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 Making at 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.
Here are our picks
What it is to be here: Colonisation and Resistance – Online at The Portico Library, online, Until 27 July 2020, free entry - Visit now
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.
Can cutting-edge tech bring us closer to the events of the past? People’s History Museum unveils a series of digital experiences that shine a light on key moments in the history of democracy.
Wake Up Together, online, Until 31 August 2020, free entry - Visit now
Travel back in time and explore a VR-edition of Open Eye Gallery’s hugely popular 2018-19 exhibition, ‘Wake Up Together’, featuring work by Ren Hang and Robin Hammond; two artists who both champion the rights of every person to love who they want and respectfully live as they wish.
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.
‘a place lived’ by Maddi Nicholson is a new public artwork that delves into the near-forgotten history of Manchester’s thriving financial district.
Unreformed: Wallpaper and Design Diversity at the Whitworth examines the powerful the voices of the Design Reform movement.
Trading Station at Manchester Art Gallery charts the history and changing social role of hot drinks in our lives.
Visit People’s History Museum’s 2020 display of political banners from across the years – including several that will go on public show for the first time.
Organised by the British Culture Archive, The Refuge in Manchester presents a remarkable selection of images that capture Britain from the 1960s onwards.
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.
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.