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BEST Things To Do In London

The Event Oracle knows ALL the fun things to do in London. Select your date above then scroll down to check out what events are going on this week...

  • Paul Coldwell: Picturing the Invisible

    Sir John Soane's Museum
    13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Holborn
    London, WC2A 3BP
    Paul Coldwell: Picturing the Invisible

    Entering Sir John Soane’s Museum is like stepping into a time capsule, left exactly as Soane intended when he died over 180 years ago. But to explore the Museum is also to experience a feeling of absence: of Soane himself, of his office and students working at the back of the Museum, and of the servants who kept the house running.

    Artist Paul Coldwell has been researching this notion of absence over the past year. Paul Coldwell: Picturing the Invisible will display a new body of work created in dialogue with, and now installed in, the Museum’s Old Kitchens. During his research Coldwell became particularly interested in the idea of ‘the house seen from below’: the ways the servants would have seen, understood and perhaps even attempted to replicate aspects of what Soane created upstairs.

    Unlike the master they served, the views and perspectives of the servants are largely unrecorded and therefore ultimately unknowable and inaccessible. Coldwell’s project is therefore part speculation, part creative imagination and part ventriloquization – giving voice to those largely absent from, and almost entirely silent within, the historical record yet whose presence was vital to the house’s functioning.

  • Mary Quant

    Cromwell Road
    London, SW7 2RL
    Mary Quant

    From miniskirts and hot pants to vibrant tights and makeup, discover how Mary Quant launched a fashion revolution on the British high street, with over 200 garments and accessories, including unseen pieces from the designer's personal archive.

  • Cairo Streets

    Cromwell Road
    London, SW7 2RL
    Cairo Streets

    This display brings visitors face to face with everyday life in Cairo in the 19th century, through historic photographs of local people going about their daily lives. It also features examples of turned wood window screens, called mashrabiyyah, which gave a characteristic visual flavour to Cairo’s streets.

  • Cornflakes to Cola

    224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington
    London, W8 6AG
    Cornflakes to Cola

    In 1950 Sainsbury’s opened its first self-service store in Croydon. This marked a pivotal moment as it was the first time that shoppers in the UK could help themselves to products directly from the shelves. Rationing from World War II would come to an end in 1954, beginning a new era of abundance.

    In self-service stores packaging design took on a new importance as the only way of communicating information about the product. Sainsbury’s was quick to understand this, and in 1963 set up its own in-house design team, led by graphic designer Peter Dixon. Although small in size, the team had a prodigious output, creating hundreds of new packaging designs each year.

    Rigorously overseen by the CEO John Sainsbury, the team was also responsible for designing the company’s broader brand identity, from staff passes to delivery trucks. Every element had to communicate the company’s messaging. In retrospect however, they also reveal the energy and optimism of the period, where even a packet of cornflakes could be playful and modern.’

  • Manners and Modernity: Ukiyo-e and etiquette on the Seibu Railway

    Cromwell Road
    London, SW7 2RL
    Manners and Modernity: Ukiyo-e and etiquette on the Seibu Railway

    Featuring courtesans, Kabuki actors and other images found in ukiyo-e woodblock prints the posters illustrate the bustle and thrill of city life in modern Japan. Humour tempers the message about how to be a well-behaved commuter. The display includes original ukiyo-e prints which depict some of the artistic influences that inspired the posters.

  • Secret Rivers

    No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay
    London, E14 4AL
    Secret Rivers

    For centuries Londoners have existed beside a series of waterways, which have shaped the city and people within it. The history of this relationship and the art that is has inspired are the focus of our next major exhibition, Secret Rivers.

    Secret Rivers uses archaeological artefacts, art, photography and film to reveal stories of life by London’s rivers, streams, and brooks, exploring why many of them were lost over time.

    Historic and contemporary artworks from artists, poets and authors will also show how London’s rivers have played an important role in the city’s imaginations. Previously unseen artefacts from excavations of the River Fleet and elsewhere hint at the diverse industrial, economic and religious roles these rivers have played over the centuries.

