Roman Sexuality: Images, Myths and Meanings
What are we to make of the range of sexual images to be found in Roman art and archaeology? This exhibition at the Weston Gallery - part of the Lakeside Arts Centre at the University of Nottingham - is designed to address that question. It explores the concepts of sacred and profane love; the gods, goddesses and myths associated with sexuality; erotic humour, superstition and fertility symbolism. It also looks at the impact of Victorian attitudes on the way we have collected, displayed and studied objects such as the celebrated silver Warren Cup at the British Museum, which is decorated with striking scenes of homosexual love. The cup forms the centrepiece of the exhibition, which runs until 12 April and features material from the British Museum, the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Nottingham City Museums and the university itself.
Images of Nature
On 21 January, the Natural History Museum is opening its newly renovated Images of Nature gallery to house over 110 of the most visually arresting items from a collection spanning three-and-a-half centuries. They range from prints, watercolours and paintings by renowned natural history artists to images created by scientists and imaging specialists using photographers and micro-CT scanners. Highlights include tiny pictures of meteorite slices, like miniature stained-glass windows, and a 3D scan of a shark's head. The gallery will also accommodate temporary exhibitions. The first juxtaposes Chinese botanical and zoological watercolours owned by the 19th-century amateur naturalist John Reeves, with works they have inspired in the museum's current Shanghai-based artist in residence.
Part of the programme of public art events hosted by the University of Plymouth, Dominion is an exhibition of artworks, text and sound celebrating the whale (Peninsula Arts Gallery, 21 January to 5 March). It represents a collaboration between the artist Angela Cockayne and the writer Philip Hoare, whose book Leviathan or, The Whale won the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize. It will be opened with a performance of Fast Travel by Alexis Kirke, Plymouth Marine Institute's composer-in-residence, and will coincide with the seventh Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival (10 to 13 February). There will also be a Whale Festival on 18 to 20 February featuring lectures by leading scientists and a screening of Hoare's documentary, The Hunt for Moby Dick.
Rob and Nick Carter: Postcards from Vegas
Rob and Nick Carter have long been fascinated by "the gaudy lurid neon signs of Las Vegas, and loved the idea of juxtaposing these with 'readymade' postcards to create different and surprising connotations". For this exhibition at the Fine Art Society (until 15 February), they drew on an extensive collection of 1960s and 1970s postcards. These were enlarged to 150 times their original size, printed on Cibachrome paper, mounted on aluminium and overlaid with signs of a type originally found in locations such as casinos, diners, ice-cream parlours and motels. The 14 resulting works juxtapose two equally garish forms of advertising, curved neon signs and flat photographic surfaces, to often strange and disconcerting effect.
Infernal Dance: Inside the World of Béla Bartók
Throughout 2011, the Southbank Centre - in association with the Royal College of Music and The Anvil, Basingstoke - will explore the powerfully disturbing music of Béla Bartók. As well as chamber music, the festival will feature seven orchestral concerts by the Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen, including two performances of Bartók's only opera, Duke Bluebeard's Castle (The Anvil, 26 October; Royal Festival Hall, 3 November). It opens with a study day at the Southbank Centre on 23 January, led by series consultant Malcolm Gillies, vice-chancellor of London Metropolitan University.