Although the run up to Christmas is always a busy period, make sure you take a little time to indulge your creative side. An art or photography exhibition is the perfect excuse for some ‘me time’ away from frantic shopping, Christmas day prep and all the other activities encroaching on your free time.

Here’s our selection of must-see exhibitions from across the country that are going on now and next. Get inspired through others artwork to help you take your next photo to canvas.

London

The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection

Where: Tate Modern

When: Until 7 May 2017

Described by the gallery as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime chance to see one of the world’s greatest private collections of photography’, you’d be crazy to miss out on this viewing. The collection draws from the classic modernist period of the 1920s-50s.

Over 70 artists and nearly 150 rare vintage prints are on show, including several Man Ray portraits of Matisse, Picasso and Breton – collected by Elton John over the past 25 years and exhibited together for the first time.

Other artists are Brassai, Imogen Cunningham, André Kertész, Dorothea Lange, Tina Modotti, and Aleksandr Rodchenko. This is not a quick stop between shopping type of exhibit, be sure to leave a good amount of time to admire this collection of true ‘masterpieces’.

Liverpool

Continuing the journey

Where: International Slavery Museum

When: Until 31 December 2016

This exhibition explores issues that affect people of African heritage living in Liverpool’s locality. It incorporates all kinds of media, including oral histories, photography and film. The collection takes you from post-war Britain to the 1980s and was developed by Stray Cat Media. In particular it looks at the struggle of Merseyside’s black community to ‘obtain racial equality and social justice’.

Participants share their recollections of very traumatic, and often brutal, experiences that left ‘indelible marks on their community’. The resilience, strength and power of each individual is shown in this exhibition – dedicated to those voices that were heard and those voices that were ignored.

Edinburgh

Nori Rakhra – People and Places

Where: House for An Art Lover

When: 13 February 2017

Glasgow-based photographer Nori Rakhra’s exhibition at House for an Art Lover features specially-commissioned photographs to mark the venue’s 20th anniversary. The concept is said by the company to take the idea of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 1901 portfolio of 14 drawings for House for An Art Lover, ‘transposing’ a set of modern imagery that represents the success of the House in 2016.

The exhibition aims to present a contemporary view that records moments of reflection.

If feeding you thirst for art education has not been quenched by this selection, check out the Parrot Print guide to the best online design magazines – sure to spark your interest. There’s also our post on photojournalism, giving you a brief look at this area of photography and how you might get into it.