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Experience: I live in the 1990s

We have a Spice Girls calendar on the door and an old VHS player – I watch my Vicar of Dibley box set on itI was born in 1998, at the tail end of the decade I love. Titanic was in cinemas, Britney Spears released … Baby One More Time, Geri Halliwell left the Spice Girls and Apple released the bright turquoise iMac computer.I was too young to appreciate those things, but my first home in Mansfield was full of 90s decor. I loved the fun of it. The hallway was decorated in tongue and groove wood pa...
Tags: Apple, Design, Geri Halliwell, Life and style, Homes, Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Interiors, Mansfield, Dibley

‘He was a handful’ – Hunter S Thompson’s PA and photographer relives her wild job

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 figureOne 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, ...
Tags: Art, Books, Photography, Celebrity, Colorado, Life and style, Culture, Art and design, Hunter S Thompson, Thompson, Hunter, Anita, Aspen Colorado, Chloe, Art and design books, Chloe Sells

From downward spiral to dream job: my 18 months of tumult and transformation

My life seemed to fall apart in 2020. But having nothing to lose meant I was free to pursue my passion Continue reading...
Tags: Art, Life and style, Art and design, Coronavirus

The person who got me through 2021: Heather Phillipson’s sculpture brightened my trips to hospital

On my way to have painful medical tests, I felt dejected. Then I saw a giant dollop of whipped cream with a cherry on top in Trafalgar SquareMost people were keen to leave 2020 behind but had I known what was coming in 2021, I might have chosen to stay there. From the first days of January I started to experience extended bouts of dizziness – a feeling that the ground was moving beneath me, with bursts of tinnitus, nausea and head pressure thrown in.One thing I can tell you about near constant d...
Tags: Health, Art, Cancer, Life and style, Culture, Art and design, Health & wellbeing, Sculpture, Heather Phillipson, Trafalgar SquareMost

‘There’s always been an affinity between Christmas and ghosts’: Mark Gatiss on the joy of festive frights

The writer and actor puts the ghoul into yule with screen and stage roles reprising haunting classics from Charles Dickens and MR JamesClose the curtains. Light the fire. Then prepare to be terrified; it’s Christmas. For although the word “cosy” may be closely tied to festivities at this time of year, so it seems is the word “ghost”.In northern Europe people understandably cope with the shorter days and darker evenings by drawing in around a roaring hearth, metaphorical or otherwise. Light and w...
Tags: Europe, Theatre, Christmas, Life and style, UK News, Culture, Television & radio, Stage, Charles Dickens, Christmas shows, Mark Gatiss, MR JamesClose

Happy queer Christmas! Drag kings and queens on their festive spectaculars

LGBTQ+ performers are making sure that queerness isn’t ‘swept under the carpet’ this Christmas – and providing community, fun and celebration for audiencesDrag king Mark Anthony loves Christmas. He always has – it’s a big thing in his family. Still, he says he found his Christmas “blighted slightly” in recent years since coming out as transgender and non-binary. “It wasn’t a big sob story of rejection,” Anthony, whose family fully accepts him for who he is, explains. “It was a discomfort type th...
Tags: Theatre, Christmas, Life and style, Society, UK News, Transgender, Culture, Sexuality, Stage, LGBT rights, Anthony, Drag, Mark Anthony, Isaac Williams

From utopian dreams to Soho sleaze: the naked history of British nudism

A new book details how nudism began as a movement of intellectuals, feminists and artists, only to be suppressed by the state. But our attitudes to nakedness also tell us a lot about ourselvesWhen Annebella Pollen was 17, she left behind her strict Catholic upbringing for the life of a new-age hippy, living in a caravan and frolicking naked among the standing stones of Devon, while earning a living by modelling for life-drawing classes. That early experience, followed by a relationship with a br...
Tags: Art, Photography, England, Life and style, Culture, Art and design, Devon, Soho, University of Brighton, Pollen, Annebella Pollen, Naturism, Sun Bathing Review

