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Image © The Whitworth via Facebook

Manchester’s Top Exhibitions this Summer

16 July 2019 | Sam Waller

Summer isn’t all sunshine, beer gardens and wasp attacks. Whilst it’d be nice to think that the next few months will be one long Enid Blyton novel filled with endless outdoor escapades, the harsh truth is that it’ll probably rain a lot more than you'd like it to. Luckily the various art galleries of Manchester have outdone themselves with some stellar exhibitions to help while away those wet afternoons (or maybe provide much needed shade should the sun make a rare appearance). 


Image credit: Manchester International Festival via Facebook
David Lynch – My Head is Disconnected
Now - 29 September 

David Lynch, the director behind such mind-melting classics as EraserheadTwin Peaks and Mullholland Drive, has many strings to his bow – and whilst he might be known for his film and television exploits, he’s also been churning out all manner of paintings, sculptures and photographs since right back in the 1960s. 

The curiously-titled My Head is Disconnected is the first major UK exhibition of this work, and will feature over 60 of his artistic creations, grouped together under such themes as City on Fire, Industrial Empire and Bedtime Stories.

Along with all this, Home are showing each and every one of David’s films (as well as a selection of some of his favourites). Truly something for everyone… providing you’re a David Lynch fan, obviously. 

Find it at: Home, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, M15 4FN 

Pearl Alcock
Now - 12 January 2020 

Meanwhile, in the Whitworth, there’s loads of drawings and paintings by a woman by the name of Pearl Alcock. Born in Jamaica… once the proprietor of an illegal shebeen… Pearl’s story is a long and winding road, but to keep things brief, she got into drawing in the late 80s when she was on the dole, she couldn’t afford a birthday card for her friend and her only choice was to break out the crayons.

Often categorised as an outsider artist due to her lack of formal training, Pearl’s works are a technicolour jolt not too dissimilar to that strange taste you get when you lick a nine volt battery. 

Find it at: Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6ER 

Liam Fallon - Supersymetry
26 July - 7 September 

The Turnpike is an independent art gallery in the Greater Manchester town of Leigh. Housed in a bold Brutalist building built back in 1971, this place isn’t your usual small-town gallery, and has put on some pretty forward-thinking displays of contemporary art over the last couple of years.

This summer they’ll be hosting the first solo exhibition of a young and highly-skilled sculpture master called Liam Fallon. This chap uses traditional techniques like casting and welding to make some particularly modern chunks of art. Bright colours… big bits of metal… it should be good.

Find it at: The Turnpike, Civic Square, Leigh, WN7 1EB 


Image credit: Manchester Art Gallery
And Breathe...
Now - 27 October 

Seeking solace from fast-paced inner-city life? Manchester Art Gallery might have the answer. Made in cahoots with Start in Manchester, Manchester Mind and the pupils of Charlestown Community Primary School, And Breathe... looks at the links between art and mindfulness.

Not only is there some cracking paintings by people like Paul Nash and Gwen John, but everything  from the height the pictures have been hung at to the shade of paint used on the walls has been carefully considered to make this the most relaxed and laid-back exhibition possible.

Take along a flask of Horlicks for full effect.

Find it at: Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL 

Agents of Change - The John Ruskin Prize
Now - 24 August (Open Wednesday - Saturday, 12 - 6pm) 

Named after the Victorian art critic, patron and general master-of-all-trades, the John Ruskin Prize is reportedly, “the fastest growing multi-disciplinary art prize in the UK.” Featuring work from 41 artists whittled down from over 1000 entrants, the shortlist exhibition Agents of Change is set to be a prime window into what art can look like in 2019.

Find it at: The Holden Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University, Grosvenor Building, Cavendish Street, M15 6BR 
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