Your lockdown culture guide: June

Here’s your hotlist for the month ahead, including VR exhibitions, an architecture festival and more free cultural finds

nathalie du pasquier constellation
Nathalie Du Pasquier

Virtually toured your fill of the world’s top museums and claim to have ‘completed’ Netflix? Our new culture round-up is a guide to the month’s digital delights, including inventively staged festivals, free online exhibitions and talks with leading creatives (aka some of the best company we've had for a while). Add these to your calendar...

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1 Art Basel Online Viewing Rooms
gagosian gallery at art basel
Gagosian | Tom Wesselmann

In much the same way as Frieze New York’s inaugural digital edition in May, Art Basel’s Online Viewing Rooms were originally supposed to be supplemental to the physical fair. The world, of course, had other plans, and that’s now moved to September, leaving this digital gallery showcase to mark its usual June outing. With 280 international galleries set to take part, a new digital events programme and a pledge of transparent pricing, it should hold its own. From 19 – 26 June.

2 London Festival of Architecture Digital
architecture bake off  tower bridge
Architecture Bake Off | Tom Horton

‘How can the world’s largest annual architecture festival celebrate one of humankind’s most tangible activities in a city in lockdown?’ asks the London Festival of Architecture. Their answer, it seems, is the launch of the festival’s first digital edition, which presents a broad programme of talks, films, ticketed events, (online) building tours and a tweaked version of the annual Architecture Bake Off. Don’t miss video series 30 Objects in 30 Days, which asks architects and experts to muse on a chosen object that captures the festival’s theme of ‘Power’. From 1-30 June.

3 Cockpit Arts' Midsummer Festival of Making
vanessa hogge photographed by alun callender as part of his cockpit arts pop up studio project
Alun Callender

With 140 studios housing ceramicists, leatherworkers, weavers, printmakers, jewellers and glass engravers across their two London hubs, it's safe to say that contemporary craft incubator Cockpit Arts knows a thing or two about making. Their first online festival is centred on a programme of workshops, live demonstrations, films and studio tours guided by London's leading makers and designers via Instagram, Facebook and Zoom, of course plus discussions on inclusion in craft, unconventional career paths and mental health. From 19–21 June.

4 Trio of Nathalie du Pasquier exhibitions
nathalie du pasquier cabin
Nathalie Du Pasquier Cabin at A Palazzo Gallery

Milan-based artist Nathalie du Pasquier's abstract yet architectural paintings are considered a masterclass in form – and for good reason. This month, three concurrent online exhibitions are tracing separate threads of the Memphis Group maverick's work: see her coloured pencil drawings produced during lockdown at New York's Anton Kern Gallery, a three-dimensional installation at A Palazzo Gallery in Brescia, Italy and an extensive selection of paintings (plus snaps of her studio and works in situ) at London's Pace Gallery. Until 30 June. | |

5 V&A Tour of 'Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk'
19th century vintage kimono
Keiju Sato | Joshibi Art Museum

At the time, we didn't realise quite how lucky those who bagged early slots to see the V&A's much-awaited kimono exhibition really were. Generously, the team have now filmed a tour fronted by curator Anna Jackson – no hastily-taped Instagram Stories, but five in-depth films totalling 30 minutes. Look out for rare 17th- and 18th-century designs, which share the spotlight with bold reinventions by Alexander McQueen and Rei Kawakubo. From 21 May 2020.

6 #DesignDispatches with Sophie Ashby and Charlie Casely-Hayford
sophie ashby and charlie casely hayford
Sophie Ashby and Charlie Casely-Hayford | Tom Dunkley

For the next instalment of Instagram TV lockdown franchise #DesignDispatches, Design Museum director Tim Marlow catches up with creative power couple Sophie Ashby and Charlie Casely-Hayford. Hear more from Studio Ashby every Friday, with its #ArchitectureFriday weekly takeover throughout June. From 6 June

7 Stream 'Chair Times' by Heinz Bütler
'chair times' by heinz bütler
'Chair Times' by Heinz Bütler

Now streaming free thanks to Vitra, Heinz Bütler’s 2018 documentary ‘Chair Times’ is a 90-minute celebration of the object in all its functional and fantastical forms, with a trajectory traced from early 19th century designs to 3D printing. Look out for contributions from Hella Jongerius, Sir David Chipperfield and Vitra Design Museum director Mateo Kries, as well as the institution’s curators.

