Socialist Worker

News from Nowhere: Visions of Utopia

by Ken Montague
Issue No. 1970

William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, Forest Road, London E17 4PP
Until 9 October

This exhibition is worth a visit. It’s a collection of personal — and sometimes wayward — takes on the theme of Utopia by a large and varied group of international artists, designers and musicians.

The broadsheet guide carries a dedication from Tony Benn in the form of a facsimile page from Thomas More’s original Utopia of 1516, but the work that gives it its title and starting point is William Morris’s great socialist romance from 1890.

Morris was a revolutionary, an avowed Marxist, and an iconic figure of the early socialist movement in this country. News from Nowhere was written to inspire a collective struggle for a better world. His fantasies are what give the work its resonance.

The exhibition includes an enormously enjoyable series of “dream sheds” by various artists and illustrators, with their shelves of bottled and labelled memorabilia, tightly scribbled plans, cages and frames.

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