Inside the Fitzwilliam MuseumIsabel Dempsey

With a new term comes a new round of exhibits to explore and feed your creative thirst. So without further ado, here’s the low-down on the must-see exhibitions happening in Cambridge this term. 

‘Defaced! Money, Conflict, Protest’ at the Fitzwilliam Museum: 11 October 2022 - 8 January 2023 

In what the Fitzwilliam says is the first exhibit of its kind, ‘Defaced!’ explores the intersection of money, power, and protest over the last two and a half centuries. The exhibit puts a key emphasis on individuals – such as Thomas Spence and Aida Wilde – who have fought for representation and social change. Contemporary art is contrasted and compared with earlier pieces to highlight the continuities of protest across a broad period. 

‘Life is Still Life’ at Murray Edwards College in partnership with The Women’s Art Collection: 16 September 2022 - 12 February 2023 

Still-life works from 15 contemporary female artists are brought together at Murray Edwards in mediums ranging from painting and photography to video and ceramics. The exhibition takes its name from Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Villette’ and explores similar themes of life, death, gender, and self. It is intended to comment on current global issues, especially the legacy of colonialism, Covid-19 and global warming. 

‘Paint Like the Swallow Sings Calypso’ at Kettle’s Yard: 12 November 2022 – 19 February 2023

This exhibition is a presentation of the history and themes of carnival. It includes a collection of works by Paul Dash, Errol Lloyd, and John Lyons, as well as artwork from the collections of Kettle’s Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum. Its curators are all first-generation diaspora Caribbean painters, whose works have been exhibited at Tate Britain, the Royal Academy of Arts, and Huddersfield Art Gallery, amongst others. 

‘COLOUR: Art, Science & Power’ at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology: 26 July 2022 - 9 April 2023 

Separated into five themes, each exploring a different facet of colour’s impact on art, this exhibit brings together objects from collections across the University of Cambridge. Unsurprisingly, given the exhibition's location in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the objects presented in ‘COLOUR’ include medieval manuscripts, African sculptures, Amazonian headdresses, scientific instruments and a royal Hawaiian cape. This free exhibition is an interactive affair. A mixture of creative activities, sensory engagement, and “perception quizzes” push visitors to reconsider their interactions with colour in fashion, art and society. 


Mountain View

‘It sends the wrong message for me’: students and staff on the proposed Turing statue at King’s

A Feast for the Eye’: paintings and collages by Jerry Scott’ at Clare Hall: 30 September - 17 November 2022

The exhibition is presented in two strands: collage and painting. The latter promises to encourage a more exploratory approach to art, representing Jerry Scott’s urgent desire to respond to his experience of colour through art. Scott makes use of his senses in the creation of his pieces. The exhibition hopes to show this to full effect. He does not start a piece with a clear finished image. Instead, Scott searches for a “deep reverberation” where his art takes on its own life.