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 Makingat 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.
For her first solo exhibition, Welsh artist Phoebe Davies presents a new body of work inspired by her time spent with a group of teenage female wrestlers training in a local club on the outskirts of Oslo.
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.
Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.