Dance First, Think Later

Dance First, Think Later was a contemporary art programme which took place from 2015 - 2017 exploring notions of performativity and the human condition; tragicomedy and absurdity, curated by Clarissa Corfe. It also included support for professional artists in Preston and the wider North West, practical workshops for adults and children, and a youth engagement programme, Sparks. Find out about the principal exhibitions, performances and events which took place as part of the programme here.

Acid Brass

Jeremy Deller Acid Brass, 1997 The Fairey Band at Manchester Airport Courtesy the Artist Photo: Jeremy Deller

A free Acid House Brass Band gig for Preston
Featuring the Fairey Brass Band
(with warm-up DJ Dave Haslam)

Friday 28 April 2017
7.00-9.00pm

Acid Brass visits Preston for a special one-off performance of
Acid House classics.

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Maeve Rendle - I Remember All

Maeve Rendle, I Remember All

Wednesday 5 April 2017
7.00 - 7.20pm

A spectacular free film and performance work by
Maeve Rendle

Maeve Rendle takes fragments of a monologue from Chekhov's play
The Seagull to create a new, looping script that resonates powerfully with the present.  This is a unique chance to experience this brand new work in the museum's breathtaking atrium.

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The Birley Residency Open Day

Birley Studio artists on the roof of the Harris building

Saturday 1 April 2017
10.00am - 5.00pm

Special Event with Preston-based professional artists

Drop into the Harris Museum to meet artists from The Birley artist studios in Preston and talk to them about their work.  There will be peformances by Martin Hamblen, Tao Lashley-Burnley and Rachel Pursglove and a talk by Benedict Rutherford.  New video work by Mat Birchall will be on display all day and you can take part in artist's boardgames by Steph Fletcher.

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House of Ferment

House of Ferment display

Special Event

Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September 2016

Join us for a weekend of talks, demonstrations and tastings - and get involved by donating your own fruit and veg!

The House of Ferment is a live, pop-up larder by Grizedale Arts in collaboration with artist and food enthusiast Karen Guthrie

The spectacular, copper clad unit includes functional art by invited artists Laure Prouvost, Ryan Gander and Bedwyr Williams, as well as heirloom kitchen equipment and countless home-made preserves to try. The House of Ferment seeks contributions from local home cooks wherever it travels, and hosts food activists, innovators and other specialists from the food, health and environmental fields as well as dinners, talks and food events.  It uses Karen’s longstanding collection of fermented food cultures as an impetus for creative exchange, dialogue and learning.

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The Birley Project Space at Manchester Contemporary

No News Steph Fletcher

 

Special Event at Old Granada Studios, Manchester

Thursday 22 - Sunday 25 September 2016

We're delighted to be supporting emerging artists from Preston at this year's
The Manchester Contemporary.

The Birley Project Space & Studios is based just a few hundred yards from the Harris and hosts exhibitions, residencies, live events, off-site projects and workshops. It nurtures contemporary practice by local, national and international artists, supporting them in testing new ideas, developing collaborations and taking an experimental approach to practice.

 

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Nothing Happens, Twice: Artists Explore Absurdity

Nathaniel Mellors, Ourhouse, Ep-1: Time, 2016 (production shot)

Exhibition
6 February - 4 June 2016

Imagine Neanderthals living in Preston Bus Station and around the city ... what Jackson Pollock's wife really thought ... and how a talking shoe might gossip over the garden fence.

Preston Bus Station is part of the inspiration for Nathaniel Mellors’ new film, winner of the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award, and showing here for the first time as part of the exhibition.
A range of entertaining and thought-provoking work also includes Mel Brimfield's Alan Bennett-style take on what it might have been like to be Jackson Pollock's wife and Sally O'Reilly's talking shoe which talks to the neighbouring artworks.  It's also a rare chance to see Alan Rickman and Juliet Stevenson in Samuel Beckett's 15-minute long Play.

 

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Nathaniel Mellors and Guests: Focus On Panel Discussion

Nathaniel Mellors, Time, 2015 (production shot)

Saturday 7 May 2016

Meet award-winning artist Nathaniel Mellors and guests who will discuss Mellors' new film Ourhouse, Ep:-1 Time, within the context of his other work, TV and film.  Full of irreverence, absurdity and hilarity, Mellors' videos, sculptures, performances and writings challenge our ideas of taste, morality and intelligence.

