education and involvement and, most importantly, the result of cooperation between museum staff and community archaeology volunteers.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , ,
  • scissors
    November 5th, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    Guest post from Laura Haapio-Kirk, community manager at sharypic.com, a collaborative photo sharing platform for events. Laura has an MSc in Visual Anthropology from Oxford University and is interested in museum experience.

    Photography is increasingly central to our everyday experience of the world, both as a means to mark significant moments and to document aesthetic sights (or, in some cases, to share what we’re having for dinner). However, in a museum we are often uncertain of whether photography is allowed and there is debate on the issue amongst museum professionals, with many institutions still hesitant to give full permission because uncertainty over lender’s rights (this informal survey highlights the issue nicely).

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , ,
  • scissors
    August 7th, 2012mardixonCulture

    I recently attended the Stories of the World in Arts in Parliament event which showcased the culminative work that has been worked on by young curators over the past few years as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

    To say I was impressed in a huge understatement.  The young curators showed their work with such pride – I was extremely privileged to have been invited to witness to this event.

    One young curator I saw there was Belinda Li, whom I happen to meet while I was at MuseumNext this year.  I asked her to write a guest blog to share the experience of what  it was like to take part in Cultural Olympiad.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , ,
  • scissors
    June 17th, 2012mardixonCulture

    I first heard of Art Tokens from Twitter and instantly knew I wanted to know more about them.  Was it like National Book Tokens – the great scheme that allows you to buy a ‘gift certificate’ for book lovers?

    I contacted them via Twitter and asked if they could do a Guest Blog to help enlighten myself and others on what ‘Art Tokens‘ were. Annie from  Art Token accepted the invitation and the sent the following:

    ————————————————————–

    Art Tokens are ideal for locavores who are interested in art. Art Tokens let you give an art gift where the only taste you impose is that of your desire to support the arts. You buy Art Tokens, we send them, they choose a work that suits their preferences or décor.  And as every artist has their location given, the lucky recipient of your Art Token gift can choose to go and meet an artist that lives near them and choose or commission a work.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , ,
  • « Older Entries