It should have been elementary, but after some sleuthing all the evidence pointed to one thing: Sherlock has been crowned the nation’s favourite television theme tune.

The results were announced on Saturday at a special event hosted by Radio Times film editor and Classic FM presenter Andrew Collins and award-winning composer and broadcaster Howard Goodall, following a poll conducted by Radio Times magazine, the BFI and Classic FM.

Dr John Watson played by Martin Freeman (left) and Sherlock Holmes played by Benedict Cumberbatch (right) in Sherlock.
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 Dr John Watson played by Martin Freeman (left) and Sherlock Holmes played by Benedict Cumberbatch (right) in Sherlock. Photograph: BBC/Hartswood Films/PA

Michael Price, one of the composers of the Sherlock theme tune, said: “Being a part of a TV show like Sherlock, which has reached so many people, is a genuinely humbling experience. Thanks hugely to all the Radio Timesreaders who voted for it – I can only apologise to everyone else who wanted their favourite to win. I voted for Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em.”

Collins said: “I’m not surprised that Sherlock’s dedicated followers turned out en masse to support their favourite show, and it really is a stirring piece of work, folding Victoriana into a more modern rock-style tune.”

Sherlock beat the 1963 theme for Doctor Who, composed by Delia Derbyshire and Ron Grainer into second place, while Robin of Sherwood came in third.

Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill and Bradley Walsh in Doctor Who.
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 Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill and Bradley Walsh in Doctor Who. Photograph: Simon Ridgway/BBC

Goodall told the Guardian: “A great TV theme has you humming it after the first episode. Whether it’s a bespoke tune by an eminent contemporary composer or an existing piece that becomes instantly embedded with the atmosphere of the show itself.

“Who doesn’t feel uplifted by the Match of the Day theme? That’s because it was specially written for a particular job and for a particular audience. It’s the complex cousin of an advertising jingle: it sells Doctor Foster or Black Beauty or Sherlock. The art of persuasion in 40 seconds.”

The top 10:

1. Sherlock, David Arnold & Michael Price (2010)

2. Doctor Who, Ron Grainer & Delia Derbyshire, 1963

3. Robin of Sherwood, Clannad, 1984

4. The Persuaders! John Barry, 1971

5. Inspector Morse, Barrington Pheloung, 1987

6. Poldark, Anne Dudley, 2015

7. The Avengers, Laurie Johnson, 1965

8. Thunderbirds, Barry Gray, 1965

9. The Adventures of Black Beauty, Denis King, 1972

10. Match of the Day, Barry Stoller, 1970

The Guardian

British Museum, London 
From his sunsets and deathbeds to the world-warping Scream, the Norwegian created apocalyptic masterpieces that are brutal, refined – and addictive

The man who created The Scream introduces himself with morbid panache at the start of the British Museum’s inkily beautiful journey into his imagination. He looks normal enough, calm and sombre, except that he’s got a skeleton arm. “Edvard Munch 1895”, reads the inscription above him. He presents himself in this bony self-portrait as a specimen of fin-de-siècle decay, a morbid example of the modern condition. Munch was 32 when he created this. In his head he clearly thought he was finished. In fact he would live until 1944, but this exhibition concentrates on his apocalyptic masterpieces of symbolist gloom from the 1890s and 1900s.

Munch had good reason to feel cursed. Growing up in 19th-century Norway he was surrounded by illness and death. The most upsetting images here are not symbolist at all but distressingly matter-of-fact. Munch’s painting The Sick Child is shown beside its equally harrowing print version. They both mourn his sister Johanne Sophie, who died when he was a teenager. Nearby is another cry of anguish, Dead Mother and Child. The child’s face is a doll-like mask of terror. Munch’s mother died of tuberculosis when he was five years old.

The Sick Child, 1907, by Edvard Munch.
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 Distressingly matter-of-fact … The Sick Child, 1907, by Edvard Munch. Photograph: Guy Bell/Rex/Shutterstock

Perhaps his most devastating portrayal of loss is his ensemble scene Death in the Sick Room. In a room that looks like a stage set, a company of black-clad people slowly move in balletic sympathy, as they coalesce in silent grief. A girl is dying. She’s got out of bed to sit in her chair one last time. It is the final moment and everyone knows it.

Again, this is not morbid fantasy but closely based on Munch’s own experiences. The exhibition shows this everyday tragedy beside Munch’s sketches for set designs for plays by the great Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen, as well as his immensely characterful portrait of Ibsen sitting in a cafe, his face a map of human experience and insight as roughly sketched figures pass by on the street. Ibsen shook stages across 19th-century Europe with the naturalism of plays such as A Doll’s House and Ghosts. The intensity of Munch’s admiration for him comes as a fascinating surprise. It shows that Munch too thought of himself as some kind of realist.

Realism may not be what comes to mind when you look at Vampire II. A man lowers his head so his lover can sink her teeth into the back of his neck. She embraces him as she sucks his blood. Her red hair, tangled like gore-soaked seaweed, falls over his head. Munch designed this image in 1895, two years before Bram Stoker’s Dracula was published. Yet this is not a gothic image. It’s presented with the stark intensity of confession. The power of Munch’s art lies in the unparalleled way it pierces exterior appearances to reveal the reality of the mind.

Intensity of confession … Vampire II, 1896, by Edvard Munch.
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 Intensity of confession … Vampire II, 1896, by Edvard Munch. Photograph: Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

The vampire drinking deep is just one of his images of sexual union as ecstasy and agony. In Attraction I, two young people gaze at each other with hollow eyes. In front of them is a black shore by an empty sea. On another of his eerie shores, a young woman looks from the pink sands at a lemon sunset on a pale sea. It is not always winter in Munch’s art. The spectral light of a Norwegian summer evening fills him with as much unease as the blackest night. Beside the young woman in her white dress sits a figure wrapped in a jet black robe with a lifeless face. Death is at your side even at midsummer.

Munch’s art is addictive. It is at once brutal and refined. This exhibition concentrates on his works on paper, revealing their astonishing technical qualities, even showing some of his original plates and lithographic stones. Many prints here were made using multiple methods, and reworked at different moments. They are marvels of technique that glow with sickly gorgeous colours. His erotic Madonna is a swirling dream of blue and black surrounded by a rich red border. The woman’s body is pinkish paper left bare, her breasts delicately delineated in hints of ink.

Yet the real reason this exhibition of Munch’s prints works so well is that it captures the myth-making essence of his art. In the 1890s Munch was not just sketching passing perceptions but dredging up symbols of psychic states. Other examples of late-19th-century “symbolist” art are shown for comparison, by the likes of Gauguin and Odilon Redon. Munch’s symbols are the starkest and most universal. Almost all the prints here also exist as paintings, yet the prints are in no way second best. They go to the heart of his enterprise. If he were to create a new symbolic language of feeling, his images needed to be reproducible. The sensual delight of Munch’s colours – including his sublime blacks – is ultimately secondary to content. In paint or print, his art lodges in your mind. Lonely people on the shore, a zombie-like city crowd in top hats and bonnets, the staring face of a young man possessed by jealousy – this exhibition is full of images you will never forget.

Fascinating surprise … Munch’s set design for Ibsen’s Ghosts.
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 Fascinating surprise … Munch’s set design for Ibsen’s Ghosts. Photograph: Sidsel de Jong

And then finally we come to the fjordm where the whole of nature is transfigured by a great scream. I was suspicious of the hype for The Scream visiting London in this show. It’s on huge posters for the exhibition and has been in the media for months. It seemed a bit rich to big up this 1895 lithographic print of Munch’s masterpiece as if it was just as rare as the great 1893 painting in the National Museum, Oslo – or the other painted version in the Munch Museum. Art thieves know better (although after creating so much excitement around its lithograph, I hope the British Museum has good security). But scepticism changed to awe when I turned a corner and saw that ghost-like face, mouth wide open, hands over both ears.

The Scream hits you like a bomb in black and white. The sky is a wobble of warped wood grain. Folds of black map the shore like ripples of trauma, crystallising in a lonely church tower. It’s like looking at a heart monitor. The pulsations echo and amplify through space and you feel the same claustrophobic oppression that is tormenting Munch’s universal figure of the modern soul.

It is a work of art that abolishes the distance between us. Even as he portrays despair and loneliness and death, Munch does so in a way that celebrates our ability to communicate with each other. He leaves you harrowed yet inspired. This is an exhibition that shows why we need art. How else can we hear each other scream?

