Late at Tate Britain: Restless Times

Late at Tate, July 2011

Taking inspiration from the display Restless Times: Art in Britain 1914–1945 this evening explores the vital creativity that Britain produced during the great uncertainty and turbulent change of the first half of the 20th century through performances, music, talks and films. Does the art of the past say anything about our own troubled, restless and vibrant life today?

Tate Britain will stay open until 22.00. You can explore the collection displays, see The Vorticists exhibition or enjoy a drink at the pay bar.

Crochet Bouquet
Collection display galleries
Artist Michael Needham has collaborated with ladies from Open Age Hub in Pimlico to produce a crochet bouquet. A mass of yellow flowers have been stitched and assembled over the past few weeks to create a ready-to-wear garland, and you are invited to watch this garment grow.

Rag&Bow: The Roaming Vintage Store™ interactive fashion experience
Have your photograph taken as a 1920s Bright Young Person or a 2011 New Wave Club Dandy/Pinup. Delve into their dressing up box to complete the look. View the subsequent photographs projected live onto the Octagon’s walls.  Also look out for Rag&Bow’s subverted take on the classic 1930s confectionery seller dispensing packets of provocative thought and wisdom.

Performance by Sam Belinfante
North Duveen
Sam Belinfante presents a new sound and visual installation featuring amateur crystal radio enthusiasts and their machines with a new scored work to be performed live by EXAUDI, one of Britain’s leading contemporary music ensembles. The work will explore the full breadth of the human voice as singers weave in and out of the crackling, whistling and humming emanating from crystal radios dotted around them.

Propaganda Films
North Duveens
Looped throughout the evening

Propaganda by Balloons 1918, 2 min, Ministry of Information
British soldiers launching balloons carrying propaganda leaflets to drift over enemy lines, near Béthune on the  Western Front on 4 September 1918.

Albert’s Savings 1940, 6 min, Ministry of Information
A homily on the duty to save, in the guise of one of the ‘Albert’ rhyming monologues.

Dig for Victory 1941, 6 min, Ministry of Information
A short appeal to the public to grow vegetables.

The Careless Sneezer 1942, 1.20 min, Ministry of Information
Second World War Ministry of Information newsreel trailer featuring entertainer Cyril Fletcher performing an amusing rhyme to encourage the public to stop the spread of diseases.

Make Do and Mend 1943, 1.20 min, Ministry of Information
Second World War British Ministry of Information newsreel trailer, in support of the Make Do and Mend campaign.

Total run time 15 mins

All films courtesy of the Trustees of the Imperial War Museum

Restless Times Talk
Russell Carr will lead an informal discussion in the Restless Times display with the social commentator Owen Jones, author of Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class and Owen Hatherley, author of A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain. They will explore the question: ‘Does the art of the past say anything about our own troubled, restless and vibrant life today?’

Graffiti Knitting with Stitch London and Knit the City
Manton Foyer
Join stitching community Stitch London, and Knit the City for a graffiti knitting workshop, inspired by ‘make do and mend’ but with a woolly street-art twist. Members of Stitch London will teach all comers how to knit simple graffiti butterflies and sheep, while Knit the City’s stitchers will be installing their woolly mischief around the museum.

Bandwagon Barbershop
Manton foyer
19.00, 20.00, 21.00
Get in to the swing of things with barbershop tunes from the 1920s,
30s and 40s!

Millbank Guided Tour
Millbank entrance
18.30, 19.30, 20.30
All tours last approximately 50 mins
Artist Melissa Bliss’s work explores people and places and internal and external geographies. Her work is often created through participatory processes in live interactions, audience participation, conversations and collaborations. For Late At Tate she has created a guided tour of the social and political history of Britain in the years 1914–1945 through the milieu of Millbank. The tour will reflect themes from the Restless Times display exploring those buildings and external spaces that existed at that time, drawing out the resonances of events that shaped the area including the First World War, the devastating 1928 flood and subsequent slum clearance, and the lives of people who lived and worked there.

Tickets are limited and will be issued on a first-come first-served basis. Tickets can be collected from 18.00 at the Millbank Information desk

Film programme
18.30, 19.30, 20.30
Total run time 45 min

Listen to Britain, 1942, 19 min, Humphrey Jennings
A depiction of life in wartime England during the Second World War. Director Humphrey Jennings visits many aspects of civilian life and of the turmoil and privation caused by the war.

Night Shift, 1942, 14 min, Jack Chambers
Directed by Jack Chambers and produced by Paul Rotha, this short documentary depicts night workers in an armaments factory making tank components for the war effort.

Westward Ho!, 1940, 8.23 min, Thorold Dickinson
Made to emphasise the importance of getting children out of harm’s way in the early years of the Blitz, this short films shows children being evacuated from London to Torquay during the early years of the war.

All films courtesy of the Trustees of the Imperial War Museum

Posted on by Hannah Flynn
Filed under EventsTate Britain

About Hannah Flynn

Hannah Flynn is E-Learning Assistant for Tate and Co-Ordinator for the Great British Art Debate online. Her favourite British artist is John Martin.