MORE T'NORTH exhibition

13 February 2020

There is something for everyone at the Harris this spring with four free and exciting new exhibitions opening this month, from local history to newly-made art. 

The Artful Line: Drawings from the Harris collection and The Courtauld Gallery is part of an ongoing project with The Courtauld and brings together works by Rosetti, Auerbach and Blake to examine drawing in all its forms. The exhibition also celebrates our shared heritage with Courtaulds textiles.

MORE T' NORTH is a contemporary exhibition curated by the Harris Young producers that challenges Northern stereotypes by showcasing the rich talent of the region. Sponsored by EasyPass Driving School.

THE UNFURLINGS: Banners for Hope & Change, created by people living with dementia, is the first opportunity to see the Preston banner, alongside other banners from across the UK.

Artist Abigail Reynolds' solo exhibition Taken in a few seconds /// By the reflection of light will explore what a library means today and will be in Harris' Library's Heritage Reading Room.   

There is plenty for everyone to see in our spring exhibitions. Visitors will have the chance to see new work by Preston based artists Anita George, Gavin Renshaw and Kathryn Poole specially commissioned for the The Artful Line exhibition and inspired by the history of the Courtauld's factory, now Red Scar Business Park.

Katherine Dunleavy, Regional Programme Coordinator at The Courtauld Gallery, said,

"We are thrilled to take forward our partnership with the Harris with the loans of four exceptional works by artists including Dante Gabriele Rossetti and Frank Auerbach, and to provide an opportunity for Prestonians to experience and enjoy these remarkable drawings from The Courtauld Gallery's collection. It is fantastic to also celebrate our shared heritage with Courtaulds textiles through this exhibition."

For The Unfurlings exhibition, People in Preston living with dementia worked with artist Ian Beesley and poet Ian McMillan on their banner. The Harris has created a dementia-friendly space, by including people with dementia in all elements of creating and planning the exhibition area, to play their part in the bigger Dementia Friendly Communities movement. The banners in the exhibition are based on traditional trade union and guild designs with Preston's banner highlighting the need for better signage in public places.

Kathleen Storton, Service Manager for Alzheimer's Society in Central and West Lancashire said,

"We are pleased to be uniting against dementia with the Harris on The Unfurlings. The exhibition will really bring to light some of the issues that are important to people with dementia and showcase them in a fun way. There will be lots of things to get involved with while the exhibition is on, from music to craft sessions. Information and support will also be available via Alzheimer's Society."

Artist Abigail Reynolds' artistic work is closely linked to books and libraries. In 2016, she travelled to the sites of fifteen former great libraries along the Silk Road to consider what a library means today. Her new work for the Harris exhibition displays rare books and the oldest photograph from the Harris collection, alongside a moving image work giving voices to these objects and exploring the secret places of the Harris. This exhibition offers a unique opportunity to experience objects from the Harris collection that have never been on display before.

Artist Abigail Reynolds said,

"The Harris has wonderful books and photographs hidden in its stores. I wanted to bring a few of these treasures to light, and put them into a contemporary conversation."

The Harris Young Producers are proud to present MORE T'NORTH a contemporary exhibition that seeks to go beyond typical northern stereotypes. MORE T'NORTH shows a fresh collection of paintings, sculptures, installation and film of fifteen artists which have been specially selected by the Harris Young Producers to prove there is MORE T'NORTH than thick accents and pies! The Harris Young Producers is a collaboration between the Harris and Blaze, an arts organisation led by young people to develop the next generation of creative producers. 

Artist Shonargh Short said,

"I'm really excited to have my work shown at such a prestigious venue and I think it's fantastic the Harris Young Producers are challenging out of date stereotypes about the North by showcasing new contemporary artists from the region. The Harris Young Producers are a hotbed of talent and I'm thrilled to be working with them on More T'North, it feels like Preston and the North are the place to be!"

Vikesh Chauhan, Owner of local driving school EasyPass, said,

"We are absolutely delighted to sponsor this exhibition of work by young people, chosen by young people. During the exhibition, we'll be making a £10 donation to the Harris for every new driving school student who signs up and says they heard about us through the Harris."

