Sci-fi holds radical potential as a space for reshaping the ideas of the present through the imagined and speculative futures it puts forward. For this reason, who authors those visions matters a great deal. While the genre has traditionally been dominated by white men (think H.G. Wells, Kubrick and others), there are many creative and talented women, people of colour, and trans and queer people working in the field whose perspectives have been overlooked. Top of our pick of exhibitions this month, Rewriting The Future at Site Gallery in Sheffield seeks to shine a light on some of these, presenting work by four visual artists that are redefining the genre today.
Over in Gateshead, BALTIC exhibits a new body of paintings by rising star Joy Labinjo, whose vibrant portraits of family and friends – based on images from a recently discovered photo album – offer a unique window into her personal experience of growing up as a Black, British and Nigerian woman in the UK during the 1990s and early 2000s. And in Manchester, the first solo presentation of work by recent Slade graduate Sof’ya Shpurova at Holden Gallery draws upon the artist’s Russian heritage and interest in old iconography paintings.
Peer to Peer, presented at Open Eye Gallery and within the vaulted basement of St. George’s Hall, also focuses on fresh talent, showcasing the work of 14 artists based in China and the UK deemed on the verge of major international recognition. The exhibition forms a core part of LOOK Photo Biennial, Liverpool’s biannual photography festival that works with a different exchange country each year. From China to Italy, head over to Barnsley where Cooper Gallery’s latest exhibition explores the depiction of Venice by artists from across the last few centuries, from Canaletto in the 1700s onwards. We also recommend Football is Art at National Football Museum where works by Banksy, Picasso, LS Lowry and John Cocteau reveal a new side to the game.
Here are our picks
Beautiful and Brutal – an unusual new exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the iconic, internationally renowned Preston Bus Station.
35 years and still going strong. Castlefield – Manchester’s first public contemporary visual art gallery – looks back on its history through the prism of sculpture.
Featuring over 20 paintings, photographs and prints, this National Trust exhibition brings together some of Yorkshire’s most iconic and controversial figures.
Curated with support from award-winning journalist Iona Craig, Yemen: Inside a Crisis at IMW North offers a powerful look at one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.
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.
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.
The UK’s first immersive exhibition of the much-loved tales of Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler. Expect enchanting forests, miniature towns and watery worlds.
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.
Award-winning playwright Linda Brogan and a group of local residents who used to attend the Reno nightclub in the 1970s and 80s prepare to occupy the Whitworth for one year. Located in Moss Side, the Reno was known as a space for young mixed-race Mancunians. This living exhibition will tell the story of the club through art and archive materials.
Discover how Victorian gentlemen protected their moustaches from tea, which monarch’s pair of stockings reside in Salford, get up close to incredible art and more.
Rugby League is born and bred in West Yorkshire. From its beginnings in Huddersfield in 1895 to the Super League superstars of today, celebrate over 120 years of blood, sweat and tears.
Marking the 200-year-anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre, ‘Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest’ at People’s History Museum takes visitors on a journey through the past, present and future of protest in this country.
With its beautifully charming and quirky style, Little Moreton Hall offers an iconic Tudor manor house, moat, manicured knot garden and plenty of fun activities for everyone.