Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor

Are you hipster enough to enter artist Max Dovey’s Hipster Bar? Can you imagine what Armageddon smells like? Want to learn how to grow your own hormones? Without doubt, one of the most weird and wonderful exhibitions to look forward to this November is humansbeingdigital at The Lowry – an eclectic meditation on what digital technology can (conversely) reveal about ourselves. By contrast, Digital Matters: The Earth Behind the Screen at CFCCA asks us to forget, for a moment, about what technology is doing to our brains, and instead consider its impact on the environment; exploring what role new media art can play in shaping this?

From one of the most contemporary art forms to one of the most ancient, Illuminate explores the popular theory that every story ever told can be boiled down to one of seven basic plots. The visually stunning immersive performance will see over 60 musicians, performers and collaborators transform Manchester Central Library with movement, sound and light, as it collectively seeks to shed light on the role that stories play in helping us to understand ourselves and our place in the world.

Over in Liverpool, an exhibition of work by Turner Prize 2017 nominee Lubaina Himid at Walker Art Gallery, powerfully addresses themes of race, gender and slavery. While Alfredo Jaar: The Garden of Good and Evil at YSP offers a striking encounter with one of the world’s most politically engaging artists today. Finally – talking of big art world names – the newly announced Liverpool Biennial 2018 artist list, leaves us even more excited about next year’s tenth edition of the UK’s largest festival of contemporary art than ever before.

Here are our picks

Culture Guides


Politics both personal and global make this month’s theatre guide, all backed up by the reassuring presence of Sherlock Holmes.


Featuring animation, fairy tales and festive cheer. Cosy up with some first-class cinema this winter.


Adventure and light are where it’s at. Chester Zoo is transformed into a magical sorting office, there’s detective heaven at the Secret Seven and we preview some alternative things to do and see this winter holiday.

Nicholas Royle. Credit Zoe McLean


Some fantastic live lit offerings, including the 13th Chorlton Book Festival, avant-garde regular Peter Barlow’s Cigarette showcasing some Forward Prize-winning work, Bad Language v Lit Up, Verbose and Evidently, and the annual glittering Manchester Prize Gala.


Manchester continues to serve up musical delights throughout its concert halls, dance halls, pub function rooms and former Wesleyan chapels. Highlights over the coming months include Thundercat, British Sea Power, Jesca Hoop and The Unthanks.

Destination Guides

Things to do right now

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Exhibitions 21 October 2017–7 January 2018, FREE

The Return of Memory at HOME

Exhibitions 23 June 2017–1 January 2018, from £4.00

Wyndham Lewis: Life, Art, War at IWM North

Exhibitions 23 September–19 November 2017, FREE

Changing Places at Quarry Bank

Exhibitions 30 September 2017–4 February 2018, FREE

Hetain Patel at Manchester Art Gallery