The stars with Down’s syndrome lighting up our screens: ‘People are talking about us instead of hiding us away’

From Line of Duty to Mare of Easttown, a new generation of performers are breaking through. Meet the actors, models and presenters leading a revolution in representationIn the middle of last winter’s lockdown, while still adjusting to the news of their newborn son’s Down’s syndrome diagnosis, Matt and Charlotte Court spotted a casting ad from BBC Drama. It called for a baby to star in a Call the Midwife episode depicting the surprising yet joyful arrival of a child with Down’s syndrome in 60s Lo...
Tags: Health, Fashion, London, Television, Film, Theatre, Life and style, Society, Bbc, Culture, Television & radio, Models, Stage, Broadway, Down's Syndrome, West End

Alan Cumming and Forbes Masson: ‘People say double acts are like marriage without the sex’

The actors recreate their Victor & Barry comedy duo – and recall their unique creative sparkAlan Cumming and Forbes Masson met at Glasgow’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 1982. Together, they created Victor & Barry, a double act who became legends of the Scottish comedy scene. They went on to present several TV shows, and starred in the BBC sitcom The High Life, as two narcissistic air stewards. Appearing in series such as Catastrophe and EastEnders, Masson has since become a celeb...
Tags: Comedy, Television, Film, Theatre, Life and style, Bbc, Culture, Television & radio, Stage, Broadway, Glasgow, Alan Cumming, Macbeth, Goldeneye, Tony, CUMMING

Grayson Perry on art, cats – and the meaning of life: ‘If you don’t have self doubt, you’re not trying hard enough’

The Turner winning artist takes a break from his live tour to answer readers’ questions on everything from class and gender identity to whether he can still make controversial artGrayson Perry hasn’t, he reports apologetically, dressed up specifically for our Zoom call, but for an event he will be attending afterwards. “I wanted to look like a lady who lunched,” says Perry, who is wearing mauve silk, bright red lipstick, giant specs and Thatcherite hair. Since winning the Turner prize in 2003, P...
Tags: Art, UK, Life and style, Society, UK News, Culture, Art and design, Sculpture, Men, Essex, Grayson Perry, Ceramics, Turner, Perry, Claire, Grayson

‘I went from having to borrow money to making $4m in a day’: how NFTs are shaking up the art world

Digital art is a billion-dollar business, with everyone from Paris Hilton to Damien Hirst trading in ‘non-fungible tokens’. But are NFTs just a get-rich-quick scheme masquerading as culture?“It’s actually a lot simpler than you think.” It’s a Tuesday afternoon, and somewhat to my surprise, I’m on the phone to Paris Hilton, who is graciously explaining the world of NFTs.Hilton is many things – a reality star, an heiress, an unlikely lockdown fitness guru who uses designer handbags instead of weig...
Tags: Art, Business, Technology, Internet, Economics, Life and style, E-commerce, Culture, Art and design, Hilton, Andy Warhol, Paris Hilton, Cryptocurrencies, Damien Hirst, Digital Art, Jonathan Yeo

What are the elements in your iPhone, Starbucks cup and bike? Visualized

The Dutch duo Studio Drift’s multipart show at the Shed in New York, Fragile Future, deconstructs the materials of daily lifeWhat happens if you reverse engineer the raw materials of everyday objects such as an iPhone, a Starbucks cup or a bicycle? Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta of the Dutch art collective Studio Drift attempted to find out by stripping back the elements and depicting them proportionately in cubes and prisms.Titled Materialism, their show at the New York event space the Shed as...
Tags: Iphone, Coffee, Art, New York, Technology, Life and style, Smartphones, Mobile Phones, Art and design, Starbucks, Lonneke Gordijn, Ralph Nauta

Juliet Stevenson: ‘The perception of women of my age is so reductive’

