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12.04.2024 – 08.09.2024

Anne Desmet: Kaleidoscope/London Exhibition

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Hosted at:

Guildhall Art Gallery

Guildhall Yard, EC2V 5AE



'Pay What You Can'

Celebrate the work of artist and specialist wood engraver Anne Desmet, at this new exhibition inspired by "climate crisis, escape, and possible new worlds".

From 12 April to 8 September 2024, discover a fresh perspective on London, its architecture and geography at this forthcoming major exhibition that celebrates the work of multi-award-winning wood engraver Anne Desmet RA.

Explore 150 artworks, including 41 London-themed prints created exclusively for this new exhibition and a selection of tools and engraved wood blocks, spanning over three decades of Desmet’s documentation of London through the mediums of wood engraving and mixed-media printed collage.

Desmet’s prints create a unique dialogue between time and change, depicting the evolution of urban landscapes - from ancient Rome and Pompeii to London. One of the stand-out art works not to be missed will be a complex collage, ‘Fires of London’, created using 18 razor-clam shells to present a theme of the many historic fires of London over the last 1,500 years.

A deeply personal and endlessly imaginative show, Desmet has spoken candidly about her inspiration for the new work, pointing to “wild scattergun thoughts running through my mind” while undergoing treatment for cancer two years ago and looking at a fragmented view of the world through a toy kaleidoscope.

The exhibition has been curated by Anne Desmet and Head of Guildhall Art Gallery, Elizabeth Scott. 'Anne Desmet: Kaleidoscope/London' is the first solo exhibition led by a female artist at Guildhall Art Gallery and will be one of two solely female exhibitions in 2024, with Evelyn De Morgan: Pioneering Artist in Victorian London opening in November


Admission to 'Anne Desmet: Kaleidoscope/London' exhibition is on a "Pay What You Can" basis. You can pay as much or as little as you like for your ticket or visit for free.

Income from this exhibition will help the Gallery to put on new public exhibitions and support their education and conservation programmes.

Artist Led Exhibition Tours

Immerse yourself in the world of 'Anne Desmet: Kaleidoscope/London' with an extended tour led by exhibition artist and co-curator Anne Desmet RA. Discover the diverse themes of construction and metamorphosis that inform Desmet's work and learn more about her hand-crafted print techniques.

Wood Engraving Workshop

Please note that this event has now sold out. Keep an eye on this page for additional dates coming soon.

Join artist and co-curator Anne Desmet RA for an interactive introduction to wood engraving workshop on 18 May. During this one-day masterclass you will learn the basics of wood engraving, create two engraved woodblocks and go home with several prints of your own design.

About Anne Desmet RA

Printmaker Anne Desmet RA is only the third artist to be elected to the Royal Academy for the wood engraving medium in the RA’s 256-year history. To date, Desmet has exhibited her work in over 40 solo shows, including five major museum exhibitions in the UK and overseas. Her work has won over 40 national and international awards over her 35-year career to date.

‘...By seeing the city anew and with a sense of its unexpected possibilities, I hope that my work will inspire optimism and constructive thinking in our uncertain times.’ (Anne Desmet RA)

Watch the video below where she takes us through each step in creating a wood engraving.

Footage courtesy of the Royal Academy of Arts © Royal Academy of Arts 2024

Decorative banner with wording Anne Desmet Kaleidoscope London


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