Professor Wu's Rulebook

7 creative things to do and see to take your mind off how terrible 2016 has been

Let’s be honest here. 2016 hasn’t been the best of years. What started with a spate of celebrity deaths has also seen the escalation of conflict in the middle east, the election of a near-definite tyrant in the Philippines, the increasing divide between the richest 1% and the rest of the global population, the passing of the carbon threshold, Brexit, the rise of the alt-right in numerous Western Democracies, and even the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America.

As we discussed recently on The Extra Secret Podcast, it’s important we don’t bury our heads in the sand over these concerning trends – and avoid giving into apathy. We also pointed out that the creative arts have the power to bring enlightenment and to fight the malignant forces that are currently stirring.

And in addition to their revolutionary power, artistic projects also serve as pretty marvellous distractions – providing some much needed positive energy for those of us who are well in need of it as 2016 enters its final chapters.

So, without further ado, we have compiled a list of creative projects and events that will help ensure you end 2016 on a much better note than we perhaps started on. Do check them out!

1. Live reading of Goldsmith prize-shortlisted novel, The Absent Therapist

What is it? Celebrated author Will Eaves will be delivering an animated reading of his Goldsmith Prize-shortlisted novel, The Absent Therapist. We speak from experience when we say this is an opportunity not to be missed.

When is it? Late January 2017 (date TBC) at Bookseller Crow in Crystal Palace

2. Pop-up photography gallery at gorgeous cocktail bar and former cinema in Walthamstow, London

A sneak preview of Vagabond Images photography.

What is it? The creative mind behind photography project and site Vagabond Images, Michael Dodson, is hosting a pop-up gallery at a gorgeously renovated former cinema. With Christmas around the corner, and a proven fact that giving a gift of photographic artwork makes you over 37% sexier, the gallery offers you the chance to view and purchase prints (both framed and unframed), as well as canvases and greeting cards.

When is it? 25 – 27th November at Mirth, Marvel & Maud in Walthamstow, London.

3. Spread the word: creative writing workshop


What is it? Looking for a writing session that will trigger something new in your writing and your voice, and perhaps get you started on a new project? Give yourself an early festive treat, and join Spread the Word for their popular and inspiring creative writing session.

When is it? 6th December at the Albany Performing Arts Centre, London.

4. An evening with acclaimed novelist Sally Vickers


What is it? Salley Vickers’s first novel, Miss Garnett’s Angel, was an international word of mouth bestseller, and she has since established herself as one of the UK’s leading novelists, in the tradition of Penelope Fitzgerald and Marilynne Robinson. She will be holding a book reading event in the world-heritage historic city of Bath in the UK.

When is it? 7th December at Toppings Bookshop in Bath.

5. Writing poetry: Shakespeare’s women

Stunning venue: Westminster Cathedral

What is it? An intense writing workshop with writing exercises led by publisher and poetry editor Katherine Lockton. The workshop will look at Shakespeare’s women in his plays and discuss how he portrays the female gender. Focusing on writing new material, participants will come away with a body of creative work (2 or 3 first drafts.) A limited number of places are available to ensure the tutor has ample time for each student. All levels welcome.

When is it? 11th December with organisers from the Poetry Library at Westminster Cathedral, London.

6. Ernesto Neto, “The Serpents’ Energy Gave Birth to Humanity” art installation

One of Ernesto Neto’s many immersive sculptures.

What is it? Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto has a solo exhibit of new crocheted fabric sculptures, immersive installations and wall works.

When is it? Neto’s exhibition is open until December 14th at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York.

7. Opportunity to see one of the most iconic paintings in the world, the Goldfinch


What is it? The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius is held as one of the most iconic – and most important – paintings in the world. It is now on show in Scotland for the first time ever – and admission is completely free. What more could you ask for?

When is it? Fabritius’s painting is on display until the 18th December at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh.


Your event here?

Are we missing something? If you have an event or creative project you’d like us to feature, let us know and get in touch!

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