Gallery Oldham has four 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 – MESH 3D Printed Sculpture
MESH is the UK’s first national exhibition of three dimensional, printed Fine Art sculpture. It features six of the leading British artists who work with pioneering techniques in 3D print.
The exhibition includes acclaimed existing works and newly commissioned sculptures using the latest 3D print technology, including full colour and multi material 3D print process. MESH showcases work by artist Keith Brown, Annie Cattrell, Bruce Gernard, James Hutchinson, Jon Isherwood and Sumit Sarkar.
Exhibiting artist and exhibition curator Sumit Sarkar will lead a tour of the exhibition on Wednesday 15 March at 2pm.
Gallery 3 – The Big Big Camera
21 January – 22 April
The extraordinary ‘Big Big Camera’ has long been in the collections of Gallery Oldham. Over the last two years artist and photographer Ian Beesley has been working to repurpose this industrial relic. This exhibition of new photographs charts his journey to reuse the camera and take it out on the road.
This camera was originally housed at Rome Mill in Springhead, where it was used by a company manufacturing wallpaper. Large process cameras were made specifically for the printing industry and consequently once installed were rarely moved again. However Ian Beesley was determined to take it on tour.
After cleaning and repairing the camera the most important challenge for Ian was using a camera that was designed for huge negatives 20 inches square. His solution was to create a grid which could take smaller negatives resulting in images made up of 20 separate prints. The result is this exhibition of large scale photographs that will make you think again about the whole process of taking a picture.
Trendspotting: 80 years of gifts from the Contemporary Art Society
29 April – 1 July
Gallery Oldham has been a member of the Contemporary Art Society (CAS) since the 1930s. The CAS is a charity which makes regular donations of contemporary art to public museums in the UK. We have received gifts at regular intervals over the last 80 years. This series of donations provides us with a fascinating snapshot of the changing tastes of those in the art world.
10 June – 9 September
Gallery Oldham is thrilled to have commissioned this exhibition of brand new ceramic work by acclaimed artist Emilie Taylor. Emilie has a long standing interest in representing the lives of people who exist in the gaps of society, which she describes as the Edgelands.
A Curious Turn: Moving Mechanical Sculpture
8 July – 2 September
This touring exhibition from the Crafts Council celebrates the extraordinary world of automata. The selection features work by leading makers of the last 40 years that range from the humorous to the macabre and from the playful to the satirical.
River of Tea: From Bengal to Britain Photographs by Tim Smith
16 September – January 2018
Indian tea enjoys a special place in British Culture and the industry has played a key role in British-Indian history. Behind Britain’s cup of choice is a fascinating story that is rarely told.
The Oldham Open
23 September – 18 November
The Oldham Open is back! This exhibition is held every two years and showcases the fantastic work of local individuals living or working the borough of Oldham.