Arts features

Apprentice Watch: It’ll soon get ugly

By MichaelSophocles, March 26, 2009

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. When I look back on my time on The Apprentice last year, I wish I had done things differently. But then again, I realise now that my mistakes were mostly down to a lack of experience; something, I think, for which I can be forgiven.


The badger on my head? It helps me fight youth crime

By Sarah Lightman, March 26, 2009

What connects contemporary British artist Marcus Coates and the mayor of the Israeli city of Holon? The answer can be found in an extraordinary short film currently being shown at Tate Britain in London.

Through his work, Coates seeks solutions to challenging scenarios facing local communities — a previous project included focusing on the residents of a Liverpool housing estate whose homes were due to be demolished.


The artist of the Century

By Julia Weiner, March 19, 2009

Feliks Topolski liked to think big. The Polish-born artist spent 14 years creating a 600ft long, 20ft high mural under railway arches on London’s South Bank. His subject was nothing less than the 20th century, and how his life had intersected with its major events and significant figures.

This week London Mayor Boris Johnson officially reopened the Topolski Century gallery close to the Royal Festival Hall, following a two-year, £3 million redevelopment to create a venue that is set to become a landmark on the capital’s art scene.


Sophocles: How I got on to The Apprentice

March 19, 2009

As soon as I saw the third series of The Apprentice [in spring 2007] I thought, this is for me; I’ve got to apply. I was at work at a telesales company and I was looking at the BBC Apprentice website. Our secretary came up to me and said: “Why don’t you go for it?” I thought: “Do you know what? I’m going to do it.”

You have to apply online while the previous series is on. It’s a quick Q&A where they ask you rudimentary questions such as your name, age and why you think you should be in the show.


Our Gaza dialogue

March 6, 2009

Dear John Nathan


The golden age that the pogroms couldn’t destroy

By Julia Weiner, February 5, 2009

In the decade from 1340, the Black Death (or bubonic plague) killed millions of people in Europe. Around one third of the continent’s population died of the disease.


A nation in one family

By Alex Kasriel, January 14, 2009

Israeli society is complicated but photographer Vardi Kahana has come up with a novel way of explaining its myriad lifestyles, groups and history.

Kahana has focused on one large extended family and photographed them over a long period of time. And the family she has chosen? Her own, of course.

Using her mother and her two sisters as a starting point, Kahana — who has two children herself — has been documenting her relatives’ lives for the past 15 years. The resulting images are now going on show in London in an exhibition called One Family.


What not to miss over the next 12 months

By Alex Kasriel, December 30, 2008

Visual Art


The year in review

December 23, 2008



The Saatchi of the North

By Julia Weiner, December 11, 2008

Frank Cohen started out in the painting and decorating business 50 years ago. But despite making a fortune from DIY, it is a different kind of painting for which he is most now famous.

Cohen, 65, is one of the best-known collectors of contemporary art in the world, with a collection worth millions amassed over 40 years. He is known as the “Saatchi of the North”, after that other famous Jewish art lover, and in reference to the fact that he has resisted the lure of London — the centre of the art world — and is still based in his hometown of Manchester.