Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor

Two of the major cultural highlights of 2019 top our pick of exhibitions throughout the north this month. The inaugural edition of Yorkshire Sculpture International, billed as the UK’s largest dedicated sculpture festival, launches in just a couple of weeks featuring work by 18 artists from 13 different countries and spanning venues throughout Leeds and Wakefield. We’re also extremely excited for opening of the first UK-based institutional solo exhibition of the iconic 1980s New York artist Keith Haring’s work at Tate Liverpool, featuring over 70 of his drawings, paintings and large-scale murals, alongside rare archival documents, flyers, posters, video and photographs.

Over in Cumbria, an ambitious cultural programme taking place across the region offers even further reason to escape the city and head for the Lakes this summer. One highlight in particular is Child Labour: Hidden Stories of Cumbria – a display that challenges the bucolic picture many of us may still hold of the history surrounding the rural area, whilst also addressing the ongoing issue of underage and forced labour throughout the world today.

Back in Manchester, Castlefield Gallery presents a survey show of work by artists Eileen Simpson and Ben White, who together make up the Open Music Archive – an initiative that seeks to source, digitise and distribute out-of-copyright sound recordings, whilst challenging default models of ownership and distribution. Finally, Yemen: Inside a Crisis at Imperial War Museum North provides an urgent window into the evolving political and humanitarian situation in a country that has been locked in civil war since 2015. Curated with support from award-winning journalist, Iona Craig, who served as Yemen correspondent for The Times between 2010 and 2015, this exhibition is perhaps one of the most important we’d recommend you visit this year.

Here are our picks

More in Exhibitions

And Breathe... at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 16 March 2018–15 October 2019, FREE

And Breathe… at Manchester Art Gallery

Exploring the relationship between art and mindfulness And Breathe… is an exhibition of artworks from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection that explores the relationship between art, positive mental health and wellbeing.

Nordic Craft and Design at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 6 July 2018–10 November 2019, FREE

Nordic Craft and Design at Manchester Art Gallery

Showcasing furniture, fashion, lighting, ceramics, glass, metalwork and jewellery, Nordic Craft and Design at Manchester Art Gallery highlights the superb quality and creativity inherent in design from the region and features pieces from 1930 to the present day.

Activity 3 September 2018–2 September 2019, FREE

Whitworth Art Gallery Daily Tour

Take a closer look at some of the Whitworth Art Gallery’s collection while gaining a better understanding of the context in which the pieces were created. The free tours run daily from 2 pm.

Serena Korda: The Bell Tree at Speke Hall
Exhibitions 8 September 2018–28 July 2019, FREE

Serena Korda: The Bell Tree at Speke Hall

The Bell Tree by award winning contemporary artist Serena Korda responds to England’s alternative history of fairy-tale folklore, the ancient forest at Speke Hall and the legacy of hidden rebellion that surrounds the historic Tudor home.

Visual Arts 20 September 2018–19 September 2019, FREE

Manchester Art Gallery Highlights Tour

Take a tour around select artworks from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection. Lead by different guides every day, each tour is personal to their taste. Tours start at 2 pm from Thursday to Sunday.

Holly Hendry, Cenotaph, 2018. Liverpool Biennial Touring Programme 2019
Exhibitions 18 January 2019–3 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.

A World Inside A Book courtesy Suzi Corker
Exhibitions 12 February–26 October 2019, from £6

A World Inside a Book: Gruffalo, Dragons and Other Creatures at Z-arts

The UK’s first immersive exhibition of the much-loved tales of Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler. Expect enchanting forests, miniature towns and watery worlds.

Zig Zag Atelier Bebop at Common Bar, Manchester
Exhibitions 28 February–31 July 2019, FREE

Zig Zag Atelier Bebop at Common Bar

Expect big things and colourful shapes at ZIG ZAG, a new exhibition by Atelier Bebop at Common Bar in the Northern Quarter.

Serena Korda: Under the Rose at Speke Hall
Exhibitions 10 March–28 July 2019, FREE

Serena Korda: Under the Rose at Speke Hall

Following on from her enchanting installation ‘The Bell Tree’, Serena Korda launches a second sound work, ‘Under the Rose’ at Liverpool’s Speke Hall.

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