Art exhibitions in Manchester – Summer in the City 2

Art Exhibitions  – Summer in the City 2

Welcome to this bumper edition of art exhibitions from BeesBlogs. We have new exhibitions from Bankley Gallery & Studios, with ‘Prop Me Up’, The Turnpike, Leigh, with an exhibition of work by the late Dave Pearson.  Paradise Works has a solo exhibition from Richard Shields, The Hepworth, Wakefield, have Modern British Photography from the Hyman Collection. Artzu have a new show of work by Andrew Hunt and Castlefield’s Saul Hay Gallery have the latest in a series of Artist Talks from Art Across featuring three of the artists showing in their current ‘Shortlist’ exhibition.

Also art exhibitions still running: Castlefield Gallery’s collaboration with Manchester School of Art in a Biennial exhibition featuring the work of recent MA/MFA graduates Rikka Enne, Katerina Eleftheriadou and Maite Pinto. Manchester Art Gallery have Nordic Craft & Design which has had rave reviews since it launched last week. The Whitworth have another eagerly awaited exhibition Prints of Darkness:  Goya and  Hogarth in a time of European Turmoil….Sound familiar? Plus, The Portico Library has Bibliotech. You can read more about these art exhibitions in my previous blog HERE


Bankley Gallery – Prop Me Up

13-22 July 2018 Preview: 6-9pm, Friday 13th July 2018

art exhibitions
Katrina Cowling, Pale Lithics, 2017 (detail 2)

Artists: Nancy Allen, Katrina Cowling, Rose Nicholas, Genevieve Slater and Emily Woolley.

‘Prop me up’ is presented by Kieran Leach and Precious Innes under the moniker, taking place at the Bankley Studios Gallery.

This art exhibition features five artists exploring the narrative and theatrics of making by using performative constructs within staged environments to create a flux between reality and illusion. Props highlight the absurdity of their own structure and commentary with work that physically holds itself up, mimicking and distorting its own sensibility. Within the works teeters fragility and a softness that balances on rigid edges. Throughout the show kinetic elements are echoed by graphic representations of cartoonised motion. There are hints of exaggerated functionality and furniture from the everyday, elevated to administer theatrics and action, evoking presence yet absent of the puppeteer.

Art Across – Curated Talk – Saul Hay Gallery

Friday 13th July 6.30 – 8.30pm

art exhibitions
Jessica Rose by Laura Quinn-Harris

Now a regular feature of Saul Hay Gallery art exhibitions, the latest curated conversation with art historian Sara Riccardi from Art Across takes place on Friday 13th July. Having judged the Saul Hay Emerging Artist Prize at the New Light Prize Exhibition 2017/18, the gallery’s latest exhibition ‘Shortlist’ presents the work of some of the directors Catherine and Ian Hays favourite artists from the exhibition, showcasing the depth of talent of artists who were born, live, or have studied in one of the historical counties of the North of England.

art exhibitions
To the Ends of the Earth – Mark Gibbs

A small selection of artists from the Shortlist art exhibition will share a conversation and offer insightful presentations about their practice, while Sara will expand on the connections between the contemporary works and the different forms of art expressed in the past centuries.
Artists in conversation:

Paul Digby – has work in private collections and the Wellcome Trust archive. Has exhibited in the Saatchi Gallery, the Wellcome Museum, Leeds Art Gallery and Manchester Contemporary. “Paul engages with non arts sector institutions in large scale collaborative projects where he deconstructs drawing, painting and sculptural processes and disseminates concepts, methods and material usage through his practice and interactive workshops.’ 

Sarah Gilman – A graduate of University Centre St Helens, Sarah’s painting practice explores the relationship of trompe l’oeil to the genre of still life painting. Concentrating on the representation of overlooked objects in connection with her daily routine

James Naughton – graduated with a First Class Honours degree from Leeds Metropolitan University and has exhibited widely in the UK and at numerous acclaimed international Art Fairs. Recently his personal interest in the art of Thomas Moran led to an ambitious Arts Council funded project and included a two week road trip in Yellowstone, National Park, The Teton Range and Green River (Wyoming USA). The project culminated in an extensive exhibition in the public art gallery of his home town Bolton.

Tickets £8 including refreshments from 



The Turnpike, Leigh, 

art exhibitions
Four Blue Trees, c.1995, Dave Pearson

Dave Pearson was a highly prolific artist based in the North West of England. Since his death in 2008, a group of friends and colleagues have unearthed an enormous body of work from Pearson’s packed studio in Haslingden, Rossendale. Part of this extraordinary legacy of paintings, prints and drawings is on display at The Turnpike this summer, revealing Pearson’s boundless imagination and his unwavering belief in the transcendent power of art.

Central to this exhibition are the spectacular Byzantium paintings which were first exhibited at The Turnpike in 1994 and designed specifically to sit within the gallery’s interior. Jewel coloured and brilliant with energy, these huge paintings take us on an extraordinary visual journey.