The Guardian

Friends, family and fans gather in Los Angeles as blogger reads letter from Barack Obama to crowd

Inside Pallbearers onstage during Nipsey Hussle’s Celebration of Life at STAPLES Center on April 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed in front of his store, The Marathon Clothing, on March 31, 2019 in Los Angeles.
 Inside Pallbearers onstage during Nipsey Hussle’s Celebration of Life at STAPLES Center on April 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed in front of his store, The Marathon Clothing, on March 31, 2019 in Los Angeles. Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images For Atlantic Records

Nipsey Hussle’s legacy as a persistent rapper, community activist, uniter, doting father, protective sibling and loving son were underscored at his public memorial service on Thursday, with deeply personal testimonies from those closest to the rapper, including his fiancée, Lauren London; collaborator and dear friend Snoop Dogg; and his mother, who said she was at peace with the death of her “superhero” son.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z were among the celebrities who attended the three-hour event in Los Angeles at the Staples Center. The last celebrity funeral held at the concert arena was Michael Jackson’s in 2009.

The arena was packed with more than 21,000 fans and drove home the important impact that Hussle, who was just 33 when he died, had on his city and the rest of the world.

“My son Ermias Joseph Asghedom was a great man,” said Angelique Smith, dressed in all white. Standing onstage with Hussle’s father, Dawit Asghedom, she declared: “Ermias was a legacy.”

A silver hearse carrying the body of Nipsey Hussle leaves Staples Center Thursday in Los Angeles in a procession following the memorial service for the late rapper.
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 A silver hearse carrying the body of Nipsey Hussle leaves Staples Center Thursday in Los Angeles in a procession following the memorial service for the late rapper. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

London, in dark sunglasses, was emotional but stood strong as she told the audience: “I’ve never felt this type of pain before.”

London called Hussle “majestic” and “brilliant”, adding that though she was hurting, she was really sad for their son, Kross, whom she feared wouldn’t remember his dad.

A blogger, Karen Civil, read a letter from Barack Obama. “I’ve never met Nipsey, but I’ve heard his music through my daughters, and after his passing I had the chance to learn more about his transformation and his community work,” the former president wrote. “While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and only see gangs, bullets and despair, Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope.”

Snoop Dogg’s words to immortalize his friend were both serious and silly, as he told old stories about Hussle and their brotherhood. “This a tough one right here,” he said.

Hussle’s father said he knew his son was strong because when he was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck but he prevailed. “He was a fighter,” he said.

Stevie Wonder was the last performer to pay tribute to Hussle, who he said he had the chance to meet. Before he sang Rocket Song, one of Hussle’s favorites, Wonder denounced gun violence.

People from Eritrea attend the memorial for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle, an Eritrean American, on 11 April.
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 People from Eritrea attend the memorial for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle, an Eritrean American, on 11 April. Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images
A sign outside the Staples Center bears the image of Nipsey Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom.
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 A sign outside the Staples Center bears the image of Nipsey Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom. Photograph: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

A DJ called the event a celebration, and indeed, Hussle’s mother danced in the aisle in tribute to her son as the R&B singer Marsha Ambrosius sang the Mariah Carey song Fly Like a Bird while fighting back tears.

A montage of photos featuring the rapper from infancy, childhood and adulthood were shown to the crowd, set to Frank Sinatra’s song My Way. Singer Anthony Hamilton invoked the spirit of a church service as he performed. The Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan, hailed Hussle’s ability to bring different factions together.

A makeshift memorial is filled with candles for Nipsey Hussle outside his Marathon clothing store in Los Angeles.
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 A makeshift memorial is filled with candles for Nipsey Hussle outside his Marathon clothing store in Los Angeles. Photograph: Jae C Hong/AP

Hussle was killed last month at age 33 in front of The Marathon, a clothing store that he created to empower his south central Los Angeles neighborhood. Most who filed in for the public memorial at the arena Thursday were young adults, but ages ranged from small children to the elderly.

“We’re here for a great man. We’re all here for big Nip. It wasn’t his time,” said Wutup Levy, 27, of Long Beach, California.

Daren B Harris waited outside the arena before the doors opened with his grandmother and other family members, who wore black T-shirts with Hussle’s face on them. Harris said he grew up listening to the rapper’s music and followed his journey to improve his community.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” said Harris, 23, who lives in South Los Angeles. “He was a treasure.”

Harris’ grandmother, Reba Johnson, said she couldn’t miss the occasion to celebrate Hussle’s life. “He was bigger than his music,” she said.

Books with an image of Hussle on the cover were handed out to service attendees. The book of nearly 100 pages contained numerous photos of Hussle with London, his children, and friends such as Russell Westbrook and Snoop Dogg. It also had heartfelt messages from Rick Ross, the Game and LeBron James.

“I’ve never cried myself to sleep over any public figure before, but Nipsey’s presence meant so much for our community,” the actor Issa Rae said in her message inside the book.

A fan at the memorial service wears a shirt with an image of Nipsey Hussle.
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 A fan at the memorial service wears a shirt with an image of Nipsey Hussle. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
A fan wears shoes in tribute to Nipsey Hussle at the late rapper’s memorial service.
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 A fan wears shoes in tribute to Nipsey Hussle at the late rapper’s memorial service. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The hearse carrying Hussle’s coffin went through a 25-mile lap through the city, past the property where Hussle had planned to turn an aging strip mall into affordable homes and new businesses – including his clothing store, where thousands had gathered. The Los Angeles police department urged mourners to stay calm amid concerns over a loud noise, as emotions ran high.

The casket was scheduled to arrive at a funeral home in the city’s hard-scrabble Crenshaw district, where the rapper was born on 15 August 1985.

Eric R Holder Jr, who has been charged with killing Hussle, has pleaded not guilty. Police have said Holder and Hussle had several interactions the day of the shooting and have described it as being the result of a personal dispute.

Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was an Eritrean American father of two. He was a beloved figure for his philanthropic work that went well beyond the usual celebrity “giving back” ethos.

Fans wait for the funeral procession following a memorial for Nipsey Hussle along Slauson Avenue in Los Angeles on 11 April.
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 Fans wait for the funeral procession following a memorial for Nipsey Hussle along Slauson Avenue in Los Angeles on 11 April. Photograph: Patrick T Fallon/Reuters
Masons attend the memorial for Nipsey Hussle in Los Angeles.
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 Masons attend the memorial for Nipsey Hussle in Los Angeles. Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images

Following his death, political and community leaders were as quick and effusive in their praise as were his fellow hip-hop artists.

For a decade, Hussle released much sought-after mixtapes that he sold out of the trunk of his car, helping him create a buzz and gain respect from rap purists and his peers. His said his stage name, a play on the 1960s and 70s rhyming standup comic Nipsey Russell, was given to him as a teen by an older friend because he was such a go-getter, always hustling.

He received a boost when Jay-Z bought 100 copies of his 2013 mixtape Crenshaw for $10,000.

Last year, he hit new heights with Victory Lap, his Grammy-nominated major-label debut album on Atlantic Records that made several critics’ best-of lists. The album debuted at No 4 on Billboard’s 200 albums charts and features collaborations with Kendrick Lamar and Cee-Lo Green.

On Thursday, his family and friends vowed to continue his work, and London told the crowd: “The marathon continues!”

The Guardian

Laura Wade (best new comedy, Home, I’m Darling): “To my wonderful, amazing partner Sam West. We first met each other at the Olivier awardsmany years ago so I guess this is, in a weird way, happy anniversary!”

Botis Seva (best new dance production, Blkdog): “Thank you to my son. I love you, my son, but please stop waking me up early.”

Akram Khan (outstanding achievement in dance, Xenos): “When I dance I suddenly feel a sense of hope … Without action, there’s no hope. So let’s keep moving, resisting and fighting for what we must preserve – our sense of a collective humanity.”

Ashley Shaw with Botis Seva, winner of the best new dance production for Blkdog.
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 Ashley Shaw with Botis Seva, winner of the best new dance production for Blkdog. Photograph: David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Monica Dolan (best supporting actress, All About Eve): “Thank you to my family for giving me the power to say no and yes to the right things for me.”

Igor (production manager, accepting award on stage for Bunny Christie, best set design, Company): “This is a stark reminder of why I chose a career backstage. Bunny is in New York … She has asked me to take this bullet for her. It was either this or Countryfile. I’m recording Countryfile.”

Monica Dolan
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 Monica Dolan Photograph: Eamonn M McCormack/Getty Images

Danny Dyer (presenting award): “Shout out to the Duchess [of Cornwall] up there. No Charlie tonight I see. I’ll pop up and see you later.”

Kyle Soller (best actor, The Inheritance): “This play would not have existed without a debt of sacrifice. To the people that died during the Aids epidemic. So to those that were lost, to those that continue to fight in a world where you can still be stoned to death for loving who you love, thank you.”

