Artbeat: weekly arts diary

4th May 2001 at 01:00

Iranian Contemporary Art , an exhibition at the Barbican Centre, offers a glimpse into a world of art all but unseen outside Iran. Covering the 20 years before and after the revolution of 1979, the exhibition takes in the Spiritual Pop Art movement of the 1960s with its highly crafted canvases of abstracted calligraphy, through to exuberantly fresh work created since the liberalising of the regime in 1997. At the Curve Gallery, Barbican, until June 3, free. Tel: 020 7638 8891. Free gallery talks at 1pm on May 12 and 19; accompanying film season on women in Iranian cinema. Websites:

Black British hairstyles and nail art are celebrated at the Victoria and Albert Museum's Day of Record on Monday, May 7. Visitors are invited to show off their Nubian knots, curly perms, conks, skiffles, cornrows and dreadlocks, not forgetting their latest nail decorations. Museum archivists will photograph the splendid array of braids, weaves afros and nails coming in from the street to build up a record of contemporary body decoration. The day is accompanied by talks, demonstrations, an exhibition on the history of black hairstyling (on until May 20) and informal discussions sharing reminiscences. Tel: 020 7942 2000 or see the website,

The Clore Duffield Foundation, which runs Artworks, the national children's art awards, is organising the first National Children's Art Day on July 5. Besides events at museums and galleries such as the Lowry, Salford, National Gallery of Wales Cardiff, Ikon in Birmingham, and all four Tates, children will take over key roles in the art world, shadowing artists, critics and curators. To get involved see


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