The Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery is the latest London cultural space to reveal that it’s reopening.
The institution will open its doors from August 1, giving visitors a chance to see exhibition ‘Among the Trees’ for the first time since London went into lockdown in March.
The show explores artists’ relationships with trees via works from the likes of Steve McQueen, Roxy Paine and Peter Doig. As Time Out’s Art Editor wrote in his review on March 3: ‘The work in this show puts a different symbolic weight on the idea of trees and forests. There’s an emotional conflict at play: on the one hand, the whole exhibition feels like a calm, safe, quiet haven, like any forest might feel. But on the other, there’s a sense of foreboding. Some works carry the threat of a tree toppling, of the unseen darkness of the forest, of imminent environmental collapse. The show drags you in with the promise of tranquillity, then bashes you over the head with a branch in the woods.’
Be aware: things will have changed since you last visited the gallery. For a start, pre-booking a time slot for your trip is essential. Visitors are encouraged to wear a mask and not bring cash. The gallery has also added clearly signposted one-way systems and hand-sanitiser stations, as well as increasing cleaning and decreasing capacity.
‘We’ll continue to review and manage any risks and to respond to any changes in the guidance, keeping our staff trained and up to date as we go,’ says the Southbank Centre website. Its other venues – the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room – remain closed.