Jason Manford (host): “A beautiful performance from The King and I. Or if you went to a normal school … Me and the King.”

Marianne Elliott (best musical revival, Company): “I want to thank Stephen Sondheim who was so open to allowing us to meddle with this piece and who believes that theatre can change and evolve and should be of – and for – the times.”

Patti LuPone (best supporting actress in a musical, Company): “I think actors are only as good as their directors. I have been extremely fortunate to work with Marianne Elliott who directed [like] a detective, an investigator.”

Sharon D Clarke (best actress in a musical, Caroline, Or Change): “For my mum and dad who are no longer with us … Caroline’s strength, dignity and love comes from my mum … To every mother who is out there doing the best for her child.”

Matthew Bourne (special award): “I’m just an East End boy who had great parents who took him to the London theatre as a young man – always in the cheapest seats at the top of the theatre but that mattered not one bit.”

The Guardian

Friends, family and fans gather in Los Angeles as blogger reads letter from Barack Obama to crowd

Inside Pallbearers onstage during Nipsey Hussle’s Celebration of Life at STAPLES Center on April 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed in front of his store, The Marathon Clothing, on March 31, 2019 in Los Angeles.
 Inside Pallbearers onstage during Nipsey Hussle’s Celebration of Life at STAPLES Center on April 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed in front of his store, The Marathon Clothing, on March 31, 2019 in Los Angeles. Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images For Atlantic Records

Nipsey Hussle’s legacy as a persistent rapper, community activist, uniter, doting father, protective sibling and loving son were underscored at his public memorial service on Thursday, with deeply personal testimonies from those closest to the rapper, including his fiancée, Lauren London; collaborator and dear friend Snoop Dogg; and his mother, who said she was at peace with the death of her “superhero” son.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z were among the celebrities who attended the three-hour event in Los Angeles at the Staples Center. The last celebrity funeral held at the concert arena was Michael Jackson’s in 2009.

The arena was packed with more than 21,000 fans and drove home the important impact that Hussle, who was just 33 when he died, had on his city and the rest of the world.

“My son Ermias Joseph Asghedom was a great man,” said Angelique Smith, dressed in all white. Standing onstage with Hussle’s father, Dawit Asghedom, she declared: “Ermias was a legacy.”

A silver hearse carrying the body of Nipsey Hussle leaves Staples Center Thursday in Los Angeles in a procession following the memorial service for the late rapper.
Pinterest
 A silver hearse carrying the body of Nipsey Hussle leaves Staples Center Thursday in Los Angeles in a procession following the memorial service for the late rapper. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

London, in dark sunglasses, was emotional but stood strong as she told the audience: “I’ve never felt this type of pain before.”

London called Hussle “majestic” and “brilliant”, adding that though she was hurting, she was really sad for their son, Kross, whom she feared wouldn’t remember his dad.

A blogger, Karen Civil, read a letter from Barack Obama. “I’ve never met Nipsey, but I’ve heard his music through my daughters, and after his passing I had the chance to learn more about his transformation and his community work,” the former president wrote. “While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and only see gangs, bullets and despair, Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope.”

Snoop Dogg’s words to immortalize his friend were both serious and silly, as he told old stories about Hussle and their brotherhood. “This a tough one right here,” he said.

Hussle’s father said he knew his son was strong because when he was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck but he prevailed. “He was a fighter,” he said.

Stevie Wonder was the last performer to pay tribute to Hussle, who he said he had the chance to meet. Before he sang Rocket Song, one of Hussle’s favorites, Wonder denounced gun violence.

People from Eritrea attend the memorial for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle, an Eritrean American, on 11 April.
Pinterest
 People from Eritrea attend the memorial for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle, an Eritrean American, on 11 April. Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images
A sign outside the Staples Center bears the image of Nipsey Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom.
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 A sign outside the Staples Center bears the image of Nipsey Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom. Photograph: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

A DJ called the event a celebration, and indeed, Hussle’s mother danced in the aisle in tribute to her son as the R&B singer Marsha Ambrosius sang the Mariah Carey song Fly Like a Bird while fighting back tears.

A montage of photos featuring the rapper from infancy, childhood and adulthood were shown to the crowd, set to Frank Sinatra’s song My Way. Singer Anthony Hamilton invoked the spirit of a church service as he performed. The Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan, hailed Hussle’s ability to bring different factions together.

A makeshift memorial is filled with candles for Nipsey Hussle outside his Marathon clothing store in Los Angeles.
Pinterest
 A makeshift memorial is filled with candles for Nipsey Hussle outside his Marathon clothing store in Los Angeles. Photograph: Jae C Hong/AP

Hussle was killed last month at age 33 in front of The Marathon, a clothing store that he created to empower his south central Los Angeles neighborhood. Most who filed in for the public memorial at the arena Thursday were young adults, but ages ranged from small children to the elderly.

“We’re here for a great man. We’re all here for big Nip. It wasn’t his time,” said Wutup Levy, 27, of Long Beach, California.

Daren B Harris waited outside the arena before the doors opened with his grandmother and other family members, who wore black T-shirts with Hussle’s face on them. Harris said he grew up listening to the rapper’s music and followed his journey to improve his community.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” said Harris, 23, who lives in South Los Angeles. “He was a treasure.”

Harris’ grandmother, Reba Johnson, said she couldn’t miss the occasion to celebrate Hussle’s life. “He was bigger than his music,” she said.

Books with an image of Hussle on the cover were handed out to service attendees. The book of nearly 100 pages contained numerous photos of Hussle with London, his children, and friends such as Russell Westbrook and Snoop Dogg. It also had heartfelt messages from Rick Ross, the Game and LeBron James.

“I’ve never cried myself to sleep over any public figure before, but Nipsey’s presence meant so much for our community,” the actor Issa Rae said in her message inside the book.

A fan at the memorial service wears a shirt with an image of Nipsey Hussle.
Pinterest
 A fan at the memorial service wears a shirt with an image of Nipsey Hussle. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
A fan wears shoes in tribute to Nipsey Hussle at the late rapper’s memorial service.
Pinterest
 A fan wears shoes in tribute to Nipsey Hussle at the late rapper’s memorial service. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The hearse carrying Hussle’s coffin went through a 25-mile lap through the city, past the property where Hussle had planned to turn an aging strip mall into affordable homes and new businesses – including his clothing store, where thousands had gathered. The Los Angeles police department urged mourners to stay calm amid concerns over a loud noise, as emotions ran high.

The casket was scheduled to arrive at a funeral home in the city’s hard-scrabble Crenshaw district, where the rapper was born on 15 August 1985.

Eric R Holder Jr, who has been charged with killing Hussle, has pleaded not guilty. Police have said Holder and Hussle had several interactions the day of the shooting and have described it as being the result of a personal dispute.

Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was an Eritrean American father of two. He was a beloved figure for his philanthropic work that went well beyond the usual celebrity “giving back” ethos.

Fans wait for the funeral procession following a memorial for Nipsey Hussle along Slauson Avenue in Los Angeles on 11 April.
Pinterest
 Fans wait for the funeral procession following a memorial for Nipsey Hussle along Slauson Avenue in Los Angeles on 11 April. Photograph: Patrick T Fallon/Reuters
Masons attend the memorial for Nipsey Hussle in Los Angeles.
Pinterest
 Masons attend the memorial for Nipsey Hussle in Los Angeles. Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images

Following his death, political and community leaders were as quick and effusive in their praise as were his fellow hip-hop artists.

For a decade, Hussle released much sought-after mixtapes that he sold out of the trunk of his car, helping him create a buzz and gain respect from rap purists and his peers. His said his stage name, a play on the 1960s and 70s rhyming standup comic Nipsey Russell, was given to him as a teen by an older friend because he was such a go-getter, always hustling.

He received a boost when Jay-Z bought 100 copies of his 2013 mixtape Crenshaw for $10,000.

Last year, he hit new heights with Victory Lap, his Grammy-nominated major-label debut album on Atlantic Records that made several critics’ best-of lists. The album debuted at No 4 on Billboard’s 200 albums charts and features collaborations with Kendrick Lamar and Cee-Lo Green.

On Thursday, his family and friends vowed to continue his work, and London told the crowd: “The marathon continues!”

The Guardian

Clockwise from top left: Toy Story 4, Killing Eve, Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet, Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman, Lizzo and Keith Haring at Tate Liverpool.

