Select 2021

Things to do on and off line this year

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Nationwide & Online 

In previous years Art Night has been hosted in London, but for its fifth instalment, the shows and displays will span the country. The month-long showcase of contemporary art and performances features artists in a range of locations and online.  The anonymous New York women artists Guerilla Girls (pictured) are a highlight, with their new work The Male Graze.

18 June-18 July, Online (artnight.london) 

Online

Sheryl Crow: The Songs and the Stories – A Live Solo Performance promises to be an experience for fans of the Grammy-winning artist. The online exclusive show will give them the chance to enjoy her extensive catalogue of hits and hear some of the stories behind them as she performs from the enchanting “little church”, located on her private property and decorated with antique Americana memorabilia. Tickets available now to book your virtual attendance.

18 June, Online (driift.link/SherylCrow) 

Macclesfield

Barnaby Bright is a series of midsummer events that will take place this June around the summer solstice in the historic spaces of Macclesfield town centre. Presented by Barnaby Festival, Barnaby Bright takes its name from an old folk rhyme and refers to the longest day in June – “Barnaby bright, Barnaby bright/Light all day and light all night”. Our Future is Ancient is a work commissioned by the festival from Simon Buckley who will present a range of exhibits and displays as part of the festival

17-27 June, town centre (barnabyfestival.org.uk/) 

Preston

A unique display of art through the medium of signs will be on display in Preston. Bob and Roberta Smith is actually one New York-trained artist, activist, art education advocate, writer and musician who assumed the pseudonym while he was living and working with his sister, Roberta. Creating artworks by using text, slogans and sign painting, the display will feature his most well-known works in addition to never-before-seen pieces.

Until 2 October, The Harris (theharris.org.uk)  

York

Songs Under Skies in the gardens of St Margaret’s Church revives live music in York. Each concert will feature a double bill, with Josh Burnell and Katie Spencer (pictured) on 14 June, Alice Simmons and Zak Ford on 15 June and Sunflower Thieves and Epilogues leading the final show on 16 June.

14-16 June, St Margaret’s Church (ncem.co.uk) 

Bradford

Billy Pearce has enjoyed a lengthy career, initially working the northern comedy circuits and then progressing to television and stage appearances. Having been a part of the Royal Variety Show and Bafta-winning projects, he now returns to present a new adult comedy performance as part of a set of socially distanced shows at the venue.

18 June, St George’s Hall (bradford-theatres.co.uk) 

Blackpool

Hive Arts in Blackpool presents Anna Ravliuc-Bloomfield’s exhibition The Weather We’re Taking With Us. The paintings have been created within the last year, during a challenging period for Ravliuc-Bloomfield, who turned her experiences into beautiful artwork full of colour and life.

Until 30 June, Hive (hivearts.co.uk) 

Scarborough

Crescent Arts shows Preserve_konserwe, a new installation featuring work by artists Ruth Miemczyk and Louise Severyn-Kosinska, inspired and informed by their Polish heritage. The installation will be set up in the Woodend gallery, which provides small and new businesses a place to create and be inspired.

Until 25 July, Woodend Gallery (woodendcreative.co.uk) 

Manchester

Manchester Camerata performs its first shows of 2021 having settled into a new home at the Monastery in Gorton. Resonance makes use of the atmospheric setting as the group performs music spanning centuries, while its performance of the works of Arthur Russell, Philip Glass and Julius Eastman will highlight its versatility as they play alongside live visuals portraying the vitality of New York.

10&12 June, The Monastery (themonastery.co.uk) 

Preston

The UEFA 2020 Euros were postponed last year due to the pandemic, but Preston’s Business Improvement District will host an event for football fans as the games return. The first event will have the England vs Croatia match streamed live on a massive 33sq m screen, with food, drink and entertainment available before the match and throughout.

13 June, Preston Flag Market (prestonfanzone.co.uk) 

Manchester

Award-winning saxophone player and composer Solweto Kinch performs the first in a new live jazz concert series. Kinch, known for both his jazz and hip-hop, will be playing as part of a gradual reintroduction of audiences into Stoller Hall.

7 June, Stoller Hall at Chetham’s (stollerhall.com) 

Huddersfield

Written by Simon Stephens, narrated by Juliette Stevenson and based on the dystopian novel by Nobel Prize-winning writer Jose Saramago, audio-installation Blindness tells the story of a doctor’s wife as she lives through an unimaginable pandemic. 

7th-12th June, Lawrence Batley Theatre (thelbt.org) 

North Yorkshire

Marking the centenary of the death of Walter Morrison, a new festival will celebrate the life of the Yorkshire philanthropist who was dedicated to improving the lives and living conditions of people less fortunate than himself. The festival will include several exhibitions detailing aspects of Morrison’s life and the impression it has left on the community a century after his death.

Until 30 September, The Folly (thefolly.org.uk) 

Windermere

Wrecked! is a new exhibition set to inspire adventure. Exploring the stories from the lake’s hidden depths by displaying lost ships and uncovering the human impact on it, it also offers visitors the chance to take a trip on the fully restored motor vessel Penelope II.

