FRIDAY 18th June – SUNDAY 21st June 2021
East meets West
Artist duo Michael and Chiyan Ho always begin with the back of the canvas, the hidden side that goes unnoticed. From here, paint is pushed through the fibres of the cloth, creating hazy imagery on the other side. Their latest exhibition – titled Intra-action: Part 2 and currently running at Soft Opening – explores ideas of disparate places and magical realism.
Three out of the five paintings in the exhibition portray the body of a cowboy divided into chunks: one shows his outstretched hand holding a bottle of liquid; another paints his denim legs in decorated cowboy boots. Alongside an embroidered silk Qing dynasty boot and a string of glistening green jade beads, notions of place and time are blurred to reveal new realms. Think Lynch meets Millais.
Intra-action: Part 2 runs at Soft Opening inside Piccadilly Circus until 11th July.
Michael and Chiyan Ho Quick on the Draw , 2020 Oil and acrylic on canvas 50 x 80 cm (19.7 x 31.5 inches
Been missing that sweet amplified buzz lately? With gigs – gradually – returning to what they once were, London’s venues are lining up a stellar cast of nascent artists for us see and support. This weekend look no further than Brixton Windmill, which will be hosting London outfit Modern Woman. Their debut single, Offerings, has been swirling around our heads since it was released last week, those dense riffs, PJ Harvey-like vocals and experimental twitches – it’s 3:30 long but feels like one hell of a journey. Needless to say, we can’t wait to hear it up close and personal.
Modern Woman play two shows at Brixton Windmill on Saturday June 19th at 16:00 and then 20:00.
Get weird in the woods
British director Ben Wheately specialises in white-knuckle horrors that leave you rattled. He’s been delivering these low-budget adrenaline shots for decades, developing one of the most original styles in British cinema. His new film, In The Earth, is a quintessential summation of his favourite themes, drawing on the same elemental human fears that prop up the rest of his oeuvre for a classic horror tale of bad things happening in woods.
Set in a world desperately searching to cure a rampant virus (the film was written and produced in lockdown last year), a scientist and a park scout take a trip among the trees only to discover nature’s wrath. Showing at the Rio Cinema this weekend in Hackney it offers a suitably full-throttle return to the big screen.
Book your tickets at the Rio here.
Get weird in the woods (again)
Taking a somewhat different approach to woodland wallowing is Es Devlin, the London-based artist and stage designer who has recently turned Somerset House’s neo-classical courtyard into a magical enclave of around 400 trees.
It’s part of this year’s London Design Biennial but you’ll feel worlds away once inside. All the trees are native to northern Europe and visitors are encouraged to weave their own path between their trunks, sucking in lung-fulls of reinvigorating pinewood scents. Indoors the biennial has plenty on offer too, including a collection of musical rocks shipped over from the Andes and a hypnotising metronome that sets a pulsating rhythm while wafting you with perfume.
Book tickets here.