1. FILM: Coming-of-age gems

Hollywood hardly wants for quirky coming-of-age comedies, and nor are people crying out for more actors to realise their dream of sitting in the director’s chair. Yet three films in cinemas this spring tick both boxes, and all are fresh, surprising and free of vanity-project vapours. Olivia Wilde, an actor who consistently seems sharper than the films she finds herself in, proves that in Booksmart, a riotous, unconventional study of the sisterly friendship between two high-school misfits that rocked the South By Southwest festival last month, and features a star-making performance by Beanie Feldstein. She just happens to be the sister of Jonah Hill, who sheds his smarmy Hollywood persona in his own sensitive directorial debut, Mid90s, a part-nostalgic, part-rueful reflection on growing up in the decade of skater-boi cool. Best of all is Eighth Grade, a smashing arrival from 28-year-old comic Bo Burnham, which unpicks the social pressures and classroom politics facing a gawky 13-year-old girl with aching, uncanny detail. It wowed US critics last year, and won Burnham the Directors’ Guild of America prize for best debut – felling Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born. The new generation is here and hungry. GL

2. FILM: Support the Girls

Haley Lu Richardson and Regina Hall as Maci and Lisa.
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 Haley Lu Richardson and Regina Hall as Maci and Lisa. Photograph: Allstar/Magnolia Pictures

Double Whammies may seem like just another low-rent bar servicing its clientele’s twin needs of beer and sport but, through the wry lens of Andrew Bujalski in Support the Girls, it is a microcosm of modern America. Regina Hall is superb as the fiercely supportive manageress and den mother to her “girls”, the employees she protects on a daily basis against an unforgiving labour market and over-familiar punters. A deftly mixed cocktail of comedy, pathos and on-the-nose observation. WI

3. ART: Women first!

Better late than never, Sixty Years of Women Artists opens at Tate Britain on 22 April, bucking long-established tradition by dedicating several permanent (and free) galleries to work entirely by female artists. All the big names will be here. Susan Hiller’s wild and pioneering 60s installations, Bridget Riley’s spectacular abstract paintings, the sculptures of Rachel Whiteread, Phyllida Barlow and Sarah Lucas. A stream of recent Turner prize winners – Tomma Abts, Charlotte Prodger, Lubaina Himid – will appear alongside classic pieces by Mona Hatoum and Gillian Wearing. Tate director Maria Balshaw believes women’s art is so strong we’ll scarcely notice the absence of men, but our museums are still hurrying to right the skewed balance of historical representation. The Barbican has a very long-awaited show of ab-ex art by Lee Krasner, inspirational painter and partner of Jackson Pollock, amazingly her first in this country. Bridget Riley’s monumental survey opens at the National Gallery of Scotland in June, and Tate Modern brings us the Russian genius Natalia Goncharova and the gorgeous abstract canvases of the Lebanese painter Huguette Caland. Sixty years, so far – now how about 600? LC

4. FILM: Music crowd-pleasers

Audience appetites whetted by Bohemian Rhapsody can feast on two more music-powered movies this spring. In May, Rocketman, starring Taron Egerton, follows the journey of a plump nobody called Reginald Dwight who transforms himself into spangly superstar Elton John. Expect extravagant musical numbers, lavish production design and enough sequins to fill a freight container. The following month sees Danny Boyle’s Yesterdayreleased: it’s a high-concept comedy, scripted by Richard Curtis, in which a struggling musician realises that he’s the only person left on the planet who remembers the Beatles. Karaoke-tastic crowd pleasers ahoy! WI

5. THEATRE: Top directors bow out with musicals

Anne-Marie Duff and Arthur Darvill in rehearsals for Sweet Charity at the Donmar Warehouse.
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 Anne-Marie Duff and Arthur Darvill in rehearsals for Sweet Charity at the Donmar Warehouse. Photograph: Manuel Harlan

Two vital artistic directors leave their posts this year, finishing with musical revivals. At London’s Donmar Josie Rourke altered the face of the stage at a stroke when she championed Phyllida Lloyd’s revelatory all-women Shakespeares. She also had a smouldering success with her own production of the Cy Coleman musical City of Angels. Rourke turns to Coleman again for her final show, directing Sweet Charity, first staged on Broadway in 1966. Anne-Marie Duff stars as the dance-hall hostess who “runs her heart like a hotel”, alongside Arthur Darvill, making his Donmar debut. Choreography is by Wayne McGregor. Sarah Frankcom has brought daring and feminist edge to Manchester’s Royal Exchange, not least in collaborations with Maxine Peake ranging from Hamlet to The Skriker. She has also – women can multitask and musicals say more than one thing at a time – pulled off Guys and Dolls, and Sweet Charity. Her penultimate production at Manchester is a staging of West Side Story which reimagines the mighty Bernstein-Sondheim show for the round, with new choreography by Aletta Collins. “Could it be? Yes it could.” Sweet Charity is at the Donmar, London WC2, 6 April-8 June. West Side Story is at the Royal Exchange, Manchester; 6 April-25 May. SCl

6. TV: The return of Killing Eve and Big Little Lies

A pair of outstanding female-led dramas return for their eagerly awaited second series this spring. We last left spy thriller Killing Eve, adapted by Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge from Luke Jennings’s novellas, with Sandra Oh’s MI6 agent stabbing assassin Jodie Comer. As the mutually obsessed duo resume their cat-and-mouse game, it’s as darkly witty, fashion-forward and slyly feminist as ever. It’s premiering 7 April in America which means it should hit the BBC here soon. Glossy, award-garlanded school gates saga Big Little Lies revisits the seemingly idyllic suburb of Monterey, California, after that fateful school fundraising night. Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Zoë Kravitz are all back. Most deliciously of all, Meryl Streep arrives as the mother-in-law of Kidman’s character Celeste. Sky Atlantic, June. MH

7. ART: Keith Haring

The artist whose jazzy hieroglyphics live on in T-shirts, badges, CD covers and a million dilute imitations, died of Aids in 1990 at the age of 31. Famous for nimbly outmanoeuvring the police to cover Manhattan in his characteristic repertoire of dancing figures, radiant babies and anthropomorphic appliances, his art was a sign of the times. Book now for his first British retrospective, opening at Tate Liverpool on 14 June: the coolest show of the season. LC

8. OPERA: WNO’s Freedom

Welsh National Opera’s Freedom season (Cardiff, 3-30 June) explores issues of justice and injustice in music through an ambitious programme of opera rare and familiar, including Jake Heggie’s true story Dead Man Walking, Menotti’s tale of a political dissident, The Consul, a double bill of Dallapiccola’s The Prisoner and Beethoven’s Fidelio Act 2 (using a community chorus), and Krása’s opera Brundibár, made famous by children in Theresienstadt concentration camp and here performed by 10-18-year-old members of WNO Youth Opera. Alongside are discussions about anti-slavery, refugees, immigration, the Holocaust, nationalism, minorities and the role of young people in democracy. FM

9. MUSIC: Sounds to broaden horizons

Skinny Pelembe
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 Skinny Pelembe: ‘dreamy, genre-swerving confidence’. Photograph: Alex Kurunus

Spring albums are due from major hitters including Jack White’s Raconteurs and Madonna (both due in June), but at the other end of the scale, there’s a clutch of releases to please eclectic tastes. Indian hip-hop meets jazz instrumentals on More Arriving, the second album (the Leaf Label, June) from percussionist Sarathy Korwar. Expect songs from the breadth of the south Asian diaspora: Jamaican patois, Hindi rap, and spoken word lyricism. Later in April, Argentinian folk/beats trio Fémina blend Andean grooves with hip-hop on Perlas & Conchas, the band’s third LP, produced by esteemed UK beat-head Quantic and featuring their number one fan, Iggy Pop. Dublin band Fontaines DC follow in the footsteps of Shame and Idles with debut album Dogrel (Partisan Records, )12 April: millennial post-punk with brilliantly sharp gnashers and heavy riffage. Finally, the long-awaited debut album from South African-born, Doncaster-raised Skinny Pelembe drops in May (Brownswood). Its dreamy, genre-swerving confidence belies its title, Dreaming Is Dead.

