Art events in 2018

Anthea Hamilton’s Tate Britain Commission

Tate Britain, London
21 March – 7 October 2018
In 2017, Anthea Hamilton prized apart a pair of buttocks to greet visitors to Tate Britain’s Turner Prize exhibition and in March 2018, she’ll return to the galleries to unveil her Tate Britain Commission. As the museum’s Director Alex Farquharson has said, Hamilton’s work produces “unforgettable experiences that both provoke and delight”, but all that’s been revealed of this particular commission so far is that it will be a major new work combining sculpture and performance.

Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe

V&A, London
16 June – 4 November 2018
Frida Kahlo’s vibrant outfits are a recognisable hallmark of her work – from floral headdresses and traditional Mexican skirts to hand-decorated medical corsets and a prosthetic leg wearing a bright red lace-up boot with bells. This fashion exhibition explores her clothes alongside artworks, photographs and letters to build a portrait of the artist and her life. As she said herself: “I am my own muse. The subject I know best. The subject I want to know better.”

Joan Jonas

Tate Modern, London
14 March – 5 August
In the 1970s, Joan Jonas (along with Marina Abramovic and many other women) was using bodies, mirrors and rituals to pioneer performance and video art in the US and beyond. This exhibition makes good use of Tate Modern’s specially designed performance art galleries to show her seminal works from the late 1960s, along with recent installations exploring climate change and species extinction – including performances from the artist herself.

A new Royal Academy of Arts

Royal Academy of Arts, London
Opens 19 May 2018
From one transformed building to another – and this time it’s our own! On 19 May 2018 we’ll open the doors to A New Royal Academy of Arts: a two-acre campus with new spaces to display our Collection, immersive architecture installations, projects by students from our art school and much more. Inaugurating the new galleries will be the pioneering, poetic work of Tacita Dean, exploring the genre of landscape. See you there.

Scotland’s first design museum

V&A Dundee
Opening September 2018
And from two transformed galleries to an entirely new one: V&A Dundee will be Scotland’s “first dedicated design museum”, housed in specially built, curvy, concrete structure nestled on the city’s waterfront. The building has been designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma (who is also responsible for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic stadium) and is due to be finished in 2018. Once open, the galleries will tell the story of Scotland’s design heritage – the first confirmed object to be displayed is Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 13.5 metre oak tea room interior, constructed of over 600 pieces.

The tenth Liverpool Biennale

Venues across Liverpool
14 July – 28 October 2018
2018 marks 20 years of Liverpool’s bi-annual art fair. This year over 30 artists’ work will be stationed throughout the city in a 15-week invitation to “reflect on a world of social, political and economic turmoil”. This year’s theme is based on a poem by the German poet Friedrich Schiller which asks: “Beautiful world, where are you?” When Schiller wrote the line, France’s imminent revolution was sending ricochets throughout Europe, but this biennale finds plenty to explore in his question in 2018.

Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008-2018

Design Museum, London
28 March – 1 August 2018
At the Design Museum too there’s a chance to reflect on recent political stormclouds. From the Arab Spring to Black Lives Matter to Je Suis Charlie to Women’s Marches – this decade has seen more and more citizens use innovative graphic design on placards, banners and memes to capture the world’s attention. This exhibition looks at how both the marginalised and the powerful have harnessed type and image to change the world.

NOW: Jenny Saville and others

Scottish National Gallery of Art, Edinburgh
24 March – 16 September
Jenny Saville graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1992 and has spent the past 25 years painting and drawing big, fleshy, female bodies from angles that art history would perhaps prefer not to see. Her work is full of thighs, bellies, wounds, surgeries and corpses, spread out on monumental canvases in thick oil and murky charcoal. In 2018, she returns to the country where she learnt her craft for a major career-spanning exhibition.

Modern Couples: Art Intimacy and the Avant-garde

Barbican Centre, London
10 October 2018 – 27 January 2019
The Barbican is doing away with the myth of the solitary artist genius and presenting an exhibition of the complex, supportive creative exchanges between fellow artists in intimate relationships of all shapes and sizes. Explored in artworks, correspondence and photographic documentation, peer into the inspiring close spheres of Dora Maar and Pablo Picasso, Dorothea Tanning and Max Ernst, Mary Reynolds and Marcel Duchamp and 40 other artist couples.

