Are you sick of the sight of a mince pie or board game, (or Wii)? Then it’s time to gather the troops, don a bobble hat and get out of the house. Here’s our guide to the best things to do at Tate and beyond in the awkward bit between Christmas and New Year across the UK.
1. See Richard Tuttle’s largest sculpture at Tate Modern
Stand back and admire the colourful billowing sheets that make up the largest work ever created by renowned American sculptor Richard Tuttle. Made specifically for the Turbine Hall, there’s also a chance to make like Tuttle and get hands-on with large-scale 3D weaving at Open Studio for ages 3 and up. You can have a go at home too with Tate Kid’s Textile Tryouts activities and share the families efforts on #textiletryouts.
Richard Tuttle’s I Don’t Know . The Weave of Textile Language runs from 14 October 2014 to 6 April 2015 in the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, free. Open Studio: Sculptural Weave is at the Clore Studio at Tate Modern every weekend, and additionally Thursdays and Fridays during holidays, 11.00–13.00 and 14.00–16.00, free. Textile Tryouts free online activities are available via Tate Kids. Tate Modern will be closed 24 - 26 December
2. Meet 500 years of British art at Tate Britain
Get to grips with 500 years of British Art with a festive visit to Tate Britain. In a visit to the BP Walk through British Art you can take in Tate Britain’s unparalleled collection from its beginnings to its end, starting with sixteenth century family portraits and a rather spectacularly abundant market scene in room 1540; all the way to Damien Hirst and Fiona Banner, with a few stops at David Hockney, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, the Pre-Raphaelites and Turner along the way.
BP Walk through British Art is open every day, free. Free daily guided tours at Tate Britain of the collection highlights take place every day at 11.00, 12.00, 14.00, 15.00. Art in Focus: December 2014 tours take place at Tate Britain, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in December, 13.15 - 13.30, free. Tate Britain will be closed 24 - 26 December
3. Make some art, Andy Warhol-style, at Tate Liverpool
Swear you have little Andy Warhol’s in making? Well then, get down to Tate Liverpool for a Warhol winter workshop, where they can really flex their creative muscles without ruining the sofa. Led by artist Harriet Hall, explore the iconic work of pop artist Andy Warhol through the transformation of the family room into a Warhol inspired ‘total art’ environment using colour, light, sound, text and images, or draw your own colourful self-portrait inspired by the celebrity ones in the current exhibition, Transmitting Andy Warhol.
Warhol winter workshops take place at the Clore Learning Centre at Tate Liverpool, 27–30 December 2014 & 2–4 January 2015, 13.30–16.30, drop-in, free. Transmitting Andy Warhol is on display at Tate Liverpool until 8 February 2015, adult £8.80 (without donation £8). Tate Liverpool will be closed 24 - 26 December
4. Pop to Philip King at Tate Britain
If a display of Philip King’s brilliantly coloured foam PVC and steel sculptures won’t get you out of a post-Christmas slump, then I’m afraid there’s nothing for you. Head down to the expansive central spaces of the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain and meander around unsettingly organic shapes coated in flesh pink, deep purple and bright pastels, made by the recently turned 80 year-old influenced by Matisse.
Phillip King is on display at Tate Britain in the Duveen Galleries until 1 February, open every day (excluding 24 - 26 December), free
5. Take a tour of Turner at Tate Britain
Feeling a little anxious after so much family time? A guided tour around The EY Exhibition: Late Turner – Painting Set Free might be just the ticket. Soak up the sumptuous scenes J.M.W. Turner created in an extraordinary body of work between 1835 and his death in 1851. From the large-scale oil painting Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus to the alluring watercolour The Blue Rigi, see just how John Ruskin’s description of Turner as ‘the greatest of the age’ is brought to life.
