Five must-see exhibitions in London for your Christmas 2012
With schools out and the bank-holidays to look forward to, Christmas is the perfect time for visiting galleries. Here is a helpful line-up of some of the most exciting exhibitions to be seen in London this festive season.
The Turner Prize, Tate Britain
Established in 1984, the Turner Prize is one of the UK’s most prestigious awards for contemporary art. With past nominees including Tracey Emin and Jake & Dinos Chapman, the prize has gathered a reputation for the cutting edge – and this year’s show does not disappoint.
In the winning piece, The Woolworths Choir of 1979, Elizabeth Price uses footage from the 1979 Woolworths fire, in which ten people died. With its display style, PowerPoint-like in places, the film links seemingly unrelated images of church architecture and a 1960s girl band with scenes from the tragedy, through a shared physical gesture.
Other nominees include painter and draughtsman Paul Noble, performance and installation artist Spartacus Chetwynd and filmmaker Luke Fowler.
The Turner Prize runs until the 6th January 2013. For further information visit here
Random International: Rain Room, the Barbican
Rain Room is the latest exhibition from Random International, a trio of RCA MA graduates (Hannes Koch, Florian Ortkrass and Stuart Wood). This interactive installation brings a new meaning to the term “immersive experience” as viewers are invited to explore a room of torrential of rain, watching it shimmer and hearing it without actually getting wet. Motion sensors placed around the space track visitors’ movements, allowing the water to part as they pass through. Walk carefully and you can travel through remaining completely dry. Be aware though, the sensors only work at a slow speed – run and you’ll be caught in the downpour!
Rain Room runs until the 3rd March 2013. For further information, visit here.
Mariko Mori: Rebirth, Royal Academy of Arts
Acclaimed pieces from New York-based Japanese artist Mariko Mori are on display at the RA’s new space in Burlington Gardens.
In her work, Mori uses new technology and digital media to explore the relationship between mankind and their surroundings; she focuses particularly on the cycle of life, in both nature and astrology. This exhibition explores these notions in relation to the ancient predictions that 2012 might see the end of civilisation as we know it, or the dawn of a new era. The pieces in Rebirth are simple, vibrant in colour and luminous in their dark surroundings, creating a reflective and sensual space.
Mariko Mori: Rebirth runs until 17th February 2013. For further information, click here.
Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde, Tate Britain
Founded in 1848, by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the Pre-Raphaelite movement began as a response against the decadence of Victorian Art, harking from a desire to return to the clarity, beauty and spirituality of earlier times.
The exhibition at the Tate Britain is comprised of over 150 pieces, in a variety of different media – from painting and sculpture to the applied arts and photography and includes works by the founding brotherhood, alongside others such as Ford Maddox Brown and William Morris, acclaimed for his detailed natural designs.
The exhibition also explores the roles played by female artists in the movement with pieces by Elizabeth Siddal and the lesser known Florence Claxton.
Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde runs until 13th January 2013. For further information, have a look here.
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012, National Portrait Gallery
The annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, held at the National Portrait Gallery is an exhibition of 60 photographic portraits, carefully selected from over 5,300 submissions. The prize is open to anyone, both professional and amateur, and this year’s exhibition is an exciting showcase of new talent.
This year’s winner is Jordi Ruiz Cirera, whose portrait Maria Teichroeb captures the awkward glance of a young Bolivian woman belonging to the Mennonite community, a religion that discourages photography.
Other winners, with works on display, include Jennifer Pattison, Spencer Murphy and Alma Haser.
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize runs until 17th February 2013. For further information, enquire here.