Top 5 Exhibitions of the Year 2009

My 'top 5' highlights from a year packed with great exhibitions and art events in both London and Manchester:

5. Subversive Spaces - Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

An ambitious exploration of the legacy of the Surrealist project, placing works by artists such as Dali, Magritte and Ernst alongside those by contemporary artists exploring (and disturbing) similar territories - the private, domestic spaces of the home, and the public, social spaces of the city.

4. The Museum of Everything - London

A quirky, higgledy-piggledy assemblage of outsider artworks, offering a refreshing change from the slick presentation of the conventional 'white cube' gallery space.

3. Walking in My Mind - Hayward Gallery, London
Tiptoe through a surreal wonderland of dream-like spaces... a delightful and unique exhibition exploring the power of the artistic imagination.

2. Talking to Strangers: Sophie Calle - Whitechapel Gallery, London

One of the most intelligent exhibitions I've seen for a while: compelling, personal and with a knowing sense of humour.

1. Procession: Jeremy Deller - Manchester International Festival, Manchester

A parade with a difference, drawing in communities from all over Greater Manchester, from Rose Queens to Stockport boy racers, for a celebration of what Deller terms 'northern social surrealism'. 'Part self-portrait and part-alternative reality', this was a truly one-off Mancunian extravangza.