Gallery Oldham has three large exhibition spaces plus a community gallery.
We take an innovative and unique approach to exhibition programming, bringing together what were once separate museum and gallery services.
Our programming incorporates Oldham’s extensive art, social and natural history collections alongside touring work, newly commissioned and contemporary art, international art and work produced with local communities.
In addition we have permanent displays around the building.
Gallery 1 – Oldham Stories
This gallery permanently houses both:
Oldham Stories exhibition, featuring selected objects from our extensive collections to tell and show the stories of Oldham and its local communities. From birds and shells to a recreation of an Edwardian chemist’s shop, every object has a fascinating tale to tell. The display features local figures such as suffragette Annie Kenny, the pioneering natural history collector James Nield and the popular artist Helen Bradley.
The Community Gallery, which has a wide range of exhibitions by groups and individuals from the Borough of Oldham.
Gallery 2 – Natural: History (a fable of progress)
Or ‘Oh no, we’ve killed the last unicorn’
24 March – 9 June
Beginning with the story of Percival Farrington, a nineteenth Century naturalist from Oldham, artists Richard Dawson and Jacqui Symons present a series of works exploring climate change, the Era of the Anthopocene and humankinds’s relationship to the natural world.
Each artist explores these themes from an individual perspective and the exhibition incorporates a wide range of media including print, sculpture and installation to present a thought-provoking and engaging show that is the first of its kind for Gallery Oldham.
The exhibition features a selection of new works including a recreation of Farrington’s study, a stone from the beginning of time that fits perfectly into the palm of your hands, a 21st Century tree-drawing machine and the Dove Stone Seed Vault.
Gallery 3 – Family matters
13 January – 12 May
A family can be made of any number of individuals and consist of many different relationships. The common link is the shared experiences of people or animals who live together as a unit. This exhibition looks at families in its widest sense using our extensive collections of social history, natural history, art and archives.
In science the word ‘family’ is a recognised term used to help classify animals and plants that have characteristics in common. The exhibition illustrates this by using fascinating examples from our pressed plant collection.
We also explore local family trees introducing and using the collections held at Oldham Local Studies and Archives. Needlework samples feature strongly as these beautiful objects were oftern embroidered to celebrate family connections and events. Painting on show include local family portraits alongside other pictures recording both happy and sad aspects of family life.
ARTIST ROOMS: Richard Long
26 May – 16 September
Sir Richard Long (b.1945) is one of the most influential British artists of his generation. His art is directly connected with the landscape, and from his experience of making solitary walks in remote regions in Britain and all over the world. This exhibition features key works exploring his career of over 40 years.
Be sure to look out for all of the amazing activities connected to this exhibition.
The British Wildlife Photography Awards
23 June – 8 September
This stunning exhibition explores the beauty and diversity of British wildlife. It showcases the winning entries to this annual competition celebrating the work of amateur and professional photographers across the UK.
Refuge – Jai Chuhan
15 September – 24 November
For this exhibition Jai will premiere new paintings and create a sculpture. Refuge is part of Asia Triennial Manchester 18 with exhibitions and events taking place across the city on the theme of “Who Do You Think You Are?”
Peach and Plenty? Oldham and the First World War
29 September – 12 January
Take a fascinating and moving trip back 100 years to the Oldham of 1918. As the ‘Great War’ drew to a close what had been the experiences on the home front for the people of Oldham? The exhibition revisits their everyday lives, losses and achievements using
Gallery Oldham’s extensive collections.