The actor, 65, on growing up in a loving family, recognising her partner, and getting more interesting while the parts she is offered get less interestingMy earliest memory is jumping off a little stone wall in the garden in Australia. I called it my jumping wall. It felt at least 30ft high and enormously brave. It was probably lower than knee height. It’s my first memory of an adrenaline rush. My dad was in the army and we were posted all around the world. I went to Australia on a boat with my ...
Tags: England, Television, Film, Australia, Theatre, Life and style, Culture, Television & radio, Stage, Juliet Stevenson

Mismatch plates and hang art low: 18 ways to create a more beautiful home

Matt Gibberd, founder of high-end architectural estate agency The Modern House, shares his top tipsFor the past 16 years, I have spent my days nosing round other people’s homes like a design-obsessed basset hound. I have been granted access through hundreds of locked doors, perched on wobbly Windsor chairs, and taken tea in stylish studio flats, cleverly converted factories and even a working barge. Throughout all this, I’ve learned a lot. As The Modern House has grown, I’ve discovered that thes...
Tags: Design, Life and style, Architecture, Homes, Interiors, Modern House, Matt Gibberd

‘We planted a seed’: the Afghan artists who painted for freedom

The Taliban has whitewashed Kabul’s political murals – and those who created them have fled into exileNegina Azimi felt shock and fear like never before when she heard that Taliban fighters had entered Kabul on 15 August. As an outspoken female artist in Afghanistan, she knew they would come for her.“We heard reports that the Taliban might raid houses. I was scared because I live in a very central neighbourhood and every room in my house is adorned with the kind of art the Taliban won’t approve...
Tags: Art, Human Rights, Women, Life and style, World news, Afghanistan, Culture, Taliban, South and Central Asia, Art and design, Refugees, Kabul, Albania, Street Art, Azimi, Negina Azimi

A moment that changed me: Patrick Stewart on the teacher who spotted his talent – and saved him

I skipped the 11-plus and was failing at school. Then I met Cecil Dormand, the extraordinary English teacher who transformed my life for everI never sat my 11-plus. On the day of the test, I wandered around the hills near the golf club above my home town of Mirfield in West Yorkshire. I ate my lunch sitting against a dry stone wall, looking down on the town, where I could see my school pals in the playground during a break in the exams. I doubt if I would have passed, anyway. And, frankly, I jus...
Tags: Family, Education, Children, Film, Theatre, Life and style, Society, Teaching, Culture, Stage, Schools, Parents and parenting, West Yorkshire, William Shakespeare, Venice, Shakespeare

Bored of your wardrobe? Try wearing one colour at a time

Dress in ‘monoclo’, says artist Pascal Anson, and you’ll rethink your relationship with clothes for ever. Jess Cartner-Morley gives it a goIt started when Pascal Anson’s mum bought him a yellow jumper for his birthday. “I already had a pair of yellow trousers, yellow socks and a yellow belt. So I thought I’d wear them all together, as an experiment.” He enjoyed the experiment so much he gave it a name – “monoclo” – and turned it into an event at Kingston University, London, where he was a senior...
Tags: Fashion, Design, London, Life and style, Bbc, Culture, Art and design, Fashion industry, Men's Fashion, Royal College of Art, Kingston University, Anson, Jess Cartner Morley, Vintage Fashion, Pascal Anson, Monoclo

A new start after 60: ‘I started sketching at 72 – and graduated with a fine art degree at 96’

Archie White was a keen teenage artist, but gave it up for five decades as a solicitor. Now he is starting a new student charity and painting furiouslyArchie White says he would like to retire, but I’m not sure I believe him. This summer he made headlines when he graduated with a fine art degree from East Sussex College. He was 96 years and 56 days old – a few months short of setting a new world record for the oldest graduate.Graduation was only the beginning. “I’m pretty busy all the time,” he ...
Tags: Art, Life and style, Culture, Art and design, Archie White, East Sussex College, furiouslyArchie White, East Sussex College Tell

The smart toilet era is here! Are you ready to share your analprint with big tech?

