Category Archives: Students

Ted Talk Wednesday: Life Lessons Through Tinkering

We have an inspiring Ted Talk for you today. Gever Tulley uses engaging photos and footage to demonstrate the valuable lessons kids learn at his Tinkering School. When given tools, materials and guidance, these young imaginations run wild and creative problem-solving takes over to build unique boats, bridges and even a roller coaster! It’s a short, but great talk.

Download of the Day: No Such Thing As A Fish Podcast

We have found a way to increase your quiz skills with today’s download: listen to the There’s No Such Thing As A Fish podcast made by the QI elves!


Visiting the art galleries and museums around the world from the comfort of your sofa

While we are all staying safe at home, the art world has gone into a bit if a spiral. Museums and galleries have been closed to the public and these spaces which are so reliant on people visiting them to admire and learn from their vast collections have had to reinvent themselves. Many galleries have thankfully turned to the digital space and offer a range of tours and experiences that you can enjoy from the safety of your home. We’ve had a look around and they are amazing. Sit back and enjoy a tour of some of our most favourite galleries and museums along with books that accompany the artists on show. 

From the National Gallery of Victoria 

KAWS by Monica Ramirez-Montagut

Mónica Ramírez-Montagut is a curator at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and has compiled the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s body of work in this amazing book. This book is a vibrant look at the celebrated artist and designer KAWS. KAWS is a multidisciplinary artist who was first known for his work as a graffiti artist and his subversive approach to popular imagery on bus shelter and phone booth advertisements. It is an amazing book with stunning photography and storytelling. 

You can visit the NGV and take part in virtual exhibitions here

From the TATE Modern

Keith Haring by Darren Pih

Keith Haring is widely recognised for his colourful paintings, drawings, sculptures and murals. Haring exploded onto the early 1980s New York art scene with his vivid graffiti-inspired drawings, many of which found exposure in the public realm, such as the Times Square billboard broadcast of his famous Radiant Child in 1982. Haring’s instantly recognisable `cartoon-like’ imagery not only drew on the iconography of contemporary pop and club culture but also looked back to the patterns and rhythms of Islamic and Japanese art, and primitive wall-paintings. Furthermore his work also reflected a profound commitment to social justice and activism, and raised numerous issues that remain relevant today, including the AIDS crisis, the Cold War and fear of nuclear attack, racism, the excesses of capitalism and environmental degradation. Featuring around fifty works supported by rarely seen photography, film and archival documents from the Keith Haring Foundation, this accessible book will not only introduce Haring to a new audience but also throw fresh light on an artist whose work remains symptomatic of the subcultural and creative energy of 1980s New York. The publication also aims to include select and unpublished reminiscences from those who collaborated and interacted with Haring, including performers such as Madonna and Grace Jones and artists Jenny Holzer and Yoko Ono.

You can visit the TATE Modern and look closer at their online displays here

From MOMA

The Artist Project by Phaidon

The Artist Project is the latest step among The Met’s recent strides to better integrate contemporary art into its historical pantheon. Artists have long been stimulated and motivated by the work of those who came before them, sometimes, centuries before them. Interviews with 120 international contemporary artists discussing works from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection that spark their imagination shed new light on art-making, museums, and the creative process. Images of the artworks appear alongside images of the contemporary artists’ work, allowing readers to discover a rich web of visual connections that spans cultures and millennia.

MOMA Now by Quentin Bajac

MoMA Highlights celebrates the 90th anniversary of the Museum MoMA with a chronological overview of some of the most significant modern and contemporary artworks through superb high-resolution images and short texts by MoMA curators. MoMA Highlights interweaves works from each of the Museum’s curatorial departments, painting and sculpture, drawings, prints and illustrated books, photography, architecture and design, film, and media and performance art to provide a look at one of the premiere art collections in the world.

You can visit MOMA and take part in their virtual exhibitions and free art classes here

From the Guggenheim in Bilbao

Mark Rothko Toward Clarity by Sabine Haag

Mark Rothko has long been considered a preeminent figure in 20th-century art, and few publications have examined his work within the broader context of Western art, even though Rothko himself continuously sought it out as inspiration. Rothko had a profound interest in history and art history including Greek and Roman mythology, Egyptian fables, Byzantine and early Italian gold-ground paintings, and masterworks of the Renaissance and Dutch Golden Age. He first traveled to Europe in 1950, starting in Paris and winding through Venice, Arezzo, Siena, Florence, and Rome; along the way, he admired frescoes by Fra Angelico and architecture by Michelangelo. This beautiful book examines the influence of the artist’s travels on his oeuvre. It presents Rothko’s engagement with important classical and Old Master works, highlighting older techniques and ideas that the artist may have sought to emulate. Works representative of Rothko’s entire corpus are beautifully illustrated with full-page colour plates. The book also contains writings by the artist selected for publication by his son that document his appreciation of art history in his own words.

You can visit the Guggenheim and their online Guggenheim at Large activities here

and for all art lovers…

The Art Museum by Phaidon (2018)

This book is one of the finest art collections ever assembled, offering the museum experience without the boundaries of space and time, taking readers on a tour around the world and through the ages, presenting the finest examples of visual creativity. Its rooms and galleries display some 1,600 artworks, selected from the original collection, including paintings, sculpture, photographs, textiles, installations, performances, videos, prints, ceramics, manuscripts, metalwork, and jewel-work. It’s a book to be treasured.

