20-21 Visual Arts Centre

21 Visual Arts Centre
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

20-21 is a contemporary visual arts centre located in the centre of Scunthorpe.

The arts centre has a regularly changing programme of contemporary art and craft exhibitions. There are five exhibition spaces, including the impressive Nave gallery inside the former St. John's church and an outdoor sculpture courtyard.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Tue-Sat 1000-1600
Cafe open 1000-1500 (until 1600 weekends)

Closed: Bank Holiday Mondays

Admission charges


Collection details

Decorative and Applied Art, Design, Fine Art, Photography

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Seasons: A Get Crafty Showcase at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe. Photo credit: Les Monaghan

Seasons: A Get Crafty Showcase

  • 21 October 2017 — 24 March 2018 *on now

Get Crafty, our popular weekly session, offers creative crafts and artist-run activities for adults with additional needs. Throughout summer 2017, the group has been working with regionally based artists Dominic Heffer, Nicky Dillerstone and Les Monaghan to create a new installation in for our gallery showcase. This bright and vibrant exhibition promises to take visitors on a journey through all four seasons, with artworks from Get Crafty members that include painting, photography and sculpture.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Hotel Drawings, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre

Hotel Drawings

  • 13 January — 24 March 2018 *on now

Inspired by the nomadic German artist Martin Kippenberger’s well known Hotel Drawings, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre put out an open invitation for artists to send artworks on branded hotel note paper, or small works on paper that use Kippenberger’s transient drawings as inspiration.

It’s not uncommon for hotels to provide a notepad and stationary in each room for guests to use. For artist’s travelling for work or pleasure, often the lure of such readily available materials is irresistible and they can’t help but be creative. Kippenberger, who stayed in hotels for weeks or months at a time, used these ready made materials to create hundreds of drawings and form one of his most significant bodies of work.

The invitation to artists received a phenomenal response from across the globe, with artists from as far away as Japan, USA and Australia sending works to be included. The result is an exhibition of over 100 artworks that are intriguing, humorous, bizarre and beautiful, exhibited in showcases throughout the gallery.

Sent by mail to Scunthorpe, from all four corners of the world, these small works on paper give an insight into the artist’s mind, and how artists use the often mundane time spent during travel, as inspiration, and opportunity to let the mind wander.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Print by Sinclair Ashman, Introducing 2017, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre

Introducing: Sinclair Ashman

  • 16 January — 24 February 2018 *on now

After the success of our ‘Introducing’ exhibitions in 2015, 20-21 presents a new series of solo exhibitions, showcasing some of the best artists in the Humber and Lincolnshire regions.

The fourth artist in 'Introducing' series is Sinclair Ashman. A Lincoln-based printmaker, Ashman uses texture-based collagraph techniques, combining materials to play and experiment with the anomalies and ambiguities of image-making. His largely abstract investigations into form, shape and texture are an attempt to push the boundaries of printmaking, and to challenge preconceptions of the medium as small and “precious.”

Suitable for

  • Any age



Jane Walker: Lines

Jane Walker: Lines

  • 20 January — 24 March 2018 *on now

The paintings of Sheffield-based artist Jane Walker explore the pictorial image and how we represent three dimensional objects in two dimensional form.

In her work she aims to flatten the world around her, creating new surfaces and items that are specific to their medium. Recently her works have depicted dense urban environments, cities from which she creates a network of lines. Walker also incorporates writing and gestures that are personal, looking at tensions and influences on the urban scene and reasons that cause city-dwellers to stress. For this show, Walker has used her unique style to capture the life and soul of Scunthorpe.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Artwork by Andrew Bracey, General Practice: Yellow Belly, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre

General Practice: YellowBelly

  • 27 January — 3 March 2018 *on now

YellowBelly is a group exhibition of contemporary artists, curated by Lincoln-based arts collective General Practice.

For their commission at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, the group has invited artists from around the UK with ties to Lincolnshire to reflect on the term Yellowbelly – a slang word used to describe locals from the county.

Simultaneously a term of endearment for those who live in Lincolnshire and the Fens, and a derogatory term to describe people as cowards, Yellowbelly it is name full of contradictions. The origins of this term are unclear and there are many narratives and histories surrounding it.

Artists have explored the term and its connotations for the making of this exhibition. The results include storytelling, geography and location, identity and symbolism.

YellowBelly is a platform for emerging artists to engage with these ideas and each other through the making and installation of their work.

General Practice operates with an ethos of allowing individual artists to explore their practice within collective exhibitions, artworks and events, encouraging collaboration and conversation between artists. In this way the YellowBelly becomes one large installation with artworks constantly relating and responding to each other.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Naseem Darbey: We Are Saved by Loss

Naseem Darbey: We Are Saved by Loss

  • 2 March — 21 April 2018

The universal human concepts of life, loss, and hope are explored in Naseem Darbey‘s exhibition, We Are Saved By Loss.

