5 to See: This Festive Season

5 to See: This Festive Season

Aesthetica collates top things to do this holiday season. Discover bright lights, glowing architecture and seasonal photography with these five physical and digital exhibitions.

Tate Britain Winter Commission | London

Artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman has transformed Tate Britain through a bright, technicolour installation. Titled remembering a brave new world, it is the fourth in a series of annual outdoor commissions for winter. The piece is a celebration of neon light and swirling colour, referencing mythology, Bollywood, radical feminism, political activism and family memories. Glowing in the darkness, it draws inspiration from personal, social and mythological stories; Indian myths and customs are combined with memories of family visits to the Blackpool Illuminations and Burman’s parents’ ice cream van. Until 31 January.

The Art of Gifting, Robert Mann Gallery | Online

This season, New York’s Robert Mann Gallery presents a selection of holiday-inspired photographs to browse online. Featured artists include Holly Andres, Elijah Gowin, Julie Blackmon, Jeff Brouws, Michael Kenna, Cig Harvey, Ed Sievers and David Vestal. Shown above are images by Harvey; delicate apples teeter on frosted branches whilst crushed velvet jumps out against a blanket of white. Elsewhere, see abstracted images of snowflakes, wintry fire escapes and warm, festive interior shots. Until 8 January.

Christmas at Kew | London

A glittering tunnel of bells. Giant illuminated seed heads. Majestic trees wrapped in light. A dazzling treetop waterfall. These are the sights to be discovered at Kew this season. Returning for its eighth year, this enchanting winter trail takes a new route, leading visitors through an illuminated Rose Garden, where blooms are transformed. Laser projections envelop the iconic glasshouse, whilst sculptures glow with flickering flames in the scented Fire Garden. This is a feast for the senses. Until 17 January.

Accidentally Wes Anderson X The Old Bank Vault | Online

For 20 years, Wes Anderson (b. 1969) has established an immediately recognisable style. From the saturated shades of Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and the fading grandeur and preposterous luxury of The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Anderson’s aesthetics are retro and playful, defined by vivid colours, front-on façades and sharp symmetry. The Instagram account @accidentallywesanderson has, for the last two years, been capturing and curating hundreds of photographs of real-world places inspired by the imaginary landscapes of Anderson’s films. Now it’s being published as an expansive photobook, with this online pop-up offering film-lovers the chance to see the images up close in a virtual environment. Until 23 December.

National Trust Christmas Lights | UK Wide

National Trust transforms its historic buildings through rainbow illuminations. The 2020 winter programme takes place in locations across the UK, showcasing many majestic properties in a new light. When darkness falls, the country’s ruins, gardens and manors come alive. Visitors can discover an illuminated trail lit by lanterns, flickering flames and majestic sculpture. There are enchanting landscapes filled with wonder, plus illuminated trails of twinkling lights. Tradition and digital collide: Purple trees, bright orange bridges and floodlit columns are all spectacles to consider.

1. Winter Commission 2020: Chila Kumari Singh Burman – Remembering a Brave New World © Tate photography (Joe Humphrys)
2. Cig Harvey, Geraniums, 2020
3. Christmas at Kew Gardens 2015. Photo: © Jeff Eden, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew.
4. Photographed by James Wong. Accidentally Wes Anderson by Wally Koval. Published by Trapeze, 29 October 2020. Hardback and eBook www.accidentallywesanderson.com.
5. Christmas Lights at Belton House. Image courtesy National Trust / Sony.