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 – DIS/rupt
2 December – 24 February
The Textile Study Group (TSG) is a group of nationally and internationally recognised textile artists and tutors, well known for innovative and challenging approaches to art practice and contemporary teaching.
In their latest show, the group explore the concept of disruption in its widest sense.
DIS/rupt is the result of a series of workshops and discussions between the members of TSG with curators and artists. Curator Dr. Melanie Miller says: “We live in an uncertain world. The only certainty now seems to be uncertainty. It can seem as if life was more predictable during our parents and grandparents time, where jobs were ‘for life’, banks could be depended on and politicians could be trusted. Disruption, on a personal, political, local and global levels is part of life.”
Join us on Saturday 2 December, 2pm when Dr Melanie Miller and selected artists will be speaking at the opening event.
Gallery 3 – Family matters
13 January – 10 March
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 loca 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.
Natural: History (a fable of progress)
10 March – 2 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 Anthropocene and humankind’s relationship to the natural world.
17 March – 13 May
From collage to sculpture, corrugated card to blotting paper, this Arts Council Collecting Touring Exhibition features a huge range of approaches. The show features works on paper by artists such as Roger Ackling, Cornelia Parker, Time Davies and Simon Periton.