Seasonal Exhibitions

London

Seduced by Art

You can’t escape photography in London this Christmas as classic photographers and their work are revived and brought to life alongside traditional painting and colour. Even the National Gallery is embracing this hybrid with Seduced by Art, an exhibition combining photography of the likes of Martin Parr and Sam Taylor-Wood with traditional works of Constable and Degas. Demonstrating the influence that historical painting has had on contemporary photography, it is arranged according to themes such as landscape and portraiture.

A Bigger Splash

Demonstrating the connections existing within the arts, A Bigger Splash at the Tate Modern looks at the relationship between performance and painting. There’s Hockney, there’s Pollock. There’s exploration using make-up, canvas and even gender role play. Head on down to the old power station to see how some young artists have drawn on the theatrical to explore new ideas of painting. 

Oxford

Freeze

In Oxford over Christmas? After having to twist college’s arm to give you vac res just so you can spend most of December in the bod, take a break with Freeze, a collaborative work between wire sculpture and print making. The artists use their respective mediums to capture a single moment in time, representing those moments that will all too quickly pass by. It’s at the O3 Gallery, so there’s plenty of time afterwards to snack on mince pies and sip some mulled wine and do a bit of Christmas shopping at the Castle’s Christmas Market. 

Designer Makers

Not quite a traditional exhibition, but a perfect place to discover some local Oxfordshire artists and purchase some last minute Christmas presents. Brought to you by the Old Fire Station, these pieces by the members of the Oxford Craft Guild will be very unusual and of the highest quality. Woodturning, glass, ceramics and jewellery are all represented – this is local art at its most beautiful.

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Manchester

The First Cut

Cherwell Arts is always looking for some less traditional artistic approaches and nothing could be more interesting than The First Cut at the Manchester Art Gallery and Gallery of Costume. 31 international artists who work by manipulating paper have created sculptures including a magical forest of paper trees, a galaxy and some fairytale butterflies and birds. There’s also a more serious aspect, with paper guns and currency used to comment on socio-political issues. The Gallery of Costume even has some paper clothes and shoes. Pa-per-fect.

Comedians: From the 1940s

A touring National Portrait Gallery exhibition comes to the Lowry this Christmas. There’s over 50 portrait photographs of classic comedians such as Benny Hill, Sid James and Eric Morecambe and their modern incarnations of Matt Lucas, Mitchell and Webb and even, Johnny Vegas. Like comedy? Like photography? Like Comedians.

Edinburgh

S.J. Peploe

As part of the Scottish Colourist Series, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (a free gallery bus from the Scottish National Gallery on Princes street, right in the centre of Edinburgh can take you there) this Christmas is showing the work of S.J. Peploe. Considered the leader and most successful of the group, Peploe painted extensive still lifes using props such as tulips and coffee pots, and landscapes in Scotland and France. This particular exhibition shows over 100 Peploe pieces from public and private collections.

Cells

Always keen to show how art can affect all disciplines, Cherwell arts has discovered Cells: The Smallest of All Portraits, an exhibition including microscopic photographs produced as a collaboration between visual arts and scientific research by school children and scientists. Not only a treat for the eyes, but also your mind as you question your existence and what portraiture means in the 21st century.