The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

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We have been kept under house arrest by the weather over here in the north west of England. So far the Easter holidays have been chock full of rain, wind, hail, sleet, more rain and umm, more wind. So it is with great delight I can tell you about a wonderful place to visit to escape the adverse weather conditions.

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The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester recently reopened after a £15 million redevelopment. Situated on the edge of Whitworth Park the extended gallery, now double in size, opens up to include the park space.

When we visited the gallery was busy but with plenty of space to lay down and doodle. The gallery staff were on hand with free activities for children.

Susie MacMurray Caryatids 2004

Susie MacMurray Caryatids 2004

My son particularly enjoyed observing and sketching Susie MacMurray’s wall sculpture fashioned from peacock feathers, entitled Caryatids. As the building is ecologically sound the gallery’s theme is Green. We were given a free booklet to complete, with space to doodle and sketch and in one of the main galleries children and their carers were encouraged to make their own creations from long strips of green paper.

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A new addition to the gallery are the floor to ceiling windows taking in the vistas of trees and plants. It creates such a relaxing atmosphere, taking time to stroll or sit in one of the many seating areas, to watch or sketch.

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Some of the more modern parents were annoyed that their young children could not eat in one of the dedicated children’s gallery workshops. Staff were very understanding. I’m not sure I would want a child romping around my 15 million pound home brandishing a hummus sandwich. There is a cafe/restaurant onsite and plenty of space outside to have a picnic. Alternatively there are a number of sit in, cheap-eat places just a short walk down Oxford Road.

War Room (2015) Cornelia Parker

War Room (2015) Cornelia Parker

Before leaving we went to take a look at the Cornelia Parker exhibition. The acclaimed British artist has transformed one space into a work of art by hanging perforated negatives left over from the production of British Legion remembrance poppies.

War Room (2015) Cornelia Parker

War Room (2015) Cornelia Parker

We finished our visit outside the gallery in the children’s play area, before heading off for a cheap pizza slice down the street. What a wonderful day out we had at the Whitworth Art Gallery.

The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6ER T: 0161 275 7450

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3 thoughts on “The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

  1. Rain, wind, hail, sleet. I was out in all that. Did they have the Kiss covered in string, or something? Presumably not the original. How did that look? And was it them that got the Easter Island statue recently?

    • Yes! They do have The Kiss covered in string! Not sure it’s the real one though…have you seen it. Such a fabulous place to visit, then you can go on further up Oxford Road to the Gallery of Costume or down to the museum…but you probably know that already 🙂 Hope you didn’t get too wet!

      • No, I saw it on the news. Not been since it re-opened. I think the Easter Island statue is in the Museum down the road now, although I know nothing of the Gallery of Costume. I guess that’s further out the wrong end of town (for me) but I’ll look into it. Thanks.

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