Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Maja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor

With the unpredictable British summer, you can never be quite sure if that picnic in the park will work out but keep in mind that this season is also filled with fresh, exciting art for you to see all around the North! From shows tackling serious environmental issues to those closer to a playground than a white cube, this month brings art treats for all ages.

Starting off with a fun option for younger visitors, Liverpool’s Bluecoat gallery has just opened Are You Messin’?, a playful display co-created by artists with children from local primary schools.

Further North, at the Henry Moore Institute, you’ll find Lungiswa Gqunta: Sleep in Witness, the artist’s largest show to date exploring the violent legacy of colonialism and revealing the hidden modes of oppression of South African people of colour. Gqunta’s use of materials is original and genuinely unexpected, making it a true highlight of this summer’s art calendar.

Staying with more political subject matter, Carolina Caycedo’s exhibition Land of Friends at the BALTIC includes a brand new, locally-inspired commission focusing on the River Tyne. The artist prioritises communities in her artistic process, in order to reveal the hardships faced by people directly affected by environmental injustice.

Salford Museum & Art Gallery is hosting a mesmerising display of drawings from Rachel Goodyear. Having exhibited all around the country and abroad, Stirrings is a chance to finally see Goodyear’s fantastical pieces in Salford, where she has worked and developed as an artist for 20 years.

Taking inspiration from the flow of water, particularly the local River Bollin, Jen Southern has created five videos for the installation Gathering Downstream currently on display at National Trust’s Quarry Bank. The piece explores environmental change and disruption as well as the legacy of the industrial revolution in and around the site.

If you’re in the market for some brand new artwork from the local art scene, pop down to Castlefield Gallery to check out PIVOT: Editions. This bold display of affordable, editioned work presents art from five emerging artists, with the added bonus of being able to take it home.

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


From basement crawlers to stadium stars, there are some electric live acts heading our way this summer. Here are our top 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.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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.


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.

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.