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Central Art Gallery - Exhibitions

Central Art Gallery


Central Art Gallery hosts a varied temporary exhibition programme, you can find out more about the individual exhibitions on this page either by clicking on the titles below or scrolling further down on the page.

IT's Colourful Up North 

15 January 2015 - 28 February 2015

Dukinfield Town Hall by Simeon Stafford Portland Basin by Simeon Stafford Astley Cheetham Art Gallery by Simeon Stafford

The exhibition celebrates the work of Dukinfield-born artist Simeon Stafford. The works were all previously donated to Tameside Museums and Galleries Service by the artist. Simeon was brought up in Dukinfield and now lives in Cornwall.

Simeon focuses on similar scenes to LS Lowry and Harry Rutherford but uses a wider palette and much thicker-layered paint to depict his old home, the street where he lived and the people around him. His Cornish work is influenced by bright light, and while his Northern crowd scenes are from markets and fairs, the Western scenes show people frolicking in the sea and on the beaches.

Cllr Jackie Lane, Tameside Council’s assistant executive member for culture, said: “This exhibition sounds absolutely fascinating. I’m very interested to see how Simeon contrasts Tameside with his adopted home in the West Country.”

Born in Dukinfield in 1956, Simeon attended St John’s Primary School. His father, Fred, encouraged his interest in art and bought him some oil paints when he was seven. He regularly took him to visit art exhibitions in Manchester and when he was eight, Simeon met Lowry, who praised one of his drawings.

He attended West Hill where he was taught by Owen Traynor who recognised his talent and encouraged him to develop his skills. At 14 the school entered him for the Robert Owen Art Prize and he came second in the portrait section.

After leaving school at 16, Simeon worked in various manual jobs before establishing a successful tyre-fitting business. He moved to Cornwall in 1996 and remains there with his partner, Alice.

It took him some time to establish himself but he now sells his work to in several galleries and at auction. Simeon’s work is in numerous private collections including those belonging to the Queen. He has exhibited in the Royal Academy summer show.

Tameside Weddings

28 November 2014 - 28 February 2015

Photograph from Tameside WeddingsIT may not necessarily prove to be the most special day in a couple’s life, but for anyone who gets married their wedding day will always be memorable. “Tameside Weddings”, the new exhibition at Tameside Central Art Gallery, Old Street, Ashton, looks at nuptials from a local perspective.

All the material is on public display for the first time and has been loaned by people who live, work or play in the borough. Among the wedding dresses is the one made and worn by Mary Anne Booley when she married Richard Arthur Hughes on February 4, 1914, seven months before Britain entered the First World War.

There is also a sari which was worn at a Hindu ceremony 30 years ago, as well as all the other paraphernalia including invitations, congratulatory telegrams, lucky horseshoes and bride and groom figures from a 1950s cake. Several people have shared their photo albums as well as their recollections.

The exhibition also looks at the impact of wartime rationing and the places people went to for their honeymoon, ranging from Blackpool in the 1950s, to Benidorm in the 1960s and Venezuela in the 1990s. Cllr Jackie Lane, Tameside Council’s assistant executive member for culture, said: “The traditional image of a wedding day is still a man in a dark suit and a woman in white at a church ceremony, but things have changed drastically. “Before the war a wedding may have comprised a service and some sandwiches.

Nowadays it could easily cost many thousands of pounds and might well take place in a hotel or on a Caribbean beach. “This fascinating exhibition looks at the wedding day from all angles and cultures.”

The Rutherford Gallery

Northern Saturday by Harry RutherfordGallery dedicated to Harry Rutherford
Permanent exhibition

Harry Rutherford was a nationally renowned artist who came from the Tameside area. His career was long and varied, working initially as a draughtsman and then training with the eminent artist Walter Sickert.

The Rutherford Gallery situated in Central Art Gallery is a celebration of a 20th century master, an artist whose talent allowed him to experience many avenues of artistic life. The works on display will span his entire artistic career. Many will have never been on public display before.

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Page last updated: 14 January 2015