Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor

Lockdown 3.0 may be wearing thin but there is light at the end of the tunnel, with many galleries and museums hoping to reopen in March. Here are some of the exhibitions we’re most looking forward to when restrictions lift, plus a few to check out online.

Our top pick has to be the much-delayed 11th edition of Liverpool Biennial – the UK’s oldest and largest festival of contemporary visual art – which will unfold across the city with work by more than 50 leading and emerging artists. This year’s curatorial focus explores non-Western conceptions of the body as a fluid entity without limits, opposed to a self-contained, self-sufficient unit; arguing the need to rebuild our relationship with the wider world around values of kinship and co-dependence.

The need for radical shifts in thought also lie at the heart of several other of our highlights. Among these, FACT’s Framework for Resilience will address the unfolding environmental crisis through a series of three online talks; a digital presentation of The Lives We Lead by Liverpool-based artist Kiara Mohamed will reflect upon the persistence of racism within UK society; and AI: More than Human at the World Museum Liverpool will consider what today’s rapidly evolving autonomous technology says about consciousness.

Over at BALTIC in Gateshead, we’re impatient for the explosive shapes and vibrant colours that characterise the paintings of Ad Minoliti. The Argentinian artist’s playful style combines of geometric abstraction with queer and feminist theory to generate alternative interpretations of art, life, ourselves and one another. The immersive exhibition will include a classroom-space where Minoliti will host their roaming ‘Feminist School of Painting’, with free workshops open to all abilities.

Following the initial calls for a ‘great reset’ issued in the early weeks of the pandemic, here we have a thought-provoking set of ideas around how to approach such a monumental task.

Here are our picks

More in Exhibitions

Trading Station: how hot drinks shape our lives – exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions Until 14 December 2021, FREE

Trading Station: how hot drinks shape our lives at Manchester Art Gallery

Trading Station at Manchester Art Gallery charts the history and changing social role of hot drinks in our lives.

Utopias exhibition at the Whitworth
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2021, FREE

Utopias at the Whitworth

How have visions of utopia and the visual culture that helped form it impacted upon the Brexit debate? A new exhibition at the Whitworth explores.

Posters from the civil rights era – an online exhibition
Exhibitions Until 30 June 2021, FREE

Posters from the Irish civil rights era – Online with the Working Class Movement Library

Working Class Movement Library presents an online exhibition of powerful posters made by young activists fighting for civil rights in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

The Living Planet – Online at FACT, Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 31 March 2021, FREE

The Living Planet – Online at FACT, Liverpool

FACT’s year-long programme, The Living Planet, seems even more timely than first imagined – and has been created for people to interact with and enjoy remotely for free online.

What it is to be here: Colonisation and Resistance – Online at The Portico Library
Exhibitions Until 27 July 2021, FREE

What it is to be here: Colonisation and Resistance – Online at The Portico Library

The Portico Library marks 250 years since British explorer James Cook first landed on the shores of what we now call Australia with an online exhibition that explores the history of violence and resistance that followed.

Exhibitions Until 1 May 2021, FREE

The Gardener Digs in Another Time – Online at the Whitworth

the Whitworth in Manchester invites you to step into the garden as subject with an online version of its 2016 exhibition, The Gardener Digs in Another Time.

Life drawing Manchester
Activity Until 25 April 2021, from £6

Life Drawing Manchester Online Classes

The popular Northern Quarter community, Life Drawing Manchester, have migrated to zoom, opening up their classes to models and artists from all over the world.

Swallows and Amazons For Ever! at Windermere Jetty Museum
Exhibitions Until 18 April 2021,

Swallows and Amazons For Ever! at Windermere Jetty Museum

Celebrate the spirit of adventure, learn more about the Cumbrian landscape and uncover the inspiration behind Arthur Ransome’s classic tale.

Omid Asadi: Autopsy of a Home at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2021, FREE

Omid Asadi: Autopsy of a Home at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art

For his exhibition at CFCCA, Omid Asadi explores the diasporic experiences and domestic spaces of migrants.

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