Culture Diary w/c 24-01-2022

Alberta Whittle  Celestial Meditations, 2018  © the artist. Courtesy of Alberta Whittle and Copperfield, London.

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 – British Art Show 9 @ Wolverhampton Art Gallery/Wolverhampton School of Art – FREE

We called it a “massive, chaotic and pretty lively showcase of 47 artists from all four corners of the UK.” From the recognisable (Hurvin Anderson, Simeon Barclay, Marianna Simnett, et al) and less so, the British Art Show (including Alberta Whittle, above), introducing us to new talent every five years or so since 1979, tours the country in 2022 – taking in Wolverhampton, Manchester and Plymouth.

At A Glance: British Art Show 9

Manchester Open Exhibition 2022 @ Home Manchester – FREE

Work from 400+ artists (selected by a panel from more than 2,000 applicants) goes on display today in this biennial celebration of creativity by Greater Manchester residents. Launched in 2019 to celebrate and platform the city’s talent, the exhibition has become the venue’s most successful exhibition to date. If its last iteration is anything to go by, expect work worth seeing, of all kinds and disciplines.


Home – Available to stream on various digital platforms 

Franka Potente’s directorial debut Home follows Marvin (played by Jake McLaughlin), recently released from prison for murder, returning home to care for his ailing mother (the ever-brilliant Kathy Bates). No straightforward tale of redemption, the film deals with the sometimes crushing realities of small lives lived in a left-behind American town, to explore the multiplicity of meanings suggested by its title, questioning what ‘home’ really is.

Read our interview with Potente

Tuesday – 0800-MOSHI-MOSHI 19.00 @ Future Yard, Birkenhead – £8.50

This showcase from indie label of note, Moshi Moshi Records, was hatched during lockdown, in response to the extra studio time musicians had. The downside being the total drop off in associated sales brought about by gigging – of tickets, merch, everything. Tonight’s line-up is made up of Nu Garcon’s lo-fi pop; synthy 70s and 80s infused Vanity Fairy; the ‘slo-fi post-pop’ of wonderfully named all cats are beautiful; and new wave revivalists, Speedboat. Get in on the ground floor in support of new music, all for under a tenner.


Day for Night 20.45 @ BFI Southbank, London – from £10.20

François Truffaut’s 1973 film about filmmaking. Ostensibly a melodrama dealing with the production of  a film, it is – as all pictures that fit into this niche genre in some ways are – a love letter to the cinematic form itself. Even its title, Day for Night, refers to the technique employed to shoot a night scene while filming in daylight. Veteran critic Philip French called it his favourite of these – “the one I love” – and with debates ongoing over what counts as cinema these days, Truffaut’s is a name inextricably linked with its elevation to an art form.

Wednesday – Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road 18.30 @ FACT Liverpool  £12.20

Beach Boys’ iconic leader Brian Wilson (who turns 80 later this year) has long been a hallowed figure, reaching near mythical status in his own lifetime and rivalling the Beatles’ stratospheric levels of genius. This intimate film – while surely not shying away from such hyperbole – also takes a more rounded look at Wilson, considering at close quarters his travails as well as triumphs. Proving his creativity remains unbowed, the film features a new song (written in collaboration with My Morning Jacket’s Jim James), as well as contributions from a range of talking heads.


Thursday – Quartet @ Manchester School of Art – FREE

Graduates up and down the UK were robbed of their degree shows by the pandemic in 2020 and 21. Now, Manchester School of Art presents Quartet, a series of four exhibitions, showcasing, in turn, the work of their Art, Media, Architecture & Design students. These celebrations, taking place between now and May, are open to the public and will be displayed at the university’s Holden Gallery.

Friday – Hostile + Director Q&A 18.15 @ FACT Liverpool  £12.20

Remember those vans emblazoned with the xenophobic message “In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest” as part of the UK’s despicable ‘hostile environment’ – a cruel and heartless policy implemented in 2013 by then Home Secretary Theresa May to prevent undocumented migrants from accessing public services? Director Sonita Gale’s documentary puts the policy under the spotlight. Herself a daughter of migrant parents, Hostile explores how international students, members of the Windrush generation, and ‘Highly-Skilled Migrants’ – as well as vital elements of the country’s infrastructure – have suffered as a result.


Saturday – Phlegm 18.00 @ The Royal Standard, Liverpool – FREE

This titled exhibition has been more than six months in the making. Since May last year, participating artists have responded to bi-weekly prompts, taken part in workshops and received peer feedback (delivered via Zoom). The result sees eleven artists from across the UK and a range of backgrounds (including some with no formal arts education) exhibit their work for one night only.

Sunday – Last Chance to See: Hokusai: The Great Picture Book of Everything @ the British Museum, London – from £9

We all know Hokusai’s celebrated woodblock print work, Under the Wave off Kanagawa, often as The Great Wave. But beyond that incredibly recognisable, iconic work, this exhibition foregrounds a collection of 103 rare drawings. Made for a never to be published illustrated encyclopaedia, the original brush drawings depict scenes from Buddhist India, ancient China and the natural world. As if these revelatory works weren’t enough, Hokusai’s masterpiece The Great Wave is also included.

Mike Pinnington

Images: Alberta Whittle, Celestial Meditations, 2018 © the artist. Courtesy of Alberta Whittle and Copperfield, London; Home still; Day for Night still; Quartet branding; Katsushika Hokusai, ‘Cats and hibiscus’ (The Great Picture Book of Everything). Ink on paper, 1820s–40s. Purchase funded by the Theresia Gerda Buch Bequest, in memory of her parents Rudolph and Julie Buch, with support from Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation).

Posted on 24/01/2022 by thedoublenegative