Events at Westminster libraries

Westminster libraries host many events and workshops which differ in each library. View all special events by date in the upcoming events section or browse through the guide to find events at your local library, including regulars such as book groups and rhyme time sessions. Westminster City Archives also holds regular events.

Follow us on social media for updates and news, or follow our blog, Books and the City, to read the stories behind our events and activities.

View opening times and contact details for all Westminster libraries. Find out about holiday and other closure dates.

1. Upcoming events

Ongoing events, news and exhibitions

Special events and news

2. Charing Cross Library

View Charing Cross library contact details and opening hours

Special events and news

There are no special events currently scheduled.

Regular events for children and young people

Regular children's events run during term-time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Chatterbooks reading group Second Tuesday of the month, 4.15pm to 5.15pm For children aged 6 to 11. Read more about Chatterbooks
Maths club Thursday, 4pm to 5pm Using the IXL online learning experience which is suitable for children in reception up to year 13. To book a place, contact Charing Cross Library
Cantonese and Mandarin lessons Saturday, 10.30am to 2pm and Sunday, 11am to 5pm Suitable for children aged 3 to 17 years old. For more information, prices and to book contact Miss Chan on 07886 575 467
Chinese parent and child group Monthly on Sunday For more information contact Dr Lingjie Wang by email
lingjiewang@hotmail.com

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date  Information
Healthy lifestyle checks Monday, 12pm to 2.30pm Free health checks by the Westminster Health Improvement Team. No need to book a place, just turn up
 
Learn Mandarin Monday, 6pm to 7.30pm For more information and to confirm dates, please contact Mr Chung on 07555 766 701
Union Dance Spring Residency sessions of dance, movement and fitness Tuesday, 6.30pm to 8pm For young people aged 16 years and above, £3/ £1 concessions per session. Free for those living, working or studying in Westminster. To book a place, text Corrine on 07976557415 or email: corrine.bougaard@uniondance.co.uk
Action on Hearing Loss drop-in session Monthly on Tuesday, 11am to 2pm Free one to one sessions with the largest charity in the UK for people with hearing loss. Share your concerns and hearing loss checks are available.
Traditional Chinese painting classes 

Tuesday, 11am to 4pm (with a break for lunch)

Saturday, 11am to 1pm

Five classes of traditional Chinese landscape painting

10 classes of traditional Chinese painting of flowers and birds

For more information about fees, email info@orientalgallery.co.uk or phone 07956 227 997

English speaking club Thursday, 11.30am to 1.30pm

New weekly club for those who would like to speak English with confidence. 

For more information and to book a place, contact Charing Cross Library.

Beautiful Life Chinese reading group Monthly on Friday For more information contact the group's organiser by email: yoyochen082010@gmail.com
Painting workshops by London Mandarin Arts Saturday and Sunday afternoons Art classes for people with no previous experience; you will be to complete a picture in an afternoon. For more information, contact London Mandarin Arts
Chinese London Reading Club Monthly This is a lively and friendly Chinese language group which meets once a month for reading discussions. For more information contact the organiser, Ms Bai by email aihaoshu@gmail.com

 

3. Church Street Library

View Church Street library contact details and opening hours

Special events and news

Dancing Books

  • Tuesday 29 October, 10.30am to 11.15am and 11.30am to 12.15pm.
  • Tuesday 5, 12, 19 and 26 November, 10.30am to 11.15am and 11.30am to 12.15pm.
  • Tuesday 3 and 10 December, 10.30am to 11.15am and 11.30am to 12.15pm.

Dancing Books supports the development of literacy, phonetics and inspires storytelling and are designed for children under the age of four and their carers. Each session is delivered by an inspiring team of DanceWest teachers.

These sessions encourage everyone to get on their feet and get inspired about reading! Note: there are two sessions per week.

No booking is required, we do ask that you arrive in plenty of time and ready to dance. A £1 voluntary donation is requested by each family per session.

Inspirational stories with David Hewett

Thursday 7 November, 4pm to 5.30pm.

Come along and feel inspired by listening to these true stories about Ellen Hewett, Madan Kataria and Katherine Hammond. You will have the chance to ask questions, learn something new and you may even feel inspired to change your life.

This is a free event and tea and cake will be provided. Book a place via Eventbrite.

Regular events for children and young people

Regular children's events run during term time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Games club Monday, 4.30pm to 6.00pm We play a variety of traditional board games as well as having fun on our Playstation 4. No booking required. For ages 5 and over
Creative writing workshops  Tuesday, 3.30pm to 5.30pm

A new series of creative writing workshops for children aged 9 to 13. Join Reveal to learn and have fun. 

The workshops will cover:

  • short stories
  • poetry
  • song writing
  • autobiography
  • literacy homework

To book a place, contact Church Street Library.  

French club  Every other Tuesday and Wednesday, 4.30pm to 5.30pm

Free for 6 to 8 year olds. Games, songs and activities within a small group with a qualified and experienced native French teacher.

The Tuesday club is for post-beginners and the Wednesday club is for beginners.

Booking essential.

Homework club Thursday, 3.45pm to 5.30pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Story and craft time Thursday, 4pm to 4.45pm

Storytelling using picture books, followed by a simple craft time. The storytellers use a wireless microphone system to help bring the stories to life.

Suitable for children aged 2 to 5 years old. This session is in partnership with the Neighbourhood Keepers programme. 

Little painters Friday, 10.30am to 11.30am A free arty group for 2 to 4 year olds. Booking not required, just come along!
Lego club Friday, 4.30pm to 5.30pm Calling all builders! Come along and create a masterpiece out of Lego, with the best being displayed in the library during the week. No booking required. For ages 5 and over
Scratch computer coding club Saturday, 12.30pm to 1.30pm A fun club for kids aged 8 to 11. Learn to use code to make games, visuals and programmes. Booking is essential, contact Church Street Library

Regular events for adults

For any of these sessions other than the CV and employment drop-in and IT drop-in sessions (all on Mondays), speak to staff beforehand.

Event Time and date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Look on the health events page for details.
English speaking club Monday, 11.30am to 1.30pm, and Wednesday, midday to 1.30pm Improve your spoken English, as well as reading and writing with this free club. For more information ask in the library or contact Mahbuba Khan on 020 7641 5474.
IT drop in sessions Monday, 1.30pm to 5pm and Friday, 2pm to 5pm Help with using Word, Excel, email, the internet and completing online forms. We can also help with how to write a CV and search for jobs.
Employment advice session Tuesday 10am to 1pm Are you looking for work? Free advice and support sessions by City of Westminster Housing for Westminster residents. To book a place call Esther on 07775 027 595
Shared reading group Tuesday, 12pm to 1pm

Find out more on the book groups website

Advice plus session Wednesday, 10.30am to 12.30pm (No sessions on 31 July and throughout August)

Drop in sessions for help and advice on housing, benefits, and council tax. Doors open at 10am and available slots are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. 

Arabic club for adults

Wednesday, 1.30pm to 3.30pm
Thursday, 9.30am to 11.30am

 

Like to learn Arabic? This club is for beginners and for those that already speak some Arabic and would like to improve.