10. DANCE: Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet

After his game changing success reinventing Tchaikovsky’s classical ballets such as The NutcrackerSleeping Beauty and above all Swan Lake (which he famously reimagined with male swans), Matthew Bourne turns his attention to Romeo and Juliet, setting his new creation to the terrific, swooning Prokofiev score. His emphasis is very much on youth, with a fresh generation of dancers and associate artists behind the scenes working alongside his established collaborators such as the designer Lez Brotherston. There is no one like Bourne for finding an exciting way into a danced story; this should be terrific. Leicester Curve from 13 May, then touring. SCr

11. FILM: The return of Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore in Gloria Bell.
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 Julianne Moore in Gloria Bell. Photograph: Allstar/Filmnation Entertainment

Since winning her long-overdue Oscar for Still Alice in 2015, Julianne Moore has kept busy enough, without quite landing on a plum role worthy of her gifts. (Let’s draw a forgiving veil over Kingsman: The Golden Circle.) But she finally has one in Gloria Bell, Chilean director Sebastián Lelio’s tender American remake of his own 2012 festival smash Gloria. Rather than imitating Paulina García’s lovable turn as a middle-aged divorcee navigating the horrors of the grey-hair dating circuit, a top-form Moore cuts a more fragile, melancholic figure, and the film gains its own emotional tenor as a result. Devout Moore fans can also see her lip-synching to Renée Fleming as an endangered opera diva in the hostage melodrama Bel Canto; she remains as unpredictable as ever. GL

12. TV: The end of Homeland

After seven series of white wine, discordant jazz, incognito headscarves and personal upheaval – plus, of course, copious crying –, bipolar spy Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) embarks on her eighth and final mission. This one is to Afghanistan, where eyes will also be on the beard-bushyness levels of her mentor Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin). For added intrigue, British actor Hugh Dancy joins his wife, Danes, in the cast. C4, June. MH

13. THEATRE: The Half God of Rainfall

Inua Ellams the UK-based Nigerian-born poet, graphic artist and playwright supremo saw his career take off with the hugely popular Barber Shop Chronicles (now on a nationwide tour). He spotted the dramatic potential of his local barber’s shop in Peckham; the play showed the barber’s shop as confessional. Ellams flung his net wider than Peckham – to Harare, Kampala, Johannesburg – and proved a master of involving anecdote. His new play for Birmingham Rep is The Half God of Rainfall, a a boldly ambitious new myth that involves Demi, a hybrid character, half-Nigerian mortal (a basketball playing lad) and half-Greek god. It promises to fuse the secular contemporary with the divine – always aiming high, to Mount Olympus and beyond (13-20 April, then transferring to the Kiln theatre, London, 25 April-17 May). KK

14. Opera: Donnerstag aus Licht

Stockhausen’s Donnerstag Aus Licht.
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 Photograph: South Bank Centre

Stockhausen’s “Opera in 3 acts, a greeting and farewell”, conducted by Maxime Pascal, returns to the UK for the first time since 1985. The joint forces – vocal, instrumental, dance, tape – of the Paris-based ensemble Le Balcon, London Sinfonietta, New London Chamber Choir and students from the Royal Academy of Music perform a new production directed for the concert hall by Benjamin Lazar. Written between 1977 and 1980, this monumental work is the fourth part of Stockhausen’s seven-part operatic cycle, Licht (Royal Festival Hall, London, 21 and 22 May). FM

15. BOOKS: Hot novels

 Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan (Jonathan Cape, 18 April). Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Charlie brings Adam, a “synthetic human”, to live with him and his girlfriend, Miranda. Ian McEwan’s new novel investigates what it is to be human.

 Big Sky by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday, 18 June). Atkinson’s much loved former detective Jackson Brodie makes a welcome return in his fifth outing for the multi-award-winning author of Behind the Scenes at the Museum and A God in Ruins .

 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak (Viking, 6 June). “In the first minute following her death, Tequila Leila’s consciousness began to ebb, slowly and steadily, like a tide receding from the shore. Her brain cells, having run out of blood... But they did not shut down. Not right away...’’ So begins a new book from the bestselling author of The Bastard of Istanbul.

 The Porpoise by Mark Haddon (Chatto & Windus, 9 May). A “stunningly ambitious, fantastical” book based on the epic tale of Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Haddon’s first novel in seven years begins with a harrowing plane crash and takes readers from the present day to ancient times and back again.

 On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Jonathan Cape, 20 June). Ocean Vuong is a US poet, novelist and former refugee. His highly anticipated debut novel is a “sweeping and shattering portrait of a family” that takes the form of a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read.

16. MUSIC: Specialist festivals

Virgo music festival.
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 Virgo music festival. Photograph: Jake Davis

 Black Deer
A new Nashville-via-Kent celebration of folk and country headlined by Band of Horses, the Staves and Kris Kristofferson and with an Americana cinema programme curated by Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn. Eridge Park, Kent, 21-23 June.

 Cheltenham jazz festival
The Cotswolds festival has recently shed its trad image. 2019’s killer lineup includes new generation stars Nubya Garcia and Alfa Mist as well as veterans Joshua Redman and the Bad Plus, 1-6 May.

 The Great Escape
The multi-venue weekender is the UK’s answer to South By Southwest and still one of the best places to cop the new music stars of tomorrow, in a blustery seaside setting. Brighton beach, 9-11 May.

 Virgo festival 
A magical dance festival (below) for a mere 2,000 people on the 800-year-old Great Fulford estate, with house, techno, d&b and chill alongside live bands, multi-sensory yoga, sex-positivity, performance art and a secret headliner’s new project. Dunsford, Devon, 23-27 May.

 Cross the Tracks
A welcome new addition to South London’s festival circuit, this Sunday of soul, funk and jazz finds prestige names such as Chaka Khan and Martha Reeves alongside newer offerings including the Comet Is Coming and Nubya Garcia. Brockwell Park, London, 9 June.

17. THEATRE: Hollywood stars on stage

John Malkovich stars in Bitter Wheat, a new “black farce” by David Mamet about a misbehaving movie mogul (no prizes for guessing: it is ‘inspired’ by Harvey Weinstein). It sounds grotesquely entertaining and unmissable. From 7 June at London’s Garrick theatre. And there is a double helping of Arthur Miller: Wendell Pierce, of The Wire and Suits fame, plays Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman at London’s Young Vic (hot casting includes Sharon D Clarke and Arinze Kene), with Marianne Elliott at the helm (1 May-29 June). Meanwhile, at the Old Vic, Sally Field plays Kate Keller opposite Bill Pullmanin All My Sons, directed by Jeremy Herrin (13 April-8 June). Multiple Tony-winner Matthew Broderick is in Kenneth Lonergan’s play The Starry Messenger, as an embattled astronomy professor with Elizabeth McGovern as his potentially star-crossed love interest (Wyndham’s theatre, London, from 16 May). Maggie Smith returns to the stage for the first time in 12 years in Christopher Hampton’s new play A German Life at London’s Bridge theatre, directed by Jonathan Kent. She plays Brunhilde Pomsel (1911-2017), Goebbels’s personal secretary (about as far from Downton Abbey as you can get). KK

18. FILM: Animated classics return

The Secret Life of Pets 2.
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 The Secret Life of Pets 2. Photograph: Capital Pictures

Both Pixar and Illumination animation studios unveil anticipated sequels this spring. And in both Toy Story 4 and The Secret Life of Pets 2, new cast members take centre stage. In Toy Story, the gang are joined by Forky, a homemade doll crafted from plastic cutlery. Forky, unnerved by his own sentience now he is a toy rather than an eating implement, is plunged into an existential crisis. The Toy Story franchise continues to wrestle with big themes. Meanwhile Tiffany Haddish brings her formidable comic chops to the Pets cast, as Daisy, a dog on a mission. WI

19. POP: Lizzo’s major-label debut

Melissa Jefferson – best known as Lizzo – has been making hits since 2013 with her exuberant brand of pop-rap. In the past year her star has risen in a big way, with uplifting tracks like Boys and Juice seeing the Minneapolis artist propelled into the mainstream (notably gloriously twerking while playing the flute on Ellen DeGeneres’s show). Out on 19 April on Atlantic, Cuz I Love You is her first album on a major label and, suffice to say, the world is excited. TJ

20. POP: New albums from pop maestros

At one point, the long-awaited new Vampire Weekend LP (Father of the Bride, Columbia Records, 3 May) was going to ape the double-helix structure of DNA. But the New York band have whittled it down to a short double: 18 tracks, spanning everything from Balearic country-rock to digital pop scherzos, with fatherhood among its themes.

