Religion, repetition, mortality and violence – particularly controlled violence – are enduring themes in Howard’s work. These fourteen, large-scale paintings are accompanied by a small 2005 study of Ali Shallal al-Qaisi, the Iraqi detainee who was photographed being subjected to torture at the hands of American soldiers in Abu Ghraib prison in 2003. When these now-infamous images of Ali Shallal al-Qaisi – hooded and standing on a box in a cruciform position – were released in 2004, Howard took particular note of the box. She explains: ‘The box is almost like a plinth – I was thinking about the cross, the Crucifixion, and how it related to this box as a twenty-first century place of horror, humiliation and human rights atrocities, and I couldn’t help but connect the two.’ As one moves between the Stations, the box variously emerges, or appears almost submerged in the paint, before eventually vanishing. 🖼
In order to create these semi-abstract paintings the artist applied vast swathes of household gloss paint to the canvas. Howard allowed the pigment and varnish to separate in the paint can and then allowed gravity to influence the direction of the medium in its two forms, building layer upon layer of poured paint. The form of each painting was thus determined by a combination of the weight and viscosity of the paint, precision and chance.
Escape from the hustle and bustle of Christmas and step back through time to Christmas Past. See authentic festive decorations, lighting, music and greenery transform the museum’s period living rooms, giving an evocative glimpse into how Christmas has been celebrated in English homes over the past 400 years. 🎄 🏠 🎅
Seasonal food and drink will be on the menu in the café and the shop will be full of Christmas decorations and cards, stylish home-wares, gifts and treats.
This powerful new exhibition shines a spotlight on 20th and 21st century female graphic designers and reveals the contribution they have made to poster design over the last one hundred years. With over 150 posters and original artworks on display, this exhibition attempts to recognise some of these forgotten design heroines and reveal the hidden stories behind their work. 💁
Poster Girls – a century of art and design will feature some of the leading female artists who have worked for London Transport and Transport for London including well-known designers, such as Mabel Lucie Attwell, Laura Knight, Enid Marx and Zandra Rhodes, alongside lesser known individuals who nonetheless changed the way Londoners viewed their city. The works on display show a dazzling spectrum of artistic styles and mediums; modernist, figurative, flat colour, boldly patterned, abstract, collage and oil.
Starting in the early 1900s the exhibition will take a broadly chronological approach, moving through the decades to contemporary times, unearthing how each era influenced the artists’ stylistic approach and highlighting the role played by London Transport in commissioning female talent.
From the dawn of mechanised human forms to cutting-edge technology fresh from the lab, Robots reveals the astonishing 500-year quest to make machines human.
Focusing on why they exist rather than on how they work, our blockbuster exhibition explores the ways robots mirror humanity and the insights they offer into our ambitions, desires and position in a rapidly changing world.
Robots takes you on an incredible journey spanning five centuries, illustrated with robotic artefacts from around the globe from a 16th century mechanised monk to some of film’s most iconic robotic creations and the very latest humanoids.
Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered will celebrate the joy, excitement and occasional frustration of playing board games. This will exhibition include some of the most iconic, enthralling and visually striking games from the V&A’s outstanding national collection of board games.
Alongside current family favourites such as Cluedo and Trivial Pursuit, and traditional games like chess, the exhibition looks at historical board games including The Game of the Goose and other beautifully designed games from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Board games are played by everyone, young and old. They have a universal appeal that transcends cultural and language barriers. They can both teach and entertain us. The playing of board games is embedded into our culture, not just the games themselves but the act of playing, the interaction with family and friends, the lessons to be learned and the fun to be had.
The exhibition will include more than 100 objects, featuring games from around the world, and explores the important role of design. Throughout the exhibition, selected games of special interest are highlighted with more detailed information on their history and influence.
Hands-on interactives and the opportunity to become part of one big interactive game will direct visitors around the exhibition, and invite them to think about game playing experiences and what sort of player they are.
This thought-provoking exhibition brings together several series of work by artist-photographer Edmund Clark to explore the hidden experiences of state control during the ‘Global War on Terror’.
Looking at issues of security, secrecy, representation and legality, the show focuses on the measures taken by states to protect their citizens from the threat of terrorism, and the far-reaching effects of such methods of control.
The exhibition brings together several series of Clark’s work including images and documents of CIA operated secret prisons or ‘black sites’, photographs from the detention camps at Guantanamo Bay, correspondence from around the world sent to a British detainee in Guantanamo that was transformed by the censorship and intervention of the US military, and the experience of a ‘controlled person’ who was placed in a house in suburban England under the restrictive conditions of a control order – a form of house arrest or detention without trial – introduced in 2005.
An immersive experience, the exhibition uses sound, moving images and large multi-media installations as well as photographs and documents to invoke a sensory engagement with the experiences of observation, detention and disorientation induced by the systems of control Clark explores.
Telling the stories of modern day pioneers, Beyond the Lab: The DIY Science Revolution celebrates the everyday innovators around Europe who are taking science into their own hands, with astounding results.
Seven real-life case studies are explored through a combination of objects, images and films, giving you the chance to hear from the DIY scientists themselves about the motivations, methods and applications of their research.
From measuring air pollution in London to the search for new antibiotics in Amsterdam, these ambitious amateurs are having a huge impact and driving real change through their research.
Comics Unmasked is the UK’s largest ever exhibition of mainstream and underground comics, showcasing works that uncompromisingly address politics, gender, violence, sexuality and altered states. It explores the full anarchic range of the medium with works that challenge categorisation, preconceptions and the status quo, alongside original scripts, preparatory sketches and final artwork that demystify the creative process.
Mind Maps: Stories from Psychology, explores how mental health conditions have been diagnosed and treated over the past 250 years.
Divided into four episodes between 1780 and 2014, this exhibition looks at key breakthroughs in scientists’ understanding of the mind and the tools and methods of treatment that have been developed, from Mesmerism to Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) bringing visitors up to date with the latest cutting edge research and its applications.
Bringing together psychology, other related sciences, medicine and human stories, the exhibition is illustrated through a rich array of historical and contemporary objects, artworks and archive images.
Poignant photographic portraits of extinct and endangered animals preserved in museums. This free exhibition by Sean Dooley brings to life the stories of our planet’s lost and fading species.
Natural history collections are a physical catalogue of the amazing diversity of nature. They allow scientists to describe and understand species; they also provide a first-hand opportunity for the public to experience the variety of life on our planet.
However, every preserved specimen represents a life lost. The human need to understand, enjoy and benefit from nature must be balanced against the right of other species to the continuation of life. This balance is all too often lost, with human interests taking precedence.
This exhibition portrays specimens of entire species that are losing, or have lost, the fight for survival. Because of their rarity these specimens are important, either as sources of knowledge that can help conserve species or as reminders of what has been lost. These portraits by artist Sean Dooley are intended to document and share their fading beauty.