Top 10 Art Exhibitions & Events In Manchester: Nov-Dec '16

From bearded brutes to miners' roots, here's our pick of the best exhibitions in Manchester for November-December

Written by  Confidential Staff | Follow @ | Tuesday, 1 November 2016 10:06

BELOW you'll find ten of the best art exhibtions and events in and around Manchester throughout November and December. Not your bag? Well then how about the Top 10 Gigs & Concerts or Top 10 Theatre and Comedy shows?


ROOTED | Cervantes Institute | 19 October 2016 - 31 January 2017

Pierre Gonnord has garnered worldwide acclaim for his evocative portraits of people on the edge of society: from the homeless to the destitute to the gypsy community. His latest project, five years in the making, focuses on Spain’s ‘last’ coalminers; whose cramped working days up to 2300ft below ground are belied by the pastoral idyll of Castilla y Leon and Asturia. Inspired by the painters of old, Gonnord’s portraits are stark yet compassionate at once.   

326/330 Deansgate, Campfield Avenue Arcade, M3 4FN (10am-5.30pm; free).



As part of Manchester’s European City of Science programme, John Rylands are showcasing some of the library’s extensive science collections. Tomes that would otherwise be hidden from view present a unique, historical perspective on everything from medicine to astronomy; expect to see Charles Darwin as an ape, amongst other things. Located in the reading room, it’s also a great opportunity to gawp at the spectacular neo-Gothic interior. 

John Rylands, 150 Deansgate, M3 3EH (Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Mon-Sun from 12pm; free). 


FROM SLOW TO STOP | Holden Gallery | 24 October - 16 December

We now absorb twice the amount of information in two months than our grandparents did in a lifetime, and the pace of 21st century life shows more sign of accelerating than slowing: no wonder epidemics like stress and ‘time poverty’ are on the rise. This exhibition seeks out the static, the moments of calm amongst the freneticism; from passengers waiting to board a plane to a group of Nigerian oil workers waiting out a downpour. 

Holden Gallery, MMU, Grosvenor Building, Cavendish Street, M15 6BR (Mon-Fri 10am-4.30pm, Thur until 7pm; free).


CHANGING THE LANDSCAPE | Central Library | 24 October 2016 - 3 March 2017

In May 1916, rifleman Barney Griew, a 20 year-old furniture maker from Hackney, wrote from the Western Front that he felt relatively safe in front of the trenches - but the Battle of the Somme was to take the talented mapmaker as one of its first victims. Having sent home over 180 illustrated letters, photos and postcards, Griew’s account of the battle’s beginnings is one of the most comprehensive on record; now shown in a poignant display by his great niece Sarah Kogan. 

Central Library, St Peter's Square, M2 5PD (Mon-Thurs 9am-8pm, Fri-Sat until 5pm; free). 

PROMISING HOME | People’s History Museum | 29 October 2016 - 15 January 2017

What is the value of a council estate? Who owns it and what is it really worth? Why is the media portrayal of estates often so different from the more optimistic views of their residents? In an era of increasing homelessness and a shortage of affordable housing, why are we replacing ‘good council housing with private new builds’? Just some of the controversial questions asked in PHM’s probing new exhibition - one to visit with your thinking cap on. 

People’s Left Bank, Spinningfields, M3 3ER (10am-6pm; free).


HARD FOCUS | Nightlight Darkroom | 2-10 November

Salford’s brand new analogue photography space - one of very few publicly-available colour darkrooms in the UK - is celebrating its opening with a group exhibition, examining the role of contemporary photography via eleven artists and an accompanying symposium on Saturday 5 November. This will explore the disappearing art of physical photography in an increasingly digitised space, from the loss of paper billboards and family albums to a series of pixels on ‘glitchy fragile devices’. 

Nightlight Darkroom, ArtWork Atelier, 95 Greengate, Salford, M3 7NG (10am-5pm; free). 

PUPPET MASTERS RETURN | Sale Waterside Arts Centre | 5 November 2016 - 14 January 2017

It was such a stonking success last year that Aardman Studios are returning to Sale with their Puppet Masters exhibition as part of the Manchester Animation Festival. Featuring puppets, props and production artwork from famous Aardman titles such as Wallace and Gromit,The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! and Timmy Time, the exhibition presents a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into some of our favourite stop motion characters. 

Sale Waterside Arts Centre, 1 Waterside Plaza, Sale, M33 7ZF (Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; free).


BEARDED BRUTES | HOME | 11 November 2016 - 22 January 2017

Bearded Brutes may be ‘an offbeat insight into juxtapositions of modern masculinity’ but it’s also an aesthetic spectacle. Mark Leeming was photographer, make-up artist, art director and stylist for this project: the result is a candy-coloured labour of love that bursts with glitz, glamour and some rather sparkly beards. It’s not the only colourful event that season either, as the Queer Media Festival returns for its third year.   

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, M15 4FN (Tues-Sat 12-8pm, Sun until 6pm; free). 


SEQUESTER | Aatma | 18-19 November

Local print artist Edward Rex highlights society’s descent into me-ism in this apocalyptic exhibition, following the release of his Blueprints for Preservation earlier this year; an arty tome of ‘easy to follow instructions for the imminent restructure of the human race.’ His bold, thought-provoking visuals will be accompanied by musician Nev Cottee’s Night Visions. Sequester begins at 7.30pm on Friday with free drinks and - for the first twenty guests - the opportunity to bag one of Edward’s original limited edition artworks. 

Aatma Gallery, 14-16 Faraday Street, M1 1BE (Fri 7.30pm, Sat 12-6pm; free). 


ARTIST ROOMS: ANDY WARHOL | The Whitworth | 19 November 2016 - 16 April 2017

ARTIST ROOMS, a collection of international modern and contemporary art owned by National Galleries of Scotland and Tate, views pop artist Andy Warhol through the lenses of death, politics and identity in this unique  exhibition: particularly relevant as Warhol was shot by one of his own entourage, feminist Valerie Solanas, and revived via open heart massage. Unsurprisingly his encounter with the grim reaper, alongside the ironic American dream, influenced much of his later work. 

The Whitworth, Oxford Road, M15 6ER (10am-5pm, Thurs until 9pm; free).



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