As we spend so much time getting excited about Christmas, going into the New Year can be somewhat underwhelming.
Once the celebrations are over, January and February are often quiet months. And with the colder weather here to stay for a little while longer, it’s important to find things to look forward to in 2018. In this article, we look at just a handful of exciting new attractions and events to add to your calendar.
See the Terracotta Warriors in Liverpool
February 9 – October 28
Before a chance discovery in 1974, the underground army of life-sized terracotta warriors guarded the tomb of China’s First Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Now, in 2018, locals and visitors in Liverpool will get the chance to meet some of these remarkable statues face-to-face.
This awe-inspiring exhibition will showcase objects from one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. Featuring artefacts from over 1,000 years of Chinese history, this exhibition promises to pique everyone’s interests, not just history buffs. The Liverpool Museums website states: “The exhibition will include a number of objects that have never been seen on show in the UK before, including material from museums and institutes from across Shaanxi Province, excavated over the last 40 years from the Imperial Mausoleum and selected tombs.
“These spectacular artefacts will shed light on the Emperor’s pursuit of immortality, and show how he prepared for the afterlife, as well as help us to understand more about everyday life in China more than 2,000 years ago.”
Liverpool’s World Museum was rated the third most accessible tourist destination in the UK in the Vitalise Accessible UK Tourism Report 2014, so you’ll find it easy to explore this exciting exhibition in your mobility scooter.
Join in the festivities of Chinese New Year
If you can’t quite let go of the Christmas and New Year celebrations, why not join in the festivities of Chinese New Year? Celebrated on Friday, February 16, 2018, Chinese New Year is an important festival to mark the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. This year will be the year of the dog.
Manchester has one of the oldest and largest Chinese communities in the UK and a corner of the city is dedicated to Chinese food and culture. This is an excellent place to be to celebrate the Chinese New Year. In the two weeks leading up to February 16th, thousands of red lanterns will illuminate the retail district into Albert Square and Chinatown. Look out for the Chinese food market in St Ann’s Square with over 60 stalls, Chinese craft workshops in the Arndale Centre and the impressive Dragon Parade, which closes the celebrations on Sunday, February 18. For full details of Manchester’s Chinese New Year celebrations, take a look at this piece by Manchester Evening News.
Visit the new V&A Dundee
Explore the first ever dedicated design museum in Scotland. The V&A Dundee will be the only V&A museum anywhere in the world outside London, and will lead visitors on a journey through design past, present and future. The new museum, which is due to open late summer 2018, will pay homage to many Scottish designers and innovators, as well as providing a space for up and coming artists to exhibit their work.
The V&A will tell the largely untold story of Scotland’s outstanding design achievements, according to the museum, bringing together world-renowned V&A collections and beyond to inspire visitors. V&A Dundee will be the first building in the UK designed by internationally renowned architect Kengo Kuma, who is also designing the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium. So, if you’re planning a visit to Scotland in 2018, the V&A will not disappoint.
Check out the capital’s largest light festival
You won’t have to wait long after Christmas for this stunning event. In January, illuminated works of art by international artists and sculptors will be showcased as part of Lumiere London. Immersive art imagining a world underwater and flamingos flying through Chinatown are just some of the exciting displays being showcased in the capital. For visitors in mobility scooters, the event organisers recommended the following Lumiere London works close to tube stations which have lift access from platform to street level:
- Waterlicht by Studio Roosegaarde (Netherlands): Inspired by our changing relationship to water and the risk of global warming and rising sea levels, Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde will transform Granary Square with a prophetic virtual flood
- Aether by Architecture Social Club (UK) & Max Cooper (UK) at the West Handyside Canopy: The British collective of designers, architects, technicians and poets, Architecture Social Club, will present an emotive and powerful audio-visual work for the festival entitled Aether. Its glittering mass grows, rolls and splinters in reaction to the soundscape created by music producer, Max Cooper. Connecting light and sound to the emotions of viewers and playing on our intrinsic and emotional relationship with form, colour and sound, Aether accentuates our connections with the physical, engulfing the viewer in a rich, sensory experience.
- Love Motion by Rhys Coren (UK), Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly: Specially commissioned in partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts, Love Motion, is inspired by the flowing lyrical movements of Matisse’s dancing figures. Coren has created an animation of two intricately paper-cut figures who will dance elegantly across the building’s facade, clasping each other in romantic embrace, accompanied by an original soundtrack
Westminster & Victoria
- The Light of the Spirit by Patrice Warrener (France) at Westminster Abbey: French digital artist Patrice Warrener returns to present the second instalment of The Light of the Spirit for Westminster Abbey, one of the most popular installations at Lumiere London in 2016. Building upon this 2016 commission to articulate elements on the West Front, which gave the impression of a painted facade, for 2018 Warrener will incorporate more of this landmark building, illuminating the sculptural details in his distinctive polychromatic style.”
Discover marine life at the North Sea Observatory
A new building to help connect people to the sea is underway in Lincolnshire. The North Sea Observatory will have uninterrupted views of the dunes, beach and sea, which visitors can enjoy via indoor and outdoor observation decks.
Back in 2005, Lincolnshire Council initiated the Bathing Beauties arts led coastal regeneration project. Due to its success, and with support from the Arts Council, a second phase was developed titled Structures on the Edge – the SOTE project, which incorporated a proposal for a multi-purpose building on the seafront. The North Sea Observatory, which is currently being built, will act as a coastal observatory for the Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park (LCCP), whose aim is to provide top facilities for visitors and better protection for wildlife.
Councillor Colin Dave, Executive Member for Economy and Place, said: “This new attraction will be something unique to Lincolnshire. The observatory will be the perfect spot for people to enjoy our spectacular coastline and its beautiful wildlife, and there will be plenty for the kids to do too.
“The building will contain a range of exhibits along with an art space, café, toilets and a lookout for the local Coastwatch organisation. This is just one of a series of investments on the coast, which we are confident will help attract new visitors to the area. Combined with the nearby outdoor theatre space and the new visitor centre at Gibraltar Point, it will help extend the traditional tourist season, providing a significant boost to the economy. I can’t wait to see it finished.”
According to the council, there will be a ramp from the car park up to the entrance to the ground floor. The upper floor to the café and visitors facilities will be accessible via a lift and will also feature a disabled toilet.
Image credits: Phil Long, Lumiere London, Lincolnshire County Council, V&A Dundee