Past exhibitions

Basque childrenIn Search of the Basque Children in Salford and Eccles

Sunday 18 June to Sunday 24 September 2017

Salford based artist Claire Hignett has been researching a group of Basque children evacuated from the Spanish Civil War who came to Salford and Eccles in 1937. 

Finding stories in old newspapers and talking to people who still remember them, she creates this exhibition to tell this hidden story.

Visit Claire Hignett's website.

Community dig at Ordsall HallSalford’s Early Past Revealed

Sunday 11 September 2016 to Sunday 11 June 2017

Many archaeological investigations have been carried out across Salford, but particularly in the central part of the city. Previously unknown prehistoric sites have been located, Roman roads rediscovered and some of the city’s finest timber buildings recorded, greatly increasing our understanding of the way Salford’s communities grew.

This exhibition takes you on a journey from the first Salfordians in the Iron Age right up to industrial Salford.


Julie WalshOrdering the Chaos

Exhbited from Sunday 29 May to Sunday 4 September 2016

Enter Julie K Holt Walsh's world of mystery and delight.

Fascinated by natural objects discarded by nature, which land randomly on the ground. Walsh collects seeds, insects and other organic objects and arranges them carefully and systematically into groups, creating order from the chaos.

Discover and explore the sculptural forms created by the artist, by peeping into her mini environment of curiosity and intrigue.

Visit Julie K Holt Walsh's website.


Now & Then: 60th Anniversary of the Embroiderers' Guild

PatchworkExhibited from Sunday 14th February to Sunday 22nd May 2016

The Manchester branch of the Embroiderers' Guild, now Megastitchers, was formed in 1956. Theere are currently about sixty members of all ages, and with a variety of interests - traditional and contemporary embroidery and also manny related crafts, including patchwork and quilting, felt making, lace and beadwork.

'Now and Then' shown some of the more recent work, both group and individual, as well as pieces from the past. Member's school and childhood embroidery is inclused, some dating back to the 1950s. Old and modern threads and magazines are also on display. Some of the work is from kits and patterns but most pieces are the stitcher's own designs.

View the Embroiderers' Guild press release.


LightsColoured Interval: Liz West

Exhibited from Sunday 27th September 2015 to Sunday 31st January 2016

'Coloured Interval' was a new body of work by Liz West exploring her fasincation with exuberant colour, sculptural form and intense light.

Alongside a series of new site-specific light-based installations, West exhibited works on paper. Using un-conventional industrial and man-made materials, such as electrical tape, aluminum and mirror, these pieces echo many of the materials utilized within her installation work.

West's two-dimensional explorations are driving new ideas within her practice and signal an important development.

'Coloured Interval' has been produced as a result of a dedicated period of studio-based research and development. Works on paper were also exhibited in the Egerton Gallery complimenting site-specific installations in the attic space.


Messengers and Promises at Ordsall HallMessengers and Promises

Exhibited from Sunday 17th May to Sunday 20th September 2015

Animals first entered the imagination as messengers and promises (John Berger 'About Looking'.

Artists Kate Herbert and sculptor Angela Sidwell united for the first time to create this exhibition. Together they explored human relationships with animals and how they have been presented over the past century. From working partnerships to pampered pets, the artists drew inspiration from Salford's collections and animals associated with Ordsall Hall.

Kate has a lifelong interest in capturing movement and character with her first love: line drawing. Angela creates scul[tures using wood, wire and textiles. Animals and the issues that surround them have always been pivotal in her work. 

View the press release for this exhibition.


Ceramic installations by Ian Clegg and Angela Tait

Ceramic camerasExhibited from Wednesday 13th May to Tuesday 16th September 2015

Two ceramic installations by artists Ian Clegg and Angela Tait were put on display in the smoke corridor and plaster ceiling room at Ordsall Hall.

The work 'Ceramic Cameras 2014/15' was on display in the smoke corridor behind the kitchen fireplace. The exhibit is based upon the concept of the ceramic camera which Ian and Angela have been exploring for the previous two years. Their ceramic cameras function both sculpturally and as image making machines. These cameras have been treated with a traditional smoke firing process not dissimilar to the process used historically during the preserving of foodstuffs.

