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11 Posts tagged with the veolia_environnement_wildlife_photographer_of_the_year tag
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February is such a short month I can hardly believe that it’s time for our Lates with MasterCard again. But here we are and it’s looking like a really fun line-up. This month we have our first late night opening of Extinction: Not the End of the World? our latest special exhibition taking a look at the role of extinction in the evolution of life.

 

I had the chance to look around it just before it opened and can honestly say I was blown away. There are some fantastic specimens and fascinating interactives, including videos on conservation work, voting booths where you can have your say on big questions relating to extinction and an extinction computer game (that I probably spent far too long playing!).

 

Special exhibitions usually sell out at Lates but if you book early and bag yourself a ticket I’d recommend you spend a bit of time reading messages on the ‘wishing tree’, a place designed for visitors to write down their thoughts about life on Earth and leave them for others to see.

 

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Of course this month also is the time of year that we bid a fond farewell to Wildlife Photographer of the Year at Lates. This Friday is your last chance to see the amazing photos from this year’s competition after hours so if you haven’t seen it yet and would like to, this could be your chance. It’s hard to choose a favourite image amongst such an impressive and diverse selection of photos but I think the one that stands out for me is the commended ‘Relaxation’ by Jasper Doest (below).

 

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But Lates isn’t all about the exhibitions. This month our Crazy Artistes are back to put your speed-sketching skills to the test with real Museum specimens. Find them in the galleries and see if you can draw a dinosaur skull or a badger in just ten minutes. They’ve been squirrelling away prizes from all over the Museum so who knows, you might even win something.

 

We’ve also got a truly fascinating discussion event taking place in the Museum’s Restaurant. Addressing huge questions about extinction, this month’s we'll be considering whether or not we could, or indeed should, bring extinct species back from the dead.

 

Bringing Back the Dead has three brilliant expert speakers and you’ll be able to have your say and ask questions directly to the experts. Charlotte in our Nature Live team has been busy preparing the content and you can read more about it on the Nature Live blog here.

 

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Once again, our increasingly popular open mic night will be returning in Central Hall. I’m getting more and more emails from musicians wanting to play and now spend most of my lunchtimes watching spectacularly talented people performing on YouTube. We’ve narrowed it down to our favourite eleven for this month and some of their videos are below. Make sure you check them out below.

 

So, if you’re free on Friday (and even if you aren’t) you should definitely pop along and visit us at Lates. We’d be delighted to see you there!

 

More information about Lates with MasterCard

 

Andy Glynn

 

 

Miranda Quammie is a singer, songwriter, piano player and native of Stoke Newington who combines elements of folk, classical and pop to captivating effect on her debut album, Tempest.

 

 

 

Acoustic London-based duo, August and After, weave abundant vocal harmonies onto a bed of intricate guitar arrangements and story-telling lyricism.

 


 

Ki Yoshi is a soulful singer-songwriter from Camden.

 

 

 

Australian born singer/songwriter/guitarist/ukulele enthusiast Angela Ashby brings joyful acoustic melodies with occasional rocking rhythms to your ears.

 

 

 

Hailing from the south coast, Tom Bradley blends his laid back beach sounds with his soulful vocals, drawing comparisons to the likes of Jack Johnson and Paolo Nutini. His songs range from reggae tinged summer anthems, to harmony-laden Fleetwood Mac throwbacks.

 

 

 

Winnet’s background as ballet dancer and actress gives her a unique charismatic quality as a performer on stage, which compels her audiences and embellishes both the style and subject of each song. This coupled with her own individual vocal timbre marks her as a tremendous new comer to the business. An utter delight to watch.

 

 

 

Bluesy, big-voiced singer-songwriter Hayley Tucker writes songs with a story. Accompanying herself on her acoustic guitar, expect some folky soul with sass.

 

 

 

Ben Lim writes and sings songs, only to slow his inevitable transformation into a robot, by way of his day job.

