It might be hard to believe it’s already June, but instead of looking at the calendar in fear, let’s make the most of early summer! You won’t struggle for ideas with this month’s selection of new exhibitions.
Described as a ‘once-in-a-generation’ exhibition, the Tudors have finally made an appearance up North at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery, in the summer blockbuster The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics. Expect the most famous monarchs’ portraits alongside some incredible objects, including what is possibly the only known surviving example of Elizabeth I’s clothing.
While we can’t guarantee good weather, we can certainly suggest some top picks that combine art with the outdoors so that you can have the best of both worlds. Yorkshire Sculpture Park is hosting an exhibition of drawings by Jaume Plensa – an artist well-known and loved for his public sculptures all over the world. Afterwards, you can visit the park grounds to seek out Plensa’s sculpture ‘in the wild’.
The Windermere Jetty Museum is hosting not one, but two shows this summer, if being in near the beautiful Windermere wasn’t enough to convince us to visit. Barbara Nicholls’ monumental watercolours explore the ways that pigments interact with water on a large scale, while Dovetailing is an exhibition born out of a collaboration between a sculptor, composer and film-maker, inspired by the art of luthiery.
Gathering Downstream is an exhibition of five videos by artist Jen Southern at National Trust’s Quarry Bank exploring environmental change and disruption as well as the legacy of the industrial revolution. The specially commissioned display takes inspiration from the flow of water, particularly the local River Bollin which lies at the heart of the estate.
BALTIC Contemporary Art Centre is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, with the Vasseur Artists’ Award – an exhibition of the winners’ work ranging from explorations of magic and ancient cultures, social projects focused on the climate and rural landscapes, to politically-charged installations.
If you’re in the mood for contemporary painting, the Walker is also hosting Refractive Pool: Contemporary Painting in Liverpool. A survey of the local painting scene, the show includes the work of 21 painters of different ages, styles and artistic concerns. If you’re expecting a room full of two-dimensional work on stretched canvas, Refractive Pool proves that painting still has the capacity to surprise and fascinate.
Here are our picks
The Tudors are sure to draw a crowd just as they have done for centuries – don’t miss this excellent display of portraiture, artefacts and lesser-known aspects of the Tudor reign.
Barbara Nicholls' watercolours and 'Dovetailing' at Windermere Jetty Museum at Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories, Cumbria, Until 4 September 2022, from £4.50 - Book now
Admire the lake as well as the art at Windermere Jetty Museum this summer, with two gorgeous exhibitions: watercolours from artist Barbara Nicholls; and an immersive, collaborative installation developed remotely during lockdown.
Sebastião Salgado’s exhibition Amazônia has arrived in Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum, with over 200 magnificent photographs of the Amazon rainforest and its inhabitants, in areas most at risk from climate change.
A fresh look at landscape as a subject for artists, this exhibition is full of surprises and explores a multitude of concerns: from the human impact on the ecosystem to land-related rituals, and questions about freedom of access to natural spaces.
The former cotton mill of Quarry Bank is currently home to an ‘Gathering Downstream’, an exhibition exploring the site’s legacy of the industrial revolution alongside environmental change and disruption.
The experimental works, discussions and experiences in The Witches’ Institution (W.I.), create an alternative reality where a group of witches takes over a cultural institution, where the gallery becomes a space of possibility – a host to change and revolt.
Bury Art Shop, Bury Art Museum, Moss Street, Bury, Greater Manchester, BL9 0DR - Visit now
The perfect place to find gifts, stationery, cards, children’s books and, most importantly, museum souvenirs if you want to take home a little reminder of your visit and the gallery’s wonderful collections.
Using a multitude of mediums to examine themes of memory and trauma as a result of forced migration, Mounira Al Solh’s exhibition amplifies the voices of people from the Middle East, displaced to Lebanon, Europe, the United States, and other parts of the world.
The exhibition showcases the work of one of the most important printmakers of 19th century Japan, Toyohara Kunichika, who used his mastery of the medium to depict thoroughly modern subjects at a time of great social and political change.
Filled with striking reminders and symbols of the fight for justice, the Banner Exhibition at People’s History Museum will take you on a journey through the history of rights and equality via its dazzling collection.
This constituent-led exhbition is the first of its kind and offers an intimate snapshot of grief, life after baby loss and the importance that creativity can have in the process.
Experience YBA artist Damien Hirst’s towering and provocative outdoor sculptures at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
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.
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.
Liverpool’s Zap Graffiti teaches all the basic skills and techniques you need to make a street-style creation you’ll be proud of.
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’ is an online collection of new audio works by seven artists, spanning spoken word, ambient sound and musical tracks.
The Pankhurst Centre’s new permanent exhibition offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of the people behind the iconic Pankhurst name.
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.
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.