London 2012 Festival presents Olympic inspired programme for the London 2012 Olympic Games
Antony Hegarty, Meera Syal, Laurence Clark, Thomas Heatherwick, Olafur Eliasson, Richard Long, Susan Philipsz, Laurie Anderson, Mark Rees, Una Stubbs, Michael Ball, Gillian Keith, Sir James Galway, Rankin, Martin Parr, Yoko Ono, Mary McCartney, Tania Bruguera, Mike Pearson, and The Wooster Group are among the artists and groups taking part in London 2012 Festival events in the first week of the London 2012 Olympic Games
In celebration of the launch of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the London 2012 Festival presents a programme of events across the capital and the rest of the United Kingdom inspired by the values of the Olympics and Paralympic Games and the theme of Olympic Truce.
The Olympic Truce, central to the first Olympic Games held in 776 BC, encourages nations to cease hostilities and set aside conflict during the Olympic Games in order to celebrate humanity, noble competition and peaceful gathering, through sport and the values of Olympism, of all peoples and cultures. In 2011 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution urging the nations of the world to observe the Olympic Truce during the Games of the 30th Olympiad in London. This ancient tradition has inspired the programming across the 12 weeks of the London 2012 Festival.
The London 2012 Festival features more than 25,000 artists from all 204 competing Olympic nations. Everyone is able to join in the celebration this summer with over 10 million free tickets and opportunities to take part in 12,000 events and performances at 900 venues all over the UK, including 130 world premieres and 85 UK premieres.
Works inspired by Olympic and Paralympic values
Rio Occupation London reaches its finale with a free three-day festival at London’s V22. The occupation has seen 30 Rio artists occupy the streets, stages and squares of London over the past month in an exuberant 30-day residency of art, music, dance, theatre, film and poetry. The Festival finale offers a unique chance to experience over 30 original art works that have been created by some of Rio’s most exciting artists. Each day begins at 3PM with opportunities to view and interact with an array of video installations, live performances, cinema, theatre, dance and music. Along with Brazilian food and drink, the Festival goes into the night with live musicians and DJs. Highlights over the three days include Ramon Mello’s Endless Poem, a ‘performance within a party’, visual artist Laura Lima’s Unspecified, a novel type of cinematic installation which defies categorisation, guerilla banana street art, and DJ Joao Brasil and Brazilian Kitchen – a band of artists and chefs who cook while they jam. All of the artists will be present to meet audiences and talk with them about their work. Tickets are free, but must be booked through www.bac.org.uk (V22 Summer Club, The Biscuit Factory, Bermondsey, London (FREE, 1-3 August 2012).
Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary – the first major solo exhibition of the work of Heatherwick Studio, one of the most inventive and experimental British design studios practising today. On 29 July, a smaller model of Thomas Heatherwick’s design for the Olympic Cauldron was added to the exhibition. The Olympic Cauldron was unveiled to the public for the first time at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics – during which it received the Olympic Flame – and this is the first chance for the public to see the design up close. Alongside this, there is a recorded interview with Danny Boyle, Thomas Heatherwick and exhibition curator Abraham Thomas, discussing the work. (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 31 May – 30 September 2012)
The World in London, a major public art project initiated by The Photographers’ Gallery brings together 204 specially commissioned photographic portraits of 204 Londoners, each originating from one of the nations competing at the Games. Leading national and international artists including Stephen Shore, Martin Parr, Mary McCartney and Rankin, alongside emerging names, have been commissioned by The Photographers’ Gallery to photograph the sitters over the last two years. The 204 portraits will be exhibited for free viewing as large-scale posters in Victoria Park in East London (FREE, 27 July – 12 August 2012), and Park House in Oxford Street, London (FREE, 27 July – 30 August 2012)
The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games exhibition tells the Olympic story through the endeavours of ancient and modern Olympians. Visitors will be taken on a journey from ancient Greece, the original home of the Olympic Games through the vision of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the man behind the revival of the Games many centuries later. The experience will continue with the stories of some of the iconic Olympic athletes including Steve Redgrave, Cathy Freeman, Kelly Holmes, and Jesse Owens. Staged at the Royal Opera House for free and for the duration of the Olympic Games, it will include unique artefacts, animation, film and audio from The Olympic Museum in Lausanne being shown in London for the first time (FREE, Royal Opera House, 28 July – 12 August 2012).
BT Road to 2012, a three-year project and the National Portrait Gallery’s largest commission, reaches its conclusion with the opening of the final exhibition in the cycle, BT Road to 2012: Aiming High. Forty new portraits of some of the key players in London 2012, including Lord Sebastian Coe, Mark Cavendish, Fran Halsall and Danny Boyle, by photographers Anderson & Low, Jillian Edelstein and Nadav Kander, are on show (FREE, National Portrait Gallery, 19 July – 23 September 2012).
The London 2012 Festival is the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. Since the Cultural Olympiad started in 2008 over 18 million people all over the UK have already participated in or attended over 9,000 performances and more than 8,000 workshops as part of Cultural Olympiad programmes inspired by London 2012 and funded by our principal funders and sponsors.
Principal Funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.
Supporters of the London 2012 Festival are BMW, Eurostar, Freshfields, King’s College London, Panasonic, Samsung, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales, BBC, British Council, Creative Scotland, DCAL, DCMS, Festivals Edinburgh, Mayor Of London, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Visit Britain and Visit Scotland.