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Left:BloomsburyFestivalcreates a hiveof activityacross theweekendAbove: Take theopportunity to interactwith artists at workRight:BloomsburyPainterVanessa Bell'sIcelandPoppies(c1908-9)Culture vultureThis year's Bloomsbury Festival promises a jam-packed weekend of free cultural and artistic events to help you get the most from the nation's capitalBLOOMSBURY FESTIVALThe Bloomsbury Festival returns inOctober, bringing to life thestreets, spaces and venues of oneof the most fascinating areas in London.Leafy Russell Square is at the heart ofthe weekend's activities, and hosts thebeautiful lantern parade, which willlaunch the Festival on Friday 21 Octoberfrom 7pm; on Saturday and SundayRussell Square becomes the focal pointfor activities including a stage, crafts,cultural and participatory arts installations. The Festival offers unique access tothe area's wonderful assortment ofmuseums and galleries, from the scientificspecialism of Wellcome Collection, tothe poignant social history of theFoundling Museum and the lesserknown, intimate, Petrie Museum ofEgyptian Archeology and impressivelyre-housed Grant Collection of Zoology.The area's extraordinary range ofcollections also includes, of course, theBritish Museum; all offer free accessduring the Bloomsbury Festival. There is an extensive programme ofperformances, readings and debates,hosted in many of the area's notablebuildings, including the Art Workers'Guild, Senate House, and Hawksmoor'sSt George's Bloomsbury. Experimentwith writing courtesy of Faber Academy,or indulge in a cream tea at the beautifulPersephone Books, while The OctoberGallery, Orange Dot Gallery andContemporary Ceramics Centre areamong the arts venues offering accessto the work of contemporary artists. A particular highlight of the Festival isthe extensive programme of guidedwalks, with experts offering insights intosubjects from art and society inBloomsbury, to the area's architecturalgems and extensive garden squares, aswell as more lurid histories such asbody-snatching. As a cultural and physical destination,Bloomsbury is hard to beat. The Festivalis a perfect opportunity to explore notonly the cultural and social history thatmakes the area so famous, but also thevibrant international, creative andintellectual environment that the areaoffers today, as it continues to producegroundbreaking arts and ideas. The programme of the BloomsburyFestival is entirely free, and poses awonderful challenge to explore and learnfrom this most remarkable of places. Allparticipating organisations are local; theprogramme is world class; no wonder ithas been called'one of the best freeFestivals in London'.Bloomsbury Festival, 21-23 October;Free; Tel: 020 7713 0350,

PRIVATE VIEW REVIEW / AUTUMN 201155NADFAS LECTUREThe lives and arts of the Bloomsbury PaintersFor the first time, NADFAS is involved with the Bloomsbury Festival, with this offering fromNADFAS-accredited lecturer Sandra Pollard. The output and lives of the Bloomsbury Groupusually arouse strong feelings for or against, but both its admirers and critics acknowledgethat its members made a significant impact on the cultural life of England in the first half ofthe 20th century. This lecture focuses on the works of its artists, including the formation of the Omega Workshops,particularly Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Roger Fry, as well as the patronage of Lady OttolineMorrell, all of whom lived and worked in Bloomsbury, and puts them in the context of theircomplicated, but fascinating, interrelated lives.Sandra Pollardgained a history degree from Bristol University, a Certificate in Higher Education inFine Art and an MA in Art History. She has lectured part-time at universities for over 30 years, atpresent for the Open University and the University of Liverpool School of Continuing Education, andis also a freelance lecturer for organisations such as the National Trust and The Art Fund. Pollardrecently retired as a Trustee of the Bowes Museum and was a founder member, past Chairmanand is currently President of North Yorkshire and South Durham DFAS.The NADFAS lecture will be held at the Art Workers Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3ATSunday 23 October, 11.30am; Free;