What’s On In The Capital?

A culture vulture’s guide to the best of the rest! An exclusive selection of art lectures, sales, exhibitions, festivals and creative events in London taking place this week and beyond… (By Shio).


Hayv Kahraman, ‘The Translator’, from the series ‘How Iraqi Are You?’, c. 2015, oils on linen.  V&A Museum.  (Photo courtesy of Defares Collection.).


A History of Race & Resistance in Britain:  SOAS, University of London, WC1H.  This project, brought to you by Consented and hackingEducation, with help from SOAS University, will aim at introducing young people to the way in which legacies of colonialism still affect us today, whether in issues of policing, housing or austerity. Further it will hope to show the historic and often ignored ways in which people of colour have organised to combat racism, as well as how these struggles connect to present day movements. How, for instance, were women of colour at the forefront of working class struggles in Britain? And how did Queer and Trans people historically organize against racism? As well as looking at what we can learn from the past in order to further anti-racist politics today.  9th – 10th August.  Free entry.  (Eventbrite.co.uk)

Sculpting for Recovery:  North Galleries, Mall Galleries, SW1.  Cathy Braddick-Hughes will talk openly about the power of creativity in her recovery after suffering a back injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from serving in the Armed Forces in conflicts in Bosnia and Afghanistan, and what inspired her to create the sculptures Beasts of War, on display in the Creative Force Exhibition.  10th August, 12.30pm.  Free entry (but donations to Help For Heroes welcome).  (mallgalleries.org.uk)

“I can back broken, not able to carry on as the same person. I grieved that loss. Finding a new enjoyment and expression in clay has helped me start my journey to decide who I can be or who I want to be.”


Jameel Prize 5:  The Porter Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, SW7.  Experience eight exceptional contemporary artists and designers working in fields as diverse as fashion, multi-media installation, and painting in the Jameel Prize 5 showcase.  Until 25th November.  Free entry.  (vam.ac.uk)

System Installation:  Lancaster Rooms, Somerset House, WC2R.  SYSTEM by musician and performance artist Gaika is an evocative art installation at Somerset House Studios telling the history of sound system culture in London commissioned by Boiler Room. SYSTEM challenges the media perception of Carnival by showcasing a fair representation of the stories, characters, statistics and under celebrated sound system culture at Carnival and beyond. It forms part of a wider campaign from Boiler Room to celebrate the positive cultural impact of migration.  Until 26th August.  Free entry.  (somersethouse.org.uk)

Renzo Piano’s exhibition entitled ‘The Art of Making Buildings’ will feature at the Royal Academy of Arts until 20th January 2019.

Memory Palace:  The White Cube, SE1.  Featuring more than 90 recent works by over 40 artists, ‘Memory Palace’ seeks to inspire reflections on the forms and themes of memory. The exhibition’s architecture leads the viewer through six aspects of memory: Historical (at White Cube Mason’s Yard), Autobiographical, Traces, Transcription, Collective and Sensory (at White Cube Bermondsey).  Tracey Emin, Antony Gormley, Franz Ackermann, Harland Miller, Jessica Rankin et al.  Until 2nd September.  Free entry.  (whitecube.com)

London Contemporary Art Prize 2018:  Store Street Gallery, WC1E.  The London Contemporary Art Prize aims to reveal and promote artists who have yet to establish a profile on the contemporary London art scene. The Prize is aimed at artists working in one or more of the following media: drawing, printing, painting, photography, digital art, sculpture and video.  Nick Offer, Hildegard Pax, Radan Cicen, Stephanie Else et al.  Until 25th August.  Free entry.  (storestreetgallery.com)

Renzo Piano – The Art of Making Buildings:  Royal Academy of Arts, W1J.  This illuminating exhibition follows Piano’s career, from the influence of his Genoese heritage and his rise to acclaim alongside friend and collaborator Richard Rogers, to current projects still in the making. Focusing on 16 key buildings, it explores how the Renzo Piano Building Workshop designs buildings “piece by piece”, making deft use of form, material and engineering to achieve a precise and yet poetic elegance.  15th September – 20th January 2019.  Tickets:  £12 (or £14 with donation); members go free.  (royalacademy.org.uk)

Creative Force: The Power of Creativity in Recovery:  North Galleries, Mall Galleries, SW1.  Showcasing a wide range of works by Help for Heroes Veterans, Service Personnel and their families, Creative Force explores the relationship between creativity and recovery.  Featuring a variety of disciplines, this highly sensory and emotive exhibition not only showcases the sheer skill of an inspirational group of artists, but also how creativity offers a major force towards expressing unexplored emotions; improving both mental and physical wellbeing, channelling mindfulness, and, overall, benefitting the ongoing recovery journey.  Until 19th August.  Free entry.  (mallgalleries.org.uk)


‘Spamilton’ at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Southwark, until 15th September.