No need to book a place, just come along. 

Starts: Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 May 2019.

French club for adults Thursday, 11am to midday

Like to learn French? This club is for beginners. 

No need to book a place, just come along. 

Bengali women's reading and writing group Friday, 9.30am to 11.30am Contact Mahbuba Khan on 020 7641 5474 or visit the reading groups page.
Reading group Meets monthly on Friday Find out more on the book groups website.
Knitting group Saturday, 10.30am to 12pm All experience levels are welcome.

4. Maida Vale Library

View Maida Vale library contact details and opening hours

Special events and news

Half term events

Please note: unless stated, children of all ages are welcome at our events but adult help is recommended for younger children.

Halloween hunt

Saturday 19 to Saturday 26 October.

Can you find all the ghosts, ghouls and witches hidden around the library? Pop into the library anytime.

Autumn crafts

Monday 21 October, 2.30pm to 4pm.

Come and make some crafts with an Autumn theme. Free and no need to book, just turn up.

Skeleton jigsaw quiz

Tuesday 22 October, 3pm to 4pm.

Bones and joints health education fun by Body Back Up Osteopaths. Free and no need to book, just turn up.

Autumn mural

Wednesday 23 October, 10.30am to midday.

Come and help us decorate our Autumn mural. Free and no need to book, just turn up.

Haunted house Lego

Thursday 24 October, 2.30pm to 4pm.

Come and build a spooky house from Lego! Free and no need to book, just turn up.

Pip Finds a Home

Friday 25 October, 3pm to 4pm.

Author Elena Topouzoglou reads from her brand new picture book, with a craft event to follow. Free and no need to book, just turn up.

Regular events for children and young people

Regular children's events run during term time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Sessions for under 5s Tuesday and Friday, 10.30am; third Saturday of the month, 11am to 11.30am Runs during the year, with a break for Christmas/New Year. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Homework club Friday, 3.45pm to 5.30pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date Information
Careers advice sessions Every Monday, 10am to 4pm

Get free advice on writing a CV, job search techniques and interview preparation. These sessions are run by the National Careers Service. To arrange an appointment call 020 3714 8350 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) or 0800 100 900 (every day 8am to 10pm).

Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events

Meet the Westbourne Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team

First Monday of the month, 4pm to 5pm

Second and fourth Saturday of the month, 1pm to 2pm

 

No need to book, just turn up

 

 

    

 

Share a Book group Wednesday, 10.30am to 12pm Read more about reading groups
Reading group Thursday evenings, once a month Read more about reading groups
English speaking club Saturday, 10.30am to 12.30pm

Would you like to speak English with confidence? Then join our free club. No need to book, just turn up.

5. Marylebone Library

View Marylebone library contact details and opening hours

Special events

IT tea parties

  • Friday 25 October, 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
  • Friday 8 and 22 November, 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
  • Friday 6 December, 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

Are you a senior citizen looking to develop your digital skills? Would you like to learn how to use them more effectively in a relaxed atmosphere with tea and cake? Please bring along your mobile, laptop, iPad etc - so that you can receive one to one tutoring with your own device.

These sessions are free. To book your place at any of the sessions, contact Steve Spavin from AgeUK Westminster by phone 020 3004 5610 or by email:
Stephen.Spavin@ageukwestminster.org.uk

Regular events for children

Event Time and date Information
Tiny tots

Tuesday and Friday, 10.30am

Read more about sessions for under 5s
Under 5s singalong Wednesday, 10.30am

Come along for a fun-filled guitar-led singalong for babies, toddlers (and their carers)

£2 suggested donation 

Story time Friday, 3.45pm to 4.45pm Story time for children aged 3 and over
Saturday morning crafts Saturday, 10.30am to 12pm Make something new every week!
Board games and Lego club Saturday and Sunday, 2pm to 4pm A fun club for children from 5 to 10 years old.

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Writers' group Monday, 6.45pm to 7.45pm Read more about the Marylebone Writers' Group
Reading group Monthly on a Tuesday Read more about reading groups

Age UK drop -in surgery 

Last Thursday of the month, 10.30 to 11.30am

The UK's largest charity working with older people are offering a free open surgery for help with welfare benefits, pensions, housing, social care, taxi cards, advocacy, charitable grants and assistance with correspondence.

For more information, contact Age UK by phone on 020 3004 5610 or email: enquiries@ageukwestminster.org.uk

One to one IT training Sunday, 1.30pm to 3.30pm Free one to one IT training is available every week. To book your 30 minute session, contact Marylebone Library.

6. Mayfair Library

Mayfair Library will be closed on Saturday 26 October 2019 for essential maintenance. The library will reopen as normal at 11am on Monday 28 October 2019. We are sorry for the inconvenience. 

View Mayfair library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Meet poet Jenny Mitchell - Black History Month event

Monday 21 October, 5.30pm to 7pm.

We are delighted to present an evening of poetry recital and book launch with acclaimed poet Jenny Mitchell, who will be reciting from her prize winning debut collection Her Lost Language. Jenny's work has been described as "a unique insight into family history that invites you to imagine your own".

Jenny will also answer questions and offer advice about being published and performing her work. This will be followed by a book signing.

Light refreshments will be available. This is a free event, no need to book - just turn up.

Regular events for children and young people

Regular events for children take place during term time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Make bracelets with Billie Monday, 4pm to 5pm 

Suitable for children aged 5 and over.

Term time only

Board games Monday to Friday, 4pm to 5pm  Suitable for children aged 4 and over. 
Under 5s sessions Tuesday, 10.30am to 11.15am Read more about sessions for under 5s
Coding club Tuesday, 4pm to 5pm

Suitable for children aged 8 to 11 years old. This club starts: Tuesday 5 November 2019

Term time only

Italian story, play and rhyme time  Wednesday, 10.30am to 11.30am Playgroup with stories and rhymes in Italian
Duolingo Spanish Wednesday, 4pm to 5pm

Suitable for children aged 5 and over. This session starts: Wednesday 13 November 2019.

Term time only

Little artists  Thursday, 3.45pm to 5pm 

A free arty group for children aged 4 and over. Booking not required, just come along.

Lego club Friday, 3.30pm to 4.30pm

Calling all builders! Come along and create a masterpiece out of Lego, with the best being displayed in the library during the week. Suitable for children aged 4 and over.

IXL after school maths and English club Friday 4pm to 5pm

Using the IXL online learning experience children can practise their maths and English. Suitable for children aged 8 to 11.

Term time only

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date Information
Reading group Monthly on a Tuesday

Read more about reading groups

Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events

7. Paddington Library

Paddington Children’s Library is now at its new location as part of the:
Westbourne Park Baptist Church
Westbourne Park Villas
London, W2 5EA

View Paddington library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Jewellery workshop - Black History Month event

Saturday 26 October, 2pm to 4.30pm.

Jewellery workshop for children aged 6 to 12 years old - create a bracelet or necklace inspired by African and Caribbean traditions.

This is a free event, only limited places are available so booking is essential.  To book, contact Paddington Library.

