We’ll never tire of a festive light display, Christmas market, or winter fair, but once you’re sufficiently saturated in holiday cheer, an exhibition can be a welcome breath of fresh air. Intellectual, creative, and the perfect multi-generational conversation starter, arts and culture exhibitions are a delicious Christmas feast for the eyes. Luckily for all of us, there are some incredible options available that span the worlds of literature, architecture, fashion, art, and anthropology. Immerse yourself in the unusual this season – the cost of a ticket and time spent is a small price to pay for a fresh perspective. Fitting, we think, as a new year of limitless possibility stretches before us…

Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser
Until 31 Dec 2021
V&A, South Kensington, London

With pop culture steeped in references to it, there couldn’t be a more appropriate time to delve into the origins, adaptations, and reinventions of Alice in Wonderland. A surreal work that delights all ages, this new exhibition at the V&A is not to be missed. 

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Bags: Inside Out
Until 16 Jan 2022
V&A, South Kensington, London

Browse, but sadly don’t shop, bags ranging from utilitarian to superfluous, inventive to classic at this stunningly curated exhibition. Find out the history behind the most recognisable pieces and learn about the true artistry and craftsmanship behind these portable status symbols and cultural juggernauts. 

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New Architectural Views from Japan
1 December 2021 – 10 April 2022 
Japan House London, Kensington, London

Expand how you view the world of windows with Japan House London’s new architectural exhibition. With such an impact on human existence, both in Japan and around the world, this exploration of windows' influence deserves a closer look. The cultural significance and tradition of windows are masterfully highlighted by curator, architect, and critic Igarashi Taro, this is one to add to the calendar. 

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Petrit Halilaj:
Very Volcanic Over This Green Feather
Until Jan 16 2022
Tate St Ives, Porthmeor Beach, Cornwall

Take a trip to the Tate for an immersive experience of Petrit Halilaj’s first UK solo exhibition. His work incorporates sculpture, video, drawing and text, all toying with scale and context to showcase 38 childhood drawings he made in Kukës II refugee camp in Albania during the Kosovo war (1998–99), when he was thirteen years old. A study in contrasts, though all the while stunningly beautiful, these works offer a view of war and violence through the eyes of a teenager. 

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Japanese Textile Innovation from Sudō Reiko
17 September 2021 – 8 January 2022
Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh, Scotland

Dovecot studio follows on from Japan House London as the next host of Making Nuno, a collection of work by internationally acclaimed Japanese textile designer Sudō Reiko. Known for her techniques spanning Japanese traditions, advanced engineering, and modern sustainability, this display features five large-scale installations combining NUNO textiles and art projections by leading technological designers Rhizomatiks from Tokyo

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Ruth Asawa:
Citizen of the Universe
28 May - 21 August 2022
Modern Art Oxford, Oxford

“Art will make people better, more highly skilled in thinking and improving whatever business one goes into, or whatever occupation. It makes a person broader.” – Ruth Asawa

Take the chance to broaden your perspective by visiting Modern Art Oxford for Citizen of the Universe. This display of works by visionary and activist Ruth Asawa showcases her signature looped and tied wire sculptures displayed in a hanging installation, and celebrates her holistic integration of art, education and community engagement through prints, drawings, letters, and photographs.

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