Among nature's countless gifts are flowers: in the simple grace of their petals, countless souls have been moved to create. But flowers speak of far more than mere beauty. As the art of ages keenly illustrates, the universal language of flowers has long been used to communicate deeper messages, instantly and wordlessly.
Ever wondered what a JMW Turner seascape painting might taste like? Fishy, if you ask chef Rachel Khoo. Or how a Frances Bacon triptych might sound - dark and moodily rockin', if you ask the band Everything Everything. This might sound like some strange experiment in synaesthesia; in fact, its for a video series I've been making to mark the launch of the new Tate Britain...
This week, Tate's original building re-opens after a £45million face-lift. Tate Britain is glamorous once more, a temple of cool and contemplation. Tate was a gift to the public from Henry Tate, a sugar baron. He donated his great collection of British art to the nation as well as £110,000 to pay for a new gallery on condition that the state would look after it.
We will continue our cultural relations work well beyond the planned withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan next year; because we firmly believe that, along with the promotion of governance, security and development, the promotion of culture is a critical fourth foundation of Afghanistan's future.
Last Friday evening we launched 'Apocalypse Boutique' - fantastically varied series of rare screen-prints, linoprints, etchings and original canvases by British artist Stanley Donwood.
Banksy is all the rage in NY at the moment as he has blazed through the city graffittying hither and thither and stirring up a hornet's nest of opinion about what art is. The outgoing Mayor has ultimately spoken that all graffiti should be removed, but Banksy's celebrity means that people are trying to preserve the work. Complex indeed.
Martin Finnin current exhibition, titled: Renegade Amongst the Dusty Nouns, at the John Martin Gallery in Mayfair skilfully recreates an abstract world that consists of figures, movement and memories.