 

 

Also playing is:

 

  • Sophie Kilburn, a singer-songwriter originally from the Derbyshire Dales who describes her own unique style as a blend of Adele, Eva Cassidy and Lily Allen.
  • Autumn Fox, an acoustic songwriter from Memphis Tennessee promising to bring a flavour of the south into folk / pop music
  • Singer-songwriter R P Williams.
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2012 was an amazing year for our monthly Lates with MasterCard event. We had spectacular special exhibitions, we launched our open-mic night in the Central Hall and introduced a popular speed-sketching activity with the Crazy Artists.

 

Our final Lates of 2012 in November saw our highest visitor numbers ever with over 4,000 people attending and we’ve been collecting lots of feedback about how we can make the event even better.

 

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(Click images to see them full size)

 

So with your suggestions in mind, we’ve made some changes to the 2013 event to ensure everyone has a brilliant Friday night at the Museum.

 

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Many of you wanted to visit the beautiful and imposing blue whale after hours and we have listened so, this month, we are opening the Mammals (blue whale) gallery at Lates for the first time in two years.

 

Our lovely sponsors are adding to the updated event by introducing an exclusive MasterCard cocktail bar in the Images of Nature gallery. If you have one, just flash your MasterCard and you and one guest will be able to get in and enjoy some delicious mixes.

 

We’re gearing up to the opening of our newest exhibition, Extinction: Not the End of the World? next month and so have been busy preparing a fascinating discussion event to kickstart the proceedings. So, on Friday, we have three experts debating the potential for human extinction and you’ll get the chance to ask your questions and meet the experts. You can find out more and book tickets here.

 

The ever popular Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is open until 22.30. It usually sells out well in advance for Lates with just a handful of walk-up tickets available on the night, so make sure you book early to see the exhibition in the evening.

 

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This month’s line-up of open-mic artists is as strong as ever with performances by The Chain, Peter and Susanna, Justin Manville, Two of a Kind, Marian Woods, Andy Kempster, Adam Black and Fran Taylor. You can get a sneak peek of some of their music by checking out the videos below.

 

So we hope you enjoy this month’s Lates and if you have suggestions for activity you’d like to see at future events you can always email them to the team at after-hours@nhm.ac.uk.

 

Check out the website for a full rundown of everything open at Lates on Friday.

 

Andy Glynn

 

 

 

 

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So summer’s definitely over, but autumn brings with it our spectacular Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.

 

This Friday 26 October's Lates with MasterCard is the first late opening of the exhibition and what an exhibition it is! If you haven’t had a peek at the line-up of winning images, you can do so on our online gallery but there’s nothing quite like seeing the full show so make sure you get your tickets early for this Friday if you’re planning on coming along.

 

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Paul Nicklen's Bubble-jetting emperors is the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year winner. Get up close to this and 99 other prize-winning photographs in the exhibition open late on Friday evening.

 

This month we’re bringing back our increasingly popular Open-mic in the Central Hall and we’ve got 11 awesome performers. They’ll be playing from 7pm until 10.30pm and we’ve got a fantastic mix of artists. With everything from country to rock and pop it’s bound to be a great night. Get a taste of one of the performers, Marie Naffah, in this video, and see some of the other performers' videos at the end of this blog.

 

 

This month we also have some really exciting activities going on at Lates. Join our discussion event exploring the pitfalls and possibilities of a manned mission to Mars in our unique event, Should We Go To Mars? This event is ticketed and you need to book online in advance.

 

Our amazing half-term Campsite event will be opening an evening early for a special preview. With film screenings in campervans, human-sized cabinets where you can label yourself a specimen and a real polar tent in the mix, you can have yourself an indoor-outdoor adventure in the Darwin Centre. The Campsite will be open from 7pm – 9.30pm.

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Get a taste of the Campsite mobile festival of campervans, caravans and pop-up tents, arriving here on Friday evening. Right, join the crazy artists for some entertaining speed-sketching.

