Whats On In January

Looking for an excuse to get up off the sofa and brush the cake crumbs from your lap? Theres lots to do in January that doesn’t require fasting or not drinking. Here is our guide to whats on in January.

Swish & Style Clothes Swap 

Are you looking to update your wardrobe for the New Year but doing it on a budget? Why not head to a Swish & Style Clothes swapping event in London this month? The North London Waste Authority has organised the events to support their Wise Up To Waste campaign and encourage more people to swap. The first event is taking place on 8th January in London’s Covent Garden. Simply bring along clean, wearable womens and mens clothes you longer wear to swap for swap for something you will. Fast Fashion Therapy will also be at the event to offer free upcycling and repair tips.

Sign up to attend for free


Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is the most important date in China’s traditional calendar. This year, the new year falls on Saturday the 25th of January. It’s the Year of the Rat, the first animal of the Chinese zodiac. Representing luck and wealth, people born in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 and 2020 are said to be sensitive with strong self-awareness whilst being blessed with good fortune. Clever, quick thinkers, and successful are just a few of the words used to describe them. Celebrations usually last for seven days and Chinese people gift red envelopes filled with money to their loved ones as a symbol of good luck. The celebrations traditionally come to an end with a Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first Lunar month. Upholding the city’s tradition, the biggest and best celebration will be the Chinese New Year parade, with the main stage hosted at Trafalgar Square. Over 300,000 people will take part in the celebrations in London. This year promises to be an absolute feast for the eyes; dragon and lion dances, street performers and a burst of sound. Be sure to stick around for the pyrotechnic display at Trafalgar Square for the grand finale and an explosion of Chinese New Year fireworks in London!

Trafalgar Square, 25th January, free entry

Mary Quant at the V&A

Dame Mary Quant once famously stated that “Fashion is not frivolous; it is part of being alive today”. She’s a designer that is now more relevant than ever. The V&A will open the first international retrospective on the iconic fashion designer who revolutionised the high street creating a new empowering look for women. The embodiment of swinging London, Quant challenged conventions, and made the once outrageous miniskirt mainstream. Her colourful tights and tailored trousers were the iconic outfits of a new age of feminism, and irreverence was a powerful tool for questioning norms and female fashion. Receiving unprecedented access to Dame Mary Quant’s Archive and the largest public collection of Quant garments in the world, the show will bring together garments, accessories, cosmetics, sketches and photographs. The majority of which have never been on display before. The beginning of the exhibition will set the scene of post-war London for the opening of Quant’s experimental shop Bazaar, on Chelsea’s King’s Road in 1955. Quant encouraged young women to rebel against traditional dress worn by their mothers and grandmothers. Her tiny boutique on the King’s Road grew into a wholesale brand available in department stores across the UK. Quant was not only a visionary designer, but a true businesswoman.

V&A, until 16th February, £12

Patrick Staff: On Venus

For their newly commissioned exhibition at the Serpentine, Patrick Staff presents their most ambitious work to date: On Venus is a site-specific installation exploring structural violence through architectural intervention, video and print. Patrick Staff interrogates notions of discipline, dissent, labour and queer identity and the ways in which history, technology, capitalism and the law have fundamentally transformed how we define and identify bodies today, with a particular focus on gender, debility and biopolitics. Throughout the spaces of the Serpentine Gallery, Staff initiates a series of architectural interventions, transforming the gallery into a rudimentary body. On Venus, a new video work, is presented in the second powder room. Looped footage is comprised of two parts; the first of scratched, warped and overlapping footage documenting the industrial farming. The second half comprises a poem describing life on Venus, a queer alternative state that is volatile and in constant metamorphosis.

Warning: The exhibition contains strong and sensitive material and flashing images.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery, until 9th February, free entry

Anselm Kiefer Superstrings, Runes, The Norns, Gordian Knot 

German Painter, Sculptor, Photographer, and Installation Artist, Anselm Kiefer’s monumental, often confrontational canvases were groundbreaking at a time when painting was considered all but dead as a medium. White Cube Bermondsey presents an exhibition of Kiefer’s never seen before work. The exhibition brings together many of the interests that have characterised Kiefer’s work for decades, including mythology, astronomy and history. It features his signature large-scale installations and paintings that draw on the scientific concept known as string theory. String theory is a mathematical model that attempts to articulate the known fundamental interactions of the universe and forms of matter. In this new body of work, Kiefer has ‘tried to bring together theories of seemingly extraneous principles from different cultures and histories’, so that complex scientific theory is connected with subject matter from ancient mythology. In doing so, Kiefer makes visual the idea that ‘Everything is connected: the missing letters, string theory, the Norns, the Gordian knot.’

Until 26 January 2020, White Cube Bermondsey, free entry


Launched in the UK in January 2014, Veganuary is a non-profit organisation that encourages people to try going vegan for January (and beyond). Veganuary is focused on changing consumer behaviours and attitudes, while providing all the information and practical support required to make the transition to veganism as easy and as enjoyable as possible through the month.

Since the campaign started, more than 500,000 people have registered to try veganism. Although data suggests that ten times more people actually participate and try veganism in January each year. Participants are then supported to keep up the diet through a series of emails, social media content, membership of a Facebook support group, and a website full of helpful resources like recipes, a starter kit and meal plans. Veganuary is more than a pledge. The campaign also support brands, manufacturers and retailers to expand their plant-based options. Last year, more than 500 businesses took part in Veganuary, while more than 200 plant-based products and menus were launched including Gregg’s famous sausage roll, Pizza Hut’s jackfruit pizza, and Marks & Spencer’s Plant Kitchen range.

Participants sign up at www.veganuary.com/register

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