August diary: this month’s must-see events and exhibitions

1 August 2017
Reading Time
4 minute read

It’s the height of summer, so if you’re in the UK it’s most likely raining – making it the perfect time to take in some of the great events and exhibitions on right now. Here we’ve selected ten, in the UK and around the world, from a show addressing mental health in the creative industry to an interactive laser instrument… enjoy!


Image caption: Henri Matisse,Yellow Odalisque, 1937. The Samuel S. White 3rd and Vera White Collection, 1967 Photo © Philadelphia Museum of Art. Artwork: © Succession H. Matisse/DACS 2017

Matisse in the Studio
5 August – 12 November 2017, Royal Academy, London

Held in the Sackler Galleries, this exhibition will offer a rare glimpse into Matisse’s personal collection, as well as the paintings, sculptures and drawings it inspired. Gathering together the objects he collected and exploring his influences from all over the world, the show is set to be a big crowd-puller, so get your tickets now.

all in: the mind
10 – 20 August, House of Vans, Waterloo, London

This collaborative gallery show curated by our deputy editor Bryony Stone brings together creatives from worlds of fashion, art and music beneath Waterloo station in a group show and panel discussion aiming to disrupt the silence surrounding mental health in the creative industry. The artists included in the show are Akinola Davies, Margot Bowman, Gaika, Holly Blakey, Mica Levi, James Massiah, A Sai Ta, Joy Miessi, Tim Noble, Celia Hempton, Diana Chire, Tom Mattison, Gary Card, Liam Hodges, Suzannah Pettigrew, Campbell Addy, Joey Yu, Sienna Murdoch and Hannah Perry. 

Independent Publishing Fair
12 – 13 August, Copeland Gallery, London

The arts council has funded a curated showcase of independent publishing featuring outlets and publishing from across the world. Confirmed participants include Colophon Foundry, Migrant Journal, Varv Varv and a special collaborative project from creatives in Iraq, Syria and the UK.

Steve Messam: XXX
19 July – 11 September 2017, Mellerstain House, Kelso, Scotland

Borders Sculpture Park has opened its doors at Mellerstain House, featuring a new venue for contemporary open-air sculpture. XXX comprises of three large-scale inflatable installations by acclaimed artist Steve Messam, curated by Sarah Coulson of Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Each piece will create a dialogue with the surrounding environment, while challenging and transforming the way the audience perceives it. 

Summer Arts Academy
21-26 August, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery are running a free summer workshop for young people aged 21-24, culminating in an exhibition at the gallery and a performance piece. Over the five days you will work with performance artist Chloe Cooper, “looking at what art can be and who it’s for”. The workshop is an opportunity to see how a gallery works, behind the scenes and at the forefront.

Habitats by Marshmallow Laser Feast
29 August – 10 September 2017, #TomTech, The Old Market, Hove

Creative studio Marshmallow Laser Feast returns to #TomTech in Hove with a show combining three immersive experiences. Forest will be an interactive laser installation composed of “musical trees” that visitors can tap, shake and pluck to create patterns of light and sound. Treehugger: Wawona and In the Eyes of the Animal are both VR experiences.

Universal Nature
6 August – 27 August 2017, Sezon Art Gallery, Harajuku, Tokyo

This exhibition sees six Japanese contemporary artists present their takes on the Finish folklore tales from the 19th Century, that have inspired many other authors and artists, including JRR Tolkien. Participants include installation artist-come-painter Tomoko Konoike, sculptor Hideki Iinuma and manga joker Kotobuki Shiriagari.

Gordon Parks – I Am You
16 June – 21 September, Foam Gallery, Amsterdam

An exhibition of Gordon Parks’ selected works continues throughout August at Foam Gallery, Amsterdam. Amongst his long list of creative talents, Gordon is known prominently for his photojournalism work from 1940 through to the 1970s. In the show, which showcases selected works from 1942-1978, the photographer’s work displays how “The camera can be a powerful weapon against repression, racism, violence, and inequality”. 

Without Masks: Afro Cuban Contemporary Art
28 July – 2 October 2017, National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba

Following various successful exhibitions in Johannesburg, South Africa and Vancouver, the third instalment commemorates the 10-year anniversary of the von Christierson Collection of contemporary Afro-Cuban art. 149 works by 40 Cuban artists will be showcased from the last three decades, presenting a diverse range of media from painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and more. 

Yokohama Triennale
4 August – 5 November, Yokohama, Japan

The Japanese art festival returns for a sixth year, centred around large-scale installations at Yokohama Museum. Ai Wei Wei will continue his work addressing the refugee crises with lifeboats hanging on the facade and lifejackets covering the building’s columns. Inside Joko Avianto has built an oversized braided rope using 2,000 shoots of bamboo, aiming to explore the loss of traditional culture in his country.

Share Article

Further Info

About the Author

It's Nice That

This article was written by the It’s Nice That team. To find our editors and writers, please head over to our Contact page.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.