The Civic

Our aim is to be forward-thinking in our choice of exhibitions, and to present the best of all aspects of art and design to our audience by including a range of contemporary culture, design, fashion, photography and craft. Without losing our artistic integrity we often include a focus on popular culture and social history to broaden the appeal and accessibility of our exhibitions. We aim to ensure The [email protected] is a venue where people can learn, engage and become inspired. We want to create an environment that instils a sense of confidence, enjoyment, understanding and a desire to return again and again by providing an exhibitions programme that appeals to a wide cross-section of people


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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Shoplifting in Woolworths and Other Acts of Material Disobedience

25 January 2020 – 7 March 2020

​When Paula Chambers was a girl she used to steal things from Woolworths. These small acts of defiance were dangerous and thrilling; they made her feel like an outlaw. The sculpture and installation works in this exhibition re-enact the artist’s girlish disobedience through objects made and found.

These sculptural works are intrinsically domestic, the objects and materials from which they are constructed are the things of home, the stuff of femininity. Yet they unsettle our expectations of the homeliness of home, for it would appear that the women and girls implied by the sculpture and installation exhibited have rebelled, they have become domestic pirates.

Mark Evans

25 January 2020 – 29 February 2020

Mark Evans is a Barnsley based artist. Working mainly in pen and ink, Mark uses art to express his inner most thoughts, frustrations and fears. Best Before Date is a series of images dealing with the artist’s own personal journey of accepting getting older and mortality.

The series deals with society’s prejudices against aging, his own fears, which includes dementia and losing connections with his loved ones and asks; if we all have a finite time on this planet, by who or what is our best before date determined?

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.

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