The multidisciplinary artist was never stifled by convention, as a new retrospective at the Whitechapel Gallery shows
Six cultural activities to enjoy this April
30 Mar 2021
From outdoor exhibitions to classical concerts, here are our recommendations for the month
A girl in traditional Tajik dress dances at the opening of a new tourism centre in Bulunkul, a remote area in the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan. Photo Credit Christopher Wilton-Steer and AKDN
Take a journey along the Silk Road
This open-air exhibition arranged around Granary Square in King’s Cross comprises over 160 photographs taken by Christopher Wilton-Steer during his journey along some of the world’s oldest trade routes. Focusing on individuals as well as epic national monuments and stunning landscapes, these images from Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, India, China and more demonstrate how cultural, religious and economic exchange, cultivated along these paths for hundreds of years, continue to thrive.
The Silk Road: A Living History, 8 April–16 June
Enjoy an Easter performance with English National Opera
BBC Two has partnered with English National Opera on a special performance of Handel’s Messiah, broadcast over the Easter weekend. Composed in 1741 and premiered the following year, the piece features some of Handel’s best-known work, including the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus. While the original consisted of four soloists, this new iteration utilises a bigger cast, including mezzo-soprano Christine Rice, soprano Nadine Benjamin and countertenor Iestyn Davies.
Available live and on demand from 3 April; time TBC
Look closer at the life and work of JMW Turner
Turner’s House in Twickenham is hosting a series of online lectures that reveal the long-lasting legacy of the great British painter. Discover the incredible selection of oils found at Petworth House, consider his sublime sense of scale, take a closer look at his picturesque prints and understand the artist’s intimate connection to the Thames.
Tickets for all four live, interactive lectures can be booked via Eventbrite; £15 for the whole series
Pasha Mansurov, Flute and Henry Tong, Violin. © Orpheus Sinfonia
Celebrate art and music at Hertford House
Experience a fusion of art and music with new intimate performances by Orpheus Sinfonia at Hertford House, surrounded by the wonders of The Wallace Collection. Tune in via YouTube to revel in Rococo frivolity with music from Rameau, Couperin and Gluck, against the backdrop of Fragonard’s The Swing; or relive the moment Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll was premiered on the house’s spectacular staircase.
Broadcast via YouTube; full programme available here
Enjoy the Cambridge Literary Festival from home
Tune into the Cambridge Literary Festival’s spring online edition, with over 40 events to choose from. Highlights include a conversation between Charles Saumarez Smith and Fitzwilliam Museum director Luke Syson, who will discuss the role of the art museum in modern times; Nikesh Shukla on race, family and home, through the lens of his new memoir, Brown Baby; and Carlo Rovelli’s mind-expanding introduction into the world of quantum physics.
21-25 April; tickets available via the Cambridge Literary Festival website
Get to grips with the wonders of Waddesdon Manor
This French Renaissance-style château was built for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the 1870s to entertain his guests and display his collection of art treasures. You can learn about the Manor’s rich history with a series of online talks and tours, covering topics as diverse as rare board games and Victorian landscaping, or perhaps take part in a virtual wine tasting.
Enjoy 10% off by using the code ArtsSoc10 at the checkout. Visit waddesdon.org.uk/type/online
Holly Black is The Arts Society’s Digital Editor
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