The Jubilee Weekend is nearly upon us, and I have my own flotilla of boating events to attend – the National Schools Rowing Regatta in Nottingham, then pegging it back down the M1 for the Thames Pageant.
But if all the bunting and regal regalia are wearing you down, here’s three free things to do this week that won’t involve the Queen, the Union Jack or cream teas:
1. The new Serpentine Gallery Pavillion
Opened today, designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, in collaboration with Chinese artist and activist Ai Wei Wei, this is a rather cool and quirky building built largely underground. I’m keen to visit, especially following Ai Wei Wei’s fab Sunflower Seed exhibition at Tate Modern.
2.Beneath the Surface, Steve Bloom, Guardian Gallery
The second London Festival of Photography is running throughout June, encompassing street, documentary and conceptual photography, and includes 18 exhibitions and 30 satellite events including workshops, talks and screenings. Work is from both established and emerging photographers, and content is curated around the theme, “Inside Out: Reflections on the Public and the Private”
One exhibition that I particularly want to see (as the child of a conscientious exile from South Africa) is Steve Bloom’s mid 70s photographs that capture the apartheid-era as the cracks were starting to show in the regime. Steve Bloom took to the streets and the townships, capturing the tension of the time. Some photos are being shown for the first time, while others haven’t been seen for over 30 years.
3. Cary Grant, Hollywood’s exquisite, charming enigma
From history and politics to celebrity – next week there is a lecture on the gorgeous and enigmatic Cary Grant, as biographer and journalist Geoffrey Wansall goes behind the mask to discover the real man.
Have a good week and if you attend any of these events, do let us know what you think.