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Out and About: Extraordinary Exhibitions


One of the things that we have missed the most during the pandemic is museums. Exhibitions are the best source of inspiration for new ideas, to keep up to date and to discover the unknown. So on today’s blog we have done a recap of the extraordinary exhibitions on in London you won’t want to miss…

V&A – Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser

This V&A exhibition is an explosion of colour and fun around the theme of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Relive some of the story’s iconic moments with the original manuscript and illustrations from the books, whilst exploring its modern adaptation and reinventions. Reminiscent of Alice’s own tale, the exhibition is rooted in reality with plenty of background on Charles Dodgson, or as we would know him under his pen name, Lewis Carroll. Head down the rabbit hole and further into Alice’s surreal world with a mind bending trip into Wonderland. We can’t wait to know all the secrets of this classic English novel that now has 157 years of history!

Photography: Victoria and Albert Museum, London
(L) Cheshire Cat, psychedelic poster, designed by Joseph McHugh, printed by Orbit Graphic Arts, published by East Totem West, 1967, California, US. (R) A Mad Tea Party, Salvador Dali, 1969. © Salvador Dali, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, DACS 2019

Barbican – Jean Dubuffet Brutal Beauty

This exhibition showcases 40 years of work of French painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985). Known for his spontaneity, Deubuffet questioned the boundaries of beauty and good taste by “capturing the poetry of everyday life in a gritty, more authentic way”. Brutal Beauty champions his rebellious philosophy featuring works from his collection he coined Art Brut, which translates literally to ‘raw art’.

Royal Academy of Arts – David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020

British artist David Hockney has been adapting to the modern era of new technologies since 2007. The Arrival of Spring is a collection of 116 optimistic works undertaken during the pandemic on his iPad, an ability that Hockney notes requires being able to both draw and paint. A different perspective to what we are used to seeing from David Hockney, this collection offers a fresh view of the natural world as it charts the unfolding of Spring.

We admire David’s get-up-and-go attitude to life, painting every day rain or shine. He speaks of his studio as a never ending conversation on canvas, on paper, in photos and iPads. We’re sure it must be a sight to behold and much like David himself, a national treasure.

(L) David Hockney, No. 147 (detail), 5th April 2020.

Royal Academy of Arts – Tracey Emin / Edvard Munch

Exhibiting at the Royal Academy of Arts, The Loneliness of the Soul features 25 of Tracey Emin’s works, some of which are on display for the first time. To show alongside her own work, Tracey Emin has selected a number of oil and watercolour masterpieces by Edvard Munch from his rich collection and archives in Oslo, Norway. Shown together, the exhibition showcases both artists’ raw emotion, embracing how the most painful experiences and the feelings of loss and longing can be expressed through art.

Tracey Emin, It - didnt stop - I didnt stop, 2019.

Tate Modern – Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms

The Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled With The Brilliance of Light by Yayoi Kusama was meant to exhibit last year, but was pushed back to this year due to lockdown. Displaying at the Tate Modern, this is one of Kusama’s largest installations to date. The idea of infinity is brought to life with the help of lights and looking glass, creating a feeling of an endless expanse. The spheres of lights pulse rhythmically and change from rose to cerulean to amber, playing with notions of space and distance as well as creative possibilities.

Kensington Gardens – Van Gogh Alive

The Van Gogh Alive immersive and theatrical show uses virtual reality and 15,000 square foot screens to create an interactive relationship between the viewer and the art. A 360 degree projection shows the best known work of the artist, breaking boundaries of the way art has been traditionally viewed and immersing viewers into a sensory journey. The impressive exhibition has been visited by over 7 million people worldwide and received enthusiastic approval from media around the globe.

“Surrounded by vibrant symphonies of colour and sound, the interactive show makes for an enchanting experience.” – GQ

Many of these extraordinary exhibitions are just around the corner from some of our hotels, so once you’ve soaked up as much art and culture as you can, why not stop in for a cup of tea?

Just a short walk from the V&A museum and Kensington Gardens is our townhouse Number Sixteen. Enjoy Afternoon Tea in the leafy surrounds of the hotel’s secret garden with a delectable selection of sweet and savoury treats, or from Monday to Thursday indulge in a long lunch under the shady Mulberry Trees.

We hope this guide to London’s exciting art scene has inspired you. We already have our tickets booked and cannot wait to see what we will take away from each exhibition. They will undoubtedly inspire us for our next projects.

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