Get Involved: Politics and Art in the North-West

Kennard Phillipps Photo Op

Kennardphillipps, Photo Op

Collection IWM © Kennardphillipps John Keane, Death Squad 1991

Manchester Art Gallery; exterior photo at night

© Manchester Art Gallery

Adrian Street and his father, 1973

Adrian Street and his father, 1973, Photo Dennis Huthinson

© Dennis Hutchinson 2013

People's History Museum

Building shot: People's History Museum

© Kippa Matthews 

Manchester Art Gallery

All that is solid melts into air

Curated by Jeremy Deller
12 October 2013 – 19 January 2014

Jeremy Deller explores the roots of working class popular culture, from 19th-century industrial folk music to glam rock in the 1970s and 80s in this brand new exhibition. The show combines contemporary works with objects and images, ranging from historical paintings depicting factories and forges to oppositional broadsheets, political tracts, poems and popular ballads. Be among the first to see this Hayward touring exhibition as it launches at Manchester Art Gallery and while you’re there, call into their exhibition of Grayson Perry’s striking tapestries in The Vanity of Small Differences (until 2 February 2014).

Further information online or call 0161 235 8888

IWM North

Catalyst: Contemporary art and war

Until Sunday 23 February 2014

How do artists contribute to our perceptions of war and conflict in an age where our understanding is shaped by the media and the internet?

IWM North in Manchester presents its first major exhibition of its national collection of contemporary art produced since the First Gulf War - placing more than 20 years of work by over 40 artists in this national collection on public display together for the first time.

The exhibition includes Steve McQueen’s Queen and Country, an installation of facsimile stamp sheets bearing photographic portraits of British service personnel killed in Iraq, and Photo Op, kennardphillipps’ very different comment on the war in Iraq, showing Tony Blair taking a ‘selfie’ in front of an explosion. This large-scale, free exhibition features artistic responses by some of the most significant artists exploring war and conflict today – such as Langlands and Bell, Miroslaw Balka, Willie Doherty, Paul Seawright, Ori Gersht, Jananne Al Ani, John Keane and Edmund Clark.

Further information

A Closer Look: Contemporary Art and War

31 December 2013; 1–17 January and  28–31 January 2014,15.30

A walk and talk around the major new special exhibition Catalyst: Contemporary Art and War. Discover what motivates artists to create art about conflict, and explore the ways in which art can prompt us to think more deeply about current events.


People’s History Museum

Love Walter Crane’s banner featured in Art Turning Left Find our more about it by visiting the People’s History Museum who loaned us the work.People’s History Museum tells the story of the history of democracy in the UK and demonstrates that there have always been ideas worth fighting for. You can learn more about ideas such as peace, equality, democracy, reform, protest and citizenship and consider how these values may have influenced art as well as society as a whole as part of your visit.

The People’s Business – 150 years of The Co-operative

Until 11 May 2014

This exhibition explores how The Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) grew from humble beginnings in Greater Manchester in 1863 to become the largest co-operative in the UK today. There is also a Community Gallery with exhibitions and displays from local groups across Manchester as well as a shop and The Left Bank cafe bar.

Further information


Beautiful banners tour

Friday 24 January 2014, 13.14–14.00

Enjoy a guided tour of the new selection of banners on display in the People’s History Museums magnificent galleries.

Booking advised. Please contact 0161 838 9190 or

Meet the Artist: Ori Gersht

Sun 2 February 2014, 14.00

Ori Gersht’s film, Will You Dance For Me, is inspired by the story of Yehudit Arnon, a prisoner in Auschwitz during the Second World War, who was ordered to dance at an SS officer’s Christmas party. On refusing she was forced to stand outside, barefoot in the snow for hours. She pledged that if she survived she would devote her life to dance.

As part of IWM North’s annual Holocaust Memorial Day programme, Gersht will discuss this work as featured in IWM North’s current special exhibition Catalyst: Contemporary Art and War.

Further information on the Ori Gersht event