Weaving together literature, art, architecture, history, film, theatre and education the festival is made up of more than forty, free events! This year’s theme aims to encourage greater engagement within the local community of Bloomsbury and beyond, with a focus on inspiring new creative collaborations between institutions, businesses and individuals in this pocket of London. 👩🏽🎨 🎭 ☀️
Bedford Square’s beautifully preserved Georgian buildings and garden are not usually open to the public, but this annual Festival represents a chance for the Square’s residents to throw open their doors, revealing a fascinating enclave that is full of artistic and scientific knowledge, beautiful spaces, amazing stories and remarkable histories.
Bedford Square Festival is a collaboration between five of the cultural institutions that reside in this corner of Bloomsbury:
Known for her iconic photographic series of self-portraits in ‘The Honeymoon Suite’, for this new body of work Calypso discovered a surreal and unique location – an underground house in Nevada, USA. 📍 💣
Built by Avon cosmetics founder and director Jerry Henderson in the 1960s, with the advent of the cold war he had decided to take the premise of a bunker in the back yard one stage further. The multimillionaire moved 26 feet underground into a 16,000 square foot luxury space, designed to withstand virtually any disaster and protect from almost any intruder. Above ground the original entrance is a cave-like hole but down below, as befits a Vegas home, there is an all-pink bedroom, crystal and gold fixtures in the bathrooms, a swimming pool, waterfall and hot tub, and hand-painted murals of outdoor scenery on the perimeter of the home and garden. As the interior had never been exposed to sunlight or outside air it was perfectly preserved, with no dust or sun damage on the furniture and wallpaper, and today the home remains in tact and as Henderson and his wife Mary built it. A computerised lighting system simulates daytime, sunset, dusk and night, complete with stars and the moon.
After Jerry died Mary moved to a newly built house directly above ground but died herself shortly after. The underground house is now unoccupied but kept in immaculate condition by a caretaker living alone above ground. As Calypso began her stay, sleeping and working alone downstairs, she immersed herself in the surroundings of the underground house and staged self-portraits in the different rooms. Whilst there she became aware that the current owners were in fact a mystery group with an enthusiasm for immortality. A stash of pamphlets found in the house detailing the latest innovations in cryonics from the 1960s to the present day served as inspiration, adding to the spirit of preservation running through the location’s past and present. What began as a house built off the fortune of a well-known cosmetics company, incorporating the pursuit of beauty and preservation of the living, had since taken a disturbing detour to become an eerie trophy of those who were more concerned with eternal life.
Explore the history and impact of the British independent magazine scene today in Print! Tearing It Up. This exhibition charts the evolution of polemic and progressive print publications and celebrates the current diverse industry of innovative independent magazines. 📖 📚
Beginning with BLAST, the Vorticist journal produced in June 1914, the exhibition traverses through the pacifist Peace News of 1930s, the biting satire of Private Eye (first published in the 1960s and still Britain’s best-selling current affairs magazine), the seminal feminist magazine founded in the 1970s Spare Rib, the cult-pop phenomenon of The Face in the 1980s and 90s and the D.I.Y zines created by teenage feminist collectives into the new millennium.
UK’s favourite fair to meet and buy art direct from the very best emerging and undiscovered artists. Presenting 130 of the best emerging artists handpicked by a committee of art industry experts. 👩🎨 🎨 🖌
Celebrated for its unique visitor experience, The Other Art Fair’s Spring London edition will continue to delight and inspire art lovers with a tightly curated and distinctive programme of fair features that will create a platform for the ‘unexpected’ at the fair.
Hayward Gallery reopens with the first major UK retrospective of the work of acclaimed German photographer Andreas Gursky. Known for his large-scale, often spectacular pictures that portray emblematic sites and scenes of the global economy and contemporary life, he is widely regarded as one of the most significant photographers of our time. 📷
Driven by an interest and insight into ‘the way that the world is constituted’, as well as what he describes as ‘the pure joy of seeing’, Gursky makes photographs that are not just depictions of places or situations, but reflections on the nature of image-making and the limits of human perception. Often taken from a high vantage point, these images make use of a ‘democratic’ perspective that gives equal importance to all elements of his highly detailed scenes.
