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TOP 10: Exhibitions In December

The best art and museum exhibitions around Manchester this December

Written by . Published on December 11th 2014.

TOP 10: Exhibitions In December

AFGHANISTAN: THE TRANSITION | John Rylands Library | 1 December - February

You shouldn't need much of an excuse to visit the John Rylands but this photographic exhibition by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) should prove to be an extra draw. The exhibition presents a series of highly evocative photographs capturing personal stories from MSF’s medical projects in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan: The Transition


3D: Printing the Future brings together hundreds of 3D printed objects, from printed knickers to a synthetic heart, to explore how 3D printing is revolutionising the fields of medicine and engineering. The exhibiton celebrates the creativity and potential of this new technology to change all of our lives forever.

3D: Printing The Future

3D printed car wheels3D printed car wheels

AKRAM KHAN: ONE SIDE TO THE OTHER | The Lowry | Until 1 February

Akram Khan, dancer and choreographer, curates the second series of The Lowry's visual arts exhibitions, bringing together sculpture, photography, painting and film, by artists such as Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor. One Side To The Other will explore Khan's fascination with both the 'traditional and contemporary, the spiritual and the grounded, doubt and certainty, light and dark.'

One Side To The Other

30 YEARS OF FUTURE | Castlefield Gallery | 5 December-1 February

This December Castlefield Gallery is celebrating its history spanning three decades with the exhibition 30 Years of the Future. The gallery have asked prominent contemporary artists, curators and thinkers who have contributed to its 30-year history to nominate emerging artists who they consider to be shaping the future of contemporary art.

30 Years of the Future

Castlefield GalleryCastlefield Gallery


The pilot for a new light art festival will see Piccadilly Gardens illuminated for four days (4.30-8pm) by a series of work from local, national and international artists. In preparation for a wider light festival in 2015, visitors will be able to explore innovative large-scale installations. Curated Place - the Manchester-based arts-production company behind the project - hope to build on work in Iceland and the Faroe Islands and bring together Nordic artists with home-grown talent to illuminate the city centre.

Enlighten Manchester

CLAYTON WHITTER: DAMAGED GOODS | Future Artists | Virgin Money Lounge | 12 - 19 December

Future Artists are proud to present Salfordian artist, Clayton Whitter, a talented 'photo-realist' artist whose delicate and intricate pop-cultural works, including subjects from Breaking Bad and Joy Division, are crafted over months at a time on grubby street pavements and alleys. All prints will be available to purchase at the exhibition.

Future Artists

Joy Division by Clayton WhitterJoy Division by Clayton Whitter

SIBERIA: AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD | Manchester Museum | Until 1 March

The first exhibition of its kind in the UK, Siberia: At the Edge of the World combines rare artefacts and photographs alongside unique specimens - such as a baby mammoth preserved in frost - brought from British and Russian museums to tell the story of this vast land and dispel many of its myths.

Siberia: At the Edge of the World

STANLEY SPENCER: HEAVEN IN A HELL OF WAR | Manchester Art Gallery | Until 1 March

Named by Tate Britain as one of 'the most original British painters of his generation', this exhibition from Stanley Spencer (1891-1959) - on loan from the National Trust's Sandham Memorial Chapel - will feature a series of large-scale arched canvases and side panels detailing scenes of the artist's own wartime experiences as a soldier within a hospital.

Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War

Stanley SpencerStanley Spencer

PLAYTIME | Cornerhouse | Until 15 March

Before the city arts centre Cornerhouse jumps ship to the new £25m HOME (due to open in May 2015), this final exhibition bids farewell and pays homage to the building they've called home since 1985. To mark the occasion, nine artists present playful work inspired by Cornerhouse’s iconic brick structure and director Jacques Tati’s 1967 cult French comedy Playtime - which follows the adventures of Monsieur Hulot as he wanders, bemused, through a hi-tech and hyperbolised Paris.


SUN XUN: STATELY SHADOWS | Centre For Chinese Contemporary Art | Opens 18 December to 22 March

Manchester's Chinese arts centre are presenting this major solo exhibition by Sun Xun following the recent Asia Triennial Manchester 2014. In the gallery Sun Xun will be screening the UK premiere of his animation What Happened in the Year of the Dragon, along with some of previous animation and video works.

Sun Xun: Stately Shadows

Sun XunSun Xun

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