As the UK’s leading open-air gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is one of our favourite places to while away a Sunday afternoon – so we hardly need encouraging. Yet its packed 2018 exhibitions programme has left us itching to escape the city and experience all that’s in store; from the mind-blowing web installations of Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota to the monumental firs and marble canvases by the eminent Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone.
In Liverpool, the Bluecoat prepares to be transformed into a sonic chamber of collective singing by artist Emma Smith, as part of her exploration into the links between psychology, music and the human brain. And in Manchester, The John Rylands Library delves into the rich history of colour through its rare collection of illuminated manuscripts, and the Whitworth presents a perfectly formed exhibition of work by the 1992 Turner Prize nominee Alison Wilding.
Finally, whilst we’ve been flat-out enjoying Wonder Women 2018, over in Sheffield the Steel City continues the nationwide celebration of the centenary of the People’s Representation Act with a series of exhibitions marking 200 years of radical protest and activism in South Yorkshire. Jump on a TransPennine Express and head over the hills to learn more about the city’s links with Chartism, the Battle of Orgreave and current campaign to save its ‘urban forest’.
Here are our picks
Did you know that the remarkable yellows of Turner’s sunsets came from the urine of mango-fed cows? Or that the reds of Raphael’s greatest masterpieces derived from cactus-dwelling bugs? The Alchemy of Colour at The John Rylands Library explores the unusual stories behind some of art history’s most dazzling hues.
To mark the 100-year anniversary of Representation of the People Act, Changing Lives will celebrate how the people of Sheffield have stood up for what they believe in over the past 200 years.
IWM North launches a season of exhibitions and events that attempt to cut through the complexity surrounding the Syrian crisis, and offer a human account of what’s happening in the country today.
The work of the late, world-renowned ceramicist Betty Woodman has an unforgettable quality. Liverpool Biennial presents a rare opportunity to experience her pioneering designs up close in the North.
Open Eye Gallery’s latest exhibition, The Pier Head, captures a slice of Liverpool-Merseyside history in rich anecdotal detail, through a selection of rarely seen images by the acclaimed British photographer Tom Wood.
CFCCA and HOME take part in a new UK-wide programme of exhibitions, commissions and events celebrating female contemporary artists working in China today.
School Prints at The Hepworth Wakefield revives a ground-breaking scheme set up in the 1940s by the British arts campaigner and education activist, Brenda Rawnsley, featuring new work by six contemporary artists.
The world premiere of three new immersive, interactive ‘solid light’ installations by Anthony McCall opens at The Hepworth Wakefield, as part of a major survey of the artist’s work.
Following the national furore that emerged in response to the temporary removal of John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs at Manchester Art Gallery, all eyes are now on Sonia Boyce’s first retrospective exhibition, opening just a floor away.
Since 1989, photographer Stuart Roy Clarke has been on a mission of epic proportions. Its goal: to capture the very heart, soul, sweat and tears of British football.
Award-winning artist Louis Henderson presents a new film co-commission and solo exhibition at HOME, which responds to the endlessly complex trails of Haitian history.
Create your own art using techniques and materials inspired by the Alchemy of Colour exhibition at The John Rylands Library.
Be among the first to see the Soyuz capsule that brought Tim Peake back to earth alongside his historic Space Suit as the Museum of Science and Industry becomes Mission Control this spring.
Visit this exhibition celebrating the close relationship between art, games and play then let loose in YSP’s incredible parkland.
A giant, fluorescent pink and orange striped inflatable, a shoal of Ice Age fish, and a VR encounter with the depths of the earth; six contemporary artists explore the less commonly-observed wonders of the Lake District.
Part of the Great Exhibition of the North 2018, We Are Where We Are is an exhibition of new and existing works by Liverpool Biennial Associate Artists.