Brixton Got Soul:  Old Dirty Brasstards:  The Blues Kitchen, Brixton, SW2.  What do you get when you combine righteous music, all out dancing and just a lil drinkin’?  Brixton Got Soul comin’ at ya thick and fast with 2 live shows of funk & soul.  The most bad-ass, tweed-class brass band in town, Old Dirty Brasstards, will be unleashing their infectious brass party jams this August.  Showcasing their new album as well as classic tunes switched up big brass style.  Atlantic Soul Orchestra jump on stage at 1am.  The country’s hardest-hitting and most authentic soul band – play the very best of Stax & Atlantic Soul – from soul music’s golden era.  Resident DJs keep you grooving between bands.  10th August, 9pm to 2am.  Tickets:  £5.72.  (Eventbrite.co.uk)

Some Voices Presents:  Unplugged:  Rivoli Ballroom, SE4.  Some Voices, musically directed by both Laura Howe and Curtis Stansfield, was set up to give people the opportunity to sing in a group that was different from usual classical or religious styles. This ‘choir without the boring bits’ takes Some Voicers, glitters them up and puts them on some of the biggest stages in London. Sheet music is replaced with dance moves, choir robes with fashion frocks, church organs by keytars – this really is ‘the closest thing to being a rock star’ (The Guardian).  Until 11th August.  Tickets:  £20.90 (2nd release).  (eventim.co.uk)

Spamilton:  Menier Chocolate Factory, SE1.  Gerard Alessandrini brings his singular wit to the all-conquering musical Hamilton – in the words of its creator Lin Manuel Miranda, “I laughed my brains out”. Following the success of Forbidden Broadway, Alessandrini returns to the Menier to lampoon the multi-award-winning Hamilton, with Spamilton, which not only takes target at Broadway’s biggest export, but a host of the theatre world’s biggest names and musicals.  Described by the New York Times as “smart, silly and convulsively funny”, Spamilton makes its UK debut at the Menier Chocolate Factory, where unlike the Victoria Palace, there are tickets available – at a fraction of the price.  Presented in association with John Freedson, David Zippel & Christine Pedi.  Until 15th September.  Tickets:  From £45.  (menierchocolatefactory.com)

Breakin’ Convention – Pierre Rigale’s ‘Scandale’:  Sadler’s Wells, EC1R.  Breakin’ Convention: Presents… is an initiative to programme full-length works at Sadler’s Wells, providing the finest platform for grassroots hip hop theatre makers, as well as welcoming the vision of contemporary choreographers working with street dance forms.  This is hip hop dance theatre at its most curious.  5th & 6th September.  Tickets:  £20+.  (sadlerswells.com)


Michael S. Smith:  Rooms as Portraits:  Christies, Eaton Square, London.  Auction – 12th September; Viewings – 7th – 11th September.  (christies.com)

RM Sotheby’s: London:  Sotheby’s, Battersea Evolution, SW11.  One of the most successful sales on the European calendar since 2007, known for its electric atmosphere and specializing in everything from imposing Edwardians to modern supercars. The official auction of the UK’s celebrated Concours of Elegance, this well-established sale is held in Battersea Park in central London, just a short stroll from Chelsea. Arrive a few days early to partake in the Concours, held at a different royal residence each year, or enjoy the city’s many landmark sights.  Auction – 5th September; Viewings – 4th & 5th September.  (sothebys.com)

Festivals & Fairs:-

‘No. 814’ by Rana Begum featured at Frieze Sculpture festival 2018.

Frieze Sculpture 2018:  Regent’s Park, .  Frieze Sculpture returns to The Regent’s Park for 3 months this summer, featuring works by 25 contemporary and modern artists presented by world-leading galleries. Selected and placed by Clare Lilley (Director of Programme, Yorkshire Sculpture Park), Frieze Sculpture will create an exceptional cultural attraction at the heart of the city, for Londoners and international visitors alike.  Until 7th October.  Free entry.  (frieze.com)

“Last year, our first-ever summer Frieze Sculpture was a resounding success, with Regent’s Park visitors enjoying exceptional sculpture by artists from around the world. The 2018 edition is just as expansive and diverse, so that the public and collectors alike can experience world-class artwork in the beautiful English Gardens, designed by Markham Nesfield in 1866. My hope is that the exhibition will give pause for thought as well as great pleasure, and that visitors to Regent’s Park will have a snapshot of the fantastic imagination of artists and variety of sculpture being made today…”. – Clare Lilley, Curator.


[Credits:  Feature Image – Renzo Piano (flickr.com); rpbw.com; artrabbit.com]


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