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Immerse Yourself in Art & Culture in London's West End

The 10 best ways to immerse yourself in art and culture in London

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Explore London's rich history and vibrant culture, uncover hidden gems, and experience moments of serenity inspired by our collaboration with Take A Moment.

Itinerary Info

Good for

Culture Vultures, Days out with family, Days out with friends, Art & Culture, Exploring

Getting around

Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Green Park, Charing Cross

Art of London Presents Take A Moment 2023

From August to October an incredible art initiative landed in London's West End via an Art of London collaboration with Take A Moment. Visitors could discover ‘eyes closed’ portraits by renowned photographer Ray Burmiston, focused on raising awareness around mental health.

Curated by Take A Moment director, Lara Journo-Leggatt this heartwarming exhibition featured hundreds of well-known faces with their closed eyes, reminding visitors of the importance of taking care of their own mental well-being.

Each week throughout the duration of the campaign, new famous faces appeared on the Piccadilly Lights. From September to October 2023 the National Portrait Gallery hosted a photography display featuring pictures of stars supporting mental health awareness.

Though the Piccadilly Lights and National Portrait Gallery features of the campaign have now come to an end. You can still visit the Take A Moment website to see the online exhibition.

Art Reframed: A Vibrant Public Art Installation

Experience Art Reframed, a dynamic public art installation in London's West End. Brought to life by Art of London and the National Portrait Gallery, this mesmerising display adorns the skies of Irving and Coventry Street.

Unveiled by Russell Tovey, a renowned actor and art enthusiast, 'Art Reframed' is a must-see sight in London. The installation showcases some of the National Portrait Gallery's most celebrated portraits presented on more than 50 giant colourful cubes.

Explore London's vibrant art scene with Art Reframed. Enjoy a refreshing stroll through the West End - a great chance to immerse yourself in art and culture at the heart of the city.

No.1273 Flag in Piccadilly: Culture and Art in the West End

Check out Rana Begum's No.1273 Flag in Piccadilly, London, presented by Art of London and the Royal Academy of Arts. Designed by Rana Begum, these flags are a nod to the start of the Art of London Summer Season: The Art of Entertainment.

Each flag has beautiful patterns that show the diverse culture of the city. Rana used intricate mosaic patterns to represent unity and the diverse community of London. Her clever blend of colour and geometry captures the fluidity of movement, resulting in a rhythm that connects with passers-by.

This eye-catching installation will be featured on Piccadilly until the last day of the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, Sunday 20th August!

Next time you're out in the West End, take a moment to sock in the culture and art while venturing out in the streets of the West End.

Unwind With a Book From Hatchards, London's Oldest Bookshop

Take a moment for yourself and enjoy reading a book at Hatchards, London's oldest bookshop. Founded in 1797 by John Hatchard, this beautiful five-storey bookshop is located on Piccadilly, next to Fortnum and Mason, and across from the Royal Academy of Arts.

Many authors visit to sign their new books, and they have an amazing collection of newly signed first editions. Reading is a fantastic way to reduce stress, as it lets your mind escape and dive into the world of written words. If you love history, they offer a strong collection of books about Royalty and Churchill.

On the Second Floor, you'll find their Children's department, a perfect place for young minds to explore and discover exciting books. So why not buy a book at Hatchards and take some time to relax and enjoy quality reading?

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz London

Experience the timeless charm of Afternoon Tea at The Ritz, a delightful British tradition combining the finest tea and champagne.

While dining at The Ritz, you'll savour a delectable assortment of finely cut sandwiches, freshly baked scones served with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserves, and an array of mouth-watering pastries and teacakes, all beautifully presented.

Choose from a selection of 18 different loose-leaf teas to find your perfect blend, and for a touch of extra sparkle, sip on a glass of Champagne.

This enchanting English Afternoon Tea takes place in the stunning setting of The Palm Court at The Ritz in Mayfair.

What sets The Ritz London apart is having a certified Tea Master, Giandomenico Scanu. He personally travels the world to source our wonderful teas from various tea plantations.

Relax and savour the moment as you indulge in the remarkable experience of afternoon tea at The Ritz.

Stern Pissarro Gallery - A Haven for Impressionist, Modern, and Contemporary Masterpieces

Stern Pissarro Gallery was established in 1964 by David Stern and Lélia Pissarro and has a focus on Impressionist, Modern, and Contemporary art, including works by Camille Pissarro and his descendants.

Situated in the heart of London's lively art scene on 66 St James’s Street, Mayfair, Stern Pissarro Gallery is housed in the iconic Target House building. This remarkable structure, designed by British architect Rodney Gordon, stands out with its eye-catching bronze anodised aluminium cladding, making it a standout example of Modernist architecture and a local landmark.

As the great-granddaughter of renowned artist Camille Pissarro, Lélia Pissarro brings a deep understanding of her family's art to the gallery. Stern Pissarro is not only a place to admire art but also a centre of research and expertise on the artworks of Camille Pissarro's descendants.

Over the years, they've curated significant exhibitions such as "Marc Chagall: Master of Colour" in 2016, "Christo and Jeanne-Claude: A Life of Projects" in 2018, and "Camille Pissarro: Works from the Gallery Collection" in 2021.

At Stern Pissarro Gallery, you can escape the bustling city and immerse yourself in a tranquil environment filled with captivating art and culture. Come and take a step back, appreciate the masterpieces, and enjoy moments of peace.

