Stoke-on-Trent may not come first on a lot of people’s list of top cultural destinations, but this summer the historic six-town-city has given us good reason to rethink. Apart from its abundance of world-class attractions and lesser-known gems, the Potteries (as it’s affectionally nicknamed) is also currently host to an impressive programme of pop-up exhibitions and one-off events, workshops, film screenings, talks and music festivals, as well as Paul Cummins and Tom Piper’s iconic Weeping Window poppies sculpture housed in one of the country’s last active Victorian potteries.
From Stoke to Salford, we explore the city-wide takeover being held to celebrate the Royal Academy’s 250th birthday, and a new exhibition at Imperial War Museums North which examines how the act of ‘remembrance’ has changed and evolved over the last 100 years since the First World War. Over in Sheffield, Graves Gallery sets out on an extraordinary journey to unpick one of the world’s most popular and enduring art genres: the portrait. And Elisabeth Frink: Power and Fragility at Abbot Hall forms the centre of a powerful series of exhibitions in Kendal (Cumbria) dedicated to female artists and the theme of female subjectivity.
Here are our picks
Summer in Stoke-on-Trent, 1 August–30 September 2018, free entry - Visit now
Home to a wealth of world-class visitor attractions, award-winning museums, exceptional gardens, five Victorian parks and the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure ever to be found; Stoke-on-Trent (affectionately nicknamed The Potteries) is bursting with an inspired programme of cultural activity this summer.
To mark its 250th birthday, the Royal Academy of Arts in London has launched a nationwide programme of exhibitions, displays, tours, talks and one-off events. Here we take a look at what’s going on in Salford – home of RA LS Lowry and now a growing independent art scene.
Lest We Forget marks the first instalment of a major new season of exhibitions, music, dance, talks and events at IWM London and IWM North exploring how the First World War has shaped society today.
Featuring work by over 60 internationally renowned artists spanning 400 years, Heads Roll at Graves Gallery in Sheffield sets out on a remarkable journey to unpick one of the world’s most popular and enduring artistic genres: the portrait.
Featuring a number of pieces which have never been seen before in public, ‘Elisabeth Frink: Fragility and Power’ at Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal delves into the life and work of one of the most widely-loved, exciting and individual sculptors of the 20th century.
Perhaps one of the most celebrated contemporary British painters today, Chantal Joffe’s first major solo exhibition in the North of England – Personal Feeling is the Main Thing at The Lowry – shines a light on the internal landscape of motherhood, childhood and adolescence with bold honesty.
Liverpool Biennial 2018, 14 July–28 October 2018, free entry - Visit now
If there’s one thing you do this summer, we strongly recommend you hop on a train and make your way over to the 10th edition of the ever-popular Liverpool Biennial – Beautiful world, where are you? – a city-wide festival of new and exciting contemporary art from around the world.
It will have escaped few people’s attention that the UK is currently in the grip of an unprecedented housing crisis. Against this backdrop, A Romance for the Near Future – S1 Artspace’s inaugural exhibition at its new Park Hill premises – couldn’t be more perfectly, nor boldly conceived.
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, which arrives directly from the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Though water covers 70% of our planet and sea levels are rising, access to clean, fresh supplies is becoming a growing problem around the world. Aquatopia forms the first of a season of new exhibitions and debates at CFCCA designed to encourage discussion around some of the biggest environmental issues facing the world today.
An 80-day celebration of art, culture, design and innovation from across the north, in what will be the largest event of its kind happening in England during 2018. We’re particularly excited about the –not one, but ten – exhibitions that will unfold throughout BALTIC.
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.
A free new display made up of works by towering post-war American artists including Mark Rothko, Hedda Sterne and Andy Warhol.
Explore the story of democracy through a special display of banners that were integral to the women’s suffrage movement, as well as other campaigns for representation at the People’s History Museum.
Encounter objects from one of the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries, spanning almost 1,000 years of Chinese history, at China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors.
The first major retrospective of work by the radical Manchester artist and feminist campaigner, Annie Swynnerton, opens in nearly 100 years at Manchester Art Gallery.
Visit this exhibition celebrating the close relationship between art, games and play then let loose in YSP’s incredible parkland.
Exchanges at The Whitworth sets art and artists together, sometimes in harmony, sometimes in opposition – always with insight and intention.
Isaac Julien: Ten Thousand Waves is the most recent in a series of major moving image acquisitions by The Whitworth, and was supported through Art Fund’s Moving Image Fund.
This latest exhibition uses the Whitworth’s extensive and significant wallpaper collection to focus on how Imperial attitudes to people are reflected in wallpaper.
Life in Motion at Tate Liverpool highlights the expressive nature of the human body, seen through the eyes of two influential and innovative artists: Egon Schiele and Francesca Woodman.