With autumn in full swing, we may be missing the daylight but there are plenty of fantastic exhibitions this month to indulge your senses, and even distract you from the inevitable thoughts of Christmas shopping!
Many of us know and love the work of Vincent van Gogh but have you ever had a chance to step inside his paintings? Dispel the seasonal darkness with the magical experience that is Van Gogh Alive at MediaCityUK, a multi-media immersive installation featuring the Dutch master’s most famous and lesser known work. If you fancy spending some time in a room full of sunflowers (in winter!) then this one’s for you. It’s a great option for younger audiences as well as seasoned art lovers.
In a similarly energetic vein, Mark Hearld’s exhibition Raucous Invention: The Joy of Making at Yorkshire Sculpture Park is another display that’s sure to put a smile on your face. Interested in the flora and fauna of the country, Hearld’s mischievous animal imagery is combined with an appreciation for the wonderful variety of natural forms. The artist’s colourful prints and collages seem so full of energy that they are barely contained by their frames, while the display also features textiles and ceramics.
At Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre you will find Yuen Fong Ling’s project TOWARDS MEMORIAL and his reimagining of the museum’s permanent collection in MO(NU)MENTARIES. The pieces on display were informed by the life and work of Edward Carpenter, poet and activist concerned with LGBT+ issues, who also popularised sandal-wearing with his very own design. Through his artistic exploration, Yuen Fong Ling asks whether public memorials and the desire to fight for a cause can materialise in new forms.
While the events of the past two years are not something we’d like to repeat, they’ve provided some valuable lessons that artists are quick to pick up on. Sumuyya Khader’s exhibition Always Black: Never Blue at Liverpool’s Bluecoat alludes to this time, highlighting the significance of caring for the people around you in times of difficulty and focusing on the Black lived experience and identity. If you’re visiting Liverpool this month, be sure to take a look.
Also concerned with people’s experiences throughout the pandemic is the show Class, Covid and Cumbria at Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House. Featuring a large-scale tapestry from Grayson Perry, a community-inspired textile project from Rosie Galloway-Smith and the work of two celebrated local photographers, the show is a realisation of an authentic collaboration between the artists and the residents of Cumbria.
Here are our picks
What do political uncertainty, activism and sandals have in common? You can find out at Bury Art Museum‘s winter exhibitions: the latest iteration of MO(NU)MENTARIES and the brand new project TOWARDS MEMORIAL.
Explore the past 50 years of contemporary drawing at the Cooper Gallery in Barnsley, featuring work from Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin and Anish Kapoor.
Art has always been at the beating heart of Manchester International Festival and this year is no different.
Tai Shani: The Neon Hieroglyph – Online with Manchester International Festival Virtual Factory, online, Until 31 March 2022, free entry - Visit now
Turner Prize winning artist Tai Shani takes us on an LSD-inspired hallucinatory journey across time and space. Prepare to have your consciousness expanded.
Experience YBA artist Damien Hirst’s towering and provocative outdoor sculptures at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Trading Station at Manchester Art Gallery charts the history and changing social role of hot drinks in our lives.
A collaborative project that takes inspiration from the history of the Leigh Female Reformers of 1819 and the monstrous representations of them in the media of the time.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents the monumental work of celebrated Portuguese sculptor Joana Vasconcelos.
The Sounds of Our City Online Exhibition gives you a chance to visit the current exhibition at Abbey House Museum virtually. Find out how the different musical styles and venues of Leeds interact.
Manchester Art Gallery reopens with a thought-provoking new exhibition that delves into the history of the public institution and its role within the city.
In the Thwaite at 30 online exhibition, uncover the fascinating story of Thwaite Watermill as it celebrates its 30th year as a museum.
The world’s first ‘visual dictionary’ of movements found within Bhangra, compiled by World Bhangra Day founder, Hardeep Sahota.