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exhibitions: past

Africa State of Mind

29th Mar - 15th Jun 2019

Africa State of Mind presents the work of a new generation of photographers from across the African continent. Curated by the eminent writer and broadcaster Ekow Eshun, this major exhibition features 13 artists who collectively interrogate ideas of ‘Africanness’.

Prospect Refuge Hazard

Helen Sear

18th Jan - 16th Mar 2019

Working with video, photography and sound, internationally acclaimed artist Helen Sear invites the viewer into forests and woodlands to consider the co-existence of human, animal, and natural worlds.

In Search of Frankenstein

Chloe Dewe Mathews

5th Oct - 5th Jan 2019

From melting glaciers to nuclear bunkers, 
In Search of Frankenstein reveals the present-day landscape that once inspired Mary Shelley’s groundbreaking novel.


Noel Bowler

5th Jul - 23rd Sep 2018

Made over a 5-year period, Noel Bowler’s Union reveals the boardrooms and private offices of trade union buildings across the globe. The exhibition offers a rare glimpse into places where decisions and policies that affect so many are made.

Three of the UK’s most exciting up-and-coming photographers exhibit new work developed through the prestigious Jerwood/Photoworks Awards. The exhibition explores diverse topics including Jane Austen devotees, death and mythology, and the fragility of the natural world. This is the first showing of the exhibition after its premiere in London.

You Get Me?

Mahtab Hussain

12th Jan - 24th Mar 2018

Mahtab Hussain’s photographs explore the critical question of identity among young working-class British Asian men and boys. This is the first time that this acclaimed exhibition from Autograph ABP has been seen outside London.

You Get Me? is curated by Mark Sealy at Autograph ABP. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

No Man’s Land offers rarely-seen female perspectives on the First World War, featuring images taken by women who worked as nurses, ambulance drivers, and official photographers, as well as contemporary artists directly inspired by the conflict. Commemorating the First World War Centenary, No Man’s Land features photographs by three women of the epoch, alongside three women making work a century later.

From nocturnal woods to wildlife specimens, Liza Dracup is inspired by the landscape and natural history of Britain.

Field Work
presents a decade of her work, exploring photographic representations of our environment and cementing Dracup’s standing as a pioneer of innovative approaches to landscape photography. This is the first major survey of Dracup’s work, premiering at Impressions, to mark the gallery’s ten-year anniversary in Bradford.

Mother River

Yan Wang Preston

31st Mar - 24th Jun 2017

Mother River is a photographic odyssey taking the viewer on a journey along the entire length of the Yangtze, often known as China’s Mother River. This new exhibition, commissioned in partnership with Gallery of Photography Ireland, offers fresh perspectives on China, where traditional landscape clashes with present-day development.

Mother River is part of Views from China, a special six month programme of exhibitions and events at Impressions, taking a fresh look at Chinese culture and the long standing links between the UK and China.

The Queen, The Chairman and I

Kurt Tong

16th Dec - 18th Mar 2017

Marking the twenty-year anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty from British rule, The Queen, The Chairman and I is a fascinating journey into the entwined histories of China and the UK, traced through the family history of photographer Kurt Tong.

This exhibition is part of Views from China, a special six month programme of exhibitions and events at Impressions, taking a fresh look at Chinese culture and the long standing links between the UK and China.

Planet Yorkshire

Peter Mitchell

16th Sep - 3rd Dec 2016

Impressions Gallery presents the first ever survey exhibition of work by Peter Mitchell.

Peter Mitchell has been quietly making photographs for over 40 years. He occupies an essential, yet too often peripheral, place in the early British colour documentary scene of the 1970s and 80s. This major survey will revisit work spanning Mitchell’s career, focussing on the part of the world he chose to concentrate his ever-curious photographic eye, Yorkshire.

Planet Yorkshire is co-curated by Kerry Harker and Anne McNeill

Rock Against Racism

Syd Shelton

17th Jun - 3rd Sep 2016

Syd Shelton’s images capture a pivotal moment in British politics and culture, fashion and music. Rock Against Racism (1976 to 1981) was a groundbreaking movement formed by musicians and political activists to fight racism through music.

Rock Against Racism is curated by Mark Sealy at Autograph ABP, in collaboration with guest curator Carol Tulloch.


