Five Free Exhibitions On The Art Of Politics

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 34 months ago
Five Free Exhibitions On The Art Of Politics

With the general election weeks away, politics is understandably all over the news and the art world is joining in too. Here are four exhibitions designed to coincide with the run-up to the election:

Leaders' portraits made up from tweets about then. Copyright Annemarie Wright

Annemarie Wright at Woolff Gallery, Charlotte Street

Wright set up Twitter handles asking for people's opinions on five party leaders. Using both the positive and negative comments received, she's written them down using her own handwriting to create portraits of the five leaders. Visitors will be invited to share their views of these politicians too. The exhibition (PDF) will also feature other political personalities like Churchill, Mandela, John F Kennedy and Margaret Thatcher. We've seen Wright's work before and it's even more impressive in person. Free, 31 April to 15 May.

Arts Emergency Response Centre at The Cass, Whitechapel High Street

We're big fans of the work Arts Emergency do in providing mentoring for young people wanting to get into the arts and working to counter the belief that the arts are just for the upper and middle classes. This exhibition combines their manifesto with works by Bob and Roberta Smith and his students at the university. There are also some great interactive elements where visitors can 'prescribe' a message they would like to have received when they were 16, and they will receive some 'medicine' in return. Free, until 2 May.

The Election Project at Photofusion

In 2010, Simon Roberts was made the official British Election Artist. He has travelled the country capturing electioneering across many constituencies and for different parties. 25 of these images will feature in this exhibition at Photofusion in Brixton. Free, until 22 May.

The puppet of Margaret Thatcher. Copyright Andrew Bruce and Anna Fox

Spitting at James Hyman Gallery, Savile Row

Many readers, including us, will have fond memories of Spitting Image — a hugely popular television show where politics was savagely satirised using puppets. James Hyman has bought many of the puppets used in the show and asked the photographic duo of Andrew Bruce and Anna Fox to capture them for this exhibition. It's great to re-visit a wrinkly Thatcher, the oversized eyebrows of Norman Lamont and the remarkably grey complexion of John Major. Free, until 8 May

The Art of Politics at Lawrence Alkin Gallery, New Compton Street

Street art is one of the most politically active genres of art. This exhibition will have a strong street art vibe including works by the Godfather of stencil art Blek le Rat. Expect attention grabbing works with equally powerful political messages. Free, 1-23 May.

This article has been expanded upon after it was first published.

Last Updated 22 April 2015

Tom Ewen

There is also the Ellwood Atfield Gallery in Westminster with an exhibition on the Hits and Misses of election propaganda. Given that its right next door to Europe House you might see a couple of the exhibition's subjects wandering around the area as well.