When the Olympics start in the latter half of July, London will have already become a hub of activity, bustling with people from all over the world, indulging in several kinds of activities. A culturally rich city, London is preparing itself to play the perfect host of the Olympic Games 2012, with a host of events planned by several organisations, to provide you with a variety of options to pick from, while deciding what to do on days when you're not watching any of the competitions. Be it art, theatre, music, dance or fashion, you will have so much to witness, experience, learn and enjoy. Stephen Fry, the English actor, filmmaker, comedian and writer, stated, ìThe London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be an astonishing event, and it's only right that we use the opportunity to showcase our world leading arts and culture when the eyes of the world are on us.
Gold, Silver and Bronze
If you're a true fan of the Olympics, you must visit the exhibition of the medals for the London 2012 games. Mine to Medals, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Medals exhibition, which has been open since February at the British Museum, will go on till September 9. Besides getting an up-close view of the medals that will become symbols of breaking records over the duration of the games, you can get an entire background into the creation of these prizes. The exhibition tells the story of the production of the metal pieces, from the mining of the metal through the creation of the designs to production by the Royal Mint.
In addition to that, you can get a glimpse of the historical significance that the medals have. A context for the medals is provided by 19th- and 20th-century objects highlighting the longstanding links between Britain and the Olympic and Paralympic Movements. The Olympian Games of Much Wenlock, Shropshire, greatly inspired the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin, and the Paralympic Games are derived from the games held in 1948 at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire, for people injured in World War II. The London 2012 Olympic Games medal design is by renowned jeweller David Watkins, and they have been created by Lin Cheung, a jeweller and practising artist.
A Modern Art Compilation
The works of contemporary English artist Damien Hirst are currently on display at Tate Modern gallery in London. The exhibition, the first ever substantial survey of his work, will remain open until September 9. If you're in London for the Olympics, you should find some time to discover the journey of one of the most prominent artists to have emerged onto the art scene since 1990. The exhibition will trace the 25 years of Hirst's inventive practice. The exhibition will showcase more than 70 works of art, including sculptures like his famous The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, in which he suspended a shark in formaldehyde, as well as the Mother and Child Divided, a four-part sculpture of a bisected cow and calf. His paintings on display are from throughout his career, from his spot, spin, butterfly and fly series.
Fashion Meets Art
A selected set of renowned fashion designers and leading visual artists are going to come together to create special works of art that will celebrate the London 2012 games. Called Britain Creates 2012: Fashion + Art Collusion, this initiative will see one artist and one designer pairing up to create collaborative pieces of work. These works of art will be showcased to audiences virtually as well as physically, between July 6 and July 29 at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Mayor of London calls this initiative 'a part of a summer like no other'. One filled with once in a lifetime events, pop-up performances, magical trails and free family fun across London. A few of the pairs are Hussein Chalayan and Gavin Turk; Jonathan Saunders and Jess Flood Paddock; Paul Smith and Charming Baker; Stephen Jones and Cerith Wyn Evans and Matthew Williamson and Mat Collishaw. The work they create will bring to life the Olympic and Paralympic Values and will salute the long-standing connection between fashion and the visual arts.
The Arts Unite
At an event titled Metamorphosis: Titian 2012, the various forms of art will unite to interpret, be inspired and create works of art. Contemporary artists like choreographers, composers, poets and visual artists will come together between July 11 and September 21, to respond to paintings by Renaissance master Titian, and will produce works of art inspired by the canvases. The products of the inspiration can be seen at the National Gallery and at the Royal Opera House. This interesting collaboration of music, dance, poetry and art will see three masterpieces by Titian that are in the United Kingdom, namely Diana and Actaeon, The Death of Actaeon and Diana and Callisto. Inspired by scenes from Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid, the paintings will be displayed together at the National Gallery. At the Royal Opera House, seven choreographers will join forces with the Royal Ballet to create performances of three new works in response to the paintings, with original music commissioned from leading British composers. On July 16, the ballet performance will also be screened live in Trafalgar Square and across the UK.
An absolute must, while you're in Britain for the Olympics is to watch a Shakespeare play. And the stage is set for the World Shakespeare Festival 2012, which began on April 23, the birthday of the world;s most well-known and beloved playwright William Shakespeare. To go on until September, this festival will showcase several of Shakespeare's works, even interpreted in several different forms, with certain titles also being given a spin like, Romeo And Juliet in Baghdad, etc. Produced by the Royal Shakespeare company, the festival will showcase Shakespeare's iconic works like Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing and King Lear, at venues such as The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Newcastle Theatre Royal, the Swan Theatre, the Roundhouse and the Olivier.
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