A Tall Order! – Rochdale Art Gallery in the 1980s

4 Feb 2023 – 6 May 2023

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

Save Event: A Tall Order! – Rochdale Art Gallery in the 1980s1

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“Our policy is to encourage new audiences for art, particularly women, black communities, young people, those with disabilities, and to encourage cultural activity for working class communities. Broadly, to change the domination of art by a white middle class male audience and producer. A tall order!”

Jill Morgan, in a letter dated 16 March 1987

In the 1980s, Touchstones was known as Rochdale Art Gallery. Its daring and innovative approach to exhibition and education programming positioned it on the national map.

Led by Exhibition Officer, Jill Morgan, the focus on exhibiting artists engaged in critical and socio-political practice gave a platform to those who were not being offered the opportunity to show their work in other high profile institutions.

A Tall Order! is an invigorating look at the artwork made and exhibited here during the 1980s by a generation of artists, many of whom were women, young, working class and Black.

Featuring key works from this time and demonstrating how this period influenced many artists, the show will include loans from both public and private collections brought together from around the UK. Alongside selected works from Rochdale’s own collection, the exhibition will also present a series of three new and exciting commissions by contemporary artists, Lubna Chowdhary, Sarah Joy Ford and Jade Montserrat.

The show will be accompanied by a creative learning programme that will support local artists and see a wide range of free events, workshops and self-guided activities available to our audiences.

Generously supported by a grant from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and Arts Council England and Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery funding, A Tall Order! is curated by independent research curators Dr Derek Horton and Dr Alice Correia.


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