Darbey engages with challenging topics through references to science, art and philosophy, and highlights the profound connection between the cosmos and the human body and the body’s ability to undergo constant change. The exhibition offers the viewer the opportunity to consider what it means to be human in the wider context of the universe through Darbey’s signature “hollow drawings,” that combine traditional textile techniques with lighting technology to interpret physical morphology and pathology. Although the exhibition explores serious, sometimes sombre themes, it also ponders and expands on the wonder of life and what is gained and created through loss.

Naseem Darbey: We Are Saved By Loss features the artist’s trademark 3D textile hollow drawing sculptural ‘specimens’ created by ‘drawing’ freehand on a sewing machine. Darbey focuses on the universal truth of pathological change and morphology in the human body. The concepts she explores provoke a conversation around disease and renewal as inescapable functions of the human form. These concepts in turn inspire audiences to think about biological processes and how each human is part of and in scale with the cosmic universe.

Suitable for

  • Any age



BBC Civilisations event

BBC Civilisations Festival

  • 10 March 2018 10am-4pm

As part of the BBC Civilisations Festival, North Lincolnshire Cultural Services and North Lincolnshire Libraries present Treasured Belongings, a two day ‘pop-up’ exhibition and event at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe.

Through a series of encounters with objects, precious and personal, on loan from the collections of North Lincolnshire Museum and North Lincolnshire Libraries, Treasured Belongings explores questions of identity, the origins of our culture in North Lincolnshire, and the ‘civilisations’ that have travelled here, past and present.

Alongside the exhibited objects, we will be hosting a special film screening event curated by Lincolnshire Film Archive, as well showing films from the North Lincolnshire Council collection throughout the day.

Be part of Treasured belongings!

This is an exhibition of ‘treasured belongings’ from North Lincolnshire residents past and present (that means you!) and we are asking visitors to be part of the exhibition.

On a series of empty plinths in the exhibition visitors will be able to bring along their own ‘treasured belongings’ and present them alongside the precious items from North Lincolnshire’s historic collections.

Simply bring a Treasured Belonging with you on the day and we’ll book in a slot on one of our plinths for visitors to see. We’d also love you to stay with your objects and tell other visitors what it means to you!

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly



Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Hollow Drawing (small) by Naseem Darbey

Hollow Drawing Masterclass with Naseem Darbey

  • 3 March 2018 10am-4pm

Discover some of artist Naseem Darbey’s techniques in this one-day workshop, where attendees will use drawing and machine embroidery to create and build a portfolio of experimental textile-based works. Participants must bring their own sewing machine and embroidery foot. Basic materials provided.

16+. £30 per person. Booking essential – please call 01724 297070 or visit the gallery reception to book.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17


£30 per person.



BBC Civilisations Festival Poster

BBC Civilisations Festival: Treasured Belongings

  • 9 — 10 March 2018 10am-4pm

Through a series of encounters with objects, precious and personal, on loan from the collections of North Lincolnshire Museum and North Lincolnshire Libraries, Treasured Belongings explores questions of identity, the origins of our culture in North Lincolnshire, and the civilisations that have travelled here, past and present.

Alongside the exhibited objects, we will be hosting a special film screening event curated by Lincolnshire Film Archive, as well showing films from the North Lincolnshire Council collection throughout the day.

Friday 9 March 10am to 4pm – Treasured Belongings will be open for Schools workshops.

(Please contact chelsey.everatt@northlincs.gov.uk for details and to book a visit.)

Saturday 10 March 10am to 4pm – Open to the public.

Saturday 10 March – Lincolnshire Archives Film Screening (times and details tbc).

About BBC Civilisations Festival
BBC Civilisations Festival is an exciting partnership between museums, galleries, libraries and archives and the BBC to coincide with the broadcast of BBC Arts’ Civilisations series in Spring 2018. The Festival – at venues across the country from Friday 2 March to Sunday 11 March – will be a showcase of ideas and events designed to engage a culturally curious audience.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Artist Naseem Darbey

Forced Perspective Photography Workshop with Naseem Darbey

  • 3 April 2018 10am

Learn how to create forced perspective photographic images to share on social media. Bring your own camera-equipped mobile or digital camera and try some of the techniques the artist used in Naseem Darbey: We Are Saved By Loss.

Suitable for all ages. FREE to take part in this drop-in session – no need to book!

Suitable for

  • Any age


FREE to take part in this drop-in session – no need to book!



20-21 Visual Arts Centre
Church Square
DN15 6TB


Venue's own website



General enquiries



01724 297070


01724 297080

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.