Starting university in a new city slap bang in the middle of some of the strangest times of recent years can be overwhelming to say the least. As getting sweaty in a nightclub surrounded by strangers may not be on the agenda this year, you might be on the lookout for some more wholesome activities to do with your new peers. London is known for its plethora of galleries and museums so you can get your culture geek on. From doggy designs to all things tree there are loads of interesting exhibitions happening this autumn. Plus, we’ve included events that can be enjoyed at home as well as out and about, just in case *touch wood* we should end up in another lockdown debacle.
1). The Tate Galleries.
Renowned for both their contemporary and historical collections, the Tate galleries are a staple of the London art scene, with pieces spanning just about every movement, from the Renaissance to Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism. There is something for everyone to enjoy at The Tate, plus they’re totally free to the public! Highlights include weird and wonderful films, stunningly accurate Neoclassical pieces, and politically/culturally charged exhibitions. The Tate collections are diverse and accessible to all, so you don’t have to know your Michelangelo’s from your Mondrian’s to enjoy what these galleries have to offer.
Both the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain are still open as normal and their exhibitions are in full swing, but in light of social distancing measures, you have to book an entry slot online prior to your visit. Plus, if you’re aged between 16-25, you can sign up to the Tate Collective to get discounts on exhibitions and at the Tate shop as well as email updates about all the latest goings on at the galleries across London.
At the moment the ‘Tate is running Uniqlo Tate Lates: Night In’, a series of workshops, talks, and exhibition previews that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your sofa! Keep an eye on their website to find out about upcoming online events and when they are streaming.
2). Architecture for Dogs at Japan House
If you’re a fan of innovative design, interesting architecture and/or just dogs (because literally who doesn’t love dogs, right?), then check out the ‘Architecture for Dogs’ exhibition at Japan House. Running from the 19th of September until the 10th of January 2021, this exhibit explores the relationship between these beloved animals and their domestic environment. This exhibition isn’t just for humans to enjoy; visitors can bring their culturally keen canine companions to interact with some of the pieces! Something which we can all agree should make for some fun, light hearted, and wholesome scenes to post on your pet’s insta.
Entry is free and time slots can be booked via the Japan House website.
3). Photo London
This annual celebration of the medium of photography will take place this year entirely online and will run from the 7th to 18th of October. This means you can peruse the works of 100’s of artists from over 22 different countries without changing out of your pyjamas! Photo London sheds light on new and emerging talent alongside established photographers to highlight the scope and ever-changing technology of the art of photography. Alongside the photographs, there is also a programme of talks and live events, which you can stay up to date with via their website.
4). The Stars Are Bright: Zimbabwe through the eyes of its young painters from Cyrene (1940-1947).
For the first time in over 70 years, the works of 40 Zimbabwean artists are being exhibited at the Theatre Courtyard Green Rooms in Shoreditch. Through the medium of painting, drawing and sculpture, the pieces explore both Zimbabwe’s tumultuous history and its fascinating cultural roots, as well as the personal experiences of the artists. This exhibition has been curated to place the viewers imagination at the forefront, with personal interpretation being strongly encouraged as in the curators words, ‘there is no single story of African Art.’ The exhibition is open from 11am – 4pm Saturday to Sunday and 11-3pm Tuesday to Friday. Before you visit, remember to pre-book a time slot via their website.
5). Among the Trees at the Hayward Gallery
This exhibition is Running from the 1st of August to the 31st of October at the Hayward Gallery in the Southbank Centre. ‘Among the Trees’ is a multimedia examination of how trees “challenge how we think about time, and consider how intimately entangled they are with human affairs”. Thirty-seven artists have created pieces celebrating the humble tree, from a sculptural rendition of a 2,000 year old olive tree to a cinematic portrait of a 30 metre spruce tree. This exhibition takes you on a journey across continents, through a variety of landscapes and climates – from rainforests and mangroves, and serves to highlight the importance of these majestic trees at a time when the natural world is facing unprecedented threat. Student tickets are £10 and can be booked via the Southbank Centre website.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list, be sure to check out our other articles for more things to do in London, and while you’re at it, be sure to download the Wrangle app to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings in your area!