Guided exhibition tours: The EY Exhibition: Late Turner – Painting Set Free at Tate Britain take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 12.15, £20, booking required. Price includes exhibition ticket, Tate Members ticket £5. The exhibition is on display until 25 January 2015, open every day 10.00 - 18.00, adult £16.50 (without donation £15.00)
6. Check out Nam June Paik at Tate Modern
A robot made from bakelite radios right up your street? Then make a date with the Nam June Paik display at Tate Modern. The pioneer of video and media art, fled his homeland of South Korea during the Korean War to study music in Japan and Germany, (where worked with the Fluxus group) followed by a move to New York in 1964. Paik’s use of television as an artistic medium led to his unique style of video art, described both as ‘joyful’ and ‘subversive’.
Nam June Paik is on display at Tate Modern, open every day (excluding 24 - 26 December), free
7. Go on a Gallery Quest at Tate St. Ives
Is a trip to Cornwall on the cards this Christmas? Whether you’re on holiday or live just down the road, if the family clan are getting restless, try a spot of Gallery Quest at Tate St. Ives. Join the team for some family friendly interactive exploration of the gallery, and take a look at the photography of pioneering artists from across Europe, the Americas and Japan on show at Tate St Ives for the first time in The Modern Lens.
Gallery Quest at Tate St. Ives runs on 29 December 2014 – 3 January 2015 at 10.30 and 13.30. Free for 18s and under, accompanying adults pay standard admission. The Modern Lens: International Photography and the Tate collection is on display until 10 May 2015, £7. November – February Tate St. Ives is Open Tuesday – Sunday (closed Mondays), 10.00–16.20 (excluding 24 - 26 December)
8. See Richard Long at Burton Art Gallery and Museum
Also in the South West - and nestled within a stunning rural location - the Burton Art Gallery and Museum is the largest purpose built space between Bristol and St Ives on the north coast. Artist Richard Long has strong connections with the area and the exhibition includes a number works made in the landscape through the medium of walking, (an activity synonymous with North Devon) as well as the important sculpture Cornish Slate Ellipse, 2009 - made of cut pieces of slate acquired from the Delabole Slate Company in Cornwall.
ARTIST ROOMS Richard Long – Bideford is on display at the Burton Art Gallery & Museum until 10 January 2015, Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 16.00 and Sunday 11.00 - 16.00, free. 24 December open 10.00 - 13.00. Closed 25 - 26 December. Open as usual 27 December - 30 January 2015. Closed 31 December and 1 January 2015
9. See Don McCullin in Shetland
Due to be in Scotland over the festive break? Slot in some time to visit the Shetland Islands, (unless of course, you already live there) and see the first ARTIST ROOMS exhibition of a series of powerful images by photojournalist, Don McCullin. Featuring 44 works taken by him over 20 years of conflict around the world including; Vietnam, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and Beirut; it also includes a number of works from the Tate collection, taken in London.
ARTIST ROOMS: Don McCullin, Fallen at the Shetland Museum and Archives in Lerwick, and the Bonhoga Gallery in Weisdale, are both on display until 22 February 2015. Shetland Museum & Archives is open Monday to Saturday 10.00 - 1600 and Sunday 12.00 - 17.00 (excluding 25 - 26 December). Bonhoga Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday 10.30 – 16.30 and Sunday 12.00 – 16.30 (excluding 25 - 26 December)
10. Get involved with sound art at Tate Britain
If the idea of experimenting with film, sound and performance takes you to a happy place, then get down to RadioCity at Tate Britain. This special season of participatory radio, sound art, performance and broadcast events is open to all ages and are drop-in. So whether its contributing to the making of a film by a fictional artist, or producing a sonic (sound-inspired) portrait with your favourite artwork, there’s something for everyone.
RadioCity is at Tate Britain until 15 February 2015, free. Dennis Isou Studio is with artists Mark Bleakley and Josh Wilson at Tate Britain, 5 - 9 January 2015 10.00 - 18.00. Sound of Looking with Jamie Green and artist collective GIRTH is at Tate Britain 8 - 9 January 2015, 10.00–18.00
And if leaving the house still feels like too much trouble, there’s always Tate Worlds - Minecraft ‘maps’ inspired by artworks from Tate’s collection - and TateShots, our weekly video magazine of behind-the-scenes artist interviews, both available from the comfort of your laptop.
Please check individual listings for event details