9 ways to get your culture fix in Bradford
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One of the UK’s smaller cities, Bradford is often overshadowed by its noisy neighbour, Leeds - but with the rolling Yorkshire hills right on the doorstep and a rich cultural history that spans from Pop Art to Bollywood, you could do worse than spend your time exploring its many attractions. Here are just a few things you should pay attention to if you’re looking for a lecture-free cultural weekend in Bradford… 1. Embrace the UNESCO City of Film It’s a city that has film in its blood, so it’s no surprise that Bradford was bestowed the title of the world’s first UNESCO City of Film in 2009. The associations that this city has with film are well-founded - aside from acting as a screening location for films including The Railway Children and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, Bradford’s diversity and its deep connections with British Bollywood set it uniquely apart. Today, you can experience its film heritage at the National Science and Media Museum, and at various film festivals that take place regularly across the city. The Pictureville Cinema, housed inside the National Science and Media Museum, has been called the best in Britain by Chariots of Fire director David Puttnam. Step aside, Cannes.
2. Visit the National Science and Media Museum A free museum that’s dedicated to all things media - including three cinemas and a 60 foot IMAX screen - the National Science and Media Museum is the cultural centre of Bradford, reflecting the history of media in the UK in a way that’s anything but dull. Recent exhibitions include “Never Alone”, an exploration of the stories behind The Internet of Things, and 2019 has seen a calendar of adult-only Lates and a series of events focused on the gaming industry.Reflections of The Imaginarium on City Hall. We'd love to see your photos of #IlluminateBradford - remember to tag us and #SparklingBradford #Bradford #reflections #colourprojectA post shared by Visit Bradford (@visitbradford) onView this post on Instagram
3. Catch a musical at the Alhambra Theatre Well-established as the region’s leading theatre, the Alhambra pulls in visitors from far outside Bradford itself. In 2019, its programme so far has included the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet and Matilda, as well as versions of Dirty Dancing, Avenue Q, and Little Miss Sunshine.We’ll be hosting special activities in Wonderlab over the Christmas holidays. The gallery will get a festive makeover and our Explainers will be on hand with fun facts, things to try and informal storytelling sessions! Just ask a member of staff for details when you arrive at the museum. . #wonderlab #bradford #christmas #thingstodobradfordA post shared by Science and Media Museum (@mediamuseum) onView this post on Instagram
4. Be dazzled by David Hockney Born in 1937, Bradford boy David Hockney went on to become one of the leading artists of the 20th Century - contributing to the emergence of Pop Art in the 1960s, amongst many other achievements. This November saw the sale of his Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) break the world record for a living artist, when it sold for £70 million at Christie’s in New York. Today, you can explore Hockney’s work and influences at The David Hockney Gallery, inside Cartwright Hall - the only place, Hockney has said, that he “could see real paintings” as a child growing up in Bradford.Benidorm live venue 8, the beautiful Bradford Alhambra Theatre #benidormlive @bradfordtheatre #bradfordA post shared by Asa Elliott (@asaelliott) onView this post on Instagram
David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), painted in 1972, realises $90.3 million — a world record price for a living artist #DavidHockney#PoolWithTwoFigures#RecordPrice#ContemporaryArt#ModernArt#PopArt#Hockney#MasterArtist#Contemporary#Art#Artist#ArtWork#London#LosAngeles#Christies#NewYork#England#UnitedKingdom#GreatBritain#UK#USA#A post shared by David Hockney Fan Account (@david.hockney) onView this post on Instagram
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7. Browse Waterstones in the Wool Exchange Some have said this Waterstones, housed inside a Victorian Gothic building close to Bradford Interchange, makes “the Sistine Chapel look like Grimsby Bus Station”. Who are we to argue? Waterstones suggests that you grab a book and a slice of cake from the on-site cafe and spend a while drinking in the architecture. We can’t think of anything better, honestly.Trip to Haworth in Yorkshire home of the bronte sisters! Beautiful place #haworth #yorkshire #narrowlanes #picturesque #cobbles #cloudyA post shared by Carlos Goulden (@goulden88) onView this post on Instagram
8. Get festival tickets A large number of festivals have established Bradford as their home over the past few years, including Ilkley Literature Festival, Saltaire Festival (a celebration of arts and community that regularly attracts 30,000+ people), and Widescreen Weekend, a film festival hosted at the National Science and Media Museum that takes place in October and uses “new Cinerama restorations” to celebrate both the history and the future of film. 9. Think hard at the city centre art galleries Housed in Centenary Square, the Impressions Gallery offers a diverse range of photography - including an exhibition on the landscape that inspired Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Other exhibitions include the coexistence of animals, humans and nature, and recent showcases have explored identity amongst working class Asian men and boys, and women’s photography in the First World War. Fascinating. In the same building, you’ll find Bradford 1 Gallery - a free gallery that aims to bring internationally acclaimed modern art to the city. Find out more here.View this post on Instagram
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Lead image: SAKhanPhotography#Repost @nfpeditions (@get_repost) NFP Editions at Expo Chicago, Tate, Royal Academy and Field Editions in collaboration presenting accessibly priced limited editions by a range of artists including Georg Baselitz, William Kentridge, Helen Sear, Susan Derges, Luc Tuymans and Rachel Whiteread. You can find us at booth 411 on Navy Pier until Sunday. #expochicago #tate #royalacademy #fieldeditions #rasales #chicago #navypier #Georg Baselitz #williamkentridge #Helen Sear #susanderges #luctuymans #rachelwhiteread.A post shared by Impressions Gallery (@impgalleryphoto) onView this post on Instagram