Monday, 14 December 2015

Three (Free) London Exhibitions To Visit This Winter

I'm committed to spending as much time as possible indoors at this time of year but staying in watching Netflix feels like a bit of a waste when there are so many exciting things on our doorsteps in London. Last weekend I hit up the three exhibitions on my list and I certainly came away feeling like I'd learned a lot more than I would have done in a three-hour Netflix session.

1. Ann Veronica Janssens - yellowbluepink - The Wellcome Collection (until 3rd January)

The Wellcome Collection is one of my favourite London destinations. I always come away feeling like I've learned something and it's not on the regular tourist trail (although be warned, it does get busy). I arrived at 10am when the collection opens on a Saturday and encountered no queue for yellowbluepink. A room of indeterminate size has been turned into one of the most bizarre experiences I've ever had at 10am. After going through an airlock, you enter a room filled with dense mist. I could only see as far as my hand in front of me and had no idea how many other people were in the room with me. The colours seamlessly changed from pink, to green, to yellow and blue as I traced my hand along the wall of the room, taking cautious steps afraid that I'd either walk into a wall or trip up on the emptiness. The coloured mist felt so solid, I felt like I was in the room for ages but on leaving I realised I'd only been in there for five minutes - a disorientating experience but highly recommended!
Your entry pass to a surreal experience.
Misty selfie - wearing my Cumberbitch t-shirt because why not. 
There is no queue at this hour.
2. Tibet's Secret Temple - Body, Mind and Meditation in Tantric Buddhism (until 28th February)

The main exhibition at the Wellcome Collection magically recreates the Lukhang in Tibet - a temple rising from a lake island in Lhasa. I love visiting temples when travelling in Asia and early on a Saturday morning the exhibition felt so peaceful I could have almost been in one, especially when confronted with the life-size digital images of the Lukhang mediation chamber murals. The part of the exhibition on Tibetan yoga and mindfulness was particularly interesting. Lately mindfulness and meditation have become so popular but these techniques and practices have been used and developed over thousands of years and the techniques were developed long before our lives became complicated by 24/7 emails, Whatapp messages and #FOMO.  This beautiful exhibition is a lovely escape from the city and I left feeling like I'd learned a lot (and with extreme levels of wanderlust).

This pose.
Let go of things you are attached to and go to places that scare you (maybe not cemeteries but sound advice otherwise). 
This is beautiful.
3. Alice In Wonderland - The British Library (until 17th April)

Alice is such a part of popular culture that when I finally read the book last year I was reminded of how much we owe to Lewis Carroll's work. This exhibition starts with a re-cap of the story and moves on to the drawings from the original book and how Alice has been re-imagined and re-invented over the last 150 years - still inspiring work today like wonder.land currently at the National Theatre and the Mad-Hatters Afternoon Tea at The Sanderson. The pop-up Alice-themed gift shop is lovely too and might have yielded some Christmas gifts...

First time inside the British Library - I was shocked at how huge the space is.
"Drink Me". Oh, ok, if I must...

Which exhibitions have you been to lately? 
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