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Review: Parliament House, Canberra

A must see when visiting Canberra, the Australian capital, is Parliament house. Its distinctive façade with outstretched walls invites people in and has become an iconic image of Canberra. Other exceptional features of this vast construction which was opened by her Majesty the Queen in 1988 include the base of the flagpole on the building’s roof (one of the largest steel structures in the world…

Book review: 'In Our Mad and Furious City' by Guy Gunaratne

Guy Gunaratne’s debut novel ‘In Our Mad and Furious City’ was longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker prize but didn’t make it to the shortlist. Nevertheless it has generated a lot of buzz. It's a perceptive look at young manhood today, brimming with heart and hormones. 2015 Booker winner Marlon James says the novel is “so of this moment that you don’t even realise you’ve waited your whole life for it.” 

The…

Exhbition review: Gainsborough's Family Album

Eighteenth century artist Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) is renowned for his portraits of the English Aristocracy dressed in fine silks, ribbons and ruffles. His modern-day equivalent would be someone like photographer Mario Testino. Gainsborough is often reviled by art critics for pandering to the elite. But throughout his career he also painted portraits of his relatives and these engaging…

Open House 2018: Blue House Yard (N22)

Wood Green’s regeneration continues in surprising bursts. While the High Road remains unchanged with its mix of charity shops and pound stores, there are signs of innovative redevelopment near Wood Green Station, namely Blue House Yard (N22 7TB). I visited when it was open for viewing on Sunday 23 September as part of Open House 2018. 

The site was a disused car park behind the Council Offices until Haringey…

Film review: American Animals

American Animals is a heist film with a difference. Set in Kentucky, the story involves the theft of rare books from Transylvania University Library by four college students. The bold introduction states that the film isn’t based on a true story. It is a true story.

In 2004, college buddies Spencer Reinhard, Warren Lipka, Chas Allen and Eric Borsuk attempt to steal extremely rare books:…