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Royal Art

Tuesday 29 March 2011
Words Spindle

It’s fast approaching the time when Prince William and Kate Middleton will cry “I do” at Westminster Abbey; every minute detail of Kate’s much speculated wedding attire will be revealed, and all those members of the public named “Kate” or “William” can scoop free tickets to London Zoo as part of a special Royal Wedding promotional offer . With every major public event there is always a bunch of eager artists wishing to commemorate the event with every possible medium, from perfectly sculpted icing sugar (Like Michelle Wibowo, who shaped and airbrushed a traditional English fruit cake slathered with apricot jelly into the form of Kate and Will for the Ideal Home Show) to an assemblage of  roast dinner treats, turkey, peas, carrots, yorkshire pudding (As Prudence Staite was only too happy to do so, when she collated Crown Carvery ingredients into portraits of Prince William and his bride-to-be). Let’s take a look at some of the artistic events and pieces celebrating the royal romance.

William Windsor: A Very Public Prince and Kate Middleton: A Very Private Princess,  Markosia Enterprises

William and Kate’s relationship history so far is being retold through a series of speech bubbles and sketchy lines, cool comic book style, by Spiderman and Batman artist, Mike Collins and Dan Dare illustrator Gary Erskine. Due out in April, political satirist Rich Johnston pens the script which touches on Princess Diana’s death, the heavy media attention on Middleton, helicopters, guns and that all important sparkling deep blue 18-carat sapphire and diamond engagement ring.


The Royal Family, Hayward Gallery, 12 March 2011 – 2 May 2011

A group of contemporary artists, including Adam Dant and Tony Oursler, experiment with different depictions of the House of Windsor in this free exhibition.

Alison Jackson is well known for focusing on the rise of celebrity culture, setting up often humorous and compromising situations of celebrity lookalikes. Her saucy photograph, “William and Kate”, depicts the almost nude couple snuggling up together in bed, a broad smirk and a cheeky glint in the prince’s eye.

Meanwhille, Princess Beatrice is transformed into Botticelli’s Venus and the Queen dons a bright red clown’s nose. This is the Windsors as you’ve never seen them before.


Friday Late: I Do, V&A Museum, 29 April 2011, 18.30-22.00

Royal wedding fever has also hit the V&A as they’ll be marking the day with a lively Victorian style street party inspired by Edward VII and Alexandra’s 1863 wedding. Visitors can have their wedding photos taken at the wedding chapel, exercise their vocal talents with sing-a-long sessions, have lessons in scrap-book making and in creating commemorative bunting. There will even be a competition for the visitor with the best bridesmaid dress.


Prince William of Wales; Prince Henry of Wales by Fergus Greer as part of Eighteen by Twelve: Recent Photographic Acquisitions, National Portait Gallery, 7 February – 1 September 2011

The royal wedding has created a buzz around all things royal. So why not visit the National Portrait Gallery’s photograph of Prince William and his brother Harry? This is the first time ever that Fergus Greer’s monochrome portrait of the two princes at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst has been exhibited. The National Portrait Gallery was also proud to present another double portrait of William and Harry last year by Nicky Philipps.


Gallery talk: Royal Relationships, National Portrait Gallery, 29 April 2011, 19:30 – 20:00

To mark the actual royal wedding day itself, The National Portrait Gallery is also holding an informative session about royal relationships in their collection.


God Save the Future Queen, Zoobs

Prince William “King of Pop”, Zoobs

Kate Middleton has gone all punk in London based artist Zoobs’ paint spattered picture. The 38-year-old creative has reinvented the Sex Pistols’ poster “God Save the Queen” by switching the Queen with the future monarch. In Zoobs’ work, Middleton’s luscious brown locks have been cropped and twisted into coils; a tiara rests on her head, and assertive red, black and white paint is scribbled all over her new hairdo. Zoobs doesn’t leave Prince William out as he creates a similar style artistic piece of Middleton’s fiancée.


Royal Wedding Sick Bag, Lydia Leith

Or if you’ve simply had enough of all the attention on Kate and William’s big day you may want to get yourself graphic designer, Lydia Leith’s Royal Wedding sick bags. These humorous screen-printed souvenir bags are available in red and blue for only £3.