The cult of science, technology and ‘progress’ may dominate the western world today, but what can the myths and fables of the past tell us about our present? Such a question is perhaps what unites the work of the eminent American filmmaker Ericka Beckman and London-based video artist Marianna Simnett, who both look to the classic fairy tales that our society has inherited to examine the ways in which women and the female body are treated within the digital age. Their upcoming duo-exhibition at FACT in Liverpool signals a strong start to the organisation’s year-long programme focusing on identity, representation and gender.
Artist, curator, educator and occasional DJ, Barby Asante, also draws upon history in her attempts to affect the conditions of our current and future world. Declaration of Independence at Baltic, Gateshead, forms the latest instalment in her ongoing project exploring the social, cultural and political agency of womxn of colour within the socio-political climate of the now and as shaped by the legacies of slavery and colonialism. Rather than a traditional gallery, prepare to enter a ‘performative forum’ designed to mirror the conference and assembly spaces used to negotiate key moments throughout the centuries.
The Cooper Gallery in Barnsley looks back in time on a more literal level with an exhibition of award-winning astrophotography organised to mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing. While Gallery Oldham celebrates the work and legacy of the renowned 19th century painter William Stott, who was born in the town to a family of cotton spinners before going onto light up Paris.
And, as part of its spring/summer season, the Lowry in Salford brings us back to the present with a ‘live exhibition’ by British-Irish choreographer Joe Moran examining the relationship between contemporary art and dance – via a combination of performance, film and spray paint.
Here are our picks
A duo-exhibition of work by the eminent American filmmaker Ericka Beckman and rising London-based video artist Marianna Simnett marks a strong start to FACT’s year-long season focusing on identity, representation and gender.
Responding to the impact of the legacies of slavery and colonialism upon the present, ‘Declaration of Independence’ at Baltic in Gateshead will exist as a performative forum designed to help us rethink our understanding of monumental moments in world history.
For EDIT.04, British-Irish choreographer Joe Moran prepares to transform The Lowry’s gallery space into a ‘live exhibition’ combining performance, film and spray paint drawing.
Exactly 120 years after his death, the work of the world-renowned William Stott of Oldham returns to his hometown as part of an exhibition dedicated to his legacy.
As one of Liverpool’s lesser known gems prepares to reopen its doors for 2019, we look forward to encountering a rare series of photographs only recently discovered by chance in the cluttered darkroom of the Hardmans’ former, perfectly-preserved home.
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, The Cooper Gallery in Barnsley presents an exhibition celebrating some of the most beautiful and spectacular visions of the cosmos taken by astrophotographers around the world.
Following on from Chiharu Shiota’s monumental web installation, South Korean artist Kimsooja prepares to fill Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s 18th century chapel with iridescent light. Prepare to step into a deeply meditative space, underpinned by eastern notions of the Void.
Presented at venues across Manchester, Sixteen is a nationwide photographic project that gives voice to the next generation of young people across Great Britain, who will live in a politically reshaped country divorced from the European Union.
Kannan Arunasalam: The Tent at The Tetley explores the lasting impact of the civil war that raged in Sri Lanka for over 25 years, claiming the lives of an estimated 80,000-100,000 people and leading to the forced disappearance of more than 20,000 ethnic Tamils.
The Holden Gallery presents Simeon Barclay: Life Room, featuring new work by an artist from Huddersfield who discovered glamour, theatricality and a sense of aspiration between the pages of ‘Vogue’, and a love for industrial fabricating techniques during 16 years spent on the factory floor.
The Piece Hall in Halifax prepares to unveil ‘The Blanket’ – a new large-scale outdoor artwork by British sculptor David Murphy – which will occupy the centre of the former textile hall’s sweeping Georgian courtyard.
The Whitworth presents a quiet, yet arrestingly beautiful series of hand-coloured photographs taken by China’s first conceptual artist, Li Yuan Chia, nearing the end of his life.
Tate Liverpool presents a new commission by Venezuelan-born, Berlin-based artist Sol Calero, whose brightly coloured, large-scale immersive installations offer a sharply satirical critique of the surreal set of stereotypes and clichés attached to different cultures.
Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool prepares to present its blockbuster exhibition of 2019, dedicated to the life and work of the Glaswegian artist, architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh – father of the UK’s part in the international Art Nouveau movement.
, 18 January 2019–3 May 2020, free entry
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.
Following the huge success of ‘Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson Curates’ in 2016, world-renowned ceramicist Magdalene Odundo prepares to present her own entirely distinct perspective on world art history in her new exhibition, ‘The Journey of Things’ at The Hepworth Wakefield.
There were over 150 art schools in England in the mid-1960s; now most of them are closed or absorbed into other institutions. Bluecoat’s new exhibition, ‘The Art Schools of North West England’, asks: What did it mean to have an art school in every town and what can we learn by discovering their fate?
Salford Makers SHOP, 311 - 313 Chapel Street, Salford, Manchester, M3 5JY - Visit now
Support your local independent creatives! This November, a currently dormant sales office on Chapel Street in Salford is being transformed into a pop-up shop where you will be able to meet artists and makers, buy their products and get involved in making.
Away from the buzz of London, Manchester and Salford arguably have one of the highest concentrations of fantastic art galleries in England. Check out our updated guide.
This autumn, learn about the inspiring life of Miss Adelaide Watt – an independent and powerful Victorian woman who fought the forces of modernity to preserve Speke Hall and all its treasures for generations to come.
Site Gallery, 1 Brown Street, Sheffield, Yorkshire, S1 2BS - Visit now
After a three-year long £1.7 million expansion and redevelopment project, Sheffield’s leading international contemporary art space reopens this Autumn – and everyone’s very excited to see what the new Site Gallery holds in store.
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.
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.
Exchanges at The Whitworth sets art and artists together, sometimes in harmony, sometimes in opposition – always with insight and intention.
This latest exhibition uses the Whitworth’s extensive and significant wallpaper collection to focus on how Imperial attitudes to people are reflected in wallpaper.
What do public museums collect and why? Which works become highlights, and which lie forgotten in storage? Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition at Manchester Art Gallery considers how public museums reflect and shape our collective imagination.
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.
Modern Nature: British Photographs from the Hyman Collection at The Hepworth Wakefield is a new exhibition of images by leading British photographers, which explores our evolving relationship with the natural world and how this shapes individuals and communities.
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.
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.
Make tracks for Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum. A one-in-a-lifetime chance to see Stephenson’s Rocket return to the site of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway for the first time in over 180 years.