Power of the poster
The taxi driver left us in a quiet residential area. There were no signs to indicate the existence of the Propaganda Poster Art Centre in Shanghai. We entered a block of flats, walked down long corridors, past front doors and a windowless flight of stairs to a plain wooden door with a tattered handwritten sign on it. The furtiveness of it made it feel illegal. The small museum was packed with more than 5,000 posters which, up to 1979, were a very powerful tool for propaganda.
The power of the exaggeratedly happy facial features in the early posters and the presence of red-and-black art style, promoting Chairman Mao and the Cultural Revolution in the later ones, were evocative. Photographs showed the posters and political slogans daubed over buildings. It was surreal to be in a secretive, windowless basement in China and actually see and imagine the ways that public opinion had been moulded in former times.
Judy Langworthy, from Derbyshire, wins a walking holiday with Mickledore
Queenstown, New Zealand – on every street corner it seems there is an opportunity to buy an adventure: rafting, bungee-jumping, zip wire, jetboat - the list seems endless in the macho atmosphere of the adrenalin capital of the world. But turn the corner into Beach Street and at No 45 you find a complete contrast. For this is the gallery of New Zealand’s leading landscape artist, Tim Wilson, who paints the spectacular world of the Southern Alps and Fiordland on a...