Rural architecture has moved far away from the knocked-up tin shed to embrace the land and sustainability
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Australia is the ultimate canvas for architecture that boasts wide open spaces and rooms flooded with light. While urban centres play with streetscapes and how to maximise space in terrace-lined streets, bush architecture is embracing the land, and booming.
Two years into the pandemic, people around the world have been forced to reassess their way of life and the importance of the space they inhabit.Continue reading...
Jordan Nassar was born and raised in New York by his Palestinian-American father and Polish-American mother. “The fight for Palestinian equality is very important in my family,” he says. “My father, a psychiatrist, spent his life helping people there.” Nassar was a crafty child, into origami and kirigami, and then he progressed to embroidery. “It’s the most recognisable element of Palestinian culture, something I had grown up around in our house and almost all of the other Arab homes I’ve been to.”
To create the works, he collaborates with embroiderers in Palestine. “I love that my artistic process brings business to Palestine,” he says, but his beautiful vistas are very much diasporic. “The land in my works manifest the imaginations of Palestinians outside Palestine... In our dreams, there is no occupation, no anguish – our Palestine is beautiful and serene.”Continue reading...
The Nigerian photographer on an unusual encounter on the roadside in Morocco
As a professional photographer, Stephen Tayo’s usual reason to travel is for work. Since visiting Marrakech solo in 2019, however, he had been raving to friends about how much they all needed to go. Bored after a year under Covid restrictions, he eventually rallied five friends from his home town of Lagos, Nigeria, to join him on a mini road trip. The group began in Tayo’s beloved Marrakech, then decided to head to the beach to slow the pace a little.
“We hired a bus and headed for Essaouira on the coast, but stopped any time we saw something interesting. Shortly after a roadside coffee break, we saw this tree filled with goats taking shelter and resting,” Tayo says.Continue reading...
This year’s rally once again returned to Saudi Arabia where 750 competitors in 430 vehicles traversed more than 8,000km over 12 stages. The rally started and ended in Jeddah, going through canyons and cliffs in the Neom region, passing by the Red Sea coastline, into stretches of dunes surrounding the capital Riyadh.
Click here to check out images of the rally from yesteryear
From Jeddah to Riyadh and everywhere in between, this has been a visually spectacular year at the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. Fourteen days of dunes, fast straight tracks, rocky sections, and cliff backdrops. Titles have been contested and first-time entrants have been broken in. All of the contestants were hoping for glory in the vast desert landscape where mistakes are rarely forgiven, but few claimed it.
The dust settles on the world’s toughest rallying event and a variety of stories emerge from the Saudi desert. Nani Roma, the seasoned veteran who has won the Dakar on both a motorbike and in a car, showed us how far biofuels have come in recent years.
Bahrain Raid Extreme driver Nani Roma and co-driver Alex Haro Bravo drive their Prodrive Hunter T1 on Stage 7 from Riyadh to Al Dawadimi. Photograph: Marian ChytkaContinue reading...
Richly patterned wallpaper layered with portraits and antiques define this 1920s clapboard kit house in the Hudson Valley
The White House doesn’t often provide interior design inspiration – remember Melania Trump’s 2018 Christmas decorations? – but Tyler Lory and Michael Rauschenberg’s grey-painted clapboard home in New York state’s Hudson Valley reflects 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in one specific way. “As a kid I was always impressed by the rooms at the White House: the blue room, the red room, the green room,” says Lory. “I wanted our rooms to each have their own identity.”
Here, the mono effect is achieved with a different mood and richly patterned wallpaper for each room. Papers are layered with atmospheric portraits and rooms are full of antiques gathered over a lifetime.Continue reading...
A memoir by a man who has drawn caricatures for the greatest editors is a treasure trove of the American mid-century modern
At 92, Edward Sorel is the grand old man of New York magazines. For 60 years, his blistering caricatures have lit up the pages of Harper’s, the Atlantic, Esquire, Time, Rolling Stone and the Nation. He is especially revered for his work in Clay Felker’s New York in the late 60s and for work in the New Yorker under Tina Brown and David Remnick.
