Free exhibitions in London
Are you a nerdy child of the 1980s? Then chances are you were reared on two films: ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘The Dark Crystal’. If you always preferred the Gelflings to the Goblin King, we have some good news for you: you can enter the world of Thra this August as part of special exhibition to coincide with the release of the Netflix series ‘The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’. Take a tour of setpieces from the series (like the creepy Skeksis banquet), explore the making-of gallery and meet the puppets modelled on Jim Hensons’s original creations. Try to resist walking through the gallery shouting ‘trial by stone!!’
Noses at the ready! This immersive exhibition tells the story of Barking’s industrial past through the power of smell. Sewage, fish and the scent of a fizzy pop factory will all be on display for you to take a whiff at, so you can discover what the streets of the east London suburb smelt like 200 years ago. It's certainly not to be sniffed at. The smelly exhibition can be found at Valence House Museum, Dagenham. A further exhibition (which doesn’t include the smell feature) can be found outside the National Theatre until Oct 5.
Ever wondered how a science lab manages to breed, feed and store a million fruit flies for experiments? Well, prepared to be amazed. The Crick Institute is offering up a behind-the-scenes look at the methods and people driving the latest scientific advances. And it's not just flies either, with the lid lifted on laser guides, cell growers and tech fixers too.
Luke Jerram’s six-metre glowing sculpture has Nasainspired detail. It’s lighting up the Natural History Museum for the fiftieth anniversary of Apollo 11. We have lift-off!
Promising a pop-up party for all the senses, this free, drop-in interactive installation allows you to watch or participate in edible experiments that play with your sense of taste, touch, smell, and sight. It’s all in aid of gaining an insight into the complex relationship between stomach microbiome and brain, with scientists and researchers on hand to answer questions and facilitate debate about eating habits and the future of food.
The Belgravia spot will be hosting a light installation by the artist collective Squidsoup this Christmas, which will see 500 individually orbs suspended in the space for visitors to immerse themselves in. Eagle-eyed readers will recognise the group's work from their collaboration with DJ and producer Four Tet at his recent live shows, and you can expect more of the same from their free festive show at the west London hub.
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