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What we’ve seen, June 2013

  • Date: 10 July 2013
  • Area: London

Each month we see as much as possible of the work produced by the hundreds of artists, organisations and projects we fund across the capital - as well as take part ourselves too. This month our staff have picked their highlights.

SNAP 2013

SNAP 2013 is in its third year running alongside the Aldeburgh Music Festival at Snape Maltings on the Suffolk coast. This year celebrated the centenary of Benjamin Britten's birth and life by presenting specially commissioned work by leading international artists including Ryan Gander, Maggi Hambling and Sarah Lucas.

This unique exhibition, offered an opportunity to see site specific art outside a gallery setting and this year's show incorporated performance, painting, print, installation, sculpture and sound.

Highlights included a moving installation by painter Maggi Hambling recalling the sensation of hearing Britten's War Requiem for the first time and Roger Eno's sound installation where you answer the ringing phone in Snape's only red phone box and hear specially recorded BT answerphone messages redirecting to archival sound recordings of Britten speaking.
Julia Royse, Relationship Manager, Visual Arts

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

This year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by Sou Fujimoto, responds very much to the environment around it. Fujimoto’s interest in exploring the relationship we have with our built environment is evident in this playful and organic structure.

When there are crowds weaving in and out and sitting in it, it reminded me of a climbing frame and once the people have dispersed it takes on an ephemeral quality where light bounces off the white structure making it seem as if a cloud has landed in the park. Simple at first glance, it is a playful and interactive pavilion and worth a visit!
Hannah Cross, Assistant, Visual Arts London

The Night Alive at the Donmar

This new play written and directed by Conor Mcpherson follows hot on the heels of the revival of The Weir, both presented by the Donmar Warehouse. It’s a dark, deep and subtle show, telling the story of Tommy and the people who come into his life as he bumbles through life in Dublin.
It has to be said that the show takes some time to warm up, but when it does, it’s a wonderful piece that will bring out the empathetic side to even the most hard hearted. If that does not work for you, there is a Marvin Gaye dance sequence bang in the middle. Promise!
For me the set told me too much and the ending could have come a scene earlier but the end is worth it. For all the time we spend worrying about death, we are reminded that death comes when it is ready. This is a short run of five weeks, catch it if you can.
Deborah Williams, Relationship Manager, Theatre, London