Going Back to the Classics

first_imgThis week visual arts in Oxford was nowhere near boiling-point. The new exhibitions in the Ashmolean such as Spectacular Impressions and An Englishman’s Travels in Egypt, despite their promising titles, were more lukewarm than usual. The former, showcasing prints from the 15th to 17th centuries by artists such as Mantegna, Durer, Rembrandt and Van Dyck, was definitely enlightening. Every one of the images on display has been recognised internationally as to be of the highest quality, and each could probably inspire an exhibition in itself. However, to the untrained and uninformed eye, they were impressive more in terms of technical skill than emotive power. Similarly, the Englishman’s Travels in Europe though interesting in its revival of the story of Edward Lane, a renowned Arabic scholar and fine draughtsman, invited only a passing glance.In the same way, Ornamentation: drawings for the decorative arts, running in the Christ Church Gallery from 30 April to 30 July, seemed to me to be pleasant but entirely insipid, drawing on the College’s existing collection of graphic art and featuring particularly prominently the designs of Giulio Romano. Apart from a slight physical resemblance to Punch cartoons, the collection was unremarkable, offering plenty of faint drawings of ornamental vases, curlicues and seals.In comparison to these, the permanent collection of paintings in Christ Church seems much more impressive. Needless to say, the 300 odd Old Master paintings and almost 2 000 drawings are definitely overwhelming in their grandeur and scope. I particularly enjoyed the detailed work in paintings such as The Devil, where a certain Abba Moses the Indian (i.e from Ethiopia) is painted a lurid shade of green, with sagging breasts, a beard, tails, winds and bird feet in one of the Nine Scenes from the Lives of the Hermits (Tuscan Schoolc.1440- 1450). Other gems include the Fragment from a Lamentation by Hugo van der Goes (the tears on the Virgin’s face glisten with tangible emotion), and Filippino Lippi’s The Wounded Centaur, which beautifully depicts the dangers of playing with love.These, of course, are just a few examples of the wealth of delights provided by this small gallery, mentioned in every tourist guide, but under-utilised by the members of the University to whom, after all, admission is free (on presentation of a Bod card). In fact, I would recommend any bored visual arts buff to go spend an afternoon at Christ Church. More often than not, the permanent collection of the  college shows more dynamism and promise than newer arrivals to the city.ARCHIVE: 2nd Week TT 2003last_img read more

Ireland defeat United States

first_imgIreland overcame a sticky start to beat the United States by 46 runs in Group A of the Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers in Belfast. The visitors’ response was hit by the loss of Akeem Dodson to a duck off the second ball of the innings, while fellow opener Fahad Babar went for 10 as the United States also dropped to 22 for two. Nicholas Standford top-scored for the visitors with 19 but after he fell lbw to George Dockrell the US resistance crumbled and they were all out for 100 runs in the 17th over. Victory leaves the Irish on top of their group with two wins from two games ahead of their third match against Nepal on Monday. The hosts’ hopes of a second straight win appeared to be in jeopardy when openers Niall O’Brien and Paul Stirling fell for seven and eight respectively, leaving them languishing on 22 for two. But a steady 44 by Andy Balbirnie came to Ireland’s rescue and some late fireworks from John Mooney – who hit 20 runs off just seven balls – helped the hosts set a reasonable target of 146. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

UKGC’s May stats reflect retail reality

first_img StumbleUpon Related Articles The UK’s retail landscape has continued to suffer over recent months with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) reporting a 1.5 per cent decrease in the number of shops since March 2018.As part of the biannual statistics published by the regulator, the total number of betting shops has fallen to 8423, while licensed arcades and bingo premises have also dropped in numbers by 5.3 and 1.1 per cent respectively.These declines reflect the adjustments which have been undertaken by UK retail bookmakers in a bid to offset the impact of the recent FOBT judgement.FTSE250 William Hill was the first bookmaker to confirm betting shop closures, declaring during its full-year 2018 results that it had committed to shutting down 900 stores across the UK.Meanwhile, Ladbrokes has recently stated that it has identified approximately 1,000 betting shops which could shut their doors for good during 2019.Ben Haden, programme director for Industry Insight commented on the recent UKGC statistics: “Despite the marginal decline across the wider gambling industry, the online gambling sector continues to grow. Our role as regulator will continue to see us working to raise standards right across the industry.”Positive news for the industry sees the UKGC report Gross gambling yield (GGY) for the UK’s online gaming sector had jumped by 2.9 per cent over the year to £5.6bn in the 12 months to September 2018.Total GGY for the UK has amounted to £14.5bn during the twelve months, noting a 0.4 per cent decrease from April 2017 – March 2018.Haden added: “Following our comprehensive review of the online gambling sector in 2018, this year we have implemented new rules to strengthen age and ID verification checks and we’ve also been working with partners in financial institutions to develop the role they can play to protect vulnerable consumers.“Last month we published the new National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms which has a renewed focus on plans to widen research, take a preventative approach to gambling harms, assess treatment provision, embed a culture of evaluation, and encourage industry to collaborate to make gambling safer.’’Market share for the remote sector in the UK jumped to 39 per cent between October 2017 and September 2018, recording a 1.2 per cent increase from April 2017-March 2018.Meanwhile contributions to good causes from The National Lottery had also increased to £1.5bn, a 0.3 per cent growth from the previous period. SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 EPIC and Whysup ‘continue to make real change’ with partnership renewal August 19, 2020 Share ‘Pent-up demand’ for live sports drives gambling pick-up in June August 17, 2020 Share Submitlast_img read more