Now the hungover daze of Christmas has cleared and you’re back into the swing of London life, some of the capital’s most exciting festivals, exhibitions and performances open this week. Marvel at the incredible Cirque Du Soleil, perfect your cinnamon buns at the Southbank Centre and learn about the man who sourced some of the V&A’s most beautiful artefacts.
Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London
This is the first exhibition dedicated to the work of Lockwood Kipling, a teacher, artist and father of the author Rudyard Kipling. Lockwood played a significant role in shaping the V&A, working on the foundation collection and even designing the terracotta panels that can be seen on the iconic V&A building today. The exhibition will focus on his promotion and preservation of Indian crafts, including his paintings of the Indian section of the Great Exhibition, sketches of Indian craftspeople and objects he selected in India for the V&A. There will also be his designs and illustrations from books, including some of his son’s famous novels, and furniture designed for royal residences Bagshot Park and Osborne.
Opens 14 January at The Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, free admission. Find out more here.
Image credit: The Great Exhibition, India by Joseph Nash
Art, Maps and the World: Jerry Brotton, Adam Lowe and Grayson Perry
As part of the British Library’s current landmark exhibition on 20th century mapping, this event will bring together three leaders in the field to discuss art, mapping, and the intersection between the two forms. Hear from cultural art historian Jerry Brotton, artists Adam Lowe and Grayson Perry. Brotton and Lowe will reveal how they re-envisaged the world’s largest medieval map, the Hereford Mappa Mundi in 3D, and used digital data of the ocean’s floor to create a completely different world map, whilst Perry will discuss his use of maps in his tapestries, ceramics and graphics.
Scandinavia is more than just Abba, tall people and IKEA. If Adventures in Moominland inspired a love for all things Nordic, then make sure to return to Southbank this week to catch the launch events from Nordic Matters, a year long events programme celebrating all things Scandinavian. This week you can learn about traditional Sami shawl making, enjoy music from Lena Anderssen, make exceptional cinnamon buns and take some time out in the hygge zone. To get yourself in the mood, read our review of Adventures in Moominland and our guide to Hygge in London.
When you think about mime, you probably imagine performers wearing all black outfits with powdered-white faces, pushing their hands against an imaginary wall. But over the years mime has advanced into a creative dance form, celebrated in London this January at the Mime Festival. It explores the entire spectrum of contemporary visual performance including live art, physical and circus-theatre, mask, puppetry, movement and object theatre. Highlights this year include a German masked comedy troupe, innovative puppetry and a cast of taxidermied animals.
Montreal’s Cirque Du Soleil performances are in incredibly high demand, and for good reason. Their productions are so dramatic and elaborate that you will struggle to take your eyes away. Returning to The Royal Albert Hall, their latest production Amaluna is a tale of castaway romance featuring their usual combination of mesmerising stunts and mind-blowing performances. This 33rd production from one of the world’s largest theatre companies includes a cast made up almost entirely of women, a tribute to the work of females in the arts. Brighten up your January with some of the most unique, vibrant and jaw-dropping theatre around.