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David Bowie tops list of the 50 most influential British artists

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Artist Joe Black next to his artwork featuring British singer David Bowie
Mixed media London artist Joe Black was commissioned by Sky Arts to create this artwork of David Bowie using 8610 guitar plectrums

Britain’s 50 most influential artists of the last 50 years have been revealed in a new list compiled by a panel of experts from across the arts industry.

Musician David Bowie landed the number one spot, in a list that also features artist Banksy, 90s pop sensation the Spice Girls and acclaimed director, screenwriter and actress Michaela Coel.

A team of expert judges across music, film & TV, performing arts, literature and visual art were challenged to create the list by TV channel Sky Arts in a celebration of British artists past and present and their influence on global culture.

The 15-person judging panel, led by DJ, presenter and author Lauren Laverne, included MOBO Awards founder Kanya King CBE, acclaimed writer Bonnie Greer, film critic, Ali Plumb and esteemed theatre critic Lyn Gardner.

Bowie was named most influential by judges as they commended his influence across the industry and ability to transcend a variety of mediums including music, film and fashion.

To celebrate David Bowie topping the list, Sky Arts commissioned Joe Black, a critically acclaimed mixed media artist from London, to create a unique artwork of the legendary musician using guitar plectrums. Each plectrum features a cut out shape to symbolise all the artistic disciplines Bowie influenced, from music and film to art, performance and poetry.

“Sky Arts would not exist without incredible British talent fuelling our schedules, so to celebrate we wanted to recognise the influence these artists have had on our culture. It’s a rich list headed up by David Bowie and we wanted to honour him in a way that would be fitting to the scale of his influence. The artwork created by Joe Black honours the way that Bowie’s influence transcends genres in a fittingly innovative and imaginative way.”, says Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts.

The artwork, standing at 2m tall, has been made using 8,610 individually placed guitar plectrums. The final result is a stunning portrait of Bowie that will be donated by Sky Arts to a school in Bowie’s hometown of Brixton, south London, celebrating the new generation of young artists who will be inspired by the musical legend.

Coming in at second in the Top 10 list is Sir Steve McQueen CBE, known for both his Oscar-winning direction of 12 Years a Slave, as well as his renowned visual artistry which won him the prestigious Turner Prize in 1999.

The list continues with Russell T Davies OBE, who revived Doctor Who to worldwide acclaim in 2005, and later received a BAFTA nomination for his ground-breaking drama, It’s a Sin.

Fashion powerhouse, Dame Vivienne Westwood, comes third for being the epicentre of punk fashion since the 1970s, followed by writer Caryl Churchill who challenged the norm by bringing unconventional themes into contemporary theatre.

Britain’s top 10 most influential artists of the last 50 years are:

  1. David Bowie – prolific songwriter, performer and actor, known for songs including Heroes, Life on Mars and Space Oddity
  2. Sir Steve McQueen CBE – award-winning film and TV director, producer, writer and artist whose work includes 12 Years a Slave and Small Axe in film and Year 3 in art
  3. Russell T Davies OBE – TV screenwriter and producer, known for bringing Doctor Who to the masses and penning award-winning series It’s A Sin
  4. Dame Vivienne Westwood – iconic fashion designer and pioneer of British punk culture since the 1970s
  5. Caryl Churchill – leading playwright of over thirty plays including Top Girls, Cloud 9, and Far Away
  6. Michael Clark – Scottish dancer and choreographer who commissions for major international dance companies
  7. Angela Carter – feminist powerhouse, writer of The Bloody ChamberNights at the Circus and Wise Children
  8. Stormzy – multi-award winning rapper and political activist, known for songs including Shut Up, Vossi Bop and Big For Your Boots
  9. Muriel Spark – acclaimed novelist known for works including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Memento Mori
  10. Michaela Coel – multi-award winning actress, writer and director known for Chewing Gum and I May Destroy You

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Mango teams up with Victoria Beckham for new capsule collection

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Mango teams up with Victoria Beckham for new capsule collection
The collaboration is part of Mango’s new 2024-26 Strategic Plan Elevate lever

Mango, one of Europe’s leading fashion industry groups, is teaming up with Victoria Beckham to launch a new capsule collection.

Victoria Beckham x Mango has been designed by the former Spice Girls member and reflects the essence of the designer’s eponymous label, considered the perfect blend of classic British luxury with a subtle contemporary twist, as well as the shared values of both fashion brands, such as quality and femininity.

