It is the place where visual artists, musicians, writers and theatre directors go when they really want to focus. Cove Park is an international centre in Scotland that offers artists who work in a variety of media residencies to undertake research and develop new projects. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, it was the brainchild of Eileen and Peter Jacobs, a couple originally from Glasgow who have been based in London since 1983.
Ronna and Beverly are two fiftysomething Jewish mothers from Boston (actually comic characters played by thirtysomething actresses Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo). The pair have become cult figures in Los Angeles with their celebrity chatshow and their self-help book aimed at divorcees, You'll Do a Little Better Next Time. We called them in the United States as they prepared to fly over for their London debut.
Are you looking forward to coming over to London?
Beverly: I can't wait. You have a king and a queen. It's so romantic.
Between her early photographic beginnings at the Studio Alexander in Manchester in the 1940s and her triumphant return to the city's Art Gallery this month, Dorothy Bohm has caught a world in her lens. She does not focus on the extremes of war and suffering, however, or succumb to the soothing calm of pictorial landscapes and cosy travel shots.
Israeli art is in vogue in London. In February Tate Modern dedicated a weekend to recent video art from Israel and today sees the opening of JaffaCakes TLV, the first-ever exhibition in the UK devoted to the work of artists from Tel Aviv. The show, which has aroused considerable excitement in London's art world, is the brainchild of young independent curators Yasmine Datnow, Maïa Morgensztern and Lara Wolfe.
In the mid-19th century, when women were first beginning to express a serious interest in cosmetics, and the beauty business was in its infancy, there was one practitioner in London whose name was on everyone's lips - Madame Rachel. Anyone who was anyone in fashionable society and who wanted to preserve their looks paid discreet visits to her salon at 47A New Bond Street to indulge in her mysterious beauty treatments, handed down, so she claimed, from generation to generation in her family.
Gerti Deutsch was one of the most original and prolific documentary photographers of the 1930s and '40s, a status made all the more remarkable given that she was refugee from Austria who fled to the UK to evade the Nazis.
Paul Prowse, senior picture editor at the photo agency Getty Images, says: "She was a pioneering photojournalist. Gerti was part of a German invasion of compassionate photographers, including Felix Mann and Kurt Hutton, who were at the forefront of photojournalism at that time."
Irving Penn's career lasted 60 years. But his photographs will last forever.
The National Portrait Gallery is currently showing Penn's
pictures commissioned by Vogue magazine from 1947-2007. Given the ephemeral nature of magazines, it is a mark of distinction that his photographs are still as fresh and moving as they were the day they were taken. (How many pictures from this week's Hello! do you think will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in 2070?)
'I think that taking up art would be great for anybody at any age," encourages Anneke Raber, 59, a chiropodist, reflexologist and artist. A growing number of people are taking up arts and crafts in middle age and even later - but how easy is it to start at something from scratch when you're not in the first flush? And how good can you become?