Five Free Must-See Exhibitions this October

Being in London, we have the perfect opportunity to engage with and discover a wide variety of art and artists that challenge us, speaks to our collective experience and engage our imagination and curiosity. The various exhibitions taking place right now are exciting, inspiring as well as overwhelming since there is so much to see. So, I thought I would start with a list of the FREE exhibitions I’m looking forward to this month down below.

1. Sarah Shamma: Modern Slavery

London-based Syrian artist Sarah Shamma’s exhibition Modern Slavery highlights this global issue through a series of oil paintings and sketches. Shamma draws particular attention to the psychological impact of modern slavery. She interviewed both survivors and professionals working in the field, the result of which is a visceral and haunting art that gets you thinking about the devasting impact of modern slavery.

Shamma, in an interview with Brummell magazine, explains how her paintings were born: ‘After the first interview with a survivor, I couldn’t sleep. I was imagining pictures, noises, smells,’ explains Shamma of the experience. ‘After meeting several women and hearing their stories, I went back to my studio and started working without any plans about the outcome of my work. I think the subconscious is the source of creativity, these paintings are my reaction to what I learned. They are not illustrations of what happened, but the feeling that these stories leave in you.’

This exhibition is on till the 22nd of November, so check it out while you can. Bush House Arcade, King’s College London.

2. Mary Sibande: I Came Apart at the Seams, Somerset House

Mary Sibande is one of South Africa’s most prominent contemporary artists, and right now she has her first solo exhibition in the UK at Somerset House. I Came Apart at the Seams comprises of dramatic sculptures and photographs. The exhibition takes us through the journey of her alter ego, Sophie, who we see in striking photographs, sculptures and breath- taking installations. Sophie appears in three distinct forms in the three rooms rewriting South African history of Apartheid and post-Apartheid through reclaiming the gaze of South African women.  Definitely worth popping in between lectures to catch this stunning and thought-provoking exhibition.

Somerset House, Until 5 Jan 2020

3. United Visual Artists: Other Spaces

Other Spaces is built around an exploration of the intersection between art, ecology and technology. The three sites in the exhibition bring together light play accompanied by music from Mira Calix and The Great Animal Orchestra. So, be prepared for a multi-sensory mind- bending experience!

Strand, Until 8 December 2019

4. ON EDGE: Living in an Age of Anxiety

ON EDGE deals with the various experiences of anxiety, from crippling anxiety to anxiety as a source of motivation. This free exhibition and accompanied events are an insightful look into the reality of living in the age of anxiety, and what it means to different people.

Science Gallery London, Guy’s Campus, Until 19 January 2020

5. Shana Moulton

Another look into our anxiety-ridden contemporary life from a more playful and perhaps escapist point of view. Moulton uses Cynthia, an avatar, to express our compulsive and restless search for a solution. From crystals to google searches for answers to existential questions, Cynthia’s quest is made even more disconcerting as we find ourselves relating to much of her experience. However, the atmosphere and aesthetic of excess keep us at a critical distance, making for an escapist yet reflective experience.

Zabludowicz Collection , Kentish Town, Until 15 December 2019

I hope you get a chance to check out and enjoy some of these exhibitions!