5 Emerging London artists you need to know

The Whitechapel Gallery is welcoming visitors once again to its triennial open submission exhibition, The London Open. The East End Academy began in 1932 as a metaphorical "two fingers" to typical gallery shows. Today the show continues to introduce works created by artists aged 26 or over who live and work in London, with 48 artists showcasing their art at the Whitechapel Gallery after a thorough process of applications and studio visits over three months.

From China with love: the UK welcomes Ai Weiwei

From 2010 to 2011, millions of sunflower seeds spilled across the floor of the Tate Modern. From far away, each one looked identical, but they were all individually handcrafted in porcelain. As Ai Weiwei's successful Sunflower Seeds installation came to its close, the artist was detained in his home country of China for 81 days. The Chinese authorities confiscated his passport and he has been unable to leave since then. Sunflower Seeds might have been one of the first instances where the British public was directly exposed to Weiwei's work, but it certainly wasn't the last.

Why you should have a one night stand with Carmen

Calixto Bieito's raunchy production of Georges Bizet's Carmen at the English National Opera proves that opera is no longer for the old (or boring). For those of you hoping to expand your horizons, Carmen is the perfect introductory sampler to whet your appetite and keep you coming back for more. The image of opera-goers squinting into their binoculars with their powdery, wrinkly faces is over. A younger audience is quickly encroaching into operatic territory, and here's why.