Cloud computing workshop

Saturday 26 October, 2pm to 3pm.

Discover a new way to store, manage and process data using network of remote servers hosted on the Internet.

This is a free event and only limited places are available so must be booked in advance. To book, contact Paddington Library.

Regular events for children and young people

Regular events for children are run during term-time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Homework club Monday and Friday, 3.45pm to 5.15pm Term time only. Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Baby rhyme time Wednesday, 10.30am to 11.30am Songs and rhymes followed by baby play time. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Toddler toy time Friday, 10.30am to 11.30am A chance for parents and carers of toddlers aged one and above to meet, mingle and make new friends. With toys and colouring to keep your toddlers entertained.
English club Saturday, 2pm to 3pm Using IXL, an online learning experience that provides comprehensive, curriculum-based maths and English. The English and maths clubs are suitable for children in Year 1 and up to Year 13.
 
Maths club Saturday, 3pm to 4.30pm

Regular events for adults

Event Time/date Information
Share a Book group Monday, 2pm to 4pm and Thursday, 6pm to 8pm Read more about reading groups. Pass on your contact details to a member of staff or email kgielgud@westminster.gov.uk to register your interest in joining.
CV help session Tuesday, 10am to 5pm These sessions are run by the   National Careers Service. To arrange an appointment, call 020 3714 8350 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) or 0800 100 900 (every day 8am to 10pm).
Seniors online IT class Tuesday, 1pm to 3pm Open Age run both a beginners and intermediate course. To book a place on either course, contact Paddington Library.
Stop smoking Wednesday, 2pm to 4pm Kick It Stop Smoking specialists offer carbon monoxide testing and free one-to-one sessions for advice and support in giving up smoking.
Community health event Last Thursday of the month, 12.30pm to 3.30pm Please see publicity in the library for further details.
Go online - beginners' IT training Friday, 2pm to 4pm Contact Paddington Library for more information.
Knitting and crochet group Second and fourth Fridays of the month, 5pm to 7pm This group is for absolute beginners and those that would like to improve their knitting or crochet skills.
Free health checks Saturday 10am to 3pm Do you live in or are you registered with a GP in Westminster? Get a free 30 minute healthy lifestyle check and set your new health improvement goals. Weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and health promotion advice. Just turn up, or book an appointment by calling 020 7563 6217 or emailing hpgroup@clch.nhs.uk
English conversation group Saturday, 10.30am to midday Would you like to speak English with confidence? Then join our free club. No need to book, just turn up. In partnership with Rotary Club of London.

8. Pimlico Library

View Pimlico library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Halloween fancy dress party

Tuesday 22 October, 2pm to 3pm.

Come along to the library dressed in your spookiest outfits, play some games and win some spooktastic prizes.

This is a free event for children of all ages. No need to book a place, just turn up.

Maths wizard workshops

  • Wednesday 23 October, 1pm to 2pm.
  • Wednesday 23 October, 3pm to 4pm.

Join Explore Learning for these maths workshop; the first is for children aged 5 to 7 years olds and the second is especially for 7 to 9 year olds.

Only limited places are available so booking is essential. To book, contact Pimlico Library.

Sugar skull craft activity

Thursday 24 October, 2pm to 3pm.

Create a colourful sugar skull banner inspired by Mexico's Day of the Dead celebrations. Suitable for children aged 4 years old and over.

This is a free event, no need to book - just turn up.

Dancing Books

  • Wednesday 30 October, 11am to 11.45am and midday to 12.45pm.
  • Wednesday 6, 13, 20 and 27 November, 11am to 11.45am and midday to 12.45pm.
  • Wednesday 4 and 11 December, 11am to 11.45am and midday to 12.45pm.

Dancing Books supports the development of literacy, phonetics and inspires storytelling and are designed for children under the age of four and their carers. Each session is delivered by an inspiring team of DanceWest teachers.

These sessions encourage everyone to get on their feet and get inspired about reading! Note: there are two sessions per week.

No booking is required, we do ask that you arrive in plenty of time and ready to dance. A £1 voluntary donation is requested by each family per session.

Your money course

  • Monday 4, 11, 18 and 25 November, 10am to midday.
  • Monday 2 and 9 December, 10am to midday.

Need help managing your money? Then come along to this free course. You will learn how to:

  • budget and save money for you and your family 
  • apply for Universal Credit and other allowances you are entitled to
  • get out of debt
  • understand how credit works and what APR really means.

Translators in Bengali and Arabic are available. For more information or to request a translator, email: yourstoryhelp@gmail.com

Regular events for children and young people

Regular events for children take place in term time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Wiggle and jiggle Monday, 10am to 11am Music and movement for toddlers between 12 to 30 months. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Stories, rhymes and crafts Tuesday, 10.30am to 11.30am Stories and rhymes for under 5s. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Baby bounce and rhyme Wednesday, 10am to 11am Knee-bouncing songs for babies between 3 to 12 months. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Lego Club Monthly on Saturdays, 10.30am to 11.30am Club for 5 to 11 year olds. Under 8s must be accompanied by an adult.
Junior Chess Club Every Monday, 6.30pm to 7.45pm. Term time only Free, no booking required. Improve your chess skills - make new friends and have fun! All abilities welcome Junior Chess Club is back by popular demand! The sessions are provided by Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC), and run by CSC coaches with DBS clearance. Children will receive 15 minutes of coaching followed by 1 hour of play with coaching support.

 

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
CV Advice Tuesday, 10am to 4pm

One to one sessions with a National Careers Service advisor.

Contact the NCS directly to book your place (places cannot be booked through the library) by emailing: ncsbookings@prospects.co.uk. Call 0800 100900 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week.

Knit Night Tuesday, 6.30pm to 7.30pm

New weekly knitting group. Bring a knitting project to work on over a cup of tea. Beginners are very welcome. Free and no need to book, just turn up. For more information, call 07502472370.

Reading group Last Tuesday of the month Read more about reading groups
English conversation club Saturday, 10am to midday during term time

Are you interested in improving your practical English conversation? Join for free, no booking required. Some sessions may be cancelled occasionally, so confirm with the library beforehand. In partnership with Rotary Club of London.

This club is taking a break for the summer and will return: Saturday 7 September 2019.

9. Queen's Park Library

View Queen's Park library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Spooky crafty fun

Friday 25 October, 2.30pm to 4pm.

Half-term Halloween crafts for children of all ages.

This is a free event, no need to book - just turn up.

Dancing Books

  • Tuesday 29 October, 10.30am to 11.15am and 11.30am to 12.15pm.
  • Tuesday 5, 12, 19 and 26 November, 10.30am to 11.15am and 11.30am to 12.15pm.
  • Tuesday 3 and 10 December, 10.30am to 11.15am and 11.30am to 12.15pm.

Dancing Books supports the development of literacy, phonetics and inspires storytelling and are designed for children under the age of four and their carers. Each session is delivered by an inspiring team of DanceWest teachers.

These sessions encourage everyone to get on their feet and get inspired about reading! Note: there are two sessions per week.

