Art Exhibitions: Our Pick of Events for Textile, Fashion & Interior designers

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

The “roadmap” out of lockdown in the UK is now clearly underway; shops have opened, pubs are back, and finally some of us have managed to get a long-overdue hair appointment. But there’s one thing, in our opinion, that will mark the final end to this lockdown- the opening of art galleries on May 17th.

art gallery with bright lights, white walls and colourful artworks on the wall.
Photo by Antenna on Unsplash.

Art and culture feeds into the fashion we wear and the products we have in our homes. Remember the Bridget Riley exhibition in 2019, and how the shops were (and still are) full of polka dots as a result? Or the sell-out Frida Kahlo exhibition at the V&A in 2018? The catwalks and interiors shows were full of Mexican style embroidery and vibrant Frida florals after that.

So we've compiled a brief list of the art shows that we cannot wait to get to, including some that are sure to influence fashion and interiors trends within the next couple of years.

The below list mainly covers exhibitions open in London between May and July (we will post a new list in July for August openings). See exhibitions which aren't in London here. Check individual gallery pages for dates and ticket availability. All photos and videos are from the Galleries' own websites.

Italian Threads: MITA Textile Design 1926-1976 at Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, for a look at the colourful avant-garde Italian textiles that graced many interiors and ocean liners of mid-century Europe. 19th May- 20th June.


Igshaan Adams: Kicking Dust at the Haywood Gallery for weaving, sculpture and installations inspired by indigenous dance; Beautiful work that is sure to influence product design in the coming years. 19th May- 25th July.

Igshaan Adams: Kicking Dust Exhibition Image.

Jean Dubuffet: Brutal Beauty at the Barbican, for a look into the man who believed that art should be for everybody. Debuffet particularly advocated for art as a form of expression for those in psychiatric hospitals and other institutions. 17th May- 22 Aug.


Unearthed: Photography's Roots at Dulwich Picture Gallery for some stunning floral and botanical photography and gorgeous cyanotypes. 19th May- August 31st.


James Barnor: Accra/London - A Retrospective at the Serpentine Gallery to see this British- Ghanaian photographer's views of London and Accra over the last 6 decades, including some amazing retro fashion and fab Ghanaian fabrics and garments. Also showing on the big screen at Picadilly Circus, London. 19th May-22nd Oct.

James Barnor photograph of Erlin Ibrack in London in the 1960s wearing a retro dress.
James Barnor, Drum Cover Girl, Erlin Ibreck, London, 1966, Courtesy Autograph @autographabp

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms at Tate Modern for some fun and eye-dizzying optical illusions. Spring 21- Spring 22 TBC.

Image of yayoi kusama's infinity mirrored room, showing mirrors reflecting twinkling lights in a dark and purple room.
Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room - Filled with the Brilliance of Life 2011/2017 Tate Presented by the artist, Ota Fine Arts and Victoria Miro 2015, accessioned 2019 © YAYOI KUSAMA


On Point, Royal Academy of Dance at 100 at the V&A, for a free look at the history of the Academy, their dancers and some lovely shots of some of the costumes throughout their history. Ongoing.

illustration of a character with annotations of costume design and fabrics
Costume design by Claud Lovat Fraser for 'Jack in the Green', about 1921, England.


Alice, Curiouser & Curiouser at the V&A, for plenty of surrealist art, fantastical costumes and fun set design, including Tim Walker’s fab photography and Vogue editor Edward Enninful’s styling. 22 May- 31 Dec.

Mad Hatter Illustration Sir by John Tenniel, 1865.
Mad Hatter Illustration by Sir John Tenniel, 1865.


Outside London:

Memphis: Plastic Field at MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, for a look at the colourful, kitsch and geometric furniture and objects by the Memphis group in the 80’s. 18th May- 12th Sept.

Blue plast memphis designed light with wheels and brightly coloured bulb holders.
"Super" by Martine Bedin 1981. Photo by Pariano Angelantonio.


Mary Newcomb: Nature's Canvas at Compton Verney for poetic paintings in the unique style of this natural scientist, farmer and artist. 18th May- 5th Sept.

hand drawn images of white flowers with insects and writing
Mary Newcomb, Insects on Hogweed, date unknown © Mary Newcomb EstateMary Newcomb, The lady with a Bunch of Sweet Williams, 1988 © Crane Kalman Gallery


Rebecca Louise Law: Seasons, also at Compton Verney. For a romantic, botanical look

at British Seasons through preserved floral displays. 18th May- 30th Aug.

preserved flowers hanging in an arrangement
Rebecca Louise Law, The Beauty of Decay, 2016, The Chandran Gallery at Compton Verney, © The artist. Photo: Rachel Warne


Disclaimer: We haven’t visited these shows yet, so please don’t hold us accountable if you visit one of these and don’t enjoy! Instead, contact us here so we can update our blog with any reviews, both good and bad.