He has also worked for slightly less august titles, like Penthouse, Screw and Ramparts.Continue reading...
Whether it’s nostalgic screen terror or Mark Rylance’s stage return, our critics have your plans for the week covered
New year, new Scream. Back after a gap of 11 years (if you don’t count the so-so TV show), this sequel/reboot combines a nostalgia fix – in the form of re-appearances from surviving original Scream characters – with modern anxieties such as: what if Ghostface hacked into the smart home apps linked to your mobile?
An arthouse essential, Memoria follows Tilda Swinton’s Jessica Holland as she attempts to trace the source of a mysterious noise in the jungles of Colombia. Fans of Apichatpong Weerasethakul will thrill to this unique director’s typically confident and singular approach, but this is also a great starting point for those new to his work.
Director Andrea Arnold is probably better known for fiction than documentary (see: American Honey, Red Road, Fish Tank …) but her fiction always has a bracing, documentary feel. It makes sense then, that her new documentary about the life of a dairy cow has lyrical, fictive qualities.
The misfit Catalan, who has died aged 82, dedicated his life to wild postmodern buildings which formed the backdrop to The Hunger Games, and inspired the aesthetic of Monument Valley and Squid Game
A dazzling pink castle perches atop the coastal cliffs of Calpe, near Alicante in southern Spain, its pastel turrets standing like a coral outcrop above the shore. The high fortified walls hide a vertical maze of staircases and terraces within, painted in shades of baby blue, lilac and red, opening out on to the sparkling waters of hidden rooftop pools.
This candy-coloured citadel of holiday apartments is the work of Ricardo Bofill, the maverick Catalan architect who has died aged 82. He spent a lifetime conjuring otherworldly buildings, which now stand like monuments from some future-primitive sci-fi civilisation. Half a century after their construction, his fantastical creations have inspired a whole new generation, being used as futuristic film sets and influencing the aesthetic of everything from the Monument Valley video game to the cult TV show Squid Game.Continue reading...
A group of 31 men started a 10-week intensive training program to become members of the Taiwan navy’s elite amphibious reconnaissance and patrol unit. It involved sleep deprivation and intense physical training, all while soaking wet. Only 15 finishedContinue reading...
Alison Katz gets autobiographical , the V&A recovers images cut from medieval manuscripts and Emily Speed sees life in two dimensions – all in your weekly dispatch
Wang Gongxin: In-Between
Multimedia installations that explore by modern means the ancient painterly problems of light and shadow.
• White Cube Mason’s Yard, London, from 19 January to 26 February.
‘It’s like a museum,’ says princess caught in inheritance feud over one of the world’s most expensive homes
As legend goes, tossing a coin into the Trevi fountain guarantees a return visit to Rome. When, as a 16-year-old American tourist, Rita Carpenter participated in the ritual and made a wish to one day marry a Roman and live in the Italian capital, little did she know that almost five decades on she would return to marry a prince and home would be a 16th-century villa stuffed with history, including the only ceiling mural ever painted by Caravaggio.
But now Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi is facing the prospect of having to move out of the sprawling Villa Aurora, and the vast treasures it contains are at risk of being closed off to the public.Continue reading...
Max Fordham, who has died aged 88, changed the way that buildings in Britain are heated, lit, powered and ventilated more than any other engineer of his generation. Trained in the sciences, he brought a new creative and intellectual rigour to the problems of plumbing and wiring, bringing the disparate building services trades together in a single holistic approach. Tackling problems from first principles, he founded his practice on the idea of engineers embedding scientific knowledge in the art of building design, in a way that has since become ubiquitous.
He always instructed colleagues to “start with the edge of the universe as a boundary and quickly narrow down to the specific problem”. While other engineers might reach for the ventilation grille catalogue, Fordham began by asking how air should enter a room, and why. At a time when heating and lighting was usually an afterthought, he worked with architects from the very beginning of the design process, developing practical, elegant, low-energy solutions, pioneering sustainable design long before the term was coined.Continue reading...
