Art, craft and design

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Early summer outdoor events nearby

Museums at Night Weekend, London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Road: Saturday 18 May, 5:30 pm-11:00 pm

Open for Culture24.

  • Climb down by ladder into the ice wells (5:30 pm-7:30 pm) if you are more than ten years old.
  • See icy works of art, including ice sculpture, film, installation and painting.
  • Hear Simon Barraclough present excerpts from Debris Field, words and sights related to icebergs, hypothermia and the cold starlit sky as the Titanic slips beneath the waves.
  • Hear Alan Ward perform poems inspired by the ice wells, the people who worked in them and the sensations which are tingled by vast blocks of ice.
  • Write your own verse.

The museum is also usually open between Tuesdays and Sundays 10:00 am-16:30 pm and on bank holiday Mondays 10:00 am-16:30 pm. The ice wells were built in 1862-1863 for Carlo Gatti to store ice brought by canal and sea from Norway. The event is the first in a series this year celebrating the conservation work on them described here.

Open Gardens Day, Barnsbury (36 Thornhill Square, 44 Hemingford Road, Barnsbury Wood on Crescent Street and 1 Battlebridge Court on Wharfdale Road): Sunday 19 May, 2:00 pm-6:00 pm

Open for the National Gardens Scheme.

  • See contrasting gardens, with old roses, perennials and unusual shrubs at 36 Thornhill Square and 44 Hemingford Road, mature woodland in Barnsbury Wood, and plantsman’s layouts with views to the canal and houseboats in 1 Battlebridge Court.
  • Support charity with the combined admission charge of £6 for adults and £0 for children.
  • Buy home made teas and plants at 36 Thornhill Square.

Barnsbury Wood is also usually open on Tuesdays 2:00 pm-4:00 pm and in the summer (from July to September) on Saturdays 2:00 pm-4:00 pm. To take part in conservation work there (or in Gillespie Park or Parkland Walk) on Thursdays 10:00 am-4:30 pm call 020 7527 4374; other events organised by the ecology centre are listed here.

Open Squares Weekend, Barnsbury Square: Saturday 8 June, 2:30 pm-4:30 pm

Open for the London Parks and Gardens Trust.

  • Get tea, coffee and soft drinks in the hut.

The hut is also usually open on Tuesdays 2:00 pm-4:00 pm and on Saturdays 11:00 am-12:00 noon.

Lengthy gestation of work on opera

The Birth of an Opera: Fifteen Masterpieces from Poppea to WozzeckMichael Rose has now published his long-awaited book, The Birth of an Opera: Fifteen Masterpieces from Poppea to Wozzeck. It is a distant descendant of radio broadcasts that he made fifty years ago. In it he discusses the origins of, and responses to, operas by fourteen composers (with Mozart being allowed two operas). The reviews have been very enthusiastic both in the UK and in the US; you can see examples in The Spectator and The Wall Street Journal.

You can find out here about another Michael Rose who lived in the neighbourhood.