Art & Exhibitions | Living North

What's On - Art & Exhibitions


Now You See Me
Until Sunday, November 3, 2019

A castle that’s not a castle, on an island that’s not an island; these compelling contradictions form the idea behind Lindisfarne Castle’s latest family-friendly exhibition. Bringing to life remarkable tales through a broad selection of media, Now You See Me conjures an immersive kaleidoscope of hearsay, rumours, anecdotes, truths and mistruths in which you’ll smell the musk of gunpowder, be stirred by the ringing of the same bell as soldiers were in bygone days, and be invited to decide just how you view Lindisfarne Castle.

Turner: Northern Exposure
Until Sunday, October 13, 2019

This important new exhibition of 13 paintings and two sketchbooks by one of the most renowned of English Romantic artists is touring from Tate Britain, and will be complemented during its residence at The Granary Gallery by two additional works by Turner on loan from V&A and one from the Manchester Art Gallery. Together, they will represent the highlights of Turner’s first route of the North of England in 1797, which he credited as being the start of his success – and a landscape which he would continue to frequent throughout his lifetime.

LEGO®: Building The Bowes Museum
Until Sunday, October 13, 2019

Calling all LEGO® fans and families: The Bowes Museum is the place to be this summer, as they turn the museum into a bricked wonderland for their LEGO®: Building The Bowes Museum exhibition  – with 15 of their most loved objects, including the famous Silver Swan, recreated by Brick This’ Steve Mayes. Best of all, you can let your imagination run wild in their Creation Station and build your own museum of treasures.

John Akomfrah
Until Sunday, October 27, 2019

Since the early 1980s, John Akomfrah’s moving image works have offered some of the most rigorous and expansive reflections on the culture of the black diaspora, both in the UK and around the world. This exhibition includes the European premiere of Precarity, which tells the story of Charles ‘Buddy’ Bolden, the African American cornetist and key figure in the development of jazz music.

Fragile Earth: Seeds, Weeds, Plastic Crust
Until Sunday, September 29, 2019

MIMA’s summer exhibition presents artistic responses to current urgencies around ecological change around the world, as well as hosting an extensive public programme of thinking, making and exploring the Tees Valley with communities, artists and specialists. How do art practices and projects set the tone for change in industrial, commercial and governmental behaviours? Go along and find out.

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
Victoria & Albert: Our Lives In Watercolour
Until Sunday, September 15, 2019

Throughout their marriage, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were enthusiastic patrons (and practitioners) of the art of watercolour painting. This touring exhibition – including many works that will be displayed for the first time – marks the bicentenary of both of their births with a collection of colourful, dynamic watercolours capturing the pomp and spectacle of the British court, foreign travel and diplomacy, the exploration and shaping of a modern nation and, importantly, the close-knit family at the heart of it all.

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
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.

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.

George Clark: Double Ghosts
Until Sunday, October 27, 2019

Exploring the status and potential of unrealised and fragmented histories, this exhibition of George Clark’s work draws together 35mm film, sound recordings, script fragments, photography and archival material – filmed and gathered from the coasts of Chile to a mountain cemetery in Taiwan – to explore the history of images and how they are governed by culture, technology and social political conditions.

The Gymnasium Gallery, Berwick
A Summer Showing
Until Tuesday, October 1, 2019

This stunning showcase of art in various media will impress visitors to Castlegate House Gallery. Some standout pieces include works by established artists Richard Cook, Francis Bacon, Eileen Cooper and Stephen Chambers, but be sure to keep your eyes peeled for some wonderful work by the gallery’s talented younger artists too, including William Reinsch, Alice Campbell and Louis Appleby. And with a constantly changing display, one visit might not even be enough.

Lionel Playford and Morag Gordon
Until Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Landscape painter Lionel Playford’s attitude towards his craft is fuelled by a desire to capture the activity of the natural world, while Northumberland-based glass sculptor Morag Gordon works largely with sandcasting to accentuate the tangibility of her medium. Both will display their latest pieces at the Dennis Kilgallon Gallery this autumn: don’t miss them.

Dennis Kilgallon Gallery, Hexham
Autumn Exhibition
Until Friday, November 15, 2019

The Biscuit Factory welcomes acclaimed printmaker, painter and sculptor Henrietta Corbett as its headline artist this autumn, with her bold compositions of animals and landscapes. Alongside Henrietta’s collection of prints, sculptures and paintings depicting horses, lions, birds and abstract landscapes, the exhibition will also show work from more than 200 local, national and international artists, including Newcastle-based photographer and artist Jill Tate.

Until Sunday, October 6, 2019

Kevin Petrie is Head of the School of Art & Design at the University of Sunderland, and has taught for many years in the University’s Glass and Ceramics department based in the National Glass Centre. Although Kevin is known for his glasswork, ceramics and printmaking, his passion lies with drawing and painting. Discover his evocatively abstract acrylics and occasional mixed media pieces, all inspired by memories of travel, in This special exhibition.

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.

Roy Lichtenstein
Saturday, September 28, 2019 - Saturday, January 4, 2020

Discover the work of one of the most influential and innovative artists of the 20th century at the Hatton Gallery this autumn. Roy Lichtenstein is one of the pioneers of Pop Art, best-known for his paintings based on comic strips, advertising imagery, and playful adaptations of works of art by other artists that responded to the optimism and growing commercialisation of the 1960s – bringing popular, everyday images into fine art, and questioning authorship and originality. A rare opportunity to see such an important collection of the artist’s work in the North East.

Claire A Baker
Saturday, September 28, 2019 - Saturday, November 2, 2019

This exhibition documents artist research carried out in the homes of a number of the Chernobyl ‘Babushkas’, using the methodology of making, skills sharing and working together as a bonding device. Focusing on the obsolescence of this community and on extending the life of their personal narratives and artefacts, this process brought isolated people together, not only within communities but also across cultural and geographical divides.

Hartlepool Art Gallery


Nicolas Poussin's The Triumph of Pan
Saturday, October 5, 2019 - Sunday, January 5, 2020

A much-loved work from the National Gallery’s Collection, Nicolas Poussin’s The Triumph of Pan is touring the UK this year, taking a short residence in York. Poussin was the leading painter of the classical French Baroque style during the 17th century – even serving briefly as First Painter to the King under Louis XIII – and remained a major inspiration for classically-oriented artists as Jacques-Louis David and Paul Cézanne. Don’t miss this chance to see a real masterpiece up close.

The Bishop Trevor Gallery, Bishop Auckland
The Enchanted Interior
Saturday, October 12, 2019 - 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
Saturday, October 12, 2019 - 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
The Power and the Virtue: Guido Reni's Death of Lucretia
Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 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.

Watch the Birdie
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - Sunday, December 15, 2019

Only recently, Bailiffgate Museum and Gallery was given access to some of the earliest photographs to be produced of Alnwick’s most notable citizens of the time. They were added to a collection that already boasted many early and fascinating images of the town. – and this exhibition highlights some of the outstanding examples from the collection.

Bailiffgate Museum and Gallery, Alnwick

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