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Don’t Miss: Exhibitions and Art in the North West

North West

August signals the peak of Summer, a time usually filled with holidays abroad or lively music festivals –– but if you’re planning a quiet staycation, there is plenty of art and culture to be experienced, from new exhibitions and displays to upcoming events. Read on to find out which must-see displays are ending soon, and those to book in for a rainy day.


Lucien Freud: Real Lives at Tate Liverpool

Until 16th January 2022

Tate Liverpool have opened the long-awaited display of Lucien Freud’s portraiture. The British artist’s paintings often featured family, friends and lovers, with the ability to capture a personal intimacy and mood with his brushstrokes and colour. Real Lives brings together Freud’s sketches, prints and paintings to tell the story of his life’s work, from his earliest self portraits and still lives, to later studio settings and nudes. This captivating exhibition of Lucien Freud’s figurative art is open until January 2022 –– book online here.

Tickets are £10 or free for members, with concessions available. £5 tickets available for visitors aged 16-25 when you sign up to Tate Collective.


Zadie Xa: Moon Poetics 4 Courageous Earth Critters and Dangerous Day Dreamers at Leeds Art Gallery

Until 4th September 2021

A timely exhibition as we enter the most important decade for taking action on climate, Zadie Xa’s Moon Poetics 4 Courageous Earth Critters and dangerous Day Dreamers draws from research in ecology, science fiction and ancient religions, to explore “how beings inhabit and imagine their worlds”. The exhibition tells a story by five animal guides, who urge us to take action to save their environment, and ours –– creating a sensory narrative with a sculptural installation combined with soundscape and lighting.

Admission to Leeds Art Gallery is free.


Holo Programme 155 at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Until 22 August 2021

A new work by Liverpool artist Frances Disley commissioned by The Bluecoat, is on display at Walker Art Gallery just until the 22nd August. Disley’s work is immersive and human-centred, and “Holo Programme 155” is no exception – amazingly, taking inspiration from Star Trek’s ‘holodeck’. The work re-imagines the gallery as a space for wellbeing and recovery post-lockdown, and features a 20-minute guided visualisation clinically proven to relieve stress and pain.

Admission to the Walker Art Gallery is free.


Liverpool Biennial at The Bluecoat

Until 5th September 2021

The UK’s largest festival of contemporary art may have officially ended in June, but Liverpool Biennial’s displays continue at The Bluecoat in Liverpool until September. This year’s theme “The Stomach and the Port” explored the human body and its relationship to the world around us. The work on display around The Bluecoat includes paintings by Jadé Fadojutimi that explore how our environments shape our identities, as well as Jorgge Menna Barreto’s outdoor mural, illustrating edible weeds found around Liverpool. You can read more about the 2021 biennial here.

You can book free tickets to visit The Bluecoat online here.


British Textile Biennial, across Pennine Lancashire

1-31st October 2021

Something for those who like to plan ahead –– taking place against the landscape of the cotton industry across Pennine Lancashire, this year’s British Textile Biennial focuses on the globalisation of textiles, and the narratives and connections they weave. Spanning the month of October, the programme boasts projects and displays from a range of artists and research, from “Threads of Survival – 999 Call for the NHS”, a collection of quilts reflecting on the pandemic and the work of the NHS; to “Homegrown Homespun”, a regenerative fashion project that has seen a patch of land in Blackburn transformed into a field of flax and woad – to become woven linen and indigo dye for clothes.

The British Textile Biennial will take place in various locations across Pennine Lancashire.