Saturday, 3 August 2013

What art to see in Cambridge in August 2013

What's on in Cambridge in August 2013

Open Studios are over.  What now?  Well, there are still many weeks of art in summer left.  Here are my top tips for what you might like to visit and see in August:

Do not miss this!  I've already been twice (and a blog post is waiting in the wings).  Not only do you get to see interesting sculpture but you also get to wander round the beautiful gardens and mediaeval cloister of Jesus College, plus sit in the cool chapel with its Pre-Raphaelite glass windows.  Normally, colleges cost money or close their doors to the public -- so take this opportunity to visit for free.  

Jesus College was a nunnery before it was a college (from the 13th century).  Academics unceremoniously turfed out the women in the late 16th century; women were not re-admitted (as students) until 1979.  The sculptures are still mostly by men but there is an intriguing table installation by Doris Salcedo in the chapel, and Cornelia Parker's funny Moon Landing in the Fellows' Garden.

And if you're a tourist in Cambridge this August, even if you only have one day here:  you will love this visit to Jesus College.  Pick up a free map at the Porter's Lodge.  The useful catalogue with map and info on all sculptures, the ones in the exhibition and the permanent collection, costs only £4.

My top tip for this summer!

Jesus College, Jesus Lane
11 am - 8 pm
Ends 22 Sept 2013

To my shame, I've still not visited this gallery in Fen Ditton.  It's the perfect outing for a warm summer's day:  cycling along the lovely river path to Stourbridge Commons, with art awaiting at the end.  I promise:  once I've been, I will post about it!  Until then, let me know if you've been and what you thought.

Lynn Strover Gallery
23 High Street, Fen Ditton, CB5 8ST
Thurs-Sat 11 am - 4 pm
Ends 10 Aug

If it gets too hot for you, cool off in the air-conditioned rooms of the Afro Comb exhibition.  I went last week and was surprised at the worlds opened up:  there's an amazing video of a woman at the hairdresser's in the 1940s and how her frizzy African hair was styled into a tight 1940s perm.  There are combs going back all the way to ancient Egypt but also plastic political combs like the one with the 'black power' fist above.  Don't miss the fascinating handwritten notes by Cambridge visitors:  one woman recalls how she had to start doing her own hair as there was no African hair stylist in Cambridge, and how this takes her 7 (!) hours.  Another man remembers his father's barber shop on Mill Road, the only one in the 1960s and 70s to have afro combs.

This is about more than hair:  it's a whole history of lives and politics.

Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Rd
Tues - Sat 10 am - 5 pm, Sun and Bank Hol Mon 12 noon - 5 pm
Ends 3 Nov 2013

Another opportunity to visit a college for free and wander about its grounds.  Fitzwilliam has some very interesting modern architecture; my favourite is the spiky chapel with its glass window onto nature.

Chapel Crypt, Fitzwilliam College, Huntingdon Rd
9 am - 5 pm
Ends 11 Oct 2013

An exhibition of contemporary paintings in the East Asian tradition
With: Peter Cavalciuti, Edmund Kunji, Ann Massing, and Dominique Ruhlmann
David Sheppard Room, Trinity Hall's Wychfield Site, Storey's Way, CB3 0DZ
Sat-Sun 3-4 Aug and Sat-Sun 10-11 Aug 2013

Various exhibitions and events throughout August 2013 (click on the link above for more info)

Glass Cube Project, by Chloe Leaper at the Drawing Cube, Norfolk St (1 Aug-15 Sept 2013)
Romsey Mural Series, with Mr Penfold
Elizabeth Eade's beermats, prints and paintings at the Six Bells Pub, Covent Garden
and loads more

Enjoy these hot summer days!

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