Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor

The cult of science, technology and ‘progress’ may dominate the western world today, but what can the myths and fables of the past tell us about our present? Such a question is perhaps what unites the work of the eminent American filmmaker Ericka Beckman and London-based video artist Marianna Simnett, who both look to the classic fairy tales that our society has inherited to examine the ways in which women and the female body are treated within the digital age. Their upcoming duo-exhibition at FACT in Liverpool signals a strong start to the organisation’s year-long programme focusing on identity, representation and gender.

Artist, curator, educator and occasional DJ, Barby Asante, also draws upon history in her attempts to affect the conditions of our current and future world. Declaration of Independence at Baltic, Gateshead, forms the latest instalment in her ongoing project exploring the social, cultural and political agency of womxn of colour within the socio-political climate of the now and as shaped by the legacies of slavery and colonialism. Rather than a traditional gallery, prepare to enter a ‘performative forum’ designed to mirror the conference and assembly spaces used to negotiate key moments throughout the centuries.

The Cooper Gallery in Barnsley looks back in time on a more literal level with an exhibition of award-winning astrophotography organised to mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing. While Gallery Oldham celebrates the work and legacy of the renowned 19th century painter William Stott, who was born in the town to a family of cotton spinners before going onto light up Paris.

And, as part of its spring/summer season, the Lowry in Salford brings us back to the present with a ‘live exhibition’ by British-Irish choreographer Joe Moran examining the relationship between contemporary art and dance – via a combination of performance, film and spray paint.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Ericka Beckman and Marianna Simnett at FACT

    Ericka Beckman and Marianna Simnett at FACT, Liverpool
    Left image (c) Marianna Simnett, Jerwood/FVU Awards. Right image (c) Ericka Beckman

    Ericka Beckman and Marianna Simnett at FACT, City Centre, 29 March–16 June 2019, free entry - Find Out More

    A duo-exhibition of work by the eminent American filmmaker Ericka Beckman and rising London-based video artist Marianna Simnett marks a strong start to FACT’s year-long season focusing on identity, representation and gender.

  • 2. Barby Asante: Declaration of Independence at Baltic, Gateshead

    Barby Asante: Declaration of Independence at BALTIC, Newcastle
    The Queen and the Black Eyed Squint. Photo Edgar Arceneaux

    Barby Asante: Declaration of Independence at Baltic, 23 February–5 May 2019, free entry - Visit now

    Responding to the impact of the legacies of slavery and colonialism upon the present, ‘Declaration of Independence’ at Baltic in Gateshead will exist as a performative forum designed to help us rethink our understanding of monumental moments in world history.

  • 3. EDIT.04 Live Creations: Joe Moran / Dance Art Foundation at The Lowry

    Untitled (panel work) detail - courtesy Joe Moran. The Lowry
    Untitled (panel work) detail. Image courtesy of the artist

    EDIT.04 Live Creations: Joe Moran / Dance Art Foundation at The Lowry, Manchester, 23 March–14 April 2019, free entry - Find Out More

    For EDIT.04, British-Irish choreographer Joe Moran prepares to transform The Lowry’s gallery space into a ‘live exhibition’ combining performance, film and spray paint drawing.

  • 4. William Stott of Oldham: Great Painters are Rare at Gallery Oldham

    'William Stott of Oldham: Great Painters are Rare' Exhibition at Gallery Oldham
    Tate

    'William Stott of Oldham: Great Painters are Rare' Exhibition at Gallery Oldham, Manchester, 26 January–11 May 2019, free entry - Visit now

    Exactly 120 years after his death, the work of the world-renowned William Stott of Oldham returns to his hometown as part of an exhibition dedicated to his legacy.

  • 5. Developing History at the Hardmans’ House

    Capturing Chambré Hardman – Developing History at the Hardmans' House, Liverpool
    National Trust

    Capturing Chambré Hardman at The Hardmans’ House, Liverpool, 13 March–26 October 2019, free entry - Visit now

    As one of Liverpool’s lesser known gems prepares to reopen its doors for 2019, we look forward to encountering a rare series of photographs only recently discovered by chance in the cluttered darkroom of the Hardmans’ former, perfectly-preserved home.

