Origin By Dan Brown

I am currently reading Origin by Dan Brown. This is another Fast paced exciting thriller which continues The Da Vinci Code series (“The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons” ). It features Professor Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, who arrives at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao with several hundred other guest to attend the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever”.

The evening’s host is his friend and former student, Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old tech magnate whose dazzling inventions and audacious predictions have made him a controversial figure around the world. Whilst at the Guggenheim Kirsch intends to reveal an astonishing scientific breakthrough which will challenge the fundamentals of human existence. Langdon and the other guests are soon captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. However privately Before the presentation Kirsch confides in Langdon that he is troubled by the repercussions his discovery could have.

Elsewhere there are many people including the Devout Catholic Bishop Valdespino and a chap named Admiral Avila who consider Kirsch a threat and decide that Kirsch’s discovery is far too dangerous and should not become common knowledge. So just as Kirsch’s precious discovery is about to be revealed, The evening is interrupted by a terrorist attack, and now Kirsch’s precious discovery Could be lost forever. Now With his life under threat, Langdon tries to escape the Guggenheim Museum along with the museum’s elegant director, Ambra Vidal who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.

Langdon and Vidal find themselves pursued by a tormented and devious enemy Who has links with Spain’s Royal Palace itself, Who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch and stop Langdon and Vidal from locating and revealing the truth. Now Langdon and Vidal face a race against time to uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery.

Bridgnorth Art Statue Trail 2018

Bridgnorth Art Trail is a community project which is on display from April to October, involving a statue walking trail which showcases local artists’ work and create a family attraction for residents and tourists alike. Bridgnorth Art Tail also aims to promote the heritage, art and natural beauty of Bridgnorth.

 

There are 10-15 fibreglass statues based on Catch-me-Who-can dotted around Bridgnorth. These have been created from a single mould, and are all based on a locally-relevant theme which represents an important aspect of Bridgnorth. The Statues have all been decorated by Local artists and community groups. They will be on display from April to October, and then stored over the winter, repaired and maintained for their re-emergence in 2019. further statues/themes may be added in future years if demand grows.

Thomas Gainsborough

English portrait and landscape painter Thomas Gainsborough was christened 14 May in 1727. in Sudbury, Suffolk, the youngest son of John Gainsborough, a weaver and maker of woollen goods, and his wife, the sister of the Reverend Humphry Burrough One of Gainsborough’s brothers, Humphrey, had a faculty for mechanics and was said to have invented the method of condensing steam in a separate vessel, which was of great service to James Watt; another brother, John, was known as Scheming Jack because of his passion for designing curiosities. The artist spent his childhood at what is now Gainsborough’s House, on Gainsborough Street (he later resided there, following the death of his father in 1749). The original building still survives and is now a dedicated House to his life and art. During childhood he impressed his father with his drawing and painting skills, and he almost certainly had painted heads and small landscapes by the time he was ten years old, including a miniature self-portrait.

In 1740, he left home to study art in London with Hubert Gravelot, Francis Hayman, and William Hogarth. He assisted Francis Hayman in the decoration of the supper boxes at Vauxhall Gardens, and contributed to the decoration of what is now the Thomas Coram Foundation for Children. In 1746, he married Margaret Burr, and the couple became the parents of two daughters. He moved to Bath in 1759 where fashionable society patronised him, he studied portraits by van Dyck and was eventually able to attract a fashionable clientele. In 1761, he began to send work to the Society of Arts exhibition in London (now the Royal Society of Arts, of which he was one of the earliest members); and from 1769 he submitted works to the Royal Academy’s annual exhibitions. He selected portraits of well-known or notorious clients in order to attract attention. The exhibitions helped him acquire a national reputation.