No booking is required, we do ask that you arrive in plenty of time and ready to dance. A £1 voluntary donation is requested by each family per session.

Spook-tacular party for kids

Wednesday 30 October, 5.30pm to 7pm.

Party games, snacks and spooky tales by candlelight. Are you brave enough for our scary stories? Come dressed to impress - there'll be prizes for the best costumes. And it's ok to come dressed in your pyjamas too.

Suitable for children aged 7 and over. £2 per child, refreshments and a party bag are included. 

Booking a place in advance is essential. To book, contact Queen's Park Library.

Regular events for children and young people

Regular events for children take place during term time only, unless otherwise stated. Children can join these after-school clubs with a registration form signed by a parent or guardian - fill in one form and attend any after-school clubs.

Event Time and date Information
Rhyme time for under 5s Monday and Friday, 10.30am to 11.30am (except school holidays) Read more about sessions for under 5s
IXL Club Maths and English Wednesday 4pm to 5pm (except school holidays) All ages. We are using IXL Maths and English. Offering great support and lots of fun, come along!
Lego club Friday during term time, 4pm to 5pm A fun club for kids age 5 to 11. Bring your imagination, make Lego creations and new friends. No need to book, just turn up.
 

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date Information
Healthy Westminster  Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Reading group Third Monday of the month Read more about reading groups
English speaking club Tuesday 11.30am to 1.30pm Improve your spoken English, as well as reading and writing with this free club. For more information ask in the library or contact Mahbuba Khan on 020 7641 5474.
Basic computer session Thursday, 11.30am to 1.30pm Do you need any email help with using Microsoft Word, sending emails or searching the internet? Then we can help. No need to book, just drop-in.
Meet your local police officers Thursday, 1pm to 2pm The  Queen's Park Safer Neighbourhood Team are available for customers to drop in and raise concerns on local crime and discuss home or personal safety issues.
Jewellery making class Thursday, 3.30pm to 5.30pm Free class where you can learn how to make bracelets, necklaces and more from wire and beads. Bring your own beads or you can buy some from the class teacher for £2. No need to book, just turn up. Beginners welcome.

10. St John's Wood Library

View St John's Wood library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Baby club

  • Wednesday 30 October, 10.30am to midday.
  • Wednesday 27 November, 10.30am to midday.
  • Wednesday 18 December, 10.30am to midday.

These sessions are especially for babies aged 0-18 months. Come along and find out what our library can offer you and share songs, rhymes, stories.  Also, it's a great opportunity to make new friends.

Free and no need to book, just turn up.

This project has jointly been funded by the councillors of the Abbey Road, Church Street and Regents Park wards.

Regular events for children and young people

Regular events for children are held in term time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Under 5s singalong Monday, 10.15am to 11am Join Gavin for a guitar led, fun filled session. £2 voluntary donation. 
Code club Tuesday, 4pm to 5pm. Booking required. Teaching children programming by making computer games, animations and websites, following the program at Code Studio. Offering great support and fun for all ages.
Songs and rhymes for under 5s Tuesday, 10.15am Read more about sessions for under 5s
Homework club Wednesday, 3.30pm to 4.30pm  Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Japanese rhyme time for the under 5s Third Thursday of the month, 11.30am to midday

Read more about sessions for under 5s

 

Chess club Thursday, 4pm to 5pm Booking required
Maths club Friday, 4pm to 5pm Booking required
Saturday morning crafts Saturday, 10.30am to 12pm Make something new every week!

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Share a Book group First Monday of the month, midday to 1pm Read more about reading groups.
Family history group Occasional Mondays, 11am to midday

Free monthly meeting with refreshments. No need to book, just turn up. If you would like to look at something in particular, contact St John's Wood Library

This group will next meet: Monday 16 December 2019. Come along and enjoy a mince pie. 

Crime readers group Third Tuesday of the month Read more about reading groups
City of Westminster Housing drop in surgery Wednesday, 10am to 12pm Advice for tenants and lessees
IT drop-in session Wednesday 2pm to 4pm

Delivered by WAES, jointly funded by the councillors for Abbey Road and Regent's Park wards. You must be a resident of these wards to attend and you will be asked to record what you have learned each week. Sessions are free; no booking is required, but places are given on a first come, first served basis.

Book club First Wednesday of the month Read more about our book clubs
English conversation club Thursday, 10am to 11.30am

Would you like to speak English with confidence? Then join our free club. To book a place, contact St John's Wood Library.

This club will next meet: Thursday 31 October 2019
                                      

Meet your local police officers Thursday and Saturday, 2pm to 3pm

An opportunity to discuss any community safety matters as well as general home or personal safety concerns.

Please check with library staff for confirmed dates of these sessions. 

Chair yoga Friday, 10.30am to 11.30am  
Laptop, tablet and iPad surgery First Saturday of the month, 10am to 12pm Drop in session. Get some help with your portable IT problems and woes. This session is free and there is no need to book.

11. Victoria Library

View Victoria library contact details and opening hours

Special events

There are no new events currently scheduled. 

Regular events for children and young people

Regular events for children take place during term time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Under 5s Thursday, 10.30am to 11.30am Read more about sessions for under 5s
Saturday morning crafts Saturday, 10am to 11am

Make something new every week. Suitable for children of all ages.

This session will return in: September 2019

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Women's only exercise session Monday, 10.30am to 12.30pm

A mixture of tai chi and yoga. For more information and to book a free place, call or text Roxy on 07483 172 128

Writers' group First Monday of the month, 6pm to 7.15pm Read more about the Victoria writers' group
Book gluttons reading group Third Monday of the month, 6pm to 7pm Read more about reading groups
Housing advice from Shelter Tuesday, 2pm to 5pm

Free sessions from Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity. Get advice for any housing-related query you may have.

Slots are allocated on a first come first served basis, speak to a member of library when you arrive.

Upcoming sessions:

  • Tuesday 26 February
  • Tuesday 12 and 26 March
  • Tuesday 2 April
Book group Thursdays, 10.30am to 12.30pm Read more about reading groups
Reading group Last Thursday of the month, 6pm to 7pm Read more about reading groups
University access help Saturday, 2pm to 4pm

Are you thinking about applying to university? Need help with UCAS or student finance?
Not quite sure what course to do? Thinking about applying to Oxford or Cambridge?

The library has drop-in sessions for anyone who is thinking of going to university. To book an appointment, contact Victoria Library.

12. Westminster City Archives

Westminster City Archives hosts a range of events, from special talks and walks through to major exhibitions and online projects.

View Westminster City Archives events.

 

 

 

 

13. Westminster Music Library

Due to essential building maintenance at the library, some of the music stock is currently unavailable. Please speak to staff for more information or contact us before making a special journey.

View Westminster Music Library contact details and opening hours

Due to events taking place, Westminster Music Library will:

  • open at 3.30pm on Wednesday 23 October
  • close at 1.30pm on Friday 1 November
  • close at 2pm on Tuesday 12 November.

Special events and news

There are no special events currently scheduled.

Read about previous events on Books and the City.

14. Westminster Reference Library

View Westminster Reference Library contact details and opening hours

There is no wheelchair, lift or ramp access to this building.

