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12 unmissable London photography exhibitions - Winter 2023


Written by Becky T

Published Aug 24, 2023

As a photographer, you view life through your own personal lens. Perfecting your work and discovering your style as you explore life through your camera is crucial to reaching your full potential and becoming the professional photographer you want to be. However, taking the time to explore the work of others will allow you to see different perspectives and styles that you might wish to employ or emulate yourself. But where do you go to explore said work? 

Attending a photography exhibition in London is an excellent way to broaden your horizons and discover new work. There are plenty of photography exhibitions in London to explore this autumn. In this guide, we’ll take a look at 12 unmissable photography exhibitions in London that are happening now or right around the corner: 

  1. Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 2023
  2. Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective
  3. A World In Common: Contemporary African Photography
  4. Capturing The Moment
  5. Hélène Amouzou: Voyages
  7. Hiroshi Sugimoto: Time Machine
  8. Energy: Sparks from the Collection
  9. Celebrating Windrush: Tracing a Living Legacy
  10. In The Moment: The Art of Music Photography
  11. Armet Francis: Beyond The Black Triangle
  12. Lisetta Carmi: Identities

If you’re ready to explore new themes, lives, and experiences, let’s take a closer look at the stunning photography exhibitions in London listed above. 

1. Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 2023

Photograph of a young man held upside down between two people standing from the Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 2023
Chotu Lal Upside-down by Carl Francois van der Linde from the series Our Leader

Celebrating the best in contemporary portrait photography, this exhibition features young photographers, gifted amateurs and established professionals that have been shortlisted for the annual Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize. This year's 5-strong shortlist was whittled down from an amazing 1785 photographers who submitted for the competition, with the winners announced on 6 November 2023.

This year’s judging panel will be chaired by the National Portrait Gallery’s Director, Dr Nicholas Cullinan, who will be joined by Karen McQuaid (Senior Curator at The Photographer’s Gallery); Caleb Azumah Nelson (writer and photographer); Campbell Addy (artist); and Sabina Jaskot-Gill (the National Portrait Gallery’s Curator of Photography).

2. Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective

Photograph of a dog from London photography exhibition: Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective

Curated by Thyago Nogueira, and in collaboration with the Instituto Moreira Salles (São Paulo), this exhibition looks back at over 200 works and over 40 publications of the renowned Japanese photographer, Daido Moriyama.  Inspired by artists such as Andy Warhol and Jack Kerouac, Moriyama "revolutionised the way we look at the world with his dense, grainy images".

Best known for his black and white street photography, Moriyama made a name for himself capturing the dark underbelly of postwar Japan through raw, experience-led photography.

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3. A World In Common: Contemporary African Photography

image by Kudzanai Chiurai of an African woman wearing a leopard print suit
Photo by Kudzanai Chiurai

In a bid to increase the visibility and representation of African artists, this exhibition explores "how photography, film, audio, and more have been used to reimagine Africa’s diverse cultures and historical narratives".

Spanning generations, landscapes, time zones, and thematic experiences, A World in Common will take you on a journey through a diverse range of African histories and geographies, leaning on the artists' narratives to uncover how "the past and the future to co-exist in powerful and transformative ways". If you're seeking inspiration for your latest photoshoot concepts, this exhibition showcases how you can use identity and legacy to inform your creative vision.

4. Capturing The Moment

Painting from London photography exhibition: Capturing The Moment
Painting by David Hockney

From Lucian Freud to Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol to Andreas Gursky, this exhibition explores "a journey through painting and photography", looking at how both mediums have impacted each other over the years and been used to capture moments in time.

You will also discover how artists have blurred the boundaries between these two mediums to create new and exciting forms of art, such as Pauline Boty's pop paintings and the photorealist works of Gerhard Richter.

5. Hélène Amouzou: Voyages

Self portrait from London photography exhibition: Hélène Amouzou: Voyages
From the series Autoportrait, Molenbeek

Curated by Bindi Vora, this exhibition explores "the complex emotions of displacement and exile" through Togolese-born, Belgium-based Hélène Amouzou's self-portraits. Hand-printed photographs serve as crucial records of Amouzou's experience as a migrant navigating freedom, exclusion, and bureaucracy in "an attempt to recapture her identity and sense of belonging".

Voyages brings together fifteen years of Amouzou's work, documenting her journey through forced displacement and political dissonance to safety and citizenship in Belgium, and then the artist’s first journey back to her homeland in more than a quarter of a century.


Photograph from London photography exhibition: RE/SISTERS
Photo by Pamela Singh
  • Dates: 05 October 2023 — 14 January 2024
  • Price: Free
  • Location: The Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS
  • Learn More: You can learn more about the event at https://www.barbican.org.uk/ReSisters

Featuring around 50 international women and gender non-conforming artists, this group exhibition explores the relationship between gender and ecology.

These works of photography and film from emerging and established artists highlight the links between the oppression of women and the degradation of the planet, showing us that gender and environmental justice are indivisible parts of a global struggle.