The new collection, which coincides with Mango’s 40th anniversary, is the latest in a series of collaborations with other brands, artists and talents including French Writer and Influencer Camille Charrière, and influencer and stylist Pernille Teisbaek.

Mango’s collaboration with Victoria Beckham is part of the new Strategic Plan 2024-26, which aims to generate total turnover of more than 4 billion euros by 2026 through a differentiated value proposition, strong expansion drive, and improving sales in existing stores and online channels, as presented by the company last March. The new collection will go on sale internationally on April 23th, 2024.

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Official Selection of the 77th Festival de Cannes unveiled

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Actress Zoe Saldana who stars in ‘Emilia Perez’, directed by Jacques Audiard, inside a car
Actress Zoe Saldana stars in ‘Emilia Perez’, directed by Jacques Audiard, one of the films competing for a Palme d’Or in Cannes next month | Photo: Saint-Laurent Productions

The countdown for Cannes 2024 has started. The annual film festival is scheduled to open on May 14 with the out-of-competition world premiere of the French comedy ‘The Second Act,’ directed by Quentin Dupieux and starring Léa Seydoux.

Today, Iris Knobloch, who is now in her second year as president, and Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the event, announced the official selection of films competing for a Palme d’Or at the 77th Festival de Cannes. The official lineup features 19 movies and includes some well-known filmmakers who have previously debuted productions in Cannes. Among them is British film director Andrea Arnold (‘American Honey’), who is debuting her sixth feature, ‘Bird,’ and Francis Ford Coppola, who won a Palme d’Or at Cannes 45 years ago for ‘Apocalypse Now.’ His new production, ‘Megalopolis,’ starring Adam Driver, is a $120 million self-funded sci-fi epic that has been in development since 1983, when Coppola wrote the first version of the screenplay.

Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos will return to Cannes for the world premiere of ‘Kinds of Kindness,’ his latest collaboration with Emma Stone. Lanthimos is a familiar face at the festival, having won the Un Certain Regard prize at the Cannes Film Festival for the psychological drama film ‘Dogtooth’ (2009), and scooping a Best Screenplay prize after competing with his ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ at the 70th Festival de Cannes in 2017.

Ainouz: filmmaker directs Erotic Thriller ‘Motel Destino,’ shot in Northeast Brazil | Photo: reproduction Instagram/karimainouz

Brazilian filmmaker Karim Ainouz will bring his eighth fiction feature, ‘Motel Destino,’ to Cannes after shooting his first English-language production, ‘Firebrand,’ starring Alicia Vikander and Jude Law, which played in competition at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Aïnouz won the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes in 2019 for ‘Invisible Life.’

Among the other films playing in competition are new works by David Cronenberg, Paul Schrader, Jia Zhangke, Miguel Gomes, Paolo Sorrentino, and Coralie Fargeat.

Although last year marked a difficult one in Hollywood, with strikes by actors and writers forcing filming and post-production work to shut down for months – leaving significant gaps in 2024’s movie schedules and studios’ pockets – it will be a busy two weeks for the Festival de Cannes, with American filmmaker George Lucas set to receive an honorary Palme d’Or, and Sony’s Columbia Pictures also celebrating its 100th anniversary during the event.

The 77th Cannes Film Festival will run in the French Riviera from May 14-25, 2024. This year’s jury will be overseen by Barbie director and co-writer Greta Gerwig.

Official Selection 2024

Competition

  • The Apprentice, Ali Abbasi
  • Motel Destino, Karim Ainouz
  • Bird, Andrea Arnold
  • Emilia Perez, Jacques Audiard
  • Anora, Sean Baker
  • Megalopolis, Francis Ford Coppola
  • The Shrouds, David Cronenberg
  • The Substance, Coralie Fargeat
  • Grand Tour, Miguel Gomes
  • Marcello Mio, Christophe Honoré
  • Caught By The Tides, Jia Zhang-Ke
  • All We Imagine As Light, Payal Kapadia
  • Kinds Of Kindness, Yórgos Lánthimos
  • L’amour Ouf, Gilles Lellouche
  • Wild Diamond, Agathe Riedinger
  • Oh Canada, Paul Schrader
  • Limonov – The Ballad, Kirill Serebrennikov
  • Parthenope, Paolo Sorrentino
  • The Girl With The Needle, Magnus Von Horn

