Arts and Wonder season at Quarry Bank

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor
Emma Richmond

Arts and Wonder season at Quarry Bank at Quarry Bank, Cheshire 23 September — 19 November 2017 Entrance is free

Faced with a future of ever-increasing levels of AI and widespread automation, the subject of work and leisure has become an area of intense debate. How will the employment landscape look in 50 years’ time? What skills will be most highly prized in this brave new world? And what impact will the changing proportion of time spent on work have on our day-to-day lives? With these questions in mind, Quarry Bank’s new season of contemporary art exploring themes of work, leisure and the legacies of industrialisation, seems particularly prescient.

Among the line-up, Manchester-based artist Lucy Harvey presents Mutual Improvement Society; a series of outdoor sculptures reflecting on the geological and astronomical interests of the founders of Quarry Bank Mill, in line with contemporary theories around leisure and self-fulfilment. Changing Places offers an exhibition of moving image works that examine how Britain’s Industrial Revolution shaped and affected other countries around the globe. And new broadside ballads by Lancashire-based singer, Jennifer Reid, contrast the role of paid employment, child rearing, house work and other forms of labor today, with the experience of mill workers of the past.

Could there be a more powerful setting for such a season of art? After all, the North West was the birthplace of industrialisation, and Quarry Bank was one of the earliest cotton manufacturing businesses in Britain. It is from our region that the struggle for workers’ rights and better employment conditions first took off, and perhaps from a second wave of challenge and resistance may be needed as further advances in technology continue to unfurl.

Arts and Wonder season at Quarry Bank at Quarry Bank, Cheshire 23 September — 19 November 2017 Entrance is free

Where to go near Arts and Wonder season at Quarry Bank

Wythenshawe Forum

Wythenshawe Forum comprises co-located services and a hub for community and business. The venue has leisure facilities as well as a performance space and complete library services.

Alderley Edge

Luciano is the new restaurant by well-known chef Gino D’Acampo. Named after his eldest child, Luciano will serve high-end Italian food in the heart of Alderley Edge.

Alderley Edge
Les Deux Pizza Bar

Charming independent pizza and cocktail bar in Alderley Edge, that prides itself on only using the freshest ingredients.

Yu Alderley Edge

High-end Chinese restaurant that combines traditional Cantonese cooking and modern ideas. Based in Alderley Edge.

Bar or Pub
The Church Inn, Mobberley

This is one of our favourite cosy pubs: not far from Manchester, The Church Inn is Grade II-listed and dates back to the 18th-century.


Inventery is a neighbourhood bar and restaurant, based in Cheadle with some serious talent in the kitchen.

Bhaji Pala
Bhaji Pala

Bhaji Pala is an all-vegan Indian small-plates restaurant at the heart of the booming South Manchester food scene.

Cheshire Art Gallery

Cheshire Art Gallery sells and displays talent from all across the UK, with pioneering and exciting works making this space a must-visit.

Mottram Hall

For those looking for luxury, Mottram Hall is a hotel, spa, restaurant and golf course set within 270 acres of landscaped gardens.

Event venue
Bramall Hall

With roots stretching back to the Middle Ages, Bramall Hall near Stockport is one of the best examples of a Tudor Manor House the UK has to offer.

What's on: Exhibitions

Culture Guides

Music in Manchester and the North

Fresh concert seasons, forward-thinking festivals and a revolving door of amazing gigs. Things are looking bright as spring comes into view.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

February is a month of love so art lovers in the North - rejoice! There is lots to choose from: two photography festivals, gorgeous crafts and shows celebrating local talent.

Two Japanese girls lean their heads on their hands looking out of a window, bored.
Cinema in Manchester and the North

This month's film picks include 90s action flicks, contemporary Japanese independent cinema, and a festival curated by the next generation of film programmers.