Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Maja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor

It might be hard to believe it’s already June, but instead of looking at the calendar in fear, let’s make the most of early summer! You won’t struggle for ideas with this month’s selection of new exhibitions.

Described as a ‘once-in-a-generation’ exhibition, the Tudors have finally made an appearance up North at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery, in the summer blockbuster The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics. Expect the most famous monarchs’ portraits alongside some incredible objects, including what is possibly the only known surviving example of Elizabeth I’s clothing.

While we can’t guarantee good weather, we can certainly suggest some top picks that combine art with the outdoors so that you can have the best of both worlds. Yorkshire Sculpture Park is hosting an exhibition of drawings by Jaume Plensa – an artist well-known and loved for his public sculptures all over the world. Afterwards, you can visit the park grounds to seek out Plensa’s sculpture ‘in the wild’.

The Windermere Jetty Museum is hosting not one, but two shows this summer, if being in near the beautiful Windermere wasn’t enough to convince us to visit. Barbara Nicholls’ monumental watercolours explore the ways that pigments interact with water on a large scale, while Dovetailing is an exhibition born out of a collaboration between a sculptor, composer and film-maker, inspired by the art of luthiery.

Gathering Downstream is an exhibition of five videos by artist Jen Southern at National Trust’s Quarry Bank exploring environmental change and disruption as well as the legacy of the industrial revolution. The specially commissioned display takes inspiration from the flow of water, particularly the local River Bollin which lies at the heart of the estate.

BALTIC Contemporary Art Centre is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, with the Vasseur Artists’ Awardan exhibition of the winners’ work ranging from explorations of magic and ancient cultures, social projects focused on the climate and rural landscapes, to politically-charged installations.

If you’re in the mood for contemporary painting, the Walker is also hosting Refractive Pool: Contemporary Painting in Liverpool. A survey of the local painting scene, the show includes the work of 21 painters of different ages, styles and artistic concerns. If you’re expecting a room full of two-dimensional work on stretched canvas, Refractive Pool proves that painting still has the capacity to surprise and fascinate.

Here are our picks

More in Exhibitions

Damien Hirst at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions Until 31 May 2023, FREE

Damien Hirst at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Experience YBA artist Damien Hirst’s towering and provocative outdoor sculptures at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Activity Until 31 December 2022, from £9

Skyliner: Alternative Tours of Manchester

Join Skyliner for the anti-tour of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The route interrogates current developments in the city as well as visiting the area’s most notable pieces of street art.

What is Manchester Art Gallery?
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2023, FREE

What is Manchester Art Gallery? at Manchester Art Gallery

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.

Visual Arts Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Graffiti at Zap Graffiti

Liverpool’s Zap Graffiti teaches all the basic skills and techniques you need to make a street-style creation you’ll be proud of.

Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds
Exhibitions Until 5 June 2023,

Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Stop and spend an hour or two with this special creation, nestled within a stand of birch trees beside Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s Upper Lake.

Interruptions: Sounds – Online with Holden Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 5 August 2022, FREE

Interruptions: Sounds – Online with The Holden Gallery, Manchester

‘Interruptions: Sounds’ is an online collection of new audio works by seven artists, spanning spoken word, ambient sound and musical tracks.

At Home with the Pankhurst Family at the Pankhurst Centre
Exhibitions Until 29 August 2024, FREE

At Home with the Pankhurst Family at the Pankhurst Centre

The Pankhurst Centre’s new permanent exhibition offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of the people behind the iconic Pankhurst name.

Exhibitions Until 16 October 2022, FREE

Jill McKnight: Desire Lines at Leeds Art Gallery

Leeds-based artist Jill McKnight presents a new body of work: Desire Lines, exploring the physical and metaphorical paths Leeds residents have taken across generations.

Exhibitions Until 23 July 2022, FREE

Framed in Friendship: A Legacy of Art in Sheffield at Graves Gallery

The sweetly titled new exhibition at Graves Gallery celebrates friendship, with a particular focus on one special connection that brought a fantastic piece of art by Stanley Spencer to the city of Sheffield.

Culture Guides


Explore Hollywood history, queer rarities and squirm-inducing horror across the big screens of Manchester and the North this month.

Geronimo Festival 2022


Festivals, shows, museums, and much, much more – there’s plenty of summer fun to be had for families in Manchester and the North, whatever the weather. Here are our top picks.

Poet Caroline Bird


There’s plenty of sunshine-drenched reading to immerse yourself in from established names and emerging talent, poets and prose writers alike, both in real life as well as online.


From rising stars playing basement sets to open air shows by your favourite bands’ favourite bands, there are some gems in this month’s music picks.

Theatre in Manchester


Eclectic theatre festivals, silly slapstick and dreamy outdoor shows, there’s lots of brilliant performances happening inside and outside over the summer.

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We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Baekdu Korean BBQ Restaurant

Food and Drink

Plan for July’s food and drink outings at some of the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

Get out in the sun this month with tours and activities that will have you engaging positively with the climate, taking the plunge in Salford Quays and getting creative.