Past Exhibitions

This is a short list of some of our previous exhibitions. For more information or a full list of past displays please contact the gallery.

From Waterloo to Peterloo

25 May – 21 September 2019

Image © Peterloo graphic novel (peterloo.org)

In 1819 a peaceful political meeting in Manchester ended in violence, confusion and death. This notorious event quickly became known as the Peterloo Massacre and today is recognised as an important step in the development of democracy in Britain.

Thousands of people walked from Oldham and the surrounding areas to attend the meeting. Dozens were injured and several were killed. Oldham became the scene of a notorious inquest into the death of one local man, John Lees, who had survived the battle of Waterloo but died as a result of Peterloo four years later. The inquest was a chance for witnesses to put their account of that bloody day onto the record.

This exhibition explores what life was like in 1819 using the collections of Gallery Oldham, Oldham Archives and Local Studies Library and a selection of images from the new graphic novel about Peterloo. Who were the Oldhamers at Peterloo and what ideas were they fighting for?

Family matters

13 January – 12 May 2018

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.

The Big Big Camera

22 January – 22 April 2017

The big big camera has long been in the collections of Gallery Oldham. Photographer Ian Beesley has been working to repurpose this industrial relic. This exhibition of new photographs also features poems by Ian McMillan and charts the journey to reuse the camera and take it out on the road.

This exhibition of large scale photographs that will make you think again about the whole process of taking a picture.

Art Forms in Nature

14 October 2016 – 7 January 2017

The German photographer Karl Blossfeldt (1865 – 1932) was celebrated by the Surrealists and early modernists for his pioneering close-up images of plants and flora. Trained as a sculptor he was also an Karl Blossfeldtamateur botanist, fascinated by the underlying structures of nature.

This Hayward Touring exhibition consists of 40 photogravures from an original German portfolio, ‘Wundergarten der Natur’ 1932, edited by Blossfeldt and published in the year of his death. This exhibition also featured a selection of larger than life plant models from Gallery Oldham’s natural history collection.

The Current Situation by Yara El-Sherbini

July – September 2016

Yara El-Sherbini creates contemporary art which is accessible, playful and can be enjoyed by all. Over the last 10 years her artworks have used recognisable formats, such as quizzes, game shows and jokes.

Yara El-Sherbini. Photo by Natxo Bassols Salles. Image courtesy of the NAE, LCB and the Artist.

In her current exhibition she invites people to navigate the world’s borders using her giant buzz-wire game, where it will be nearly as hard to travel across the world’s borders in theory as it is in practice.

The Current Situation by Yara El-Sherbini is a touring exhibition produced by New Art Exchange, Nottingham.