You've been to the Tate. Now what? It’s all too easy to become stuck in a rut in London, visiting the same galleries and museums over and over again out of habit. These arty finds are SO cool, you'll want to keep them all to yourself...
The UK is full of off-the-beaten-track art spaces that are just waiting to be discovered. So it’s lucky we’re here to share our secrets of the coolest galleries we’ve come across. Read on for our guide to the UK’s best art spaces (that aren’t the Tate) and you need never be lacking inspiration again…
1. Wapping Project
Wapping Project is a huge space in London’s fashionable Wapping docks and plays host to some of the most atmospheric, forward-thinking film work and installation around town. Housed in a cavernous warehouse, complete with original machinery, it has a restaurant that makes Tate Modern’s look like a college cafe. Yhoji Yamamoto’s 2011 installation should be enough to convince you.
2. Hunterian Museum
The Museum Of Surgeons might not sound like the ideal spot for a weekend stroll, but its collection of weird and wonderful specimens is part Natural History Museum, part Frankenstein. Drawing students can be found scribbling away in abundance, and you can pique your morbid curiosity amongst the oddly serene rows of jars.
3. De La Warr Pavillion
For those looking outside of London a little, the impressive 1930’s Modernist architecture and punch-packing rotations of shows and high profile names should be as good a pull to visit the sea as any. Sat on Bexhill-On-Sea’s beautiful beach, De La Warr has become a British icon and fantastic cultural pilgrimage to our often under appreciated English coast line.
4. Camden Arts Centre
Camden Arts Centre is part gallery, part brilliantly stocked bookshop, and part hub for artists in residence. The Centre feels much more educational than your average gallery, and has a mix of brilliantly written conceptual explanation as well as wonderfully executed, and often very experimental work.
5. Whitechapel Gallery
Whitechapel Gallery holds some of the biggest names and events on the calendar. For those outside however, the area of Whitechapel is an often unturned rock. The gallery houses one of the best book shops in town, with many of their own publications, and the sprawling rooms hold host to some of the best in global current artwork.
6. The Modern Institute
Glasgow’s Modern Institute has hosted huge names in the art scene, from Jeremy Deller to Eva Rothschild – and should be on the list for anyone living in, or outside of Glasgow. It has three Turner Prize winners on its books, and isn’t afraid to show boundary pushing work.
7. Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Those wishing to make the most of the UK’s beautiful scenery can’t do much better than a visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Placing large-scale works against a powerful backdrop brings a much more rounded effect than often viewed in a white gallery space. Their embracing of both modern and traditional sculpture makes this a place to revel in all forms of the 3D medium.
8. Floating Cinema
Floating Cinema is a temporary London structure, a boat created Duggan Morris Architects and in partnership with artists and filmmakers Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie, showing an ever-changing timetable of screenings, workshops and canal tours over the East London canals. Screenings are free and run until the end of September.
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