The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

A guide to art over the Christmas break

Laura Joyce gives the breakdown to what’s on nationwide this Christmas

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We all know the feeling; first semester is coming to a close, a serious lack of motivation, and the promise to catch up on all those missed lectures over the Christmas break. Who are you kidding? You’re not fooling anyone. We’re all going to get home, moan at our parents for decorating the tree without us, don our gay apparel and forget we’re even students.

After spending the last dregs of our student loans and our minimum wages we’ll be desperate to get out of the house without spending a penny. Well, this is your lucky day; because we have the top exhibitions from across the UK this December all planned out for you. So no matter where you lay your hat, you’ll have a free day out on the cards.

London

Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Graphic Art
House of MinaLima
Closes 4th February 2017

With the recent release of J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Harry Potter’s magical world has left us mere muggles pining for more magic in our everyday lives. Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, the designers behind the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie artwork, are showcasing their magical designs for free! And could they have more perfect wizarding names, please?

You’ll find yourself surrounded by props and artworks like the Marauder’s Map, a Hogwarts acceptance letter, and even Hogwarts express tickets (please let them be legit). Located on Greek Street, just round the corner from the Prince Edward Theatre, I cannot think of a better way to spend a few free hours in the capital.

Liverpool

Sprung a Leak by Cécile B. Evans
Tate Liverpool
Closes 19th March 2017

A popular concept in the modern world is that of Artificial Intelligence, and this innovative exhibition certainly doesn’t shy away from what appears to be computer science’s next logical step. With the growing popularity of shows like Humans and Westworld, the exhibition takes a hard look at the increasing influence that modern technology has on our thoughts and our feelings.

The piece consists of a play between two humanoid robots and a robot dog, and is set in a very possible near-future world. Programmed by researchers and PhD students from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Computer Science, this is set to be a must-see in Liverpool.

Newcastle

MONICA BONVICINI: her hand around the room
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Closes 26th February 2017

Monica Bonvicini brings an exciting exhibition to Newcastle in “her hand around the room”. The Italian-born artist is known for exploring the relationships between architecture, control, gender, space, surveillance, and power. Paying particular attention to individual identity and how we, as humans create our own sense of self, the exhibition ranges from the close and intimate right up the architecturally vast.

This piece will also include various artworks from throughout Bonvicini’s outstanding career, with some works being specially commissioned for this particular exhibition.

Birmingham

Made at Mac: The Art of Computer Games and Animation
mac, Birmingham
Closes 8th January 2017

We so often recommend the works of the professionals, but this is an exciting display of the works of amateurs. Mac, Birmingham offers art classes to children and adults alike, and will be showcasing their work over the festive period.

The artworks are designed based on the stimulus of animation – particularly the animation used in computer games. Who knows? You might just spot the next  best comic-book artist.

Edinburgh

Wildlife Photographer of the Year
National Museum of Scotland
Closes 19th February 2017

On loan from the Natural History Museum in London, this display of 100 of the top photographs of wildlife in their natural environments is set to inspire all who visit. With over 42,000 entries from 96 countries, this competition is truly prestigious. No doubt then that the final images will be awe-inspiring.

Cardiff

Artes Mundi 7
National Museum Cardiff
Closes 26th February 2017

Artes Mundi 7 is an exciting display of the final six artists in line for a chance to win the Artes Mundi contemporary art prize.

Karen MacKinnon, Artes Mundi’s Director and Curator: “Artes Mundi 7 brings together the work of six outstanding international artists. Through their work they examine important global issues such as migration, technology, ecological issues, capitalism and global politics. These artists question what it means to be human in our world and in our time. Whether their works explore the current situation in Angola, fictional future cities, the politics of food production or migration from Syria to Beirut; there is humour, surrealism and provocation. But what connects this diverse exhibition is relevance and urgency, as they comment on and question the spirit of our age.”

Bristol

Daphne Wright: Emotional Archaeology
Arnolfini
Closes 31st December 2016

Based in Bristol, artist Daphne Wright focuses on the suburban and the domestic realm to explore complex social issues and our understanding of society. Her work appears to focus on the everyday and to put it under the spotlight so that we can see reality’s true nature.

The exhibition includes major sculptural works alongside films, prints, and drawings, allowing visitors to connect emotionally with all aspects of the exhibition.

Leeds

Everyday Objects
The Gallery at Munro House
Closes 21st January 2017

Designer Jason Taylor re-imagines the uses of everyday objects and infuses the mundane with obscurity. Some of his creations are functional, others are not, and some are just crazy constructions that seem to make very little sense in our world.

Some of his reinventions include matchsticks, cheese-graters, and biro pens. This exhibition is set to be both bizarre and spectacular.

So when you’re lying in bed wondering why you spent so much money on all those mulled wines last night, just remember; free arts exhibitions have always got your back.

And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy Fuse TV have made a run down of what to do in Manchester, even if you’re on a budget! Watch it here.