Contemporary art exhibitions in Manchester this February

Manchester has a fantastic range of contemporary art exhibitions on this February. We have three exhibitions at one venue. PS Mirabel, Bunker Gallery and Paper Gallery all share the same address ands all have previews this Thursday. In addition we have offerings from Castlefield Gallery, The Portico Library , Paradise Works, Salford Art Gallery and Museum, and Warrington Museum and Art Gallery 

The Girl and the Nettle

Paper Gallery 6-9pm 14th Feb

contemporary art exhibitions
Niina Lehtonen November Socks 2018 Paper Gallery

For her solo exhibition at PAPER, Niina Lehtonen Braun will present her new series collaged paintings, The Girl and the Nettle. The works are populated by an assortment of female characters: the recluse, the mother, the nurturer, the carer, the mistress, all deeply engrossed in their task and consumed in their very existence. Yet there is a moment of confusion: these beautiful women are confronted with anxiety and self doubt.

contemporary art exhibitions
Niina Lehtonen Girl and the Nettle Paper Gallery

The exhibition focuses on the different roles of women. In one work, a lady, naked and alone in bed, sips champagne whilst watching Fellini’s Roma (1972) on a portable television. Surrounding her is a wash of maudlin hues, and at the centre of which, a black balloon floats menacingly above her head; almost a reversal of Lamorisse’s The Red Balloon (1956), extinguishing all hope. Pain and beauty are themes that run throughout Lehtonen Braun’s art. Watercolours, ink, and delicately excised collage elements are the key factors of Lehtonen Braun’s work. Her work asks pertinent question such as: What does it mean to be a woman? How can role models be fulfilled? What inner conflicts arise?

Body (Re) Touched

Paper Gallery 6-9pm 14th Feb

contemporary art exhibitions
Daksha Patel Body RE Touched #3 2018 Paper Gallery

For her second solo show at PAPER, Manchester based artist, Daksha Patel presents a new series of laser prints that blur the boundaries between the scientific image and artistic imagination, between the measurable and the immeasurable, the known and unknown. They were produced by intervening into biomedical imagery using speculative drawings to re-order the technological image.

contemporary art exhibitions
Daksha Patel Body Re Touched #11 Edition of 3 2018 Paper Gallery

Body (Re)Touched presents series of prints produced by using processes of digital drawing, laser etching, and hand printing. The use of the term ‘retouch’ in the title of the work refers to the tension between sight and touch, the felt and the seen, in relation to the body. Retouching can be understood as a process of reaching into the biomedical image through drawing and printmaking. However, it also suggests photographic retouching with its associated meanings of rendering bodies as flawless, impossibly perfect, and ultimately modifiable and controllable.

Tunnel Vision.  Genevieve Slater.

Bunker Gallery 6-9pm 14th Feb

contemporary art exhibitions
Genevieve Slater “Off the deep end” Bunker Gallery

At Bunker Gallery, Catflap Collective have Genevieve Slater who creates moments that draw on the comical catastrophe of our basic human experience. By elevating the ordinary and everyday, and drawing on the humour found in the all consuming nature of the human condition, Slater considers our obsession with ourselves. Motivated by a yearning for a common bond and shared oneness, Slater aims to instil a sense empathy in her audience. Contemplating the nuances of feeling and the jeopardy, tragedy and hilarity found in our idiosyncrasies, she acknowledges the magnitude of the trivial, highlighting the universality of the individual struggle.

Inspired by the accessibility and frankness of cartoon, and its ability to comment on, but not be anchored to reality, Slater harnesses it’s reductive strength as an almost form of shorthand for emotion. Paying homage to it’s application within society, its ability to address both “high” and “low” culture and the perversity of the not-so-serious documenting the serious, Slater translates this, applying it to the very fundamentals of how we are.

Portray/Portrait – PS Mirabel

6-9pm 14th Feb

Portray/Portrait is a group show of artists whose work reflects an interest in exploring the notion of portraiture. Featured artists are Roxana Allison, Tyrone Anderson, Greg Fenwick, Raul Guiterrez, David Hancock, Ruth Murray and Michelle Topping.


Beyond the Linear – Emma Lloyd/Sara Riccardi – 20th Feb Salford Art Gallery 6.30 – 7.45

contemporary art exhibitions
Emma Lloyd – Beyond The Linear

Following on from the successful launch of Beyond the Linear at Salford Museum and Art Gallery, this one-off event hosted by the artists and art historian Sara Riccardi will meander through artist Emma Lloyd’s solo exhibition, Beyond the Linear, and engage in a guided discovery of her multifaceted artistic production.

There is no single path to look at Lloyd’s work: in this interactive event various points of view will gradually unfold in front of the participants’ eyes,  through their own spontaneous interaction, until reaching the full picture, for a deep and ‘hands-on’ understanding of the artist’s processes. The artist herself and art historian Sara Riccardi, founder of Art Across, will accompany the group in the journey, gradually unveiling insights behind the artworks on display and presenting connections between Lloyd’s contemporary practice and the art of the past centuries. Expect an evening full of unexpected and multi-layered discoveries.


Sixteen – New Adelphi Exhibition Gallery & Atrium University of Salford, & HOME

14th Feb 4.30 pm / 7.30pm HOME

What’s it like to be sixteen years old now?

contemporary art exhibitions
Abbie Trayler-Smith (Mirain and Tyler, South Wales) SIXTEEN

In a major new touring exhibition leading contemporary photographers join forces to present the multimedia project Sixteen, exploring the dreams, hopes and fears of sixteen-year olds across the UK.

