Culture Diary w/c 21-01-2019


Our pick of this week’s arts, design, film and music events from around the North of England and the rest of the UK – and loads of it’s free!

Monday – ROOT-ed Zine Issue 5 Gathering 6.30pm @ the Bluecoat – FREE

Founded in February last year by fine art students Amber Akaunu and Fauziya Johnson, ROOT-ed Zine is a “social platform, that aims to promote, support and inspire creative people of colour within the North West of England”. Tonight, they celebrate the launch of issue five, which is dedicated to new beginnings – and more generally invite those in attendance to share “ideas, thoughts and goals for the new year”.

Tuesday – The Day of the Duck: Book Launch 6pm @ RIBA, London – FREE

On first inspection, what a curious thing (to match its title) The Day of the Duck is. Described as a “Duck Noir” artists’ book” (by Helen Stratford and Lawrence Bradby), the publication – using migratory metaphor – cleverly explores “notions of Englishness, pseudo public space and what it is to be considered an unwelcome visitor in contemporary Britain”, all through the eyes of “a particularly pesky Muscovy duck”. Hear more at this free launch event.

The Bowl of Milk c.1919 by Pierre Bonnard 1867-1947

Wednesday – Exhibition Opening: Pierre Bonnard: The Colour of Memory @ Tate Modern – £18/concs

A founding member of the Post-Impressionist group of avant-garde painters, Les Nabis, Bonnard is today renowned for his use of colour in his rendering of domestic scenes and nudes. Tate hope this show – the first major outing for Bonnard in the UK for 20 years – will introduce new audiences to an artist who counted Matisse among his fans.

Thursday – Glassball Presents: ‘Illume: Skelmersdale’ 6pm @ Open Eye Gallery – FREE

How long does it take for community to begin or thrive? How can the built environment provide elements of hope? How can towns adapt without losing sight of their origins? Questions such as these were triggered when Glassball (artists Cora Glasser and David Ball) responded to a donation of 5000 glass slides covering 50 years of Skelmersdale’s new town development. Using the slides to initiate conversations with community members, join lead artists from the project to hear about resultant works in progress and to see a selection of the slides.

Genetic automata PR shot 2

Exhibition Opening: Larry Achiampong & David Blandy: Genetic Automata @ Arts Catalyst, London – FREE

Artists Larry Achiampong and David Blandy’s latest collaborative project, which takes as its twin starting points eugenics and social science, addresses the fraught and complex history of race classification and segregation. This timely video installation combines animation, spoken word and text “interspersed with microscopic topographies of varied shades of skin, digital renditions of skin from video games”. The work, ranging historically from Darwin to the present day, poses the question: “whose voices are erased from mainstream narratives?”

Friday – Creative Mornings: Sharna Jackson 8.30am/Private View @ Site Gallery, Sheffield – FREE

Those willing to brave the early start will hear from Sharna Jackson, artistic director of Site Gallery, on subjects ranging from her duties at Site and forthcoming debut novel, to being on the board of Sheffield Doc/Fest, and New Writing North. The talk will be followed by a private viewing of group show Liquid Crystal Display, which closes this weekend.


Katie Mac 7.30pm @ Sound Food and Drink – £5

Citing Laura Marling, Joni Mitchell and Regina Spektor as influences, Liverpool singer-songwriter Katie Mac has found favour on BBC Introducing and Radio 6 Music respectively, while last year saw the release of debut E.P. Believe. Mac and her band are joined tonight by Tilt, Nikki & The Waves, and Chloe Foy.

Saturday – David Bethell: Fleeting Flights @ Home, Manchester – FREE

Solo exhibition Fleeting Flights sees British artist David Bethell introduce film for the first time into his sculptural and performative practice, with what he has called his “most ambitious project to date”. Riffing on themes of struggle and purgatory, the exhibition’s narrative invites us to follow the film’s protagonist in his attempts – via balloon – to escape a dilapidated shack.


gal-dem writers’ workshop 1pm @ the International Slavery Museum – FREE

When gal-dem guest-edited the Guardian Weekend magazine last August, it freshened up the aspirational and sometimes smug and staid-seeming publication no end. Across online and print, all of gal-dem’s content is produced by women and non-binary people of colour, and this Saturday sees contributors Paula Akpan and Niellah Arboine on hand to talk writing, activism and provocation.

Sunday – Exhibition Closing: Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance @ Nottingham Contemporary – FREE

If you haven’t yet, get along to Nottingham Contemporary this weekend if you can before timely exhibition Still I Rise closes. Addressing “the way in which resistance has been approached by visual artists, writers, architects, designers, activists”, the exhibition features, among others: Barby Asante, Judy Chicago, Zoe Leonard, Tai Shani, and Terence Smith (Joan Jett Blakk).

Mike Pinnington

Images from top, David Bethell, Fleeting Flights (still); Pierre Bonnard, The Bowl of Milk c.1919; Achiampong and Blandy, Genetic Automata (still); Katie Mac; gal-dem

Posted on 21/01/2019 by thedoublenegative