Guardian photographer Sarah Lee describes her experience as a stills photographer on the set of the joint British-German Netflix production starring Jeremy Irons
Munich, based on the Robert Harris novel, is a German-British TV production that was filmed in Germany and subsequently in England in late 2020. I was invited to join the crew as an on-set stills photographer for the UK leg of shooting.
We started in Liverpool, which was doubling for 1930s London. The historic Liver Building, which stood in for Gotham city in the forthcoming Batman movie, made a very convincing Whitehall. The production later moved south to Amersham in Buckinghamshire where we shot in historic houses used as sets for Chequers and Downing Street.
Liverpool doubled for 1930s London – with the historic Liver Building making an impressive substitute for WhitehallContinue reading...
For the next three days, artists will perform on a 2.5 tonne block of ice suspended above Sydney harbour – an ever-shrinking stage, and a huge logistical feat
A feeling of pessimism and despair following the black summer bushfires that swept through Australia in 2019/2020 became the catalyst for one of the most unconventional and ambitious productions likely to be seen during this year’s Sydney festival.
Like most arts organisations, Sydney-based physical theatre company Legs on the Wall has spent the better part of two years in hiatus.Continue reading...
During the brief period of artistic freedom before Stalinism, these avant garde film posters were as bold and innovative as the movies they advertisedContinue reading...
After independence in 1960, the country cast off western influences and forged a new African style full of triangular forms, rocket-shaped obelisks and rammed earth. Is this spirit now being suffocated? Our writer takes a tour of the capital
Visiting the International Fair of Dakar is like taking a stroll through the ruins of some ancient Toblerone-worshipping civilisation. A cluster of triangular pavilions rises from a podium, each clad in a rich pattern of seashells and pebbles. These are reached by triangular steps that lead past triangular plant pots to momentous triangular entranceways. All around, great hangar-like sheds extend into the distance, ventilated by triangular windows and topped with serrated triangular roofs. All that’s missing is triangular honey from triangular bees.
Built on the outskirts of the Senegalese capital as a showcase for global trade in 1974, this astonishing city-sized hymn to the three-sided shape was designed by young French architects Jean Francois Lamoureux, Jean-Louis Marin and Fernand Bonamy. Their obsessive geometrical composition was an attempt to answer the call of Senegal’s first president, the poet Léopold Sédar Senghor, for a national style that he curiously termed “asymmetrical parallelism”.Continue reading...
Foster + Partners buoyed by Middle East expansion in year ending April 2021 despite global lockdowns
The architecture practice run by Sir Norman Foster almost doubled its profits as it expanded in the Middle East and gained new business despite pandemic lockdowns.
Total revenues fell by £33m to £200m in the year ending 30 April 2021, accounts for Foster + Partners, the practice’s main trading company, show. But profits before tax almost doubled to £36.2m during the year, compared with £19.8m in the previous year.Continue reading...
Artwork by Eric Gill installed in 1933 at London HQ is controversial because artist was a paedophile
A man has climbed on to the front of the BBC’s Broadcasting House headquarters and used a hammer to damage a prominent statue by Eric Gill, as another man shouted about the artist’s history of paedophilia.
Gill was one of the most prominent early 20th-century British artists and designers until his death in 1940. But his diaries, published many decades later, reveal his sexual abuse of his daughters and family dog.Continue reading...
‘The march is like our Christmas – the biggest night of the year, where women celebrate half naked and anything goes’
In San Francisco, the night before the annual Pride parade is reserved for the Dyke March, a celebration of lesbian life throughout the city. It was like our Christmas – the biggest night of the year – and half of us would be so hungover we wouldn’t make it to Pride the next day.
I remember getting a call from an editor at On Our Backs, a lesbian magazine run by women that billed itself as offering “entertainment for the adventurous lesbian”. It was a bedrock of the lesbian community – one of the few ways to communicate with one another, and to celebrate sex and educate each other about it at a time when Aids had brought so much devastation to queer communities. The editor wanted me to shoot a kiss-in, but the tone of her voice sounded almost guilty – like she couldn’t quite bring herself to ask me to work on the biggest party night of the year. But to me, it was the most fun I could imagine.Continue reading...
