June event highlights

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Tower Hamlets has a vibrant arts scene, and a host of family and community activities. We hope you find something to enjoy.

For more events taking place in Tower Hamlets this month, visit our What’s on Guide for arts and entertainment listings.

What's on in Tower Hamlets      >

Jubilant Jubilee

Jubilant Jubilee

There will be jubilee jubilation in Tower Hamlets, as neighbourhoods, streets and communities across the borough get set to join in celebrations to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

As well as local community celebrations over the special four-day bank holiday weekend there are events for all residents to enjoy. The Jubilant Jubilee exhibition, opening on 1 June at The Brady Arts Centre, includes work from residents in response to the theme of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Participants have been exploring historic UK events throughout recent decades with associated feasts, fanfare, celebration and commemoration to make connections through the years.

Half Moon Theatre and Clarion Futures invite residents to join young people and elders on 1 June outside Butley Court Community Centre in Bow, as they unveil a unique artwork celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and local Tower Hamlets history. The Celebrate Legacy community celebration will feature entertainment for all ages, including face painting, badge making workshops, a bouncy castle and funfair stalls, as well as a traditional BBQ and authentic Caribbean cuisine.

On Friday 3 June there will be an arts and crafts workshop in King Edward Memorial Park, Wapping, where children and families can make cardboard crowns, tiaras and swords.  We will also be taking a look at the royal heritage of Tower Hamlets parks.  

On 5 June residents are invited to Victoria Park, to celebrate HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  As part of the bandstand season, brought to the public by Victoria Park Friends Group in partnership with Tower Hamlets Council, London Metropolitan Brass Band will perform on the historic bandstand from 2pm.

Find details of events celebrating the Jubilee on the council website.

Spring half term fun in Tower Hamlets parks

Spring half term fun in Tower Hamlets parks

We've got a fantastic range of FREE events in our parks this half term! 

Join the Mile End Park and Victoria Park Teams for some school holiday fun. From adventure play and pizza making, to window box planting, arts and crafts, canoeing and fishing and don't forget the donkey rides at Mudchute Park & Farm

Activities take place from Monday 30 May to Saturday 5 June.  All activities are free but some require advance booking.  Full event listings

Art Classes at the Brady Arts Centre

Art classes at The Brady Arts Centre

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, students of all levels are welcome to come along to the Brady Arts Centre in June to hone their skills and get creative with a range of classes on offer.  On Wednesdays, you can join Ginny and Nurcan to practice or learn how to paint in oils, and continuing this term are our Whitechapel Life Drawing classes on Thursdays. The art studio is a spacious, well equipped and friendly environment in which to feel energised and inspired to make new work in a variety of media and get your creative juices flowing as summer arrives.

Meet Me Halfway at The Art Pavilion

Meet Me Halfway - a new exhibition at The Art Pavilion

Meet Me Halfway is a group show presenting work by MA Fine Art students from City & Guilds of London Art School. Halfway through their course, this is an occasion for eleven emerging artists to come together and share a glimpse of their practice as it unfolds.

The exhibition title also references the spirit of dialogue and collaboration on the course, which is key to testing ideas and providing new perspectives on each other's practices. Meet Me Halfway includes both figurative and abstract work in a range of media: work on paper, painting, installation and sculpture.

Meet Me Halfway is open at The Art Pavilion, Mile End Park 8 – 11 June. There is an opening on June 8 from 6-8.30pm. All welcome

Festival of Communities 

Festival of Communities 2022

The Festival of Communities returns on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 June, bigger than ever before!

Exploring living and learning in Tower Hamlets, local organisations and Queen Mary London University (QMUL) staff and students will be running hands-on activities and workshops that showcase local creativity, research and community initiatives. There will also be free face painting, henna, balloon modelling and inflatables!

Join QMUL for a fantastic weekend of free family fun from 11.30am-4.30pm in Stepney Green Park on Saturday and the Queen Mary Mile End Campus on Sunday.

Tower Hamlets City of Stories Home Celebration Event

Tower Hamlets City of Stories Home Celebration Event

Calling all writers and readers! Spread the Word invite you along to this special free event at Cubitt Town Library, celebrating the launch of the City of Stories Home Anthology featuring talented new writers from across London, alongside published authors.

Take part in a relaxed creative writing workshop - aimed at those who would like to give writing a go or those who are already writers, hear local authors read their stories and pick up your own free copy of the Anthology. You can sign up to attend the creative writing workshop, the reading or both!

There’ll also be information on how your library can support you as a reader and writer, writing tips from the City of Stories Home commissioned writers and a City of Stories Home short story reading list curated by librarians to help you find your next read.

The Essential School of Painting: Art Matters 1 and 2

ESOP: Art Matters at the Art Pavilion

The Essential School of Painting return to The Art Pavilion in Mile End Park for their end of year student shows. Showcasing both undergraduate and postgraduate work, the exhibitions are open 23 - 28 June and 1-6 July.  Open 11am - 6pm daily. Free entry and all welcome.

The Essential School of Painting is a dynamic London art school specialising in painting and drawing classes taught by leading contemporary artists. The ESOP offers exciting, intellectually rigorous courses with the intention of advancing painting and other art forms in the 21st Century.

Brick Lane 1978: The Turning Point

Brick Lane 1978: The Turning Point

Image by Paul Trevor. Outside Bethnal Green police station, London, 17 July 1978.
Sit down protest, demanding the release of two arrested demonstrators.

Four Corners present an exhibition celebrating East London's Bengali activists of 1978.