7. Hiroshi Sugimoto: Time Machine

Photograph of lightning from London photography exhibition: Hiroshi Sugimoto: Time Machine
Photo by Hiroshi Sugimoto
  • Dates: 11 October 2023 –⁠ 07 January 2024

This is Hiroshi Sugimoto's largest retrospective to date and features key works from all of the Japanese photographer's major photographic series. This exhibition highlights the artist's philosophical yet playful inquiry into our understanding of time and memory as well as photography’s ability to both document and invent.

You will also get to explore some of Sugimoto's lesser-known works that reveal his interest in the history of photography, mathematics and optical sciences.

8. Energy: Sparks from the Collection

Photograph of a woman running from fire from London photography exhibition: Energy: Sparks from the Collection
Riot Girl, C-type colour print, by Vinca Peterson, 1999
  • Dates: Now until 20 April 2024
  • Price: Free to attend
  • Location: Galleries 100-101, V&A South Kensington, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

From hidden technologies to photographic subjects, this exhibition draws attention to "the diverse kinds of energy in photography". Whether it's sunlight passing through a lens, the flash of an artificial lightbulb, or the travelling glow of long-exposure city lights, every photograph needs some kind of energy to bring itself to life. This display will explore the ways that light and energy are memorialised within a still image.

9. Celebrating Windrush: Tracing a Living Legacy

Photograph from London photography exhibition: Celebrating Windrush: Tracing a Living Legacy

Celebrating 75 years since the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks, this exhibitions shares stories and photographs from Britain's Windrush generation. This display has been created by the V&A Windrush 75 Co-production group, a collective of young people of Caribbean heritage, who are seeking to keep the legacy of their families alive whilst connecting to their heritage through their own reflections.

This exhibition is part of a wider season hosted by the V&A, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush, and commemorating the impact of the Windrush generation and their descendants on art, design and culture in Britain.

10. In The Moment: The Art of Music Photography

Silhouette photograph of Oasis from London photography exhibition: In The Moment: The Art of Music Photography

Chronicling the evolution of music photography over the last 70 years, this exhibition showcases iconic rock and roll images and the photographers who shot them. Whether it's the enchanting ambiance of a live concert, defining moments in a recording studio, or candid glimpses behind the scenes, photography has helped to memorialise pivotal moments in music history for everyone to witness and experience.

Presented by Rockarchive.com in celebration of its 25th year as a collective of music photographers, highlights of this exhibition include Michael Putland's exhilarating photograph of Pete Townshend hurling his guitar through the air during The Who's performance at Madison Square Garden in 1979, and Jill Furmanovsky's poignant silhouette of Oasis, captured during the filming of their "Wonderwall" video in 1995.

11. Armet Francis: Beyond The Black Triangle

Photograph of a woman doing a fashion shoot on the street from London photography exhibition: Armet Francis: Beyond The Black Triangle
Image by Armet Francis

Curated by Mark Sealy, this exhibition showcases the work of Jamaican photographer, Armet Francis. Francis has made his life and career's mission to visually document the African diaspora and celebrate the "resilience and survival of African diasporic cultures". He has been recording the experiences of diasporic communities for over 4 decades, and continues to give visibility to the proud individuality of these communities.

From the community and activism of young black Londoners protesting for rights and justice to the playful joy of 1970s Brixton Market fashion shoots, Francis has sought to preserve the legacy of black, British communities and their contributions to culture and society.

12. Lisetta Carmi: Identities

Photograph from London photography exhibition: Lisetta Carmi: Identities
Image by Lisetta Carmi
  • Dates: 20 September 2023 - 17 December 2023
  • Price: Adult £7.50, Over 60s £5.50, Free for Estorick Collection Members
  • Location: The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39A Canonbury Square, London, N1 2AN
  • Learn More: You can learn more about this exhibit and book tickets at https://www.estorickcollection.com/exhibitions/lisetta-carmi-identities

In the first UK museum show of renowned Italian photographer, Lisetta Carmi (1924 – 2022), Carmi's ground-breaking photographs offer us a glimpse into the lives of marginalised sectors of her native Genoa, including working-class and trans communities.

Carmi travelled the world to give voices through her photography to those who had none. She documented her own city’s steelworks, highlighting the dangers of industrial production, and made several trips to Sardinia to photograph the first women to be employed in the island’s cork industry.

Wrapping up

No matter what type of photographer you want to become, visiting photography exhibitions is an outstanding way to discover new styles, learn how to improve your own art, and find inspiration. And with new collections popping up all over the city every month, there's no shortage of exciting works to discover.

Weekdays are generally quieter for most exhibitions, but you can book timeslots in advance online for all of them to guarantee admission. Why not make a day of it with a friend and visit a few in succession, stopping by at some local independent pubs to discuss your thoughts on each exhibition. All in the name of research, of course.

But what do you do when you’re ready to put your skills to the test? Who do you turn to for photoshoot locations? Tutti makes it easy for artists to find the right spaces for their work by connecting them directly with space owners to streamline the search and rental process. If you’ve been looking up, “photography studio London” to no avail, start here with Tutti!

Hire locations for your next photoshoot with Tutti

Choose from 1000+ spaces and locations on Tutti and deal directly with space hosts for a quick, hassle-free booking process.

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