Culture Fix: October 2022

Art Programme 

Avant Arte: Tschabalala Self 
From 5 October, Coal Drops Yard 

Creative marketplace Avante Arte is on a mission to make art radically more accessible. Excitingly, its inaugural public art programme launches this month in King’s Cross, showcasing the talents of American artist, Tschabalala Self. Her first public art commission focuses on domestic space and trappings. Here, the artist will create a large-scale bronze sculpture of a seated figure, bringing her exploration of the domestic into the public realm, whilst examining the significance of taking up space and taking a seat. Two further editions encompassing 25 bronze sculptures and 12 silk screen prints will also be released by Avant Arte, while Pilar Corrias will present a solo exhibition by Self, titled Home Body, across its Savile Row and Eastcastle Street galleries from 6 October to 17 December.
Stable Street, N1C ( 

Tschabalala Self, Lady in Yellow on Spiral Seat #2 Teal Background, 2022, image courtesy of artist and Avant Arte


The Venus Effect
Until 12 November, Doyle Wham

Water Dixon are simultaneously artists and alchemists – through years of experimentation with copper, glass and brass, the South African duo (Caitlin Warther and Wendy Dixon) have developed unique processes that accelerate the natural chemical reactions caused by time, oxygen and heat. The title Venus Effect refers to the historical artistic tradition of depicting the goddess in the form of a mirror reflection. A symbol of pleasure and femininity, Venus has also come to represent the gap between observation and reality. The idea of ambiguous reflection is central to the duo’s work. The exhibition features Conceal / Reveal, a series of wall-hung sculptures in which reflective materials are rendered dull and vice versa; some elements are sealed while others are left exposed, gradually evolving over time. Modern alchemy is taken further in the Supernovas series, where catalytic reactions have transformed the artwork’s surface through carefully-timed exposure to chemicals. Out of this world…
91A Rivington Street, EC2A (07940 352103;


The Horror Show!: A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain
27 October-19 February, Somerset House 

For an alternative take on Halloween, this timely exhibition invites visitors to look inwards and explore the underbelly of Britain’s cultural psyche. Theatrical in nature, the show is told in three acts – Monster, Ghost, and Witch – and takes us on a journey through 50 years of counter-culture movements and subversive moments via 150 works from boundary-pushing artists including Gazelle Twin, Tai Shani, and Jake & Dinos Chapman. Senior Curator Claire Catterall says: “When the state of the nation so strongly desires us to seek something out of the norm – or even out of this world – it foregrounds the importance of the atypical and adventurous in radically reimagining our collective cultural conscience.” Expect to be spellbound.
Strand, WC2R (0333 320 2836;

Ray Stevenson, The Bromley Contingent, 1978 


Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art
26 October-8 January 2023, Hayward Gallery 

Featuring eccentric, abstract sculptures, immersive installations and fantastical otherworldly figures, this large-scale group exhibition explores the ways in which contemporary artists use the medium of clay in increasingly inventive ways. Curator Dr Cliff Lauson says the show: “brings together some of the most exciting artists working in ceramics in recent years. Using innovative methods and techniques, they push the medium to its physical and conceptual limits, producing imaginative artworks that surprise and provoke
in equal measure.”
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 (020 3879 9555;

Aaron Angell, Pie #1 

Museum opening 

Leighton House
From 15 October, Holland Park Road

It’s been a long time coming but after an eye-watering £8 million refurb, this former studio-house of Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton, opens to the public. Positioned on the edge of Holland Park, the property is famed for its opulent interiors, including the exquisite Arab Hall complete with intricate mosaic floors and tiling, which Leighton acquired on his travels to North Africa and the Middle East. The reopened house will feature previously unseen historic artefacts, a series of modern commissions that respond to the house’s iconic interiors, and an ambitious exhibition programme, which will run throughout the year. Go on, have a snoop.
12 Holland Park Road, W14 (

© Leighton House, RBKC. Image courtesy of Will Pryce


Chelsea Antiques & Fine Art Fair
2-6 November, Chelsea Old Town Hall

Experienced collectors and enquiring novices alike have attended Chelsea’s beloved antiques fair since 1951. In fact, this is the longest running event of its kind, making it one of the world’s most respected. Set in the glorious surrounds of the Old Town Hall, this year’s fair will take full advantage of the building’s impressive architecture as a suitably grand backdrop to the wealth of curiosities on offer. Come along and meet some of the UK’s most innovative, esteemed, and forward-thinking dealers across all genres of art and antiques.
King’s Road, SW3 (020 7361 4100; 

Mary Fedden RA OBE Pansies and a Lighthouse


David Bailey: Vision and Sound
Until 31 January 2023, 45 Park Lane

Considered a pioneer of contemporary photography, David Bailey, CBE has captured some of the most seminal images of the last five decades. This new solo exhibition showcases his archive of rare and unseen portraits and candid shots. Highlights include The Beatles, Grace Jones, Bob Marley, Patti Smith and his jazz heroes, Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie. The exhibition also presents out-takes from shoots conducted for album covers, including Alice Cooper’s iconic Billion Dollar Babies. Unmissable.
45 Park Lane, W1K (020 7493 4545;

© David Bailey


Soweto Gospel Choir: The Freedom Tour  

18 October, Cadogan Hall  

When a gospel choir of this calibre graces the Capital, it’s worth jumping on tickets. In fact, the triple Grammy Award-winning troupe haven’t toured the UK for a full decade, making this one-off Cadogan Hall date unmissable. Comprising a line-up of top South African vocalists, the choir have been described by the New York Times as “meticulous and unstoppable…spirited and spectacular”, and over the last 20 years, have shared stages with Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Robert Plant and Celine Dion. Here, the choir will perform a set of rousing freedom songs celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela, with some spine-tingling gospel classics, such as Hallelujah and Amazing Grace, thrown in too.

5 Sloane Terrace, SW1X (020 7730 4500; 



Tango After Dark 

11-22 October, Peacock Theatre  

If a weekly dose of Strictly isn’t enough to satisfy your tapping toes, prepare to be dazzled by world tango champion German Cornejo, who returns to the Peacock Theatre with long-tern dance partner and assistant choreographer, Gisela Galeassi. The company includes ten world-class Argentinian artists, whose deft dance moves promise to impress, while the intoxicating music of the great Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla is nothing if not infectious. Audience seduction guaranteed.

Portugal Street, WC2A (020 7863 8222; 

Tango After Dark Dance