There are a variety of artworks and artforms on display at IWM North, including the architecture of the building itself.
Many of the pieces are IWM North commissions, created by artists as their own responses to the subject of war.
Visit IWM North or take a look at some of the highlights below.
Man on Fire, 2023 Tim Shaw RA
Man on Fire by acclaimed British sculptor Tim Shaw, is now on display for the first time at IWM North.
Monumental in scale, Man on Fire captures the dreadful moments of a person on fire, caught between life and death. Primarily based on images of the 2005 Basra riots during the Iraq War, it was also inspired by photographs of the 2007 Glasgow airport attack and by Shaw’s own memories of growing up during The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Man on Fire continues Tim Shaw’s career-long engagement with themes of conflict. Recently cast in bronze and measuring just under five metres high, this newly realised and visually striking sculpture provides an outdoor focal point for IWM’s visitors. Man on Fire is a new acquisition for the IWM collection and has been generously supported by the George Frampton Fund and Arts Council England.
“Although this work was originally shaped by photographs of a soldier diving for his life from a burning armoured vehicle, Man on Fire bears witness to the universal horror of war. War is time old, and conflict does not discriminate between gender, age or country. Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine testifies to the fact that we continually repeat the same tragic mistakes.” - Tim Shaw RA
The Crusader by Gerry Judah, 2010
Artist Gerry Judah’s stunning sculpture The Crusader is his comment on modern day wars, and it also resonates with the history of world conflict.
The towering sculpture is covered by a network of war-damaged buildings. This devastated urban landscape echoes the themes within the museum’s architecture of a world shaped by conflict.
Roman Halter’s oil on canvas collection
Halter was born into a Jewish family, the youngest of seven children. Aged 12, he was living in Chodecz, Poland. Following the outbreak of war, he survived the Lódz ghetto, as well as slave labour in Auschwitz, Stutthof and Dresden, before escaping from a death march in 1945.
Halter found inspiration in historical religious art. The themes of mother and child, of death and of human suffering resonated with his personal experiences.
Lowry's Going to Work
See Lowry’s Going to Work on display. This piece is part of a broader collection of artworks at IWM depicting wartime industry. British manufacturing was a very important subject for artists in both world wars, representing the huge effort of men and women who worked in factories across the country.
IWM North is located in Trafford Park. It was here that dock workers unloaded vital supplies during the First and Second World Wars. A significant industrial centre, Trafford Park was a main target in the Manchester Blitz causing extensive damage to factories and warehouses in the area.
The site that IWM North stands on today is where the Hovis Grain Silos once stood before they were bombed and burnt down in the Second World War.