Organising an exhibition in collaboration with a dance company might not be the most obvious of premises – but Perpetual Movement, curated by The Lowry and Rambert, Britain’s oldest dance company, looks set to be the excellent, genre-bending result. Featuring work by international artists (including an immersive LED installation and a candle infused with 23 scents that can be found in space) alongside objects, footage and costumes from Rambert’s archive, the show is an homage to founder Marie Rambert’s philosophy of pursuing constant change in art and ideas. The much-anticipated return of the Manchester Science Festival also sees a fusion of disciplines: brilliantly combining science, art, play and even food, the ten-day programme undoubtedly does justice to England’s largest science festival on its tenth anniversary with a sleep lab in the Manchester Arndale, birthday party, Bond-esque gambling event, incredible-sounding exhibition of microclimates and more.
Over at the Whitworth, leading contemporary British artist Idris Khan has a solo exhibition of seminal works including The Rite of Spring, created from layering photographs of the entire score of Stravinsky’s controversial masterpiece. Here, Khan is thinking about how music, a durational medium when performed, might be represented within the moment of an image – thus colliding facets of two different art forms. So, as neon is recontextualised at the Grundy and the shifting identities of Manchester are related back to its history in the Humanities in Public festival – it’s an exciting, boundary transcending time for art in the city.
Here are our top 5 picks
This brilliant, twisted exhibition of entirely new work by Rachel Maclean, the artist who will be representing Scotland at the 2017 Venice Biennale, contains videos of subverted fairy tales, prints of violence in Barbie-doll colours and hybrid sculptures of cutesy monsters blended with bored commuters. Unnerving, provocative and highly unusual, HOME‘s latest major exhibition is not to be missed.
This stunning exhibition will have you looking at museum specimens an entirely new way – through stereoscopic photography. Developed in the 1800s, this technique makes objects appear three dimensional; used by artist and photographer Jim Naughten, it’s a wonderful showcase of key pieces in Manchester Museum‘s collection.
It’s the tenth anniversary of the Manchester Science Festival – so it’s no wonder that the Museum of Science and Industry team behind it have pulled out all the stops. The ten-day programme is packed with superb events that brilliantly combine discovery and fun: adults can don a cocktail dress and understand the psychology behind gambling, find out about how whisky is made (while tasting it), and snooze in a sleep lab in the Manchester Arndale. The family programme is exceptional, too, with events like The Philosopher’s Scone a chance to taste the treats from Harry Potter alongside a special screening. Read our full guide for more, and get booking – things are already selling out.
The first ever LightPool Festival is a celebration of art and light in Blackpool, a town that has a long, illuminated history. Featuring a trail across town of art works, street fire performances and much more, LightPool Festival offers the perfect excuse to visit Blackpool during the annual Illuminations.
A candle infused with 23 unique scents from space – including ‘burnt gunpowder’ for the moon and an ‘old penny’ for Mars – will be burnt at the finale of this major new exhibition at The Lowry. Part of a nationwide programme marking the Rambert dance company’s 90th anniversary, Perpetual Movement brings together work by international artists with objects, footage and costumes from the Rambert archives to showcase the relationship between contemporary art and dance. Featuring Rambert’s first ever digital artists in residence, an immersive LED installation, and a performance piece that combines music, costume, performance, choreography and art, Perpetual Movement looks set to be endlessly inventive.
With Rising Stars and World Literature, nothing says October in the Rainy City like Manchester Literature Festival. As we enter the final furlongs, there are still tickets available for some events, from creative non-fiction to a canalside special commission. And once MLF is over, Manchester Science Festival will be chemically enhancing words with poems about the periodic table.