British Art Show 9
British Art Show is recognised as the most pertinent and ambitious recurrent exhibition of contemporary art produced in the UK, taking place every five years.
The ninth edition brings the work of some of the most exciting contemporary artists to Castlefield Gallery, HOME, Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth.
British Art Show 9 is curated by Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar and focuses on work made since 2015. The exhibition reflects a precarious moment in Britain’s history, which has brought politics of identity and nation, concerns of social, racial, and environmental justice, and questions of agency to the centre of public consciousness.
The exhibition is structured around three main themes – Healing, Care and Reparative History, Tactics for Togetherness, Imagining New Futures – and has been conceived as a cumulative experience, adapting, and changing for each city, and presenting different combinations of artists and artworks that respond to their distinctive local contexts.
In Manchester, the exhibition showcases 19 artists across the city. Their projects aim to extend our understanding of identity beyond the human, often blurring the boundaries between art and life. Through their works, they propose alternative futures, economies, and ways of living together. The presentation will feature many ambitious immersive installations, five new works, and two new commissions made specifically by artists in response to local histories and cultures in Manchester.
Artists at the Whitworth
Anne Hardy’s spectacular large-scale installation Liquid Landscape (2018) is displayed at the Whitworth, the first time this work has been presented in the UK. It combines objects, lights, sounds, and special effects into a sensory experience that uses the idea of a city almost underwater, and an interloping climate, as a way to consider fragility, resilience, and shifting emotions. *Please see note to visitors below.
Andy Holden’s The Estate of Hermione (2021) – An extensive exhibition of work by self-trained artist Hermione Burton (1925–c.1990) and a new film displayed at the Whitworth. Burton’s paintings were found by Holden by chance in a flea market and since then, he has obsessively collected, researched, restored, and exhibited them.
Katie Schwab presents blueprint of an emotion (2022), a new commission for British Art Show 9 at the Whitworth, made possible by Arts Council England’s Project Grant for National Activities. Katie’s presentation takes its cue from public artworks by mid-century artists Hans Tisdall and Mitzi Cunliffe that feature on educational buildings in Manchester. The installation has evolved through research and community discussion on ideas of repair, alchemy, and civic identity. It comprises a new wall painting and collaborative tile work, shown alongside a large-scale tapestry, maquette, and weaving samples from the Whitworth’s rich textile collections.
*Note to visitors
To experience the sounds and unique atmosphere of Anne Hardy’s work, we ask you to please take your shoes off before you enter this area of the exhibition. The work also has limited capacity. Thank you.
British Art Show 9 will be presented across HOME; Manchester Art Gallery; Castlefield Gallery; The Whitworth.
BAS9 Events across Manchester venues
While you are at the gallery visit the group exhibition Fayre Share Fayre which is currently on display at the Whitworth and is part of A Modest Show, the collateral programme to British Art Show 9. You can find out about A Modest Show's programme of public events – here
27 May – 4 September 2022
Image: Anne Hardy, Liquid Landscape, 2018. © Anne Hardy. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London.
Commissioned by Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam.
Collection of Tate: Presented by the artist 2020