  • 6. The Cooper Gallery’s Space Odyssey 2019

    Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018 exhibition at The Cooper Gallery, Barnsley
    © Jingyi Zhang

    The Cooper Gallery’s Space Odyssey 2019 at The Cooper Gallery, Barnsley, Barnsley, 26 January–27 April 2019, free entry - Visit now

    Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, The Cooper Gallery in Barnsley presents an exhibition celebrating some of the most beautiful and spectacular visions of the cosmos taken by astrophotographers around the world.

  • 7. Kimsooja: To Breathe at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

    Kimsooja: To Breathe at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
    To Breathe: Bottari, 2013, mixed media installation with The Weaving Factory, 2004–2013, the artist’s voice performance sound, 5.1 channel, 9:14, loop. Photo Jaeho Chong.

    Kimsooja: To Breathe at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 30 March–29 September 2019, free entry - Find Out More

    Following on from Chiharu Shiota’s monumental web installation, South Korean artist Kimsooja prepares to fill Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s 18th century chapel with iridescent light. Prepare to step into a deeply meditative space, underpinned by eastern notions of the Void.

  • 8. Sixteen – around Manchester

    Craig Easton (Maizi, Runcorn). Sixteen photography exhibition, Manchester

    at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 15 February–15 April 2019, free entry - Visit now

    Presented at venues across Manchester, Sixteen is a nationwide photographic project that gives voice to the next generation of young people across Great Britain, who will live in a politically reshaped country divorced from the European Union.

  • 9. Kannan Arunasalam: The Tent at The Tetley

    Kannan Arunasalam: The Tent at The Tetley
    Kannan Arunasalam, Union leader, Bala Tampoe addressing a strike, 2010. Courtesy the artist

    Kannan Arunasalam: The Tent at The Tetley, 16 February–2 June 2019, free entry - Visit now

    Kannan Arunasalam: The Tent at The Tetley explores the lasting impact of the civil war that raged in Sri Lanka for over 25 years, claiming the lives of an estimated 80,000-100,000 people and leading to the forced disappearance of more than 20,000 ethnic Tamils.

  • 10. Simeon Barclay: Life Room at The Holden Gallery

    Simeon Barclay: Life Room
    Simeon Barclay, Royal Flush, 2017. Courtesy the artist

    Simeon Barclay: Life Room at The Holden Gallery, Manchester, 8 February–29 March 2019, free entry - Visit now

    The Holden Gallery presents Simeon Barclay: Life Room, featuring new work by an artist from Huddersfield who discovered glamour, theatricality and a sense of aspiration between the pages of ‘Vogue’, and a love for industrial fabricating techniques during 16 years spent on the factory floor.

  • 11. The Blanket by David Murphy at The Piece Hall

    Red detail for The Blanket by David Murphy at The Piece Hall
    David Murphy

    The Blanket by David Murphy at The Piece Hall, 25 January–7 April 2019, free entry - Visit now

    The Piece Hall in Halifax prepares to unveil ‘The Blanket’ – a new large-scale outdoor artwork by British sculptor David Murphy – which will occupy the centre of the former textile hall’s sweeping Georgian courtyard.

  • 12. Li Yuan Chia: Unique Photographs at the Whitworth

    Li Yuan Chia: His Late Photographs at Whitworth Art Gallery
    Image: Li Yuan Chia, Untitled, c1993. Courtesy the estate of Li Yuan Chia.

    Li Yuan Chia: Unique Photographs at The Whitworth, Manchester, 18 May–15 December 2019, free entry - Find Out More

    The Whitworth presents a quiet, yet arrestingly beautiful series of hand-coloured photographs taken by China’s first conceptual artist, Li Yuan Chia, nearing the end of his life.

