ENTERTAINMENT

Culture in Milton Keynes is no longer a laugh with the newly expanded MK Gallery


Culture in Milton Keynes is no longer a laugh with the newly expanded MK Gallery, which has an impressive exhibition schedule

MK gallery

Milton Keynes

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There were a few giggles 18 months ago when Milton Keynes launched an offer to become European Capital of Culture in 2023. The city of Buckinghamshire has long had a reputation as a kind of Nowheresville, whose best cultural offering was the sculptures of concrete cows.

(JG Ballard once said he suspected eternity would look like Milton Keynes.)

The Brexit ultimately thwarted the Capital of Culture's offering – but the news hasn't been bad lately. This spring, the city's main art gallery was reopened after adding £ 12m to it.

The most striking new feature of the MK Gallery is the shiny exterior of the stainless steel extension. In the middle is a round window, through which the whole looks like a huge clothes dryer

The most striking new feature of the MK Gallery is the shiny exterior of the stainless steel extension. In the middle is a round window, through which the whole looks like a huge clothes dryer

The MK Gallery is now twice as large as when it opened in 1999 and has two very welcome additions in the form of a café and an auditorium.

The most striking new feature, however, is the shiny exterior of the stainless steel extension. The facade has a round window in the middle, so that the whole looks like a huge clothes dryer.

The current show The Lie Of The Land (until May 26) takes a lively look at the changing relationship between this country and its landscape over the centuries (hiking by James Walker Tucker).

His current show, The lie of the country (until May 26th) takes a lively look at the changing relationship between this country and its landscape over the centuries (hike by James Walker Tucker)

The glossy surface seems appropriate given the radiant optimism that accompanied Milton Keynes’s rise in 1967 to the largest of our post-war new towns.

Of course none of this would matter if the art inside wasn't good, but the MK Gallery has an impressive exhibition schedule. His current show, The lie of the country (until May 26) takes a lively look at the changing relationship between this country and its landscape over the centuries, in which artists from JMW Turner to Henry Moore can be seen.

Plampin by Thomas Gainsborough is also part of the MK gallery The Lie Of The Land with artists from JMW Turner to Henry Moore

Plampin by Thomas Gainsborough is also part of the MK Gallery The lie of the countrywith artists from JMW Turner to Henry Moore

Later in the year, visitors can look forward to a retrospective of Paula Rego and an exhibition about the great equestrian artist George Stubbs.

Whisper, but culture in Milton Keynes is no longer a laughing matter.

City observatory

38 Calton Hill, Edinburgh

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Calton Hill has long been one of the most visited places in Edinburgh. Right in the city center, it not only offers a panoramic view, but also many wonderful buildings – such as the national monument that was inspired by the Parthenon in Athens.

Another is the domed city observatory, designed in 1818 by the neoclassical architect William Henry Playfair. Over time, unfortunately, it was used to look at fewer and fewer stars and was completely out of order at the beginning of this century.

The observatory was properly lost behind hoarding and shrubbery – until last winter it was reopened as an exhibition space by the nonprofit organization for fine arts after a £ 4.5m fundraiser.

The observatory was properly lost behind hoarding and bushes - until last winter it was reopened as an exhibition space by the non-profit organization Collective for Fine Arts

The observatory was properly lost behind hoarding and bushes – until last winter it was reopened as an exhibition space by the non-profit organization Collective for Fine Arts

It can currently be seen Workers!, a film by the Swedish artist Petra Bauer in collaboration with a group of sex workers (until June 30).

Only time will tell if the shows here are right – can contemporary art ever really thrive in a historic venue? – and Collective is sure to pay special attention during the Edinburgh Festival this summer.

For now, let's just celebrate the second coming of a real Edinburgh landmark.

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