Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor

This year sees the return of the British Textile Biennial, taking place across Lancashire – the birthplace of the cotton industry. Now in its second edition, the month-long festival will feature contributions from an impressive list of headliners, including Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid, actor Maxine Peake, fashion historian Amber Butchart, and fashion designer Patrick Grant, as well as a number of exciting early-career artists. Together, the broad range of commissions will investigate the global nature of textiles, and the thick and fibrous web of transatlantic connections engendered by their production, past and present.

From Lancashire to Yorkshire, we’re also looking forward to Annie Morris’ first major UK solo exhibition, When A Happy Thing Falls, at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The artist will fill the beautiful, light-flooded Weston Gallery with her iconic ‘Stacks’ – towering sculptures made of precariously balanced, luminous, boulder-like forms, which respond to themes of both grief and fragility, and hopeful affirmation.

Over in Merseyside, Liverpool-based artist Emily Speed’s major new commission, Flatland, at Tate Liverpool, explores flattened hierarchies and close-knit community structures. The film-installation responds to the English theologian Edwin A. Abbott’s famous 1884 novella, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, which satirised Victorian society and the role of women within it, inspiring generations of artists and scientists alike.

Closer to home, we’re delighted that The Pankhurst Centre – the country’s only museum dedicated to female suffrage – has reopened following a period of restoration works with a brand-new permanent display. At Home with the Pankhurst Family offers an intimate portrait of the people behind the Pankhurst name, and promises to reveal more about the Pankhursts as a family than has ever been previously explored in an exhibition.

Lastly, Counter-flow – a new exhibition at People’s History Museum by second-generation British/Hungarian artist Eva Mileusnic – leads visitors of all ages on a colourful and creative metaphorical journey around the world, examining the demographic shifts that take place between cultures. Accompanied by an associated series of free, weekly, artist-led workshops, if you’re looking for something to both inspire young minds and fill the school holidays, this is the ticket.

Here are our picks

More in Exhibitions

Damien Hirst at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions Until 1 April 2022, FREE

Damien Hirst at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Experience YBA artist Damien Hirst’s towering and provocative outdoor sculptures at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Trading Station: how hot drinks shape our lives – exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions Until 14 December 2021, FREE

Trading Station: how hot drinks shape our lives at Manchester Art Gallery

Trading Station at Manchester Art Gallery charts the history and changing social role of hot drinks in our lives.

These Lancashire Women are Witches in Politics with The Turnpike
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2022, FREE

These Lancashire Women are Witches in Politics with The Turnpike

A collaborative project that takes inspiration from the history of the Leigh Female Reformers of 1819 and the monstrous representations of them in the media of the time.

florence nightingale bicentenary: inspiration to genius
Exhibitions Until 17 October 2021,

Florence Nightingale Bicentenary: Inspiration to Genius

Florence Nightingale Bicentenary: Inspiration to Genius is an online exhibition exploring the life of Florence Nightingale and her connection to Lotherton Hall.

Joana Vasconcelos exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions Until 9 January 2022, FREE

Joana Vasconcelos at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents the monumental work of celebrated Portuguese sculptor Joana Vasconcelos.

Below the Salt Online Exhibition
Exhibitions Until 31 October 2021,

Below the Salt Online Exhibition

Below the Salt is an exhibition of new works by Catherine Bertola, shown alongside the first inventory of Temple Newsam House, made on 12 September 1520.

sounds of our city online exhibition
Exhibitions Until 31 December 2021,

Sounds of Our City Online Exhibition

The Sounds of Our City Online Exhibition gives you a chance to visit the current exhibition at Abbey House Museum virtually. Find out how the different musical styles and venues of Leeds interact.

What is Manchester Art Gallery?
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2023, FREE

What is Manchester Art Gallery? at Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery reopens with a thought-provoking new exhibition that delves into the history of the public institution and its role within the city.

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North
Exhibitions Until 26 September 2021, FREE

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North takes a close look at the moral dilemmas surrounding overseas aid.

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