As the prospect of summer sunshine finally beckons, we bring you our Top 10 things to do in May – from Bompass & Parr's fruit-filled pond installation at Kew Gardens to a celebration of Chanel No. 5 in Paris and a chic new park exclusively for dogs at the Soho Grand, New York.
1. No.5 Culture Chanel at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, May 5 - June 5
A celebration of Coco Chanel's iconic 1921 fragrance, this upcoming exhibition will consider the various inspirations behind the scent, as well as its container and ensuing publicity campaigns – from Chanel's love of Venice and Russia to her friendships with Cocteau, Picasso, Apollinaire and Stravinsky. Moreover, it will explore the fragrance's wider links with the society into which it was born – through art, photography and archive objects.
2. Soho Grand Dog Park, from May 1
Already boasting the status of animal-friendly hotel, the Soho Grand has decided to go one step further in its creation of a unique dog park for guests' four-legged friends. Cherry trees, boxwoods and ornamental kale will provide verdant foliage, while overhead string lights, bespoke benches and fire hydrants will ensure pooches and pet-owners alike the most luxurious dog-walking experience.
3. Steadman at 77, May 1 - July 21
The Cartoon Museum will be holding a retrospective exhibition on famously off-kilter British graphic artist Ralph Steadman, best known for his long collaboration with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas author Hunter S. Thompson. With its wide offering of Steadman's work from the past fifty years, the display will serve as an apt celebration of the artist's multifarious career.
4. COLLECT 2013, May 10-13 and 20|21 International Art Fair, May 9-12
Don't miss two of London's best international art fairs taking place this month. COLLECT, now in its tenth year, brings together an impressive selection of galleries from across the globe, showcasing a diverse range of arts and crafts – from sculpture and glassware to jewellery and furniture. While the boutique 20|21 International Art Fair presents a display of modern and contemporary artworks from such prominant figures as Modigliani, Picasso, Grayson Perry and Peter Blake.
5. The 4th Fashion in Film Festival, May 10-19
Inspired by the creativity of inter-war Paris, Marcel L’Herbier’s films are stunning testaments to modernist art, architecture, fashion and design. In May, the 4th Fashion in Film festival brings together some of his most important works for their first British showcase.
6. The London Eco-Film Festival, May 12
London has many film festivals but never before has there been one to celebrate environmental issues. The inaugural year of the London Eco-Film Festival will screen films covering a range of issues from endangered species in the Galapagos to sex trafficking in Europe. It will also include a vibrant programme of speakers, as well as hosting discussions, workshops and presentations from NGO’s.
7. Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction, May 14
Sotheby’s New York will host one of its biggest contemporary art evenings this month with a star-studded line up of Post War greats, from Jackson Pollock to Mark Rothko. Among the works up for sale are Francis Bacon’s posthumous study of his doomed lover, Peter Lacy, as well as Gerhard Richter’s 9 square foot canvas, Domplatz Mailand, the largest of his 1960s photopaintings.
8. Dieter Roth: Diaries at the Camden Arts Centre, May 17 - July 14
A new exhibition of the personal diaries of Dieter Roth invites viewers to take a fresh look into the prolific, German-Swiss artist's life and work. These intimate books demonstrate the complete unification of Roth's art with his daily life, as well as his preoccupation with authorship, self-portraiture and autobiography. Besides the diaries, three of his major installations will also be showcased, along with other series of work that portray Roth’s journey as an artist.
9. Bompass & Parr's Tutti Frutti Installation at Kew Gardens, May 25 - September 1
To coincide with Kew Gardens' IncrEdibles festival – a celebration of edible plants – culinary curators Bompass & Parr will transform the pond outside the Palm House into a giant participatory artwork: a fruit salad boating lake, no less. At the centre of the piece will sit a floating pineapple island, accessible via walkway, while around it small rowing boats will be available for hire, decorated to resemble papaya, melon, durian and pear.
10. Field Day Festival, May 25 and ticket booking for Wilderness Festival, August 8-11
Now in its 7th year, Field Day has become a summer staple in the East London diary. Village fete meets mixtape with a host of bands including Animal Collective, Four Tet, Bat For Lashes and Solange, playing against a backdrop of chairoplanes, Winkle Picking and Candy Floss in Victoria Park. Meanwhie, be sure to book your tickets for this year's Wilderness festival which will return with a new and inspiring offering of music, theatre, outdoor pursuits and culinary experiences.
Compiled by Jane Fayle, Alice Hancock and Daisy Woodward.