Ongoing, Windermere Jetty Museum (lakelandarts.org.uk) 

Scarborough

Alan Ayckbourn debuts his 85th full length play, The Girl Next Door, with two separate casts as the first in-house production at the Stephen Joseph Theatre of 2021. Follow George “Tiger” Jennings as he tries to solve the mystery of the peculiar girl next door. 

4 June-3 July, Stephen Joseph Theatre (sjt.uk.com) 

Wakefield

Celebrating and showcasing artwork by the community of Wakefield, Home, Street, City brings together pieces created in lockdown. The exhibition will feature works from a local school, asylum seekers and elderly people, alongside new work from Wakefield artists.

Until 19 June, The Art House (the-arthouse.org.uk) 

Leeds

A new exhibition titled Portable Sculpture brings together 15 artists with pieces ranging from 1934 to the present day. Each piece is designed to either fold up, pack down or to be travelled with and are from artists around the world, exploring themes of identity, migration and stability.

Ongoing, Henry Moore Institute (henry-moore.org) 

Manchester

The bedroom of Victorian author Elizabeth Gaskell has been unveiled to the public after a fundraising campaign. Volunteers used a 1914 auction catalogue to track down the author’s furniture that was sold following the death of her daughter Meta.

Ongoing, Elizabeth Gaskell House (elizabethgaskellhouse.co.uk)

Leeds

The Thackray Museum of Medicine has reopened its doors after a £4.1 million renovation, which includes 11 new galleries designed to teach visitors about Britain’s medical history, including a 19th century operating theatre and a sexual health clinic from the 1970s. 

Ongoing, Thackray Museum of Medicine (thackraymuseum.co.uk)

Liverpool

Soft Boys is a short film exploring race, gender, sexuality and self care through the eyes of a black trans man from Somalia. It was created by locally-based artist Kiara Mohamad and aims to spark conversation about understanding a person’s identity in the natural world.

Until 29 August, FACT (fact.co.uk)

Manchester

The exhibition More in Common: In Memory of Jo Cox is a collection of works inspired by the life of the late Labour MP who was murdered in 2016. It features a collection of personal items including her favourite mountain hat, and the Jo Cox memorial wall. 

Ongoing, People’s History Museum, (phm.org.uk)

Keswick

Artist Patricia Haskey’s new exhibition is Britain’s Favourite Walks: Top 10, which runs at the Northern Lights Gallery in Keswick on 28 May-4 July. Helvellyn, Catbells, Scafell Pike, Buttermere and Coniston in the Lakes all feature among the walks colourfully depicted, alongside Snowdon and Tryfan in Wales, Malham Cove in North Yorkshire, Dunstanburgh in Northumbria, and Mam Tor in the Peak District.

(patriciahaskey.co.uk/)

York

Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years is a new exhibition at York Art Gallery from 28 May, bringing together the earliest works and “lost pots” of one of Britain’s pre-eminent artists. The remarkable 70 works included in the exhibition have been crowdsourced following a national public appeal. These lost pots will be on display together for the first time since they were made.

(yorkartgallery.org.uk)

Salford

The Storm Cone, at Peel Park from 29 May, is an immersive artwork by artist Laura Daly with music composed by Lucy Pankhurst, which reveals the lost bandstands in our municipal parks and explores their forgotten histories. Through music and sound, the installations consider our relationship with the past while charting the fading away of brass bands during the inter-war years. Augmented reality allows the visitor to witness the “skeleton” of a traditional bandstand as they experience the music.

(lauradaly.com) 

Wakefield

Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s 500 acres of formal gardens, parkland, woods and lakes, holding around 100 sculptures, remain open and the shop has now reopened, displaying a collection of ceramic tiles and prints as part of Alison Milner’s new exhibition Decorative Minimalist.

(ysp.org.uk) 

Online

Vision and Reality is an online exhibition showcasing 100 years of contemporary art in Wakefield, with over 5,300 works in the collection. The online exhibition features film content, curator diaries, a timeline about the history of the collection and more. 

(hepworthwakefield.com) 

Preston

The Lancashire Photography Festival is an outdoor exhibition on the streets of Preston featuring the work of John Davies at a standalone installation on Winckley Square, the bold and brash imagery of Peter Dench on the hoardings of the former BHS building on Fishergate, work from dozens of local photographers at Preston Market, and projects by Blackpool sixth form students and Preston Photographic Society.

(enjoyshow.co.uk) 

Blackpool

HiVE Arts puts on F/Stop, a free outdoor exhibition in Blackpool this month, with tram stops along the Golden Mile between South and North Pier becoming mini galleries. Among the 22 female photographers selected by the National Photographic Society are Joanne Fletcher, Kate Yates and Stephanie Cottle (work pictured). 

(hivearts.co.uk)

Online

A social pharmacy, a photography and writing project in Thatto Heath, crypto embroidery and an exploration of post-colonial language are just some of the works that are free to explore digitally and in print from the 34 artists featured in the 2021 Independents Biennial. Online until 6 June. Pictured: extract from Under the Yuzu Tree by Feiyi Wen. 

(independentsbiennial.com)

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