The installation 'Hoard 2014' could be seen on display in the plaster ceiling room. This piece consisted of ceramic canisters, each containing a unique and beautiful mono-print. Every print was based upon a glove from the 8 year long projst '(G)love', which is a collection of hundreds of lost (and found) gloves. The work is a sculptural and creative response to the collection. Its location in the plaster ceiling room reflects the origin of the space as a study; a place to learn; conduct business and reflect.

They currently exhibit throughout the UK and beyond and also present workshops based around their specialisms. For more information visit their website, follow them on Twitter @aticstudioart or add them on Facebook - ATIC.


Swinton then and now

Salford Then and Now by Swinton Photographic Society

Exhibited from Sunday 8th February to Sunday 10th May 2015

Members of the society used old photographs from Salford's Local History Library and took current images of exact locations, or as close as possible, as they appear today. The images captured and displayed in this exhibition will not only demonstrate just how remarkably, or perhaps not in some instances, such locations have changed, but also how the people and life in Salford have changed over the past decade.

This exhibition coincided with a selection from their annual show at Salford Museum and Art Gallery on display from Saturday 25 April 2015 to Sunday 28 June 2015.

View the press release for Salford Then and Now.

Swinton and District Photographic Society is supported by the Community Committee for Salford.


The Tudor Child

The Tudor Child

Exhibited from Sunday 12th October 2014 to Sunday 1st February 2015

This exhibition investigated how Tudor children's clothing demonstrated their place in society and signalled their growing maturity. It also explored the sue of portraiture as source material for the reconstruction of historic dress.

Originally a booked published by The Tudor Tailor, The Tudor Child contained fascinating insights into the way in which Tudor children were raised, educated and of course clothed.

A selection of the reconstructed children's costumes made for the book were on display alongside high quality digital images of the portraits which inspired them, courtesy of the Weiss Gallery. There was even the opportunity to learn how to swaddle a baby with the hands-on activities.


Ordsall Hall and grounds, 1900

Mud, Sweat and Tears: the story of Ordsall's allotments

Exhibited from Sunday 25th May to Sunday 5th October 2014

2014 marked the centenary of the breakout of World War One, but did you know the important part Ordsall Hall had to play? Visitors could come and see this exhibition to find out about the story of Salford's pioneering allotments.

Poppy project

During this exhibition, stunning felt poppies were created by participants involved in the Poppy Project and were put on display as a bed spread in the Great Chamber. Mosaic poppies were also created which were installed within the grounds of Ordsall Hall. More information about this project.

Now that this exhibition is no longer on display why don't you visit Salford Museum and Art Gallery to see the '100 Years Ago: Salford at War' exhibition, on display from Saturday 15 March 2014 to Sunday 15 November 2015.

Gill Royal

Urban legends and landscapes

Exhibited from Sunday 28th January to Sunday 18th May 2014

Salford has a far reaching history from its first recorded mention in Anglo Saxon England to the present day.

The rural landscape of Salford metamorphosed into the industrial town, the high density housing and the cotton mills and to the present day city. The Threadmill textile artists are each motivated by different aspects: Ordsall Hall and its paintings; Elizabethan inhabitants; the effects of World War One on the area; the modern cityscape.

Members of Threadmill Textiles presented an exhibition of creative and stimulating artefacts inspired by Ordsall Hall and the wider environs of Salford using a profusion of tactile and colourful techniques.


By Hand: the exhibitionBy Hand exhibition

Exhibited from Sunday 6th October 2013 to Sunday 19th January 2014

This temporary exhibition at Ordsall Hall showcased more of the quality art and craft work made by local and national artists, for sale at affordable prices. this exhibition is for you.

This exhibition ran alongside the permanent shop space at Salford Museum and Art Gallery,

Creepy Crawly, what's their story?Weevil

Exhibited from Sunday 16th June to Sunday 29th September 2013

This family friendly exhibition looked at some of the creepy crawlies that live here at Ordsall Hall. You could find out some amazing facts about the bugs that you might find living in the hall and gardens. Some of the bugs are friends of the hall and some are foes. Quiz sheets were available to decide which ones were friendly and which were pests!

What does a woolly bear like to eat?
Where might you find a silverfish in Ordsall Hall?
How does a woodlouse breathe?


