Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor

In the midst of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a bold new exhibition of work by six artists from both countries and the UK examines the theme of power. From a grassroots initiative to counter the deliberate blurring of Israeli territory through restricted aerial photography, to the territorial parallels between gardening and mapping; Visual Rights at Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool examines factors affecting life either side of the Green Line, whilst raising broader questions around freedom and control in the 21st-century.

Maintaining a link with the Middle East, a new body of large-scale paintings by artist Richard Bartle explores the modern-day city of Istanbul through the prism of a series of 14th-century miniature illustrations by the Persian painter and storyteller Siyah Kalem (Black Pen). Currently on display at Millennium Gallery in Sheffield, Nomadic Tales offers an enigmatic reframing of one of the world’s most ancient and richly storied cities.

Back in Manchester, the only UK stop of a major touring retrospective dedicated to the American feminist artist Suzanne Lacy is about to open across both the Whitworth and the city art gallery. We Are Here will cover the last five decades of Lacy’s career, during which she has addressed key social issues such as rape, violence, racism, immigration, labour rights, aging, and incarceration, often through large-scale highly choreographed public actions.

The theme of art and activism continues at Gallery Oldham, where a set of striking black-and-white photographs by Syd Shelton document the raw energy, optimism and excitement of Rock Against Racism (1976-1982) – a nationwide movement which used music to bring people together at a time when racism and fascism were on the rise in Britain. Meanwhile, over in Halifax artist Alice Irwin has transformed The Piece Hall’s vast courtyard into a playground-like space, as part of her new sculptural commission and accompanying exhibition reflecting on the value and importance of play. Make sure to check out the programme of artist-led workshops and activities accompanying Irwin’s work.

Here are our picks

More in Exhibitions

Holly Hendry, Cenotaph, 2018. Liverpool Biennial Touring Programme 2019
Exhibitions Until 3 May 2020, FREE

Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour

Whether Liverpool Biennial 2018 passed you by or you diligently ticked-off every last one of its multiple offerings (if so; bravo), the Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour seems unlikely to disappoint.

The Reno at the Whitworth
Exhibitions Until 1 March 2020, FREE

The Reno at the Whitworth

Award-winning playwright Linda Brogan and a group of local residents who used to attend the Reno nightclub in the 1970s and 80s prepare to occupy the Whitworth for one year. Located in Moss Side, the Reno was known as a space for young mixed-race Mancunians. This living exhibition will tell the story of the club through art and archive materials.

Exhibitions Until 23 February 2020, FREE

A-Z of Salford’s Collections at Salford Museum and Art Gallery

Discover how Victorian gentlemen protected their moustaches from tea, which monarch’s pair of stockings reside in Salford, get up close to incredible art and more.

Exhibitions Until 1 March 2020, FREE

In A League Of Their Own at Castleford Museum

Rugby League is born and bred in West Yorkshire. From its beginnings in Huddersfield in 1895 to the Super League superstars of today, celebrate over 120 years of blood, sweat and tears.

Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest at People's History Museum
Exhibitions Until 23 February 2020, FREE

Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest at People’s History Museum

Marking the 200-year-anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre, ‘Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest’ at People’s History Museum takes visitors on a journey through the past, present and future of protest in this country.

Exhibitions Until 15 May 2020, FREE

Poulsen Arc Dream Radio at Storyhouse in Chester

What does it mean to be transported into another person’s memories? Step into a new digital art commission at Storyhouse in Chester to find out.

Exhibitions Until 20 April 2020, FREE

Louise Giovanelli at Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery prepares to present a series of new paintings by artist Louise Giovanelli, alongside rarely-seen early Renaissance panel paintings.

Holly Hendry / Taus Makhacheva at The Tetley, Liverpool Biennial 2019 touring programme
Exhibitions Until 3 May 2020, FREE

Holly Hendry / Taus Makhacheva at The Tetley

As part of the Liverpool Biennial touring programme, The Tetley is hosting works by artists Holly Hendry and Taus Makhacheva.

Maddi Nicholson: a place lived at Hardman Square in Spinningfields
Exhibitions Until 20 July 2020, FREE

Maddi Nicholson: a place lived at Hardman Square in Spinningfields

‘a place lived’ by Maddi Nicholson is a new public artwork that delves into the near-forgotten history of Manchester’s thriving financial district.

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