Has the Bank Holiday left a hole in your heart? Good job your old pal Manchester Wire is here to fix you up. Stretch out that feeling all week by knocking off a bit early and checking out some of these free goodies.

Lost Gardens of Manchester at Manchester Art Gallery (pictured)
This has been up for a month and we’re frankly aghast we missed it. The forecourt of the gallery has been transformed with this floral installation crafted by National Trust gardeners, taking their inspiration from the lush public gardens that littered Victorian Manchester. Over the next year, the plants will be rotated to match the season, but what better time than a bank holiday to check out this little slice of Babylon on Mosley Street
Thu 22 Apr 2015 – 2016, Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, M2 3JL, www.manchestergalleries.org

Little Painting Challenge Exhibition at Whitworth Gallery
Earlier this year, the BBC opened entries for a Little Painting Challenge, to accompany its Big Painting Challenge – a twee Bake Off style competition show to find the country’s best amateur painter. Less ritzy, The Little Painting Challenge invited anyone to produce a postcard-sized piece – the best of which are being put on display in the Whitworth’s Grand Hall. You’ve only got a month to check out these micro-Monets, so get a move on.
Fri 1 May – Fri 22 May, Whitworth Gallery, The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M15 6ER, www.whitworth.manchester.ac.uk

Hovis Presley Tribute at Ape & Apple
The Bolton performance poet and comedian Hovis Presley passed away ten years ago, but his influence is still felt on the Northwest comedy inspiring many of the region’s most notable performers, from Peter Kay downwards. Weekly free comedy night the Comedy Balloon pays tribute to the man with a frankly excellent lineup, including Tony Burgess and Peter Slater from BBC 3’s Ideal. A fitting tribute to Hovis, and in line with the man’s own values, entirely free to punters.
Wed 6 May, Ape & Apple, 28-30 John Dalton Street, M2 6HQ, www.comedyballoon.co.uk

Election Day Butterfly Release at Manchester Museum
African contemporary artist Romuald Hazoumè is to ‘release’ a swarm of butterflies in the Manchester Museum’s Living Worlds Gallery, but you needn’t worry about getting them all caught in your hair, because these are all fabric butterflies of his own invention. The exhibition features clusters of these fake butterflies arranged in all kinds of shapes – the intention of the launch is to encourage people, particularly first time voters, to get out and vote.
Thu 7 May, Manchester Museum, The University Of Manchester, Oxford Road, M13 9PL, www.events.manchester.ac.uk

2015 General Election at Wherever You Live
Go and vote. It’s fun. You get to use a tiny pencil.

Mon 4 May - Thu 7 May
Jon Whiteley
Published on:
Mon 4 May 2015