Another big pop beast, Mark Ronson, is readying Late Night Feelings (Sony, June), a record full of “sad bangers” (he divorced in 2018) in the vein of his recent Miley Cyrus hit, Nothing Breaks Like a Heart. And following a brace of solo albums, Hot Chip prepare for summer with A Bathful of Ecstasy (21 June), which finds the band emboldening their sound with producers Philippe Zdar and Rodaidh McDonald. KE

21. TV: New comedies

Toby Jones in Don’t Forget the Driver.
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 Toby Jones in Don’t Forget the Driver. Photograph: BBC/Sister Pictures

Don’t Forget The Driver (BBC Two, 9 April) sees the reliably brilliant Toby Jones write and star in a Brexit-themed sitcom about a beleaguered Bognor Regis coach driver, while Year of the Rabbit (Channel 4, early June) stars Matt Berry as a hard-bitten, booze-sodden Victorian detective. Expect surreal laughs and luxuriant sideburns. MH

22. POP: Spice World Tour

People of the world! One of the most anticipated pop reunions of the past decade (and since they performed together at the 2012 Olympics), Baby, Ginger, Scary and Sporty are regrouping to, indeed, spice up your life over 13 UK stadium dates between 17 May and 15 June. It’s exactly the high-sheen dose of camp and spectacle we need, although tGeri Halliwell’s iconic union jack dress may not get the same proud cheers it once did unless she sets fire to it. Posh, who won’t be joining her former girl power group, is missing out. KH

23. ART: Yorkshire Sculpture International

From 22 June, Leeds and Wakefield unite for a massive 3D extravaganza, featuring colossal outdoor figures by Huma Bhaba in Wakefield city centre, the great American sculptor David Smith in Yorkshire Sculpture Park and two entire museums – the Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Art Gallery – given over to sculpture. Seven works by Damien Hirst will feature in the park and in Leeds, where he grew up. And look out especially for Sean Lynch’s droll installation concerning the Yorkshire forger Flint Jack, who sold fake megalithic axe heads. LC

24. TV: Gentleman Jack

Sophie Rundle and Suranne Jones in Gentleman Jack.
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 Sophie Rundle and Suranne Jones in Gentleman Jack. Photograph: Jay Brooks/BBC/Lookout Point

This BBC One period eight-parter (April/May) is close to its creator Sally Wainwight’s heart and home, telling the story of pioneering 19th-century polymath Anne Lister, dubbed “the first modern lesbian”. Wainwright grew up near Lister’s ancestral seat of Shibden Hall in West Yorkshire and has wanted to dramatise her remarkable life for 20 years. With Suranne Jones heading a formidable female cast, it promises to be a witty, exuberant romp. MH

25. TV: Mum says goodbye

With a recent flurry of awards, writer Stefan Golaszewski’s slow-burning silvery romcom is finally getting the recognition it deserves – just in time for its swansong. The third and final series, expected on BBC Two in May, takes the extended family out of their usual domestic setting. Will Jason and adorably daft Kelly finally move in together? Will monstrous sister-in-law Pauline be nice to long-suffering Derek? Most importantly, will the sweetly faltering romance between widowed Cathy (Lesley Manville) and lifelong friend Michael (Peter Mullan) get the happy ending it deserves? MH

The Guardian

Little known in Britain, the Irish artist welded Christian, Celtic and pagan imagery with the decadence of Klimt and Beardsley into an exotic futuristic fantasy

Detail from Harry Clarke’s Geneva panel, which offended President William T Cosgrave.
 Detail from Harry Clarke’s Geneva panel, which offended President William T Cosgrave. Click here to see the full image Photograph: courtesy Irish Academic Press

There are many strange things in the strange world of the early-20th-century Irish artist Harry Clarke, but the strangest is that his work is hardly known in Britain. Perhaps we just don’t trust it. Clarke’s highly stylised iconography, much of it created for Catholic churches, depicts an eerie, if not erotic, panoply of pale saints who look as though they have wandered out of an Aubrey Beardsley print and into a Hammer horror. This binding of the bizarre and the faithful is almost too much to take – until you cross the Irish Sea.

Harry Clarke.
 Eye opening ... Harry Clarke. Photograph: courtesy Irish Academic Press

Only when I made my first visit to Ireland recently were my eyes opened to Clarke’s work. Visiting Cork, I met Ann Wilson, an art historian, Clarke aficionado and a contributor to the lavish new book Harry Clarke and Artistic Visions of the New Irish State. She took me to the Honan Chapel, designed in 1916 and part of University College Cork. I was shocked. It was less a place of worship than a spaceship pulsating with an alien vision. It hummed with an eerie power – even the floor was a zodiac mosaic. It didn’t seem very holy to me. Rather, it felt like the product of an aesthetic that dragged the decadence of Wilde and Beardsley, via Gustav Klimt’s enamelled strangeness, into the stridency of art deco, only to end up somewhere else entirely, far into a faithless future or deep in the pagan past.

As Wilson notes in her essay on the chapel in the new book, Clarke was drawing on Celtic and pre-Christian images. From a distance, the windows seem like standard Victorian stained glass; up close, you see how outlandish they are. Gobnait – patron saint of bees – is depicted with a “pointed, impassive profile”, as Wilson writes, her “unnaturally long slim hands and geometrically stylised body” giving her “an otherworldly, non-human appearance”. She is more construction than saint. Elsewhere, Judas is seen chained to an island for his sins, a fearful, claw-footed, semi-rotten thing.

Judas, from Honan Chapel, University of Cork.
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 Fearful and claw-footed … Judas depicted in one of Clarke’s windows at Honan Chapel in Cork City. Photograph: University of Cork

Little of this has anything to do with the typically consoling imagery of modern Christianity. That’s why I liked it. As a Catholic of Irish ancestry, I was already prey to such perfervid mysticism. But then I discovered I’d actually known Clarke’s work since I was a boy: the stained-glass panels in our parish church – giant floating images of the Sacred Heart and the Virgin Mary – were made by his studio. These luminescent icons, which I saw through closed fingers and the blue smoke of incense, trembling from my grey-short-clad knees, hypnotised by their big eyes and oddly folded robes, as if made from origami, were burned on my memory. This was a sensate influence – and they suddenly became clear in Ireland, where faith was not remote or rational but tangible and mystical, where blessed virgins stand on street corners venerated by battery-powered candles and holy wells pour out of ancient pagan sitesoverlooked by graffittied statues.

In Cork’s Crawford Art Gallery, Wilson surprised me again by introducing me to Clarke’s decidedly secular watercolours. They were astonishing: spinning wildly from their subject matter – Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination and the fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen (two writer-fantasists who create their own queer worlds) – into science fiction. Impossibly attenuated queens in lapidary baroque gowns entwine themselves in writhing tentacular phalluses that end in staring eyeballs. Dead souls, robed in red, rise through amniotic seas like seaweedy embryos. More HR Giger’s Alien than Arthur Rackham, these fantasies swirl in an inky profound full of shapeshifters: humans slip into selkies or mutate into chimeras, spouting fins, spikes and wings.

An illustration by Harry Clarke from Edgar Allan Poe’s Mystery and Imagination, published in 1919.
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 An illustration by Harry Clarke from Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination published in 1919. Photograph: Authentic-Originals/Alamy

Little wonder that the Irish writer George Russell (“AE”), declared Clarke to be “one of the strangest geniuses of his time” who “might have incarnated here from the dark side of the moon”. Or that WB Yeats called him “Ireland’s greatest artist in stained glass”. They sought to co-opt Clarke into their seductive Celtic Twilight culture revival, but his work defied categorisation. Like David Jones, another artist of Clarke’s time who drew on Celtic myth (Welsh in Jones’s case), Clarke melded the brutality of the 20th century with extreme, if not obsessive, fantasy.

Jones, a Catholic convert, was a first world war veteran who suffered from chronic shellshock. Clarke’s body would be compromised by tuberculosis and the toxic chemicals he used in his art. Both men were drawn to the crucifixion and the notion of sacrifice. Jones portrayed himself as a semi-naked soldier, the stigmata blending on his body with his trench scars; Clarke posed similarly stripped for his own crucifixion images in astonishing photographs that evoke the terrible vacuum of a Francis Bacon canvas. It’s as if his body were echoing the psychic trauma of famine, revolution and war – as well as auguring the wasting disease that would kill him.

Harry Clarke, posing for crucifixion in the mid-1920s.
 ‘One of the strangest geniuses of his time’ … Harry Clarke, posing for crucifixion in the mid-1920s. Photograph: courtesy Aengus O’Marcaigh

Clarke was born in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day, 1889, and was educated at the same Jesuit school as James Joyce. His family worried that this influence led to Clarke’s “fascination with the terrors of damnation”. Having trained as an artist in Dublin and London, he returned to Ireland to work for the family firm, designing stained glass, illustrating books and advertisements. But his overreaching imagination soon disdained any sense of restraint.

His images remain startling, even now; how much more so given the repressive culture in which they were born. One window design, The Others, part of a series commissioned by the Irish government in 1927 as a gift to the League of Nations in Geneva, shows why it would never be installed. A fey-looking woman in an astral-spattered purple gown holds her hand, quite nonchalantly, over the genitals of an androgynous figure who is naked from chest to thigh – a he-she reminiscent of a fetishistic Weimar cabaret artist, complete with stockings, slathered hair and grave-pale face. In another image, a languid female with a blond helmet bob stretches out her pallid body, veiled in diaphanous crimson. Her dead-eyed look would easily find a place in a contemporary avant-garde fashion spread. “It would give grave offence to our people,” declared the first president of the Irish Free State, William T Cosgrave. The project was aborted.

