The Art Insider: November '18

Image: Ithell Colquhoun's artwork from the exhibition inspired by Virginia Woolf

Ruthie Collins gives you the lowdown on arty happenings around Cambridge in November 

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be,” once said Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and former Mill Road resident. An exhibition where four artists explore their journeys around the world, GO! is opening at Makers' Gallery in Hope Street Yard this month. 

The GO! exhibition will take you on a journey from East Anglia to the Far East of Asia; the paintings reflect the four artists’ travels and cultural heritage – Sarah-Cate Blake, Sarah Allbrook, Nathan Huxtable and Hideki Arichi. The show opens with a private viewing on 2 November and closes with a meet the artists event on 10 November. 

Award-winning Hideki Arichi’s work is bold, arresting and inspiring. A British-born Japanese artist with a keen interest in the history and aesthetics of Western and Japanese art, his work is informed by his extensive experience of travelling and observing everything from the detail of pattern, signs, shadows and people. Sarah Allbrook is a prize-winning oil painter who records the cities of East Anglia and the British countryside and coast, painting outdoors to create
warm-hearted, vibrant work that generously evokes the spirit of a place. Sarah-Cate Blake records her travel experiences in a series of acrylic and watercolour paintings, while her studio painting expands this into acrylic and larger watercolour paintings – often with shimmering, but exact, results. Nathan Huxtable is a Scottish artist who works in acrylic in a contemporary and often abstract form – bold, bright, gorgeous.  

Those seeking to go on a journey without going that far should head over to Lola Maury’s Figurines on Saturday 10 November. Taking place at the Cambridge Buddhist Centre, this dance performance is supported by Cambridge Junction and offers an exercise in personal transformation, inspired by a whirling Dervish dance, and audiences are invited to join a meditation class. Expect to be taken on a mesmerising journey of endless dance, that will ask you to stop, take a breather and re-engage with your body. Winner of the Deutsche Bank Awards for Contemporary Dance, and selected for the La Grande Scène des PSO, Maury is a choreographer from France who aims to create intimate and introspective experiences for audiences. 

“The Go! exhibition will take you on a journey..."

Something else to check out this month is Othersyde by the Cambridge Museum of Technology. Bar, chill out area and art space all in one, all kinds of activities have been planned for the coming months – find out more on the Facebook page. Cambridge film-maker James Murray-White and poet Clare Crossman have been offering a range of poetry and creative nights, developed by Matthew Taylor, who has plans to develop an Escape Games Room, too, with interactive and immersive theatre. 

“Cambridge has long needed a multipurpose space where you can have workshops, classes, talks, hear music, poetry, but also have a drink. This is a fantastic location, next to the River Cam, perfect for inviting reflection and community-based arts activity,” says James Murray-White. “This is more than just a bar and it’s great to support the Museum of Technology.” There is an open call for people to reach out and get involved – it's excellent fun. While there, why not look into taking a boat trip with River Boat Rosie?  

Head to the Fitzwilliam Museum on 7 November for the Cam Lates free event, Great Women Artists: Fitz Feminist Takeover, with music in the courtyard. Come along to share stories of women that are often missing from museum displays, find out about hidden highlights in the collections with talks and performances, or join in with art activities and creative museum activism. While there, don’t miss Virginia Woolf: An exhibition inspired by her writings, which runs until 9 December. Watch out for gorgeous works like Barbara Hepworth’s Three Magic Stones, Vanessa Bell’s The Famous Women Dinner Service, or visceral video installation from the 1960s.

Finally, this is the month that many will be deep in their Christmas shopping – those shopping for quirky reads for children of friends should check out the alumni of the Anglia Ruskin Children’s Book Illustration MA for a range of fabulous Cambridge author-illustrators to buy from. Many will offer signed copies of their books, often available at Waterstones. My fave this Christmas will be buying copies of much-loved Cambridge
author-illustrator Joy Rutherford’s children’s books, published by Bold Beasts. Have a fantastic November.