A showcase for Oldham's talent in our new exhibition

Date published: 10 September 2021

Our Summer of Creativity exhibition has opened at Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre.

At the beginning of summer, we asked for your stories, your inspiration, and your items to showcase the creativity hiding away in Oldham.

We’ve been blown away by an amazing collection from you, including sculptures, gardens, photographs, paintings, and tales of trying something new over the summer.

And now, that collection can be seen on display in Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre as a reflection of everything that’s creative in our town.

Amongst the items on display, a collection of air-dry clay pots from Joan Bibby in Royton who visited the centre earlier this week.  She told the Chronicle that she was inspired by the collection: “Having something like this at the Spindles really makes it feel like a much brighter place to shop.   love the thought that my lockdown hobby might give people the idea to try something new”

Some of the artwork on display

You can also see a collection of traditional hand-made textiles from Shelley Rehman from Chowdhury Textiles.  Shelley, whose family originated from Bangladesh went on a journey to the country to seek out the textiles and bring them back to create a range of cushions in Oldham.  Shelley told us: “A lot of the women who made these cushions are mothers who sew. This is a way of sharing our creative outlet which sometimes we take for granted” 

Abigail Danby, a former art student, used lockdown as a way to cultivate her old passion of abstract painting. She told us it was a therapeutic process: “Painting gave me hope that it would all be ok”.  You can see some of Abigail’s creations on display in our exhibition.

Beverley Knights has contributed a number of photographs taken in and around Oldham, reflecting the Covid pandemic, our bustling town and some inspiring landscape shots.

Bridget Kalliga of Stalybridge has sent us one of her wonderful paintings which she was, at last, able to spend some time on.  Her inspirational piece is showcased in the exhibition.  Says Bridget: “After retiring from nursing and lockdown starting, I found I had time on my hands and decided to paint again.”

Gwen Cameron from Lees turned bad news into a positive by working on her decoupage skills.  Gwen was diagnosed with sepsis in December but has been using her recovery time to experiment.  Decoupage is the art of decorating objects with paper cut-outs, paint, and other decorative items.  Gwen has created her first mannequin which she’s entitled “Essence of Emily”.  “It’s inspired by Emily Bronte”, Gwen told us.  “The mannequin reflects her passion for nature, and writing. 

Linda Edwards' 'The Jockey'

Linda Edwards has submitted a beautiful painting, created during lockdown, depicting one of Oldham’s oldest traditions.  The painting is of Saddleworth Morris Man Carl Taylor atop the 13ft high rushcart as it’s pulled around the villages.  Entitled “The Jockey”, it depicts Carl who held the title in 2019, the modern Rushcart’s 45th anniversary.  Linda says: “Whilst painting him, I found myself looking forward to sunnier days ahead with optimism. The vibrancy of colour against the blue sky made my heart lift. Long may our local springtime traditions continue and flourish.”  Linda has recently been shortlisted for a national Visual Art Open award.

Head into Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre in Oldham to take a look at all the items on display in the exhibition.  You’ll find the displays at the old Debenhams store, and the exhibition is absolutely free.  The exhibition remains open until the end of September.

Our Summer of Creativity project was brought together with help from Oldham Council and Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre.  You can read more stories of inspiration here.

Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing news@oldham-chronicle.co.uk , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.

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