Born in Doncaster and now living in Los Angeles, Mellors won the prestigious Contemporary Art Society Annual Award 2014 in partnership with the Harris. The award enabled Mellors to write and direct his most ambitious film yet, filmed in extraordinary locations around Preston, and on show in the Harris Museum & Art Gallery's current exhibition, Nothing Happens, Twice: Artists Explore Absurdity.

Joining Nathaniel Mellors will be Maeve Connolly, academic and author of TV Museum: Contemporary Art and the Age of Television; artist Mick Peter; and performer, writer and curator Laura Dee Milnes. 

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David Elliott on Art From Elsewhere

Yang Zhenzong, Let's Puff, 2002

Friday 9 October 2015

We are delighted to welcome the curator of Art from Elsewhere, David Elliott, who will talk about the ideas arising from the exhibition: What and where is elsewhere? Does art have a role to play other than being art itself? What are art museums for?

 

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Art from Elsewhere: International Contemporary Art from UK Galleries

Yang Zhenzhong, Let's Puff,

Exhibition
10 October - 28 November 2015

 

Art from Elsewhere explores global change through the work of artists from around the world.

The exhibition addresses topical issues such as migration, trade and exchange, social tensions, life in conflict zones and failed ideas of utopia are addressed. Experience both the familiar and the new through a wide variety of painting, sculpture, installation, video and photography.  Information Assistants are in the galleries as often as possible to help you get the most from your visit.

 

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Art from Elsewhere Exhibition Tour & Popular Culture Quiz

Yang Zhenzong, Let's Puff, 2002

Thursday 29 October 2015


sign symbolJoin us for a tour of Art from Elsewhere: International Contemporary Art from UK Galleries followed by a fun Popular Culture Quiz!  

 

Think you know your film, TV, music and comedy?  Find out tonight, when we'll also be sneaking in some Lancashire-themed entertainment questions.  They'll be a free drink for everyone and prizes to be won.  Take part on your own or in a team of up to four.  Both the tour and quiz will be BSL signed and you can come to one or the other, or enjoy both. Everyone welcome!

What time? 6.00-8.00pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? No, just drop in

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A Green & Pleasant Land? Rural Life in Art

John P. Jenkinson, View of Preston (detail)

Exhibition
25 July - 27 September 2015

Due to popular demand this exhibition has been extended - final day is Sunday 27 September, 11am - 4pm.

Idyllic scenery, derelict barns, farmers toiling the land?  We explore how artists have been inspired by our rural heritage, from the romantic to the real. Images from our collection include Preston landscapes and work by Anthony Devis, Thomas Wade, Adrian Stokes and Norman Stevens. We also include artists working today like Georgina Barney and Andrew Cross and, in partnership with In Certain Places, we are pleased to show work by Rebecca Chesney, Abigail Townsend and Joanne Lee.

Families can enjoy a trail focusing on the seasons of the farming year. Don't miss our Fantastic Farming event on Thursday 27 Augsut when real farm animals will be visiting!

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In Conversation: Lucy Beech & Edward Thomasson with Jonathan P. Watts

Lucy Beech Capture

Friday 19th June 2015

Three Special Events - 
In Conversation; Writers' Workshop; Artists' Mentoring 

 

In Conversation: Drinks at 5.30 for 6.00pm - 8.00pm
BOOK YOUR FREE PLACE HERE

 

Lucy Beech and Edward Thomasson's practice spans video and performance.  As two of Britain's most exciting young artists they work both independently and collaboratively and together their work explores what constitutes performance outside of conventional theatre.

Beech and Thomasson have composed a unique programme of their most recent video works including Lucy Beech’s Results that Move You and Edward Thomasson’s Open Your Mouth, as well as documentation of the artists’ collaborative live work, Passive Aggressive 2 (all 2014). Following the screening, the artists will be joined in conversation with writer Jonathan P Watts.  The event is programmed to coincide with Lucy Beech’s solo exhibition Me and Mine on show at the Harris until 4th July.

Book your free place through Eventbrite HERE.

 

Writers' Workshop: 3pm
With Jonathan P. Watts.  Please email Clarissa Corfe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to book your free place.

