Things big and small that makes us smile.

A new series! September 2016

Jin Ju & the Fortepiano


Jin Ju’s incredibly virtuosic and passionate playing has been rewarded with prizes in the Tchaikovsky, Queen Elizabeth & China National Piano competitions. It is therefore surprising that she is not better known outside of her native China. Of particular note are her interpretations of the romantic repertoire on period instruments, such as this rendition of Chopin’s Op. no 6 Etude.

Paper Artist Yulia Brodskaya

Yulia Brodskaya ‘s art is creative in its medium, compelling in its choice of subject, and makes wonderful use of colour. In her own words: “I used to say that I’m ‘drawing with paper’, now I found a way of painting with paper’. These artworks are all about colour and the unique tactile feel that paper strips add to it. The portrait resembles an oil/acrylic painting (especially from the distance), but with a paper twist..”

Margarita Mamun performs to Rachmaninov


Margarita Mamun won the Rhythmic Gymnastics Gold Medal in Rio. Watch her spellbinding performance with ball to a string arrangement of Rachmaninov’s Elegie.

Fiona Roberts - Ink on Paper


London-based artist Fiona Roberts has judisciously chosen ink as a medium, giving her portraits a sense of vulnerability and translucency. Her style is further characterised by pleasing colour-combinations and strong drawing skills. The preparatory phase of her work takes place with photography and sketches, to establish a composition.

Beam Queen Sanne Wevers


It was wonderfully refreshing to watch Sanne win beam in Rio. Her elegance and fluidity on this piece stand out, the composition is original. And Sanne’s determination to match the degree of difficulty displayed by more acrobatic gymnasts, increasing her start value year by year, was deservedly rewarded with a Gold.

Rachel Neville's Dance Photography


Rachel Neville‘s muses are dancers, and she works with their grace and flexibility to create references between humans and nature. One of her most recent, and most beautiful pieces is the featured image – with dancer Jorge Villarini.

Japanese Figure Skating Art

During the skating off-season, it seems to have taken the twittersphere and we’re not complaining – since a lot of it is good. We have of course, our very own Yoshie Shibaike, and there are some good pieces on these twitter handles too:


A simply good Idea - by Mamali Khiangte


Sometimes all you need is a small, simple idea. Like this one by Mamali Khiangte.

Natasha Coates


British Gymnastics has a great pan-disability program of accessible classes, and a fantastic ambassador in Natasha Coates. This young lady suffers from Mast Cell Activation Disorder, and has trained through repeated severe allergic reactions to earn no fewer than 19 British Titles.

More things we love! June 2016

Ben Johnson's beautiful craft

The Chiswick-based Artist opens his studio to the public every year for the local the “Artists at Home” festival. Some of his incredible textured images inspired by architecture have taken three years to complete, and he shares all about the process on his educational website. Another successful case of art-inspired-by-art, drawing on the wonders of technology for its realisation… and making no compromise on the requirement for fine skills.

Oksana Chusovitina - the legend on her way to Olympics no 7

Hats off to Oksana Chusovitina, who celebrates today her 41st birthday!  She earnt  her spot for the Rio Games by right at the test event, allowing for her record-breaking 7 th participation at the Olympics. Her first world title was won in 1991, when few of her competitors were born.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason plays Shostakovich

It’s always heart-warming to witness passionate performances from young musicians and Sheku Kanneh-Mason brought the house down to win BBC young musician of the year. We look forward to hearing more from him in years to come.

Palm Springs 1960: Robert Doisneau

Robert Doisneau’s only published set of colour pictures makes us wished he’d taken more. Bright, uplifting, funny and sharp in their social commentary.

Dipa Karmakar does her country proud

Another shout-out to an awesome gymnast we look forward to seeing in Rio. Dipa Karmakar will be the first Indian woman to represent her country in the event, overcoming the odds by performing the dangerous Produnova vault. A last-minute addition to the test event after a competitor withdrew, Dipa’s hard work paid off and her marked improvements enabled her to comfortably make the final cut. A small sign betraying her antiquated training conditions, Dipa is with Chusovitina the only gymnast left to swing the uneven bars without hand guards. Letting her gymnastics do the talking, she’s won over the support of her people in a national context where women’s rights still need to be fought for.


Johannes Stötter Animal Illusion Series

This one has been making the rounds on social media but we wanted to include the work of Johannes Stötter: it’s so imaginative, skilled and beautiful that it’s no surprise people have been inspired.

Wenjing Sui and Cong Hang

Known since the junior ranks for the incredible virtuosity of their throws, Sui and Han have grown into the most sophisticated performers on the pairs circuit. If you were ever in doubt of their attention to detail, check out the death spiral starting at 2.40: even Han’s head direction changes are timed to the music. We wish Sui all the best as she currently recovers from surgery.

Flight Journal

Offering young authors a much needed opportunity to share their work and earn a small fee, Flight Journal is funded by the Esmee Fairbain Association. Appointed for a year, three young editors get to select short stories and poems for publication.

The Roots of Jazz

The Roots of Jazz band created put together an incredible set to a packed house in All Souls Church to raise funds for Tamar, a charity that helps the women of London victims of human trafficking. Not only was the music incredible but the beautiful lighting and detailed decor made for an evening to remember. The consistency of the music with the supported cause only reinforced the power of the experience.

April 2016.

Art affirms all that is best in man—hope, faith, love, beauty, prayer…What he dreams of and what he hopes for…What is art?…Like a declaration of love: the consciousness of our dependence on each other.

Andrei Tarkovsky

Tiksi - Evgenia Arbugaeva (2015)

Half-fairytale, half-documentary, Tiksi  is moving because it’s a personal, technically skilful and poetic evocation of the author’s hometown. Evgenia Arbugaeva shows us everything contemporary photography can and should be. 2015 edition is out of print but we hear the 2016 edition is on its way.

If you've never watched ice dance...

Start here. It’s seamless, contemporary, aesthetically satisfying and it floats.

Think like an Artist - Will Gompertz (2015)

It’s fun, light-hearted, easy to read and full of good quotes. It also provides genuine insight into the creative mind.

Smile Art - Yoshiyuki Sugamoto

It’s all in the title – art designed to make you smile. Inspired by gymnasts, Sugamoto has a deep understanding of the sport and movement. His animations are witty, bright and on point. Find his latest creations on facebook

Ballet Black

This troupe has an incredible instinct for championing new choreography set to unconventional ballet music, and makes inspired costume selections. Pita’s Cristaux set to Steve Reich is a literally dazzling performance, part of a Triple Bill that recently sold out at the Barbican. Don’t miss it in Ipswich! Ballet Black have a beautifully colourful photo gallery on their website too, well worth browsing through.

Nuit debout - New World Symphony (Dvorak)

The French are masters in the art of striking. This dramatic rendition of the New World Symphony unites professional and amateur musicians against the government’s proposition to liberalise employment law. It’s ruthlessly effective.


According to their website, SPICE “teach children and young adults with additional needs to ice skate in a calm and caring environment.” Ice time in the UK is scarce, and we love that SPICE haven’t shied away from this massive challenge; they do a thorough job of it too. Their guest performance at the 2016 UK Synchro Championships didn’t leave a dry eye in the house.

Carrières de Lumières

Chagall, Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Set in a former quarry, this awesome multimedia experience combines film captures of Chagall’s works with careful music selections. According to artistic Director Gianfranco Ianuzzi, “Technique is only a tool. As the instrument is to the musician or the paintbrush is to the painter, we must use and master technology to transmit our creative intension, to awake a strong emotion in the spectator”. It’s showing in Les-Baux-de-Provence until January 2017.