Out Of Competition

  • The Second Act, Quentin Dupieux (opening film)
  • Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, George Miller
  • Horizon, An American Saga, Kevin Costner
  • She’s Got No Name, Peter Chan
  • Rumours, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson, Guy Maddin

Midnight Screenings

  • Twilight Of The Warrior Walled In, Soi Cheang
  • I, The Executioner, Seung Wan Ryoo
  • The Surfer, Lorcan Finnegan
  • The Balconettes, Noémie Merlant

Cannes Premiere

  • Miséricorde, Alain Guiraudie
  • C’est Pas Moi, Leos Carax
  • Everybody Loves Touda, Nabil Ayouch
  • The Matching Bang, Emmanuel Courcol
  • Rendez-Vous Avec Pol Pot, Rithy Panh
  • Le Roman de Jim, Arnaud Larrieu, Jean-Marie Larrieu 

Special Screenings

  • Le Belle De Gaza, Yolande Zauberman
  • Apprendre, Claire Simon
  • The Invasion, Sergei Loznitsa
  • Ernest Cole, Lost And Found, Raoul Peck
  • Le Fil, Daniel Auteuil

Un Certain Regard

  • Norah, Tawfik Alzaidi
  • The Shameless, Konstantin Bojanov
  • Le Royaume, Julien Colonna
  • Vingt Dieux!, Louise Courvoisier
  • Who Let The Dog Bite?, Lætitia Dosch
  • Black Dog, Guan Hu
  • The Village Next To Paradise, Mo Harawe
  • September Says, Ariane Labed
  • L’histoire De Souleymane, Boris Lojkine
  • The Damned, Roberto Minervini
  • On Becoming A Guinea Fowl, Rungano Nyoni
  • My Sunshine, Hiroshi Okuyama
  • Santosh, Sandhya Suri
  • Viet And Nam, Truong Minh Quý
  • Armand, Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel

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Bus drivers and dogs strike a pose for National Pet Day in the UK

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Bus drivers and dogs strike a pose for National Pet Day in the UK
Bus stop: Christopher and Chester, Kim and Misty, and Mark and Pongo celebrating National Pet Day | Photo: Charlotte Graham

A bus operator in the UK is celebrating the National Pet Day on April 11th with snapshots capturing the bond between its bus drivers and their dogs.

The collection titled ‘A Bus Driver’s Best Friend’, released by Go North East, features six drivers from depots across the region, joined by pals: Pongo, Chester, Tasha, Misty, Milo, and Ella.

“Misty just wants everyone to love her. She’s not fazed by much either, we always say she’s totally fearless. Saying that she’s the softest dog at heart, we love spending chilled time together. When I’m watching TV of a night, she’ll jump up onto the back of the sofa and wrap her paws over my shoulders and snooze. That’s her favourite spot… and mine too,” says bus driver Kim Goodwin, from Crookgate.

Mark Gradon and his dalmatian Pongo, from Coxhoe, also had their image captured by award-winning photographer Charlotte Graham.

“Pongo’s just full of character, I call him my not-so-little shadow as he’s always there by my side. He’s getting on a bit now but I just love the fact he’s a puppy at heart. I’ll never forget the day I came home to find him sat down looking up at me all innocent with an empty dog food bag around his neck,” recalls Gradon.

The number of dogs in the UK continues to grow, with an estimated 13 million dogs living in UK households. During the lockdown, dog ownership in the United Kingdom increased from 23% in 2020 to 34% in 2022.

“It’s just such a pure friendship. I was ill a while back and Chester laid by my side until I was well again. I’m in no doubt having him there helped my recovery. It’s such a lift when I see that wagging tail when I get home from work. We’ve got a little ritual, he greets me, I hand him the paper that I buy every day for Amanda my wife, and he then fetches it to her. He’s my boy!,” says bus driver Christopher Walker, from Forest Hall, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Carly and Tasha, from Washington: 11 years of friendship and trips to the beach | Photo: Charlotte Graham

For bus driver Carly Benson, from Washington, the beach has been the place to spend time together for over a decade.

“Tasha’s my best friend, she’s a very understanding dog with a gentle soul, always there when you need a cuddle. She’s 11 now and I treasure every moment we spend together. By far the best times are those spent down the beach when she becomes a puppy again bouncing across the sand,” says Benson.

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