Saturday 27th May

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London's Free Events

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Yayoi Kusama Exhibition at Victoria Miro until 30th July

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By Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

The new exhibitions of Yayoi Kusama‘s work at Victoria Miro‘s galleries at Old Street and Mayfair are a big deal.  Kusama is one of the most important living artists, having heavily influenced the New York avant-garde art scene of the 1960s and still described by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people on the planet.  

More than that, Kusama’s work represents much of what’s great about modern art: sometimes unarguably stunning in its visual impact and use of modern techniques; at other times, divisive in its understatement and apparent ease of reproduction.

The collection on display in N1 captures this contrast perfectly, showcasing some of her latest sculptures, paintings and mirror room installations to good effect with Kusama’s two key themes – the idea of infinity, and the yellow and black pumpkin motif featuring heavily throughout.  And, although perhaps not to everyone’s taste, the exhibition succeeds in engaging you in an important discussion about what art should mean to both the artist and the viewer.

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Category: Art
Tom Gamble at Jazz Club Soho, London.
Tom Gamble at Jazz Club Soho, London.

Tom Gamble: CD + London dates

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Classically-trained guitarist Tom Gamble recently played a solo set at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden, going down a storm with the assembled literary crowd at the Playerist Comedy Night. He’s soon to leave these shores to further his studies abroad so catch him while you can. Meanwhile, music lovers will be more than satisfied with Mr Gamble’s fantastic début Jazz CD Rooftop Music. Recently graduating with a First from Trinity Laban Conservatoire in Greenwich, the maestro leads the Tom Gamble Ensemble at the South Bank Centre on August 8. He then departs with fitting flourish as Director of the Quiet Nights Orchestra at a very special gig at the National Portrait Gallery on August 22.

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Category: Culture
Rachel Rom

E.G.P runs for Refuge

Getting museum artworks on your walls while supporting victims of domestic violence has been made possible by Galerie E.G.P!

Galerie E.G.P is a Paris based contemporary art gallery founded in 2009 by Reine Okuliar and Lydie Ullmann and opened the doors to its London office in 2013. Like the rest of us E.G.P’s team was staggered when during the month of October alone, Amanda Hutton’s trial and Keanu William’s death shocked the UK whilst France was outraged at the disappearance and death of five-year-old Fiona. However with 2 women a week being killed in the UK alone due to domestic violence, this is clearly just the tip of the iceberg. Galerie E.G.P felt the urge to do its part to raise awareness about this issue.

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Category: Art
scoop

Greek Tragedy at The Scoop with More London

I’ve walked past The Scoop countless times and thought ‘well, that looks awesome. A scooped seating area right next to Tower Bridge and The Shard? Epic’. But then I’ve always trundled on past and forgotten about it. So when I stumbled upon the More London events site I could not resist paying a proper visit. Particularly when I saw they are having a summer of Greek Tragedy. You just can’t go wrong with some violence, questionable parent/child relationships, and some divine intervention (well, you can, hence the tragedy part).

Greek tragedy is best watched out doors, as it originally was. At The Scoop the actors get help from the surroundings – darkness falls as the play gets darker and the characters get more wretched. By the end of Antigone, at about 10pm, the atmosphere had grown really quite thick with hatred and misery so with the darkness thrown in on top, it got pretty emotive.

The evening is split into three parts: the first, the family section, is The Prince of Thebes, then after a short break it moves into the much more adult Oedipus and from there into Antigone. By the nature of the venue there were people milling about everywhere, wandering in to watch a bit and wandering back out again. Rather than being a distraction, I think this is a strength of the whole enterprise. The venue allows people to either have a taste or fully immerse themselves in the evening.

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Category: Festivals
Boiler Room Make Session

Underground Frenzy at Red Stripe Make Session 009

Perched on the corner of an industrial estate in the East End, the ninth Red Stripe Make Session is a sweaty fusion of urban music and contemporary art. With Boiler Room sourcing a clutch of well-known musical talents including a certain Mark Ronson and Rafaël Rozendaal hosting some of the capital’s up and coming visual artists, the event is a thrilling if unbalanced success.

A nondescript business lot is an unlikely space for a showcase of artistic talent but the organisers are striving for the atmosphere of a warehouse party rather than an art gallery. The secret nature of the location – even the doormen refuse to acknowledge the event by its name – lends a sense of exclusivity to proceedings. Guests are encouraged to feel privileged in their participation. Muffled bass can be heard by those queuing outside and there is a sense of climax when one finally enters the room and feels the grimy noise assault all eardrums in the vicinity.

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Category: Free events
Leandro Erlich, Dalston House
Leandro Erlich, Dalston House

Defying gravity in London

Have you always admired Man on a Wire without quite having the stomach for this kind of endeavour? If you are in for something a little less life threatening, the Argentinean artist Leandro Erlich has made possible for you to safely defy gravity. You have until August 4th, 2013 to levitate at Dalston House.

Born in Buenos Aires in 1973, Leandro Erlich has gained notoriety thanks to the Swimming Pool, an installation that was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2001. His work is often made out of architectural components at human scale. The participants are invited to experience surroundings with a twist.

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Category: Art
By Romazur (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Romazur (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Our top 5 free yearly events in London

Get out and enjoy London for free at some of the best free annual events around

Do you find yourself turning down invitations to go out with your friends? Is the main reason for declining the invite because you cannot afford it? Well, we have a solution to that problem. You don’t always have to pay an entrance fee at some events. Some events are absolutely free (excluding the obvious – travel, food & drink). We have found a few annual events for you to visit that come without a price tag. Some are coming up soon so pay attention to the dates.

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Category: Free events