From alfresco art trails to a bottomless brunch at Bush Theatre and a Northern Lights pop-up experience in Soho, here’s our pick of the best things to do in London this weekend…
Lead image: JOY Found Me by Amy Broch
1 Frieze Sculpture, Regent’s Park
Frieze London and Frieze Masters introduce a new hybrid format of online and offline activity this year, with The Institute of Melodic Healing (IMH), an ‘institute of sound and performance’ located at 9 Cork Street, Mayfair (and broadcast online from 6-11 Oct), Frieze Viewing Room, a virtual gallery space presenting major works by established and emerging artists, and Frieze Sculpture. Frieze Sculpture is an outdoor exhibition of 12 ambitious works by leading international artists across the English Gardens at Regents Park. ‘Rarely have our public spaces been quite so important for our mental and physical wellbeing,’ says Clare Lilley, Frieze Sculpture curator and Director of Programme at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, ‘and this exhibition shines a light on sculpture in the open air, creating a place of inspiration and enjoyment.’ The 2020 line-up includes David Altmejd, Eric Fischl, Patrick Goddard, Lubaina Himid, Sarah Lucas, Gavin Turk and Rebecca Warren. This year’s selection of works touch on a range of timely themes, including civil rights, ecology, and the role of the artist as disruptor. Free and open to all.
2 Greenwich Dance’s Ragtime to Grime – Bring It Home Tour, Royal Borough of Greenwich
Greenwich Dance has commissioned social and street dance company Grounded Movement to bring live dance theatre to individual homes throughout the Royal Borough of Greenwich in celebration of Black History Month. The Ragtime to Grime – Bring It Home Tour is a powerful street dance and rap performance telling the story of troubled young people who feel mentally adrift and disenfranchised from history. Just 10-minutes long, the specially choreographed performance by Temujin Gill, featuring dancers Daniella May Selwood and Adrian Falconer, alongside rapper Sunanda Biswas, will take place at the end of a path or in a communal outdoor space in a physically distanced format. There will be 30 individual shows, each in a different location each day, from Abbey Wood to Eltham, Greenwich and Woolwich, and available to book for your own household. That means a total of just 30 tickets are available, priced on a pay-what-you-can basis. The original music is by Nick Ramm and features original lyrics by the late Nigerian-born hip hop artist Ty (aka Ben Chijioke), who died earlier this year after contracting Covid-19.
For the full list of locations, timings and to book, see greenwichdance.org
3 Streatham Festival, various locations
Streatham Festival will feature online events for the first time this year, as well as a range of physical ones, celebrating all aspects of the arts. The local MP for Streatham, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, will be officially opening the festival on the evening of Friday 9 Oct at the Romantic Cello by Candlelight in St Thomas’ Church on Telford Avenue, and the new Streatham Literature Festival will feature workshops and readings by writers, publishers, and illustrators, as well as a downloadable literature walking tour of Streatham. Other highlights include Loud Black Girls, a panel discussion between Abiola Oni and Temi Mwale, two writers from the Loud Black Girls anthology of Black British writing, as part of the Streatham Sunday Special on Sunday 11 Oct, StreatArt20, showcasing local artists, and London Concertante’s candlelit Secret Garden Concerts and Halloween-themed strings workshop for children.
4 Queen & Culture Exhibition by Endless at The Crypt Gallery, King’s Cross
London-based contemporary artist, Endless, is holding a seamless physical and digital art exhibition this month. Queen & Culture Exhibition has been arranged to showcase a collection of over 31lockdown-inspired artworks offering bold musings of key current events and societal shifts that have taken place since March. Among the works on display will be new interpretations of Endless’ most iconic pieces, including Lizzy Vuitton. In light of unpredictable lockdown circumstances, the artist worked has with his management team, Cris Contini Contemporary, to offer a seamless, cross-channel exhibition. Spectators can arrange to see Endless’ artwork physically at The Crypt Gallery in King’s Cross, or you can also arrange to view it virtually, via a digital gallery tour. Both options promise to be a high-quality and immersive experience whereby you can take in the artwork and meet the artist.
