Art & Exhibitions | Living North

What's On - Art & Exhibitions


Norman Cornish: A Slice of Life
Until Sunday, October 13, 2019

Co-curated by the local community and members of Norman’s family, the selection of his work displayed in this special exhibition – in honour of the centenary of his birth – includes some rarely-seen mining and street scenes and provides a warm and refreshing perspective on one of the most enduringly-popular mining artists of a generation, as well as offering a fresh insight into how his work resonates with the community that lives on today. 

Mining Art Gallery, Bishop Auckland
Painters Outdoors: Plein Air in the North
Until Saturday, May 25, 2019

Discover the fluidity, lyricism and vibrancy of artwork created ‘en plein air’, (the French expression for ‘in the open air’) in this dynamic exhibition at Hartlepool Art Gallery. Bringing together the work of six contemporary artists, some of whom are local to the Tees Valley, see if you can spot your favourite North East vista – and maybe even take a piece home for your own walls.

Elmer and Friends
Until Saturday, February 1, 2020

Celebrating 30 years of everyone’s favourite patchwork elephant, this playful exhibition at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books is the first major retrospective of David McKee’s striking artwork – which, as well as being full of vibrance and colour, are perfect for opening up conversations around diversity and being yourself.

NGC 21
Until Sunday, September 15, 2019

In celebration of their 21st anniversary this year, the National Glass Centre host this special exhibition – featuring work by artists who have worked to help establish Sunderland as this international centre of excellence for Studio Glass work that it has now become. Keep your eyes peeled for work by some major names in the glass art scene, including Stanislav Libensky and Ann Wolff.

Yan Wang Preston
Until Sunday, June 9, 2019

In the age of anthropocene, the violent destruction of forests is one of the defining characters of our societies. To create the photographic project Forest, British-Chinese artist Yan Wang Preston spent eight years investigating the politics of recreating forests and ‘natural’ environments in new Chinese cities and documenting their impact.

Side Gallery, Newcastle
100 Years of Fashion
Until Sunday, September 8, 2019

From the timeless elegance of Chanel’s Little Black Dress, to the edgy, exciting shoes of Vivienne Westwood and Prada, take a joyful journey through 100 years of fashion in this brilliant exhibition – taking in the work of Balenciaga, Dior, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Galliano, Chanel and Comme des Garçons while you do.

Durham Miners Gala Exhibition
Until Saturday, February 1, 2020

Part of the Norman Cornish Centenary Art Exhibitions that are set to run throughout the year across the region, this stunning display of Norman’s work is complemented by a range of other exceptional local artists – which, together, form a body of work depicting the social history of our region, with all the art displayed available for sale.

Whistler and Nature
Until Sunday, June 16, 2019

Born in America, but spending most of his life in the UK, James Abbott McNeill Whistler became one of the best-known artists of the late 19th century. This exhibition of his oil paintings, watercolours, lithographs and etchings examines his attitude to the natural world, revealing how it was underpinned by his enduring kinship with the makers of railroads, bridges and ships, the legacy of his early training as a military cadet.

Goya's Prison: The Year of Despair
Until Sunday, June 23, 2019

Late in 1792, renowned Spanish painter Francisco Goya became severely ill. During a period of recuperation he produced a set of small cabinet paintings on tin plate that were to define the rest of his career. The Bowes Museum’s Interior of a Prison is one of this series of works, and the story of the piece is explored in detail in this exhibition, alongside works by Reynolds, Ramsay and Tiepolo.

The Spring Exhibition
Until Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Biscuit Factory’s annual Spring Exhibition features a bold headline collection of original portraits from Peter Hallam, plus new artwork from returning artists – including Carol Nunan and Anja Percival – as well as brand new artists, designers and makers.

Cracked! Secret Codes and Communication
Until Sunday, June 2, 2019

Since the dawn of time, people have had secrets to hide… and share. Delve into the mysterious world of covert communications in The Word’s latest free exhibition – Cracked! Secret Codes and Communication – which starts with the earliest examples of ciphers before journeying through time to discover how methods of secret communication were used during times of war, right through to how modern technology uses coding to allow us to communicate safely today. Bring your budding cryptologists along and try your hand at cracking a secret code using their Caesar Wheel, communicate a message using Flag Semaphore, and discover the ancient ciphers that remain unsolved to this day.

Digital Citizen
Until 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.

Matt Antoniak
Until Saturday, June 15, 2019

Over the past year and a half, Newcastle-based artist Matt Antoniak has collected the scraps of paper used to test materials in an art shop. Covered in doodles and throwaway marks, these images are then cropped and scaled up before he paints them in forensic details – stepping away from the prevailing 20th century idea of the genial artist and creating micro-authorships that toy with the ideas of artistic hierarchy, time and chance.

Brita Granstrom and Mick Manning
Friday, May 24, 2019 - Friday, July 12, 2019

Brita’s works on canvas are in collections around the world, capturing a landscape with a haunting quality that touches on something beyond the surface. Mick’s formative teachers included Sheila Robinson and Quentin Blake, and his mixed media and collage pieces are outdone only by his unique pochoir process – hand-stippled paintings made using complex layers of stencils. In this exhibition, both artists’ themes embrace the natural wonders of our beautifully unspoilt North Eastern coastline.

The Old School Gallery, Alnmouth


Room For You
Saturday, June 1, 2019 - Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Room For You has been working in the North East for almost 20 years, providing support for patients and families affected by cancer. Working in hospitals, specialist cancer units and hospices, the charity pairs a professional artist and a trained counsellor to work with patients and their companions to provide emotional support through creativity, listening and talking. This special exhibition of the work created through this initiative, and the stories behind each piece, is sure to inspire.

City Library, Newcastle

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