Loo design has barely changed in 150 years – until now. Will people trade their privacy for the chance to find out exactly what is in their waste?For the past 10 years, Sonia Grego has been thinking about toilets – and more specifically what we deposit into them. “We are laser-focused on the analysis of stool,” says the Duke University research professor, with all the unselfconsciousness of someone used to talking about bodily functions. “We think there is an incredible untapped opportunity for ...
Tags: Internet Of Things, Science, Design, Technology, Biology, Life and style, Architecture, Art and design, Smart Homes, Duke University, Grego, Sonia Grego, Coprata Grego

Rhik Samadder tries … mindful painting: ‘It dawns on me that I’m a very talented artist’

Keen to unlock your inner creativity? De-stress and unwind? Or merely improve the quality of the gifts you make for friends? Step right this wayHave you ever forgotten to buy a loved one a birthday present? Here’s a tip. Get a card, then draw a picture inside of you giving them the gift you intend to buy them later. It’s a charming IOU, impossible to resent. I’m not the best at hands or faces, so the result often resembles demons in hell, spearing each other, which isn’t what everyone wants to s...
Tags: Art, Painting, Life and style, Art and design, Hobbies, Tom, Rhik Samadder, MasterPeace Studios

‘It can’t be ignored’: Osman Yousefzada on his gigantic artwork

He has dressed Beyoncé and Lady Gaga – and now he’s dressed Birmingham. As his ‘infinity pattern’ is unveiled, the artist talks poverty, class – and why he’s not interested in being a ‘good immigrant’Approaching Birmingham New Street station on the train, you’ll normally spot the scaly curves of Selfridges’ landmark Future Systems-designed building nestling in the cityscape. But right now, rising into the summer sky in its place, is a bright pink and black structure. Startling, cheering and enti...
Tags: Art, Fashion, Beyonce, Life and style, UK News, Culture, Art and design, Lady Gaga, Birmingham, Ikon Gallery, Osman, Beyoncé Lady Gaga, Osman Yousefzada, Osman Yousefzada He, Yousefzada, Jonathan Watkins Ikon

Experience: I was stabbed while playing Hamlet

The audience thought it was part of the play and gave us a round of applause. I remember thinking I was about to dieWhen I was cast in a travelling production of Hamlet in 2011, I was very nervous – Hamlet has an awful lot of lines. But I was 24 at the time, and having a leading role was a big deal.We performed the show for six weeks without a hitch in a Dublin theatre. Then it transferred to Cork. Time was tight, which meant we didn’t get to finish our technical rehearsal before opening night, ...
Tags: Theatre, Life and style, Culture, Stage, William Shakespeare, Acting, Dublin, Hamlet, Cork Time

Being Mr Westwood: Vivienne is ‘eccentric, serious and genuine’

Thought 25 years apart in age, their ideas are locked in sync. Andreas Kronthaler, husband of the couture queen, reveals his plans for the maverick fashion houseOn 21 March 2020, days before Britain’s initial lockdown, Vivienne Westwood shared her first isolation address to the nation. Royalty, of sorts, she delivered it in her trademark fashion: she spoke of saving the planet and her new manifesto, while donning couture – and surrounded by curiosities – in her south London home.These impassione...
Tags: Fashion, Design, London, Life and style, Britain, Fashion industry, Vivienne Westwood, Focus, London Fashion Week, Andreas Kronthaler, Westwood, Vivienne, Coronavirus

Sir Ian McKellen: ‘What does old mean? Quite honestly I feel about 12’

It’s half a century since Sir Ian McKellen first played Hamlet. Now he’s starring as the Dane again – at 82. He talks about his extraordinary life, why he’ll never write his memoir – and his one lasting regretOh, birthdays,” Sir Ian McKellen growls, on the occasion of his 82nd. “At my age I don’t do birthdays.” The wider world has not yet been informed, however, and cheerful cards have come in stacks to McKellen’s London townhouse. Messages chime in on his computer and two landline phones ring o...
Tags: London, Film, Theatre, Life and style, Culture, Stage, Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings, Ian Mckellen, McKellen

