Ivan Michael Blackstock debuts his TRAPLORD show at 180 Strand, a group exhibition highlights sex worker experiences at the ICA, and Guts Gallery embarks on an east London art crawl
LIFE BETWEEN ISLANDS, VARIOUS, TATE BRITAIN, LONDON
In its final weeks, this incredible show celebrates Caribbean-British art from the 1950s until now. A stellar show of seven decades of all types of mediums are praised – from photography to painting, fashion, film, and sculpture, and includes artists and designers like Grace Wales Bonner, Peter Doig, Sonia Boyce, and so many more. A must-see. Check out the exhibition guide for a taster.
Life Between Islands runs until 3 April 2022
LET THE SONG HOLD US, VARIOUS, FACT LIVERPOOL
From lullabies to hymns for mourning, song offers the soundtrack to our lives. Just opened at Liverpool’s FACT is Let The Song Hold Us, an immersive exhibition that examines just this. Spanning generations, these songs are co-opted and adopted as they criss-cross the world and help us define who we are. I’m incredibly excited to see Korakrit Arunanondchai’s new film, Songs for living (2021), which continues the Thai-born, New York-based artist’s ongoing body of work. Filmed after his grandfather’s passing, Songs for living meshes music and video to deal with grief, spirituality, and transformation. Also included are artists LarissaSansour and Søren Lind, Ebun Sodipo, Zinzi Minotti, Rae-Yen Song, and Tessa Norton.
Let The Song Hold Us runs from 24 March – 19 June 2022
TRAPLORD, IVAN MICHAEL BLACKSTOCK, 180 STUDIOS, LONDON
We’ve been waiting for this one, which is going to hit London’s 180 Strand like a hurricane. Presented in collaboration with Sadlers Wells, dancer, choreographer, and cultural innovator, Ivan Michael Blackstock, debuts TRAPLORD later this month. With themes of life, death, rebirth, and self-actualisation, TRAPLORD also deals with Black male stereotypes and “an attempt to escape from the mental state of being condemned before having lived”. A long-awaited performance that will shake its audience to its core. Grab a ticket now because they’re selling fast.
Traplord runs from 26 March – 16 April 2022
GHANA RISING, VARIOUS, PM/AM, LONDON
In its final few days, Ghana Rising is a brilliant group exhibition featuring five emerging artists from Accra, curated by Stephen Allotey. It takes its lead from the fast-growing legacy of Amoako Boafo, whose portraiture and residency based in the Ghanaian capital is impacting a new generation of artists. Featuring Annan Affotey, Aplerh-Doku Borlabi, Lord Ohene Okyerebour, Adjei Tawiah, and Crystal Yayra Anthony, Ghana Rising signals the country and its plethora of talent as ones to watch.
Ghana Rising runs until 14 March 2022
DECRIMINALISED FUTURES, VARIOUS, ICA LONDON
Ten projects from the UK, France, Germany, and the US make up this group exhibition of 13 artists creating work about contemporary sex worker experiences. It spotlights the sex worker rights movement and how it naturally connects with other issues such as racial and social justice, migrant rights, labour rights, and anti-austerity work, as well as queer and trans liberation. Some themes explored include mental health, gender, joy, pain, disability, and the idea of sacred space as artists use mediums such as moving images, embroidery, writing, gaming, and more.
Decriminalised Futures runs until 22 May 2022
WAYFINDER, LARRY ACHIAMPONG AND JW TURNER, TURNER CONTEMPORARY, MARGATE
If you needed a reason to escape to the coast, here’s one. Artist Larry Achiampong is given his flowers in his first major solo exhibition, hosted at Margate’s Turner Contemporary from 12 March. Its centrepiece is Wayfinder, described as the artist’s “most ambitious film to date”, exploring class, economic exclusion, belonging, displacement, cultural heritage, and the meaning of home through a young girl who sets off on a journey across England amid the pandemic. Alongside the film, Achiampong is the artist’s ongoing series Relic Traveller and Glyth. Achiampong has also curated a series of JMW Turner’s paintings and a gaming room featuring video games that have influenced his work, such as Zelda, Ori, and Blind Forest.
