You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1–13, which are based on Reading Passage given below.
Read the text and answer Questions 1 – 6
Top 6 Art Exhibitions
Don’t miss out on the best London exhibitions! Catch one of these great London exhibitions as chosen by our editorial team. For more London exhibitions see our London Arts Guide.
(A) Anish Kapoor: Turning the World Upside Down
World-renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor once again creates a sensational London exhibition – this time in the open spaces of Kensington Gardens. Kapoor’s series of imposing stainless-steel mirrored sculptures are gathered together for the first time in London, reflecting the luscious surrounds of the Royal Park. Until 13 Mar.
(B) Pioneering Painters: The Glasgow Boys 1880-1900
The Glasgow Boys were a loose-knit group of painters who caused a stir in the late 19th-century art world with their experimental and ambitious work. Pioneering Painters is the first Glasgow Boys exhibition in London for more than 40 years, and includes more than 80 paintings. Until 23 Jan.
(C) Journey Through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead
Explore ancient Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife in a fascinating new exhibition at the British Museum. Journey Through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead displays 3,500 year-old artefacts and documents including spells, haunting images and rituals that helped to prepare the dead for the afterlife. Until 6 Mar.
(D) GSK Contemporary – Aware: Art Fashion Identity
GSK Contemporary takes over the Royal Academy’s 6 Burlington Gardens building for the third year running, showcasing the work of 30 artists. This year the exhibition has a fashion theme, looking at how artists and designers use clothing to reveal elements of our identity. Until 30 Jan.
E Veolia Photographer of the Year See a stunning collection of images from the natural world as the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition returns to London. The winner, runner-up and commended photograph in each category are on display at the Natural History Museum. Photos are of underwater scenes to urban wildlife. Until 11 Mar.
(F) The Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has laid more than 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall for this year’s annual Unilever Series. Past commissions have included Doris Salcedo’s crack in the floor, Louise Bourgeois’ giant spider sculpture and Carsten Höller’s slide. Until 25 Apr.
Questions 1 – 6
The text has six sections, A – F.
Which section contains the following information?
1. where to see the top entries in each group
2. where to see some impressive metal objects
3. where to see an unusual floor surface
4. where to see historical objects related to life after death
5. where to see artwork which has been absent from London for some time
6. where to see a wide range of animal habitats
Read the text and answer Questions 7 – 13
Leisure Time Trends
Forget about city breaks or whizzing off for a long weekend in the sun. Learning, it seems, is the new travel and everyone is racing back to school to crack a new skill.
No longer is it considered enough to come home with a winter tan or memories of great restaurant meals, you need to be able to make your own bread or fillet your own fish.
Pottering around craft galleries won’t wash – the smart new souvenirs are your very own handcrafted pots, willow garden ornaments or stained glass lampshades.
Some of the motivation comes from the recession. With money tight and jobs insecure, our weekends need to feel worthwhile, industrious and focused. There’s been a huge resurgence of interest in home crafts, cookery and gardening as we find pleasure in growing and making our own. There’s never been a better time to be a domestic goddess or a garden god (or vice versa). With the environment also on people’s minds, courses that can turn us into good lifers (yes, even with a small back garden) are hugely popular. Learn the basics of keeping hens, bees, even pigs. Start your own allotment; build a wood-burning stove; make your own biodiesel – in fact, why not go the whole hog and build your own straw-bale house?
A weekend is the perfect amount of time for a course. It’s not too large a commitment of time or cash and not too embarrassing or gruesome if you discover, very swiftly, that your dream of being the next Cath Kidston or Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is pie in the sky. Some courses run from Friday to Sunday, while others last for just a day and many give the impetus to try out a new hobby or skill. Some might even provide a springboard for a new business opportunity.
Carron York who, along with husband Tony, runs pig-keeping courses in Wiltshire, says that lots of people are now keeping pigs, not just as a hobby, but as an extra source of income. “One woman keeps rare-breed pigs to help put her daughters through school,” she says. “Others just come along and fall in love.”
Above all, weekend courses are great fun. They provide the opportunity to meet like-minded people and are often held in stunning or unusual locations. Some are residential (from country-house hotels to DIY camping in a muddy field); others will require you to make your own accommodation arrangements. Not all these courses are run regularly, so check the websites to find the next date. Some will put on extra weekends if there is enough interest, so ask if a suitable date isn’t available. Many only take small groups and book up quickly, so don’t delay.
The following weekends offer something for everyone. We’ve tracked down 50 courses throughout the UK, catering for a wide variety of ages and interests. Happy learning!
Questions 7 – 13
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text?
TRUE – if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE – if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN – if there is no information on this
7. Combining hobbies with holidays is becoming very popular.
8. One reason for the boom in learning is that people don’t have a lot of money.
9. Courses on how to breed livestock are becoming more popular.
10. All the courses run for two or three days.
11. Some people use the courses to help them start out in business.
12. The courses are also great social activities.
13. All the courses include somewhere to stay for the duration of the course.
Answers for IELTS Reading passage (Top 6 Art Exhibitions & Leisure Time Trends):
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