Anna Friel: ‘I thought acting would be a hobby – never a job’

The actor, 44, on learning to relax, the double edge of kindness, and the power of herbsI don’t know which memory came first: falling down the stairs and knocking down our Christmas tree, being bought my first nail varnish and getting it on my Wonder Woman pyjamas, or accidentally setting my brand-new parka on fire the first day I wore it. Each probably reveals something about my soul.Pop stardom was my plan for a while, although briefly. Coming from an Irish family, I’d often walk into the livi...
Tags: Television, Theatre, Life and style, Culture, Television & radio, Stage, Anna Friel

‘An architectural fashion show’: Greenwich peninsula’s Design District

From a rooftop basketball court to a caterpillar-shaped food hall, the souk-like London development is architecture at its trendiest. Can its eye-popping buildings lure young creatives – and bring the buzz?A mirror-polished silver box stands proudly on a corner of the Greenwich Peninsula, reflecting a curious new world of architectural experiments. To one side wriggles a transparent caterpillar of a building, with clear plastic stretched around a bright yellow frame, forming a space-age chrysali...
Tags: Business, Fashion, Real Estate, Design, London, Life and style, Communities, Society, Culture, Architecture, Art and design, Technology sector, Planning policy, Technology startups, Craft, Regeneration

‘It’s cooler to hang Lennon’s guitar than a Picasso’: pop culture wins out at auctions

Sales of items from celebrities such as Janet Jackson and K-poppers BTS are trending – and reframing what goes under the hammerIs celebrity merchandise the new Monet? Auction houses are in flux, with more and more pop culture items being sold under the hammer for six and seven-figure sums.Last month, Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills hosted a three-day auction of Janet Jackson’s personal belongings, including some of her most iconic stage outfits. Buyers included Kim Kardashian, who snagged Jac...
Tags: Art, Fashion, Music, Kim Kardashian, Instagram, Film, Los Angeles, Life and style, World news, US news, Culture, Art and design, Pop and rock, Beverly Hills, Jackson, Nirvana

Hanif Kureishi: ‘I’d like to see a British Muslim Sopranos’

As his new play The Spank opens in Italy, the writer talks about the power of ludicrous ideas, the crisis facing the middle class – and why he can’t get white liberals off his phoneHanif Kureishi has been reflecting on toxic masculinity. He has heard a lot about it in the past year and it has entered the fiction he has been writing over lockdown – at quite a rate by the sound of it – and sparked stories about predation, sexual misdemeanour and “what’s going on between men and women”.But he is ju...
Tags: Books, Gender, London, Activism, Race, Theatre, Life and style, Society, Culture, Italy, Stage, Men, Parents and parenting, British identity and society, Hanif Kureishi, Kureishi

Why are our cities built for 6ft-tall men? The female architects who fought back

Fed up living in a world designed by and for men, 80s design activists Matrix declared war on every urban obstacle in their way. And their impact is still being felt todayWhen Le Corbusier developed his proportional system Le Modulor in the 1940s, the great architect had in mind a handsome British policeman. His system would go on to shape the entire postwar world, dictating everything from the height of a door handle to the scale of a staircase, all governed by the need to make everything as co...
Tags: Design, Environment, Women, Life and style, Culture, Architecture, Feminism, Art and design, Paris, Planning policy, Exhibitions, Barbican, Le Corbusier, Corbusier, Le Modulor

‘I can now do it in less than two minutes’: a Rubik’s cube and nine other objects readers relied on in lockdown

From a paintbrush to a Stratocaster and a stained glass panel, some unexpected items took on huge new importance in a world of coronavirus restrictions Continue reading...
Tags: Art, Toys, Music, Life and style, UK News, World news, Hobbies, Coronavirus

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