In 1769, he became a founding member of the Royal Academy, but his relationship with the organisation was thorny and he sometimes withdrew his work from exhibition. Gainsborough moved to London in 1774, and painted portraits of the King and Queen, but the King was obliged to name as royal painter Gainsborough’s rival Joshua Reynolds. In his last years, Gainsborough painted relatively simple landscapes and is credited (with Richard Wilson) as the originator of the 18th century British landscape school. In 1774, Gainsborough and his family moved to London to live in Schomberg House, Pall Mall. A commemorative blue plaque was put on the house in 1951. In 1777, he again began to exhibit his paintings at the Royal Academy, including portraits of contemporary celebrities, such as the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland. Exhibitions of his work continued for the next six years. Gainsborough began experimenting with printmaking using the then-novel techniques of aquatint and soft-ground etching.

During the 1770s and 1780s Gainsborough developed a type of portrait in which he integrated the sitter into the landscape. A splendid example of this is his portrait of Frances Browne, Mrs John Douglas (1746-1811) which can be seen at Waddesdon Manor. The sitter has withdrawn to a secluded and overgrown corner of a garden to read a letter, her pose recalling the traditional representation of Melancholy. Gainsborough emphasised the relationship between Mrs Douglas and her environment by painting the clouds behind her and the drapery billowing across her lap with similar silvery mauves and fluid brushstrokes. This portrait was included in his first private exhibition at Schomberg House in 1784.

Gainsborough sadly passed away from the effects of cancer in 1788 and is interred at St. Anne’s Church, Kew, Surrey. However he has left the world with some wonderful paintings most of which are characterised by a light palette and easy strokes. He preferred landscapes to portraits. There have also been many films based on his life and Cecil Kellaway portrayed him in the 1945 film Kitty.

Jo Lynn Turner/ Butch Vig/Lee Mavers

Joe Lynn Turner, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Deep Purple, Rainbow, Fandango, Brazen Abbot, and Hughes Turner Project was born 2 August 1951. British rock band Deep Purple were formed in Hertford in 1968.They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock,although their musical approach changed over the years.

Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band’s sound shifted to hard rock in 1970. Deep Purple, together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, have been referred to as the “unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid-Seventies”. They were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as “the globe’s loudest band” for a 1972 concert at London’s Rainbow Theatre,and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide, including 7.5 million certified units in the US.  The band has gone through many line-up changes and an eight-year hiatus (1976–1984). The 1968–1976 line-ups are commonly labelled Mark I, II, III and IV. Their second and most commercially successful line-up featured Ian Gillan (vocals),Jon Lord (organ), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Paice (drums), and Ritchie Blackmore(guitar). This line-up was active from 1969 to 1973, and was revived from 1984 to 1989, and again from 1992 to 1993.

The band achieved more modest success in the intervening periods between 1968 and 1969 with the line-up including Rod Evans(vocals) and Nick Simper (bass, backing vocals), between 1974 and 1976 (Tommy Bolin replacing Blackmore in 1975) with the line-up including David Coverdale(vocals) and Glenn Hughes (bass, vocals), and between 1989 and 1992 with the line-up including Joe Lynn Turner (vocals). The band’s line-up (currently featuring Ian Gillan, and guitarist Steve Morse from 1994) has been much more stable in recent years, although organist Jon Lord’s retirement from the band in 2002 (being succeeded by Don Airey) left Ian Paice as the only original Deep Purple member still in the band. Deep Purple were ranked number 22 on VH1’s Greatest Artists of Hard Rockprogramme and a British radio station Planet Rock poll ranked them5th among the “most influential bands ever”. At the 2011 Classic Rock Awards in London, they received the Innovator Award. In October 2012, Deep Purple were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Butch Vig, American drummer, songwriter, and producer with alternative rock band Garbage and Spooner was Born 2 August 1957. Garbage were formed in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1994.The group consists of Scottish singer Shirley Manson (vocals, guitar) and American musicians Duke Erikson (bass, guitar, keyboards, percussion), Steve Marker (guitar, keyboards), and Butch Vig (drums, percussion). All four members are involved in songwriting and production. The band have counted worldwide album sales of over 17 million units.Garbage released a string of increasingly successful singles in 1995–1996, including “Stupid Girl” and “Only Happy When It Rains”. Their debut album, Garbage, was an unexpected smash, selling over 4 million copies and certified double platinum in the UK, US, and Australia. Garbage won the Breakthrough Artist award at the 1996 MTV Europe Music Awards.

