Sorcerers in Pompeii, baking with ancient yeast, and a portrait of Beyoncé: The Best Art News of August

Here’s a round-up of the most interesting art news from the past month:

Art goes to space to help fight climate change

Did you know that the African continent suffers the most from climate change even though it produces the least amount of carbon dioxide? The French NGO African Artists for Development (AAD) is working alongside a number of other organisations to collect meteorological data that will help us understand how Africa is being affected by global warming.

They aim to send the Ariane 5 launcher, which will be carrying a Eumetsat satellite, into orbit. AAD hopes to bring more attention to this cause by painting the art work of an African artist onto the nose of the Ariane 5. Read more about it here.

Baking bread with 4,500-year-old yeast

Egyptologist Seamus Blackley, along with microbiologist Richard Bowman extracted ancient yeast from 4,500-year-old Egyptian ceramic vessels. Blackley then used a small portion of the yeast to bake bread. He used barley, einkorn and kamut to get as close to the recipes of ancient bread as possible. You can read more about it here.

The treasures of a sorcerer found in Pompeii

Archaeologists in Pompeii discovered what they called a “sorcerer’s treasure trove”. It included, among other things, crystals, amulets and dolls. You can look at more photos here.

The American National Portrait Gallery acquires a portrait of Beyoncé

For the September 2018 cover of Vogue, Beyoncé worked with photographer Tyler Mitchell. At just 23, Mitchell became the first black photographer to shoot the cover for Vogue’s September issue. This month, the National Portrait Gallery acquired one of Mitchell’s photographs of Beyoncé to be added into their permanent collection. Read more about it here.

Painting with light

Australian photographer Peter Solness has become well-known for using light in astonishing ways to take remarkable landscape photographs. In the video below, he explains his process and the often collaborative nature of his work.


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