Special events

The Devil's Due - launch party and lecture with author Bonnie MacBird

Tuesday 22 October, 6pm to 7.30pm.

Share a glass of bubbly with author, Bonnie MacBird and enjoy an illustrated lecture, book launch, reading and party.

It’s a fog shrouded winter of 1890, and Sherlock Holmes is on the trail of a diabolical killer of London’s leading philanthropic lights - a killer who has sent a note signed “Lucifer”. Thwarted by a new man at Scotland Yard, and dogged by a journalist seeking revenge, Holmes, along with Watson, travels from the Mayfair to Spitalfields, the Isle of Dogs to Kensington confronting anarchists and artists, opera stars, MP’s and street urchins in a quest to catch the killer who has drawn a bloody swath through London.

Join Sherlockian author Bonnie MacBird for an illustrated talk about the London of the book and a reading for her third Holmes novel. Your ticket includes a free glass of bubbly and snacks. Books will be for sale, and the author will donate a portion of the proceeds to the library.

There is a slight chance that Mr. Sherlock Holmes or Dr. Watson may appear as well, though they may be on a case.

This is a free event, book via Eventbrite.

Introduction to banking

Wednesday 23 October, 6pm to 7.30pm.

This workshop is part of The Financial Capability project by Citizens Advice Westminster.They will cover:

  • Different types of bank accounts
  • How to open a bank account and understand a bank statement 
  • How borrowing works
  • The role of savings and learn savings techniques
  • The next steps for you.

This is a free event, book via Eventbrite.

International Space Station - humanity's permanent space laboratory

Friday 25 October, 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

During this talk, Szabolcs Nagy will introduce you to the greatest technological achievement of the entire human race - the International Space Station (ISS). We did not only go to space, but we learned how to live and survive up there too.

The space station does a full orbit around Earth every 92 minutes, travels at a speed of 27.800 kph (17.100 mph), orbits our planet 15.5 times a day and most of the world's population can observe it. On a clear evening there is nothing more mesmerising experience than to lay back and watch the ISS flying over London, a quiet but extremely bright "star" - knowing that there are dedicated people up there doing cutting edge scientific research for the benefit of all humankind.

Szabolcs is an amateur International Space Station photographer, and has been taking photos of the station over the past few years. He will shine a light on this brilliant object through some personal anecdotes related to International Space Station photography.

Book your place via Eventbrite.

How to find and develop creative ideas for a picture book

Saturday 26 October, 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

Lots of people have an idea for a children's book but don't know where to start. Or they like the idea of creating a children's book but don't know where to look for or how to develop ideas.

Join children's book author and illustrator, Emily Haworth-Booth for a mixture of talks and practical exercises. She will show development drawings and share insights gained from creating her debut picture book, The King Who Banned the Dark.

Emily will answer questions on the entire process from pitching to publication and beyond. You'll leave with a jump-start to developing and selling your own story and illustrations, as well as tips on what to expect once you start working with a publisher. 

This workshop is open to all levels including complete beginners. If you're already working on a picture book idea, bring it with you – if not, a notebook, pencil, and an open mind will be just fine.

Tickets £27.50 plus £2.74 booking fee, book via Eventbrite.

The why of making comics

Saturday 2 November, 11am to 1pm.

A practical workshop that will aid creators to explore and re-connect their motivation for making art.

During the session, we will explore how knowing your why can help you smash through a creative crisis and how this can be the foundation for building a successful creative career.

Tickets £27.50 plus £2.74 fee. book via Eventbrite.

Regular events

Event Time and date Information
Housing, welfare benefits and debt advice session Every other Tuesday, 12.30pm to 3.30pm

Free 40-minute sessions from Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity. Get advice and, if necessary, further appointments for follow-up work.

Bookings can only be made in person on the day at 12.30pm, for a maximum of 5 people so slots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Social group for adults who live in Westminster with Asperger syndrome First Thursday of the month, 5pm to 7pm For further information email assistlondon@nas.org.uk  or call 020 8962 3015.
Salon for the City: London at the library Last Thursday of the month, 6.30pm to 8.30pm Event series taking a look at London through a different lens each month. For more information, visit the Salon for the City website.

 

15. Exhibitions

View library contact details and opening hours.

There are no new events currently scheduled. 

Space hire

Interested in hiring the exhibition space on the first floor of Westminster Reference Library? For further information, including the full terms and conditions of hire please contact the library

There is no wheelchair, lift or ramp access to this building.

Previous exhibitions

Latin for Square exhibition

Monday 23 September to Saturday 5 October 2019.

A joint exhibition by Lizzie Brewer and Richard Eastwood.

Lizzie Brewer:
A square (quadrat) of a library has lead to a fantastic journey through the extraordinary story by Jorge Luis Borges about the Library of Babel. It is a fitting connection with the exhibition space.

Richard Eastwood:
Contemplating a point in time when the written and visual languages were one and the same thing. Considering how the visual language developed from rudimentary mark making to sophisticated and technically accomplished works and back again.

Dreams and Traces exhibition by Patricia Bidi

Monday 19 August to Saturday 14 September 2019.

Patricia Bidi’s latest exhibition explores her Peruvian background: dreams and traces of childhood memories; the sun, energy, and festivals of her native country alongside her experience of living in London.

Bidi’s linocuts celebrate life’s seminal moments and new beginnings through her playful and poetic imagination, perpetually submerging the viewer within her own dynamic iconography, her own realm of storytelling.

Serendipity exhibition by Zhang Yining

Monday 5 to Saturday 17 August 2019.

A mixed media motion graphics piece that aims at depicting the serendipity in nature. The sequences depict a transition of time zones, living beings and seasons as a cycle from dusk, day, dawn, night and back to dusk with a transition in the landscape from the land, sea, clouds, mountains, fields and land.

Integrated within the landscape are human figures that attempt to show the need to look at the bigger picture of life for serendipity to take place.

Zhang Yining graduated with a Master of Philosophy from Glasgow School of Arts. She has won various art competitions in both Asia and Europe. Being a stronger lover of nature, the artist is now using art to educate the next generation to care for and love planet earth. Every month, she teaches a class for children in Marylebone Library to create art through recycled materials.

Book Marks exhibition

Monday 3 to Saturday 22 June 2019. 

An exhibition of cartoons on the theme of books, literature and libraries drawn by the UK’s finest and funniest cartoonists. The show features work by over 30 members of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation  including a host of familiar cartoonists from the pages of The Guardian, The Independent, Private Eye and the rest of the British press, whose signed originals and prints will be on sale. 

Dreaming in Cuban

Monday 13 to Saturday 25 May 2019.

Over the years a fascination with travel and the concept of the journey have fed into and enriched the work of mixed media artist Jean Davey Winter. In 2017 she visited the island of Cuba, an experience which became the starting point for the work in this exhibition.

These are memories, impressions: glimpses through entrances, grilles, screens; the suggestion of a passage or maybe a flight of stairs; the colours and textures of crumbling walls. Nothing is specific or defined in the hope that sufficient space remains for the viewer to bring their own interpretation to the work, whether or not they have visited Cuba themselves.

