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John Lyons: Carnivalesque

10 May – 25 August 2024

John Lyons: Carnivalesque

The spring begins with the first major retrospective exhibition of Caribbean British artist and poet John Lyons.

Spanning six decades, the exhibition will survey his contribution to British art, literature and art education, centred on his exploration of Trinidadian folklore and mythology through painting and poetry. The show includes paintings, drawings and woodcuts, with selected small sculptures and sketchbooks.

It includes Lyons’ poetry via text and sound, and importantly, explores the links between his visual and literary practices. An archival element considers Lyons’ long career in art education and the arts ecosystem in Manchester, West Yorkshire, and nationally. The exhibition and accompanying illustrated catalogue bring greater visibility and recognition at a timely moment in his long career.

Shop the collection

Caribbean-British artist and poet John Lyons has created a limited edition print exclusively for the Whitworth to accompany his exhibition.
Pre-order only: This print will be despatched before Friday 17 May 2024.
Visit the Whitworth Shop online to find out more


Listen to the new episode of our Podcast, A Walk in The Park, where we  join Curator Olivia Heron and Cultural Park Keeper Fran Hayfron with the poet and artist John Lyons to take a look at the exhibition 'Carnivalesque'.

Press release

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10 May – 25 August 2024


Image: John Lyons, Mama Look a Mas Passin, detail, 1990
Oil on canvas, 1270 x 1020mm
Courtesy of the artist © John Lyons. Photo: Anne-Katrin Purkiss