Pictured: Blast Theory, Ghostwriter, new commission for RAMM, 2011 Manet and Renoir mingle with cutting edge interactive installations in Exeter's newly revamped Royal Albert Memorial Museum. Thanks to a mega-bucks spend RAMM has reinvented itself as one of the most exciting cultural venues in the South West. The museum's extensive collections that include Natural History, Geology and Fine Art are now housed in new spaces. There's some seriously interesting contemporary art too - RAMM has commissioned pieces from the cutting edge collective Blast Theory and three other highly acclaimed artists; Maria Lalic, Nicky Hirst and Michelle McKinney. Country Calling takes a tour around three of RAMM's must-see exhibitions.
Blast Theory: Ghostwriter Blast Theory have been awarded many major arts awards and their adventurous interactive media work has been shown at the Venice Biennale and the Sundance Film Festival. Their piece for RAMM, Ghostwriter, is in the form of an interactive phone call where a female voice draws visitors into the museum by describing her surroundings and talking about an object and its role in her life. This is as ghostly as the name suggests. And it's interactive too. Blast Theory have another installation at the very cool Spacex gallery (on till 18th Feb) and it's definitely dropping in for a visit too. Into the Light: French and British painting from Impressionism to the early 1920s There's never been a show quite like this in the South West and with a collection of painters including Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Sickert, Sisley and Whistler, it's clearly not one to be missed. This exhibition of impressionist and post impressionist art reveals the character of South West England by exploring themes of landscape and countryside. Till March 11, 2012 Roger Fenton & Julia Margaret Cameron: Early British Photographs from the Royal Collection The North Side Windsor Castle, 1860, photographed by Roger Fenton, courtesy The Royal Collection © 2011 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Roger Fenton and Julia Margaret Cameron were two of the most respected and established photographers of the 19th Century. This exhibition not only reminds us of their place in ph0tography but also the importance of their royal patrons, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were huge supporters and collectors of many of the leading photographers of the day. They became patrons of the Photographic Society of London and by the time of the Queen's death in 1901 had collected nearly 20 000 photographs. This exhibition provides a fascinating insight of that time. Till April 1. 2012