Here's a week of cultural festivities to get your 'art racing.
Sargent: The Watercolours
The Dulwich Picture Gallery go where no one has gone for nearly 100 years: John Singer Sargent’s watercolours. Famed for his portraits, Sargent created many watercolour paintings while on expeditions around Europe. This rare exhibition brings together 80 of them.
June 21 - October 8, Dulwich Picture Gallery; dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk
You know that old saying, you wait ages for a Branden Jacobs-Jenkins play and then two come along at once? An Octoroon is currently getting great acclaim at the Orange Tree in Richmond, and now his Pulitzer-nominated play about cut-throat Manhattan office life will open at Hampstead Theatre this week. Colin Morgan heads up a pretty cool cast, with Michael Longhurst directing.
June 15 - July 22, Hampstead Theatre; hampsteadtheatre.com
The UK premiere of Taylor Mac’s play about making weapons out of gender ideas opens at the Bush this week, with a great reason to watch: it’s being directed by Nadia Fall, who has just been announced as the new artistic director of Theatre Royal Stratford East.
June 15 - July 22, Bush Theatre; bushtheatre.com
Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent
Here’s comes an exhibition so good you can almost smell it. No, wait, you actually can smell it. This multi-sensory exploration of how perfume has changed over the last two decades will allow visitors to sniff out radically changing perceptions of fragrance.
June 21 - September 17, Somerset House; somersethouse.org.uk
A Museum of Modern Nature
If you’re lamenting how much time you spend inside, this new exhibition from the Wellcome Collection is the perfect excuse to get back in touch with nature. It will display objects from members of the public to explore how we all connect with the natural world, from park managers to dairy farmers.
June 22 - October 8, Wellcome Collection; wellcomecollection.org
BP Portrait Award 2017
The BP Portrait Award famously turns out stunning entries every single year, and this year’s shortlist features three stunning, intimate portraits of women. The winner is announced on June 20, but visitors will be able to look at this year’s entries in an exhibition that will run until September.
June 22 - September 24, National Portrait Gallery; npg.org.uk
Summer has truly arrived when the Serpentine Gallery’s annual summer pavilion is unveiled. This year’s is designed by Francis Kere, with brilliant blue wave-like walls and a roof like a golden halo. It opens this week, on the same day as the Serpentine Gallery’s annual summer party.
June 23 - October 8, Serpentine Gallery; serpentinegalleries.org
Greenwich and Docklands International Festival
There are three simple reasons to love this festival. 1) It’s art. 2) It’s all outside. 2) It’s free! Highlights include a production of Arthur Miller’s A View From a Bridge, an acclaimed company who work without a director, a day of dance in Canary Wharf, and a stunning multicoloured finale in Woolwich.
23 June - July 8, various locations; festival.org
Queer and Now
Tate Britain marks the official launch of London Pride with a day of free festivities. Pop to see their Queer British Art 1861-1967 exhibition and then enjoy performances, talks, music, dance and film, all of which celebrate the UK’s queer community. Expect DJ sets from Sink the Pink, lip syncing, voguing, and special films from the BFI archive.
June 24, Tate Britain; tate.org.uk