Garbage spent two years working on follow-up album, Version 2.0, which topped the charts in the UK upon its 1998 release and the following year was nominated for two Grammy Awards, Album of the Year and Best Rock Album.Version 2.0 went on to match the sales of its predecessor. Garbage followed this up by performing and co-producing the theme song to the nineteenth James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough. Despite being named one of Rolling Stone’s Top 10 Albums of the Year, however Garbage’s 2001 third album Beautiful Garbage failed to match the commercial success achieved by its predecessors.

Garbage quietly disbanded in late 2003, but regrouped to complete fourth album Bleed Like Me in 2005, peaking at a career-high No. 4 in the US. The band cut short their concert tour in support of Bleed Like Me announcing an “indefinite hiatus”,emphasizing that they had not broken up, but wished to pursue personal interests. In 2006, Vig returned to producing while Manson worked on an as yet unreleased solo album. Garbage ended their hiatus in 2007 and released the greatest hits retrospective Absolute Garbage. Garbage’s fifth album Not Your Kind of People was released in 2012 via the band’s own independent label, Stunvolume Record

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Lee Mavers (The La’s)

Lee Mavers, English singer-songwriter and guitarist with English rock band the La’s, was Born 2 August 1962. The La’s are from Liverpool, and were originally active from 1984 until 1992. Fronted by singer, songwriter and guitarist Lee Mavers, the group is best known for their hit single “There She Goes”. The band was formed by Mike Badger in 1984 and Mavers joined soon after, although for most of the group’s history, the frequently changing line-up revolved around the core duo of Lee Mavers (vocals, guitar) and John Power (bass, backing vocals) along with numerous other guitarists and drummers including Paul Hemmings, John “Timmo” Timson, Peter “Cammy” Camell, Iain Templeton, John “Boo” Byrne, Chris Sharrock, Barry Sutton, and Neil Mavers.

Following the departure of Badger in late 1986, the band signed to Go! Discs in 1987 and commenced recording of their debut album. Following the release of singles “Way Out” (1987), “There She Goes” (1988) and “Timeless Melody” (1990) and having aborted several recording sessions with different producers, the band released their debut album The La’s in 1990 to critical acclaim and modest commercial success. John Power left The La’s to form Cast and the group entered a prolonged hiatus in 1992 which lasted almost two decades. The group later reformed briefly in the mid-1990s, 2005 and 2011. However, no new recordings have been released.

William S.Burroughs

American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. William Seward Burroughs II  tragically died 2August 1997 at his home in Lawrence, Kansas, following a heart attack. He was born February 5, 1914 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was grandson of the inventor and founder of the Burroughs Corporation, William Seward Burroughs I, and nephew of public relations manager Ivy Lee. Burroughs began writing essays and journals in early adolescence. He left home in 1932 to attend Harvard University, studied English, and anthropology as a postgraduate, and later attended medical school in Vienna. After being turned down by the Office of Strategic Services and U.S. Navy in 1942 to serve in World War II, he picked up the drug addiction that affected him for the rest of his life, while working a variety of jobs. In 1943 while living in New York City, he befriended Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, the mutually influential foundation of which grew into the Beat Generation, and later the 1960s counterculture.

He became a major postmodernist author and one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century” and His influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote 18 novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.