 

Artists' Mentoring: From 3pm
45 minute session with artists Lucy Beech and Edward Thomasson.
Please email Clarissa Corfe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to book your place, including a few sentences about how it would benefit your practice.

 

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Lucy Beech: Me and Mine

Lucy Beech, Untitled, 2015

Exhibition
2 May - 4 July 2015

Me and Mine is Lucy Beech’s first major solo exhibition in the UK. Focused on the ways in which women construct and sustain communities, the work on show at the Harris Museum is developed out of Beech’s extended body of research around emotional labour and the agency of the individual in a group. The raw materials for these ‘re-enactments’ are fabricated from ‘field notes’; research collected through active engagement in workshops and networking events; contexts that demand group performance whilst blurring the boundaries between work and play.

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Oculist Witnesses: According to Duchamp

Richard Hamilton, Oculist Witnesses, 1966

Sovay Berriman, Lindsey Bull, Ruth Claxton, Richard Hamilton

Exhibition
2 May - 4 July 2015

Oculist Witnesses: According to Duchamp includes new and existing works by Sovay Berriman, Lindsey Bull, Ruth Claxton as well as a work by the influential British artist and founder of pop art Richard Hamilton. Working in sculpture, painting and manipulated found postcards the artists explore the notion of the gaze, movement and perspective using Hamilton’s Oculist Witnesses (1966) as a starting point.

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Artists' Portfolio Reviews & Artists' Talks

Sovay Berriman, Entertainment Suite, 2010-ongoing

Saturday 4 July 2015

Two Special Events with artists
Ruth Claxton and 
Sovay Berriman

Free Porfolio Reviews for Artists at 1.00pm and 1.45pm
See below for booking information

Free Artists' Talk and Discussion from 3.00 - 5.00pm
BOOK YOUR FREE PLACE HERE

 

Our portfolio review sessions are a great opportunity to talk about your practice to a nationally renowned artist who can give you advice and critical feedback on you, your practice and your career path.

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book your portfolio session including your preferred artist, time slot and a couple of sentences on how this would benefit your practice. Portfolio sessions are free.

Following the portfolio reviews, at 3.00pm Sovay Berriman and Ruth Claxton will give public presentations about their work.  Both are featured in our current exhibition Oculist Witnesses: According to Duchamp which uses a work by British pop artist Richard Hamilton as a starting point. BOOK FOR THE TALK HERE

These events are part of the Dance First, Think Later contemporary art programme at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery.

 

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The Varieties

Harold Offeh: High Bar, 2015

Exhibition
12 February - 11 April 2015 

Experience The Varieties - inspired by Preston’s Will Onda and artist Harold Offeh's work and featuring work from 10 regional and national artists.

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The Varieties Show

Harold Offeh, High Bar, 2015

Saturday 28 March 2015

Special event
Performances by: Mark Bleakley, Mexico, Harold Offeh, Florence Peake, plus a gymnast from City of Preston Gymnastics Club

Speakers: Adam Sutherland (Grizedale Arts), Gavin Wade (Eastside Projects), Harold Offeh, Clarissa Corfe
 
Featuring performances from artists in The Varieties exhibition alongside presentations by two of the UK’s leading curators:
Gavin Wade, Director at Eastside Projects Birmingham, and
Adam Sutherland, Director at Grizedale Arts, plus
Harold Offeh and Clarissa Corfe, curators of The Varieties exhibition.

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Sparks

Still life with fans made by Sparks participants

Aged 16-19? Looking for something creative to do whilst widening your circle of friends?

From 2015 - 2017 Sparks participants took part in a range of activities as part of the Dance First, Think Later contemporary art programme, including making animated films inspired by the Nothing Happens, Twice exhibition at the Harris. Take a look at some of their fantastic creations here

https://nothinghappenstwice.wordpress.com/about-2/

See what happened at a recent Sparks workshop here.

 

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Harris Museum and Art Gallery

Market Square,
Preston
PR1 2PP 

T 01772 258248 (office 10am-4pm)
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OPENING HOURS

Museum, Art Gallery, Library & Makerspace

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BANK HOLIDAY OPENING

Sunday 27 and Monday 28 August:

The Harris Museum & Art Gallery will be open on Sunday 11am-4pm and Monday 11am-5pm.
The Harris Library and Learning Centre will be open on Sunday 11am-4pm. Bank Holiday Monday opening to be confirmed.

 

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