Maud Sulter

1st Apr - 4th Jun 2016

Maud Sulter (1960—2008) was an artist and poet of Scottish-Ghanaian descent. She believed passionately in the longstanding historical links between Europe and Africa, aiming ‘to put black women back in the centre of the frame’. Her inventive and multi-layered images and collages explore the forgotten histories of black women, from a mysterious African American sculptor to the French Creole muse of poet Baudelaire. Don’t miss this rare chance to view artworks from Sulter’s short but influential career.

Passion is a Street Level Photoworks/Autograph ABP partnership in association with TrAIN

Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2015

5th Jan - 19th Mar 2016

The first national Jerwood/Photoworks Awards recognise outstanding future photographic talent. The awards have enabled three artists, Matthew Finn, Joanna Piotrowska, and Tereza Zelenkova, to develop their practice and create new work.

The Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2015 are a new collaboration between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Photoworks, supported by Arts Council England


Jon Tonks

11th Sep - 12th Dec 2015

Empire is a fascinating journey, six years in the making, exploring life on four remote British overseas territories; Ascension Island, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha and the Falkland Islands.

A major exhibition of photographs, made in hundreds of locations across the UK over the last fifteen years, will be exhibited at Impressions Gallery this summer. Selected from The Caravan Gallery’s huge archive of images, extra{ordinary} offers an insight into the reality and surreality of everyday life in 21st century Britain.

The Pride of Place Project is a major touring project delivered by The Caravan Gallery throughout 2015 and 2016, funded by The National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Realism in Rawiya presents the work of Rawiya, the first all female photographic collective to emerge from the Middle East. With a specific focus on gender and identity, the exhibition presents a thoughtful view of a region in flux, balancing its contradictions while reflecting on social and political issues and stereotypes.

Who Do We Think We Are

13th Dec - 7th Feb 2015

In the culmination of a major two-year project working with twelve schools across Bradford, young people take over Impressions Gallery with an exhibition showcasing their creativity.

Featuring photographic tableaux re-imagining the past and playful contemporary portraits, the students’ work explores history and social identity.


David Chancellor

7th Oct - 6th Dec 2014

Hunters explores the complex relationship between humans and animals, documenting the game hunting industry in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is the most comprehensive exhibition in the UK of Chancellor’s work to date, including many images exhibited for the first time.

A touring exhibition from INSTITUTE and David Chancellor.

This Is Me

9th Jul - 7th Feb 2015

This Is Me is a new public artwork created by young people taking part in Impressions’ Start programme, supported by The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts.

Beyond the Border: New Contemporary Photography from Scotland

Document Scotland

1st Jul - 27th Sep 2014

Sophie Gerrard, Colin McPherson, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Stephen McLaren

Set against the backdrop of the historic referendum on Scotland’s Independence, Beyond the Border brings together four Scottish photographers, each with a distinctive view of a nation in the midst of intense debate about its future.


George Chakravarthi

20th Mar - 21st Jun 2014

Evoking death, drama and identity, George Chakravarthi re-imagines the thirteen Shakespearean characters who met their ends through suicide.

Marking the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, this is the first time Thirteen will be shown outside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, where the exhibition was originally shown. 

"Day Dreaming About The Good Times?"

Paul Reas

10th Dec - 8th Mar 2014

Paul Reas is one of the most significant photographers to emerge from the new wave of British colour documentary of the mid-1980s Spanning thirty years from Thatcherite Britain to today’s recession, and encompassing themes of class, consumption, work and leisure, this is the international premiere of Reas’ first major retrospective.

Studio Exhibition: Changing Bradford

28th Sep - 2nd Nov 2013

Changing Bradford is an intergenerational community heritage project which sets out to explore the way that South Asian culture, business, religion and arts has helped to shape the city of Bradford since the 1950s.

The Home Front

Melanie Friend

14th Sep - 23rd Nov 2013

From the distant silhouette of a Lancaster bomber glimpsed over a British seaside resort, to the hidden world of global arms trade fairs, The Home Front explores links between militarism, marketing and entertainment. Made over four years, this is the international premiere of photographer Melanie Friend’s major new exhibition.

Ever Young

James Barnor

5th Jul - 31st Aug 2013

Major survey of James Barnor’s work, spanning Ghana and London from the late 1940s to early 1970s. The exhibition showcases a range of street and studio photographs – modern and vintage - with elaborate backdrops, fashion portraits in glorious colour, as well as social documentary features, many commissioned for pioneering South African magazine Drum during the ‘swinging 60s’ in London.

Liquid Land: Legacies of Oil and Power

Rena Effendi

26th Apr - 22nd Jun 2013

Opening on the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, Liquid Land: Legacies of Oil and Power reveals the struggles and resilience of people living in some of the world's most polluted areas in the former Soviet Union. 