Much of Burroughs’ work is semi-autobiographical, primarily drawn from his experiences as a heroin addict, as he lived throughout Mexico City, London, Paris, Berlin, the South American Amazon and Tangier in Morocco. Burroughs accidentally killed his second wife, Joan Vollmer, in 1951 in Mexico City, and was consequently convicted of manslaughter. In the introduction to Queer, a novel written in 1952 but not published until 1985, Burroughs states, “I am forced to the appalling conclusion that I would have never become a writer but for Joan’s death … So the death of Joan brought me into contact with the invader, the Ugly Spirit, and maneuvered me into a lifelong struggle, in which I had no choice except to write my way out”. Finding success with his confessional first novel, Junkie (1953), Burroughs is perhaps best known for his third novel Naked Lunch (1959), a controversy-fraught work that underwent a court case under the U.S. sodomy laws. With Brion Gysin, he also popularized the literary cut-up technique in works such as The Nova Trilogy (1961–64).

In 1983, Burroughs was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1984 was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France. Jack Kerouac called Burroughs the “greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift”, a reputation he owes to his “lifelong subversion”of the moral, political and economic systems of modern American society, articulated in often darkly humorous sardonicism. J. G. Ballard considered Burroughs to be “the most important writer to emerge since the Second World War”, while Norman Mailer declared him “the only American writer who may be conceivably possessed by genius”. Burroughs had one child, William Seward Burroughs III (1947–1981), with his second wife Joan Vollmer.

Wes Craven

American film director, writer, producer and actor Wesley Earl Craven was born August 2, 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio. Craven earned an undergraduate degree in English and Psychology from Wheaton College in Illinois and a master’s degree in Philosophy and Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Craven also briefly taught English at Westminster College and was a humanities professor at Clarkson College of Technology (later named Clarkson University) in Potsdam, New York. He additionally taught at Madrid-Waddington High School in Madrid, New York. During this time, he purchased a used 16mm film camera and began making short movies. When his friend Tom Chapin informed him of a messenger position at a New York City post-production company run by his brother, future folk-rock star Harry Chapin, Craven moved to Manhattan. His first creative job in the film industry was as a sound editor for Chapin’s firm.

Harry was a fantastic film editor and producer of industrials. He taught me The Chapin Method of editing: ‘Nuts and bolts! Nuts and bolts!” Craven afterward became the firm’s assistant manager, and broke into film editing with You’ve Got to Walk It Like You Talk It or You’ll Lose That Beat. Craven left the academic world for the more lucrative role of pornographic film director. In the documentary Inside Deep Throat, Craven says on camera he made “many hard core X-rated films including Deep Throat most of his early known work involved writing, film editing or both. Craven’s first feature film as director was The Last House on the Left, which was released in 1972.

Craven frequently collaborated with Sean S. Cunningham. In Craven’s debut feature, The Last House on the Left, Cunningham served as producer. Later, in Craven’s best-known film, A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), and launched actor Johnny Depp’s career by casting him in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Depp’s first major film role.Cunningham directed one of the chase scenes, although he was not credited. Their characters, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, appeared together in the slasher film Freddy vs. Jason (2003) with Cunningham acting as producer, while screenwriter Victor Miller is credited as “Character Creator”. Later, in The Last House on the Left remake (2009), Cunningham and Craven share production credits. Although known for directing horror/thriller films, he had worked on two other films: Music of the Heart (1999), and as one of the 22 directors responsible for Paris, je t’aime (2006).Craven alao created Coming of Rage, a five-issue comic book series, with 30 Days of Night comic book writer Steve Niles.The series was released in digital form in 2014 by Liquid Comics with a print edition scheduled for an October 2015 debut.

He is best known for creating the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise featuring the Freddy Krueger character, directing the first installment and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, and co-writing A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors with Bruce Wagner. Craven also directed all four films in the Scream series and two films in the Hills Have Eyes series. Some of his other films include The Last House on the Left, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs, Vampire in Brooklyn and Red Eye.

Craven sadly died August 30, 2015, from brain cancer, at the age of 76 at his home in Los Angeles and following He his untimely passing The 10th episode of Scream was dedicated in his memory. He was known for his pioneering work in the genre of horror films, particularly slasher films, where his impact on the genre was considered prolific and influential Due to the success and cultural impact of his works in the horror film genre Craven has been called the “Master of Horror”.