Photographer Craig Easton conceived this ambitious project following his engagement with sixteen-year olds at the time of the Scottish Referendum. It was the first, and as yet only, time that these young people were given the vote in the UK. Building on the success of that work he invited 16 of the UK’s foremost documentary portrait photographers to collaborate with young people across the country to make a visual vox pop on what it means to be sixteen now.

contemporary art exhibitions
Kate Peters (Abdullatif, Midlands) – SIXTEEN

Sixteen is an age of transition, of developmental, and of social change. At this time of increasing national and international anxiety, these young people are shifting from adolescence to become the adults who will live in a politically reshaped country, divorced from the European Union.  Working with photography, film, social media, audio recordings and writing, the project brings together the faces and voices of more than a hundred young people from diverse communities across the United Kingdom. Locations span large conurbations such as London, Birmingham and Manchester, the South West, Northern Ireland, the Scottish Islands, and post-industrial areas of the North.

Craig Easton (Paddy, Irish Gypsy Traveller, Liverpool) – Sixteen

Photographers: Robert C Brady, Linda Brownlee, Lottie Davies, Craig Easton, Jillian Edelstein, Stuart Freedman, Sophie Gerrard, Kate Kirkwood, Kalpesh Lathigra, Roy Mehta, Christopher Nunn, Kate Peters, Simon Roberts, Michelle Sank, Abbie Trayler-Smith, plus the first of four specially selected students, David Copeland, MFA candidate at Ulster University.

Sources  –  Castlefield Gallery, Manchester

PV: 6pm-8pm, Thursday 14 February

contemporary art exhibitions
Harit Srikhao, Whitewash, 2015-2016 – Sources Castlefield Gallery

Sources is the first in a new series of Castlefield Members Exhibitions launching in February 2019. Curated by Joe Preston this exhibition was selected by guest selector Dr Je Yun Moon and Castlefield Gallery’s curator Matthew Pendergast from proposals submitted by Castlefield Gallery Associates.

contemporary art exhibitions
Harit Srikhao, Whitewash, 2015-2016 – Sources Castelfield Gallery

Dr Je Yun Moon is a curator and writer from South Korea working with art, architecture and performance and in 2018 was appointed Head of Programmes for Liverpool Biennial.

Sources features work by artists from a range of backgrounds, cultures and generations, undertaking diverse approaches to storytelling with photography, video and sculpture. At a time when ‘post-truth’, ‘fake news ‘and ‘alternative facts’ are household phrases, wherein experts, intellectuals and once-trusted news networks are met with suspicion and accused of bias, the selectors feel this outward-looking exhibition makes a strong case for artists to play an increasingly important role documenting and sharing the stories of our complex world.

“The rules of traditional documentary means that as a genre it is prone to cliché. We have been over saturated by shaky cameras, BBC accents, photos of starving children and piles of rubble. Images that would’ve once moved the world’s conscience have lost their power.”  Joe Preston (2018)


Mission to Touch the Sun: Sun Burnt – Paradise Works

Open: Saturdays and Sundays 12-5, Weekday by appointment

contemporary art exhibitions
Sun Burnt – Paradise Works

Artists: Lydia Blakeley, Soohyun Choi, Charlie Godet Thomas, Marion Balac, Oliver Durcan, Paula Pinho Martins Nacif, Richard Porter, K.P.Culver , Will Kendrick . Curated by K.P.Culver & William Noel Clarke.

Mission to Touch the Sun:Sun Burnt, is an exhibition scrutinizing the manufactured offers of the exotic that drive the travel industry. Tourism is a global economy led by peoples desire to discover dream destinations and experience the authentic. By making leisure, travel and location collide seemingly easily, this offer creates expectancy of, and the want to consume and indulge in the ‘other’.

Sun Burnt – Paradise Works

Curated by K.P.Culver & William Noel Clarke, the works explore these intersections with a comical satire, cannon balling into the deep end of the plastic world of backpackers and the all-inclusive

Fancy Pants – The Portico Library

Now on until – 25th March 2019

Ruby Kirby – Fancy Pants The Portico

In 1836, the enormously popular Manchester Music Festival came to a close with a fancy dress ball so grand a temporary structure was built to connect The Portico Library with the nearby Assembly Rooms and Theatre Royal. Though tickets to the celebration were expensive, the event attracted around 5,000 attendees and was reported in newspapers across the country.

contemporary art exhibitions
Camille Smithwick – Fancy Pants The Portico

In this exhibition, books from the Library’s collection are presented alongside new artworks that examine how dress and costume’s relationships with gender, class, power and identity have always been complicated. Artists Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou, Ruby Kirby, Lindsey Mendick and Camille Smithwick offer expressive works that explore how dress and costume connect with celebration, ritual and morality.

These works are complemented by volumes from the collection including Joseph Strutt’s Complete View of the Dress and Habits of the People of England and Lucy Aikin’s Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth.

Although not a contemporary art exhibition strictly in Manchester, this looks a really interesting offering from Warrington Museum and Art Gallery:

Searchers – Kwame Akpokavi – Warrington Museum and Art Gallery

contemporary art exhibitions
Kwame completing ‘Influences’

Kwame Akpokavi, who has lived in the UK for over 20 years and now calls Warrington home, is proud to announce his first exhibition in the town.

Searchers, is a collection of traditional Ghanaian fabric collages now on display at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, explores the notion of identity and challenges visitors to consider their own, as well as that of the town and the country as a whole.

contemporary art exhibitions
Siaspora Dilemmas – Kwame Akpokavi

Kwame came to England to study at Manchester University two decades ago and finds himself caught between his place of birth and the place where he now lives.

“Back home in Ghana there’s a strong textile tradition, we use a lot of appliqué for example in flags, carnival costumes and traditional clothing; patterns are sewn into the fabric. “My style doesn’t necessarily need to be aesthetically pleasing but I want it to be intellectually stimulating; I want people to ask ‘what’s this all about?’”