    The intriguing histories of the River Effra, Fleet, Neckinger, Lea, Wandle, Tyburn, Walbrook and Westbourne will all feature in the exhibition. Each river will highlight a broader theme such as poverty, industry, development, effluence, manipulation, activism, sacred association and restoration.

  • Medicine Man

    183 Euston Rd
    London, NW1 2BE
    Medicine Man

    Sir Henry Wellcome was an enthusiastic traveller and collector – amassing well over a million books, paintings and objects from around the world. Most of his collecting was in the two areas that fascinated him the most – health and medicine. ‘Medicine Man’ is our free permanent display of a small part of that huge collection.

    Here, you can find out how people have viewed the basics of life over the centuries – birth, health, sex and death.

    Explore a wide range of objects that includes a set of Japanese sex aids from the 1930s, a unique collection of votive offerings and some diagnostic dolls used by women in 18th century China to show male doctors where they were feeling pain. We also have a metal executioner’s mask from Portugal.

    There are also some direct connections to major historical figures. The exhibition features Napoleon’s toothbrush, Nelson’s razor, Charles Darwin’s walking stick, Florence Nightingale’s moccasins and even some of King George III’s hair.

  • Designer Maker User

    224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington
    London, W8 6AG
    Designer Maker User

    Designer Maker User features almost 1000 items of twentieth and twenty-first century design viewed through the angles of the designer, manufacturer and user, including a crowdsourced wall.

    The exhibition covers a broad range of design disciplines, from architecture and engineering, to the digital world, fashion and graphics. Designer Maker User features a bold, colourful and engaging display designed by Studio Myerscough, with digital interactives by Studio Kin.

  • As I Live and Breathe

    100 London Rd, Forest Hill
    London, SE23 3PQ
    As I Live and Breathe

    Award-winning, internationally-exhibited visual artist Claire Morgan has created stunning new pieces for the Horniman, including a dramatic installation in Gallery Square.

    Claire’s thought-provoking works draws on the theme of waste and the impact that humans have on their surroundings.

    Her pieces include thousands of fragments of colourful waste polythene frozen in time, and nature combined with plastics.

    As I Live and Breathe features new pieces specially commissioned by the Horniman. A dramatic large scale installation suspended from the ceiling and descending over two floors captivates visitors as they enter the Museum. The three forms are composed of thousands of fragments of colourful waste polythene, torn by hand from used shopping bags. These suggest a dramatic movement, being pulled by gravity from overhead down to the ground below, but here the movement has been halted in order to freeze a fleeting instant in time.

    Inside our Natural History Gallery will be a display combining plastics and nature, featuring four taxidermy specimens of prolific residents of urban London: grey squirrel, red fox, carrion crow and rose-ringed parakeet. A conical form – made from fragments of torn black polythene from bin bags - protrudes from the mouth of each animal.

  • BMW Tate Live Exhibition

    Tate Britain
    Millbank, Westminster
    London, SW1P 4RG
    BMW Tate Live Exhibition

    In 2020 Tate Modern’s Tanks will again play host to an exciting series of installations and live performances.

    In 2019, Anne Imhof created a new large-scale commission, Sex. 2018 celebrated the performance pioneer Joan Jonas, while the first exhibition in 2017 included work from a range of artists including Isabel Lewis, CAMP, Wu Tsang, Fred Moten and Fujiko Nakaya.

  • Treasures of Europe 1800-1615 Tour

    Cromwell Road
    London, SW7 2RL
    Treasures of Europe 1800-1615 Tour

    Be guided through a suite of seven galleries displaying an extraordinary collection of 17th- and 18th-century European art and design.

  • Behind-the-Scenes Tour: Spirit Collection

    Cromwell Road
    London, SW7 5BD
    Behind-the-Scenes Tour: Spirit Collection

    Go behind the scenes with our knowledgable science educators for a look at the Museum's fascinating zoology collection preserved in spirit.

    As we explore some of the Darwin Centre’s 27 kilometres of shelves, you’ll encounter numerous treasures hidden among the 22 million animal specimens housed here.

    You’ll meet Archie, our 8.62-metre-long giant squid, view specimens collected by Charles Darwin himself and learn more about our cutting-edge research.