Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor

As we stumble, bleary eyed, into another brand-new year, it’s a relief to know that the next couple of post-Christmas, drizzle-infused months have some exciting cultural highlights in store. Chief among these is the world premiere of three new interactive ‘solid light’ installations by Anthony McCall as part of The Hepworth Wakefield’s major survey of the artist’s work. Combine your visit with a trip to Yorkshire Sculpture Park (just a few miles away), where Revolt & Revolutions explores art as a vehicle for socio-political commentary and protest, and Alfredo Jaar: The Garden of Good and Evil presents the work of one of the world’s most politically engaging artists today.

Elsewhere, Tate Liverpool looks forward to celebrating its 30th anniversary with an unusual exhibition curated and conceived by Art Handling Manager Ken Simons – the only person to have worked at the gallery throughout its history. Drawing upon over three decades of knowledge and experience, Ken’s Show will feature 30 of Ken’s favourite artworks from across the Tate collection; including Mark Rothko’s Light Red Over Black and J.M.W. Turner’s Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth.

Finally, as we head towards the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act (1918) – when women first won the partial right to vote – this year’s Wonder Women looks set to be the most exciting edition of Manchester’s city-wide radical feminist festival yet. Among the highlights, we look forward to Annie Swynnerton: Painting Light and Hope at Manchester Art Gallery, and Head to Head: Ruth Barker & Hannah Leighton-Boyce at Castlefield Gallery. Stay tuned for further WW2018 updates!

Here are our picks

More in Exhibitions

Exhibitions 6 May 2017–22 April 2018, FREE

Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads by Ai Weiwei at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

As part of the 40th anniversary of Yorkshire Scupture Park will be this exhibition of Ai Weiwei’s acclaimed 12 bronze animal heads – which have a particularly intriguing, and political, backstory.

Exhibitions 23 January 2018,

Robots: In Conversation at The Museum of Science and Industry

A special In Conversation event at the Museum of Science and Industry will take the robot debate one step further, discussing the rapid development of robots in recent history and whether they could one day threaten the survival of the human race.

Exhibitions 20 January–7 April 2018, FREE

Betty Woodman: Ceramics with Painting of the Modern Age at The Cooper Gallery, Barnsley

The work of the late, world-renowned ceramicist Betty Woodman has an unforgettable quality. Liverpool Biennial presents a rare opportunity to experience her pioneering designs up close in the North.

Exhibitions 13 October 2017–21 January 2018, FREE

ARTIST ROOMS: Joseph Beuys at Leeds Art Gallery

LAST CHANCE. Leeds Art Gallery reopened with a major exhibition dedicated to the work of a man who believed deeply in the healing power and social function of art.

Exhibitions 24 January 2018, FREE

Artists’ Talk and Tours With Holly Rowan Hesson & Ellen Sampson at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery

Attend a special artists’ talk and guided tour of two exhibitions by artists Holly Rowan Hesson and Ellen Sampson.

Breathe at MCDC
Exhibitions 9 February–12 May 2018, FREE

Breathe at Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Glass making and digital design combine to remarkable effect in this new exhibition at MCDC, which gives physical shape to the sound of the blower’s breath.

Exhibitions 11 November 2017–25 February 2018, FREE

Ed Kluz: Sheer Folly – Fanciful Buildings of Britain at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

This winter, YSP presents an exhibition of prints and illustrations that celebrate the eccentric, uncanny and overlooked follies, temples and towers of Britain.

Exhibitions 3–4 February 2018, from £3 / Free Under 16s

Midcentury Modern® at The Hepworth Wakefield

Furnish your home with design classics from carefully selected top dealers, with a visit to the first Modern Shows® northern pop-up event.

NOW: A dialogue on female Chinese contemporary artists
Exhibitions 16 February–29 April 2018, FREE

NOW: A Dialogue On Female Chinese Contemporary Artists

CFCCA and HOME take part in a new UK-wide programme of exhibitions, commissions and events celebrating female contemporary artists working in China today.

Culture Guides

Black Men Walking at the Royal Exchange


Vibrant and celebratory – you may be having a dry January but the Northern theatre scene is sure to satisfy your creative thirst.


Manchester’s top music venues have been busy filling their diaries for the year ahead – with early highlights include Iron and Wine, Jeff Tweedy, Mogwai and Joan as Police Woman, plus whole seasons by the likes of The Stoller Hall and the RNCM.


Featuring live scores, forgotten curiosities and cutting edge indie gems – we take a look at the best cinema coming to a screen near you.


Think January can’t be a magical month? Think again with our guide to the best things to do right now with kids and book ahead for.

Poet Jazmine Linklater.


There’s splendid spoken wordage a-go-go as we sashay forth into the first half of 2018: award-winning authors and emerging writers, book-buying opportunities, experimental and avantgarde wordage, and plenty of festival fun.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Exhibitions 19 October 2017–15 April 2018, from £5

Robots at the Museum of Science and Industry

Exhibitions 13 October 2017–25 March 2018, FREE

In the Peaceful Dome at Bluecoat

Exhibitions 30 September 2017–4 February 2018, FREE

Hetain Patel at Manchester Art Gallery