With signs of Spring appearing and hopes of gradually warming weather, it’s always great to get out and about and enjoy yourself. Being a lover of all things art and design, my days off are often spent on a jaunt to a local gallery and thankfully we have plenty of amazing places to visit within easy reach. Knowing that many of our lovely clients at Zeitgeist Hair are either interested in or directly involved in the arts themselves, I thought I’d share some of my personal recommendations for current or upcoming exhibitions in northern towns and cities.
February took me to Yorkshire Sculpture Park to see astounding sculptural works in wood, stone and ceramic by Italian artist Giuseppe Penone. A Tree in the Wood (until April 28th) includes works on display both in the Underground gallery and outdoors in the park, many of which are of an impressive scale. The great thing about YSP is that you can always combine the viewing of artworks with a walk, some fresh air and possibly even a picnic (weather permitting!) as there are also permanent works of art all around the grounds. If you have a bit more energy, you can always cross the bridge to the other side of the river to get a close-up view of a piece called Wilsis by one of my favourite artists, Juame Plensa. This head of a young girl is positioned looking out over the water in such a breathtaking setting, it’s hard not to be awestruck.
If you’ve ever headed over towards Liverpool on the M62 and wondered what the white sculpture was on the hill near Sutton Manor, it’s called Dream and is also by Juame Plensa. You can turn off the motorway and take a short but worthwhile walk through the woods and up the hill to view Dream close up.
Hopping back on the motorway towards Liverpool in search of culture is never going to be a disappointment, with the Tate and Walker art galleries to name but two destinations. At the Tate you can currently see Op Art in Focus (until 5th July); Optical art from the 1960’s onwards by artists including Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely. The geometric painted lines in these works can be disorientating as you move past them, making you feel that the works of art themselves are moving. This can be fun though you might need to sit down for a bit afterwards! If you do, you can always go off and join the workshop and make your own Op Art wallpaper (various dates in May).
Ambling on up from the Tate to the Walker Art Gallery, you can skip backwards in time a good six decades from the 60’s to the turn of the last century in the newly opened Charles Rennie Mackintosh: ‘Making the Glasgow Style’ exhibition (from 15th March – 26th August). This promises to be an exciting exhibition for all lovers of the Art Nouveau style as it includes more than 250 objects including architectural designs, furniture, embroidery and stained glass by a number of artists and designers integral to the evolution of the Glasgow style and the only Art Nouveau movement in the UK.
If you’d rather venture across to Manchester, a trip to Manchester Art Gallery would be rewarding. If you haven’t caught theMartin Parr: Return to Manchester exhibition yet, there’s still plenty of time as it runs until 22nd April. This photographic exhibition documents the lives of Mancunians across a 40 year period and celebrates the ‘humanity of the everyday’.
From the Martin Parr exhibition, descend to the first floor to see Leonardo da Vinci, A Life in Drawing (until 6th May). This exhibition marks the 500th anniversary of the death of the artist and includes 12 drawings from the Royal Collection. The works focus on the body and demonstrate Leonardo’s use of drawing to gain an unrivalled understanding of human anatomy. Perfectly preserved for more than 500 years, these extraordinary drawing seem so fresh and vibrant that they could have been done yesterday. As this is a nationwide exhibition, 11 other UK galleries are each displaying 12 drawings by the artist so if you are a big fan, you could always see more in Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool.
As I wouldn’t want you to miss the beautiful sculpture of Halima Cassell, descend again to the ground floor to visit her exhibition Eclectica-Global Inspirations (until 5th January 2020). I studied 3-D Design with Halima back in the 90’s (UCL, class of ’97!) and it’s fantastic to see how her work and artistic skills have evolved. The forms are mainly ceramic though there are some also in bronze, stone, marble wood and cast glass. The inspiration for Halima’s work is diverse and includes geometry, mathematics, pattern, nature, travel and architecture. It’s easy to appreciate these influences and Halima’s wonderful making skills.
Last but not least on my ‘must see’ list are two exhibitions at the Hepworth Wakefield, leading us neatly back to Yorkshire soil.Modern Nature: British Photographs from the Hyman Collection (until 2nd June 2019) includes work by leading British photographers Shirley Baker, Bill Brandt, Anna Fox, Chris Killip, Martin Parr and Tony Ray-Jones. The exhibition includes 60 photographs exploring our relationship with the natural world and how this shapes people and communities. The exhibition explores the merging of urban and rural landscapes, the rapid expansion of cities and the increasingly intrusive management of the countryside.
Also showing at the Hepworth is Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things (until 2nd June). More than 50 of Odundo’s ceramic vessels are displayed alongside a large selection of historic and contemporary objects to reveal the diverse references from around the globe that have inspired her unique work. Objects include British studio pottery, ancient vessels from Greece and Egypt; historic ceramics from Africa, Asia and Central America; ritual objects from across the African continent; Elizabethan dress and textiles; as well as sculptures by artists including Edgar Degas, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Auguste Rodin who have influenced Odundo’s art.
So that’s all on my whistle-stop tour of inspiring art in the North West. I hope you found something of interest to inspire you and it would be great to hear your thoughts on your next visit to us at the salon!