From perfectly preserved mummies and urban horticulture to breathtaking astronomy galleries and a fascinating fashion retrospective, Greater Manchester hosts an astoundingly diverse selection of exhibitions across its award-winning museums and venues to captivate visitors of all tastes, as we escape winter’s bluster and enter the nominally warmer months in 2024.

Here are some of the best exhibitions around the region this spring.

Visions of the Night Sky | Jodrell Bank | Until 14 Apr | FREE-£12 (included in admission)

Open from 10am-4pm daily in the breathtaking Space Pavilion, Jodrell Bank’s ongoing Visions of the Night Sky exhibition charts a course across the universe through the astonishing photography of Dr. Anthony Holloway, the observatory’s Head of Computing.

Blending his supreme technical knowledge with a professional understanding of astronomy and a natural artistic flair, Holloway’s work captures the boundless inspiration and imaginative fertility of the cosmos, presented against the backdrop of the world-famous Lovell Telescope.

Bomish Ln, Cheshire, Macclesfield SK11 9DW, Tel: 01477 571766
Operation Ouch! Food, Poo and You | The Science and Industry Museum | Open until Jun 2024 | From £9

Open now in the Special Exhibitions Gallery, the ‘world premiere blockbuster exhibition’ based on the BBC Children’s TV series Operation Ouch! invites science-lovers and biology buffs of all ages on an adventure inside the human body, promising an odyssey of immersive ingestion in which visitors will be shrank and squeezed through a super-sized internal process, all experienced through the POV of poo.

Featuring interactive activities, a variety of fascinating items from the Science Museum Group’s collection and digital assistance from Dr. Xand, Dr. Chris and Dr. Ronx, the exhibition combines silliness and science to provide a unique insight into the complex journey undertaken by everything we eat. Visitors will travel through various tracts and tubes in an exploration of food as fuel, our inner ‘poo-duction line’ and the ways in which our systems fight bacteria, while embracing our funniest bodily functions and the ‘glorious grossness’ inside us all.

The Science and Industry Museum’s Spring season presents the last chance to catch the unique exhibition in Manchester. Book your visit via the link below.

The Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Rd, Manchester, M3 4FP
Manchester Open 2024 | HOME | Sat 3 Feb - Sun 28 Apr | FREE

Running once every two years, HOME’s Manchester Open 2024 celebrates the best artistic talent across the region with a mixed-media showcase of stunning submissions from applicants of all backgrounds and experiences, having welcomed entries from professionals and first-time enthusiasts alike.

Displayed on the HOME Gallery walls from until Sun 28 Apr, the panel-selected exhibition features paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, ceramics, digital, video, audio and more, with winning artworks chosen in partnership with Castlefield Gallery.

2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester M15 4FN, Tel: 0161 200 1500
RHS Urban Show | Depot Mayfield | Thu 18 - Sun 21 Apr | From £14.85

Developed around a theme of ‘your own oasis’, the RHS Urban Show takes over Depot Mayfield for a long weekend this April with a horticultural festival of stalls, showcases and spellbinding city centre botany as the brand new and immersive experience promises a gardening exhibition with a metropolitan twist.

11 Baring St, Manchester M1 2PY
Ayo Akingbade: Show Me The World Mister | The Whitworth | Fri 3 May - Sun 20 Oct | FREE

Opening on Fri 3 May at the Whitworth, the prodigious emerging artist’s solo exhibition Show Me The World Mister features two new, captivating film commissions, The Fist and Faluyi, both shot on location in her family’s native Nigeria.

Billed as ‘her most ambitious productions to date’, Akingbade’s films examines the historic relationship between labour and industrialisation, alongside the familial mysticism and hauntology of ancestral lands. Both shorts have been acquired by the Whitworth and will be shown together in a bespoke installation designed by Ayo herself.

Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6ER
Unpicking Couture | Manchester Art Gallery | Until Sun 12 Jan 2025 | FREE

Free to enter, Manchester Art Gallery’s fascinating ongoing exhibition Unpicking Couture celebrates groundbreaking moments in the history of fashion with a collection of breathtaking pieces from across the last century, with works by Christian Dior, Azzedine Alaïa, Cristobal Balenciaga, Pierre Cardin, Vivienne Westwood, Yohji Yamamoto, Bruce Oldfield and Alexander McQueen, as well as a recently restored 1930s silk velvet jacket by Italian couturier Elsa Schiaparelli.

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley St, Manchester M2 3JL
Golden Mummies of Egypt | Manchester Museum | Until Sun 14 Apr | FREE

Located in Manchester Museum‘s revamped exhibition hall, a space dedicated to hosting ambitious installations which examine past, present and future, the wildly popular Golden Mummies of Egypt continues to delight families with children of all ages through the fathomless wonder of Ancient Egypt, with over 100 artefacts and 8 breathtakingly well-preserved sarcophagi available to explore for free this Mother’s Day.

While guaranteed to ignite a lifelong love of history for kids around the city, the exhibition also promises to captivate grown-ups with nuanced, thorough explorations of the unique perspectives on the afterlife held during the little-known Graeco-Roman period.

University of, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PL
Banner Exhibition 2024 | People’s History Museum | Until Mon 30 Dec | FREE

Tracing over a century of British public fortitude, this year’s Banner Exhibition makes for a sweeping fabric timeline of ground-breaking protests and social unity in the long, tireless struggle for the rights we have today, with 26 historic and contemporary banners on display and free to explore. Featuring art across history marbled with defiance, from trade union placards, Miners’ Strike slogans and more recent campaigns on disability and migrant rights, the exhibition occupies a quarter of the People’s History Museum for almost a full year.

Left Bank, Manchester M3 3ER
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Thu 14 Mar 2024