The Crypt Gallery, King’s Cross Saint Pancras Church, 165 Euston Road NW1 2BA; criscontinicontemporary.com
5 #NordicSpiritNights Northern Lights Pop Up, Soho
The Northern Lights – aka the aurora borealis – can be tricky to spot, and with travel a little awkward at present anyway, it’s best to let them come to you… Nordic Spirit, a leading nicotine pouch brand from Sweden, is bringing the very best of the Nordics to London this October with an immersive pop-up experience called #NordicSpiritNights. Popping up in Soho from 1-17 October, the space will operate as a Nordic Sprit shop during the day, but come evening, the space will transform into #NordicSpiritNights, a Scandinavian forest and fjord-like setting offering a 360°-experience featuring the Northern Lights, live DJ sets, sunset suppers and exclusive film screenings. Running from Wednesday to Saturday evenings, you can choose from two kinds of experiences: Sunset Supper and Fjord, a Nordic-inspired dining experience under the Northern Lights with a DJ hits the decks (7-10 October); and Nordic Noir, a screening of Oscar-nominated The Square under the ‘stars’ with a selection of drinks and Scandi-inspired nibbles (14-17 October). Entry is free and open to existing adult smokers, vapers and nicotine users over the age of 18.
10 Argyll Street, Soho W1F 7TQ; nordicspirit.co.uk
Artist Amy Broch has created a playful art installation in a previously empty shopfront where whimsical characters come alive and create ‘joy bombs’ – the artistic equivalent to photo bombing. JOY Bomb London – created by Broch after her husband’s ALS diagnosis – creates site-specific multi-sensory installations that transform ordinary spaces into mini-worlds of rainbow-filled delights. Many Scientists believe that a good laugh is like a break for your brain, restoring hope and reviving optimism, and learning that happiness was linked to better treatment outcomes and longevity for ALS patients spurred on Broch to create even more fun for fun’s sake. JOY Found Me is a site-specific, interactive installation for the ground floor window and first floor balcony areas of 48 Brook Street, created in collaboration with Illuminate Productions for Mayfair Arts Weekend. Available to view daily from 12pm-8pm, with interactive performances on Fridays and Saturdays from 12pm-8pm.
48 Brook Street, Mayfair W1K 5DR; illuminateproductions.co.uk
7 Black Greenwich Pensioners at Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
3 October-21 February 2021
The ORNC’s Black Greenwich Pensioners exhibition explores the hidden histories of the Black Royal Navy personnel, who formed one of Britain’s earliest Black communities when they became pensioners at the Royal Hospital for Seaman (where the Old Royal Naval College stands today). Co-curated by Black British heritage consultant S. I. Martin, this vital and fascinating exhibition looks at the presence and impact of the recorded Black communities that have been resident in Greenwich for over 200 years. Telling the stories of Black seamen, some of whom were volunteers and others who were enslaved or impressed, the exhibition traces their dangerous and unpredictable lives in the 18th and 19th centuries. The exhibition seeks to examine the role Black Mariners played in British naval conflicts as well as delving into the personal histories of prominent Greenwich pensioners such as John Thomas, who escaped slavery and was later returned to enslavement in Barbados, and John Simmonds, a Jamaican veteran of the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar whose descendants still reside in the UK. There will be related workshops and tours during the exhibition.
Mezzanine Gallery, Visitor Centre, Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk SE10 9NN; ornc.org
Brothers BBQ and the Bush Theatre announce their first-ever brunch event, the Bless Up Bottomless Brunch, which is all about coming together and celebrating a love of good food and good music. The socially distanced event certainly won’t be short of funky tunes, brought to you by your host and soundtrack providers, Mixmaster DJ & K Pryme. Enjoy UKG, Funky House & Old School Vibes Hip Hop, R&B & Reggae/Dancehall classics while tucking into exciting street food options like the famous Brothers BBQ Sweet Love Burger, Boneless BBQ Jerk Chicken and their incredible waffle creation with Nutella or Biscoff Spread topped with Oreos and white chocolate – plus bottomless cocktails or prosecco. 2pm-8pm. Tickets £35pp.
7 Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush W12 8LJ; bushtheatre.co.uk
9 static Silent Disco Boat Party on Tamesis Dock, Albert Embankment
static, the high-end boutique cycling studio in Nine Elms, near Battersea, is hosting a unique boat party ride aboard the Tamesis Dock floating pub this weekend. The two hour boat party will feature an outdoor silent disco spin class session with Lauren and Chucky onboard the floating venue, which is moored near MI6 on Albert Embankment, followed by pizza and prosecco afterwards (soft drinks or a bottomless upgrade will be available on the day). Bikes will be socially distanced and all equipment is fully sanitised between all rides. From 10am. Tickets are £45. Take weather-appropriate clothing should the weather take a turn… Click here to book.
