Instagram and social media have democratised life and culture across the board. From artists like Stormzy able to chart at number one independently, the likes of the Kardashian’s becoming forces to be reckoned with, and so on and endlessly so forth, Instagram has changed the game. And it has in the art world, too.
These days, exhibitions are often turning into pop culture experiences, complete with highly Instagrammable props to further tempt millennial uploaders. Not to mention all those exhibitions that potentially aren’t even doing it on purpose but just look so darn good with a VSCO filter.
Yup, we know all too well the importance of keeping that Instagram feed fleeky. So to help you out, we've rounded up the 11 best exhibitions to go to across the UK in the next few months that will up your game on the ‘gram. Hashtag thank us later and all that.
1. Happy Cloud, Various locations
Manchester, 11th March 2017
Flooding the skyline with thousands of smiley faced clouds made from soap helium and vegetable dye, Stuart Semple takes over the Manchester sky on 11th March as part of SICK! Festival. The festival calls itself the 'antidote to the physical, mental and social challenges of life', which definitely sounds like something we all need at the moment. Stuart Semple, the artist behind the work, is also an Ambassador for the mental health charity, Mind. Smiley faces floating in the sky for a good cause AND #InstagramGoals? #Amazing.
2. Passage/s, Victoria Miro
Photo from @victoriamirogallery
London, Until 18th March 2017
South Korean-born, London-based artist Do Ho Suh has created the ultimate of Instagram filters. One that you can actually walk through. Stitching together coloured mesh fabric, he’s created 3D rooms with life-sized recreations of corridors from his life. The walls are make up of end to end pastel-coloured mesh fabrics, resulting in a dizzying dream-like effect.
3. Marie Curie’s ‘Garden of Light’, Various locations
London - 1st-12th March - Paternoster Square
Carmarthen, Wales - 1st-5th March at Coracles
Edinburgh, Scotland - 16th-18th March at St Andrew Square
In tribute to the work of the Marie Curie nurses, the charity, which provides care and support to people with terminal illnesses and their families, this month launches the ‘Garden Of Light’ in London, Carmarthen and Edinburgh. Thousands of homemade daffodils light up at night, creating a truly beautiful sight. You can donate to the Great Daffodil Appeal here.
4. WOT U :-) ABOUT?, TATE Britain
Photo from @tate
London, Until 9th April 2017
Truly taking the piss out of social media, our dependence on technology and consumption of all forms, we’re not sure how artist Rachel Maclean would feel about her exhibition at the TATE Britain being selected for a piece on the most Instagrammable exhibitions… I guess that’s irony for you! With lots of eye-catching colours and a pretty “shittttt yeah that’s really kind of us” Black Mirror type vibe to it all, it’s gonna be something you’re going to want to share. And boy will it look pretty on your feed, too.
5. Reactions to a Complex World: Fear and Love, Design Museum
Photo from @weartlondon
London, Until 23rd April 2017
Piles and piles of yarn in every colour imaginable? Yeah, you’re going to want to Instagram that. A VSCO filter will look very nice on it. There's a moving robot that'd be pretty cool for a Boomerang, too. The Design Museum’s Reactions to a Complex World exhibit, touching on 'networked sexuality, sentient robots, slow fashion and settled nomads' is well worth a visit, and not just for the photos.
6. Tracey Emin and William Blake In Focus, Tate Liverpool
Photo from @tateliverpool
Liverpool, Until 3rd September 2017
Tracey Emin is pretty iconic, in case you didn’t know. One of Britain’s most renowned artists/artworks of the past 20 years, ‘My Bed’, will be displayed in the north of England for the first time at the Tate Liverpool. It will be shown alongside drawings by Emin and British poet and artist, William Blake.
7. Robots, Science Museum
London, Until 3rd September 2017
The science museum is always pretty cool to go to, and this Robots exhibition gives you fresh reasons to visit South Kensington (it doesn’t hurt that Hummingbird Bakery is around the corner, too!) The last room of the exhibit features a whole hall full of modern robots, some of which you can interact with. There’s even a robot called Zeno R25 which can mimic your expressions. Cool.
8. Fairy Tales & Fantasy, Abbey House Museum
Leeds, Until 31st December 2017
Immersing yourself in some fairy tales and fantasy? Um, yes please. Abbey House Museum in Leeds is showcasing some familiar fairy tales, from Aladdin, Little Red Riding Hood to Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and more. You already know how well Disney/nostalgia does on the ‘gram.
9. The Lumen Prize, Leeds Digital Festival
Photo from @gibsonmartelli
Leeds, From 27th April to 1st May 2017
From virtual reality paintings to augmented reality sculptures, The Lumen Prize at Leeds Digital Festival is all about the best art created digitally. As such, you can expect some pretty groundbreaking, eye-catching bits on show. Last year, the winner was a painting of a city brought to life by virtual reality, creating a new imposing, physical feeling world actually in the painting for the first time ever. This year seems set to showcase just as much awesomeness.
10. I Want! I Want!, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Photo from Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Birmingham, From 1st April - 30th September 2017
Bringing together the work of a number of contemporary artists who work with new technologies, the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is set to feature some pretty Instagrammable works from artists including Rachel Maclean, Julian Opie, Ed Atkins and more.
11. Basquiat: Boom for Real, Barbican
Photo from Barbican
London, From 21st September – 28th January 2018
The UK’s first major Basquiat exhibition is coming, and it’s definitely going to be worth going to. Having become synonymous with New York’s art scene in the 80s, let’s just put it this way… even if you think you’re not familiar with Basquiat’s work, you are. With over 100 of his works on display at the Barbican as of September, there’s bounds to be lots on offer.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.