Alice Joiner: Loving the Fire
If you've yet to hear about photographer Alice Joiner then really that's okay because she's one of those emerging types. Her photography centres on themes of body acceptance, mental health and intimacy and they're really quite something. This blink-and-you'll-miss-it three-day exhibition features both new and old works that explore how women find a place in a world that is often hostile to them. It focuses on relationships, the female form and possession to tell a story of contemporary womanhood.
Tickets: Free entry
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The late Zaha Hadid is widely considered one of the most influential and innovative architects of the 21st century. In fact, she came in on Dezeen's recent 2016 hot list at number one. This exhibition, at the same Serpentine Gallery she designed, isn't directly about her architecture but instead takes a look at the rarely seen drawings and paintings she produced that shine a light on how she thought about architectural forms. With heavy influence from the likes of Malevich, Tatlin and Rodchenko, Hadid used calligraphic drawings and painting to imagine architecture and its relationship with the wider environment. Described in the blurb as a 'manifesto of a utopian world', this show is all about revealing her all-encompassing visions of arranging space and interpreting realities, with ideas far ahead of their time. Time to see what else the Queen of the Curve had in her locker.
Young Gods: 2017
Now in its 10th year, Young Gods is a curated show by Zavier Ellis that presents the works of some of the up and comers in art. All the artists on show are either graduates or postgraduates from London's art schools, and there are a lot of schools so those selected must really have something going for them — or know something incriminating about Zavier Ellis. So what to expect: painting, installation, sculpture, video and works on paper. It's a real mixed bag of stuff that includes female figures integrated into domestic interiors; bricolage animal sculptures that investigate the hierarchy of objects; and constructed objects that represent working machines such as boats or trains. Always a good insight into what this generation of artists is up to, so pop on by why don't you?
History can be an elusive and difficult beast to get to grips with, which is more or less the theme of this group exhibition, where 8 contemporary African artists carry out a deep examination of the mechanics of history. Here each artist looks at the past, or their own past, to engage in the act of storytelling, or to put it another way, historytelling. Through sculpture, drawing, photography, artefacts and video, this is an exploration of retrospective and the idea of the historical narrative, mainly based on the continent of Africa.
Santiago Montoya: Surfin' USA
After years of field research, we've realised that there are all kinds of things you can do with money. One thing, shown by the Colombian artist Santiago Montoya, is to create socio-politically motivated works of art that explore the culture, currency and political issues of the USA. Well, we've spent it on worse things. He cuts, alters and stretches the bills to explore the meaning beyond their surface, creating a unique visual language by reinterpreting paper currency as both a canvas and raw material. The aim is to explore complex subject matters with a little bit of humour: combining the pop vocabulary of Warhol with the aesthetics of popular culture — icons like Mickey Mouse and The Velvet Underground are used to draw attention to the social and financial crises that have affected 2016.