Purring – Sport of the People (Until 9 April)
Anna FC Smith brings her art works and research into the forgotten sport of clog fighting to Gallery Oldham. Smith examines this local sport in which colliers and mill workers would engage in combat, kicking unprotected shins with their metal-soled clogs. These brutal and occasionally lethal matches were only loosely documented by history and Smith is the first person to bring this isolated and new information together. Purring, and its links to Oldham, is exhumed through archival investigation, interviews, art film, drawings, and objects from the archives.
Sculpting stories! (Until Summer 2016)
This exhibition highlights the sculptural delights nestling in the collections of Greater Manchester Museums. The show includes significant names from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including works by Elizabeth Frink, Jacob Epstein, Laura Ford and Arthur Dooley from Gallery Oldham’s own collections. Go Figure explores the many and varied ways in which artists have responded to and represented the human form over the past 100 years.
After Life: Portraits of Taxidermy (Until 20 February)
We share this planet with millions of other species and depend on them for our survival, but so often we take nature for granted. This touring exhibition created by Sean Dooley explores the undesired impact of our actions and inactions through poignant photographic portraits of extinct and endangered animals from museum collections. These images bring stories of lost and fading species to life – including splendid portraits of the endangered Kakapo, native of New Zealand and the skeleton of the endangered Chimpanzee. Our exhibition includes taxidermy specimens from Gallery Oldham’s collection including the Great Bustard extinct in the UK since 1832, the endangered Capercaillie and Blacktailed Godwit.
The Fragile Moorland (Until 20 February)
At the heart of this exhibition is the ‘Mor’ series of artworks by Margaret Uttley, focusing on man’s relationship with our unique and highly important peat moorland. Her work is amplified through a selection of items from Gallery Oldham’s own collections of fine art, natural history and archaeology with their own links to the moors. The starting point for Margaret Uttley’s work are two ‘Grouse-Butts’ poems by Ted Hughes. Margaret has also taken inspiration from the Gallery’s collections – incorporating archaeology found on the moors into some of her work. Examples of wildlife from our natural history collections will also be on display.
‘Oldham Stories: Encounters with our collections’ (permanent exhibition)
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.
The Community Gallery features work by groups or individuals who live or work in Oldham, or anyone whose subject matter relates to Oldham. Do you have an exhibition proposal? Please contact Joy Thorpe on 0161 770 4663 or email email@example.com
David Skinner: Photographs for the Soul (Until 12 March)
Photographer David Skinner believes that looking at landscape photographs triggers a part of the human brain that has a positive effect on health and wellbeing. Take a look at this exhibition of his work to experience the photographic feel-good factor
Our monthly talks are free, informal and last around 40 minutes with time for discussion afterwards. There is no need to book. If you are bringing a group of more than five please contact the Gallery on 0161 770 4742 beforehand.
Wednesday 17 February, 2pm
Explore the world of Purring with artist Anna FC Smith.
Children and Families
Gallery Oldham is full of fun activities and events for families and children of all ages.
Children must be accompanied by an adult at all family sessions. If you are bringing a group of 10 or more please book in advance on 0161 770 4742. Arts and crafts at each session are most suitable for children aged 4–10 years.
Holiday fun at Gallery Oldham
Free family activities take place in and around all school holidays. Sessions are linked to our exhibitions so please take a look around the galleries before you come along.
Half-term: Monday 15, Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 February
Free – no need to book, just drop in from 1–4pm
Face painting £2 per child. Activities are most suitable for children aged 4–10 years.
Be inspired by our exhibitions! We’ve artist led craft activities, painting, drawing and creative fun for all the family on the first Saturday of the month.
Free – no need to book, just drop in from 12noon–4pm
Activities are most suitable for children aged 4–10 years.
Saturday 8 February
The Small Cinema
Bringing cinema back to Oldham – Every month we hosts a children’s classic in The Performance Space.
Visit www.thesmallcinema.com for bookings and full listings.
Tickets cost £3.50 and include a goodie bag for children. You can reserve tickets at the welcome desk or call 0161 770 4742
For more information call 0161 770 4653 or log onto www.galleryoldham.org.uk or www.gooldham.com
Gallery Oldham, Greaves Street, Oldham OL1 1AL.
Gallery Oldham is part of the Library and Lifelong Learning building.