Dave Pearson

Inspired by the Yeats poem Return to Byzantium, the paintings are rich with folklore and mythology whilst occasionally referencing Manchester as a contemporary representation of Byzantium. Now, returned to the gallery some 24 years later, these paintings take on a new resonance, reflecting contemporary concerns around migrant diaspora and destruction of the environment.

Paradise Works – The Future Is Bright The Past Is Colourful, solo show by Richard Shields.

Preview: Thursday 12 July, 6-9pm Screening 7pm
Open: Saturdays and Sundays, 12-5pm, and by appointment.

Richard Shields


Shields is a Manchester based artist from Northern Ireland. In October 2017 Shields was selected for the Impose|Lift residency in The Curfew Tower situated in Cushendall Northern Ireland. The residency is curated by Manchester based gallery The Penthouse and hosted by Bill Drummond. The residency focused on the political situation in Northern Ireland, the history of the tower, indigenousness and the other. Being unbaptized from Catholic and Protestant parents, Shields explored his ambiguous cultural identity through subjects that are stereotypically associated with Northern Ireland by those in mainland Britain and the rest of Ireland.

The time in the tower produced a multi-disciplined response, amalgamating painting, sculpture, performance and film. Shields has continued to explore issues surrounding the fractious history of his country, offering an alternative Ulster, in which art movements are at the centre of the troubles. Parallels are drawn between what some consider to be elitism within the arts and the secretive nature of Ireland’s paramilitary and masonic style fraternities.

art exhibitions
Richards Shields –

Whilst predominantly sharing the same ethnicity, the people of Northern Ireland have fought over the  colour for centuries. The mobile network giant Orange once removed a billboard from the bottom of the Catholic Falls Road as it stated ‘The Future is Bright The Future Is Orange.’ This was deemed too sensitive given its connotations with the protestant Orange Order. Volvic’s ‘Orange and proud’ advert was not ran in Northern Ireland or Scotland for the same reasons. The Future Is Bright The Past Is Colourful takes the political correctness surrounding these issues as its genesis.

Hepworth Wakefield – Modern Nature: British Photographs from the Hyman Collection

13 July 2018 – 22 April 2019

art exhibitions
Portrait from the Free Photographic Omnibus


For the first time in human history, more people are living in urban environments than in the countryside, yet the impulse to seek out nature remains as strong as ever. This new exhibition of photographs by leading British photographers such as Shirley Baker, Bill Brandt, Anna Fox, Chris Killip, Peter Mitchell, Martin Parr and Tony Ray-Jones explores our evolving relationship with the natural world and how this shapes individuals and communities.

Drawn from the collection of Claire and James Hyman, which comprises more than 3,000 photographs ranging from conceptual compositions to documentary-style works, Modern Nature will include around 60 photographs taken since the end of the Second World War, through the beginnings of de-industrialisation to the present day. It will explore the merging of urban and rural landscapes, the rapid expansion of cities and the increasingly intrusive management of the countryside.

A number of photographs on display, including The Caravan Gallery’s quizzical views of urban centres and Chris Shaw’s ‘Weeds of Wallasey’ series (2007–12), capture the ways in which nature infiltrates the city. Others, such as Mark Power’s ‘The Shipping Forecast’ series (1993–6) and Marketa Luskacova’s NE Seaside (1978) images document trips out to the coast and countryside, driven by the sometimes powerful need to escape urban life. They are by turns poetic and humorous, occasionally absurd.

art exhibitions
Paul Hill – ‘Legs’

A strand running through the exhibition will look at how children reclaim space for play and exploration, exemplified through works including Daniel Meadows’s National Portrait (Three Boys and a Pigeon) (1974), Jo Spence’s ‘Gypsies’ series (1974) and Paul Hill’s Legs over High Tor (1975).

James Hyman said: ‘Claire and I were delighted when The Hepworth Wakefield approached us about staging an exhibition curated from works in our collection. The Hyman Collection seeks to support and promote British photography, and is especially committed to exhibitions and education, so we were excited to work with The Hepworth Wakefield on this exhibition and related events, and fascinated by the theme that they chose to present. As a young gallery The Hepworth Wakefield is fast developing a reputation for curating important exhibitions of photographs, as a part of their dynamic exhibition programme, and we hope that our partnership with The Hepworth Wakefield will encourage their ambitions in this area.’

Artzu Gallery – Andrew Hunt – Portarits from the Market

from 13th July

art exhibitions
Andrew Hunt – ‘Portraits from the Market’

One of Manchester longest established contemporary art gallery Artzu are showing Andrew Hunt’s Hyper-real portraits. titled ‘Portraits from the Market’ they are the culmination of a project with photographer Chris Saunders.  Hunt invited patrons and stall holders to participate in an impromptu studio at Sheffield Market where he created the series of contemporary portraits. The finished pieces are a celebration of northern diversity and community, whilst engendering new audiences into the artistic process.

art exhibitions
Andrew Hunt ‘Portraits from the Market’

Hunt said “I have lived on a terraced Sheffield street for 16 years and many of my pieces draw from Northern cultural references, I needed a space where my paintings could truly resonate with the culture and surroundings that they depict.”