The Alternative Guide to the Universe

Outsider artists emerge centre stage, in this exhibition of idiosyncratic artworks made over the past 25 years.

This show seeks to shine a spotlight on a group of maverick artists, architects and scientists who operate outside the conventional norms. From fringe physicists to healers, futurists to inventors, it offers an unusual insight into a world where ingenuity and inventiveness abound.

Nearly all the participants in the show are self-taught and the artworks and artefacts on display reveal a group of creators who offer alternative ways of perceiving, imagining, describing and moving through the complex systems that govern society. 

Don't miss

The exhibition is part of the Southbank Centre’s ‘Festival of Neighbourhood’, celebrating diverse neighbourhoods across the world, from the local, in Elephant and Castle to the international in Pelhourino in Salvador, Brazil.

The participants on show range from local schizophrenic artists who draw secret Utopias to bedroom inventors who fabricate new technologies that fly in the face of accepted thinking.

Venue details

Hayward Gallery Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road London SE1 8XX 020 7960 4200

Entry details

£5 with National Art Pass (standard entry £10)

Mon – Wed , Sat, Sun, 10am – 6pm

Thu and Fri, 10am – 8pm

Call 0844 847 9910 or book online at the Southbank Centre website

What the critics say


Numerous items here are more diagrams or prototypes than artworks, realised in extraordinarily painstaking detail and in extensive series, reflecting a lifelong commitment to a singular worldview.


Repetition, obsession, and impenetrability in art (or anything else) rarely sustains my interest for very long. But this terrific show, devised and curated by the Hayward’s director Ralph Rugoff, is much more original than that.