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Svelte's Six for March

As Spring arrives with a rumour of increasing sunshine and expeditions, there’s much more to hold your attention after the excitement of the London Bike Show last month. Whether you’re heading off for a similar experience of talks and window shopping at Berliner-Fahrradschau or staying in the Capital, London has more than enough to keep you occupied. We apologise in advance for tempting you off the bike.

Make No Small Plans

A trip to the RIBA building is interesting enough in itself, but the ‘Make No Small Plans’ late Tuesday event sounds fascinating. Looking at the idea of ‘creating something from ‘nothing’ and starting from scratch’, you’re invited to explore urban thinking with a huge programme for the night filled with talks, films, tours, workshops, games, installations and stories. It’s a privilege to explore RIBA in this way. You’ll need to register for free tickets.

Tuesday 8th March.


Straight and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers

We enjoy looking at the world with unfamiliarity, of feeling lost, leading ourselves forward to the unknown on two wheels and meeting ourselves in new ways as the body aches. Off the bike meanwhile, we find ourselves drawn to The Barbican’s latest exhibition that draws together a view of Britain by International Photographers who come to the shores armed with an unfamiliar eye. Curated by Martin Parr, ‘Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers’ captures the social, cultural and political identity from the 1930s to today. It’s vibrant and enjoyably jarring to say the least.

Running until 19 June 2016.


States of Mind: Tracing the edges of consciousness

The Facets of the human brain are fascinating. We often meet the edge on tough rides. Gathering artists, psychologists, philosophers and neuroscientists, the Wellcome Collection interrogates our consciousness. Delve in to  somnambulism, synaesthesia, and disorders of memory and consciousness. Make sure you catch the variety of installations they have passing through, too. 

Running until 24 April 2016.



Somerset House has leapt upon the celebration of the 500th birthday of Thomas Moore’s ‘inspirational text’ Utopia with gusto. The year-long trip takes us in to the future. It starts outside the building with Jeremy Deller and Fraser Muggeridge studio’s gleeful yellow Utpoian flag and expands deep inside the building as artists, designers, provocateurs and thinkers experiment with ways we might live, make, work and play. This month, a TEDx conference spends the day debating around the theme of ‘breaking the rules’, constructively looking at how we’ll reach this glorious future.

Running until 31 December 2016.


Paul Strand

Paul Strand’s was seen to define the way we see fine art and documentary photography, and his journey of photographic abstraction reaches around the globe. Inspired by Cézanne, Picasso and Matisse, his works travels from the shadowy silhouettes on the streets of Manhattan, to the Scottish Hebrides, and extensively around Egypt, Morocco and Ghana. It’s the first UK retrospective since his death in 1976.

Running until 3 July 3016.



Breathe is a celebration of air. At its centre is VOX, a multi-sensory harp installation at The Old Church in Stoke Newington. The wind harp translates the movements of air around it in to a display of lights, colours and sounds, all within an ancient building. Alongside this the community are running a number of creative meditative sessions you can join to enjoy the space and special events (like an open mic night this month). This alone, is enough to pique our interest but the festival itself sounds lively with work from local artists, musicians, dangers and storytellers who all use wind as their starting point. 

Running until 20 March 2016.


Serial adventurer, dedicated writer and in her own words, from an "outdoors, not outdoorsy" world. Claire's brilliantly funny and honest Detour blog provides the perfect insight in to riding in and around London, and explores further afield for those looking to discover something a little more than their standard fifty mile route. For Svelte, she explores other cities as well as rounding up what's going on in the Capital.