Bringing together the iconic, darkly satirical images of one of Britain’s leading political artists (responsible for the infamous photomontage of Tony Blair taking a selfie in front of an oilfield explosion in Iraq), Art Against War: Peter Kennard at Millennium Gallery in Sheffield is high among our pick of exhibition highlights this month. That and the equally incisive political commentary of Phil Collins, whose work takes centre stage once again at HOME this summer following the ‘homecoming celebration’ that the Turner-nominee artist orchestrated for Fredrich Engels on the closing night of MIF 2017, almost exactly one year ago.
Combining a heady mix of science fiction, anthropology, and feminist and queer theory, we’re also extremely excited to catch Tai Shani’s mesmerising and immersive installation – Semiramis – at The Tetley in Leeds, arriving fresh from Glasgow International Festival 2018 where it met with widespread acclaim. Combine this with a visit to Leeds Art Gallery where contemporary artist Andy Holden and his ornithologist father Peter Holden (once affectionately known to many as ‘the bird man’ on Blue Peter) will lead you on a fascinating journey through the secret lives of birds and the darker side of collecting. Then, continuing with the nature theme, head over to the nearby Yorkshire Sculpture Park where Etsy-celeb, Mister Finch, brings a touch of the surreal to the woodland realm.
Finally, don’t miss Materialise at Manchester Craft & Design Centre featuring an inspiring body of new work by five talented young designers carving out the creative face of tomorrow; chisel, needle and wet lumps of clay in hand.
Here are our picks
A heady mix of science fiction, anthropology, and feminist and queer theory featuring a Neanderthal and ‘Woman on the Edge of Time’ – Semiramis by Tai Shani at The Tetley is a powerful, multi-layered experience that will leave you disorientated and invigorated in equal measure.
‘Can’t Do Right For Doing Wrong’ at HOME brings together three politically charged works by the Turner-Prize nominated artist Phil Collins who returned Engels to Manchester in 2017.
The result of a five-year collaboration between father and son, Natural Selection by contemporary artist Andy Holden and ornithologist Peter Holden offers visitors to Leeds Art Gallery a fascinating journey through the lives of birds.
Art Against War at Millennium Gallery in Sheffield draws together over 100 artworks by one of Britain’s leading political artists, Peter Kennard – best known for darkly satirical depiction of Tony Blair taking a selfie in front of an oilfield explosion in Iraq.
Gain a deeper understanding of the ‘refugee experience’ both in Manchester and beyond and celebrate their contribution to the UK with HOME’s inaugural Refugee Week Festival, featuring art, film, theatre, live music, dance and more.
Catch a glimpse of the creative face of tomorrow with the work of five up-and-coming young makers, currently on show at Manchester Craft & Design Centre as part of Materialise.
Don’t worry, you haven’t OD’ed on contemporary art. The dapperly dressed mole and skittish prickle of hedgehogs playing brass bells are part of YSP’s new exhibition; The Wishing Post by Etsy-celeb, Mister Finch.
While England Mourns by Manchester-based artists Magnus Quaife at Touchstones Rochdale connects protests on the streets of 18th century Manchester with the historic May ’68 Paris uprisings.
Capturing a unique period of intense creativity that fundamentally shaped the course of western art history, it’s fair to say that we’re more than a tad excited for the opening of ‘A Dutch Golden Age: Painters, Places and People in the 17th Century’ at Cannon Hall in Barnsley.
Inspired by Conrad Gessner’s 16th century encyclopaedia of actual and imaginary animals, Beautiful Monsters at The Portico examines the idea of the monstrous within the context of history, mythology and 21st century life.
With a mouthful of a title, Castlefield Gallery’s exhibition – Oh, it is easy to be clever if one does not know all these questions – initiates a conversation between early career artists in Manchester and Prague.
Renowned fashion photographer and contemporary visual artist, Viviane Sassen’s upcoming exhibition Hot Mirror at the Hepworth promises to be one of the absolute highlights of this year’s cultural calendar.
Stuart Roy Clarke, as part of his exhibition ‘The Game’, is putting some of his favourite female photographers at the heart of the show for the summer months.
Foundation Coffee House presents a display of hand-woven art rugs by The Knott Collective.
A pop-up exhibition of works celebrating, challenging and questioning printmaking, catch PRINT UnLtd. at Salford Museum and Art Gallery.
Bankley Gallery in Levenshulme presents BLANK LIONS; a groups exhibition featuring four UK-based artists working in sculpture and painting. Interested in the ‘Un’ within ‘Un-knowing’, the works play with a reversal of known processes and the undoing of learned knowledge, questioning clarity and the pre-meditated.
Explore the work of four of the most celebrated figures in art photography – Lewis Carroll, Julia Margaret Cameron, Oscar Rejlander, and Clementina Hawarden – with a major new exhibition, ‘Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography’, coming to Millennium Gallery, Sheffield.
Paradise Works presents Mental State Signs, a solo exhibition by artist Nick Jordan. Titled from a clinical term used for assessing mental health disorders, the exhibition explores themes of psychosis and surveillance.
With cars that drive themselves and robots that walk among us, it is easy to imagine how AI could all turn out to be ugly and dystopian, but ‘A Great Enchanted Garden: Can AI Give Us Back Our Sense of Wonder?’ by Ryan Avent will suggest that there are perhaps ways to make it beautiful and affirming too.
‘The Fabric of the Planetary Surface’ by Jussi Parikka at LJMU Exhibition Research Lab will address those planetary infrastructures that deliver beautiful things – namely, the factories, production facilities, routes, networks and logistics that make up the fashion industry.
‘Climate Grief and the Visible Horizon’ is a talk by Meehan Crist that will first explore how traditional notions of grief have become obsolete in the age of anthropogenic climate change, then try to imagine new ways to live with loss in our rapidly changing world.
Despite the traditional summer break, there’s still plenty of poetry and prose to catch, book and magazine launches, birthday parties, and even an exhibition dedicated to libraries. And if you don’t like sitting still for too long, there’s even a literature trail or two to check out…