Emil Nolde is famous for his expressionistic paintings of the wide skies of Northern Germany. His love for bold colours is reflected in his garden which still looks the same as it did in his lifetime. It stands out like an oasis of colour in the windswept flats of Schleswig-Holstein. After visiting the garden, admire his work in the adjoining museum and then have tea and cake in the little yellow garden house which can be booked for up to six guests.
This gallery has some very interesting work at reasonable prices. In fact, there’s almost always something I fancy in there. A lot of the work has Barcelona as a theme, so, if you’re looking for a piece of artwork to take home as a reminder of your trip, this is a good place to stop in. Pieces by Joan Farré show the city in a different light, in a way reminiscent of the old hand-tinted photos you used to see years ago but at the same time, absolutely modern. The Gallery also has old prints, books and a great collection of small pieces on Barcelona scenes, ideal for a gift or as a token of your trip.
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the world's most incredible galleries, not known as a live music venue.
However if you go at 9pm on a Saturday evening in the summertime (when the gallery has late night opening), the windows are all open, the tourists have all gone, the cruise ships have set sail, you have the place to yourself.
The windows are all open to allow the summer breeze in and the live music being played by string quartets busking in the square below fills the rooms, making it one of the most amazing - unexpected - live music venues I have ever experienced.
Encompassing the best of contemporary Parisian culture, this great music venue was the staging ground for my initiation into Paris nightlife. Nestled between the Seine and the urban sprawl of north east Paris this venue caters to a young, arty crowd. In the day the Point Ephemere acts as a gallery showcasing installation art and photography. However, my girlfriend and I stumbled upon this place at night at which point the venue kicks into a higher gear letting rip with some of the best dance and electro music in Paris. We got down to a live set from Freestylers and witnessed a blistering gig with a frenzied crowd that was less propelled by booze and more energized by the atmosphere and people around them. For lovers of big beats, an electric atmosphere and friendly crowds the Point Ephemere is a must and should be your first stop on a night out in Paris.
This is a great little arts and crafts gallery which we came across after walking up the steep hill. The gallery is a treasure trove of locally made crafts, paintings, bronze and glass and had some trendy vintage pieces for sale too. This was our first visit to Bishop's Castle and we would recommend it as worth a visit. Lots of other unusual shops and buildings to look at which are all painted different colours. If you need a rest after walking up the hill, try the beer garden at the castle which has a breathtaking view of the surrounding Shropshire hills.
After spending two weeks in arty, alternative Gràcia it’s now my favourite Barcelona barrio. Predominantly a working class area, its residents are largely university students, artists, musicians, and designers, which explains the abundance of art galleries, boutiques, ateliers, and music stores that line the narrow lanes. It’s a living breathing neighbourhood with plenty to do if you like eating, drinking, shopping, and hanging out in cafés, bars, and sunny squares. It’s a good fifteen-minute walk to Plaça de Catalunya, although you can catch the underground train and it’s faster, but this means you’ll rarely see a tourist in Gràcia, which is what I like most about it. It’s not far from posh L’Eixample, where there are chic shops and some of Barcelona’s best restaurants, and it’s close to Park Güell, which is a short hike (or bus ride) up the hill.
Google map: bit.ly/jjAPGY
Most guidebooks will tell you to avoid certain parts of Barcelona during afternoon siesta when everything is closed, but for me this is the best time to wander around the neighbourhoods of Ribera-El Born, Barrio Gótico (Gothic Quarter), Raval, and Gràcia, when the shops and bars are closed and their shutters have been pulled down, because many are decorated with striking street art. While some view street art as graffiti, it’s actually not at all in this case – the owners of the stores actually commission Barcelona’s street artists to paint their shutters and garage doors. If you like what you see, head to the Montana Gallery and shop to learn more about the scene.
New Yorkers love their museums - and have plenty of them - but it's nice to visit a smaller gallery for some art education. The Gagosian Gallery highlights lesser-known pieces by big artists. Fewer visitors means more of a chance to really take in the artwork. And did I mention it's free? Until June 25, you can check out the latest sexy exhibition, "Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’Amour Fou." The collection of paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings capture Marie-Thérèse Walter, one of Picasso's muses. The two had a secret love affair for years - Picasso would sneak around on his wife a few days each week to spend time with Walter and their child. Complicated love makes for good art.
Situated within an old train carriage this café is truly individual. Its exterior is regularly up-dated with brilliant local graffiti art and there’s a great outdoor terrace in the summer. Inside it’s bright and airy with interesting art hanging about. The menu is great value and everything is freshly made. It’s got a buzzy atmosphere and friendly staff. It’s run by a local art collective and in the community space surrounding the café there are often special events and craft markets. Visit on a Saturday morning and combine your trip with a visit to the Deptford junk market.
