Art and culture

4 things you need to know about this month

Including: American bats, British artists and museums for a French designer

1. Bat Week, the US

It’s hard out there for a bat. They don’t get a lot of good press, despite being important pollinators of flowers and fruits. Let’s help change that: from 26 October-1 November, it’s Bat Week in the US. The best way to appreciate them is to see them. In San Francisco, you could go down to Golden Gate Park’s Stow Lake around sunset and and see them out for an early dinner. Or, for something more dramatic, visit Bracken Cave, outside San Antonio, Texas, where 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats (the world’s largest bat colony) swoop out at dusk.

Large Bat, Hanging Flying Fox (Pteropus vampyrus)
credit: PanuRuangjan/iStockphoto by Getty Images

2. Ritidian Point, Guam

This is Guam’s Ritidian Point. This beach, within a wildlife refuge, is the northernmost part of Guam. It’s around an hour’s drive from the luxury hideouts in Tumon Bay – like the Dusit Thani Guam, Hyatt Regency Guam and Outrigger Guam Beach Resort – but more than merits the trip. Ritidian Point is best visited during the day: it closes at 4pm. But no bother. Drive back to genteel Tumon Bay, which is also the best place on Earth to see the Green Flash – an optical illusion where the sun gains an emerald halo just before it sinks below the Pacific horizon. Green flash: Instagram gold.

Ritidian Point at Guam
credit: Pai-Shih Lee / Moment RF / Getty Images

3. Yves Saint Laurent, Paris & Marrakech

Fashion designer yves Saint Laurent’s love of Morocco was clear to see in the vibrancy and styles of his fashion lines in the 1960 and ’70s. He and his partner Pierre Bergé, who died last month, bought a house in Marrakech (pictured), to hide away in and dream up designs. So it’s fitting that two new museums celebrating the designer should open in Paris (3 October), in his former studio in the 16th arrondissement; as well as in his beloved Marrakech (16 October). Both the converted Paris studio and the new 13,000-square-foot Marrakech museum will feature important designs and pieces from the YSL archives, such as the Mondrian dress and Le Smoking tuxedo for women.

Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakech
credit: Pierre Boulat / Cosmos

4. Handmade at Kew, London

Artist Lisa Ellul’s ceramics take a leaf (and a few twigs) out of the natural bounty surrounding her studio in England’s Peak District. Pressing these plant materials into fine sheets of clay, she creates intricate fossilised leaf patterns on the surface of the delicate bowls pictured here. You’ll find these botanically inspired artworks – and others by around 200 British artists – at Handmade at Kew, taking place this month at leafy Kew Gardens in southwest London.

12-15 October,

Lisa Ellul's ceramic bowls
credit: Laura Hutchinson
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