Exhibition to tell story of painter’s move to seaside village in north-east England in 1881
He is a superstar artist in the US, revered for powerful civil war scenes and dramatic coastal storms, but Winslow Homer is barely known in the UK. Even less well known is the importance of an English seaside village in making him the truly great painter he became.
The National Gallery will this year aim to correct that with the first in-depth exhibition of Homer’s art staged in the UK.Continue reading...
The therapist tackles the Observer readers’ personal problems every week as our agony aunt. Her tip for an amazing 2022? Get out there and find a new passion
At the beginning of lockdown, so I wouldn’t be alone all day, I went to hang out with my husband at his art studio. I started playing with clay again, something I hadn’t done much since leaving art school decades before. I was in the studio when Grayson started his Art Club with Channel 4 and thought I’d make things and chip in. Many people contacted the show to share their artwork. Often, like me, they’d not picked up a brush for a long time, or this was the first time they’d attempted art. We heard so many stories about how people benefited from making things and the confidence they gained by getting better at it, I couldn’t help but be inspired to keep pushing myself as well.
I’m pleased to report that I haven’t stopped making art since the cameras turned off and, even after lockdown eased, I’ve carried on. This summer a friend needed some abstract modern art to make her therapy centre seem a bit less clinical. How hard can it be, I thought, to get a canvas and chuck a load of paint at it? Turns out it is very hard indeed. Arranging shapes and colours so they somehow look right took me several months before I had six canvasses I thought might not be too terrible. Now the therapy centre has its canvasses, but I can’t stop. How to arrange paint and form so it looks right has become something of an obsession. You could call it a hobby if you like, but that word isn’t quite serious enough for me.Continue reading...
L’empire des lumières depicts street in Brussels thought to be near where the Belgian surrealist lived
A masterpiece by the Belgian surrealist René Magritte, described as one of the most desirable works in private hands, is expected to sell for a record-breaking £45m when it goes to auction for the first time this year.
Helena Newman, the chair of Sotheby’s Europe, said the “show-stopping” painting, L’empire des lumières, depicting a street at night underneath a bright blue sky, would be the star of an auction on London on 2 March.Continue reading...
From Inuit hunters to the vast expanses of snow and ice, Danish photographer Carsten Egevang’s images spring from a three-decade fascination with the planet’s least-populated countryContinue reading...
The celebrated chronicler of American life started his latest photographic journey by following the route of Lincoln’s funeral train … and completed it by following darts thrown at a mapContinue reading...
She cooked his weird dinners, dealt with his volcanic rants, and read his prose back to him from dark till dawn. As Chloe Sells’ photographs of the gonzo writer’s chaotic Colorado cabin are published, she remembers an invigorating, inspirational figure
One evening towards the end of 2003, Chloe Sells was entering the J-Bar in Aspen, Colorado, in search of a late night drink, when an older woman approached her. As Sells recalls in her new photobook, Hot Damn!: “She looked me up and down and said, ‘We’re looking for some help for Hunter. Are you a night owl? Would you be interested?’”
Hunter, as every local knew, was Hunter S Thompson, the celebrated creator of “gonzo” journalism, and the town’s most infamous resident. The woman was his wife, Anita. “It took me only a moment,” Sells says, “to answer ‘Yes’ to everything.”Continue reading...
The 58-story luxury condominium building continues sinking despite a $100m plan to reinforce its foundation to prevent tilting
San Francisco’s infamous Millennium Tower – a luxury condominium where star athletes and retired Google employees bought multimillion-dollar apartments before they realized it was sinking – is continuing to sink and tilt to the side by about 3in (7.5 cm) a year, according to the engineer responsible for fixing the troubled building.
In a few years, if the tilting continues at the current rate, the 58-story luxury building could reach the point where the elevators and plumbing may no longer operate, said Ron Hamburger, the engineer.Continue reading...