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
Exploring the themes and technologies of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s breathtaking installation, Atmospheric Memory, FutureEverything has programmed a series of talks, walking tours and conversations at the Science and Industry Museum.
Curated with support from award-winning journalist Iona Craig, Yemen: Inside a Crisis at Imperial War Museum North offers a powerful look at one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.
Castlefield Gallery’s latest exhibition will cast visitors into a time warp of music and sound, featuring an array of copyright-expired archival material from across the last 100 years.
Join the artist family who’ve created new work for Dunham Massey and Quarry Bank for a day of marching, making and drumming at Central Library.
Providing a rare insight into the history of child labour in Cumbria, this eye-opening exhibition at Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry is not to be missed.
, 15 February–15 October 2019, free entry
Not only one of Britain’s most picturesque national parks, the Lake District is also brimming with culture. Here’s what not miss this summer.
Over the summer Dunham Massey will host two new works of art relating to the Peterloo Massacre. Two films that feature themes of rights, social change and responsibility will be shown on a regular basis thought July, August and September.
Cannon Hall’s historic pear collection and a new exhibition of work by renowned botanical artist Elisabeth Dowle makes for a perfect – and prescient – pairing.
In addition to the Rights of a Child exhibition Quarry Bank will host two new films that a based on conversations about rights, social change and responsibility. The newly commissioned art is part of the National Trust’s People’s Landscapes programme of events.
A new exhibition by artists Ruth Ewan and Oscar Murillo at YSP invites audiences to step back into the world of learning and reflect upon the importance of creativity within education.
As part of MIF 2019, acclaimed Cuban artist and activist Tania Bruguera will collaborate with local Manchester residents originally from other countries to challenge dominant societal expectations around cultural integration.
Could the air that surrounds us be used to access the voices of the past? For MIF 2019, Mexican-Canadian electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer sets out to investigate a captivating theory posited by the great 19th century English polymath Charles Babbage
Marking the 200-year-anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre, ‘Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest’ at People’s History Museum takes visitors on a journey through the past, present and future of protest in this country.
This summer, Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Cumbria marks the 200-year-anniversary of the great Victorian art critic and watercolourist, John Ruskin’s birth, with an exhibition dedicated to the turbulent skies above.
Refuge: The Art of Belonging at Abbot Hall in Cumbria serves as a vital reminder of the significance behind the common proverb: ‘Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Expect big things and colourful shapes at ZIG ZAG, a new exhibition by Atelier Bebop at Common Bar in the Northern Quarter.