Tamesis Dock, Albert Embankment SE1 7TY; static.fit
10 The Luna Cinema, Dulwich Park
Following visits to the likes of Hampton Court Palace, the Old Royal Naval College and Wimbledon Park, the Luna Cinema is ending its current season with a run at Dulwich Park from 7-11 October. The open-air cinema experience now involves a number of pitches, pre-laid out for groups of two-to-four with chairs set up ready for you. In Dulwich, you can enjoy Joker on 7 October, Jojo Rabbit on 8 October, Rocketman on 9 October, The Greatest Showman on 10 October, and Pretty Woman on 11 October. A seated pitch for two is generally £35 although prices may vary according to the venue and the day. Next up for Luna Cinema is the Halloween drive-in special opening at Allianz Park in north London from 23 October.
11 Kovet.Art makes Photo London Debut
As Photo London launches its inaugural digital edition this month, Photo London Digital (7-18 October), new visual art platform Kovet.Art will be showcasing works from its inaugural Kovet.Art exhibition, Delineating Dreams. Curated exclusively for Photo London, Kovet.Art will show defining works by Tom Faber, Loreal Prystaj, Candice Jewell and Giovanna Petrocchi. The selection is grounded in dream-like explorations of the subconscious, presenting works which subtly manipulate the space between abstraction and figuration. Each artist questions concepts of the body and the natural landscape, using transformative and multi-disciplinary ways of working to subvert what is known and familiar, inviting us to dream of possible new futures. During Photo London Digital, Kovet.Art will host two talks: Championing Emerging Artists on 6 October at 6pm with Kovet.Art Chief Art Officer Camilla Grimaldi and director of the Anish Kapoor Foundation, Mario Cadognato; and a free online discussion between Kovet.Art resident artist Loreal Prystaj and Sotheby’s Head of Photography Brandei Estes on 13 Oct at 5pm.
For tickets and more information see Kovet.Art
12 Kensington + Chelsea Art Week, various locations
Until 11 October
This year’s Kensington + Chelsea Art Week will bring the Royal Borough to life with incredible public art and more than 200 events both online and offline. Highlights include the façade of the Coronet Theatre wrapped in embroidered poetry, empty retail spaces transformed with installations and colourful murals from local artists inspired by Black Lives Matter, Covid-19 and the hard work of the NHS. This year’s expanded Public Art Trail features work by artists Liz West, Lois O’Hara, Barnaby Barford, Toy Studio, Alex Chinneck, Chris Ruffoni, Found Fiction and Amy Jackson, all responding to the Curatorial Call: Transformation. Highlights of the Public Art Trail include ToyStudio’s geometric sculpture and light installation In Bloom on Sloane Square; British Sculptor Alex Chinneck’s Alaphabetti Spaghetti on Bramley Road / Lockton Street; Through III, a six-metre long triangular prism corridor of light and colour by Liz West on the Duke of York Square; and award-winning multidisciplinary artist Yinka Llori’s design interventions for the St Stephen’s Centre at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Plus, from 2–11 October, The Chelsea Theatre’s facade at World’s End Square will be illuminated by coloured lights in the evenings.
13 We Were Having a Perfectly Nice Time at Clapham Omnibus
Until 24 October
We Were Having a Perfectly Nice Time at Clapham Omnibus is a dark comedy about loo roll, lost love at the bus station and knowing when to end a conversation – especially a sad one. Some people are inherently unlikeable. Some people have just read The Bell Jar and insist on telling everyone. Some people click their fingers at waiters… these two flatmates hate those people. In fact, they hate a lot of things, perhaps even each other. But they were having a perfectly nice time until she went and spoiled it all. Presented by Conflicted Theatre in association with Grace Dickson Productions. Tickets £6. Staged on Friday & Saturday evenings. Clapham Omnibus has new Covid-secure measures in place. Click here for more.
1 Northside, Clapham Common SW4 0QW; omnibus-clapham.org
14 The Murdér Express, Bethnal Green
Until 31 January 2021
The Murdér Express, an immersive theatre and dining experience based in east London, reopens on 2 October to transport passengers back in time to the grandeur of the (pre-Covid) 19th century. Set onboard a glamorous train carriage, reminiscent of the Orient Express, The Murdér Express transports guests back in time to the grandeur of the 19th century. Travelling by train for pleasure is in its infancy, and you’ll join other excited passengers ‘travelling’ from London to the fictional town of Murdér in France. But first, we eat! Seated in the elegant dining car, passengers will dine on a menu designed by BBC One MasterChef 2017 finalist, Louisa Ellis, and as the train ‘departs’, the story unfolds around you. Of course, ‘The Murdér Express has new Covid-secure measures in place, including temperature checks, PPE for staff, sanitiser stations throughout the venue, reduced capacity and an amended seating plan for social distancing. Tickets from £65 plus a £3.90 booking fee per ticket.