The title of the exhibition is taken from the book of the same name by Cristina Garcia.

Pasteboard villains and spangled fairies exhibition

Monday 8 to Thursday 18 April 2019.

London's West End is the world centre for theatre today, but its past is equally vivid. Performances in the early Victorian age of spectacular scenery, quick change comedy, wilting maidens and ranting rogues were captured in the miniature cutout prints that many children had at home, and used to recreate the experience of adult theatre, grandly known as juvenile drama, or more popularly as toy theatre.

Benjamin Pollock of Hoxton survived into the 1930s with his shop selling prints first issued around a hundred years before, that reflect an even longer tradition of Renaissance stage illusion and romantic fantasy. This tradition has never died, and is represented still in London today. With a selection of items from Westminster City Archives, private collections and holdings of Pollocks Toy Museum, we offer a glimpse of the riches of this little known heritage.

Tearing Up The Rule Book exhibition by Day Bowman

Tuesday 19 March to Saturday 13 April 2019.

This is a an exhibition of new paintings by Day Bowman whose large scale canvases echo the marks, lines and shapes that she and her brother made as children in the wet grey sand of their hometown beach. Growing up in a holiday destination, small seaside town the artist recognises that her work has frequently referenced the sea, the beach and the littoral and, from an early age, was acutely aware of the life of the seasons with the tsunami of summer visitors followed by the closed-up, out-of-season, winter months.

In this current series of paintings she sees these works as squaring the circle of her life and reaffirming her sense of play along with a deep questioning of the notion of place, identity and belonging in present day Britain.

Reflections

Monday 11 to Saturday 16 February 2019.

An exhibition of unique and exciting glass art, produced by students at the Working Men’s College, that showcases eclectic styles and techniques, from leaded glass pieces to artworks using glass within multimedia compositions. The exhibits explore light, colour, shape and form, inspired by traditional and contemporary styles, with designs that will appeal to a wide range of artistic tastes.

The selected works show the creative potential and versatility of glass as a medium, with examples of different techniques and approaches including fused, moulded, foiled, layered and painted pieces. Items will be for sale at a range of prices.

To Teach Art by Harman Sumray - exhibition and book launch 

Monday 4 to Saturday 9 February 2019.

Harman Sumray originally wrote ‘To Teach Art’ as a thesis in 1973. He was Head of Art at Broxbourne School from 1961 to 1977, where he and his colleagues established a nationally renowned art department.

The backbone of Harman’s teaching was the belief in the importance of a structure, a ‘body of knowledge’ that can be taught; not a set of rigid rules and regulations but a set of principles, a structure that builds confidence and understanding. He was utterly convinced about the vital role art should play in education. All the students’ work in this book came from his time at Broxbourne School.

Isola Della Certosa exhibition by Matthew Everatt

Tuesday 22 January to Saturday 2 February 2019.

This winter, Matthew Everatt premieres a new work of fiction, Isola Della Certosa. The exhibition is a story - presented as an installation, where the chapters displayed, illustrated by works on paper combine with incomplete text to recount the tale of a ghost sighting, that isn’t.
Incorporating the traditional elements of a gothic (horror) narrative - a journey, romantic location, and a haunted ruin, Everatt’s work is a fragmented depiction with marbled patterns both abstract and opaque.

As The Crow Flies exhibition

Monday 7 to Saturday 19 January 2019.

A collaboration between artists Foster Spragge and Tickbird and Rhino. 

Arts Territory Exchange Archive Tour

Friday 16 November to Saturday 15 December 2018.

The Arts Territory Exchange works with artists in remote locations across the world, pairing them in creative correspondences and organising exhibitions and events.

The current archive tour is curated by Art Language Location and consists of various artist's books, images and artefacts, an index box containing documentation from artist exchanges and views from artists' home or studio windows, also a soundwork entitled Fictional Territories created by 2 collaborating artists Didi Hock in Germany and Kim Goldsmith in Australia.

Reperceived by Anupa Sahdev

Monday 26 November to Saturday 8 December 2018

This exhibition showcases a series of portraits created from life by visual artist, Anupa Sahdev. The artworks emphasise a perceptual response to their respective subjects, allowing space for the sensations and subliminal connections. Anupa embraces the uncertainty that prevails during the creative process and avoids a conscious formulaic method, in order to asymptote towards a connective stillness; working from the same model thus never results in the same outcome. 

Anupa is inspired by the philosophical ideas of John Keats, as well as the paintings and drawings of Modigliani, Rembrandt and Vincent van Gogh. The main medium in the show is pastels that the artist feels allows for subliminal explorations and ethereal evocations through chromatic interactions.

Retreevable: Life Findings by Margaret Jennings

Monday 12 to Saturday 24 November 2018.

In the face of looming climate change, predicted increase of urban population density and The Anthropocene, the work is motivated by urgency and deep concern of loss of community spaces and opportunities to connect and flow freely through living space as our own. This loss, the depletion of woodlands, ancient forests, city parks, and inextricably interwoven wild life, plants and species, links together here to critically question "Who we are and where we are going?" in the taken for granted everyday speed of daily consumer life.

Explorations of participative reconnections, potential human empathy for life forms beyond our own kind in the presence of the otherness of trees, their language and intelligence, are investigated in a rich tapestry of materials and processes, of textiles, photographs, videos, ceramics, silent walks, carvings and writings. Engendering deformatting in a 'keen eyed re-sensitised childlike curiosity zone,' focus is on phycological shift and decolonizing our relationship to nature. Recognising connections through archives and libraries, books and paper, and nurturing of growth and fruition. Opportunity is offered here to hand write, display and share tree 'stories'; any personal thoughts about trees.

A Dance to the Music of Time

Monday 29 October to Saturday 10 November 2018.

This exhibition marks the presentation of Wendy Elia’s major new figurative painting, A Dance to the Music of Time II.  For the first time, her original A Dance to the Music of Time I (1990), will be seen with its pendant, A Dance to the Music of Time II, which revisits its protagonists almost 30 years later.

Both works depict siblings Alexi and Madeleine, Elia’s children, engaged in introspective acts of movement and music-making in tilting rooms with dream-like vistas.

WAES Creative Graduates 2018

Wednesday 17 October to Saturday 27 October 2018.

The Creative Graduate 2018 Exhibition represents three distinctive art disciplines; Fine Art, Ceramics and Graphics. Although very different mediums, the same amount of passion has gone into each and is a representation of the diversity and talent, that not only exists within WAES but Westminster itself as a multi-cultural community, and is a blueprint for such, as people harmoniously co-exist together, just like the artworks within this exhibition.

Architectural Reflections by Debbie Ayles

Monday 3 to Thursday 13 September 2018.

An exhibition of paintings by artist Debbie Ayles that explores London above and below ground.

About Venice by Duart Bel Silva

Thursday 16 August to Saturday 1 September 2018.

An exhibition of recent work by Duart Bel Silva. The artist's intention is to develop a painted object that will communicate a visual equivalence of the initial sensation. To recreate it as a pictorial reality.

