The Fitzwilliam Museum will display of range of works by 18th and 19th century artists relating to the natural worldPhotography by Alex Parnham-Cope with permission for Varsity

Looking for a fun and creative way to take a break from revision? Well look no further! From an exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical sketches to chill poetry nights, there are many exciting events in the Cambridge Arts scene to help get you through the exam season.

New exhibitions

’True to Nature: Open Air Painting in Europe 1780-1870’ at The Fitzwilliam Museum: 3rd May - 9th August

The Fitzwilliam Museum will display a range of artworks exploring the ways that 18th and 19th artists depicted their encounters with the natural world. The exhibition will feature the works of John Constable, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Louise-Joséphine Sarazin, as well as projections of cellular structure of trees, mineral, rock and botanical specimens. It will also include reflections from scientists, writers and children on the artworks. For lovers of the Romantic movement and nature, this free exhibition is sure to be a must see!

‘The Art and Heart of Leonardo - artistic anatomy then and now’ at Clare Hall: 5th May - 16th June

This new exhibition, organised by the Clare Hall Art Committee, focuses on Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings. By dissecting the hearts of oxen and using his remarkable lateral thinking ability, da Vinci was able to describe how the heart functioned with great precision, something that he received little recognition for until the 20th century. Although these drawings have been displayed across the world, Clare Hall will be the first place to show them in England, so it’s well worth a visit!

Last chance to see…

‘SALUTE’ at Extraordinary Objects: ends 2nd May

This all-female exhibition, which includes both internationally renowned and local artists, aims to commemorate Women’s History Month. Although the exhibition was meant to close on 21st April, its staggering success meant that the exhibition was extended until the May Bank Holiday. Tracey Emin’s nudes and Briget Riley’s abstracts adorn the walls of the gallery. Yet it is perhaps in the presence of more local names that the senses are truly soothed, especially by Mel Fraser’s graceful renderings of precious natural stones and Lynne Strover’s characterful jewellery pieces. Even after ‘SALUTE’ closes, Extraordinary Objects is very much worth a visit: in conversation with the founder Carla Nizzola, we found that there may be an exhibition on rare fossils coming up sometime during Easter term.

‘John Atkin: The Made and the Unmade’ at Wolfson College: ends 1st May

For all those with an appreciation for the wondrous eroticism which Henry Moore was able to imbue into solid stone, this little showcase of the work of John Atkin (who was the only artist whose course was personally funded by Moore himself) is worth a quick diversion from revision. Atkin’s playful experimentations with tailors’ patterns demonstrate Moore’s famous ability to make dead matter into living flesh, and his many ruminations on the form of the plumb bob in sketch form are a real masterclass in draughtsmanship for the budding artist. The exhibition takes place in Wolfson’s Combination room, and finishes at 5pm this Sunday, so don’t delay!

Upcoming events

Poetry Night at the Locker: 7th May

For those looking for a relaxing way to spend the evening after a long day of studying, the Locker Cafe is hosting a Poetry Night at 7pm on 7th May. Tickets can be purchased from the Locker, and cost £3.

Cambridge Creatives ‘Women and Non-Binary Scratch Night’: 9th May

Cambridge Creatives will be holding their first scratch night at the Tall Trees bar. A variety of female and non-binary acts will be performing stand-up, sketch, spoken word and live music, including a set by the female and non-binary DJ collective ‘Playtime’. Tickets cost £5, of which £1 will be donated to Cambridge Rape Crisis.

Cambridge Creatives are also running a screenwriting competition, with submissions due no later than midnight on 21st June, so it’s not too late to get involved!

New zines and journals

Cambridge Journal of Visual Culture

Run by History of Art students, this journal aims to explore a wide range of visual art and seeks to “reflect the dynamic and exciting spirit of the discipline”. Although it was founded last August, its first issue, based on the theme ‘Spaces’, will launch on 28th April. There will be drinks in the History of Art Department from 5pm-7pm to celebrate, and copies of the magazine will be available for sale.

Time Zine


Mountain View

‘A veritable sea of remarkable work’: Queens’ Arts Festival

This new zine will publish short stories, photography, poems and essays by Cambridge students that engage with the concept of time. Its first edition, called ‘Time is of the Essence’ will be published this term. Submissions for the first edition close at 11:59pm on 2nd May, so there’s still time to contribute!