Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor

Have you ever visited an exhibition that also offers introductory wrestling workshops? If not, that’s all the more reason to head over to Site Gallery in Sheffield where Welsh artist Phoebe Davies’ first solo exhibition, Points of Rupture, explores how contact sports such as boxing and rugby can serve as sites of compassion, tenderness, touch and connection.

Over in Leeds, The High Dam at The Tetley explores the sense of ‘inherited nostalgia’ artist Emii Alrai feels for a place she has never visited before, as a result of growing up in Scotland as part of an Iraqi family. The show features a series of ‘invented artefacts’ of the Middle East presented in a display vessel based on the ‘demon lures’ used in Ancient Akkadian gravesites to trap and distract demons from pillaging graves, and spans outward into an incisive critique of western appropriation of cultural objects, artefact and language.

Another strong female solo show also opens at Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool. Amy Romer’s photographic series The Dark Figure* confronts visitors with the pervasive though often overlooked presence of modern slavery in the UK, revealing the issue to extend far beyond nail bars, carwash forecourts and factory floors, into residential settings and potentially even neighbouring homes.

Back in Manchester, Other Transmissions: Conversations with Outsider Art at the Whitworth explores the theme of ‘Outsider Art’ from the perspective of six learning disabled and non-learning disabled artists, raising a series of thought-provoking questions around labeling, categorisation and the power dynamics of the art world. And lastly, Mark Making at Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre offers a focused look at one of the most primary and universal building blocks of visual art, drawing upon example from around the world and opening up fascinating new perspectives on humanity’s innate drive to leave its mark.

Here are our picks

More in Exhibitions

Holly Hendry, Cenotaph, 2018. Liverpool Biennial Touring Programme 2019
Exhibitions Until 3 May 2020, FREE

Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour

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 Reno at the Whitworth
Exhibitions Until 1 March 2020, FREE

The Reno at the Whitworth

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.

Exhibitions Until 23 February 2020, FREE

A-Z of Salford’s Collections at Salford Museum and Art Gallery

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.

Exhibitions Until 1 March 2020, FREE

In A League Of Their Own at Castleford Museum

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.

Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest at People's History Museum
Exhibitions Until 23 February 2020, FREE

Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest at People’s History Museum

LAST CHANCE. 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.

Exhibitions Until 15 May 2020, FREE

Poulsen Arc Dream Radio at Storyhouse in Chester

What does it mean to be transported into another person’s memories? Step into a new digital art commission at Storyhouse in Chester to find out.

Exhibitions Until 20 April 2020, FREE

Louise Giovanelli at Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery prepares to present a series of new paintings by artist Louise Giovanelli, alongside rarely-seen early Renaissance panel paintings.

Holly Hendry / Taus Makhacheva at The Tetley, Liverpool Biennial 2019 touring programme
Exhibitions Until 3 May 2020, FREE

Holly Hendry / Taus Makhacheva at The Tetley

As part of the Liverpool Biennial touring programme, The Tetley is hosting works by artists Holly Hendry and Taus Makhacheva.

Maddi Nicholson: a place lived at Hardman Square in Spinningfields
Exhibitions Until 20 July 2020, FREE

Maddi Nicholson: a place lived at Hardman Square in Spinningfields

‘a place lived’ by Maddi Nicholson is a new public artwork that delves into the near-forgotten history of Manchester’s thriving financial district.

Culture Guides


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Poet and performer Kate Tempest.


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Tours and Activities

Expect thrills, informative discussion, politically charged tours and wobbly towns in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.

Places to go / stay / shop / eat / drink