We’re also saying bonsoir to our Crazy Artists who are back and crazier than ever with a night of speed-sketching that will knock your socks off.  Can you sketch a squirrel in 10 minutes? Or draw a dinosaur? Or paint a porpoise? The Artists are here to put your skills to the test. Every 15 minutes between 19.00 and 21.00 the artists will bring out a specimen from the Museum’s collections. You’ll have 10 minutes to draw it before they cast their expert eyes over your work and choose a winner to take home a Natural History Museum prize.

 

If all that wasn’t enough, we’re opening the Dinosaur gallery, and you can get into the Halloween spirit in the Creepy Crawlies gallery, which is open for the the first time ever at Lates,

 

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Satisfy your curiosity about locusts (above), ants, butterflies, crabs, spiders, termites and 1000s of their relatives in the Green Zone's Creepy Crawlies gallery.

 

And with all that going on you’re bound to be peckish, so why not warm up with our tasty new pop-up restaurant menu? Featuring venison and wild boar stew, dumplings and mashed potato, you won’t be hungry for long.

 

So it looks like this is going to be one of our busiest Lates ever and I hope you all enjoy it. As always, if you do come along, please let us know what you think on the night or you can email the team at after-hours@nhm.ac.uk.

 

Andy Glynn

Visitor Events Manager


Open-mic performers at this month's Lates

 

Calvin Roche performs a variety of sounds from upbeat to chilled acoustic featuring amazing bass and vocals.

 

Clinton Tavares is a singer/songwriter from Watford that is currently playing open mics all across London.

 

 

 

Daniel Corsini plays acoustic folk with influences from Ray Davies to Kenny Rogers, to cups of tea, to sleeping in the sun.

 

 

 

Glen Kirkham is a star in waiting. His unique high-note harmonies and distinctive acoustic guitar playing produce a stunning synergy of blues and rock/pop.

 

 

 

Icicle Tree are an established folk fusion band from Surrey that plays memorable songs with distinctive melodies, creative arrangements and a truly identifiable style.

 

 

 

Jakob Deist, originally from South Africa but now based in Essex, is an amazing acoustic performer who blends a mix of pop, blues, rock and indie sounds. His new album, The Owl and the Crow, is out soon.

 

 

 

Kaitlyn Haggis, our youngest open-mic performer to date, is a teenage singer/songwriter from North London. She’s been developing her own material over the last 12 months and is currently recording her first EP.

 

 

 

Lucie Zara is a singer/songwriter from Devon. Her music has been described as a fusion of folk guitar, quirky lyrics and soulful vocals.

 

Marie Naffah is bound for big things, according to Love Music Love Life Magazine, who say: “With features on Balcony TV, Absolute Radio, XFM and her track about a girl who has lost her sight featured as top video of the week on NME breakthrough, this is just the beginning for the 20-year-old. You can expect to hear a lot more as she is set to record her new EP over the next few months.”

 

Paul Howley
Original soulful folk, big poppy choruses and some of the smartest lyrics in town.

 

The Frisbys
Often compared to the likes of Fleetwood Mac, the Frisbys write memorable folk/pop songs. Expect delicate folk textures and soaring harmonies from this four-piece.

 

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It may be a mild January so far, but inside the Museum there's a distinctly Antarctic atmosphere. After the mammoth operation that was the royal opening of our Scott’s Last Expedition exhibition last week (see the recent What’s New blog for the news) I had been ‘pacing myself’ on the return back to normality (i.e. slacking) this week. But I was instantly revitalised on discovering that this Friday’s After Hours with MasterCard is listed in both Time Out's Critics Choice and the Daily Telegraph as one of the top things to do this weekend in London.

 

The reason this After Hours has been picked out in this delightful fashion is because we have two top exhibitions opening late, and it won’t cost the earth to come and see them, always attractive at this time of the year.

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A ticket to Scott’s Last Expedition is £9 (£8 excluding voluntary donation) and it will give you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see artefacts and specimens from the expedition on display together in Britain for the first time (above). It is also a great opportunity to take on board the facts around the 1910-1913 Terra Nova expedition and to glean something of the heroic natures of the men who went out on that terrible journey, a journey embedded in the national psyche.

