Vivienne and Andreas have gone to Austria, visiting Andreas’ brother on his farm in the Tyrol. While they’re away, they also plan to take advantage of their time reading and writing in the fresh air. Vivienne will continue with her regular Blogs when she returns but this week she has asked me to let you know about some new features we’re planning for our website. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Cynthia and I work with Vivienne on this website.
1. Vivienne wrote her Blog ‘The Manifesto #2 Comes Alive’ (24.4.11) after the first live reading. We discovered that it now takes an hour to perform rather than the 40 minutes the first version ran, not leaving much time for questions and discussion. As I’m sure you know from reading it yourselves, the AR Manifesto requires repeated readings – it’s a lot to take in during one very concentrated hour of live performance. For this reason, we’ve decided to run an experiment here at the studio: along with the live performance, Vivienne will conduct workshops on different aspects of the Manifesto. Our staff, interns and friends will have the chance to ask questions and discuss Vivienne’s ideas in detail. We plan to film some of this, show it to you on the website and get your feedback. Once we have the formula just right, Vivienne will take the performances and workshops to venues around the UK and Europe – watch this space to find out when it comes to your area.
2. When groups of students come to our studio for a period of internship, one of the first things Vivienne assigns them to do is visit an art gallery, usually the Wallace Collection, then decide which painting or object they would save if there were a fire. In the past, they have written essays and made sketches about their experience but we want to change this now to make it more engaging and interactive for the interns – and for you – by filming live discussions for all of us to share. Vivienne hopes to inspire you to dress up, look great and get together with your friends to visit galleries – to become a real club of art lovers fighting against the isolation of intellectuals.
3. We have often mentioned the Cool Earth organisation and their work with indigenous people to save the Rainforests in the Amazon Basin, Borneo and the Congo Basin. These are the most threatened old growth forests in the world: saving them means we have the possibility to stop climate change. In September, we will announce a new initiative between Vivienne Westwood and Cool Earth – I’m sure you’ll see much about it in the press. You’ll be able to follow the project on this site as it develops with location videos and many stories to show you just what one person can do.
After their stay in the Tyrol, Vivienne and Andreas have been invited to attend three nights of concerts and operas at the Salzburg Festival. So I’m sure they have taken along evening dress as well as lederhosen!
In the meanwhile, while she’s away, Vivienne has asked me to tell you that the best things you can be doing are:
- Keep going back to art galleries. As the AR Manifesto says, each work of art is a window on the world, an artist’s view, throughout time, which we can concentrate into our own experience. Your ideas and perceptions will develop the more involved you become.
- Re-read the AR Manifesto; what we’re doing on the website is centred on the Manifesto and understanding comes only from great concentration.
- You get out what you put in!