Enjoy and stay safe!

Download of the Day: David Walliams free audio books.

We have found a hilarious way to spend the evening with your children: listening and laughing along while David Walliams reads Bad Dad for free! If you want your own copy to read along with you can find it here.


The best books on photography

While we are all staying safe at home, many of us have been working on our hobbies. At Booko HQ we really enjoy taking photos. Thankfully there are a number of great tools available online to help you take your photography skills to the next level. But if you are looking for a little more inspiration, or want to take some time to flick through an actual book then look no further. We have rounded up some of the greatest books on photography to inspire you. 

Studio Anywhere by Nick Fancher

What’s your definition of a photo studio? Is it a room with a white seamless backdrop? Maybe it’s simply anywhere you’re in control of the lighting. But the reality is that you may have an outdated DSLR with two decent lenses (which took you several years to save up for), and all you have at your disposal is an unfinished basement, your garage, or the empty conference room at your office. That’s where Studio Anywhere comes in. With photographer Nick Fancher as your guide, you’ll learn how to get portfolio-ready photos while working in some of the most problematic scenarios imaginable. Whether shooting a corporate portrait, a test shoot with a model, or a promo shoot with a band, you’ll discover that most of the time, there’s no need for an expensive studio, you just have to get creative. Studio Anywhere is a resource for photographers to learn through behind-the-scenes photos and lighting diagrams from a range of photo shoots but it doesn’t stop there. Because directing a photo shoot involves more than simply knowing how to wield a camera or process a raw file, Nick also lets you in on the aesthetic decisions he makes in his signature photos, inspiring you to develop your own vision.

Photographers on Photography by Henry Carroll

Think you know photography? Think again. Through a carefully curated selection of quotes and images, this book reveals what matters most to the masters of photography. With accompanying text by Henry Carroll, author of the internationally bestselling Read This If You Want To Take Great Photographs series, you’ll learn what photography actually means to the giants of the genres and how they developed their distinctive visual styles. Divided into clear sections, quotes offer intimate insights into “the camera”, “the photograph”, “taking pictures”, “style, subject matter and technique” and ultimately answer that all-important question-“what exactly is photography?”.

Zen Camera by David Ulrich

Zen Camera is a photography and mindfulness program that guides you to the creativity at your fingertips, literally, requiring nothing more than your smartphone or any other type of camera. Over the course of six lessons gleaned from the author’s 40 years of teaching photography, you’ll learn how to use the camera in your pocket to explore self-expression as a photographer and produce photographs that are both wildly beautiful and uniquely your own. Gorgeously illustrated with 60-75 full-colour photographs, David Ulrich’s lessons combine mindfulness principles with concrete exercises and the basic mechanics of taking a good photograph. He guides you through a program of taking photos every day (called your Daily Record), similar to a journaling practice. He also offers profound insight into the nature of seeing, art, and attention, pushing you to live more authentically.

The Social Photo by Nathan Jurgenson

With the rise of the smart phone and social media, cameras have become ubiquitous, infiltrating nearly every aspect of social life. The glowing camera screen is the lens by which many of us apprehend and communicate our experience. But our thinking about photography has been slow to catch up; this major fixture of everyday life is still often treated in the terms of art or journalism. In The Social Photo, social theorist Nathan Jurgenson develops bold new ways of understanding the transformations wrought by these image-making and sharing technologies and the cultural objects they have ushered in the selfie, the faux-vintage photo, the self-destructing image, and the food photo. Jurgenson shows how these devices and platforms have re-made the world and our understanding of ourselves within it.

Annie Leibovitz at Work by Annie Leibovitz

Leibovitz addresses young photographers and readers interested in what photographers do, but any reader interested in contemporary history will be fascinated by her account of one of the richest bodies of work in the photographic canon. The subjects include photojournalism, studio work, photographing dancers and athletes, working with writers, and making the transition from shooting with film to working with digital cameras. Originally published in 2008, this revised and updated edition brings Leibovitz’s bestselling book back into print.

Midlife by Elinor Carucci

From acclaimed photographer Elinor Carucci, Midlife is a vivid chronicle of one woman’s passage through aging, family, illness, and intimacy. It is a period in life that is universal, at some point, to everyone, yet in our day-to-day and cultural dialogue, nearly invisible. Midlife is a moving and empathetic portrait of an artist at the point in her life when inexorable change is more apparent than ever. Elinor Carucci, continues her immersive and close-up examination of her own life in this volume, portraying this moment in vibrant detail. As one of the most autobiographically rigorous photographers of her generation, Carucci recruits and revisits the same members of her family that we have seen since her work gained prominence two decades ago. Even as we observe telling details, graying hair, the pressures and joys of marriage, episodes of pronounced illness, the evolution of her aging parents’ roles as grandparents, her children’s increasing independence, we are invited to reflect on the experiences that we all share contending with the challenges of life, love, and change.

Enjoy!