East End photographer Paul Trevor documented how members of the local Bengali community endured racial abuse as a constant factor of everyday life, and the moment at which they mobilised against racist violence and institutional police racism. The exhibition brings together 75 of Trevor’s photographs for the first time, alongside oral history recordings by original activists.

The show marks the culmination of a major heritage project led by Four Corners and Swadhinata Trust, in partnership with Paul Trevor. With the help of volunteers and original activists, the project is creating a record of this watershed moment as told by local people.

Brick Lane 1978: The Turning Point is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Summer Lights at Canary Wharf

Summer Lights at Canary Wharf

Summer Lights is a free-to visit, outdoor exhibition which celebrates and plays with natural light through art.  To celebrate the beauty of natural light, and the long summer days, outdoor areas of Canary Wharf will be transformed into sparkling, colourful and inviting spaces.

Aiming to continue to bring stunning works of art to the Canary Wharf estate, this unique light event will launch on the summer solstice to celebrate light in its most natural form.

From a flock of bright birds soaring overhead in Jubilee Park, to colourful and kaleidoscopic interactive pieces at Wood Wharf, 11 new artworks will be dotted around Canary Wharf to compliment the 6 permanent pieces included on the trail, plus a spectacular exhibition of hand-blown glass in the Lobby of One Canada Square. 

The artworks are best appreciated during daylight hours, especially when the sun is shining brightly. A map will be available online to help you navigate your way around the artworks and appreciate them at your own pace.  View the summer lights Tuesday 21 June – Saturday 20 August

Bow Road Open Studios are back!

Bow Arts Open Studios

After a two-year hiatus, Bow Arts are opening their doors for the much-anticipated annual Open Studios event on 17 and 18 June.

This is a once-a-year opportunity to meet over 100 painters, sculptors, theatre designers, product designers, performers, jewellers, fashion designers, illustrators and more.

With live music, free family workshops, a makers’ market and food and drink stalls, Open Studios is an event for all ages and a unique opportunity to meet the talent and celebrated creatives of east London, learn about their creative processes, and maybe even buy a work of art.

The on-site Nunnery Gallery will be showing the annual Bow Open Show, presented this year by Baesianz, showcasing artwork from across 14 London-wide studio sites. Free entry.

Rich Mix and Spotlight present Unmute

Rich Mix and Spotlight present UnMute

If you are 11-14, you’ve probably spent a lot of time during the pandemic with the mute button on. It’s time to…UnMute

UnMute is a fun and friendly discussion and debate club, where you can meet new people and pick up skills that will help you communicate in lots of different situations; at school, with friends and family, and in your future life and career.

The sessions are for everyone, whether you speak up first or like to listen before you talk. You’ll learn how to debate many different issues and ideas, everything from society to social media, science to sports, creativity, business, politics and more. What topics do you want to talk about?

To find out more and meet the UnMute team, we are inviting parents and students to a taster workshop on Wednesday 1 June.

The London Open 2022 at Whitechapel Gallery

The London Open 2022

Marija Bozinovska Jones, Beginningless Mind (Rivers, Rhythms, Rituals), 2021, 12:19 mins. Courtesy the artist © Frangipanni Beatt

The London Open 2022 sees the return of this triennial open exhibition to the Whitechapel Gallery.  The exhibition captures the vibrancy and diversity of the capital’s art scene, reflecting the concerns of the next generation of artists and their insights in challenging times.

The 2022 edition features 46 artists’ works. A seismic shift has happened in the artistic and cultural landscape since the last edition of The London Open in 2018. Moving from personal to collective concerns, the cathartic to the poetic, this exhibition traces huge social changes. It tracks the frustrating effects of the drawn-out exit from the EU, disconcertion as the city ground to a halt in spring 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, realisation of the scale of the destruction of our planet, and the urgency to end racism and to decolonise culture since the Black Lives Matter protests. Whilst the show itself was also postponed by a year, the works capture the impact of a ‘lost’ year, which gave society — and artists — the chance to pause, redefine priorities and identify urgencies.

Victoria Park Bandstand Season

Victoria Park Bandstand Season

Image © VPF 2010>2022

The 2022 Victoria Park bandstand season is now in full swing!  In partnership with the council, Victoria Park Friends bring you fantastic free concerts to liven up your summer Sundays.  Come and enjoy a great, free family afternoon at Vicky Park's famous bandstand from 2pm every Sunday in June and July. .

From Sondheim to Ska via brass band standards, a ukulele sing-along and HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Check out the the full line up of bandstand concerts.

Plastic bottle tops wanted for Tower Hamlets community mosaic

Plastic bottle tops wanted for Tower Hamlets community mosaic

Celebrate sustainability by helping create a brilliant and enormous artwork. It’s all about Tower Hamlets, will be made entirely from bottle tops and we need your help to collect the materials!

Art Catcher Ltd invite Tower Hamlets residents to collect washed, clean plastic bottle tops  of all sizes, shapes and colours for a huge bottle top mosaic about and for the borough. The mosaic will be created with the visitors during a fun and exciting autumn half term week for the whole family at the Art Pavilion in Mile End Park. Details will be announced nearer the time.

Please contact katja@artcatcher.co.uk if you can collect bottle tops between now and October.

Are you organising events?

If you are organising arts or cultural events, either online or at your venue in Tower Hamlets, please submit listings to our What’s On pages.

Use #TowerHamletsTogether to highlight your event and enter wider conversations about activities and support available to the local community.

Twitter @THevents

Facebook TowerHamletsEvents

Gally Space Brady Art Centre

Tower Hamlets Arts and EventsTeam

Brady Arts Centre, 192 - 196 Hanbury Street, E1 5HU

020 7364 7921 | artsandevents@towerhamlets.gov.uk | www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/arts

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