Unfortunately, my plans to visit a variety of exhibitions last year had to be scrapped. Sadly, many museums had to either delay or completely discard some of the retrospectives that have taken years to plan and set up. The closure of museums, historic houses, and other cultural venues hasn’t been easy for the people employed by them or the public who continue to support them. Whilst things are still a bit rocky at the moment, I’m choosing to remain positive about the oncoming year and have even dared to book tickets to a few exhibitions. Below I have listed the ones I’m most excited for.
Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser -Victoria and Albert Museum
Open: 27 March 2021
This exhibition explores 157 years of Alice in Wonderland. The exhibition promises to take visitors on a journey through the story’s evolution. Whilst the original manuscript, inspired many during Lewis Carroll’s lifetime, his world has been reinvented and adapted by numerous artists who have taken inspiration from his world. From surrealists to fashion designers, this interactive showcase explores it all. Special features include a look at the life of Alice Liddell, the girl who inspired the novels, and a chance to experience wonderland through virtual reality. With theatrical sets designed by Tom Piper, known for his stage designs at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and immersive environments (including a secret passageway) it should be a treat!
YaYoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms – Tate Modern, London
29 March 2021 – 27 March 2022
I have been obsessed with these mirror rooms for quite some time now. I believe that Kusama presents a unique vision of the world through her installations which are truly beautiful. The Tate will be hosting two of them. The first, Infinity Mirrored Room-Filled with the Brilliance of Life, was originally showcased at the Tate in 2012 as part of Kusama’s retrospective. The second, Chandelier of Grief (pictured above) will have visitors in for a spellbinding experience. For me, her installations challenge people’s perceptions of space, providing a brief window of escapism for those that feel closed in by the normality of the world.
For more information, click here.
AI: More than Human- World Museum, Liverpool
22 Jan 2021 – 20 June 2021
This exhibition explores the relationship between humans and technology through an array of installations. Featuring commissioned work from artists, museum goers will be able to learn about the history of artificial intelligence. The display promises to give us a glimpse into the not-so-distant future as well as look into some of the debates surrounding the rising influence of technology.
Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein – Bath
Open: Spring 2021
This one isn’t actually an exhibition, it’s an entire museum! I had heard whisperings of commemorating Mary Shelley’s stay in Bath when I was a student there but hadn’t realised, until doing a quick google search, that this museum had been in development. When people think of Bath, an idyllic Georgian city comes to mind with most thinking of famous residents such as Jane Austin or Beau Nash. Whilst the story of Mary Shelley’s time in Bath may be less well known, it is very significant. Of course the reason behind her excursion to Bath was due to her scandalous entanglement with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. It was during her time there that she was said to have written Frankenstein. The unique sensory experience rightfully cements Mary Shelley’s place in Bath’s history. Expanding over four floors, Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein explores the life of Shelley and how the conception of her delightfully haunting novel came to be. It also documents the longevity of Frankenstein by showing how it has been re-imagined in different media. The website comes with a warning that this may not be suitable for children due to dimly lit areas and scenes of a disturbing nature. Clearly not for the faint hearted!
For more information, click here.
Hopefully, this year will see things return back to a new state of normal with museums and heritage sights reopening to the public. I’m excited to start exploring these wonderful institutions again and I hope, dear reader, that you are too.