The Best of 2014

art, Film, music, Theatre

As 2014 comes to an end, I’ve decided to look over what were, in my opinion, the best movies, albums, songs, theatre productions and art exhibitions of 2014.

Best Movie: PaddingtonAlthough I haven’t been able to see many of the films I wanted to this year, I was disappointed with much of what I did see. Paddington, which I saw very recently, was a delight, and was absolutely hilarious. Whilst I did watch critically acclaimed films, such as Gone Girl, none was as memorable as this touching and heart warming movie.

Best Album: The Lonely Hour, Sam Smith

After releasing a few singles, such as “Money On My Mind” and featuring on Disclosure’s “Latch”, Sam Smith released this album, which lead to the singles “Stay With Me” and “I’m Not the Only One” being blasted out of radio stations for most of summer and autumn. With his beautiful voice and the heartfelt lyrics, it’s not hard to see why.

Best Songs: “I’m Not the Only One”, Sam Smith

As well as being my favourite album of the year, I loved Sam Smith’s song “I’m Not the Only One” enough for it to be one of my top two songs of the year.

Blank Space, Taylor Swift

In a departure from her country roots, Taylor Swift’s album was firmly pop, and whilst  I was originally sceptical, “Blank Space” was an undeniable delight. Turning even those most opposed to her music into fans, and working as a biting response to the media’s portrayal of her, it was a catchy masterpiece. Read my full review of her album here: https://nellymair.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/taylor-swift-1989-album-review/

Best Theatre Show: Made in Dagenham

I’ve been lucky enough to go the theatre quite a lot this year, and despite seeing revered musicals such as “Les Miserables”, “Miss Saigon” and “Once”, my favourite was the upbeat “Made in Dagenham.” Funny, yet uplifting, and with catchy and humorous songs, it was a thoroughly entertaining night out. Read my full review here: https://nellymair.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/made-in-dagenham/

Best Art Show: Battersea Affordable Art Fair

I generally prefer group shows to those with single artists, and whilst The Royal Academy Academy Summer Exhibition lacked many stand out works this year (apart from that by Yinka Shonibare) and the Frieze Art Fair was slightly too wacky for me, the Battersea Affordable Art Fair got the balance just right. With a combination of intriguing modern art and more classic work, I found it a fascinating show.

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Frieze Art Fair

art

I usually adore contemporary art, and so visited the Frieze Art Fair on the 18th October. There were some very interesting pieces, which might not be found at a more traditional exhibition – there were a lot of more abstract pieces; an art form I find very intriguing, as well as 3 dimensional installments, and paintings and photographs which were unique because of the subject. These are some photos of artworks I particularly liked which demonstrate the huge variety of work in the fair.

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Alex Prager, Untitled (Part 1)

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Tomas Saraceno, NGC 5892

john baldessari koen van der broek

John Baldessari & Koen Van Den Broek – This is an Example of that; Photo Shoot (Desert with Car)

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David Renggli – I Love You (Blue Alorage)

However, despite the truly inspiring and innovative work, there were many pieces which were bizarre rather than exciting, and that was the issue I had with the fair. It was a huge event, and yet there were only a few pieces that really intrigued me.

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The more strange items included a collection of spidermanmemes – and although I found them very funny, I thought this perhaps belonged on a tumblr blog rather than an art exhibition.

There was also a room where the work was just variations of smiley faces, and performance art which purely consisted of people leaping about before twitching on the floor – even the performers themselves could not contain their laughter.

The Frieze Art Fair was definitely an entertaining gallery visit, and I think it was worthwhile, but it was disappointment in the lack of consistency in regards to the quality of work.