Artbeat: weekly arts column

1st June 2001 at 01:00

At the Natural History Museum's Jerwood Galler is an enticingly displayed exhibition of work by a little-known but influential painter. Joseph Wolf - Capturing the Moment is an introduction to wildlife painting and Victorian attitudes towards animals.

Wolf was born in 1820 on a farm in Koblenz, Germany, the eldest of five children, but he always showed more interest in sketching the animals than tending them. He left home at 16 to become a lithographer and, by 1848, was sufficiently well known to be invited to England, where he spent the rest of his life.

London Zoo was expanding in the mid-19th century and Wolf became the official zoo artist in 1851. The Natural History Museum produces school materials about its permanent displays and there is an activity sheet, Art of Nature, free to visitors and suitable for children over eight. For information:
020 7942 5555;

Don McCullin's photographs are famous all over the world. Cold Heaven at the Whitechapel Art Gallery is an exhibition, mounted in association with Christian Aid, which focuses on the devastating effect of Aids in Africa. Two schools will explore cultural, social and moral issues raised by the images in art, and drama workshops led by artists and teachers with experience of working in the developing world. Information about Whitechapel Art Gallery education: 020 7522 7888; ; and about the tour of Cold Heaven to other venues:

The Theatre Royal Bath is the venue for Sheer Poetry in Motion , a project to inspire young people aged 12 and 13 to write poetry for performance. Bristol-based poet Mike Ratnett has been working with four schools to prepare work for a performance on the theatre's main stage later this month. Information about Education at Theatre Royal: 01225 448815.

Bush Hall , a forgotten venue described as a "hidden architectural treasure" in Shepherd's Bush, London, has just opened its doors to music lovers for the first time in 50 years. All kinds of music - jazz, classical, acoustic and folk - will once again play among the plaster cherubs and mosaic floors. Bush Kids and Bush Babies clubs will cater for younger music-lovers. Information: 020 8222 6955;

As everyone prepares for the final strait towards the summer holidays, hundreds of children will be preparing to go up to "big school". GW Theatre's Moving Up is designed to take the fear and mystery out of this rite of passage. Sixty-five primary schools in Oldham and Manchester will be playing host to a performance which promises to be fast and funny. For information about GW Theatre: 01457 837668.


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