The Gift of Sensational Art and Entertainment this Holiday Season

By Jo Phillips

There is something very special and moving about experiencing a unique display of art for the first time. Walking through and absorbing the contents of each art installation, fully immersed in the minds of the people who made them. The art and entertainment that we witness can make us think, laugh, learn, love, and most importantly, feel. It’s difficult to think of a better gift than that. Read more in The Gift of Sensational Art this Holiday Season.

An incredible holiday treat could be experiencing an evocative display of art or having an entertaining night out. Rather than buying a physical present, invest in a meaningful experience instead. At this time, there are several exhibitions and new releases taking place that highlight a unique dimension of artistry and entertainment that may be of interest.

Theatre de la Mode by David Downton

There is immense beauty in the supermodel frame drifting down a runway. Draped in richly coloured fine fabrics, the model showcases clothing to the best of its ability. David Downton, among other couture fashion artists, is no stranger to this notion. Downton has spanned an impressive career in the fashion industry working with brands like Chanel, Dior, Tiffany & Co., Harrods, and Estée Lauder. His ability to sketch has been employed by supermodels Iman and Linda Evangelista. Virtually the only thing missing from Downton’s resume was a solo exhibition, that is until now.

Downton’s debut solo exhibition, Theatre de la Mode, is now showing at Gray M.C.A. until the 26th of November. In this gallery, visitors will find sketches from the past 25 years of fashion. Many of these sketches stand at a staggering height over a meter tall, taking the concept of a couture sketch to the next level.

Photography on the Move: The Half Moon Touring Shows 1976-1984

Image Nick Hedges 1977, Exterior of the Half Moon Theatre

For photography enthusiasts, check out Four Corners Gallery where a niche but incredibly significant chapter of British photography history is being shown. This chapter was the era of Half Moon touring shows, where a group of photographers banded together to create travelling exhibitions by laminating card panels. With their artwork, they decided to address global conflicts and injustices. This unpretentious and unorthodox approach revolutionized the idea of social engagement with photography.

The exhibition of work by the Half Moon Gallery photographers will be on display for free until the 27th of January, 2024. A selection of their touring shows have been digitized and will be available for viewing.

Wonderland: Gothic

What could be better than learning something just by watching a television program? This season, there is a new series to explore which will do just that for viewers.

Wonderland is a non-fiction series on Sky Arts which highlights intriguing themes in culture. This installment of the TV series explores the artistry of gothic literature, architecture, and art. Four episodes will be apart of this documentary series, each focusing on a different element of the world of Gothicism. From literature, art, architecture, to film, the gothic influence on our culture was profound, and continues to remain relevant.

Schiaparelli at Harrods

A brand that first debuted their boutique-atelier concept in Harrods, Schiaparelli is back in the building to showcase their story and newest products. The brand’s pop-up is featured in their characteristic black and gold elegance and quirks.

This pop-up will be available at Harrods until the 28th of November, just in time for some holiday shopping.

The Sex Lives of Puppets

Image Blind Summit

Explore a world that you may have never considered before with this new production at Southwark Playhouse.

Working in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene, the events and quips featured in this show are based on responses from real survey respondents of the National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles. This theatrical performance is a showstopper, completely unique and strikingly human.

How to Flirt: The TED XXX-mas Edition

Image Alex Lambert

Learn how to flirt your way to success for the holidays with Drag King Daisy Doris May AKA Steve Porters. This show will be sure to make you laugh, ponder, and even cringe at times.

Daisy Doris May will be bringing her solo show How to Flirt: The TED XXX-mas Edition to Soho Theatre this winter. It will only be available from the 14th to the 16th of December.

Jack & Boule

Jack & Boule is offering a different kind of entertainment for Londoners to partake in this holiday season.

A festive celebration is never complete without a game. Jack & Boule is bringing the French game of boules to London for their first ever holiday season. Grab a bite to eat from one of their several street food stalls or a refreshing drink from one of two bars. Then, join your friends, family, or colleagues for a fun and festive night playing boules.

Outside In by Marc Steene

Art can be an extremely exclusive and impenetrable arena to enter into as an aspiring artist. Especially artists who are experiencing significant barriers or challenges in their everyday lives.

Explore the “outsiders” of the art world with a new book, Outside In by Marc Steene. Steene is the founder of the charity, Outside In, which was created to celebrate diversity of art creators and promote fairness and inclusion in art. The artists discussed in his new book are people who have largely flown under the radar and been ignored by the masses, but deserve to be celebrated for their talents.

Lumiere 2023

Image Illuminated Bottle Rack, Ai Weiwei. Lumiere 2023, produced by Artichoke. Photo by Matthew Andrews

Explore Durham in a new light with Lumiere. The magnificent sights of this medieval city will be illuminated by light displays led by artists Ai Weiwei and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. These dazzling exhibitions are free to explore across the city and feature work by hundreds of artists from across the globe.

Gothic Revival by David Panos

Image Gothic Revival by David Panos, commissioned by NN Contemporary Art

This exhibition at NN Contemporary Art is a fusion of gothic music and art, showcasing the complexities and nuance of the genre. The audio and visual experience has been created by award-winning artist David Panos for a multi-sensory adventure into the world of Gothicism. Explore the nooks and crannies of this genre that has been so influential on British culture throughout history.

The Crow Flies at Cromwell Place

As a sequel to their first sold-out exhibition with the same name, artists Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood are back at Tin Man Art to showcase a collection of new works. These works feature the artwork from the new album cover of Wall of Eyes by The Smile.

Only available from December 6th through the 10th, this exhibition will debut 14 new artworks including large-scale paintings, drawings, and woven tapestries.

Christmas at Royal Albert Hall

Image Christmas at the Hall

Engage in traditional festive fare this holiday season by attending an event at the Royal Albert Hall.

The Hall is putting on a collection of celebratory holiday events. These events include Elf in Concert, Christmas with Judy Dench and Gyles Brandreth, and Trevor Nelson’s Soul Christmas. There is something that everyone can enjoy this year at this venue, from theatrical performances to orchestral concerts.

To find out more about Theatre de la Mode by David Downton, please visit here

To find out more about Four Corners’ Photography on the Move exhibition, please visit here

To find out more about Wonderland: Gothic on Sky Arts, please visit here

To find out more about The Sex Lives of Puppets, please visit here

To find out more about How to Flirt: The TED XXX-mas Edition, please visit here

To find out more about Jack & Boule, please visit here

To find out more about Outside In by Marc Steene, please visit here

To find out more about Lumiere 2023, please visit here

To find out more about Gothic Revival by David Panos, please visit here

To find out more about The Crow Flies exhibition, please visit here

To find out more about Christmas at Royal Albert Hall, please visit here

If you enjoyed reading The Gift of Sensational Art and Entertainment this Holiday Season, why not try Spectacular Glowing Light in the Darkness of Winter

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