Detail of Mr Gilhooley by Liam O’Flaherty and Deirdre by George Russell (1929–30).
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 The Geneva Window, detail of Mr Gilhooley by Liam O’Flaherty and Deirdre by George Russell. Photograph: Bruce White/Wolfsonian–Florida International University

Clarke resembled his own pictures, with his slick heavy fringe and his huge dark eyes that looked as though he’d dropped deadly nightshade in them. He had an innocently narcotic look, more animal than human. He spent six summers, often with his friend, the artist Austin Molloy, on Inisheer, a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, where he dressed in a white felt báinín suit made from the wool of local sheep and wore peculiar red raw-hide shoes called pampooties. He might have been a faun in a design for Diaghilev by Léon Bakst.

Held out into the Atlantic, the sea came to obsess Clarke. Its creatures slid into his work. In Dingle, on the Irish west coast, I visited the convent chapel in whose windows Christ lays down his languid head on a coral reef encrusted with symbolist flowers. What the resident nuns made of such scenes goes unrecorded. For another commission, based on Keats’s The Eve of St Agnes, Clarke created half-circle fan lights entwined with tentacles, barnacles and seaweed. His medium was itself aquatic: his stained and etched glass was made from sand and kelp; an almost alchemical, fugitive process, given that glass is only a frozen liquid anyway. When researching Clarke’s work for my book, RisingTideFallingStar, I discovered that he’d drawn his marine images from intricate 19th-century glass models made by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, which he’d seen in Dublin’s Natural History Museum. These accurate confections of jellyfish already looked like Tiffany lampshades; Clarke turned them into spectral brides drifting in gelatinous crinolines.

One of Clarke’s lancet windows for a chapel in Dingle, Co Kerry.
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 One of Clarke’s lancet windows for a chapel in Dingle, Co Kerry. Photograph: Philip Hoare

The new book reclaims Clarke as a modern artist. It sets him at the heart of the nascent Irish Free State, negotiating the secular and the sacred at a time when the twin powers of state and church collided and colluded. The authors observe that it was “a degrading and dark era in Irish history” whose abuses are still emerging. Yet within that darkness, Clarke’s work glows. “Ethereal and beautiful and, in its wit and contemporaneity, strangely compassionate”, his art reflects an Irish society “much more cosmopolitan, sophisticated and aesthetically aware than has normally been acknowledged”.

For me, there’s one thing missing in this beautifully produced volume; the wide-reaching essays – which show how Clarke’s stained glass even ended up in remote African villages – do not extend to the issues of gender raised by his work. Clarke married Margaret Crilley, a fellow artist, in 1914, and they had three children. Yet the queerness in his work seems startlingly explicit, hiding in plain sight: in convents and chapels, in popular publications and in his dandified performance. Given the fate meted out to Oscar Wilde, his fellow countryman, Clarke might have hesitated to transgress too far. But it could hardly be possible to make a more public statement than he did. His gloriously strange vision still bursts triumphantly through those leaded windows.

The Guardian

This puffed-up cultural citadel was meant to be an endlessly evolving, telescopic arts complex. But the glistening billionaires’ playground rising up beside it had other plans

The movable Shed arts centre at Hudson Yards in New York.
 ‘A painful compromise’ … the movable Shed arts centre at Hudson Yards in New York. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

It seems fitting that the cultural centre of New York’s latest luxury private development should look like a quilted Chanel handbag. Rearing up at the northern end of the High Line on Manhattan’s reborn West Side, the Shed presents a 10-storey wrapping of puffed-up diamond cushions to passersby, standing as the gaudy gateway to Hudson Yards – the most expensive real estate project in US history.

While it might fit in with the gilt-edged world of Swiss watch boutiques and Michelin-starred chefs that awaits in this $25bn private enclave, it is an unlikely costume for what the project’s architect and originator, Liz Diller, insists is “simply a piece of infrastructure” to support whatever artists want to do. “It’s not precious,” she says of the $500m building. “It’s muscular and industrial, just meat and bones.”

All hope has been vested in the Shed as the one redeeming feature of Hudson Yards, a project roundly condemned as the ultimate fruition of disaster capitalism. Floating on a 28-acre magic carpet over the train tracks, it is a place where glistening towers of $30m apartments rise above a vast shopping mall of luxury brands – a millionaire’s playground that, by some estimates, has benefited from almost $6bn in public funding and tax breaks.

Within this bloated commercial citadel, the Shed has been billed as the one truly public element, standing on a slice of city-owned land and mostly funded by private philanthropy. Its director, Alex Poots, formerly of the Manchester international festival, said its publicness was the very thing that attracted him to move there.

On the waterfront … Thomas Heatherwick’s staircase sculpture Vessel, next to the Shed.
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 On the waterfront … Thomas Heatherwick’s staircase sculpture Vessel, next to the Shed. Photograph: Adam Gray/Barcroft Images

“I’ve never known a venue where you can just wander into the main hall off the street,” he says, standing in the gaping 37-metre high space enveloped by the quilted shell. “My motivation is to break down the barriers between so-called high and low culture, and this is the perfect flexible toolkit to do that.”

The Shed has strange origins, evolving without a client and with no real brief. The idea emerged in 2008, when New York City put out a request for proposals for the site, keen for some kind of cultural attraction to complement the bland vision of shops, offices and flats. “It was the height of the recession,” says Diller, “so we proposed something totally improbable.”

Working with theatre designer David Rockwell, her practice, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, concocted a radical plan. There would be a stack of flexible floors for galleries and performances that would be covered with a telescopic contraption of four nesting shells that could extend at the touch of a button to enclose a much larger semi-outdoor space. It was inspired by Cedric Price’s Fun Palace, a dreamy 1960s idea for a plug-in, endlessly evolving arts complex (which partly informed the Pompidou Centre), and a desire to anticipate the future of whatever forms art might take.

Will they actually roll? … the 4,000-tonne lattice could be pushed by a Toyota Prius.
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 Will they actually roll? … the 4,000-tonne lattice could be pushed by a Toyota Prius. Photograph: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty

The problem was it had to be squeezed into the profit-led plans of Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group, the developers of Hudson Yards, who deemed that a big moving shed would get in the way of people seeing their mall. So the site was shrunk, flipped 90 degrees into the back corner of the site, and plugged into the base of one of their luxury apartment towers, while the four shells were reduced to one. “It’s our deal with the devil,” Diller told me in 2017. “It allows us to get extra back-of-house space.”

Visiting the finished building, it looks like the devil did rather better out of the deal. From the layout to the quality of construction, the Shed feels like a painful compromise. For a start, its entrances are perfunctory, tucked out of the way down at street level, rather than enjoying a frontage on to the main plaza, which is now occupied instead by Thomas Heatherwick’s colossal Vessel sculpture – a $200m stack of staircases with pieces that seem to be held together with little more than duct tape.

Once you’ve found your way inside the Shed, shuffled unceremoniously through an undercroft beneath the High Line, you ascend a distinctly mall-like sequence of escalators to reach the three principal levels of galleries, which themselves feel like an extension of the spec office block next door, with plasterboard walls, suspended ceilings, and already cracked concrete floors.

‘My motivation is to break down the barriers between so-called high and low culture’ … Alex Poots, right, in one of the performance spaces.
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 ‘My motivation is to break down the barriers between so-called high and low culture’ … Alex Poots, right, in one of the performance spaces. Photograph: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty

It is clear that all effort (and money) has been vested in the theatrical spectacle of the moving shell, a fiendishly complex engineering challenge of ultimately questionable value. Much is made of the fact that this 4,000-ton steel lattice can be rolled in and out with the energy output of just one Toyota Prius, but the elephantine question remains: how often will they bother to move it?

For the opening week, it was decidedly fixed in the same spot, with a plethora of blackout blinds drawn so the special quilted pillows couldn’t be seen, and a series of hefty plywood structures erected inside to form the stage and seating for the opening performance – no foldaway kit of parts here. It takes too long for the specialist sail-manufacturer to come and change the blinds, we were told, so they would stay put.

Dan Doctoroff, former deputy mayor and booster of the Shed, calls the project “a Swiss army knife for culture”. But there is a very real danger that the elaborate gadgetry will distract from the task of simply making good work, with a constant pressure on Poots to demonstrate quite how adaptable his new toolbox is. The dream of a brave future of movable, transformable architecture, it seems, remains best observed in 1960s drawings.

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It is a billionaires’ playground where haircuts cost $800 and high-rise duplexes go for $32m. So why do the angular towers of Hudson Yards look so cheap?