The Caravan Counseling Service at St James's Church

St. James's Church was founded in 1684 by Henry Compton. They welcome everyone and support refugees, asylum seekers, the environment, racial justice, and LGBTQ+ rights. The church warmly welcomes and assists those experiencing homelessness or living on low incomes.

One of their initiatives is "The Caravan," a free drop-in counselling service in the St James’s courtyard. It's a collaboration between CCPE (Centre for Counselling & Psychotherapy Education) and St James’s Church since 1982.

The Caravan provides a safe space where you can talk and receive emotional support. Volunteers are available Monday to Sunday, offering sessions ranging from 20 to 50 minutes, based on your preference. No booking is needed; you can simply drop in whenever you need to talk.

Whether you want a friendly chat or a deeper discussion about your troubles, compassionate volunteers are ready to listen and help. They strictly adhere to the BACP Code of Ethics and Practice, ensuring confidentiality is maintained.

St James's Church believes in the power of human connection and aims to make a positive difference in people's lives. If you need someone to talk to vsit The Caravan at St James's Church.

Westminster Reference Library - Music, History, and Relaxation

Westminster Reference Library opened on October 8, 1928, replacing the old library of St. Martin in the Fields. The site was previously home to the Leicester Fields chapel, built by the Huguenots in 1693.

Interesting historical residents include Isaac Newton, who lived here from 1710 to 1727, and later, the novelist Fanny Burney. The current building includes the cellars of the old house.

At the library, you can enjoy free live music every Wednesday at lunchtime. The concerts offer a variety of music, including instrumental and vocal recitals, chamber music, jazz sessions, and more.

The performances feature some of London's most promising musicians, creating an enjoyable experience for all ages and musical backgrounds. Drop by during your lunch break or bring friends and family to enjoy live music in a laid-back setting.

Admission is free, and donations are welcome but optional. Whether you want a moment for yourself, love live music, or simply desire some quality reading time, this is the perfect place for a relaxing lunch break.

Explore the National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery reopened in June after a remarkable building transformation. With an incredible collection of 250,000 photographs and negatives spanning from the 1840s to today, it's a must-see destination for all art lovers.

Visit the Take A Moment Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery as part of Art of London's Season: Art of Entertainment in September. Explore hundreds of famous faces and supporters of Take A Moment. Don't miss this exciting exhibition! Head to the National Portrait Gallery to check it out!

Must-See Exhibitions:

Paul McCartney Photographs 1963–64: Eyes of the Storm

Step into a time machine as you explore never-before-seen photos taken by Paul McCartney himself between December 1963 and February 1964. Witness the early days of The Beatles' rise to fame, from being a sensation in Britain to becoming a global phenomenon. Discover what it was like to be a 'Beatle' during the start of 'Beatlemania' and their journey from small UK stages to a historic performance on The Ed Sullivan Show for 73 million Americans.

Yevonde: Life and Colour

Get inspired by the fascinating story of a woman who found freedom through photography. Yevonde's portraits and still-life works spanning over sixty years will captivate you. This exhibition showcases the artist's experimental approach to photography and her trailblazing contribution to the world of portrait photography. Thanks to The CHANEL Culture Fund's support, this exhibition celebrates women in portraiture, enhancing their representation in the Gallery's Collection.

David Hockney Drawing from Life

Back by popular demand, the David Hockney: Drawing from Life exhibition returns after a temporary closure in March 2020 due to Covid. This five-star display features the work of the legendary artist David Hockney, known for his incredible drawing skills. Explore his intimate portraits of five different sitters, including his mother and himself, created using various mediums and styles like pencil, pen and ink, crayon, photographic collage, and even an iPad. Also, don't miss the debut of his latest portraits capturing friends and visitors to his studio in Normandy between 2020 and 2022.

Visit the National Portrait Gallery now and experience a whole new world of art and history!

Experience The National Gallery in London

Discover The National Gallery in London, a famous art museum established in 1824 and located in Trafalgar Square since 1838. Here, you can explore over 2,300 stunning paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900, representing various Western European traditions.

Uncover works by legendary artists like Leonardo, Monet, Van Gogh, Turner, Rembrandt, and many more. You'll find iconic masterpieces such as Van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait, Velázquez's Rokeby Venus, Turner's Fighting Temeraire, and Van Gogh's Sunflowers.

If you're passionate about art and eager to refine your creative skills, check out the Sketchbook Saturday workshops. These sessions offer an opportunity to express your artistic flair and learn in a fun and supportive environment.

For a deeper dive into contemporary art, make sure to visit the thought-provoking exhibition 'Paula Rego: Crivelli's Garden.' This explores the connection between Dame Paula Rego's powerful paintings and a 15th-century altarpiece that served as her inspiration. The exhibition pays homage to her work and celebrates the strength of female figures depicted in her art.

But the excitement doesn't end there! Be part of Summer on the Square, a fantastic and free art festival taking place from 1st to 28th August 2023, right in the heart of Trafalgar Square. Brought to you by The National Gallery and Westminster City Council, this event promises to ignite your creativity.

Immerse yourself in a world of art and inspiration. With exciting creative sessions and activities for all ages and skill levels – no prior experience is needed.

Bring your friends, family, or come alone – Summer on the Square is a celebration of art and creativity that you won't want to miss!

Visit The National Gallery and explore art from different eras and styles!

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Art of London Presents Take A Moment 2023

Take A Moment

August 08 - October 13

Art of London Presents Take A Moment, launched in London's West End bigger and better than ever! Presented via our collaboration with Take A Moment, this impactful initiative aimed to raise awareness mental health.

Read more about Art of London Presents Take A Moment 2023