11.12 – The Friday Five – Bright’s top cultural finds this week


1. Benedict Cumberbatch heads celebrity list writing letters to Father Christmas

“Dear Father Christmas … ” Benedict Cumberbatch’s letter to Saint Nick begins. “It’s not for us to turn around and plead for your help with the environment, the migrant crisis, the NHS, education, food banks, human rights, fundamentalism and wars. Though God knows we need all the help we can get … you are for the children. Children who need some magic in a world where the borders between innocence and responsibility, playful imagination and cold, adult obstacles are continually shrinking. And this is what I’d like to ask you to help with. A little more time for those children to be children.” Read the full article here


2. Harry Potter’s graphic designers showcase magical props & posters in new exhibition

The graphic designers behind the much-loved props and posters from the Harry Potter films are set to give fans a fix of magical memories in a new London exhibition. The exhibition includes props and posters created on set at Leavesden Film Studios (now home to the Harry Potter Studio Tour) as limited edition prints, and now you’ll be able to see the stunning collection at The Graphic Art of the Harry Potter Films exhibition at the Coningsby Gallery in London. Until Saturday 19th December only! Read more… or find out exhibition & gallery opening times


3. Children’s Authors Share Their Favourite Childhood Books

Publishers weekly asked authors and illustrators to name their favourite stories from when they were young and share the books’ impact on their lives. Read their answers here


4. Tintin expert becomes first UK professor of comics

Lancaster University has created a new faculty position, for a professor in the art of graphic novels. Benoit Peeters, a French graphic novelist and literary critic, has been appointed as the university’s Visiting Professor in Graphic Fiction and Comic Art, the first appointment of its kind in the UK. Read the full story


5. Google’s new Chromebook app turns your desktop into an art gallery

Are you a Chromebook owner suffering from Drab Desktop Disorder? Google’s coming to the rescue with a new Chrome OS app, one that replaces a given device’s wallpaper with a selection from the Google Art Project’s archives. The app is promoting the work of the company’s Cultural Institute, an off-shoot that’s focused on digitising the collections of international museums and archives for public viewing, and its database includes everything from famous paintings to contemporary street art. Read more