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Scott films: Glimpse the shell-shocked-looking Apsley Cherry-Garrard (left) and the ordeal of the 'worst journey in the world' to Cape Crozier in 1911 to collect Emperor penguin eggs (right) in our online video or in the exhibition cinema.

 

Specimens on display include one of the three Emperor penguin eggs collected by Dr Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers and Apsley Cherry-Garrard (above left) during the permanent darkness of the Antarctic winter, which were donated to the Museum by Cherry-Garrard on his return to Britain. The eggs were collected under horrendous conditions at Cape Crozier and you can find out about the renowned worst journey in the world in our film.

 

Famously, Scott, Wilson, Edgar Evans, 'Titus' Oates and Bowers, died in 1912 on the journey back from the expedition's attempt on the South Pole. Remarkably during their failed return from the Pole they had with them 35 kilos of geological and fossil specimens that they had collected and hauled by sledge. Not even when their attempt to get back to base at Cape Evans was obviously doomed did they jettison them to lighten their load. For that reason alone, nevermind their high scientific value, these specimens have a powerful legacy and you can see some of them in the exhibition (above).

 

Many of the contemporary family relatives of the original Polar Party attended the royal opening of the exhibition and it was a great honour to have them present. Prior to the event I had the privilege of talking with Petty Officer Edgar Evans’ grandson John Evans, who sadly was unable to be present on the night. And at the exhibition opening I had my hand held by Lady Kennet, the daughter by her second husband of Kathleen, Robert Falcon Scott’s wife. She and her own daughter were intently studying a large photograph of the expedition party at the time. Although it is 100 years since the Southern Party members died on their way back from the Pole, that felt like history very close up.

 

One member of the family relatives who definitely couldn't attend the opening was Scott's only grandson, Falcon, but for good reason. Falcon is currently in Antarctica to help preserve the Cape Evans hut of the Terra Nova expedition. You can see a film of him entering his grandfather's hut for the very first time here and read about his reactions in our Antarctic conservation blog.

 

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Back on the menu this Friday is the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 exhibition - now very much sold out. And for those of you who have been missing it, our much loved Central Hall pop-up restaurant in the Blue Bar, returns (above). Here you can indulge any cravings for seasonal comfort food under the shadow of the glowing Diplodocus. If you just want to get a drink, then we have two main bar areas - the Gold Bar, just past the Blue Bar, and the Red Bar in Fossil Way.

 

As usual, there’ll be live jazz and this Friday's special Scott-related event promising a lively discussion on the question Do we naturally need heroes?. Come and join two key speakers, Meredith Hooper and Andrew Morton, to talk about the nature of celebrity and how things have changed since Scott’s death raised him to heroic status.

 

It's also a good time to visit both our exhibition shops and the main Museum shop.

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'Winter draws on' as my gran used to say, and unbelievably it's our last After Hours with MasterCard of 2011 already.

 

Outside, Ice Rink pealights are wrapped in sparkling coils around the plane trees in the Museum garden and the bright lights of the carousel remind us that the festive season is upon us. And I am now squeaking like Minnie Mouse due to festive laryngitis. My After Hours catering manager, Ed Watts, is promising me a restorative glass of something sparkling laced with Lemsip at our Central Hall bar at tonight's free event.

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At tonight's After Hours do a spot of chilled-out Christmas shopping in our beautiful Museum Shop

Other unusual combinations are on offer at After Hours this week. This is one occasion you can actually chill out and do a spot of Christmas shopping in our Museum shop at the same time – and that is not something one can say of many places in London at  this time.

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I have myself been peering short-sightedly into the jewellery cabinets in our shops looking for present ideas (mostly for me) and there are some beautiful designs and objects based on the natural world at various prices, like our bestselling ‘real leaf’ jewellery range (right). If jewellery isn't your bag we have a very good choice of natural history books, Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year prints, stocking fillers and soft toys, including a Christmassy cuddly reindeer (left) I was very tempted by.

