David Bowie is a true icon of 20th century popular music and fans were delighted to see him emerge from a ten-year hiatus this year with brand new recordings and videos.
Over the course of a career lasting more than four decades, Bowie has penned no shortage of classic songs – including Space Oddity, Life on Mars? and Heroes. Inseparable from his musical prowess, however, is the profound effect Bowie has had on the wider spheres of art, fashion and film.
Fortuitously coinciding with the singer’s return to the public eye, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has been hosting the ‘David Bowie is’ exhibition, which started last month and will continue until the beginning of August.
Described by the V&A as “the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie”, the exhibition showcases the star’s music videos, set designs, original handwritten lyrics – and, of course, the dazzling costumes that made each of his eccentric personas so memorable.
Museum-goers hoping to see the exhibition are warned that pre-booking is absolutely essential, as tickets have been selling fast. However, those dropping in this weekend should be delighted to discover that the V&A is holding an extra Bowie Weekender – a celebration of “all things Bowie, including talks, films, music, workshops, special activities and themed events for all ages” – which is totally free.
Kicking off this Friday (April 26th), the Weekender promises a densely-packed programme of events. These include talks like David Bowie is Making a Scene, which takes place late on Friday and promises an overview of Bowie’s career and wide-reaching influence.
Visitors can also enjoy piano arrangements of Bowie tracks performed live at the museum cafe, “Bowie-inspired makeovers” and mime performances. There will also be screenings of several films, putting the singer’s surrealist influences like Un Chien Andalou alongside the 1986 classic Labyrinth, in which he starred as the goblin king Jareth.
Bowie fans staying in hotels in London this week, then, are urged to make the trip. The V&A is a five-minute walk from the South Kensington Underground station.