Top Culture Picks 25.02.21

Published on: 
25 February 2021

Art historian, John Francis, our guest editor gives his weekly Top Culture Picks.

Moving from glamorous Liverpool we head to its rival city, Manchester. This city was at the epicentre of the Industrial Revolution and a global hothouse of ideas, industry and culture. Built in 1823, the Manchester Art Gallery has a hugely impressive collection to explore.

The first painting acquired by the gallery in 1826 was James Northcote’s portrait of the celebrated black actor, Ira Aldridge. This painting is the focus of our culture pick.

EXPLORE Manchester Art Gallery

VISIT the zoom event 'MAG Unlocked Looking backwards/Looking forwards'

ENJOY a video interview between Tim Marlow- art historian and Sonja Boyce – the leading black female artist and activist, discussingJames Northcote's painting. Sonja Boyce explains why she has for decades been obsessed with this portrait.

Although the video interview is 53 minutes long, it fully engages with issues of the black female experience in the UK and successfully unpacks why Sonja Boyce has become such a major artist in the UK. (If you are pushed for time just watch the first 13 minutes when the Midlands artist work and influences are visually referenced.)  

DISCOVER a treasure trove of other artist videos include Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor

View all John's weekly Culture Tips