 

You can also experience the unusual combination of dinosaurs and forensic detection - though, sadly, not at the same time - by visiting our iconic Dinosaurs gallery and taking part in Crime Scene Live: The Box of Bones event. Not only are our Crime Scene Live events special, they are also award-winning. Earlier this week the Crime Scene event we held at June’s After Hours won best event in a public space at the Eventia Awards 2011 in London. These awards recognise excellence in the events industry, and ours beat the Royal Wedding live event coverage and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Ryder Cup! We were as pleased as punch.

 

And look out for Drawabout, a theatrical ‘off-piste’ drawing class who will be roaming around, accompanied by a roving minstrel. They'll improvise songs about you if you agree to be drawn! It sounds like great fun and you can take the picture home with you if you like.

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But the main course at our last-one-before-Christmas After Hours with Mastercard is the late opening of Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of theYear 2011 exhibition. The exhibition (featured above) is pretty much sold out now, so we hope you have already bought your ticket (although there may still be some at walk-up). Call 020 7942 5725 to see if there are stil some tickets left for tonight. Even if you don't visit the exhibition you can have a browse in the fabulous exhibition shop and enjoy a drink at our bars or a delicious bowl platter at our Gold Café Bar while listening to live jazz.

 

See what Christmas gift ideas to look out for in the Museum Shops

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Says Isabella Rossellini - in her video 'Seduce me', showing at our Sexual Nature exhibition.

 

This Friday we say goodbye to this season’s run of late nights for Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year and an enthusiastic ‘helloooo’ to our Sexual Nature exhibition, being unveiled late for the first time at After Hours.

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Tickets for Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year at After Hours have now all gone, but do grab a ticket for Sexual Nature if you are planning to visit us on Friday night. You’ll have topics of conversation for days to come afterwards. As the glowing entrance panel to the exhibition has it – ‘sex has been around for a billion years. Now most animals and plants are at it’. How comprehensively they are at it you will find out on your trip around the gallery.

 

I would say that, for a Friday night dating experience, it would be difficult to beat Sexual Nature. It is entertaining, highly amusing, temperature raising, and you will see things in it that you are not going to see anywhere else on a Friday or indeed, any other night.

Whether it is to find out such interesting nuggets as that the paper nautilus’s arm breaks off during sex and swims to the female; or that orchids got their name from the Greek for testes; to laugh out loud at Isabella Rossellini’s magnificently hilarious filmed interpretations of animal reproduction; to be stopped dead in your tracks by the video of bonobos; to contribute to the amusing chat up lines that our visitors are leaving on the rear wall of the exhibition or to indulge in the eye-popping retail experience where you can pick up a copy of the Kama Sutra, Delta of Venus, some chocolate body paint and some of the most unusual cuddly toys I’ve ever seen – why not give Sexual Nature a whirl at this After Hours? You’ll see some specimens that have never been on display before, and you’ll be taking more than one amazed look at some of them, if my recent trip around the exhibition is anything to go by.

 

SN-exhibition.jpgThis Friday, we’ve also got ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’, the first in our sexually-related Discussing Nature debates, taking place in the restaurant at 7pm. We’ll have a panel of experts ready to address some of your probing questions about sex. There’s also the opportunity at the event to have your questions answered in our anonymous ‘sex surgery’, which could be an opportunity if you are a paper nautilus to find out why your arm breaks off when you are having sex.

 

Thank you to everyone who came along to see Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year at this season’s run.

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If you were fast enough off the mark to have got a Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition ticket at this Friday’s After Hours on 28 January (tickets have now all gone), you will have the opportunity to see some spectacular wildlife photography.

 

But there are more ways than one to capture images of the natural world – and people have tried to represent the natural world for thousands of years, going all the way back to early cave paintings. The Museum holds the finest natural history art collection in the world,  more than 500,000 pieces. Now for the first time, we are putting some  of our collection on permanent public display, in our brand new Images of Nature gallery which opened to the public on 21 January, and you can experience some of these unique images in this gallery at After Hours. Entry is free.

