Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Maja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor

We focus on Manchester and Yorkshire this month, with new shows large and small that are worth travelling for!

Fans of craft will be delighted to see the third edition of Harewood Biennial: Create/ Elevate, celebrating local and international artists coming together to display their skills and vision for how craft can be utilised in contemporary contexts. Also harnessing the power of traditional craft is Jenny Steele in her show of textile works Rituals: WIP (Weaving in Progress) at Rogue Studios. John Lyons’ retrospective Carnivalesque at The Whitworth celebrates six decades of the artist’s unstoppable creative mind.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park opens Bharti Kher: Alchemies. Mythology meets realism and symbolic materials in the body of work that spans over two decades of the artist’s oeuvre. Mohammad Barrangi’s One Night, One Dream, Life in the Lighthouse at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery invites viewers into a story where personal memories and fantasy combine to create a captivating narrative in print, installation and sound.

At HOME, Matthew Bamber presents a selection of his digital collages in Dream Home, an exploration of queerness through the language of domesticity.

Our top picks

RITUALS: WIP (Weaving in Progress) at Rogue Studios

RITUALS: WIP (Weaving in Progress), Jenny Steele & Gorton Weavers at Rogue Artists’ Studios, Manchester, Until 29 June 2024, free entry - Visit now

Jenny Steel and weavers from her local area of Gorton have created two large-scale sculptures for this bright and colourful open studio exhibition.

Large jewel coloured handmade tassels in shades of turquoise, red and orange
Jenny Steele

John Lyons: Carnivalesque at The Whitworth

John Lyons at The Whitworth, Manchester, Until 25 August 2024, free entry - Visit now

John Lyons’ retrospective at The Whitworth honours the artist’s endless creativity and showcases six decades of painting and writing.

oil paining in a expressive style, three standing figues are the main focus with an owl flying above the central figure at the top of the image.
John Lyons, Mama Look a Mas Passin, detail, 1990. (Oil on canvas, 1270 x 1020mm) Courtesy of the artist © John Lyons. Photo: Anne-Katrin Purkiss

Harewood Biennial 2024: Create/Elevate at Harewood House

Harewood Biennial 2024: Create/Elevate at Harewood House, Leeds, 28 June–20 October 2024, from £14.00 - Book now

Visit the third edition of the Create/ Elevate, the craft biennial that connects generations and continents.

a large room filled with colourful artworks of all shapes and sizes
Image supplied by Leeds Inspired

Mohammad Barrangi: One Night, One Dream, Life in the Lighthouse at Stanley & Audrey Gallery

Mohammad Barrangi: One Night, One Dream, Life in the Lighthouse at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, Leeds, Until 20 July 2024, free entry - Visit now

Mohammad Barrangi’s unique printmaking techniques imbued with a strong narrative makes for a captivating show.

An almost identical mirror image split vertically, showing two women's heads on abstracted bodies, with foliage emerging from their heads, printed on grainy, textured paper in muted blues, reds, yellows and black
Mohammad Barrangi

Bharti Kher: Alchemies at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Bharti Kher: Alchemies at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Yorkshire, 22 June 2024–27 April 2025, from £0.00 - Book now

One of the world’s leading contemporary artists, Bharti Kher comes to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park with a body of work that focuses on the female experience and its shifting context in today’s world.

Sculpture of a nude woman with the head of a cow placed on top of the woman's head
Bharti Kher, Animus Mundi (detail), 2018. © Bharti Kher. Courtesy of the artist and Nature Morte. Photo © Jeetin Sharma.

Matthew Bamber: Dream Home at HOME

Matthew Bamber: Dream Home at HOME Manchester, Manchester, Until 1 September 2024, free entry - Visit now

Matthew Bamber explores themes of queerness, domesticity and power in this new show of digital collages.

Matthew Bamber, Dream Home (Sleep), 2023
Matthew Bamber, Dream Home (Sleep), 2023

Paul Maheke: To Be Blindly Hopeful at Mostyn

Paul Maheke: To Be Blindly Hopeful at MOSTYN in Llandudno, Wales, Wales, Until 29 June 2024, free entry - Visit now

Hope shines through darkness in Paul Maheke’s solo show at Mostyn, where intimate histories meet expansive gestures.

An installation view of Paul Maheke's exhibition at Mostyn.
Paul Maheke, To Be Blindly Hopeful, Installation view at Mostyn, 2024. Image: Rob Battersby.

The Lives of Artists – Michelle Williams Gamaker: Our Mountains Are Painted on Glass at the Bluecoat

Michelle Williams Gamaker: Our Mountains Are Painted on Glass at Bluecoat, Liverpool, Until 30 June 2024, free entry - Visit now

Michelle Williams Gameker attempts to right the wrongs of the past in this retelling of a classic film.

