With the unpredictable British summer, you can never be quite sure if that picnic in the park will work out but keep in mind that this season is also filled with fresh, exciting art for you to see all around the North! From shows tackling serious environmental issues to those closer to a playground than a white cube, this month brings art treats for all ages.
Starting off with a fun option for younger visitors, Liverpool’s Bluecoat gallery has just opened Are You Messin’?, a playful display co-created by artists with children from local primary schools.
Further North, at the Henry Moore Institute, you’ll find Lungiswa Gqunta: Sleep in Witness, the artist’s largest show to date exploring the violent legacy of colonialism and revealing the hidden modes of oppression of South African people of colour. Gqunta’s use of materials is original and genuinely unexpected, making it a true highlight of this summer’s art calendar.
Staying with more political subject matter, Carolina Caycedo’s exhibition Land of Friends at the BALTIC includes a brand new, locally-inspired commission focusing on the River Tyne. The artist prioritises communities in her artistic process, in order to reveal the hardships faced by people directly affected by environmental injustice.
Salford Museum & Art Gallery is hosting a mesmerising display of drawings from Rachel Goodyear. Having exhibited all around the country and abroad, Stirrings is a chance to finally see Goodyear’s fantastical pieces in Salford, where she has worked and developed as an artist for 20 years.
Taking inspiration from the flow of water, particularly the local River Bollin, Jen Southern has created five videos for the installation Gathering Downstream currently on display at National Trust’s Quarry Bank. The piece explores environmental change and disruption as well as the legacy of the industrial revolution in and around the site.
If you’re in the market for some brand new artwork from the local art scene, pop down to Castlefield Gallery to check out PIVOT: Editions. This bold display of affordable, editioned work presents art from five emerging artists, with the added bonus of being able to take it home.
Here are our picks
The Bluecoat’s new offering for younger visitors is the perfect way to spend a family day out, from touchable installations and relaxation spaces to a reading room – your little ones might not want to leave!
Admire Rachel Goodyear’s skilful drawings peppered with symbolism and mythological references at her ‘homecoming’ home this summer, on display at Salford Museum & Art Gallery.
Are you thinking about starting an art collection? Perhaps you want to add something new to an existing one? Whether or not you’re looking to purchase a new piece of art, check out Castlefield Gallery’s new display PIVOT: Editions, offering the work of five artists from the North-West.
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.