Culture Diary w/c 07-02-2022


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

Monday – Van Gogh. Self-Portraits @ the Courtauld Gallery, London – £16

The first exhibition dedicated to Vincent van Gogh’s self-portraits, this show at the Courtauld which opened at the back end of last week, has already garnered rave reviews. Taking his famed Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear as its departure point, the exhibition traces the evolution of the life and work of this enigmatic artist.

Tuesday – Flee 18.45 @ FACT Liverpool  £8

One of those expected to be competing at the coming Oscars for Best International Feature (as well as documentary and animated categories), director Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee tells the story of his friend, an Afghan refugee now living in Denmark. Through archive footage and animation, the key is Amin’s gripping journey – both literal and figurative. This includes attempting to escape war-torn 1980s Kabul with his family as a child, and later the realisation that he could suffer unknown, but very real consequences as a gay teen.

Wednesday –Louise Bourgeois: The Woven Child @ the Hayward Gallery, London – £15

Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) was an undisputed giant of modern and contemporary art. Perhaps best known for Maman, her 30 ft high sculpture of a spider, there is much more to her practice than sheer scale. This exhibition focuses on the final years of Bourgeois’ career, foregrounding her work with fabric and textiles. Including many works not previously exhibited in the UK, her themes – of identity, sexuality, and family relationships – remain.

Further Reading: Louise Bourgeois In Focus

Thursday – Charlotte Dawson: HERE/THERE @ Abingdon Studios, Blackpool – FREE

When we last spoke with artist Charlotte Dawson, it was to discuss her 2020 residency with Blackpool’s Abingdon Studios, undertaken in-between lockdowns, during which she developed new work. HERE/THERE presents the outcomes of that period, featuring her trademark sculptures of commonplace earthenware items doubling as richly semiotic objects of communication:  “I was interested in the ways plates can be used as decoration: heirlooms, prizes. How objects can have so many meanings,” she told us. As the exhibition blurb says, the pieces ’settle somewhere between sculpture, functional object, souvenir, and commemoration.’

Further Reading: A Conversation With Artist Charlotte Dawson


Friday – Jane Weaver 19.30pm @ District, Liverpool – £13

Jane Weaver’s has been a slow-burn career. First coming into the cultural consciousness via her band Kill Laura in the mid-90s, a couple of decades or so on, now more clearly defined as a solo artist, Weaver seems to be scaling ever-increasing heights. She’s described 2021′s Flock, her eleventh(!) album, as the record “she’s always wanted to make” and, as it turns out, it also happens to be one a tonne of people have wanted to listen to, with album of the day, week and month plaudits from 6 Music, the Guardian and Rough Trade, respectively.

Saturday – Cinema in The City: Playlist 19.00 @ LUSH, Liverpool  £11.50

FACT’s Cinema in The City strand, which brings new indie film and filmmakers to unusual venues across Liverpool, kicks off on Friday with writer-director Stephen Karam’s The Humans. Today, it’s the turn of Paris-set – and mega-relatable – quarter-life crisis drama Playlist. In it, we find disillusioned and drifting graphic artist Sophie, grappling with mid/late twenties ennui, amid a maelstrom of relationships, professional disappointment and houseshares. We’ve all been there.

Sunday – Casablanca, in cinemas nationwide – £Various

“We’ll always have Paris…” Just uttering that makes our skin tingle, and we don’t even mind that this stone cold classic cynically returns to the big screen just in time for Valentine’s day. Michael Curtiz’ romantic drama won three Oscars at the 1944 Academy Awards, with lead Humphrey Bogart nominated for Best Actor. It is, describes critic Jay Carr, “as much about movies as about romantic adventure. It taps our love of movies, our involvement with them, our dreamy bondage by them.” We couldn’t agree more.

Mike Pinnington

Images/media, from top: Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait with Straw Hat, 1887; Flee trailer; Jane Weaver, Flock

Posted on 07/02/2022 by thedoublenegative