  • 13. Sol Calero at Tate Liverpool

    Sol Calero at Tate Liverpool
    Sol Calero, Interiores 2017 Installation view, Dortmunder Kunstverein. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Simon Vogel

    Sol Calero at Tate Liverpool, Waterfront, 14 June–10 November 2019, free entry - Find Out More

    Tate Liverpool presents a new commission by Venezuelan-born, Berlin-based artist Sol Calero, whose brightly coloured, large-scale immersive installations offer a sharply satirical critique of the surreal set of stereotypes and clichés attached to different cultures.

  • 14. Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery

    Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool
    Poster designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1896 @CSG CIC Glasgow Museums

    Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery, City Centre, 15 March–26 August 2019, from £2 - Book now

    Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool prepares to present its blockbuster exhibition of 2019, dedicated to the life and work of the Glaswegian artist, architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh – father of the UK’s part in the international Art Nouveau movement.

  • 15. Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour

    Holly Hendry, Cenotaph, 2018. Liverpool Biennial Touring Programme 2019

    , 18 January 2019–3 May 2020, free entry

    Whether Liverpool Biennial 2018 passed you by or you diligently ticked-off every last one of its multiple offerings (if so; bravo), the Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour seems unlikely to disappoint.

  • 16. Chinternet Ugly at Centre for ChineseContemporary Art

    Chinternet Ugly at Chinese Centre for Contemporary Art
    Lu Yang, image courtesy of the artist

    Chinternet Ugly at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester, 8 February–12 May 2019, free entry - Visit now

    CFCCA presents ‘Chinternet Ugly’ – a group exhibition that offers a rare glimpse behind the biggest digital boundary in the world: the Great Firewall of China.

  • 17. Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things at The Hepworth Wakefield

    Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things at The Hepworth Wakefield
    Magdalene Odundo, Untitled, 1989. Courtesy the artist, Anthony Slayter-Ralph. Photograph Bill Dewey.

    Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things at The Hepworth Wakefield, 16 February–2 June 2019, free entry - Visit now

    Following the huge success of ‘Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson Curates’ in 2016, world-renowned ceramicist Magdalene Odundo prepares to present her own entirely distinct perspective on world art history in her new exhibition, ‘The Journey of Things’ at The Hepworth Wakefield.

  • 18. The Art Schools of North West England at Bluecoat

    John Beck and Matthew Cornford: The Art Schools of North West England at Bluecoat
    Matthew Cornford

    The Art Schools of North West England at Bluecoat, City Centre, 17 November 2018–31 March 2019, free entry - Visit now

    There were over 150 art schools in England in the mid-1960s; now most of them are closed or absorbed into other institutions. Bluecoat’s new exhibition, ‘The Art Schools of North West England’, asks: What did it mean to have an art school in every town and what can we learn by discovering their fate?

  • 19. Salford Makers SHOP

    Salford Makers SHOP, Chapel Street
    Sally Gilford

    Salford Makers SHOP, 311 - 313 Chapel Street, Salford, Manchester, M3 5JY - Visit now

    Support your local independent creatives! This November, a currently dormant sales office on Chapel Street in Salford is being transformed into a pop-up shop where you will be able to meet artists and makers, buy their products and get involved in making.

  • 20. Art Galleries in Manchester & Salford

    The Whitworth. Photo: Alan Williams.

    Away from the buzz of London, Manchester and Salford arguably have one of the highest concentrations of fantastic art galleries in England. Check out our updated guide.

  • 21. Stability and Survival at Speke Hall

    National Trust

    Stability and Survival at Speke Hall, Liverpool, 26 September 2018–29 March 2019, free entry - Visit now

    This autumn, learn about the inspiring life of Miss Adelaide Watt – an independent and powerful Victorian woman who fought the forces of modernity to preserve Speke Hall and all its treasures for generations to come.

  • 22. Site Gallery

    Site Gallery, Sheffield

    Site Gallery, 1 Brown Street, Sheffield, Yorkshire, S1 2BS - Visit now

    After a three-year long £1.7 million expansion and redevelopment project, Sheffield’s leading international contemporary art space reopens this Autumn – and everyone’s very excited to see what the new Site Gallery holds in store.

