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Happy 40th birthday to Sydney’s Mardi Gras

Happy 40th birthday to Sydney’s Mardi Gras

Our pick of the season’s cultural events worth travelling for

Our pick of the season’s cultural events worth travelling for

February/March 2018

SYDNEY Dancing queens
Sydney’s first Mardi Gras started in discord. In 1978, 53 marchers were arrested by police for protesting state legislation that criminalised homosexuality, Since then, Mardi Gras has grown to be the largest LGBT gathering in Australia. This year, the parade will mark its 40th anniversary just months after same-sex marriage was legalised. Cue the most joyful celebration yet. More than 300,000 people will be dancing in the streets. Events include a rainbow-themed high tea, a Museum of Love and Protest and a Little Black Dress Run from the Harbour Bridge to the Sydney Opera House. February 16th-March 4th

WASHINGTON DC Manny pleasures
“Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings” surveys the career of one of America’s greatest and most controversial photographers. In 1992 she published “Immediate Family”, a collection of pictures of her three children as they roamed the Virginia countryside over seven summers. The children, often naked, were shown in moments of anger, injury and abandon. Prudish critics saw exploitation; others an honest look at family life, full of the earthy beauty that distinguishes Mann’s work. Her sensuous feeling for landscape is shown again in her ghostly pictures of civil-war battlefields. Some of her most powerful works were taken at the “body farm” in Knoxville, Tennessee, where forensic scientists study human decomposition. National Gallery of Art, March 4th-May 28th

DELHI Dye hard
The Hindu spring festival of Holi has been celebrated, since the seventh century if not earlier, by the throwing of brightly coloured pigments. In the past, these were made from ground flowers; now crowds are dyed shades of neon and sprinkled with glitter. The traditional celebrations continue – but the carefree joy of the occasion is attracting increasing secular interest. The Holi Moo festival in South Delhi is Holi for millennials. Under clouds of colour, locals and tourists dance to the music of Indian and international bands. Jhankar Lawns, Asiad Village, March 2nd

PARIS Unveiling Margiela
Martin Margiela, the Belgian fashion designer, once sent models down his catwalks wearing fuchsia masks that covered their faces. In an era when supermodels ruled the runways, he wanted his exquisitely cut garments to be the focus. This master of deconstruction, who began his career with Jean-Paul Gaultier, is notoriously reticent. Dubbed the “Greta Garbo of fashion”, he doesn’t give interviews or share photographs of his face. But his work between 1989 and 2009 will be the subject of a retrospective at the Palais Galliera, featuring silhouettes, videos and archival items. Frayed edges, exposed zips, trompe l’oeil prints, dresses woven from home furnishings and coats made from wigs are sure to abound. March 3rd-July 15th

VIENNA Reviving Wagner
Otto Wagner transformed the skyline of Vienna, his hometown. He was an early Austrian devotee of Art Nouveau, which informed his design for the Church of St Leopold, with its towering, copper-plated dome, and the gilded, marble pavilion at the entrance of the former Karlsplatz Stadtbahn station. To mark his centenary, a new exhibition at the Wien Museum examines his legacy. On show will be his personal effects, furniture and exquisite drawings, which chronicle his career and place it within a cultural and global context. It’s the first major exhibition of his work for 50 years and worth the wait. March 15th-October 7th