This month sees the opening of two long-awaited shows at Castlefield Gallery in Manchester. The Annotated Reader is a touring project by artist Ryan Gander and art critic Jonathan P Watts described as an ‘exhibition-as-publication and publication-as-exhibition’, featuring a vast body of life-changing texts selected by nearly 300 leading artists, thinkers and creatives. Showing alongside, The Naming of Things – a group show curated by Bryony Dawson – asks, if language were unhooked from the task of conveying ‘truth’ or accuracy, could it carve out a more generous space, that actively invites fluid, speculative and multiple perspectives?
Over in Liverpool, Bluecoat presents Practice Makes Perfect – an urgent new body of work by artist Rosa-Johan Uddoh that examines the impact of the new National Curriculum that was launched in schools in England in 2014. Emphasising a nationalistic celebration of ‘Our Island Story’ and removing any explicit focus on racial or ethnic diversity from this, what impact does this have on children’s sense of what it means to be British or how the country was forged? Uddoh’s work is paired with A Look Inside – the first major solo exhibition of work by award-winning American artist Deborah Roberts to be presented in the UK, challenging notions of the body, beauty, race and identity.
Dubbed one of the country’s greenest cities, whilst also bearing the nickname of ‘steel’, Sheffield reflects on its long history of working with the natural environment and the impact that the landscape has had on its development in Earthbound – an exhibition of stand-out contemporary works by artists including Etel Adnan, Mirosław Bałka, Phyllida Barlow, Theaster Gates and Richard Long from the Roberts Institute of Art (RIA) and Sheffield Museums collections.
Lastly, PINK Manchester presents a new body of work by Pippa Eason exploring the impact of early childhood memories on personality. Shaped by her own anecdotes and those of others, Funny, blurry and everything hazy is a whimsical, jubilant and highly sensory investigation into the nature of memory, brimming with colour and a sense of playful delight.
Here are our picks
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.
Florence Nightingale Bicentenary: Inspiration to Genius is an online exhibition exploring the life of Florence Nightingale and her connection to Lotherton Hall.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents the monumental work of celebrated Portuguese sculptor Joana Vasconcelos.
Below the Salt is an exhibition of new works by Catherine Bertola, shown alongside the first inventory of Temple Newsam House, made on 12 September 1520.
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.