‘The hot mess’ … the Hudson Yards high-rises with the Shed and Vessel tucked in below and the High Line snaking round.
 ‘The hot mess’ … the Hudson Yards high-rises with the Shed and Vessel tucked in below and the High Line snaking round. Photograph: Xinhua/Alamy

‘One thing that’s always been true in New York,” says Dan Doctoroff, “is that if you build it, they will come.” He is referring to Hudson Yards, the $25bn, 28-acre, mega-project that he had a critical hand in originating while he was deputy mayor of the city under Michael Bloomberg in the early 2000s. He can now look down on his co-creation every day from his new office in one of the development’s towers and see hundreds of people climbing up and down Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel sculpture, like tiny maggots crawling all over a rotting doner kebab.

The first phase of Hudson Yards opened last month and people have indeed come – mostly to gawp at how it could have been allowed to happen. On a vast swath of the west side of Manhattan once earmarked for New York’s 2012 Olympic bid, a developer has conjured a private fantasy of angular glass towers stuffed with offices and expensive apartments, rising above a seven-storey shopping mall on an endless grey carpet, sprinkled with small tufts of “park”.

The surprising thing isn’t that such a development has happened. The real shock is that it’s quite so bad. Hudson Yards’ marketing hype is showered with superlatives: this is the largest and most expensive private real estate project in US history, a place bursting with “never-before-seen” retail concepts and “first-of-its-kind” dining destinations. It is billed as the ultimate in everything, a refined playground for discerning urbanites, with stores where you can spend five figures on a wristwatch and $800 on a haircut.

Lovechild of a pretzel … Vessel by Thomas Heatherwick.
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 Lovechild of a pretzel … Vessel by Thomas Heatherwick. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty

Yet it all feels so cheap. From the architectural zoo of convulsing angles to the apparent lack of care spent on the details, this is bargain-basement building-by-the-yard stuff that would feel more at home in the second-tier city of a developing economy. Stephen Ross, the billionaire boss of the Related Companies and driving force of the project, described it as a “museum of architecture”, which isn’t untrue. Walking through Hudson Yards feels like browsing a cladding depot, where panels of curtain-wall glazing, brushed aluminium and bits of stone collide in a wonky collage.

The hot mess starts on the skyline, way before you reach the elevated podium on which this self-contained city is laid out. The first megalith to come into view is 30 Hudson Yards, the larger of a pair of towers designed by stalwarts of corporate Americana, Kohn Pedersen Fox. It climbs up into the sky in ungainly lumps, with a triangular observation deck wedged into its side near the top, forming a pointy beak that gives it the look of an angry chicken. While this tower leans in one direction, its stumpier partner tilts in another, forming what the developer optimistically calls “a dance of sleek giants”. It is a tableau that almost elicits pity, like chubby fowl engaged in their first awkward mating ritual.

As you get closer, the pity dissolves into anger. Rather than inviting passersby in, the development turns its back, presenting a mostly blank frontage of service hatches and lift lobbies to the city, with an entrance at each corner to suck you up into the mall. Step inside and you find a shopping centre as prosaic as they come. With its plasterboard soffits and shiny fascia, it makes the likes of Dior, Fendi and Cartier look like discount stores.

Obliterating all local character … the development, including the wheeled Shed.
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 Obliterating all local character … the development, including the wheeled Shed. Photograph: Mark Lennihan/AP

Continue west and you are spat out on to the central plaza to be confronted by the mother of all novelty public art, like a mutant lovechild of New York’s two favourite snacks: the pretzel and the shawarma. Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel has been compared to many things, from a wastepaper basket to the expandable foam mesh for packaging fruit, but the designer prefers to cite the form of India’s ancient step wells. These great stone structures served a crucial purpose: to make it easy for people to reach water for washing, cooking and religious functions. Heatherwick’s basket of staircases, on the other hand, is the embodiment of selfie-driven spectacle, a lattice of 2,500 photo opportunities woven together in a vertical panopticon.

“Vessel TKA”, as it is officially known while it awaits the result of its public naming competition (entries to which include Stairy McStairface and Meat Tornado), has proved to be a magnet for near-universal ire, but it is by no means the worst thing in Hudson Yards. Traversing its landings and participating in the collective gawping is an entertaining experience, and the $200m (£153.4m) structure provides some good views over the surrounding architectural car crash.

But what isn’t evident until you visit in person is quite how shoddy it seems. Heatherwick projects have had some practical hiccups in the past – Manchester’s B of the Bang had to be dismantled after a big steel spike fell off, while Newcastle’s Blue Carpet paving faded to grey and needs constant repair – but this structure takes it to a whole new level.

Ascending the ticketed selfie-scrum last week, on a single route of 154 possible staircases, I encountered a smashed glazing panel, chipped steps and several places where duct tape had been used to stick errant pieces of cladding back on – after the thing had been open for just two weeks. Some steps look as if they have been crookedly cut on site to fit, while handrails crash into parts of the steel structure as if no one thought about how the two parts might meet. The Vessel’s relationship with the privately owned “public space” around it is revealing, too. Try to sit on the stone steps around its base and you will be instantly shooed away by a security guard.

Booted out for shops … the Shed arts centre.
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 Booted out for shops … the Shed arts centre. Photograph: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty

The outcome is all the more galling given that the one truly public element of Hudson Yards was intended to occupy this central space. The Shed, an arts venue conceived by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) with the Rockwell Group, was the result of a request for proposals issued by the city in 2008 for a cultural attraction for the site. “We only had two requirements,” says Doctoroff, who is now CEO of Google’s urban planning arm, Sidewalk Labs. “It had to be different than anything else in New York, and it had to keep the city at the leading edge of culture in the world.”

DS+R and Rockwell’s plan originally imagined four nesting shells that would slide out into the centre of the plaza, but the developer had other ideas. “In 2011, Related asked us to get out of the way,” recalls Liz Diller. “The deployable building was getting in the way of people being able to see their shops.” The Shed was shrunk and flipped 90 degrees, so now its events plaza fills a gap in front of an office lobby, while its entrances are tucked away like poor doors at the lower street level.

The physical result betrays the nature of the forced marriage. When I asked Diller about the lack of views from inside her sliding inflatable performance shell, on a site tour last year, she was frank: “The surrounding buildings are not so gorgeous, so we didn’t want to focus people’s attention outside.” As we approached the Vessel, she added: “Out here you have a view to … well, let’s not talk about that.”

Back on the plaza, the place has distinct echoes of the World Trade Center site, where a similar lack of joined-up thinking has produced an equally placeless place. Any sense of the local character has been obliterated. Hudson Yards is suspended above 30 functioning train tracks, yet they have been swept under the pristine grey matt. Perhaps industrial grit wasn’t compatible with a place for the “trendiest urban dwellers”, where a duplex goes for $32m and a two-bed starts at $9,000 per month.

How could one masterplan led by a single developer have created this, especially in a context that, according to the New School think-tank, benefited from almost $6bn in state funding and tax breaks?

“You have to remember that post-9/11 was a very different time,” says Doctoroff. “This was a totally new area and we had to encourage people to come out here and take a leap of faith. It was a frontier, so the bulk of the funding was spent on the provision of infrastructure and extending the subway.” He says that the criticism of generous tax breaks is “ridiculous”, claiming the city will earn back $20bn in tax revenue when the project is complete. But couldn’t they have insisted on a better deal than having only 10% of the 4,000 flats classed as “affordable”?

“Back in 2005, no one was talking about affordable housing,” he says. “And, if you include the wider area, the percentage is much higher. We were really ahead of the curve.”

Used as a freight yard for decades, Hudson Yards had a chequered history. In 2005, the city earmarked the area for its 2012 Olympic bid, and it was drastically re-zoned for tall buildings. The Olympic dream died, but the opportunity was there for a developer with a big enough backer. In the wake of the financial crash in 2009, Related swooped in with Oxford Properties Group, a Canadian investment company owned by the Ontario municipal workers’ pension fund, and bought the site for $1bn.

Work in progress … construction work captured in March 2019.
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 Work in progress … construction work captured in March 2019. Photograph: Ted Shaffrey/AP

Their plans grew ever fatter. As a 2017 report by the Municipal Art Society of New York revealed, dozens of separate land-use applications have been approved since the environmental impact assessment of the initial rezoning, resulting in huge increases of floor area. They calculate the outcome represents a combined underestimation of the Hudson Yards development by the size of almost three Chrysler Buildings.

With this history in mind, the lack of care that has been spent on trying to make it a good place makes more sense. This swollen appendage to Manhattan is not a new neighbourhood for New York, but a blunt vehicle for making money, a strange offshore tumescence of global capital to service multitudes of Canadian public-sector pensioners, hundreds of miles away.

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