DIS/rupt in Oldham – posting from the Gallery

DIS/rupt is now in its final few weeks at Gallery Oldham – it closes on 24th February – and you will have to travel to the Minerva Art Centre, Llanidloes in lovely mid Wales to see the work. More information about that in a future post.

However before it leaves Gallery Oldham I thought it would be interesting to hear what it has been like to have the TSG exhibition in the gallery from the people in whose care it has been since before it opened at the beginning of December and I have received this from the Gallery’s point of view.

There are nearly 2 weeks left to see the DIS/rupt exhibition at Gallery Oldham. It’s been on display for nearly 3 months and will be touring the UK, its next stop will be Minerva Arts Centre, Wales. Here Visitor Experience Assistant Rachel Ford gives us an insight in to what’s been involved from Gallery Oldham’s side of the project.

After months of planning, the gallery team had 1 week to prepare the gallery for the DIS/rupt exhibition. This included moving walls and painting them. Rebecca the Exhibitions and Collections Coordinator (Art) worked with Sarah Burgess from the Textile Study Group on the challenging tasks of laying out all 23 artists’ artwork, giving thought to the design layout and allowing each piece of artwork to have its own identity. The collection of artworks although fragile were quite easy to hang and the natural light from Gallery 2 complemented the artists chosen colours.   

Just before the grand opening on 2nd December 2017 the artist Sarah Burgess gave the front of house team a prep talk on each piece of artwork. This talk with Sarah gave us the opportunity ask questions and explore the exhibition. I was very interested in the research involved to obtain statistics relating to rising sea levels across the world for Sarah Burgess Artwork Drowning By Numbers: 2 Degrees and 4 Degrees. Sarah explained that various studies had taken place by university groups and the studies showed that if the temperatures rise globally by 2 or 4 degrees it is likely to have a devastating impact on at least ten cities worldwide, this would then have a knock-on effect destroying crops, homes and industry. The Textile Study Group are a group of nationally and internationally recognised textile artists and tutors based throughout the UK. The group are well known for innovative and challenging approaches to art practice and contemporary teaching.

The exhibition explores the concept of disruption in its widest sense. Through extensive research the group decided to explore several themes, including global conflict, concomitant problems of migration and the refugee crisis; climate change and ecological disruption; conflict within domestic relationships; and disruption within traditional fabric making processes.

My favourite piece in the exhibition has been Sian Martin’s, Dispatched With A Kiss. I found the story and the beautiful array of colours very moving. Inspired by a true story, the piece of artwork represents a timeline about a boy named Ahmed. Ahmed lived in Afghanistan when aged 15, ISIS came to his village and stole his two sisters and killed his father. His mother told him to run away and gave him a kiss on his cheek.

Fragments, detail Sian Martin

The piece itself is about 4 meters long. It begins with bright colours that represents Ahmed peaceful life. The colours then fade and bright orange fabric is threaded onto the steel, this represents Ahmed’s journey as he travels to France and Britain. Towards the end the fabric becomes much less. A pair of lost shoes represent the journey that many other refugees will continue to take.

The exhibition has been very popular, with visitors travelling from all over. The workshop with Artist Sarah Burgess sold out within the first few weeks upon opening and The Textile Study Group catalogue has been selling like hot cakes.

But before it leaves Gallery Oldham on Saturday 24th February, come and take a look at this amazing talent.

Catalogues for sale at £10 each

Thank you Rachel. It is always good to hear other view points of artists’ work and having your account from the perspective of the Gallery will be of enormous interest to readers.

Remember, the exhibition ends 24th February and our next post will give more information about its move to the Minerva Arts Centre. Catalogues can also be purchased through a link on the group’s website.

TSG website



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