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Located near the entrance to the Darwin Centre, past our Dinosaurs galleries, Images of Nature is sited in what used to be the Spencer Gallery, now beautifully refurbished and back as a public space for the first time in some 20 years. You can cut through it to access the Darwin Centre by the Attenborough Studio and Interactive wall, although I am sure you will want to linger in the space.

 

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I asked Peronel Craddock, the Senior Interpretation Developer responsible for the Images of Nature interpretation to tell us more about what you will find in the gallery.

 

‘Images of Nature is a beautiful, visual exploration of how artists and scientists see the natural world. We're displaying highlights from our world-famous natural history art collection, from 17th century oil paintings, to exquisite watercolours, to contemporary illustration - many of which have never been on display before. Alongside these are images from modern science, showing the enormous range of tools and techniques scientists now have to observe and capture nature.’

 

Peronel says that one of her favourite stories in the gallery features the dodo - two paintings side-by-side, one 17th century, one 21st century that challenges our preconceptions of the dodo as a clumsy, slow-moving bird..The 21st century dodo painting by Museum scientist and artist Dr Julian Hume is shown here.

 

‘Many staff from the Museum have been involved in this project - from renovating the gallery space to planning and building the exhibition, so it's fantastic to see the doors now open and visitors enjoying the gallery. I hope that it will open people's eyes to the diversity of the collections held here, and the fascinating scientific stories behind the art.’

 

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We have the first in our rolling temporary displays within the gallery – some of the beautiful illustrations from the collection of John Reeves, the East India Company’s China based tea inspector and amateur naturalist who commissioned Chinese artists to paint the natural history around them.There are many botanical illustrations included such as this Camellia japonica, 1812-1831, pictured left.

 

Unlike the always charmingly calm and collected Peronel, the Images of Nature launch and the upcoming launch of our new bonkbuster exhibition Sexual Nature (catch it at After Hours from February) have left me with the same ‘in the headlights’ expression sported by the ruffled lemur in the Reeves collection (main image, above). I am looking forward to restoring myself this Friday with one of our new green apple, passion fruit or banana bellinis, available at all of our bars at After Hours. Do join us if you can.

 

Find out what's on at After Hours

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Besides Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Images of Nature, we are running two showings of our very new and very special interactive film, Who do you think you really are? in the Attenborough Studio. And the gloves are off at Science Fight Club, the last in our fascinating Discussing Nature events as our scientists do battle on some important topics. Who will you back to win?

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Our November After Hours is here already and we are looking forward to a great night out (or in for us).

 

Tickets have been selling like hot cakes (useful in this cold snap) for Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year at After Hours.

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We’ve got great food and drink on the menu at our bars; live jazz, the opportunity for a look around our amazing Cocoon, and the second in our Discussing Nature series of events in our restaurant. This Discussing Nature event, ‘Exploring the Final Frontiers’ will be a fascinating ‘balloon debate’, with 3 of our top scientists putting forward their case for a fictional funding pot to explore the unchartered areas of the world or solar system, and the audience voting to find the winner.

 

It’s great to see that Veolia Wildlife Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year is so popular. Behind this year's exhibition, as behind all our exhibitions, there is a hard-working project team that puts together the design, production, interpretation, marketing, press, interactive and online elements of that exhibition.

 

Inside-VEWPY-gallery.jpgGrant Reid is the exhibition’s project director and Paul Gallagher is the project manager. I managed to extract Grant from the avalanche of tender applications he is currently working his way through for other exhibitions for 2011, so he could tell me a bit more about this year’s exhibition and how we are working to make Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer environmentally sustainable. Here's what he has to say:


‘The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is one of the Museum’s most popular events, and it’s definitely the longest running exhibition at the Museum. It attracted over 130,000 visitors last year, and people have been returning for over 20 years to see it.