Councillor Peter Kelly, Cabinet member for culture and leisure at Preston City Council said, 

"The Harris works closely with artists, partners and community groups to produce exhibitions of a high quality that engage with our visitors.

"Each exhibition has a different theme and this variety in our spring and autumn offer has proved popular with visitors, signifying an increase in visitor numbers year on year.

"We would like to thank our partners, The Courtauld Gallery, The Alzheimer's Society, Harris Young Producers, Abigail Reynolds and all the artists and curators involved, for their hard work in delivering the 2020 spring exhibitions."

There is a full programme of exhibition events including February Half Term, Easter and Spring Bank Holidays at The Harris.

Exhibition Preview is on Friday 14 February 5 - 7pm

Exhibitions open on Saturday 15 February and run until 31 May 2020*

*Artist Abigail Reynolds solo exhibition Taken in a few seconds /// By the reflection of light runs until 10 May 2020.

Background information

About the Harris

Based in Preston, Lancashire, the Harris is one of the leading museums, galleries and libraries in the region. Host to art collections of national significance, exciting activities and events for all ages and an award-winning contemporary art programme, the Harris welcomed over 384,000 visitors in 2018/2019.

The Harris is proud to be an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation. The Harris consists of an art gallery, museum, library and café.

The Harris has received development funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund of £180,900, for the Re-Imagining the Harris project, which is an ambitious project supported by key partners including the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal. Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to establish the Harris as the UK's first blended museum, art gallery and library. Having recently celebrated its 125th birthday the Harris aims to be a centre for Preston's cultural and social life, a source of inspiration, pride and creativity for the next 125 years.  #HarrisYourPlace

About The Courtauld Institute of Art and The Courtauld Gallery

The Courtauld is the world's leading centre for the study of art history, conservation and curating.

The Courtauld Gallery is home to a celebrated collection of major works of art from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century. It is most famous for its unrivalled collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, with masterpieces by artists ranging from Manet, Monet and Renoir to Cézanne, Van Gogh and Modigliani.

Many of these works were acquired by the pioneering collector and philanthropist Samuel Courtauld in the 1920s and 1930s, when he was chairman of the textile firm Courtaulds Ltd. He went on to establish The Courtauld in 1932, with Sir Robert Witt and Viscount Lee of Fareham, as an institute dedicated to the teaching and public dissemination of art history and conservation. Today, The Courtauld continues his founding vision and is one of the world's leading centres for the study and public enjoyment of art.

As part of an ambitious transformation project that will make The Courtauld's world-class artworks, research and teaching accessible to even more people, the gallery is closed until Spring 2021. During this period, The Courtauld has established exhibition and museum partnerships both nationally and internationally to provide unique opportunities for more audiences to engage with its collection. Our teaching has also temporarily relocated from Somerset House to Vernon Square until c.2022/3.  

For more information visit Courtauld.

The Unfurlings: Banners for Hope and Change exhibition is co-curated with Preston's 'Focus on Dementia' Action Group and the Alzheimer's Society. It is part of 'A Life More Ordinary' project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

For more information visit The Furlings

Dementia is now the UK's biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes.  There are 850,000 people with dementia - set to double in the next two decades. Too many are facing dementia alone without adequate support. We urgently need to find a cure, improve care and offer help and understanding for people affected. For more information visit Alzheimer's Society

Abigail Reynolds lives in St Just, Cornwall, and has a studio at Porthmeor, in St Ives. She studied English literature at St Catherine's College Oxford University, before pursuing an MFA at Goldsmiths University, London. Her work can be found in the Government Art Collection, the Yale University Art Gallery, the New York Public Library and many private collections. 

EasyPass Driving School EasyPass is a new, local driving school able to teach you to drive all over Preston and as far away as Southport.  EasyPass will donate £10 to the Harris for every new customer who books driving lessons and says they heard about EasyPass through the Harris.  

For more information visit EasyPass.

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people's lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries - from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. 

For more information visit the Arts Council.

The City of Preston - located in the heart of Lancashire and the North West and with over 1,000 years of history, Preston is a city that has much to offer. 

For more information on what the city of Preston has to offer please view the Visit Preston website.