Ah, January! It’s but a hair’s breadth away – and our cultural guide has all the visual stimulation that’s needed to keep you suitably distracted through the back to work slog, from contemporary art to multi-sensory shows. Start 2019 as you mean to go on…

Grace Wales Bonner 
A London Fashion Week darling, Grace Wales Bonner first made her name for her subversive and progressive vision of masculinity, before entering into the womenswear arena. Now, the British designer and cultural polymath explores mysticism, ritual and magical resonances within black cultural and aesthetic practices, through a multi-sensory installation and a series of happenings at the Serpentine Gallery.

Alongside meditation workshops by American multi-instrumentalist Laraaji, the exhibition will feature shrines by Canadian artist Kapwani Kiwanga and American photographer Paul Sepuya, amongst others including Grace herself, plus, installations using carpets from the American artist Rashid Johnson. Expect Wales Bonner’s rigorous research across multiple geographies and temporalities to also culminate in her Autumn/Winter 2019 on-schedule offering, Mumbo Jumbo.

Grace Wales Bonner exhibition runs from 19 January, 2019 to February, 2019 at Serpentine Sackler Gallery, West Carriage Drive, W2 2AR. 

Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde
If you’re a close follower of documentaries, you’ve probably seen Louis Theroux’s recent eye-opening window into modern polyamorous relationships in Portland, Oregon, which highlights an alternative way of loving and living. 

But this isn’t a new notion, as Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-Garde explores at the Barbican. Get down there to see this first-of-its-kind exhibition, which traces how individuals in the first half of the 20th Century came together to transgress the constraints of their time, shining a spotlight on the creative output from exclusive and polyamorous relationships between artist and couples. Those featured include painters, photographers, writers and poets, such as legendary couples like Dora Maar and Pablo Picasso, and Lee Miller and Man Ray, plus lesser known couples like Emilie Flöge and Gustav Klimt.

Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde runs from 10 October, 2018 until 27 January, 2019 at the Barbican Art Gallery, Silk Streer, EC2Y 8DS. 

London Art Fair 2019
With inspiration aplenty, an art fair is never an occasion to be missed! Back in its 31st edition, the London Art Fair lands in the Capital with contemporary sculptures, photographs and ceramics from more than 100 galleries to showcase works that span from the early 20th Century right up to the present day.

In addition to the main art fair itself, two curated sections will focus on new works, less established galleries and contemporary photography. Basically, there’s something for everyone!

London Art Fair 2019 runs from 16 January, 2019 to 20 January, 2019 at Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Streer, N1 0QH. 

Sophia Al-Maria: BCE
The result of a year-long collaboration between Whitechapel Gallery’s Writer in Residence (and artist and filmmaker) Sophia Al-Maria, and performer, artist and writer, Victoria Sin, the Whitechapel Gallery sees alternative creation myths narrate a feminist past through film formats. 

The first specially commissioned video interrogates the numerous dimensions of sex, race, gender and fertility, while considering themes of history and narrative through Victoria’s performance. Elsewhere, another film, Wayuu Creation Myth (2018), will run in tandem to create a juxtaposition, exploring the power of feminine rage to question colonial narratives. 

Sophia Al-Marie: BCE runs from 12 January, 2018 until 28 April, 2019 at Whitechapel Gallery, 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, E1 7QX. 

Also on Because Magazine:

 Sharmadean Reid MBE introduces us to her new beauty concept.

+ Do you think you know your way around exfoliation

+ Embrace a gentle approach to skincare with bona fide organic beauty.