Art & Exhibitions | Living North

What's On - Art & Exhibitions


Small Town Inertia
Until Sunday, March 24, 2019

In his photography, Jim Mortram captures the lives of people in his community who, through physical and mental problems and a failing social security system, face isolation and loneliness in their daily lives. His work covers difficult subjects such as disability, addiction and self-harm, but faces these themes with hope and dignity – focusing upon the strength and resilience of the people he photographs.

Coal Forest
Until Monday, April 22, 2019

Witness Woodhorn Museum as you’ve never seen it before, now it has been transformed through a series of magical and thought-provoking art installations. From neon lungs glowing in the heart of the colliery ventilation system, to a plainsong chant leading to a kaleidoscopic vision of coal; a curious, tree-like figure taking root in front of the blacksmith’s forge, and an unearthly stag grazing in the depths of the mine – you never know what you might discover next.

Exposed: The Naked Portrait
Until Sunday, March 3, 2019

Exposure can have many meanings – some positive, others negative – and this exhibition of unclothed portraits from the National Portrait Gallery Collection looks to explore them all: inviting questions about identity and gender, the real and ideal. It includes portraits of exposed sitters like Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall, Naomi Campbell and John Lennon and Yoko Ono, featuring artists like David Hockney, Annie Leibovitz and Linda McCartney.

Behind The Seams
Until Sunday, March 3, 2019

Visit Preston Park Museum and step into the world of Angels Costumes – the oldest and largest professional costume house in the world. Displaying a handpicked collection of 35 costumes from both the big and small screen – including couture from the likes of Peaky Blinders, Downton Abbey, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Great Gatsby and The Crown – we’re sure there’ll be at least one dress to impress.

Stella Vine
Until Sunday, February 24, 2019

This vibrant and exciting exhibition of work by internationally-acclaimed, Alnwick-born contemporary artist Stella Vine will display a significant collection of her work across her career – including some new creations from her latest series, Evangeline.

Bailiffgate Museum and Gallery, Alnwick
Living Beyond Limits
Until Sunday, February 3, 2019

Living Beyond Limits showcases works from the Middlesbrough Collection by artists whose life or work deviate from long-held norms around gender and sexuality. However, in this context, the modern idea of ‘queerness’ is more than an identity marker; the focus of this show is political and activist, including themes around racism, sexism and class inequalities as well as sexuality.

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
Catch Your Breath
Until Sunday, March 17, 2019

Breathing isn’t just a bodily function, and this exhibition at Palace Green Library explores the full range of expression the mere function of breathing allows – speaking, laughing, singing, connecting us to the outside world and reflecting our state of mind. Breath has inspired (no pun intended) art and literature for hundreds of years – go along to this exhibition and discover why.

Palace Green Library, Durham
Still Life Is Real Life
Until Sunday, March 10, 2019

This innovative display celebrates the timeless aspects of everyday life – inviting social comparisons between historic paintings from The Bowes Museum’s still life collection and modern-age photographs of the local Barnard Castle market. Evoking a strong sense of place and community, don’t miss this chance to delve into the personal stories of our local ancestors, captured in the same streets and buildings we live and work in today.

Laura Carlin
Until Saturday, January 19, 2019

Ceramics have been used since the earliest human civilisations to record stories and cultural beliefs for future generations. In this exhibition, internationally-acclaimed book illustrator Laura Carlin explores this link between ceramics and narrative by taking her illustration from paper to pottery – using familiar forms such as figurines, plates and tiles, to show that ceramics can, like books, be a powerful storytelling medium.

Heather Phillipson
Until Sunday, March 31, 2019

Produced as a major new commission that responds to BALTIC’s vast Level Four gallery, Heather Phillipson presents a series of videos, sounds and objects that operate as landmarks in a remixed geology; somewhere between agricultural vista and lunar wasteland, a spatio-temporal ‘field’ punctuated by farm equipment, holding pens and the noise of circling gulls.

Until Saturday, February 16, 2019

Collaborators Julia Heslop and Ed Wainwright have created this architectural intervention – comprising of an interconnected sequence of ‘grottoes’ assembled from found and given material, each of which will be dedicated to an artist who’s work, they believe, deserves to be reconsidered in relation to collage as an expanded, immersive or time-based practice. A structural twist on the classic art exhibition. 

Until Sunday, March 24, 2019

Forgive and forget – easy, right? Not for many of us. Carrie Fertig explores the complexities surrounding this theme in her latest exhibition through a kaleidoscope of installations – incorporating film, sound, performance and sculpture, often carved using flame-worked glass.

Claude Cahun
Until Saturday, March 9, 2019

French photographer Claude Cahun achieved posthumous fame for her elusive self-portraits, in which she assumed multiple personae. With an artistic practice that consistently investigates gender and identity, discover Calude’s work for yourself in this Hayward Touring exhibition – which displays 42 contemporary giclee prints, all made from scans of her original photographic work.

Digital Citizen
Friday, January 25, 2019 - Sunday, June 16, 2019

Drawing on the imagination of contemporary artists to inspire a conversation around the ideas of ‘citizenship’ in the digital age we now find ourselves living in, this exhibition creatively investigates the new possibilities presented to us from innovative digital tools, and networks for rethinking historical forms of nationalisms and citizenship, while addressing our voluntary blurring of the lines between reality and simulation.


Leonardo Da Vinci: A Life In Drawing
Friday, February 1, 2019 - Monday, May 6, 2019

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens is one of only 12 venues chosen by the Royal Collection Trust to host this sensational exhibition, marking the 500th anniversary of Da Vinci's death. Unique in the range of his achievements, drawing lay at the heart of Leonardo’s creativity – as he drew to prepare for his artistic projects, to record the world around him, to pursue his scientific speculations, and to make visible the workings of his imagination. Now you can see all this for yourself right here in the North East. We can’t wait.

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