The Civic

Introducing our pop-up online [email protected] The Civic!
With The Civic being closed for the time being we didn’t want you to miss out on our artistic program, so now you can view our current exhibitions here, from the comfort of your home.

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Stay safe everyone and enjoy!


14 September 2019 – 21 December 2019

North: Fashioning Identity explores the way the North of England is depicted, constructed and celebrated in select photographs, artworks and fashion collections. The show brings together visions of the North, unpicking themes that appear regularly in design and media. It considers truth, myth and the spaces in-between.

​Featuring over 100 photographs, alongside fashion garments and artworks, the exhibition positions documentary work dating back over eighty years next to more recent style media. It considers the ways in which the realities captured in early projects have become tropes, rehashed and recreated year on year, season on season. The exhibition celebrates the global influence of the cultural output of the North. On display, work by international designers shows the far-reaching relevance of North-inspired motifs and their appeal to audiences who may never have set foot in the region but feel a connection through music, graphics or style.

In his 2004 book Looking North, the cultural historian Dave Russell writes, ‘The real skill will be in learning to look beneath the clichés and habits of imagination that lie at the heart of these myths.’ With this in mind, this exhibition is both about the style and cultural heritage of the North, and the ways in which the ideals of it – the clothes, the music, the smells, the houses, the men, the women, the communities – have spread and, in turn, been shaped by others through visual representations. It is about the evolution of tradition, character and identity as much as it is about photography and fashion.

Featured artists include Alasdair McLellan, Corinne Day, Mark Leckey, Jeremy Deller, Alice Hawkins, Paul Smith, Virgil Abloh, Peter Saville, Stephen Jones, Gareth Pugh, Nick Knight, Glen Luchford, Jamie Hawkesworth, Shirley Baker, John Bulmer and Peter Mitchell, plus many others.

Exhibition curated by Lou Stoppard and Adam Murray. Set design by Tony Hornecker. An Open Eye Gallery production.
Image credit – Tickhill Road, Alasdair McLellan, 2014




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Faiza Omar

6 March 2020 – 10 April 2020

Faiza Omar is from Zanzibar, she currently lives and works in Sheffield, UK. She studied Creative Arts Practice at Sheffield Hallam University, graduating in 2012.

Inspired by her cultural and religious upbringing, Faiza seeks to initiate conversations that challenge behaviours that are expected of women. Her drawings, photography and film often depict empowered Muslim women and celebrate their individuality and independence.

Northern Town

27 March 2020 – 9 May 2020

It can be home, a place you love, or maybe just a place you’ve heard of on TV being made from post-industrial pasts and landscapes or and alleged burgeoning powerhouse? The Northern Town exhibition visually explores the realities and cultural mythologies of life in the hinterland of the north over the last 50 years. It depicts how they have been represented and defined in writing, film and TV during the 20th Century, looking at what’s changed and what still remains.

 Northern Town is a collaboration between artists Patrick Murphy and Anton Want, whose combined work offers personal reflections on an inherited, shared and observed northern identity. The exhibition aims to provide a reflective opportunity to consider the familiar themes and tropes presented in our collective consciousness and examine what makes a northern English town. 

Michael Steer

17 April 2020 – 13 June 2020

Michael Steer is a local painter who was born and raised in Barnsley. He studied Interdisciplinary Art and Design at University Campus Barnsley and currently works out of his studio in Wombwell.

Michael’s work concerns the ambiguity and connotations of language, exploring how statements can have profoundly different interpretations depending on the person viewing them. His paintings invite the audience to consider the hidden depths of simple statements and discover the inherent poetry of words.

Michael is part of the 2020 Civic Artist Residency Programme.

Liam Moxon: Distorted North

27 June 2020 – 29 August 2020

Taking inspiration from a variety of sources and influences, the images Liam Moxon creates captivate the imagination and transport the mind to a parallel world full of surreal science fiction imagery.

The artist is inspired largely by the absurd works of Salvador Dali and Monty Python’s Terry Gillam. His modern interpretation on surrealist collage intertwines stereotypical, lifestyle magazine images from yesteryear with space-age scenery to deliver a satirical perspective on how the people of the past would have hoped for our present to be.

coming up in the Autumn…

Body beautiful: diversity on the catwalk

12th September 2020 – 16th January 2021

Body Beautiful: Diversity on the Catwalk looks at how fashion creatives are embracing inclusivity and body positivity by exploring five key themes: size, gender, age, race and disability. Visitors will learn how the industry is calling into question existing practice and why it must address diversity from the inside out to reappraise contemporary ideals of beauty.

Recent seasons have seen the most racially diverse, size diverse and gender inclusive fashion shows in history, with brands like New York’s Chromat leading the way.

The exhibition champions the people, designs, and voices influencing positive body image and inclusivity, presenting key looks that show pivotal developments in contemporary fashion. On display are catwalk ensembles from designers including Vivienne Westwood, Ferragamo, Pam Hogg, Ashish and Jean Paul Gaultier, brought to life through film, photography and fashion publications.

Sinead Burke for Burberry. Photograph by Tim Walker. 

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Join our mailing list specifically for the Gallery and we will keep you up to date with all the latest exhibitions, news and previews