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Set the Agenda - Winter 2022

Vicky Stoakes

Communications Director

Need some creative ideas of how to keep the winter blues at bay and bring some much needed SPARKLE and JOY this winter? Look no further…

Here’s our curated list of creative delight to keep you going this winter. Enjoy and don’t forget your thermals.

Yinka Ilori: PARABLES FOR HAPPINESS – Design Museum (until 25 June 2023)

First up is Yinka Ilori’s exhibition at the Design Museum, bringing a full-on punch of colour and joy. A multi-disciplinary artist and designer whose bold visual language draws on his British-Nigerian heritage to convey new narratives through contemporary design.

The exhibition highlights some of his most important work, including his billboard graphics that promote joy – and places them beside key influences, especially Nigerian textiles. These African fabrics of his childhood are the foundation of his practice, and he regularly captures the colourful geometric patterns that feature in Nigerian design in his work. Visitors will get an unprecedented glimpse into Ilori’s use of the power of design to absorb cultural influences and express London’s rich mix of identities. This is exactly what we need to be consuming right now and bonus points because it’s free.

David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away) – Lightroom, London (opening 25th January 2023)

Hockney, one of Britain’s most influential artists, unveils a new display using large-scale projection to take us on a personal journey through sixty years of his art. Opening at the Lightroom, a new space adjacent to Coal Drop’s Yard and Central St Martin’s, the display uses vast walls and a revolutionary sound system, to enable the visitor to experience the world through Hockney’s unique eyes.

Born with synaesthesia, Hockney sees colour as a cognitive response to hearing music. With one of the world’s most vibrant colour palette’s Hockney’s work will be sure to bring warmth and delight and he once again demonstrates his creative expression through the possibilities of new media.

Objects of Desire: Surrealism and Design 1924 – Today – Design Museum (until 19th February 2023)

If you took our advice to check out Yinka Ilori’s show at the Design Museum, you should add this to your list as well. Surrealism and design go hand in hand, offering quirky and dreamlike interpretations of relationships to our everyday. Dali’s lobster telephone is a classic example. Whilst one school of design thought inspired by William Morris is the idea of having nothing in your home that you do not know to be both useful or believe to be beautiful, surrealist thinking turns that on its head. This exhibition is filled with playful, curious and poetic objects, that uncover the rich history of Surrealism and its fascinating influence on design with a ‘made you look, made you stare’ principle. It will most likely bring a smile to your face and that we recommend.

Life Forms by Universal Everything – 180 The Strand (until April 2023)

Characterful digital lifeforms? Not the new Avatar, but Universal Everything’s biggest UK solo show to date. Commissioned by 180 Studios, Lifeforms is a collection of generative moving image artworks. Constantly unique, the installations mirror and shift with time and the public’s interactions. No visitor will see the same show twice. It fuses architecture, projection, generative video, sound and interaction to spawn vibrant ever-evolving characters and mesmerising experience of future humans, micro-organisms and plants – a subterranean world of hyperreal lifeforms. An opportunity for a full immersive escape from the gloom and darkness of winter (and the news!).

Queer Maximalism x Machine Dazzle – Museum of Arts and Design, New York (until 19th February 2023)

A New York Times Critics Pick. This is the first solo exhibition dedicated to the genre-defying artist Matthew Flower (US, b. 1972), better known as Machine Dazzle. An artist whose work includes design, stagecraft, performance and music.

This exhibit features more than 100 of the artist’s works for stage and street theatre, following the arc of their career from a closeted suburban child to a theatrical maximalist. The exhibition is an explosive ‘queer maximalism’ aesthetic that joyfully celebrates extravagance and the overly decorated. Excessive in colour, scale, surface and texture. Expect drag, sequins, glitter, feathers and beads. Expect to have your eyes open, see a rejection of cultural hierarchies, and value different ways of thinking. New York we’re coming for you! Bring on the sequins…

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