Studio exhibition: Bradford Is...

1st Mar - 6th Apr 2013

What does Bradford mean to you?

Bradford is… showcases one outcome from a three-month long community project that responded to Impressions Gallery’s recent 40th Anniversary exhibition Roads to Wigan Pier. First shown in 1984, the exhibition depicted life in the North of England.

A partnership project between Impressions Gallery and Artworks Creative Communities

The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey

Yaakov Israel

18th Jan - 13th Apr 2013

Israel and its surrounding territories have been an area of dispute since the country’s establishment in 1948. In this timely and relevant exhibition, Yaakov Israel takes us on a photographic journey across a complex land, offering a personal viewpoint of the nation that shares his name.

40th Anniversary Exhibition: Roads to Wigan Pier

Group exhibition

28th Sep - 5th Jan 2013

Russell Boyce, Huw Davies, Julian Germain, Graham Hall, John Kemp, Tim Smith

In November 1972 Impressions Gallery opened in a room above a shop in York with the first ever exhibition by the then unknown Martin Parr. As one of the first specialist photography galleries in Europe it has gone on to play a vital role in championing photography and has had a huge impact on the development of the photographic culture in Britain. To mark this occasion Anne McNeill, Director of Impressions, has selected from the gallery’s archive an exhibition first shown in October 1984.

Studio Exhibition: The Way We Were

28th Sep - 16th Feb 2013

The Way We Were is a selection of over 75 original posters from the first twenty years of Impressions Gallery and demonstrates the impact the gallery has had on photographic culture in Britain since 1972.

Personal Best

Paul Floyd Blake

24th Jun - 15th Sep 2012

Made over a period of five years, Personal Best explores the stories of sixteen young athletes in the build up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The exhibition documents a unique time in British history, and captures the development of a generation of sportspeople as they grow from childhood to adulthood within the intense world of elite sport. This is the UK premiere and first major solo show of award-winning photographer Paul Floyd Blake.

Making Space

Noel Bowler

6th Apr - 16th Jun 2012

In its British premiere, Making Space explores the expansion and development of Islam in contemporary Ireland. Made over the course of three years, the exhibition examines the reuse of spaces for the purpose of prayer by Muslim communities throughout Ireland. This is Noel Bowler’s first major solo show in Britain.

The Sound of Two Songs

Mark Power

14th Jan - 24th Mar 2012

Made over a period of five years, The Sound of Two Songs offers an extensive and personal photographic survey of Poland. This is the UK premiere of a major new exhibition by renowned Magnum photographer Mark Power.


Red Saunders

30th Sep - 31st Dec 2011

Red Saunders’ epic photographic tableaux vivants (‘living pictures’) recreate momentous but overlooked events from Britain’s struggle for democracy and equality, from the Peasants Revolt of 1381 to the Chartist movement of the mid nineteenth century. Shown as part of Ways of Looking, a new photography festival in Bradford.

Exhibition on tour
People's History Museum, Manchester
, 9 March to 29 September 2013.
Winchester Discovery Centre, 18 January to 16 March 2014
In 2013 and 2014, Impressions Gallery toured the Hidden exhibition to primary and secondary schools throughout the Bradford district, find out more at

Offsite project: Makeshift Monuments

Diane Bielik

30th Sep - 30th Oct 2011

Showing at Bradford Hungarian and Social Centre

Makeshift Monuments
was created over two years in the Bradford Hungarian Cultural and Social Centre, during the run up to its closure in the summer of 2010. This site specific installation of photographs are pasted directly onto the walls of the disused social club where viewers are invited to move through to see the exhibition. Showing as part of Ways of Looking, a new photography festival in Bradford.

The Prospect of Immortality

Murray Ballard

10th Jun - 17th Sep 2011

The result of five year’s unprecedented access and international investigation, Murray Ballard offers an amazing photographic insight into the practice of cryonics: the process of freezing a human body after death in the hope that scientific advances may one day bring it back to life.

Exhibition on tour
Moral Holiday
(group show) Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art 26 October 2012 to 12 January 2013



Zed Nelson

4th Mar - 28th May 2011

Award-winning photographer Zed Nelson reflects on the cultural and commercial forces that drive a global obsession with youth and beauty.

