Great Northern unveils ‘campy, kitsch and vibrant’ new exhibition

Bearded Brutes has been created by local artist Mark Leeming and is bursting with colour, sparkle and, perhaps unsurprisingly, beards

The Great Northern Warehouse has launched an eclectic art exhibition ahead of the city’s popular Pride weekend.

Called ‘Bearded Brutes’, the exhibition has been created by local artist, Mark Leeming, and is filled with vivid photographic portraits bursting with colour, sparkle and, perhaps unsurprisingly, beards.

Combining the masculinity of the bearded male with the camp flamboyance of heavy make-up and theatrical poses, the capsule collection is nothing short of creative.

Using a mixture of make-up, glitter, creativity and digital painting these vibrant, pop-art, kitsch portraits aim to feed the imagination, inspire the bold and fuel the avant-garde residing in all of us showing that you can be who you want to be, live your truth and be nonconforming to gender stereotyping, says Mark, whose style is all about creativity and self-expression.

Moving to the city of Manchester enabled him to further explore and enhance his style, he says, having been influenced by the city’s drag scene.

The artist says the aim of the ‘Bearded Brutes’ collection is to feed the imagination, inspire the bold and fuel the avant-garde in all of us. 

“We are thrilled to be hosting Mark Leeming’s immersive art exhibition this month here at Great Northern Warehouse,” said Mark Schofield, centre director at Great Northern Warehouse.

“As a venue, we champion diversity and things that are a bit out of the ordinary, and Mark’s exhibition is just this.

“We can’t wait to be turning heads and attracting a bit of conversation with the fantastic display this month.”

The exhibition will raise money for George House Trust, and a QR code will be available at the window for visitors to donate.

As well as being displayed in Manchester, the ‘Bearded Brutes’ collection is also being exhibited in London, Bulgaria and New York.

The ‘Bearded Brutes’ collection will be showcased throughout the entire month of August at the Great Northern Warehouse.

For more information on the Great Northern visit 


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