Also exhibited are smaller works, relating to the wild fires in Portugal 2017, and a series of linear abstractions called Small Sounds.

Asian Reflections by Helen Renna

Monday 30 July to Saturday 11 August 2018.

Helen was influenced by Asian culture and history from a very young age, which later became an inspiration for her photography career. In this exhibition, she portrays the 3 main cultures of Japan, China and Korea using her modern interpretation of traditional garments which she made herself from scratch alongside all the props and decorations.

Etchings by Philip Dare

Saturday 14 to Saturday 28 July 2018.

Philip's work has been produced over the last 4 years and reflects the preoccupations, trains of thought, themes and responses to the time in which it was made; manifesting itself in a rich and wide variety of imagery.

Colourful Composition by Nicola Wills

Monday 2 to Friday 13 July 2018.

Nicola Wills is a London-based artist who produces a wide variety of abstract art ranging mostly in oils and other media such as pastels, acrylics and watercolour. This exhibition is a visual representation of the colour, melodic and harmonic structure which is encoded in all kinds of musical pieces of work essential for evoking emotion and expression in the human soul.

Texture, Nature and Light

Monday 11 to Saturday 30 June 2018.

An exhibition of recent monoprints by London-based experimental printmaker, Lucy Smith.

Lucy works with tactile natural materials and alternative processes, allowing variations in the materials and printing process to suggest how each unique print develops. These recent prints were all produced this year using leather.

Glass Reflections: an exhibition of art glass from the Working Men's College 

Monday 4 to Saturday 9 June 2018.   

The Working Men’s College glass art students are delighted to showcase art pieces which show a stunning range of unique and eclectic glass works, celebrating the diversity of glass as a medium. Their work covers a wide range of techniques from traditional lead pieces to contemporary integrated multi-dimensional work with reclaimed components.

The show is a reflection of ideas and inspiration personal to the students and their passion for working with a medium which reflects light, colour and life. The techniques shown include, lead work, enamel, slump work, layering, fusing, casting, copper foil and an amalgamation of these methods.

Lee Simmons exhibition

Saturday 9 to Friday 15 December 2017.

Lee Simmons' book, 'Three by Three' will launch during her birthday party/ installation on Thursday 14 December. Documentation from her previous birthday projects will be exhibited in the space before and after the launch.

The collection of images will be launched on 3 occasions. The first will take place at the library with one copy being added to the library archive system and another sold to the exhibition guests, who will be able to purchase one postcard for £1. Further launches will be held at other locations while the library is closed. More information will be added to Lee Simmons' website

Gagged

Tuesday 21 November to Thursday 7 December 2017.

Exhibition about censorship and repression of cartoonists around the world,

Quartet - paintings by Noela Bewry

Monday 6 to Saturday 18 November 2017.

Noela Bewry is an abstract painter whose working process focuses on discovery and improvisation as a means of creating abstract content in paintings on canvas. She began her career as a figurative, landscape painter and has moved into abstract work during the last 10 years.

Noela takes part in the Brancaster Chronicles, which are filmed discussions and critiques, posted online, of a group of abstract sculptors and painters. She is also a contributor to  ABCRIT, a forum providing discursive argument on abstract painting and sculpture.

I Used To Perspire Freely - paintings by Wendy Elia

Monday 30 October to Saturday 4 November 2017.

The show’s title derives from Samuel Beckett’s 1961 play Happy Days in which husband and wife Willie and Winnie are destined to eke out their days in slow decline. As Winnie says, ‘I used to perspire freely…now hardly at all.’ It is just one of Wendy Elia’s many plunderings of both high art and popular culture – film stills, news photos, iconic paintings, and imagined scenarios – all digested and re-presented in the same painterly language that blurs fact and fiction.

Visit Wendy Elia's website for more information and to see details of the show's opening event and talk with the artist.

Voice, an exhibition by Gavin Maughfling

Monday 23 October to Saturday 28 October 2017.

This exhibition was part of the celebrations for Black History Month.

The paintings in Voice aim to record fast-flowing narratives. Narratives that are at once richly articulate, funny, moving and empowering, and demonstrate a moment of transition between teen years and adult life.

Gavin Maughfling trained at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, and the University of East London.

He has shown internationally, including the Galerie Van der Planken and Elzenveld Foundation (Antwerp), the Carrousel du Louvre (Paris), the Pump House, Lounge and ICA Galleries (London), the Holland Art Fair (den Haag) and the Mostyn Biennial (Llandudno).

Dream syrup, an exhibition by Sohrab Crews

Monday 9 October to Saturday 21 October 2017.

This exhibition by Sohrab Crews, his second solo show at Westminster Reference Library, presents a selection of film prints chosen from several hundred photographic works made between 2006 and 2009, with the collective title, Dream Syrup.

Extractive Industry, by David Ainley

Saturday 2 to Saturday 9 September 2017.

The materials of which these drawings are made were mined. Almost all manufactured objects involve materials that can be traced to sources in the earth but the human labour involved is often disregarded.

His distilled images, through processes arising from a critical engagement with aspects of minimal and conceptual art analogous to extractive industry, abstraction is infused with metaphorical content.

David studied fine art and ceramics at Derby College of Art and art education at Manchester College of Art/University of Manchester. He is a member of Contemporary British Painting and lives and works in Derbyshire, near Wirksworth, a place quarried for limestone and mined for lead.

Musical Nuances by Nicola Wills

Monday 21 August to Saturday 2 September 2017.

Nicola Wills is a London based artist who pursues her own independent studio practice and produces a wide variety of abstract art ranging mostly in oils and other media such as pastels and watercolour. 

Musical Nuances is a visual representation of the tonal qualities in colour and light in sound which can be perceived by the listener in the mind. In this exhibition the artist explores how auditory and visual can work in unison and depicts how one can form abstract shapes and various colours in the brain whilst listening to different genres of music through use of abstract and representative imagery.

Recent work by Sebastian Muscio

Monday 14  to Saturday 19 August 2017.

Sebastian Muscio studied art at the atelier of the artist Pablo Siquier in Argentina, and after a brief incursion at the Faculty of Literature, he has resumed his art studies in London. He now lives and works in London.

He has developed a personal method of working, in which he attempts to construct a pictorial language using a restricted range of elements. Sebastian explores repetition and accumulation as forms of composition and uses mechanical means to produce work, such as the use of patterns or grids, shielding off areas, and layering.

For this exhibition he has continued using traditional painting media such as acrylics and canvas, applying multiple layers of thin paint to create patterns against a plain colour background. Each layer consists of hand-drawn, random geometrical figures in a process that is repeated gradually, with some layers re-painted several times and other only once.

Towards Abstraction by Stephen Graham

Monday 7 to Saturday 12 August 2017.

Stephen Graham’s exhibition is composed of artwork in soft pastels, charcoal, ink drawing and painting in addition to photographic snaps and focuses on fine abstract art. 

After a career as a scientist in the Civil Service and working in Westminster Libraries for 16 years, Stephen retired early and has since then carved out a career in art.  Towards Abstraction is Stephen's second exhibition.

