‘Spindleopolis! When Cotton was King (Until November)
In 1913 Oldham boasted more cotton spindles than any other town in the world and the town brimmed with confidence and certainty about its future. A century on, Spindleopolis revisits this time of economic boom using contemporary paintings,
photographs and objects to explore the lives of ordinary Oldhamers. Cotton helped to create a prosperous working class whose cash fuelled a market for seaside holidays, football, music hall and fish and chips. The display uses the cartoons and words of local man Sam Fitton to recreate this lost world. This dialect writer and entertainer chronicled the lives of the working men and women of the town in the pages of the Cotton Factory Times, the operatives’ own weekly newspaper). This exhibition is curated by historians Alan Fowler and Terry Wyke and includes objects from Gallery Oldham’s collections alongside loans from various North West institutions.
‘Oldham Stories: Encounters with our collections’
In response to feedback from our visitors we launch a new permanent exhibition packed full of Oldham stories. This is your chance to see some of our most treasured artefacts alongside items that might just surprise you. We bring together objects from our Natural History, Social History and Art collections to look again at Oldham’s past and present. We tell the stories of a range of local figures such as suffragette Annie Kenney, the pioneering natural history collector James Nield and popular artist Helen Bradley. Oldham Stories features the breadth of our extensive collections. From birds and shells to archaeology and embroidered samplers, every object has a tale to tell. Artwork on show includes important British paintings from the Charles Lees Collection as well as paintings by artists that illustrate local scenes and characters.
Brian Clarke: Born Oldham 1953 (until 14 September)
Brian Clarke is the world’s best-known stained glass and architectural artist, but his works on paper are a well-guarded secret. He draws every day, and his drawings are the foundation of his practice. The first exhibition of his works on paper for 40 years was held at the Saatchi Gallery in London in 2011. This exhibition builds on that
acclaimed show, including recent drawings and paintings which reveal his exploration of line and colour, and provide an insight into his wider architectural work. Brian Clarke was born and educated in Oldham and designed the stained glass roof of The Spindles Shopping Centre in 1991. He has gone on to design major stained glass schemes such as the Royal Mosque, KKIA Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Victoria Quarter, Leeds. Clarke still has links with Oldham and the show includes recent drawings of its landscape and architectural heritage.
The Wonderful World of Rodney Peppé (until 14 September)
Rodney Peppé has been making enchanting handcrafted toys since the late 1970s. He is the author of over 80 children’s books and created the TV characters ‘Huxley the (daydreaming) Pig’ and ‘Anglemouse’. This exhibition includes toys, models and automata from throughout his career, alongside original artwork and films of his works in action. There are two working automata for visitors to operate and fun activities inspired by Peppé’s work. In the accompanying catalogue well-known Antiques Roadshow expert, Hilary Kay, writes ‘Peppé has developed a rare knack of preserving the joy of invention, making each of his creations appear spontaneous and fresh.’ There is much here to delight adults and children alike, and inspire the next generation of children’s artists. Meet the Artist! Rodney Peppé will be at the opening event on 25 May. Contact us for details.
The Community Gallery features work by groups or individuals who live or work in the Borough of Oldham. Do you have an exhibition proposal for the Gallery? Please contact Joy Thorpe on 0161 770 4663 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Realising Potential (Until 17 August)
Young artists from Kingsland School showcase their talents and potential in this exhibition. Paintings, prints, graphic design and 3D installations come together to create an exciting and inspirational display.
Positive Light (24 August – 19 October)
Take another look at Oldham through the lens of photographer Mina Ahmed. Taken at night, these images show the beauty, vibrancy and colour of our town, encouraging us to explore a little further and think a little deeper.
Children and Families
Activities are most suitable for children aged 4-10 yrs. Children must be accompanied byan adult for all family activities.
Holiday fun at Gallery Oldham
Free family activities take place during all school holidays. These are linked to our exhibitions so please take a look around the galleries before you come along.
Face painting and craft activities at each session. Free – no need to book, just drop in from 1– 4pm
Craft activities, painting, drawing and creative fun for all the family on the first Saturday of the month. New for 2013 – explore our collections through inspiring iPad
Creativity! You will be able to discover, create and play on a range of Apps, resulting in a masterpiece which you can access online!
August 3 – Discover our Owl Trail and then make your own Oldham Owl to take home.
The Small Cinema – Bringing cinema back to Oldham
Every month The Small Cinema hosts a children’s classic in The Performance Space. Tickets cost £3 and include a goodie bag for all kids, and the chance to win a copy of the film on DVD. You can reserve tickets in advance at The Welcome Desk. The next feature film is Saturday, August 17.
Have fun with film-related arts and crafts session before each movie from 12noon–2pm in the Foyer. In association with Oldham Arts Development. Visit www.thesmallcinema.com for full film listings and more details.
Oldham Local Studies and Archives
Oldham Local Studies and Archives is dedicated to the collection and preservation of the archives, history and heritage of Oldham Borough, including the districts of Chadderton, Crompton, Failsworth, Lees, Royton and Saddleworth. The service holds a large collection of books, pamphlets, photographs, maps and archives relating to every aspect of the history of Oldham, from the 16th century to the present day. Whether you are interested in family or local history, undertaking a college course or school essay, Oldham Local Studies and Archives is here to help.
William Cobbett – Until September
A display celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Oldham’s first MP. For more information please contact: Oldham Local Studies and Archives, 84 Union Street, Oldham, OL1 1DN. T: 0161 770 4654 E: email@example.com
Call 0161 770 4653