City by City’s Associate Editor Emily Cater has rounded up the best free art events and experiences not to miss.
Right now we’re in the middle of the UK art world’s biggest annual event, Frieze London and Frieze Masters, taking place October 6-9 in Regents Park. If you weren’t lucky enough to get a ticket, or would rather save the pennies and head to the city’s free art shows, we’ve got you covered with our top 5 picks of London’s free art events, from VR experiences to installations and sculptures.
The Store, 180 The Strand WC2R 1EA
Neighbourhood: Covent Garden
On until December 4 2016
Get lost in the maze-like, abandoned corridors of a disused office building and discover 10 films of mixed genres, from fascinating documentaries to heart-racing music videos. Somewhere along the way, visitors will stumble into The Store, a nature-inspired oasis overlooking the city by the folks at Soho House. When faced with a mesmerising 3D experience in which plants come alive; a glimpse into life in Compton, one of Los Angeles’ most notorious boroughs; and a startling fashionable 1970s jazz-funk recording session, you won’t want to leave.
Timothy Taylor, 15 Carlos Place W1K 2EX
Neighbourhood: Bond Street/Mayfair
On until October 22 2016
Bringing together sculpture, neon, painting, and one of the best VR experiences we’ve tried to date, Shezed Dawood’s latest works explore the notion of time, including how the past affects the present, in the setting of Kalimpong, a small town in West Bengal. Several layers interweave Buddhism, painting, textiles, animation, and new media to form a new narrative on the subject. Book a 15 minute VR experience for free, or split the session with a friend. Be quick though, spots are selling out fast.
Neighbourhood: Primrose Hill
On until January 8 2017
Head out in the fresh air and beautiful surroundings of Regent’s Park to witness the Frieze Sculpture Park – free to the public – featuring the work of 19 major artists including Ed Herring, Goshka Macuga, and Lynn Chadwick. Previously only on show during the days of the art fair, the large-scale sculptures and installations will now remain on-site in the park until January 8 2017.
Victoria Miro Gallery, 16 Wharf Road N1 7RW
On until November 5 2016
Living in turbulent times, and given the country’s current social and political unrest, it’s no surprise that many shows this year are focusing on themes of rebellion and protest – including the V&A’s major current exhibition – You Say You Want a Revolution, so it comes as no surprise that Victoria Miro gallery is delving into the theme too. Protest showcases a number of historical and contemporary works in a group exhibition by artists including Doug Aitken, Isaac Julien and Sarah Sze among others. Through composition, form, material or idea, they present an opportunity to debate and consider the future possibilities of peace and freedom across mankind, as well as greater human rights.
Silk Street EC27 8DS / 44 (0)20 7638 4141
On October 8, 10am-7pm
This weekend, the Barbican is offering visitors the chance to explore the galleries and get a taste for the events and activities it offers – for free. Witness mini-performances, interactive installations, ticketed events, film screenings, gigs, exhibitions, and dance, and the full line up can be viewed here. Ones not to miss include David Hunter’s interactive installation Approximate, investigating climate change, Verity-Jane Keefe’s Mobile Museum, plus the E17 Designers’ Market.
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