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Six out-of-town art exhibitions worth leaving London for

Itching for some culture outside of London? Get a load of these art exhibitions just a train ride away

By Kyra Hanson

If you think you've exhausted the London art scene, it may be time to escape town for one of these exhibitions, which are just a train journey away from the capital. Pack a picnic, head to the coast or into the countryside and we guarantee you'll be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

RECOMMENDED: our full guide to day trips from London

1. 'A Beautiful Disorder' at the Cass Sculpture Foundation

Art Sculpture West Sussex

‘A Beautiful Disorder’ displays the work of 16 contemporary Chinese artists whose sculptures reflect on the fractious state of culture, politics and society in China. Works include Wang Yuyang's colossal, six-metre-tall monument, 'Identity', an abstract column created with 3D printing and cutting-edge modelling technology, which would probably look really good in the lobby of a bank, ironically.

Cass Sculpture Foundation, New Barn Hill, Goodwood, West Sussex, PO18 0QP 

On until November 6 2016

2. 'Martin Creed: What you Find' at Hauser & Wirth Somerset

Art South-West England

Martin Creed's work often provokes a mixture of outrage and amusement. His latest exhibition at Hauser & Wirth in Somerset does not disappoint. The British artist, who is known for pieces such as ‘Work No. 200 – Half the air in a given space’, in which he filled a half of a room’s volume with balloons, has spread his work over five gallery spaces. Expect to see a mixture of paintings, films, drawings, sculptures, music, spoken-word pieces and performances – most of which has been created in situ.

Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton, Somerset, BA10 0NL

On until September 11 2016


3. 'Colour: The Art and Science of Illuminated Manuscripts’ at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Museums Art and design Cambridgeshire

Who said the past was dull? ‘Colour: The Art and Science of Illuminated Manuscripts’ at the Fitzwilliam Museum proves that the Middle Ages were anything but drab. The museum marks its 200th anniversary with a show featuring more than 150 colourful manuscripts, including prayer books of European royalty and centuries-old religious papers.

The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1RB 

On until December 30 2016

4. 'Yinka Shonibare MBE' at Turner Contemporary

Art Kent

To mark the centenary of World War One, the gallery has commissioned two works by contemporary artist Yinka Shonibare MBE, who explores themes of cultural identity and colonialism, and is known for his multi-coloured – often headless figures. Look closer at the walls of the gallery and you will notice the names of immigrants who have enriched British culture, from T.S. Eliot to Zaha Hadid.

Turner Contemporary Rendezvous, Margate, Kent, CT9 1HG

On until October 30 2016


5. 'A Line Through Time’ at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Art Galleries Norfolk

‘Alberto Giacometti: A Line Through Time’ commemorates the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death. There are more than 100 works on display, including the spindly, striding, forlorn figures that he is known for. While you are there, check out Henri Cartier-Bresson’s black-and-white photographs of Paris captured between 1929 and 1985 – they are bound to get you all misty-eyed for the City of Love.

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ

On until August 29 2016

6. 'Martin Parr: Work and Leisure' at Firstsite

Art Essex

If you enjoyed ‘Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers’ at the Barbican Art Gallery, which was curated by Martin Parr, then you will love this exhibition of his own work at Firstsite. The British documentary and photojournalist has amassed more than 300 photographs spanning the last 40 years, documenting the shift from monochrome to colour photography and offering a fascinating glimpse into the lives of rural British communities.

Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JH

On until October 2 2016

Or stay put with these amazing art shows

© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

Top ten art exhibitions in London


Fancy seeing an art show this weekend but no idea where to go? Well look no further. You can't go wrong if you head down to one of our ten favourite art exhibitions taking place in the capital right now.


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