Though we were very sad to see Chiharu Shiota’s monumental web-installation at Yorkshire Sculpture Park draw to a close at the end of last year, the blow has been softened by anticipation of what South Korean artist Kimsooja will do with the historic chapel. Going by her renowned use of iridescent light and mesmerising sound, visitors can expect to step into a deeply meditative space of communal contemplation informed by eastern notions of the Void.
From the serene calm of Kimsooja’s work to the turmoil of adolescence, a nationwide project documenting the lives, aspirations, hopes and dreams of 16-year-olds today will launch in Manchester this February; giving voice to a generation of young people entering adulthood on the eve of Britain’s divorce from Europe.
Turmoil is given new meaning in Kannan Arunasalam’s The Tent at The Tetley which reflects on the experiences of mothers and wives in Sri Lanka campaigning for an investigation into the enforced disappearance of their relatives – just some of the tens of thousands of ethnic Tamils who ‘went missing’ during the country’s 25-year-long civil war a decade ago.
Simeon Barclay: Life Room at The Holden Gallery features new work by an artist from West Yorkshire who escaped the reality of life in his small town through the glamour, theatricality and aspiration he discovered between the pages of Vogue. Barclay entered the contemporary art world after 16 years spent working in manufacturing on the factory floor, and has since exhibited around the world, with a solo show at Tate Britain in 2017.
Lastly, David Bethell’s exhibition Fleeting Flights at HOME continues the theme of escape, centring around one man’s attempt to break free from his own self-induced purgatory by building a wooden balloon. Could the sense of ambition, futility, folly and hope speak to the present age?
Here are our picks
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.
Combining ambition and futility, folly and hope; will British artist David Bethell’s wooden balloon speak to our current age? The artist’s wonderfully enigmatic exhibition Fleeting Flights at HOME looks set to mark an exciting new point in his career.
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.
Tate Liverpool presents the first major UK exhibition in 30 years of renowned modern artist Fernand Léger’s work, exploring how the iconic French painter, sculptor and filmmaker redefined the value of art to 20th century society.
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.
Curated by Newport-born artist Leo Fitzmaurice, ‘Between You and Me Everything Else’ at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool is an invitation to approach the age-old genre of portraiture through fresh, curious eyes.
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.
To mark its 250th birthday, the Royal Academy of Arts in London has launched a nationwide programme of exhibitions, displays, tours, talks and one-off events. Here we take a look at what’s going on in Salford – home of RA LS Lowry and now a growing independent art scene.
Lest We Forget marks the first instalment of a major new season of exhibitions, music, dance, talks and events at IWM London and IWM North exploring how the First World War has shaped society today.
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.
Salford Museum & Art Gallery and Ordsall Hall delve into their collections to present a two-part exhibition featuring significant prints, drawings and sculptures by former Royal Academicians as part of a nationwide programme marking the institution’s 250th birthday.
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.
Thread Bearing Witness at the Whitworth is a major new series of large textiles and other works by Alice Kettle, a highly regarded contemporary artist who focuses upon stitch. The exhibition considers the themes of cultural heritage, refugee displacement and movement though the migration of stitches.
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.