Pedley Street ‘Station’, Arch 63, Pedley Street, Bethnal Green E1 5BW; funicularproductions.com
15 Brent Biennial, various locations
Until 13 December
The first ever Brent Biennale mark its year as London Borough of Culture – and what a year it has turned out to be! But it’s not over yet… more than 20 brand new artworks inspired by the cultures, places and people of Brent can be found in public spaces right across Brent, on buildings and billboards, in laundrettes and across 10 community and council libraries. From sculptures to sound art, large-scale murals to intimate installations, Brent Biennial features international and Brent-based artists including Rasheed Araeen, Imran Qureshi, Dawn Mellor, Jude Wacks, Jaykoe, Yasmin Nicholas and Ruth Beale, and every work has been specially commissioned by and created for then event. Download the map here.
PLUS: LAST CHANCE TO CATCH…
Virtual Whisky Show
Until 9 October
The biggest whisky show ever to beam into living rooms worldwide runs from 2-9 October. The week-long festival will give attendees the chance to meet, greet, taste and explore the wonderful world of whisky, with the online platform allowing for more than 200 talks from 70 guests – the biggest line-up ever seen at a whisky show. Plus, more than 70 tasting packs are available to buy here so that you can get hands on. Entering the online exhibitor hall, you’ll be able to choose the stand you want to visit and engage directly with the team behind the brand, taking part in exclusive tastings and talks while submitting questions via the virtual chat function or requesting to join the stand for a conversation. You can also head for virtual seminar rooms or the main stage to see some of the whisky world’s most important figures giving talks, tastings and distillery tours. The show opens at 4pm on 2 Oct and runs from 11.30am-9pm. Tickets £20 including a £10 discount on tasting sets.
Architecture for Dogs at Japan House London, High Street Kensington
Until 10 October
Japan House London will be the first destination in Europe to host the internationally acclaimed Architecture for Dogs exhibition. Featuring a collection of 16 architectural designs for different dog breeds including the Beagle, Bichon Frise and Poodle, the exhibition offers a fun and insightful exploration into how it is possible for dogs and their human companions to be at their happiest through interaction with specially designed architectural pieces. The exhibition offers smaller dogs the opportunity to interact with a number of the designs, such as Architecture For Long-Bodied Short-Legged Dogs, designed by world-renowned architectural practice Atelier Bow-Wow. Other exhibits include A new home for Snoopy and a candy floss cocoon inspired by the distinct fur of the Bichon Frise.
101-111 Kensington High Street W8 5SA; japanhouselondon.uk
Do Robots Dream of Electric Bees? Annka Kultys Gallery, Hackney
Until 10 October
Annka Kultys Gallery is making history as the first commercial art gallery to represent a humanoid robot artist, Ai-Da Robot, in Do Robots Dream of Electric Bees? Ai-Da is the world’s first ultra-realistic robot artist, who made the headlines last year for making over £1m in sales before her inaugural exhibition at Oxford University opened. The upcoming exhibition, a play on the novel by Philip K. Dick, presents new works by Ai-Da including oil paintings, drawings and sculptures, as well as one video work. The exhibition deals with themes from global warming, the extinction of species to the uses and abuses of future technologies. Aided by computer vision, Ai-Da can draw, and is a performance artist. Since her creation last year, Ai-Da has shown at the Barbican, Tate Modern, Ars Electronica and Abu Dhabi Art. Open Thurs-Sat, 12pm-6pm.
Unit 3, 1st Floor, 472 Hackney Road E2 9EQ; annkakultys.com
London Craft Week, various locations
Until 10 October
London Craft Week celebrates outstanding British and international creativity. This year, the festival brings together more than 250 makers, designers, brands and galleries from around the world in a mix of real-life and online events. Highlights include a Koji Workshop and Sake Tasting on 7 October at Pantechnicon on Motcomb Street, where you’ll learn how to use Koji to make doburoku (home brewed sake), amazake (a sweet rice drink), miso and more, as well as sampling dishes with sake pairings; a Moyses Stevens Flower Crown Masterclass on The Coaling Jetty at Battersea Power Station on 3 October; and a series of events at Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross throughout the week, including Experience Design, Technique and Materiality at Tom Dixon’s Coal Office, where you can discover the brand’s latest launches and early designs.
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