What to Do and Where to Go in 2018

Time for an update on my suggestions for the next few months.

As London is on my doorstep it makes a fair few appearances on the list, but there’ll be things further afield and closer at hand, even chez vous.




Monet & Architecture at the National Gallery, until 29 July 2018.
This features 75 Monet paintings together for the first time, and highlighting how he used architecture to create his compositions.

Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy
at the Tate Modern, until 9 September 2018.
This the first ever solo Pablo Picasso exhibition at Tate Modern.  It features over 100 paintings, sculptures and drawings, mixed with family photographs and other glimpses into his personal life.


Evolving Landscapes at the Oxo Tower, 18-22 August 2018
Features the work of more than 20 photographers,  giving us a wide spectrum of interpretations of landscape photography including traditional landscapes, urban and street photography, architectural and abstract photography, using a wide range of photography techniques, showing how the portrayal of landscapes has evolved over the last 25 years.

James Cook: The Voyages at the British Libraryuntil 28 August 2018
It is now 250 years since James Cook set sail from Plymouth on three great voyages that spanned ten years and the British Library are recognising this with an exhibition that includes Cook’s journal from the first crossing of the Antarctic Circle, artwork and maps.

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up at the V&A Gallery, until 4 November 2018
This exhibition presents a collection of personal artefacts and clothing belonging to the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, all displayed alongside some of her emblematic self-portraits. Locked away for 50 years after her death, this collection has never before been exhibited outside Mexico.


China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors at the World Museum, until 28 October 2018.
The exhibition of terracotta warriors includes a number of objects that have never been on show in the UK before, including material excavated over the last 40 years from the Imperial Mausoleum and selected tombs.



Rembrandt: Britain’s discovery of the Master at the Scottish National, open 7 July – 14 October 2018
This landmark exhibition showcases major works by the legendary Dutch Master alongside those of the many British artists he inspired, such as William Hogarth, Joshua Reynolds, Henry Raeburn, David Wilkie, Jacob Epstein, John Bellany, and Frank Auerbach.


Andy Warhol after Munch at the Kunsthall, until 26 August 2018.
In 1983–84, commissioned by the Bellman gallery, Pop artist Andy Warhol (1928–87) produced a series of 15 paintings with images taken directly from Edvard Munch’s best known lithographic prints.


Double Take: the Asia photographs of Brian Brake & Steve McCurry at the Shanghai Centre of Photography, until 9 September 2018.
The works of two renowned photographic storytellers, demonstrated by the captures of Asia, with reflections on how this has affected the west’s view of Asia.


Uprisings (Sublevaciones) at the Contemporary Art University Museum, until 29 July 2018.
Curated by French art historian Georges Didi Guberman, the exhibition features documentation of literal revolt by means of paintings, films, photographs, and engravings.


Aspect: Photographic Exhibition at Magnet Galleries, Melbourne, until 4 August.
11 photographers, 11 aspects.


Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, as 30 July 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of this author. Her only novel was published in 1847, just a year before she died of tuberculosis, aged only 30. She also wrote poetry with her sister Charlotte, and was in the midst of another book when she died. For more about her and her work, click here.





River Stage, outside the National Theatre, South Bank, until 12 August.
Outdoor performance take place on this stage alongside the river, over a few weekends at end July and first half of August, with each weekend hosted by a different theatre or organisation.  The final weekend 10-12 August is hosted by the national Theatre.

Lee Bul at the Hayward Gallery, until 19 August 2018.
Over 100 spectacular and though-provoking works by Korean artist Lee Bul.

Shape of Light: 100 years of photography and abstract art at the Tate Modern, until 14 October.
The first major exhibition to explore the relationship between photography and abstract art. It features work from the 1910s to the present day, showing world from artists such as Man Ra, Alfred Stieglitz, Barbara Kasten, Thomas Ruff, Antony Cairns, Maya Rochat and Daisuke Yokota.


Idea of North at the Baltic until 30 September 2018
A series of pavilions, constructions and projects displaying work exploring Northern imagination and identities, including a photography exhibition documenting women in the North, curated by Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen.


Wanderlust at Alte Nationalgalerie, until 16 September 2018.
Prompted by the loan from Hamburger Kunsthalle of the “Wanderer above the Sea of Fog” by Caspar David Friedrich,  this exhibition features over 120 works from around the world that have been inspired by the idea of wanderlust.


Grayson Perry at Kiasma, until 2 September 2018
The exhibition comprises around fifty works, including ceramic, tapestries, cast iron and bronze.


Biennale, until 25 November 2018
It’s high time you got out to Venice for this year’s Biennale – it’s the turn or architecture.


Light Buoys, Yarra’s Edge, Docklands
This 50-metre science fiction-inspired glowing sculpture is the work of Melbourne artist Tracy Sarnoff.  It consists of 16 buoyant crystalline shards made from opaque acrylic, illuminating in different colours to respond to passers by.


This month, let’s go Trainspotting for our home entertainment.  It’s 25 years since Irving Welsh’s first book was published.  This collection of short stories, written in either Scots, Scottish English or British English, brings us the stories of various residents of Leith, Edinburgh whose lives are impacted by heroin addiction. If you fancy screen rather than page, there’s always the 1996 Trainspotting film, directed by Danny Boyle.





Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt at the V&A, Brompton Road, London, 8 September 2018 – 24 February 2019
Explore the design and culture of contemporary video games.

Open air cinema: Classic novels in film format, at pop-up Nomad Cinema in Brompton Cemetery, 5-7 September.
Take your pick from The Bride of Frankenstein, Rebecca and Jane Eyre.


V&A Dundee – this brand new gallery opens 15 September 2018.
There will be a festival over the opening weekend, starting on Friday 14 September. More details and information on tickets to be released closer to the event.
Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, an exhibition that will explore the vessels that revolutionised travel in the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as Scotland’s role in the design and development of ocean liners, is the opening show.


Winchester Heritage Open Days, 13-16 September 2018.
An annual event, featuring walks and talks, open houses and workshops, pop-up performances and living history, exhibitions and even wine & cider tastings. A great way to get to know this fantastic city.


Les Extatiques, outdoor art at La Defense, until 21 October
Giant works by 9 artists, inviting use of all our senses to fully appreciate them.


Annual Sherry Festival, 1-16 September 2018
Jerez’s annual sherry festival takes place in early September, coinciding with the start of the wine harvest and celebrating sherry, horses and flamenco.


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott reaches its 150th anniversary on 30 September 2018.
It is one of my favourite novels and at least partly responsible for my love of books. It has plenty of other fans too. No matter how many times you’ve already read it, or seen it, this month is a good time to revisit.  And if you fancy listening rather than turning the pages, you can tune in here.






Copyright Debbie Smyth, 15 July 2018


11 thoughts on “What to Do and Where to Go in 2018

    1. Yes, the Shanghai one would probably be top go my wish list, followed closely by Shape of Light photography and Terracotta Warriors. The last two being achievable hopefully.



      1. Hehe. I know exactly what you mean. I’m working on a smaller scale mind, Melbourne is about as far as I can realistically travel to visit an exhibition.


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