Peter O’toole

Prolific British Actor Peter James O’Toole was Born 2 August 1932 and attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, before he began working in the theatre, where he gained recognition as a Shakespearean actor at the Bristol Old Vic and with the English Stage Company. He made his film debut in 1959 and achieved stardom playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) for which he received his first Academy Award nomination. He received seven further Oscar nominations – for Becket (1964), The Lion in Winter (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969),The Ruling Class (1972), The Stunt Man (1980), My Favorite Year (1982) and Venus (2006) – and holds the record for the most Academy Award acting nominations without a win. He won four Golden Globes, a BAFTA and an Emmy, and was the recipient of an Honorary Academy Award in 2003.

Peter O’Toole began working in the theatre, Where after gaining recognition as a Shakespearean actor at the Bristol Old Vic and with the English Stage Company, he made his television debut in 1954. He first appeared on film in 1959 in a minor role in The Day They Robbed the Bank of England. O’Toole’s major break came when he was chosen to play T. E. Lawrence in David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962). His performance was ranked number one in Premiere magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Performances of All Time. The role introduced him to US audiences and earned him the first of his eight nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor.O’Toole is one of a handful of actors to be Oscar-nominated for playing the same role in two different films; he played King Henry II in both Becket (1964) and The Lion in Winter (1968). O’Toole played Hamlet under Laurence Olivier’s direction in the premiere production of the Royal National Theatre in 1963. He demonstrated his comedic abilities alongside Peter Sellers in the Woody Allen-scripted comedy What’s New Pussycat? (1965). He also appeared inSeán O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock at Gaiety Theatre, Dublin.

He played King Henry II in The Lion in Winter (1968) and fulfilled a lifetime ambition in 1970, when he performed in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot alongside Donal McCann in Dublin. In 1972, he played both Miguel de Cervantes and his fictional creation Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, the motion picture adaptation of the 1965 hit Broadway musical, opposite Sophia Loren. The film was a critical and commercial failure, criticised for using mostly non-singing actors. O’Toole’s singing was dubbed by tenor Simon Gilbert, but the other actors sang their own parts. O’Toole and co-star James Coco, who played both Cervantes’s manservant and Sancho Panza, both received Golden Globenominations for their performances. In 1980, O’Toole starred as Tiberius in the Penthouse-funded biographical film Caligula. In 1980, he received critical acclaim for playing the director in the behind-the-scenes film The Stunt Man. He received good reviews as John Tanner in Man and Superman and Henry Higgins in Pygmalion, and won a Laurence Olivier Award for his performance in Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell (1989). He was nominated for another Oscar for My Favorite Year (1982), a romantic comedy set behind-the-scenes at a 1950s TV variety-comedy show, in which O’Toole plays an ageing swashbuckling film star reminiscent of Errol Flynn. He also appeared in 1987’s acclaimed The Last Emperor.

In 1999 O’Toole won an Emmy Award for his role in the mini-series Joan of Arc and in 2004, he played King Priam in the summer blockbuster Troy. In 2005, he appeared on television as the older version of legendary 18th century Italian adventurer Giacomo Casanova in the BBC drama serial Casanova. The younger Casanova, seen for most of the action, was played by David Tennant, who had to wear contact lenses to match his brown eyes to O’Toole’s blue. O’Toole was once again nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Maurice in the 2006 film Venus, directed by Roger Michell, his eighth such nomination. O’Toole co-starred in the Pixar animated film Ratatouille (2007), an animated film about a rat with dreams of becoming the greatest chef in Paris, as Anton Ego, a food critic. O’Toole appeared in the second season of Showtime’s successful drama series The Tudors (2008), portraying Pope Paul III, who excommunicates King Henry VIII from the church; an act which leads to a showdown between the two men. On 10 July 2012, O’Toole released a statement that he was retiring from acting and he sadly passed away 14 December 2013.