  • 23. Serena Korda: The Bell Tree at Speke Hall

    Serena Korda: The Bell Tree at Speke Hall
    Photo by Chris Egon Searle

    Serena Korda: The Bell Tree at Speke Hall, Liverpool, 8 September 2018–28 July 2019, free entry - Visit now

    The Bell Tree by award winning contemporary artist Serena Korda responds to England’s alternative history of fairy-tale folklore, the ancient forest at Speke Hall and the legacy of hidden rebellion that surrounds the historic Tudor home.

  • 24. The Hardmans’ House

    The Hardmans' House, Liverpool

    The Hardmans’ House, 59 Rodney Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 9EX - Visit now

    We revisit one of Liverpool’s best kept secrets.

  • 25. Giuseppe Penone at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

    Giuseppe Penone, Continuera a Crescere Tranne che in quel Punto. 1968-2003. Courtesy the-artist. Photo © Archivo Penone. Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP)

    Giuseppe Penone at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 26 May 2018–28 April 2019, free entry - Visit now

    Grounded in a more poetic, ‘geological’ sense of time, the eminent Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone stands apart from the everyday concerns of the modern world.

More in Exhibitions

And Breathe... at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 16 March 2018–15 October 2019, FREE

And Breathe… at Manchester Art Gallery

Exploring the relationship between art and mindfulness And Breathe… is an exhibition of artworks from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection that explores the relationship between art, positive mental health and wellbeing.

Exhibitions 24 March 2018–7 April 2019, FREE

Exchanges at The Whitworth

Exchanges at The Whitworth sets art and artists together, sometimes in harmony, sometimes in opposition – always with insight and intention.

Bodies of Colour: Breaking with Stereotypes in the Wallpaper Collection at The Whitworth Art Gallery
Exhibitions 4 May 2018–19 May 2019, FREE

Bodies of Colour: Breaking with Stereotypes in the Wallpaper Collection at The Whitworth

This latest exhibition uses the Whitworth’s extensive and significant wallpaper collection to focus on how Imperial attitudes to people are reflected in wallpaper.

Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 25 May 2018–22 April 2019, FREE

Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition at Manchester Art Gallery

What do public museums collect and why? Which works become highlights, and which lie forgotten in storage? Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition at Manchester Art Gallery considers how public museums reflect and shape our collective imagination.

Nordic Craft and Design at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 6 July 2018–10 November 2019, FREE

Nordic Craft and Design at Manchester Art Gallery

Showcasing furniture, fashion, lighting, ceramics, glass, metalwork and jewellery, Nordic Craft and Design at Manchester Art Gallery highlights the superb quality and creativity inherent in design from the region and features pieces from 1930 to the present day.

Modern Nature: British Photographs from the Hyman Collection at The Hepworth, Wakefield
Exhibitions 13 July 2018–22 April 2019, FREE

Modern Nature: British Photographs from the Hyman Collection at The Hepworth Wakefield

Modern Nature: British Photographs from the Hyman Collection at The Hepworth Wakefield is a new exhibition of images by leading British photographers, which explores our evolving relationship with the natural world and how this shapes individuals and communities.

Activity 3 September 2018–2 September 2019, FREE

Whitworth Art Gallery Daily Tour

Take a closer look at some of the Whitworth Art Gallery’s collection while gaining a better understanding of the context in which the pieces were created. The free tours run daily from 2 pm.

Visual Arts 20 September 2018–19 September 2019, FREE

Manchester Art Gallery Highlights Tour

Take a tour around select artworks from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection. Lead by different guides every day, each tour is personal to their taste. Tours start at 2 pm from Thursday to Sunday.

Rocket courtesy Science Museum
Exhibitions 25 September 2018–28 April 2019, FREE

Rocket Returns to the Science and Industry Museum

Make tracks for Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum. A one-in-a-lifetime chance to see Stephenson’s Rocket return to the site of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway for the first time in over 180 years.

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