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Five Good Things: what to do, buy, book and visit this March

We’ve a spring in our step – not simply because we’ve waved goodbye to winter but because there’s such a wealth of fabulous things to savour and entertain this month. Take your pick…

Five Good Things: what to do, buy, book and visit this March

Readers of the Almanac will know full well how flowers in all their forms put a smile on our faces – just look at our Instagram roundup of the best blooms we’ve seen on screen lately. And while, yes, the weather is brightening and the crocuses are coming up, our rather desolate-looking pots, planters and beds still leave a little to be desired. That’s where Miranda Sinclair and her hand-crafted creations come in. The interior stylist’s pretty paper cut-outs bring a dash of verdant vibrancy to any mantelpiece, windowsill or table and – no matter how green-fingered you are – they’ll never fade from glory. Her auriculas and geraniums are just bewitching, her daffodils divine. She’ll even do you a bespoke design on request. And, if the real deal still appeals, why not buy one of her seed cards instead? Each is printed with a lithograph of one of her collages and contains a packet, ready to sow. Visit Miranda’s website for details.

There are plenty of reasons to get excited about the Harewood Craft Biennial, which begins on 29 March – the setting for starters. Yorkshire’s Harewood House, designed by Robert Adam and John Carr, furnished by Thomas Chippendale and set within 1,000 acres of Capability Brown-scaped greenery, is counted as one of the ten foremost historic homes in the country. But there’s plenty more to look forward to in the run of exhibits besides. This year’s biennial, the second edition, takes ‘Radical Acts’ as its theme and has been curated by Hugo MacDonald (we know he’s got good taste – he put his house on the market with us). Over the next five months there’ll be work on show at the estate by a host of big hitters: Ilse Crawford, Mac Collins and Robin Wood are among those using their craft to reflect on modern topics, from social equality to climate change and land use. This is craft for a contemporary world, made by people who care. Bravo. Visit the biennial’s website for details.

If you haven’t any space on your shelves, we suggest making some – and sharpish. Two new titles are coming out this month, both alike in dignity but with diverging content. Selina Lake’s new book, Heritage Style, looks at how an interest in the interiors of the past has shaped the spaces of today. Expect sumptuous photography – and some very good decorating tips to boot. We’ll no doubt be taking notes. Radical Art and the Formation of the Avant-Garde, meanwhile, focuses on a group of people looking forward rather than back. Taking the artistic vanguard as his starting point, author David Cottington looks to two cities – Paris and London – in his exploration of the meaning of modernity and 20th-century European culture. Both books are published on 8 March, Heritage Style by Ryland Peters; Radical Art by Yale University Press. Visit the publishers’ websites for details.

‘Love the Giver’ proclaims a jug; another cup with the same shell pink and pearly sheen implores ‘May you be happy’. You’d be forgiven for mistaking these poetic pretties for the Sunderland pottery of the early 19th century. Yet, in fact, they’re all new – the stock in trade of Sussex Lustreware, a company with a love of England’s historic ceramics and a desire to “connect us to those who went before”. Making that connection even easier is its upcoming pop-up shop at Pentreath & Hall, in London’s Bloomsbury, which runs 29 March-9 April. Pieces will no doubt prove popular, so be sure to get in quick. Visit Pentreath & Hall’s website for details.

March sees the arrival of International Women’s Day and, with it, the opening of ‘A Fish Without a Bicycle’, a free exhibition running 9-13 March in Unit 14E of Brixton Village’s Market Row. The south London show’s name comes from the old aphorism ‘a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle’, while its aim is to celebrate women supporting women. Curated by artists Layla Andrews, it brings together the work of 20 female-identifying painters, collagists, photographers, sculptors and draughtswomen, including Sheila Maurice-Grey, Gayle Ebose and Louisa Tratalos. Highlights include Andrews’ own large sculptures, named after the family members she credits with giving her the confidence to pursue a career as an artist, as well as the life-drawing class she’ll be hosting with London Drawing Group on 12 March. Visit the Brixton Village website for details.

Shown: Jo Kitchen, Dancing With My Shadow, 2021

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