What to Do and Where to Go in the coming months

Time for an update on my suggestions for things to do in the next couple of months. Art, theatre, history, literature, and anything else that catches my eye. Ideas to keep you all occupied and out of mischief!

As London is on my doorstep it makes a fair few appearances on the list, but there are also things both further afield and closer at hand, even chez nous. I hope you find something that appeals.




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.

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.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Barrels and The Mastaba 1958–2018, until 9 September 2018
A major exhibition of this couple’s work, which draws upon their use of barrels to create artworks. It includes a temporary structure set up in the Serpentine Lake.

Please Feed the Lions at Trafalgar Square, 18-23 September 2018
A fifth fluorescent red lion will make its appearance as part of the London Design Festival, shouting poetry across the Trafalgar Square.

Open House across London, 22-23 September 2018
The return of this annual event that gives free access to many of London’s important buildings, including Downing Street and the BT Tower (though tickets required in advance of these two)

Totally Thames Festival, a variety of events around the Thames, until 30 September 2018.
Includes archaeological walks, exhibitions, river races and music in the Bascule Chambers beneath Tower Bridge.

London Design Biennale, Somerset House, 4-23 September 2018
The world comes to London this month, with design displays based on the themes of sustainability, migration, pollution, energy, cities, and social equality.  City and country participants include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Dundee, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lebanon, Leeds, Liverpool, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, UAE, USA and Vietnam.

Shape of Light: 100 years of photography and abstract art at the Tate Modern, until 14 October.BletchleyIMG_394120180211-1
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.
This is a huge and excellent exhibition, that demands a visit, and prompts much thought and reflection.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and intend to return to take more of it in.

Michael Jackson: On The Wall at the National Portrait Gallery until 21 October 2018
This exhibition has received rave reviews. It reveals to us the wide influence that Michael Jackson had on contemporary art, across multiple artists and across all media. It has been timed to coincide with Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday (on 29 August 2018) and brings together the works of over forty artists, drawn from public and private collections around the world. This one is high on my to do list.
Normal ticket price is £20 but Time Out has a half price offer for weekends.

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.  N.B. this is heavily booked, so plan well in advance and book your ticket.

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.


Jane Austen Festival,  Bath,  14-23 September 2018
Guided walks, ghost walks, costumed parades, country dancing, book readings, Darcy’s Ball and a masked ball, and much, much more.


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.  Advance booking highly recommended.


Yves Klein Comtemporary Art Exhibition, Blenheim Palace, until 7 October 2018
50 pieces of Klein’s work, brings his stunning blue to Blenheim Palace. Known for his development of his own vivid ultramarine pigment, International Klein Blue (IKB), he brings a contemporary splash of colour to contrast with the more traditional setting of Blenheim palace.


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.



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.


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.


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.

And Heritage Days take place ALL OVER ENGLAND 6-9 and 13-17 September 2018 – do check out what is happening near you.



Rencontres 2018, until 23 September 2018
This annual international photography exhibition has a tremendous selection of exhibitions in wonderful buildings around town. It is must-see annual European event.


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.


Auschwitz at the Canal Art Centre, Paseo de la Castellana, until 7 October 2018
For the first time, over 600 original objects are shown in the first travelling exhibition about Auschwitz, a moving and accurate tour through one of the darkest chapters of History.


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.



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.


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.



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.





Frieze Art Fair, in Regents Park, 4-7 October 2018

Museums at Night, across UK, 25-27 October 2018

Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro, 16 Wharf Road, N1 7RW from 3 October to 21 December 2018
I was disappointed to miss a Yayoi Kusama exhibition on my travels earlier this year, as it closed a day before I arrived in Seoul. And I then missed a small exhibition in London in June. But now the polka dot and pumpkin lady is returning for her 12th major exhibition at Victoria Miro.  A collection of her new works will be displayed around the galleries and waterside garden, and will include works from the iconic My Eternal Soul series, painted bronze pumpkin and flower sculptures, and a large-scale Infinity Mirror Room, created for this exhibition.


Auschwitz at the Canal Art Centre, until 7 October 2018
For the first time ever, over 600 original objects are shown in the first travelling exhibition about Auschwitz.


David Goldblatt: photographs 1948-2018 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia from 19 October 2018 to 3 March 2019.
An exhibition of mostly black-and-white photos by renowned South African photographer David Goldblatt.  Sadly, Goldblatt died in June 2018, and did not get to see this major retrospective of his work, though he was involved in the early preparations. This man and his camera have traced the changing face of South Africa from the start of apartheid at the end of the 1940s through to 1991, when it was dismantled, and the changes that have followed.


It is Oscar Wilde‘s birthday on 16 October – born 1854 – so why not grab one of his works for a quiet evening at home. Or see if he’s on stage near you. The Importance of Being Earnest is on in London, at the Vaudeville Theatre, until 20 October, and it will be showing live at many cinemas around the country on 9 October.








Copyright Debbie Smyth, 15 August 2018


2 thoughts on “What to Do and Where to Go in the coming months

  1. A great write up Debbie. I am in New York and would not be able to see any of these but some of these sound amazing, especially the Picasso exhibit. One of my friends had seen the terra-cotta warriors when they were displayed at the Met in New York and she said that was a great experience.

    Liked by 1 person

Come join the conversation:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.