Not an exhibition but a former home-turned-contemporary-art-centre earns its place at the top of our list of recommendations this month. The narrow soot-stained Georgian terrace in the village of Uppermill (Greater Manchester) near Saddleworth Moor, was the residence of the award-winning textile artist Joan Charnley for over 50 years, until her death in 2016 when she left the weavers’ cottage to two close neighbours with the wish that they should turn it into an ‘art house’. They have undoubtedly done her proud, the truly unique new gallery, which opened earlier this April, has been beautifully converted and an ambitious programme of socio-politically engaged exhibitions is already underway.
Witnessing art in a domestic setting can be very different to visiting a gallery; especially when it’s the home or studio of the maker themselves. Open Up Sheffield – the largest event of its kind outside of London – offers just such an experience. For two weekends in May, artists across the city and South Yorkshire region will be opening their doors to the public, providing demonstrations of their practice, practical workshops, or simply the chance to view, discuss, purchase or commission new works.
Over in Hull, the first major UK institutional presentation of work by Canadian-born artist Athena Papadopoulos marks an exciting start to Humber Street Gallery’s spring 2019 programme. Spanning sound installation, costume design, performance and sculpture (made from her characteristic mix of edible, cosmetic and medicinal materials), A Tittle-Tattle Tell-A-Tale Heart represents a highly immersive realisation of Papadopoulos’s recently published handwritten and drawn novel of the same title – and is not to be missed.
Survey at Bluecoat in Liverpool constitutes Jerwood Arts’ largest review of contemporary art practice in 12 years and is the only northwest based presentation of the touring exhibition. Known for its legacy of working with artists that demonstrate outstanding potential within the first five years of their career, this is the place to encounter new work by some of the most exciting, upcoming names of today.
Lastly, take a break from the galleries and make the most of spring. Head over to the Lake District for an afternoon ‘messing about in boats’ at the newly opened Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories. Elegantly designed by the RIBA award-winning architectural practice, Carmody Groake, the building is a treat alone.
Here are our picks
Survey at Bluecoat will offer a major study of new work by early career artists from across the UK. The exhibition is the largest review of contemporary art practice in Jerwood Visual Art’s 12 years of programming, spanning a breadth of disciplines including film, performance, and painting.
One of the largest and most successful open studio events outside of London, Open Up Sheffield presents a rare opportunity to meet a diverse range of artists and makers from across the South Yorkshire region and to watch them at their work.
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.
AFTERLIFES | Hannah Farrell, 27 March–27 April 2019, free entry - Visit now
A new solo exhibition by Hannah Farrell spanning all of Caustic Coastal’s exhibition spaces, Afterlifes is an exploration of ‘image’ in three parts. The show will also include a new public art commission on the gallery’s front facade.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
This latest exhibition uses the Whitworth’s extensive and significant wallpaper collection to focus on how Imperial attitudes to people are reflected in wallpaper.
Grounded in a more poetic, ‘geological’ sense of time, the eminent Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone stands apart from the everyday concerns of the modern world. Experience his work at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
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.
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.
One of the headline events from last year’s Manchester Science Festival, this super-charged exhibition tells the story of our quest to understand, unlock and master the power of electricity.