New York's coming out of a brutal, blizzard-ravaged winter. Around Valentine's Day, sculptor Will Ryman installed 38 huge rose sculptures, along with the occasional beetle and ladybug, on Park Avenue between 57th and 67th Streets. Good news: The giant urban garden isn't covered in snow anymore. Now you can stroll the ten-block strip with a pricey ice cream cone in hand. You'll even run into real blooms -spring's first daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips.
Google map: bit.ly/m4wdUW
The most arty of arty bars with really surreal sculpture that sets the mood - melted plastic, baby doll head lampshades etc. Great food too. The menu has been rather static for years but why change it when it works. Great beer and coffee, wine and tea, whatever your fancies are you won’t be disappointed. Filled with locals and arty types at all times so getting a table can be difficult, but well worth it.
Safi is a non-touristy town on Morocco's Atlantic coast. It's famous for its pottery. The best place to go and see Safi pottery being made is the Colline des Potiers (Hill of the Potters) and Rue Des Forgerons, where there are shops that sell pottery.
I stumbled upon this little gem of a museum/church/gallery, in the heart of the barrio de Santa Cruz. Entry is free on Sundays from 4pm - 8pm and you can enjoy one of the best preserved typical Seville constructions - patio and fountain. To the left is a small room housing paintings from Sevillano painters, including Velázquez. On the other side of the patio, behind a dark wooden door is the biggest treat, the church. Unlike any other I have entered in Spain, it is decorated with ornate, colourful imagery on the walls and ceiling.
Plaza Venerables, 8
41004 Seville, Spain
+34 954 564 595
Bookbinder Paolo Olbi is one of Venice’s last great artisans. He has two lovely shops on Campo Santa Maria Nova and Calle della Mandola where he sells his beautiful handmade note pads, address books, photo albums, stationery, and business cards. If you don’t find Paolo at work in the backroom, embossing patterns into the leather covers of notebooks, he’s probably at his atmospheric workshop in the Castello, with his typesetter Beppi, where he welcomes interested visitors. We visited one Saturday morning, and he spent a couple of hours taking us through the fascinating process, from how they create the wood plates for the book-covers, inspired by old Venetian designs, to binding the books by hand. I already purchased half a dozen notebooks to give to friends, but he gave us a money-holder as a gift and took us for a glass of wine at the local bar to thank us for our interest. That’s Venetians for you!
Calle della Mandola, San Marco 3653, Venice: +39(0)41 528 5025
The Centre for Creative Photography is part of the photography faculty at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. As well as having one of the world's largest photographic archives it hosts photography exhibitions - the last time I was there I saw Richard Avedon's 'American West', which was incredible. Admission is free. But what sets the Centre apart from other galleries is its 'Print Study' resource. This resource allows anyone to select and view prints from the Centre's massive collection - its almost like creating a mini exhibition of your own favourite photographs. And again, it is free. The Centre has the archives for over 50 major photographers including W Eugene Smith, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Garry Winogrand and Harry Callahan - simply make an appointment and elect the prints you would like to see and a researcher lays them out in a room for you to view.
Experience and learn about the Amazon wildlife, ecology, beauty and complexity in a magical site - an old Gasometer 30m high. It has been turned into an atmospheric panorama with viewing platform by the artist Asisi. Great combination of originality, beauty and information. Bring or hire binoculars.
It's a 1.3km length of the the Berlin Wall with amazing art work recently restored. Pollution and graffiti ruined the first lot so get to see it before this happens again. (I visited on 7th March 2011)
Great little cellar bar in Oranienburger Strasse. Go down the steps and be greeted by the bowler-hatted Ian Dury-esque owner/designer of this DIY retro establishment. Homemade artworks and paraphenalia adorn the brick walls, candles drip wax over their holders, smoke-filled ambience and Rolling Stones grooves. Relax on a big-armed sofa and discuss the Tachelles art collective (just along the road) over a Berliner Weisse green or red. A real taste of creative, underground Berlin.
Oranienburger Str. 40
Google map: bit.ly/gf10hf
Every October the East End of London becomes the biggest photography gallery in the country with over 200 exhibitions and events taking place in more than 100 venues showing the work of emerging and internationally renowned photographers. It’s a great opportunity to explore this end of the city and enjoy not only the extraordinary diversity of contemporary photography but also a highly distinctive district with a remarkable history and a fantastic variety of cafes, bars and restaurants.
Fantastic small gallery with some of the most innovative exhibitions in the city. Best to plan ahead and set aside some time if you are interested in the video pieces. Very helpful and friendly staff as well.
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