Michelle Williams Gamaker
Michelle Williams Gamaker

Bees: A Story of Survival at World Museum Liverpool

Bees: A Story of Survival at World Museum Liverpool, Liverpool, Until 5 May 2025, from £0.00 - Book now

Take a closer look at the lives of bees and their vital role in human existence, in this immersive exhibition created in partnership with artist Wolfgang Buttress.

Bees: A Story of Survival at World Museum Liverpool
© Photo by Pete Carr - Render by Battlecat and Wolfgang Buttress Studios

The Vasseur Baltic Artists’ Award – Joanne Coates: Middle of Somewhere at Baltic

Joanne Coates | The Vasseur Baltic Artists' Award | Middle of Somewhere at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, North East, Until 17 November 2024, free entry - Visit now

The photographer celebrates the people who live and work in the countryside (with a special focus on women) in her keenly observed portraits.

A woman sits on a rock in the countryside. There are green hills and landscape in the back ground.
Aisling on her home croft, Hoy before having to move to the nearby town of Stromness. Middle of Somewhere. Joanne Coates. 2023.

Sylvia Snowden: Painting Humanity at the Hepworth Wakefield

Sylvia Snowden: Painting Humanity at The Hepworth Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Until 3 November 2024, from £0.00 - Book now

Experience paint in its purest form through Sylvia Snowden’s impasto canvases using both abstraction and figuration to explore what it means to be human.

Installation image of Sylvia Snowden: Painting Humanity, March 2024
Anya Fiáine-Fox

Claude Cahun: Beneath this Mask at Abbot Hall Art Gallery

Claude Cahun: Beneath this Mask at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Cumbria, Until 3 August 2024, from £0.00 - Book now

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Cahun’s photographs gathered here depict different people. They are, in fact, performative self-portraits, veiling the artist/ model with props, compositions and photography techniques to create new personas.

Claude Cahun mirrored self portrait
Jersey Heritage

Leilah Babirye: Obumu (Unity) at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Leilah Babirye: Obumu (Unity) at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Yorkshire, Until 8 September 2024, free entry - Visit now

Babirye’s transformative process turns other people’s rubbish into her beautifully bold sculptures. The show gathers a new body of work created during a residency at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Unity Sculptures
Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Fragile Microbiomes at Thackray Museum of Medicine

Fragile Microbiomes at Thackray Museum of Medicine, Leeds, Until 23 June 2024, from £8.95 - Book now

Bio artist Anna Dumitriu facilitates an unlikely collaboration – in ‘Fragile Microbiomes’ bacteria work with textiles and other materials to create fascinating multi-layered artefacts.

The Plague Dress - Fragile Microbiomes - Thackray Museum of Medicine
Jo Ritchie (Chapter 81)

Yukihiro Akama: Basho no Kankaku – A Sense of Place 場所の感覚 at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yukihiro Akama: Basho no Kankaku – A Sense of Place 場所の感覚 at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Yorkshire, Until 30 June 2024, free entry - Visit now

Feel right at home at YSP’s new show by Yukihiro Akama, an artist entirely dedicated to his craft of woodcarving beautiful, gem-like miniature houses.

A selection of small carved wooden houses
Photo: Red Photography, courtesy YSP.

40 Years of the Future: Painting at Castlefield Gallery

40 Years of the Future: Painting at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, Until 23 June 2024, free entry - Visit now

The first part of Castlefield Gallery’s anniversary celebrations is all about painting as previously shown artists come back to the space to show work alongside emerging local painters.

An abstract painting with white and colourful marks on a red canvas
Gary Wragg, Skid (1984). Photographed by Paul Tucker, image courtesy of the artist

More exhibitions events

Photo on violin covered in flora and fauna
ExhibitionsManchester
Nature’s Music at Manchester Museum

View Manchester Museum’s collections in a new light as the RNCM delivers an immersive show that places live ensembles among the museum’s most iconic spaces.

from £6.00
Spotlight on

Father's Day in Manchester and the North

This year's Father's Day is Sunday 16 June. Get out and about and spend some quality time with the old man in Manchester.

Take me there

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

HOME Manchester
Manchester
Theatre
HOME Manchester

Offering a packed schedule of events and things to do, HOME Manchester is one of the city’s leading hubs for arts and culture.

The Hepworth Wakefield
Wakefield
Gallery
The Hepworth Wakefield

Winner of the 2017 Art Fund Museum of the Year Award, The Hepworth in Wakefield is easily one of the leading cultural highlights of the North.

The Whitworth
Manchester
Gallery
The Whitworth

This much-loved gallery-in-a-park is open for business, showcasing some of the city’s finest contemporary and historic exhibitions.

Waterfront
Museum
The British Music Experience

It’s a discotheque for the senses, an incredible collection of artefacts and memorabilia, audio guides, music and stories. There are iconic costumes worn by David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Dusty Springfield, the Spice Girls and Adam Ant, and musical instruments played by some of the world’s most renowned artists from Noel Gallagher to the Sex Pistols.

Culture Guides