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 – A to Z: The First Seven Years by Dave Ball
1 December – 2 March
Dave Ball always wanted to make art about the world. The problem was though, that hte world was frustratingly large and complex. Where could he possibly begin? In 2011 Ball embarked upon his project of visualising every word in the Concise Oxford English dictionary in alphabetical order. Starting with “Aardvark” and limiting himself to words he already knew the meaning of, a total of around 10,000 visualisations would need to be made, taking an estimated 35 years to complete.
This new exhibition presents the first three instalments of the project: From Aardvark to Axle, comprised of 461 drawings of the “A” words; Babble to Byte (from Memory), a sequence of 479 “B” drawings made without the aid of any visual source material; and All the Cs (through the lens of My Camera), which features over 800 photographs of words beginning with “C”.
Gallery 3 – Peace and Plenty? Oldham and the First World War
29 September – 12 January
As the ‘Great War’ drew to a close what had been the experiences on the home front for the people of Oldham? This exhibition revisits their everyday lives, losses and achievements using the galleries extensive collections.
This exhibition is co-curated by historians Alan Fowler and Terry Wyke. It explores how Oldham’s mills, shops and people all adapted to meet the needs of the war. In 1918 as the fighting and the fundraising stopped the town was forced to deal with a deadly influenza epidemic and prepared for the first general election in which all men over the age of 21 and women over the age of 30 could vote.
A new booklet accompanies this show. You can purchase ‘Spindleopolis in War and Peace’ from the Gallery Shop for just £3.95.
William Stott of Oldham: Great Painters Are Rare
26 January – 11 May
Gallery Oldham is thrilled to be a partner on Tate’s national tour of this outstanding work of art. Le Passeur (The Ferryman) is the best-known painting by the man who is Oldham’s best-known painter. William Stott trained in Oldham, then travelled to Paris, where he quickly achieved recognition from fellow painters, critics and institutions. This exhibition will explore the way in which his career developed through contact with artists, and the influence he had on others.
Mahtab Hussain: You Get Me?
9 March – 8 June
Mahtab Hussain’s photographs explore the critical question of identity among young working-class British Asian men. You Get Me? addresses the contested political terrain of race and representation, respect and cultural difference.