Exhibition on tour
Durham Art Gallery, 5 May to 24 June 2012
Perspektivet Museum, Norway, 11 October to 27 January 2013
Light House and Wolverhampton Art Gallery 16 February to 8 June 2013

Lost Languages and other voices

Joy Gregory

24th Nov - 19th Feb 2011

Lost Languages and other voices is the first major retrospective of work by Joy Gregory, one of the most significant artists to emerge from the Black British photography movement of the 1980s.

Bringing the War Home

Group exhibition

17th Sep - 14th Nov 2010

Peter van Agtmael, Sama Alshaibi, 
Farhad Ahrarnia, Lisa Barnard, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Edmund Clark, Kay May, 
Asef Ali Mohammad, and Christopher Sims

Challenging the conventions of traditional war photography,
this international exhibition draws together powerful photographic responses that connect both directly and indirectly with conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Overgrown Paths

Ben Rivers

2nd Jul - 5th Sep 2010

Three ramshackle wooden cabins, assembled by the artist from discarded wood and salvaged building materials, invite the visitor to explore. Inside, flickering 16mm films reveal the lives of modern-day hermits who live in isolated spots in Northern Europe.

Flatland: A Landscape of Punjab

Max Kandhola

25th Apr - 20th Jun 2010

British Indian photographer Max Kandhola explores themes of memory, migration and Sikh diaspora through large-scale colour photographs of Punjab’s many rivers and uncharted villages.

not Natasha

Dana Popa

5th Feb - 18th Apr 2010

Impressions Gallery, in partnership with Autograph ABP, presents 
not Natasha by award-winning photographer Dana Popa.

This hard-hitting and harrowing project, made over the last four years, documents the experiences of sex-trafficked women from Moldova through photography and collected stories. Popa says, ‘Natasha is the nickname given to prostitutes with Eastern European looks. Sex trafficked girls hate it’.


Fiona Crisp

20th Nov - 24th Jan 2010

Subterrania, a solo exhibition of large scale photographic works by British artist Fiona Crisp, invites the viewer to explore underground worlds. Two new works made in Yorkshire, specially commissioned by Impressions Gallery, will be unveiled for the first time in Bradford.

The Last Things

David Moore

18th Sep - 8th Nov 2009

The Last Things provides an exclusive glimpse of the Ministry of Defence’s secret crisis management centre beneath the streets of central London. Over an eight-month period in 2006 and 2007, David Moore was allowed unprecedented access to one of the inner sanctums of government. This secret space, only to be used in a major national emergency, hides a strictly controlled working environment continuously on stand-by.


Trish Morrissey

26th Jun - 6th Sep 2009

Front brings together three new artworks exploring the beach, family photography and motherhood. This solo show by Trish Morrissey, comprising photographs, video and a sound installation, receives its international premiere at Impressions Gallery.

Clothes for Living and Dying

Margareta Kern

8th Apr - 14th Jun 2009

Clothes for Living and Dying brings together photographs and video works exploring the role that clothing plays in two rites of passage, graduations and funerals, in Kern’s ancestral homeland of Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina.

A Touring Exhibition from the University of Hertfordshire Galleries

Jerwood Photography Awards 2008

Group exhibition

27th Jan - 29th Mar 2009

The five latest winners of the prestigious national awards for recent UK graduates: Martina Lindqvist, Alice Myers, James Pogson, Kurt Tong, and Nicky Walsh.


Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin

22nd Nov - 18th Jan 2009

Artists Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin create a contemporary take on the Victorian ‘cabinet of curiosities’ in this collection of over eighty photographs made by them over the last three years.


13th Sep - 9th Nov 2008

Immerse yourself in the world of HD – high definition video. Thirteen artists take on the challenge of creating a short film based on a single shot. Projected at a large scale in the gallery, their diverse responses exploit the superb detail of HD, explore the tension between the still photograph and the moving image and depict scenes from Manchester to Whitby.

Cockroach Diary & other stories

Anna Fox

2nd Jul - 7th Sep 2008

This major exhibition is the first survey show by Anna Fox, one of the most significant photographers to emerge from the new wave of British colour documentary of the 1980s.

Shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010.

Exhibition on tour
Bonington Gallery, Nottingham 22 February to 1 April 2011
Photomonth in Krakow, Poland
4 May to 31 May 2010
The Photographers' Gallery, London (2010 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize) 12 February to 2 May 2010
Ffotogallery, Cardiff  28 August to 10 October 2009
Winchester Gallery
19 November to 19 December 2008

Résidence Astral

Marjolaine Ryley

23rd Apr - 22nd Jun 2008

Marjolaine Ryley explores family relationships across generations and countries in Résidence Astral, an exhibition of photographs spanning twelve years.