Wayfinder runs from 12 March – 19 June 2022
EAST LONDON GALLERY CRAWL, VARIOUS, LONDON
Get your walking shoes on and join the East London Gallery Crawl. Guts Gallery, Maureen Paley, Nicoletti Contemporary, Seventeen, New Arts Project, French Riviera, The Residence Gallery, and Nicoletti Contemporary are all participating with their brilliant shows (click here for all the details). Each will open until late on Friday night and throughout Saturday and Sunday. From Whitechapel to Haggerston, Bethnal Green, and Hackney, it’s one way to get your 10k steps, and your culture fix, in one.
FEELING GOOD, JOY YAMUSANGIE, NOW GALLERY, LONDON
Joy Yamusangie and jazz. Other than the satisfaction of alliteration, this combination is bound for greatness. Debuting at NOW Gallery, in Feeling Good, Yamusangie imagines a jazz club inspired by Billy Tipton. To Yamusangie, jazz epitomises fluidity, joy, and freedom. It parallels the artist’s experiences and understanding of their trans identity and own music practice. Expect self-portraiture expressed through bold colours and the exploration of family, memory, and community.
Feeling Good runs from 24 March – 5 June 2022
MUNDOS PARALELOS, VARIOUS, THE UK MEXICAN ARTS SOCIETY, LONDON
This show is only on for a short period, but it’s nonetheless powerful. Mundos Paralelos, by Latinx Collective UAL, celebrates the work of five London-based Latinx artists, using the gallery spaces as a “site of collisions between themes of auto-fiction, identity politics, and the placement of the individual within an ever-expanding global context”. Visitors will experience emotions like hope, detachment, and recognition from a young Latinx migrant perspective. Artists include Diana Siegel, Pedro Reséndez, Vanda Sofia Focanti, Jessica Panchi Pacheco, and Paola Murguía.
Mundos Paralelos runs from 10 – 18 March 2022
FELT ZINE IRL, BLENDER STUDIO, BERLIN
One of the NFT world’s leading publications, platforms, and art collective Felt Zine is hosting an exhibition-slash–3D-art-party in Berlin that will feature some of the most exciting emerging and established NFT and digital artists. These include Felt founder Mark Sabb and creative director Dev Moore alongside Tabitha Swanson, Harriet Davey, Nina Doll, Gabriel Massan, and more. Expect incredible DJ sets and, importantly, all funds raised aid Ukrainian charities.
One night only: 18 March 2022, 9 pm–1 am. Tickets here
SURREALISM BEYOND BORDERS, VARIOUS, TATE MODERN, LONDON
“Surrealism is not a style – it’s a state of mind”, reads the show notes for Tate Modern’s recently opened Surrealism Without Borders. The show shines a spotlight on the extensive global reach of the Surrealist movement, beyond key cities like Paris in the 1920s (to Buenos Aires, Lisbon, Cairo, and more), and how that legacy spans a solid 50 decades and beyond. Check the exhibition guide for more info on what to expect.
Surrealism Beyond Borders runs until 29 August 2022
THE VERY FIRE THEY SIT BESIDE, DAN WILTON, HUXLEY-PARLOUR GALLERY, LONDON
Photographer Dan Wilton journeyed across a pre-Covid Europe to document the impacts of the coal industry on the environment and the communities living amongst it. Not only is this the first time this work has been shown in the UK, but all proceeds from the print sales will go to environmental legal charity Client Earth, who use the law to tackle the climate crisis.
The Very Fire They Sit Beside runs from 10 – 12 March 2022
THE ART OF STORYTELLING, SHAQUILLE-AARON KEITH, CAMPBELL’S FRAMING AND ART GALLERY, LONDON
Emerging artist Shaquille-Aaron Keith (you might recognise him from YouTube show PAQ) is in the final days of his debut solo show, The Art of Storytelling. The exhibition explores the IRL experiences and metaphors of the life of a young Black man living in London. Despite being told through Shaq’s eyes, the artist hopes the themes explored are universal and can connect to others globally through his paintings, poetry, and video works.
The Art of Storytelling: By Shaquille-Aaron Keith runs until 12 March 2022