8 ‘Freestyle’ at RIBA
's sustainable design talks

When the Royal Institute of British Architects incorporated elements of virtual reality into their February exhibition 'Freestyle: Architectural Adventures in Mass Media' little did they know how prescient that would prove to be. Now, RIBA has enlisted its creator, multidisciplinary studio Space Popular, to reimagine the exhibition as a wholly virtual experience, where visitors use avatars to enter an architectural wonderland that explores how mass media has shaped buildings for 500 years.

9 Sustainable design talks at new platform Planted
sebastian cox in his studio
Sebastian Cox | Alun Callender

With plans to launch their inaugural event this September thwarted by coronavirus, new sustainable design initiative Planted has morphed – for now – into a digital journal. The platform will present a vision of contemporary urban living more attuned to the nature world, via news, opinion, interviews and podcasts on topics like rewilding, biophilic architecture and sustainable food. This month’s talks with Another Country founder Paul De Zwart (2 June), designer Sebastian Cox (9 June) and garden designer Dan Pearson (16 June) are free to watch on the new site.

10 ‘Delineating Dreams’ at Kovet Art
tom faber  composition no5
Tom Faber | Composition No.5

We reported on the rocketing rise of accessible art initiatives in our May issue, and this month Kovet Art is set to join their ranks. The brainchild of Saras Rachupalli, Kovet is an artist incubator platform which supports top UK art school graduates under a mentorship scheme. The inaugural online exhibition, ‘Delineating Dreams’ will showcase the first eight, with physical pop ups to follow post-lockdown. From 10 June.

11 London Fashion Week goes digital
london fashion week models
Matty Bovan

Before coronavirus, it might have felt almost impossible to conceive of London Fashion Week sans catwalk shows. This month, during the slot that usually marks LFW Men’s, its usual roster of designers will present their collections digitally, alongside interviews, podcasts and webinars open to all. There’s another first, too: this season’s showcase is the first to be gender-neutral. From 12–14 June.

12 'Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi' at Somerset House
somerset house sebastian cox mycelium lampshades
Mark Blower

Anyone who missed Somerset House's mushroom homage can now catch a virtual tour of the exhibition, recorded to honour an International Museum Day marked by closed doors. The exhibition traces the cultural legacy of the humble vegetable via a flurry of funghi-related innovations, from Beatrix Potter's delicate watercolours to mycelium shoes by Kristel Peters and shades by Sebastian Cox and Ninela Ivanova. From 18 May 2020.

13 Uniqlo Tate Lates launches 'Night In'
uniqlo tate lates
Aleksandra Wojcik

Regular patrons of Tate Modern’s flagship late night event on the last Friday of every month will welcome its return in digital format. Two streams on the Tate website – one dedicated to artist talks and workshops, the other to music, film and spoken word – will allow viewers to ‘curate’ their own evening. The second edition is a celebration of LGBTQI+ culture, hosted by alternative museum tour guide Dan Vo. From 7pm, 3 July.

14 New London cultural hub Our City Together
st dunstans in the east
St Dunstans in the East | City of London

The rich history of the Square Mile has provided plenty of inspiration for new online cultural hub Our City Together, which presents an archive of podcasts, playlists, photography, film, talks and insights into museum collections in partnership with local institutions like the Barbican Centre and Museum of London. Each fortnight will see a new topic in focus, with interactive events to follow soon.

15 Offsite Online design exhibition
daniel nikolovski dragon bench and shelf
Daniel Nikolovski

Featuring new work by nearly 100 designers, brands, and students, virtual design fair Offsite Online is one of several hoping to go some way in plugging the gap left by this year's cancelled events. Usually a staple of NYCxDesign, this annual showcase by Sight Unseen is resolutely contemporary: be sure to look out for works from Estudio Persona and Kompaniet, as well as the sculptural 'Dragon Series' bench and shelf by Milan-based designer Daniel Nikolovski (above) carved from black walnut. From 18th May.

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