Showing 52 articles

Cinema and the 20th Century

Author: Alfredo Aguilar

April 17, 2017

If we were to ask ourselves ‘what is cinema?’ we might say that it is an artistic expression, or perhaps a good way of telling stories, a form of entertainment or, frankly speaking, just plain business. The true answer is, probably, all of them. Whatever the case, it would be practically impossible to understand the [...]

Sacred Dance and Classical Indian Dance

Author: Miti Desai

February 7, 2017

All dance started with the yearning of the human spirit to move, but with the development of consciousness, expressed in civilisation, an additional element emerged: the idea that the purpose of human life is to grow, to evolve the consciousness, to transcend. But the makers of Indian civilisation realised that it is very difficult to [...]

What is folklore?

Author: Pinar Akhan

January 27, 2017

What do you think of when you hear the word “folklore”? Stories, myths, festivals, songs, dance, masks, riddles, crafts, beliefs… All of these and much more are comprised in the term folklore. The word – literally meaning “the learning of the people” (Folk-Lore) – was coined by William J. Thoms in 1846.  It refers to [...]

Hilma Af Klint: Painting the Unseen

Author: Siobhan Farrar

November 12, 2016

Earlier this year the Serpentine Gallery held an exhibition described by the Telegraph as “a sense of unfathomable mystery”. Hilma Af Klint, a Swedish born female painter who began producing work in the early 1900s, is beginning to be recognised as the first artist ever to have produced a piece of ‘abstract art’. Prior to [...]

Down the Rabbit Hole: Tasneem Zakaria Mehta on Preservation of Heritage

Author: Manjula Nanavati

September 24, 2016

In five years Tasneem Zakaria Mehta revitalized a decayed and dying museum, transforming it into a vital and accessible cultural focal point for Mumbai. As vice-chairman of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and Honorary Director of the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad (BDL) Museum, Tasneem spearheaded the exhaustive research and the [...]

Renaissance Art and the Enigmatic Genius of Giorgione

Author: Agostino Dominici

July 25, 2016

The Royal Academy of Arts has recently put together an excellent exhibition presenting some of the greatest painters of the high Renaissance (c. 1490-1530) in a single show. The main intent of the exhibition was to revisit in particular the enigmatic figure of Giorgione, considered by many to be the founder of Venetian painting of [...]

Mozart and Freemasonry

Author: Julian Scott

May 13, 2016

Though some people are aware that Mozart was a Freemason and many know that his opera The Magic Flute is a Masonic allegory, it is less well known what Freemasonry is and how central it was to Mozart’s life and work. According to the great Mozartean scholar Alfred Einstein, however, “the consciousness of his membership [...]

Dance and Sacred Stillness

Author: Miha Kosir

May 13, 2016

After a long dark night and a very deep sleep a sound like a ray of light ignited a dense inertia. The movement started and there was time and the beginning of the universe. And so the cosmic dance started, moving galaxies, stars, planets and our souls. Shiva Nataraja. Shiva’s dance is life and death, [...]

Could geodesic domes be the homes of the future?

Author: Istvan Orban

May 13, 2016

They look weird, but cool. Even film-makers are inspired by them: in the famous James Bond movie You only live twice the world leaders gather in a building that has a geodesic dome shape. But what are they like? According to mathematicians, the geodesic dome is a triangulation of a polyhedron to form a close [...]

William Morris, a 19th century idealist

Author: Natalia Lema

May 11, 2016

Although perhaps most famous as an English textile designer, William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was also an artist, writer, translator and socialist activist. Inspired by the philosophy of John Ruskin (art critic and champion of the Pre-Raphaelites), Morris was against the tasteless industrial production of arts and promoted the hand-crafted art [...]

Art for Enlightenment

Author: Miha Kosir

March 28, 2016

Masterpieces of Tibetan art found in the private temple of the Dalai Lamas have been reproduced and displayed for the first time in a special exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in London. The Lukhang, or “Temple to the Serpent Spirits” was built in the late 17th century on a lake behind the Potala Palace in [...]

The Reed Flute in Sufism

Author: Pinar Akhan

February 24, 2016

The flute as an instrument is perhaps as old as any civilization. It has been used in music both for ritualistic and entertainment purposes in ancient Egypt, Greece, the Hindu culture and in Sufism. The reed flute (called ney) is one of the main instruments in Sufism. It has been played for 4500-5000 years and [...]