We could all use a distraction in these uncertain times and thanks to modern technology, you don’t even have to give up your arts and culture fix while stuck at home. There are loads of art galleries and museums with online collections – and we’ve picked out a few of the best so you can enjoy some amazing exhibitions from the comfort of your own front room.

Manchester Open Exhibition | HOME

Having closed its doors due to the current situation, HOME are giving the Manchester Open Exhibition a platform on their website, allowing audiences to continue to explore the works on offer from their own home. You can see images of the art and of the opening night, watch short films going Behind the Art and read interviews with the artists.

Faces of Frida | Google Arts and Culture

Google Arts and Culture bring a close look at the many faces of artist Frida Kahlo, in collaboration with a number of collections including Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico and National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington. With Frida’s own art – and the art of others who knew her – available to view, alongside several editorial features on her life, this is a great chance to take a deep dive into the life and works of the renowned Mexican artist.

Talking Sense | The Portico Gallery

In Talking Sense, fifty artists have created fifty works of art paired with fifty phrases from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, first published in 1952, to open up a space for new conversations about mental and emotional experience in the 21st century. You can explore many of these works, as well as writings on the subject, at the Portico’s website.

Online Collection | People's History Museum

The digitised collection at People’s History Museum is comprehensive and easily searchable. You can search for individual objects as well as collections using the search function and see images of historical objects accompanied by explanatory text. Their collection is particularly focused on working people in Britain over the past 200 years – this is an amazing way to find out some local and national history that forms the very basis of our current society.

Digital exhibitions | PAPER gallery

PAPER, an accessible artist-led gallery in Manchester city centre, has a huge archive of past exhibitions on their website. With photographs and digitised versions of works that span multiple mediums, all accompanied by information on the exhibition and the artist, you can easily lose yourself for an afternoon browsing the very finest contemporary art.

MMInQuarantine | Manchester Museum

By visiting MMInQuarantine.com you’ll be able to explore current exhibitions like the insect-focused Beauty and the Beast and pottery-led A Ming Emperor’s Seat, aspects of untold histories that aren’t taught in schools and the museum’s extensive collection of wondrours objects, including over 4.5 million curiosities. Their new digital hub also boasts resources for home educators and families. To start exploring, simply visit the site.

LS Lowry's Landscape's of Salford | The Lowry

While The Lowry may remain closed, curious visitors can still explore the work of this famed Salford local via the Smartify app. This free-to-download application allows users to identify artworks during their trips to galleries simply by scanning them with their phone camera. Now, this same piece of software has been used to take people on a digital tour of Lowry’s depictions of Salford, led by curators at The Lowry. Through a series of audio packages and image collections, you can take a digital stroll across Salford seen through the eyes of Lowry himself. Click the button below to get started.

David Lynch's My Head is Disconnected | HOME | Tue 18 Aug

As part of last year’s Manchester International Festival, HOME hosted a major event centred on the work of David Lynch, with almost the entire venue dedicated to the work of this inimitable filmmaker and visual artist. Cut to 2020 and with everyone stuck in lockdown, the HOME team have made aspects of this takeover available online. By visiting the venue’s website you can browse a photo gallery of My Head is Disconnected. This features his avant-garde paintings, drawings and sculptures from the late sixties up to the present day.

HOME’s curator Bren O’Callaghan also provides an audio commentary for the exhibit. You can replay a live video Q+A with the man himself, during which he talks about these artworks and his acclaimed films and TV shows. In another video discussion, which also features musician Tim Burgess, he talks about a discipline which is key to his creative process: transcendental meditation. Additionally, there’s an exclusive essay by critic James King about Lynch’s use of sound.

Future 20: Last Place On Earth

Created by HOME’s Future 20 collective – a group of talented young artists, poets, photographers and creatives aged 18-25 – Last Place on Earth was initially planned to be their debut exhibition before the Coronavirus threw things into chaos. Now, the project has been reimagined into a dark, dystopian and eerie digital experience featuring film and virtual reality, exploring what the last place on Earth might look like and inviting you to reconnect with mother nature.

Tue 18 Aug
Amy Callaghan
Published on:
Sun 20 Sep 2020