"Pick of the Week"
The Independent
The Guardian

Ultima Thule

Stephen Vaughan

13th Feb - 13th Apr 2008

Stephen Vaughan’s stunning large-scale landscape photographs explore the connections between geology, archaeology and history.

Exhibition on tour
Photofusion, London 8 April to 27 May 2011
Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle 4 December 2010 to 6 February 2011
Dick Institute Art Gallery, Kilmarnock 8 May to 28 August 2010
The Gallery, Arts University College Bournemouth
19 October to 27 November 2009

Six contemporary artists from Colombia explore interlinking themes of repetition, memory and performance.

This major international exhibition of photography and video work is organised by Impressions in joint collaboration with The Photographers’ Gallery (London).

Exhibition on tour
Rugby Art Gallery and Museum 13 June to 8 March 2009
The University of Hertfordshire 29 October to 29 November 2008
The Photographers' Gallery 18 April to 15 June 2008
The University of Essex 21 February to 22 March 2008

Hand to Mouth

Tessa Bunney

13th Oct - 2nd Dec 2007

Hand to Mouth, commissioned by Impressions, explores the lives of villagers and nomadic shepherds in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains.

Exhibition on tour
Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes 31 May to 13 July 2011
Peninsula Arts, University of Plymouth
14 November to 19 December 2009

Sharpe's Wood

Liza Dracup

18th Aug - 7th Oct 2007

Ever since she can remember, Bradford born photographer Liza Dracup has been fascinated by the mystery of the woods and what she describes as the “fear and curiosity of both night and woodland…and childhood experiences associated with myth and memory”. In this new body of work, Dracup has chosen to explore her intimate knowledge of a woodland space on the outskirts of a city.

Exhibition on tour
PM Gallery, London 13 November 2010 to 8 January 2011
St James's University Hospital, Leeds 14 April to 14 July 2010

Light Night 2006: Sharpe's Wood

Liza Dracup

6th Oct - 15th Oct 2006

Liza Dracup brings the night-time glow of urban woodland fringes into the heart of the city in this special outdoor presentation of her photographic work Sharpe’s Wood.

Presented by Impressions Gallery and showing as part of Illuminate’s Light Night Festival, this series of five large scale light boxes will be placed outside our future venue in Centenary Square, Bradford.

A Guide to Yorkshire Rivers

Simon Warner

28th Jul - 30th Jul 2006

Impressions Gallery presents Simon Warner's epic three-part video installation A Guide to Yorkshire Rivers, taking viewers on a wild ride down the Aire, the Wharfe and the Ouse. Showing as part of the Bradford Inspired festival, this is the first time the triptych has been shown publically in its intended format.


Mariele Neudecker

27th Aug - 29th Oct 2005

In an ambitious new commission, international artist Mariele Neudecker has created a five-part moving image installation in response to Gustav Mahler's Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children). Premiering at Impressions Gallery, York, this is a unique project that fuses contemporary visual art with classical music and literature.

The Factory of Dreams

Stefan Ruiz

25th Jun - 20th Aug 2005

In an international premiere, Mexican American photographer Stefan Ruiz captures the stars, sets and melodrama of 'telenovelas' - Latin American soap operas.


Laurie Long

9th Apr - 18th Jul 2005

In a UK premiere for US artist Laurie Long, Impressions presents two bodies of work that fuse elements of humour, feminism and popular culture.


Carl De Keyzer

29th Jan - 2nd Apr 2005

Award-winning Magnum photographer Carl De Keyzer documents contemporary life in Siberia's prison camps in this UK premiere.

Zona is organised by Magnum Photos.

Facing East

20th Nov - 22nd Jan 2005

Recent landscape photography by 16 artists from Nordic and Baltic States.

A Text+Work Touring Exhibition, The Art Institute, Bournemouth, curated by Liz Wells.


Andy Eccleston & Ron Wright

18th Sep - 13th Nov 2004

Fascinated by the links between science, art and matter, Andy Eccleston and Ron Wright explore the visual qualities of musical instruments and scientific imaging techniques as a means of expressing the often-complicated relationships between the body and mind.

A partnership between Impressions Gallery and The Bonington Gallery. Commissioned by Opera North

New Works

Trish Morrissey

10th Jul - 11th Sep 2004

A major exhibition of new work by Trish Morrissey commissioned by Impressions, including photographs and video work created over a two-year period and is inspired by family photo albums and family relationships.

Curated by Anne McNeill. An Impressions Gallery Touring Exhibition.