October, Diana ShoneTen Plus Textiles @ Ordsall Hall: a new exhibition

Exhibited from Sunday 10th March to Sunday 9th June 2013

This exhibition showcased new work created by Ten Plus Textiles over the last year.

Press Release for the Ten Plus Textiles exhibition.

Based in the North West, Ten Plus are a group of 18 fully qualified textile artists who have recently celebrated 20 years of working with fibres and fabric to create contemporary textile art from a wide range of techniques.

Using fine hand and machine embroidery, patchwork, quilting and beadwork, weaving, collage and mixed media, their work includes framed pieces and hangings, 3D items, fashion accessories and jewellery, all of which were featured at Ordsall Hall.

Ten Plus Textiles worked with young people from North Salford Youth Centre to make sculptural creatures inspired by some of the textiles which were featured in the exhibition.

Visit the Ten Plus Textiles website.


WishflowerHoming In

Exhibited from Sunday 2nd December 2012 to Sunday 3rd March 2013

Salford young carers were inspired by the theme of Ordsall Hall as a home to explore their own lives and homes in Salford.

During the five month project, they have also shared and reflected on their own experiences and those of older carers. This exhibition showcased their work which documents places, people, and objects that are meaningful to them.

Between August and December 2012, Ordsall Hall worked in partnership with Salford Young Carers on the development of this exhibition. During the five month project, the young people were inspired by the theme of Ordsall Hall as a home to explore their own lives and homes in Salford. See our Homing In project page for further information.


Golden eagle, 1930s - Kate PlumtreeWorn to be Wild

Exhibited from Sunday 30th September to Sunday 25th November 2012

An exhibition of costume inspired by the wildlife of Britain, designed and created by costume maker and textile artist, Kate Plumtree.

Each outfit in this vibrant exhibition has been inspired by a British bird or mammal combined with a specific era of fashion. Ordsall Hall provided the ideal historic location for the Tudor inspired badger and Elizabethan inspired Grebe! Many of the animals represented are frequent visitors to the grounds, such as the fox, heron and bat. The outfits displayed on mannequins alongside the artist's location photography, fabric sample touch boards and step by step construction portfolios showing photographs of how each costume was made. There was even an extra rail of costumes for children and adults to try on!

"Worn to be Wild aims to enlighten and inspire through the beauty and diversity of nature, the evolution of fashion, the craft of costume making and the art of creative textiles"
Kate Plumtree, Costume Maker and Textile Artist

For more information, please visit Kate Plumtree's website.


Art + PlayHot Circle, Jason Taylor

Exhibited from Sunday 1st July to Sunday 16th September 2012

A 'please touch' exhibition of contemporary art that was aimed at under fives, young visitors and their grown ups.

Based on the creative exploration of materials, a number of artists created new work which was designed to engage with pre-school children and their carers.

A 20-21 Visual Arts Centre Touring exhibition supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.


Salford's Sporting Stars

Exhibited from Sunday 22nd January to Sunday 17th June 2012

A taste of sport in Salford!

Discover some of the older sports that have a connection to Salford.

From skating to archery, bull baiting to falconry, this exhibition was brought together to run alongside the LifeTimes sporting exhibition at Salford Musem, which brought together stories, objects and images from the museums collections.


Hitched: Wedding Clothes and CustomsWedding dress, crocheted white wool -1973

Exhibited from Sunday 23rd October 2011 to Sunday 15th January 2012

This exhibition explored the history of marriage and the customs surrounding it, from Victorian times to the present day. It shown changing styles of wedding clothes and features specific styles from community groups.

The costumes were featured along with photographs, contemporary artefacts and personal histories.

This exhibition was delivered as part of National Museums Liverpool's Partnerships programme.


A Curious Old House

Exhibited from Sunday 15th May to Sunday 16th October 2011Lock and Henner Tudors Live

Miscellaneous extracts and fragments on interesting and instructive subjects, chiefly related to Ordsall Hall, including portraits and anecdotes of eminent folk, connected therewith.

In this exhibition, artist Liz Lock and Mishka Henner revealed some of the characters and stories that make Ordsall Hall and it's surroundings the community that it is today.

In developing this work, the artist photographed and gathered stories and artefacts from many local groups and individuals that have lived, worked and grown up in the area.