 

'Last year, the exhibition moved from the Jerwood gallery into the Waterhouse gallery. We re-designed the exhibition for this and built it with the latest technology, sustainability and flexibility in mind. This year, we've used the same 2009 gallery framework with some improvements and a different fabric.

 

‘This large structural framework guides the visitor through the central space of the exhibition, opening up individual, gallery-like rooms and culminating in a striking black monolith which dramatically displays the winning photographs (shown above) from the 2010 competition.’

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The exhibition's support framework is made from aluminium - shown right, before the fabric was applied. This metal is lightweight, reusable, strong and hard-wearing. At the end of its intended 5-6 year life, the aluminium structure will be recycled into new aluminium stock.

 

Sustainability has become an important aspect in planning our exhibitions, Grant explains:

 

‘Historically before 2009 the exhibition photographs were shown on fluorescence tube light boxes. These have now been recycled, and the images hang this year on slim, almost invisible LED light panels, which provide a 40 per cent reduction in power consumption. These LED strips have life-cycles of approximately 100,000 hours.

 

'We've applied the same philosophy of sustainability to other elements of the exhibition such as the furniture and the photographic film and cinematic equipment – we reused all equipment where possible. A specialist print company was selected for their extremely high quality of reproduction. The film transparencies will be recycled and the chemicals embodied in the film will be extracted and recycled by a specialist company.

 

'For the first time in the exhibition's history, we are planning to measure all the power consumption and benchmark the 2010 exhibition to measure it against future ones. We hope to continue to present a high quality photographic exhibition with the same sustainable materials, while subtly renovating the overall aesthetic each year.’

 

The Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010 exhibition closes earlier than usual this year on 11 March. So be sure to catch while you can. Enjoy it next year at 2 more After Hours on 28 January and 25 February.

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Baby it’s cold outside, but there is a warm glow in my heart because I’ve just been around the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. 

The Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition opened to the public last Friday, 22 October. And the exhibition is certainly looking grand from the entrance this year. The arrival area has been opened up and there is a clear view to a vista of photographs, glowing like jewels in the gallery. 

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Andrew Parkinson's 'The drop', Animals in their Environment - highly commended

There are beautiful, memorable and skilfully-executed photographs in the exhibition, but for my money none so memorable as the One Earth category award winner, taken by Spanish photographer Jordi Chias Pujol, entitled ‘Turtle in Trouble’. 

Sailing between Barcelona and the Balearics, Mr Pujol was hoping to photograph dolphins, but instead, spotting an abandoned net drifting along, he dived down, and found a loggerhead sea turtle trapped in the net.  Mr Pujol notes ‘the poor creature must have been trapped for some days so knotted up was it…I felt as though it were looking at me for help as it tried to bite through the netting’.

The photograph shows the turtle, head on to the camera, flippers outstretched through the tangled blue shroud of fishing net.  And there is something about the way it is loosely holding a small length of the net in its mouth, fathomless dark eyes looking at the photographer that is really quite upsetting. It is only when I went down to the exhibition and read the commentary that I found the story had a happy ending.  I will leave to you to find out what that was.

I could only approach that stretch of the exhibition, the One Earth Award category tentatively. You will see some extraordinary photographs there. And in the new Wildlife Photojournalist category.

But I also laughed at the photographs of bird bottoms – the bottom of a fulmar launching off high sea cliffs in the Shetlands; the bottom of a mute swan on the Rhine seen from beneath; the bottom of an Arctic tern flying in to feed its chicks in Iceland.

 

There is something about these bottoms that warmed the cockles of my heart!
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Johan Gehrisch's 'Chick delight', 15-17 years Young award, highly commended

Anyway, After Hours kicks off again this Friday night, and you can experience all this and more for yourself. There is also the opportunity to take part in an exciting new series of biodiversity-focused discussion events in our Restaurant, ‘Biodiversity: the Next Step’ is the first one of these Discussing Nature events, with some great guest speakers. 

