Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor

With coronavirus restrictions in a continued state of flux, it feels more than a relief to still be allowed to visit local galleries and museums. And there is an abundance of stellar offline exhibitions open and upcoming to satisfy those keen to get back to seeing art in the flesh.

Perhaps most exciting of all is the recent announcement that Manchester Art Gallery is to host Grayson’s Art Club. Based on the popular Channel 4 series that helped countless viewers through the boredom, loneliness and confinement of early lockdown, the show will present the Turner-Prize winning artist Grayson Perry’s personal highlights from the more than 10,000 works that were submitted to the programme by the public over its course – constituting a nationwide display.

Grayson fandom aside, we’re also looking forward to a rather unconventional exhibition at Castlefield Gallery. Embracing the idea of ‘freedom within restriction’, Obstructions will see 15 Manchester-based artists each present a new version of an existing piece, re-made following a bespoke rule or limitation imposed upon them by another artist in the show. Challenging the exhibitors to work in ways outside of their usual creative comfort zone, the results should be fascinating to encounter.

With concerns about health and care at the forefront of many people’s mind right now, BALTIC in Gateshead is to present an immersive installation by Lithuanian artist duo Pakui Hardware that explores the growing digitisation of medicine and its move toward virtual and robotic care giving. Meanwhile, Multiplicities in Flux at CFCCA responds partly to the rise in racism experienced by people of East Asian background since the beginning of the pandemic.

Over the Pennies, another of our top picks comes from Steel City where a re-showing of images from a 1980s photography initiative The Sheffield Project captures a pivotal moment of social, cultural and urban change in Sheffield’s history and its impact on the people who lived through it.

With plenty more exhibitions to choose from as well, the North West’s visual arts scene seems very much alive. Be sure to check out our full guide to the best online events from organisations in Manchester and the North too.

Stay well folks.

Here are our picks

More in Exhibitions

Exhibitions Until 29 November 2020, FREE

The Sun at the Science and Industry Museum

This blockbuster exhibition was due to close at the end of March, but has been extended until 29 November as part of the Science and Industry Museum’s reopening programme.

Trading Station: how hot drinks shape our lives – exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions Until 14 December 2021, FREE

Trading Station: how hot drinks shape our lives at Manchester Art Gallery

Trading Station at Manchester Art Gallery charts the history and changing social role of hot drinks in our lives.

2020 Banner Display at People's History Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 3 January 2021, FREE

2020 Banner Display at People’s History Museum

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.

Utopias exhibition at the Whitworth
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2021, FREE

Utopias at the Whitworth

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.

Emii Alrai: The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds
Exhibitions Until 29 November 2020, FREE

Emii Alrai: The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds

Combining demon lures and invented artefacts, ancient mythology and family lore, The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds is the latest new work by upcoming artist Emii Alrai.

Half term fun - Young girl sat next to the tiger as part of the The Tiger who came to tea and the adventures of mog the forgetful cat exhibition
Exhibitions Until 31 December 2020, from £8.00

POSTPONED -The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the Adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat at Z-arts

In this immersive exhibition, children can let their imaginations go wild as they take centre stage alongside some of their favourite characters from beloved children’s author, Judith Kerr.

Wait I’m From Wuhan with HOME
Activity Until 31 December 2020,

Wait I’m From Wuhan with HOME

Follow Jasmine’s story, as she struggles to decide whether or not to search for her birth family in Wuhan, told via a series of Instagram and blog posts.

Joana Vasconcelos exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions Until 3 January 2021, FREE

Joana Vasconcelos at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents the monumental work of celebrated Portuguese sculptor Joana Vasconcelos.

Anthony Burgess on Tape
Exhibitions Until 31 December 2020, FREE

Anthony Burgess on Tape

Anthony Burgess on Tape is an online exhibition from the International Anthony Burgess Foundation comprising of 1,094 cassettes and 87 reel-to-reel tapes from one of Manchester’s greatest and most prolific writers.

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