Exhibitions & street art a part of Czech cultural season in London

František Kupka - 'Fugue in Two Colours'

Czech Open 2012 is a cultural season in London that began last month and will last through to August, also during with the summer Olympic Games. Organised by the Czech Centre in London, the season offers a variety of programmes in the borough of Islington, including an exhibition called Coal and Steel and Disorient Express which is set to open, and a street art project being worked on now by two Czech and British artists.

Ladislav Pflimpfl,  photo: Czech Centre in London
A little earlier Jan Velinger spoke to Ladislav Pflimpfl, the head of the Czech Centre in London.

“2012 is of course very significant: the Olympic Games are bringing a lot of opportunities for cultural institutions to present their artists. London is going to be one large community of arts and sports. The Czech Centre is also involved and preparing a programme celebrating sport, the arts and the human spirit, if you like.”

If we talk about Czech Open 2012 it was launched in March and last through August: what are some of the things we can hope to see?

“Some of the programmes or events are already on view: we have about 15 locations and about 11 flagship projects. It’s a season that is covering visual arts, films, street art, architecture and design. At the moment we are working hard on an exhibition that opens on Thursday that brings together Czech and British contemporary artists. The work they are exhibiting refers to Modernism, steam engines and a shared fascination with trains.

František Kupka - 'Fugue in Two Colours'
Artists were given small carriages and model trains to rework and using their own techniques and they will be displayed in London, n Prague and in London again during the Olympic Games. After that, each will be auctioned off and the proceeds will go to a charity that works with disabled children or socially-disadvantaged youth, providing access to sports for them. The centre of the artistic debate or central inspiration is a modernist painting by František Kupka that is exactly 100 years old that also inspired the design of the Czech House in London and the Olympic team clothes. There is a very clear idea of the Czech and British scenes being able to communicate and exchange their ideas and we are very much looking forward to work that emerges in the coming weeks.”

There is also the street art: one of those taking part is the Czech artist Pasta Oner (his professional name)...

Pasta Oner,  photo: Czech Television
“That’s right. The work is taking place in a beautiful public space in the borough of Islington. On one side you have a canal and nearby there is a public school and we put three-by-four metre boards up. Two Czech and a local UK artist began working on the first street art piece last night. They brought a power generator and LCD projectors and computers and were screening an image onto the board, creating very fine lines. The next three days they will have scaffolding and colours and lots of help and they are going to create the street art. We hope the work attracts a lot of attention among the public, including those who regularly follow street art in London.”