A photographic study of English plants. British photographer Kate Friend spent the spring and summer of 2017 touring a selection of England’s greatest gardens, gathering the subjects of her photographic study which makes up Botanical Portraits. 🌱 🌿 🍃
To select some of the best specimens of the season she worked with Head Gardeners at Chelsea Physic Garden, Great Dixter, Houghton Hall and Fern Verrow. For each photograph, a stem was isolated from its growing environment and photographed in a studio setting, inviting the viewer to focus on form and colour. With a nod both to the Japanese rikka (standing flowers) tradition and to Gertrude Jekyll’s still life photography of the 19th century, the aesthetic focusses as much on what is left out as on the little that is allowed in. Vases and vessels are of central importance to the final result, seen here are ceramics from Rachel Lucas-Craig, Laura Huston and Karen Downing.
Kate Friend’s selection criterion for the chosen plants was that they were native to England. On pursuing this path, she discovered that this was not a straightforward premise. Exploration, trade, colonialism and early globalisation have resulted in England’s rich and diverse international plant community. The eclectic nature of the final selection reflects England’s multicultural botanical heritage.
Visitors can see the ten photographs which make up ‘Botanical Portraits’, alongside a narrative wall, a separate display showing ‘behind the scenes’ photographs and location shots, both at the museum.
Counting down to the start of 2018, The Shard will illuminate the London skyline from dusk till dawn with Western Europe’s highest light show. 📷
Launching 4 December at 7:20pm, the display will include an array of visual effects including gradients, patterns and sparkles in the top 20 storeys of the building, with a special launch display on opening night and to finish on New Year’s Eve.
Take time out of your busy evening to look up at the spire and enjoy the show!
A burlesque show with live sets from DJ Scarlett Lapidus. Expect an evening of entertainment that sparkles!
The performance will be courtesy of The It Girls, hugely talented female performers, dancers, musicians, vocalists and DJs. The It Girls’ signature show involves an exciting dance routine consisting of three glamorous dancers, backed by a stunning female DJ, complete with live saxophone and electric violin. Supported by a professional creative team of choreographers and stylists, The It Girls mesmerise audiences with the sexy yet sophisticated beauty of their modern cabaret act.
At 1.30am, DJ Scarlett Lapidus will hit the decks, keeping you dancing till 3am. Scarlett’s DJ music style is heavily influenced by all things disco, combining 90’s/80s remixes, R n’B, old time classic soul and funk right through to Chicago House. With original mixes and vocals on request, she curates every set and sound to bring an event to life. Scarlett has recently been rated in Tatler as one of the female DJ’s to watch.
Enjoy a delicious cocktail from the specially designed menu in partnership with Stolichnaya or take advantage of a bar package available exclusively for the evening.
The It Girls’ signature show involves an exciting dance routine consisting of three glamorous dancers, backed by a stunning female DJ, complete with live saxophone and electric violin.
Supported by a professional creative team of choreographers and stylists, The It Girls mesmerise audiences with the sexy yet sophisticated beauty of their modern cabaret act.
This is the UK’s first ever exhibition of architectural backdrops from classic anime films. It features over 100 exquisite technical drawings and watercolour illustrations from some of the most influential productions in the genre’s 1990s heyday, including Production I.G’s artwork for Ghost in the Shell. 🎨
The artists were tasked with creating a universe for the director. Their fictional worlds reflected real-life concerns over ruthless urban development and erosion of identity, mirroring the films’ narratives and giving the backgrounds a crucial role to play. Their work has had a defining influence on the style of anime we think of as typical today.
The show includes Hiromasa Ogura’s watercolour paintings for Ghost in the Shell, an anime epic that informed pioneering sci-fi works such as The Matrix and Avatar. Inspired by Asia’s emerging megacities and based on photographs of Hong Kong, Ogura’s work depicts the striking contrast between a derelict Chinese town and looming, faceless skyscrapers.
Just Eat’s Food Fest returns to Red Market in London for three days of food, music and fun. This year’s theme will see the festival address the hypothetical scenario regularly pondered by foodies – If I was stranded on a remote desert island, what would be my ultimate desert island dish? 🏝😜
Just Eat will cater to this very question at Just Eat Food Fest: Desert Island Dishes, serving up the nation’s most loved takeaway dishes they couldn’t live without if stranded on a desert island.
Just Eat Food Fest: Desert Island Dishes will transport guests to a summery beach-inspired space, offering delicious cuisines from across the globe, cocktails and a line-up of popular live music bringing island vibes to life in the heart of London.