Paint Ground by Ruth Philo

Monday 31 July to Saturday 5 August 2017.

Ruth Philo's paintings are concerned with colour, light and surface and their power to evoke feeling and memory. Her work is not an explanation or depiction of the world, instead she tries to convey a sensory experience through abstraction, sometimes emerging from notions of place, walking, time and the everyday. The paintings are also about the materiality of paint and process, becoming themselves a record to reveal condensed histories in their surfaces.

Abstract expressionism and minimalism are at the source of Ruth's practice, but her painting is located in contemporary 21st century abstraction, where gesture has become touch and the scale is often intimate, working 'face to face' with the viewer.

Ruth regularly exhibits in the UK and works from a studio at Cuckoo Farm Studios, Colchester. She is a member of Contemporary British Painting and also curates shows including Lines for Agnes (2015) in London. In 2015, she had work selected for the Jerwood Drawing Prize. Ruth has an MA in Fine Art (2011) from Norwich University of the Arts.

Paintings by Jules Clarke

Monday 3 July to Saturday 8 July 2017.

The fluidity of paint is used to describe one moment becoming another; a visual expression of memory explored through the withdrawal of a still image from a moving one. As borders between people and things become ambiguous, new forms can emerge like animals or ghosts.

In 2013 Jules Clarke exhibited in the Marmite Prize for painting which toured the UK, and has been shortlisted for stage 2 of the John Moores Prize in 2016, 2014 and 2012. Her work is part of the Priseman-Seabrook collection of Contemporary British Painting. She has a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College.

Will We Remember Volcanoes - an exhibition By Alison Pilkington

Monday 12 June to Friday 30 June 2017.

Artist talk on Monday 12 June, 5pm followed by private reception, 6pm to 8pm

Alison Pilkington presents a series of paintings that explore the idea of nature in decay or decline. The paintings could be described as quasi- figurative. Her imagery invites anthropomorphic interpretations. Birds, animals and hybrid figures are alluded to. She is interested in creating a space for the viewer to build their own narratives from the work. She takes an intuitive, direct approach to image making through painting that explores the sensual qualities of the medium. Within the work there is a tacit commitment to the power of visual expression.

The title of the show refers poetically to this process of looking and thinking and how this might happen through painting.  In remembering, we try to visually re- construct what is lost. These paintings explore how the power of the visual might also reconstruct what is lost. For more information about the exhibition, visit the Artrabbit website.

Alison Pilkington completed a practice led PhD in painting at National College Art and Design Dublin awarded in 2015. For more information about the artist, visit Alison Pilkington's website.

Lodger

Wednesday 31 May to Friday 9 June 2017.

Visit Lodger, a reading lounge of the exotic, foreign and alien set within the library. The lounge features a selection of books, paintings, objects and plants that together seek to encourage an examination of otherness; further artworks and texts wait to be discovered throughout the library. Works featured range from Rodrigo Meneses’ transformation of the visual cues of emotion into graphic signs, to the journeys between exoticism and belonging in the paintings of Cara Nahaul and James Alfred Hart, and the revision of historic narratives in David Duvshani’s drawings and books.

Artists, curators, writers and other contributors: Cara Nahaul, Mi-Young Choi, James Alfred Hart, Rodrigo Meneses, David Duvshani, Alexandra Ezberova, Antonio García-Acosta, Helena Lugo, Claude-Henri Bartoli, Rosaura, Isaac Olvera, Qian Qian, Justas Santaris, Derzu Campos, Andrés Ordaz, Lanny Walker, Maeve O’Neill, Lelia Acosta, Iván Juárez: x - studio, Norman Mine, Robert Good, BAA, Alexa Phillips, Rossella Black, Asia Fuse and Iván Said.

Paris Fragments by Susan Reitsis

Monday 15 May to Saturday 27 May 2017.

Paris Fragments is a series of collages inspired by the poem “Liberté” by Paul Eluard, written during World War II in occupied Paris. Susan visited Paris in 2010 to find a connection to Eluard’s poem.  Her Parisian adventure included visiting Notre-Dame, the Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation, as part of a World War 2 guided walk, Shakespeare and Company bookshop and walking in some of the boulevards.

The outcome of this endeavour is a series of mixed media collages, comprised of fragments of the artist’s own photographs, drawings, paintings and poems.  Susan sees her collages both as a narrative of her stay in Paris and as a small tribute to Paul Eluard’s masterpiece.

Drawings by Kim L Pace and Nicholas Pace

Wednesday 19 to Saturday 29 April 2017.

Kim L Pace presents a selection of book-page drawings and limited edition artist books. The books often relate to ideas and non-linear narratives that have appeared in her sculptural installations. Early subjects include extreme emotions that are difficult to articulate – such as how it feels to fall in love (Love Bites), or the tragic loss of young life through absurd means, such as ‘girl chokes to death on lunch’ or ‘boy killed by falling conker’ (The Book of Terrible Endings). Other books focus on people and places – ‘High Flyer’ imagines the last fatal flight of the aviatrix Amy Johnson, whilst ‘Dead Men Don’t Ski’ is set in a ski resort where nothing is, as it first seems. More recently, her books include more fantastical subjects, including a troupe of hair-covered, performing women and a pictorial re-telling of Hansel and Gretel, as told from the witch’s perspective.

Nicholas Pace’s drawings appear like faux old master drawings, made in white and red chalk on pink Ingres paper. These drawings are in the style of preparatory drawings for paintings. However, although the drawings are executed in the late 18th century/ early 19th century French academic style, this is subverted by the unexpected content. The academic style of drawing is usually used to draw the human figure, i.e. culturally important or ‘significant’ subjects. By contrast, in these drawings, objects of so-called ‘low’ cultural value are purposefully selected to counter the dry academic approach. The playful subject matter includes unlikely objects that could never have appeared in an old Master drawing. Techniques from the past are brought into the current day to reflect upon what we might consider ‘appropriate’ subjects for an artist to work with.

Nicholas Best: Paintings and Pictorial Montages

10 to 18 April 2017.

Private view, Thursday 13 April, 6 to 8pm

Nicholas Best’s new works cover a period of 2 years during which he drew inspiration from nature and his interactions with the world around him. On holidays in Cornwall, he collects stones and pebbles, and from Holland Park where he is a volunteer gardener, he collects leaves. Using these simple organic materials to draw around, he is inspired to capture and reflect upon past events, but also to dwell on the present moment. Nicholas’ stories are told through physical engagement with the material objects collected from the scene. What emerges is a beautiful poetic narrative of life. Dialoguing obliquely, he comments on the very creative nature of existence as a unique journey of self-discovery. The works of art falls into 2 categories, the cerebral and the visceral. The pictorial montages reflect an intellectual distance from the events, relying on a repetitive visual text impregnated with words to narrate stories in a poetic manner. The watercolours have the qualities of an aesthetic moment that immediately move the viewer. Nicholas grew up in the Berkshire village of Hurst. In early childhood he suffered brain damage through epilepsy, but he has managed to live a busy and creative life.

Last updated: 21 October 2019