We will be rolling out a new ‘dining around Dippy’ experience, in addition to the normal set up in the Central Hall Blue Bar. So do come and join us for a meal, a drink, an exploration of Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer or the Darwin Centre. Or to take part in a vital discussion on the future of global diversity.

And take away a new view on the world. From the bottom up.

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jonathan-renouf-160.jpgThis Friday’s After Hours (29 January) sees the second of our very exciting Meet the BBC Series Producer events in the Attenborough Studio. This time, Jonathan Renouf (left), series producer of BBC Two’s momentous How the Earth Made Us will be showing clips and images from the series. It is a real thrill for us to be running these fascinating events.

 

Back at November’s After Hours, Martha Holmes, the wonderful producer of the BBC’s Life series had to come across country to give her talk and only just made it in the nick of time due to transport problems, so we are relieved that Jonathan is coming from North London.


We will be putting a bar just outside the Attenborough Studio as usual on Friday night where you can relax over a drink before or after the event, or after you've visited the Darwin Centre Cocoon.

 

Jan Beccaloni, our excellent and very amusing curator of arachnids, will be doing a stint in the specimen preparation area in Cocoon. She tells me she will be working on spiders that are destined for the Angela Marmont Centre - our showcase for UK biodiversity which opens later this year. Jan is thinking about bringing along some other specimens from our collections as well, including examples of the world's biggest spider! Hopefully no one will faint. Including me. Come along and have a chat with Jan - she will be very pleased to see you.

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Tickets for this Friday's late opening of our Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition in the Waterhouse Gallery have nearly sold out, so you'll have to be really quick if you'd like to see the exhibition at this After Hours. Look out for this beautiful leopard image if you go.

 

We are starting planning now for our new summer After Hours. This will be a chance for you to catch up with our fascinating new exhibition The Deep after hours and enjoy a summer cocktail or two and our new summer menu out in the Darwin Centre gardens, so make a date in your diary for the first event, which is on 25 June. If the weather holds it will be fantastic.

 

If it rains it will be slightly less fantastic but we have contingency plans!

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It was a real privilege to have Martha Holmes, the BBC Life series producer with us at our November After Hours night. Martha (pictured left) had very kindly agreed to give a talk on the making of the BBC's Life series and it proved to be a truly fascinating event.

 

The high-tech, very impressive Darwin Centre Attenborough Studio was the venue, a fitting place to be discussing Sir David Attenborough's new Life series. Martha was introduced by Nathan Budd, who used to work with her at the BBC Natural History Museum Unit in Bristol, and is now an Assistant Producer in our Interactive Film Unit here. Nathan is a member of the After Hours project team and the event was his idea.

 

Martha is a great speaker, and made a perfect, humorous and quite moving selection of images and film clips to illustrate her talk. And her talk was so engrossing, in particular the dedication of the cameramen in difficult environments was an eye-opener, as well as seeing clips of the animal behaviour that  Martha emphasised new technology is allowing us to see for the first time.

 

What came across most profoundly for me was the BBC’s commitment to excellence. Martha explained how only the very best shots were used in the Life series - even if that meant disappointing the cameramen who had endured horrendous conditions to get footage that would not ultimately be used.  It is this process of selection that ensures the very best footage comes to our screens.

 

I noticed a small, rapt boy in the audience with his parents - he was first in line afterwards at the book signing and went off happily with his signed Christmas present of the Life series book that Martha co-wrote with Michael Gunton.

 

As Martha signed away, Nathan told me how he’d spent a year living totally isolated from civilisation when he was working as a cameraman on the BBC’s Yellowstone series. He said that about five shots from his year’s footage were eventually used. He also told me some amusing stories of running away from the wildlife which, of course, included grizzly and brown bears. Now all I need to do is persuade Nathan to do an event about cameramen living in the wild...

 

Come along to our next After Hours on Friday, 29 January 2010, when we're planning another special event.



Laura Harmour

Laura Harmour

Member since: Nov 18, 2009

Find out what will be happening at Lates - the late night opening of the Museum on the last Friday of (almost) every month.

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