As the restrictions upon life brought about by Covid continue, many organisations are finding further innovative, non-screen-based ways to engage with audiences outside of the traditional gallery space. Among these, Proforma has actively embraced the challenge, hosting a day-long outdoor programme of new artist commissions along Chapel Street in Manchester and Salford. Titled LOITER, the mini festival is about reclaiming the harmless act from its often-negative connotations, asking what’s to be gained from a good linger, laze or loaf on a street corner?
Equally attentive to the world around us, Dark Days, Luminous Nights at The White Hotel offers audiences a highly immersive audio-visual meditation on the changing soul of Manchester and Salford through a journey along their ruined waterway, the River Irk. Navigating urban hinterlands and featuring a haunting music score from Manchester Collective, this is a unique experience not to be missed.
Over in Liverpool, where galleries are currently open (at the time of writing), Open Eye Gallery has curated an uplifting trio of exhibitions dedicated to the people of its city, including a set of photographs that have not been seen for over 40 years. Meanwhile, Bluecoat presents a series of paintings by locally-based artist Josie Jenkins which seek to highlight the constructed nature of how we view the world. And OUTPUT has gone postal, launching a new programme of exhibitions sent straight to people’s doors. Here’s to the end of a very strange year.
Here are our picks
Undo Things Done, a poetic inquiry into place, politics and class intertwined with personal histories, takes as its starting point Sean Edwards’ experience of growing up on a council estate in Cardiff in the 1980s.
Schiele, Munch, Picasso, Kollwitz – Lady Lever Art Gallery’s latest exhibition brings together some of the most influential European artists and printmakers of the early 20th century.
The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue at BALTIC shines a light on a greatly under-recognised artist, whose work engages with questions of gender and identity.
Huma Bhabha’s strange cast of both ancient and futuristic seeming characters are due to arrive at BALTIC in Gateshead for an exhibition alluringly titled, Against Time.
Trading Station at Manchester Art Gallery charts the history and changing social role of hot drinks in our lives.
How have visions of utopia and the visual culture that helped form it impacted upon the Brexit debate? A new exhibition at the Whitworth explores.
Working Class Movement Library presents an online exhibition of powerful posters made by young activists fighting for civil rights in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
FACT’s year-long programme, The Living Planet, seems even more timely than first imagined – and has been created for people to interact with and enjoy remotely for free online.
The Portico Library marks 250 years since British explorer James Cook first landed on the shores of what we now call Australia with an online exhibition that explores the history of violence and resistance that followed.
the Whitworth in Manchester invites you to step into the garden as subject with an online version of its 2016 exhibition, The Gardener Digs in Another Time.
The popular Northern Quarter community, Life Drawing Manchester, have migrated to zoom, opening up their classes to models and artists from all over the world.
Celebrate the spirit of adventure, learn more about the Cumbrian landscape and uncover the inspiration behind Arthur Ransome’s classic tale.