If you’ve lived in the area for more than five minutes, you’ve undoubtedly swung by NW5’s long-running home of contemporary art.
Founded back in 2007 as the Zabludowicz Collection, it’s housed in a former Methodist chapel built in the grand Corinthian style over 150 years ago.
Originally the main place of worship for the Methodist community in north London, if you want to get a real sense of its past virtues, ascend to the mezzanine and sit on a wooden pew. And sit and breathe its history in.
As well as a constantly rotating annual schedule of cutting-edge exhibitions, did you know there’s a whole other tier of events, from reading groups to workshops, curator tours to drawing classes?
Nope? Well, in that case read on. One regular cerebral occurrence that will undoubtedly improve your mind (and get you off that bloody phone) is the current series of winter Master Class lectures.
Master Class is a week-long intensive for emerging artists: now in its eighth year, it offers a free opportunity for eight early-career artists to work closely with leading international mentors to develop their individual practices through lectures, tutorials, workshops, gallery visits and seminars.And here’s where you come in. The week is structured around four public lectures, this year including Judith Bernstein, Antony Gormley and Joey Holder.
Our pick is London-based sculptor Thomas J Price, whose work, he says, “is engaged with issues of representation and perception, in society and in art.” His figurative sculptures function as psychological portraits of his imagined subjects – usually male, usually black – with features that are in fact an amalgamation of sources, from observed individuals to neo-classical sculptures.
In his Master Class: Artist Talk (2nd February) he’ll be discussing his fascination with the minutiae of body language, facial expression and external presentation, and in turn, their ability to suggest a state of mind. You’ll learn about his engagement with issues of representation and perception, in society and in art.
And as if you need any more convincing, he’s enjoyed some pretty prestigious solo exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts and Royal College of Art.
We can’t think of a more cerebral – and lest we forget, free – way to better yourself at the start of the decade.
Main image: Thomas J Price (PR)