Art & Exhibitions | Living North

What's On - Art & Exhibitions


Norman Cornish: The Sketchbooks
Until Sunday, February 23, 2020

For renowned North-Eastern artist Norman Cornish MBE, sketching was second nature and an inherent part of his everyday life. This exhibition of his little-seen sketchbooks will present a new dimension to the artist’s practice, focusing on his observations of life, landscapes, and family, revealing the inner artistic processes behind some of his most iconic works.

Palace Green Library, Durham
Jane Kell
Until Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Working within the tradition of realism, who pushes the boundary with colour and form to achieve a semi-abstract quality in her work, colourist Jane Kell has painted landscapes and still-life from the start, but, more recently, has chosen to use colour in an abstract way. The paintings she is exhibiting in The Old School Gallery until January are on a much larger scale, showing how Jane works figuratively and abstractly, and exploring how both approaches support one other.

The Old School Gallery, Alnmouth
Through The Looking Glass
Until Sunday, March 8, 2020

Although we rarely stop to acknowledge their presence, windows are part of our day-to-day life and, for the majority of us, they are our most regular connection to glass as a material. In this exhibition, Caroline and Maisie Broadhead present a body of work that considers how we perceive what we see when we look into, or out of, a window.

National Glass Centre, Sunderland
The Story of the Durham Miners' Gala Mural
Until Friday, February 28, 2020

In 1962, Norman was commissioned to paint a 30-foot mural typifying life in County Durham for the new County Hall in Durham City. This building was a showpiece: a symbolic act of defiance by a county whose livelihood was increasingly threatened by the escalating pit closures, and was officially opened by Prince Philip in 1963. This fascinating exhibition in Norman’s hometown tells its story.

The Bob Abley Art Gallery, Spennymoor
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham
Until Sunday, February 23, 2020

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham was one of the foremost painters working in St Ives, having moved there from Edinburgh in 1940. Her paintings, alongside those of her contemporaries that comprise the St Ives School, contributed greatly to the development of Modernist British painting in the mid- to late-20th century. Ranging from remarkable on-the-spot pencil drawings to bold and colourful abstract paintings, this exhibition focuses on the artist’s tours across Europe over a 50-year period and the impact these journeys had on her practice.

The Granary Gallery, Berwick
Animalesque / Art Across Species and Beings
Until Sunday, April 19, 2020

Bringing together an outstanding selection of artworks across media – including film and video, drawing and sculpture, installation and sound art – this exhibition invites visitors to rethink the human position in the world, its relationship to all other life forms and to the various complex ecologies that bond beings together.

Norman Cornish: The Definitive Collection
Until Sunday, February 23, 2020

Celebrating the centenary of acclaimed mining artist (and North East native) Norman Cornish MBE, this major retrospective tells the story of his enduring career with the most comprehensive collection of his work ever assembled, including a number of previously unseen pieces.

Bring To Light
Until Sunday, September 6, 2020

Glass and ceramics have long been used as materials to make objects that contain light. These objects are practical – they keep us safe from open flames or they diffuse the glare of electric bulbs – but many artists have also used glass and ceramics to create beautiful light sources that also reflect cultural or religious significance, design styles of a particular time and the skill of mastering different techniques associated with glasswork. The National Glass Centre’s newest exhibition, consisting of works from National Glass Centre’s collection and loans from the V&A, aims to illuminate that lightbulb of an idea in the next generation of designers.

The Power and the Virtue: Guido Reni's Death of Lucretia
Until Monday, January 20, 2020

The first exhibition outside London that is solely dedicated to the Italian Baroque master Guido Reni, The Power and the Virtue presents both the artist and his relevance in Western art history. Featuring unique works on loan from prestigious public and private collections, this display will allow many to experience the mastery and true aesthetic quality of Reni’s masterpieces.

The Enchanted Interior
Until Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Enchanted Interior will explore the sinister implications of a popular theme in 19th century painting: the depiction of the interior as a ‘gilded cage’, in which women are pictured as ornamental objects. Iconic Pre-Raphaelite paintings by artists such as Edward Burne-Jones and William Holman Hunt will be shown alongside works by their female peers, such as Emma Sandys and Evelyn De Morgan, who challenge and subvert this ideal. Meanwhile, installation and moving image work highlight the duality inherent in the interior, as a site that can be a sanctuary or a threat.

Mikhail Karikis
Until Sunday, February 2, 2020

The first survey of Mikhail Karikis’s practice, this exhibition displays six major bodies of the artist’s work made over 10 years, including two pieces commissioned by MIMA. Focusing on the voice of protest in the face of social and ecological change across a range of media – including videos, sound installations, images, installation structures and performance pieces – Mikhail’s exploration of the political role of art promises to enthral.

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
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.

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.

Chasing The Rainbow
Until Saturday, April 18, 2020

They say a picture tells a thousand words, so prepare to be met with fascinating stories at every turn from the South Shields Photographic Society & South Shields Digital Group’s latest exhibition. Chasing The Rainbow brings together more than 200 captivating photographic images on display, ranging from landscape and wildlife to architecture, fashion and personal portraits – so there’s sure to be at least one that piques your interest.

South Shields Museum
Rena Effendi
Until Sunday, April 5, 2020

Bringing together works from three award-winning photographic series – Built on Grass (2014), Chernobyl: Still Life in the Zone (2010) and Khainaliq Village (2006) – this exhibition of photographer Rena Effendi’s images document the back-breaking chores of farmers working the land in traditional, almost medieval, fashion in meadows and hills in Romania, Azerbaijan and Chernobyl.

Side Gallery, Newcastle
Marjolaine Ryley
Until Sunday, February 2, 2020

This is the first exhibition to offer an overview of photography and text-based artist Marjolaine Ryley’s entire body of work, encompassing projects created over a full two decades, as well as a brand new series created from 2015 to 2019. Inviting us to explore ideas of personal memory, social history, familial relationships and how we narrate our lives through images, this isn’t an exhibition to miss.

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland


Received Wisdom
Saturday, February 1, 2020 - Sunday, May 10, 2020

Challenging the notion that creative radicalism is the preserve of youth, Received Wisdom brings together a vibrant body of work created by older artists. Dynamic, innovative, and wide-ranging, the exhibition challenges our assumptions about ageing and about what is expected of us at the different stages of our lives.  

National Glass Centre, Sunderland
Pre-Raphaelite Knights
Saturday, February 1, 2020 - Sunday, May 3, 2020

Explore a world of medieval myths and legends, of tales of heroic deeds and chivalric honour in The Bowes Museum’s newest exhibition. For the most part, the knights depicted by the Pre-Raphaelites in the 19th century were lovers as well as fighters, and world-class artworks by Rossetti, Millais and Burne Jones will help bring these many myths.

The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle
Pushing Paper
Saturday, February 29, 2020 - Sunday, May 17, 2020

Drawing is currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity, with artists increasingly choosing the medium as a means to examine the modern world. Illustrating how artists have experimented with the power of paper to express their ideas, and how they have pushed the medium in new directions over these last 50 years, this touring exhibition highlights the breadth and quality of the British Museum’s collection of modern art, as well as its global scope.

Oriental Museum, Durham

More What's On

Art & Exhibitions
Art & Exhibitions
Events & Sport
Events & Sport
Music & Dance
Music & Dance
What's On This Week NE
What's On This Week

Follow us on Instagram

Never miss an issue... Subscribe

Social Channels

Follow us on Instagram