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Changes to Salisbury Arts Centre

Wiltshire Creative has taken over the Salisbury Arts Centre. It is now run in conjunction with the Salisbury Playhouse and Salisbury International Arts Festival.

Salisbury Arts Centre is a multi-artform venue dedicated to making imaginations fly. From theatre and dance to music, comedy, film and exhibitions: discover a vibrant hub of arts activity housed in a beautiful deconsecrated church building. Due to the change of management, some of the events in the calendar have changed.

Find out what’s on in the centre here:

Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum in Bournemouth

I found this unexpected gem in Bournemouth back in February, lurking around the corner from the Royal Bath Hotel: The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum. I’d heard of the Russell-Cotes gallery when I’d lived in Bournemouth, but had never ventured inside before. I found the gate – hiding in plain sight, overlooking the East Cliffs. The gate led to a beautiful, relatively small garden with features and nods to the Japanese influence that lurks inside the house. The house itself is quite remarkable – it has a wonderful history with the Russell-Cotes family, and you can learn more by reading the placards and watching a short documentary on the first floor. The building was a pet project of Merton Russell-Cotes’ – he spent his retirement years building his dream home based on influences from the family travels. If Merton was alive today, he would be the star of Grand Designs, for sure! Although the style is eclectic, it works in a wonderfully wacky way. The open rooms don’t just house the huge art collection the family collected – walls and coving are painted with intricate coving and are grand and artistic in their own right. Even if Victorian art is not your favourite, I think you’d be hard pushed to not find something you like here. When Merton finished building the house, next to their business – the Royal Bath Hotel – he gifted it to his wife, Annie, who he adored until he died. When she finally passed away, the family gifted the house to Bournemouth council to enable the public to enjoy the art collection they had amassed. This is remarkable in itself, and worthy of a day trip.

As an aside, they run various events throughout the year. When I visited, you could partake in a murder mystery game. I’ve listed this year’s exhibitions below.

2018 Exhibitions

Russell-Cotes Ceramics: Connoisseur or Conned?
24th March 18 – 26th August 18

Philip Sutton: Woodcuts
1st May – 29th July

Making and Breaking the Rules: Royal Academy 250 at the Russell-Cotes
5th May – 14th October

The Flourish Flock Project
31st July – 5th August

Visit the website for opening times, admission fees and more info.

Just a Card Campaign

The Just a Card Campaign

I want to help raise awareness of the Just a Card campaign for small business owners and creatives. Every purchase you make, big or small, makes a difference to a small business owner. If every visitor to a small art gallery bought a card, it helps sustain the business in between sales of art pieces. It can be the difference between opening the gallery doors, or closing up shop. The cumulative effect of these small sales helps drive creatives. If you admire the work of a creative, and you find yourself browsing their card rack – if you find something you like, don’t pass it by, smile and say “that’s a nice card!” Support the artist and put your money where your mouth is. You can’t even buy a McDonalds meal for £2, but you can support local artists!

My Story

I’ve been exhibiting my paintings locally for over 15 years, on and off. The early years were more fruitful – I only showed paintings, and people seemed to like them and buy them. The last few years have been less successful, not just for me, but for my peers too – the recession did hit the art industry, and footfall (and thus, sales) has been noticeably lower at the exhibitions I’ve been part of. Groups are struggling to achieve the commercial success that was available in the 90s and early noughties. As I paint for pleasure, and don’t rely on the income I am more fortunate than other artists. I have noticed that sales of prints has increased as buyers are more reluctant to part with cash for originals, even at reduced prices. I began making cards of my most popular paintings as an additional stream of income. They’re fun to make, there’s profit, they’re very affordable, and it also serves as another way to market myself – every card I make includes my basic contact details and my name on the reverse. I think it’s a great way to remind people about what you do. It’s always makes me smile when I’m present at a show and I get to meet the people buying my cards – whether it’s a woman buying a set to write cards for her friends, or a child buying one of my animal prints with their own pocket money. It’s affordable and accessible at every level, and that’s why I continue to make them.

Click here if you are a fellow creative, and download free flyers and posters to support the campaign in your shop or gallery.

More info here.