Exhibitions 2016

Nothing Happens, Twice: Artists Explore Absurdity

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

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.

What our visitors are saying about this exhibition:

"Love Nathaniel Mellors’ film and intend to come back and watch it all. Thank you!"

"Just seen #NothingHappensTwice at the imposing @HarrisPreston brilliantly curated by @ClarissaCorfe Animated? … I’m absolutely fizzing."

"Innovative, top quality new commission that drew us to the exhibition."

"Good fun to spot the Preston locations used in the film."

"Glad the Harris is keeping on its toes and staying fresh."

"Really love the decision to show long video works; makes me want to come back again and again."

"It is remarkable that in these straightened times, the Harris manages to show challenging yet engaging contemporary art."

Immerse yourself in film, sculpture and painting, exploring ideas of farce, tragi-comedy and repetition with the Theatre of the Absurd as the starting point. Mellors' work is complemented by national and international artists and six newly commissioned pieces.  A resource area and family activities are also available in the gallery.

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Painting with Rainbows: Michael Foreman

Illustration of a boy knight on a horse by Michael Foreman

9 July – 6 November 2016

Michael Foreman has been creating well-loved children's books, as both illustrator and author, for over 50 years. This popular exhibition makes a perfect family day out in Preston.  You can enjoy original artworks, playful props, films, books and family activities that will encourage the whole family to become part of Michael's magical storytelling world.


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Preston, Our City, Your City

We Are Here Photograph of colourful street scene

Stairway Exhibition
26 November - 19 February 2017
Friday 25 November: 6.00 - 7.30pm

The daily lives, loves, challenges, and passions of the people of Preston captured on disposable cameras. During May 2016, 200 disposable cameras were given out across the communities of Preston by The Foxton Centre. The use of disposable cameras provided access for groups that ordinarily wouldn't have the means or opportunity to engage in the creative process.

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Harris Open Exhibition 2016

Harris Open exhibition

26 November 2016 – 7 January 2017

The Harris Open is a fresh and vibrant annual exhibition that gives the people of Preston a chance to shine! Artists from all backgrounds and all levels of experience, including professional, are invited to submit one or two of their most recent works to go on display, with children welcome to take part too.


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Bound by Process: Printmaking Historical & Contemporary

Kathryn Poole, Goliathus Glandarius

Two Venue Exhibition
12 February - 23 April 2016 at the Harris
12 February - 3 March 2016 at UCLan PR1 Gallery 

Working with fine art graduates at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) we are discovering more about the Harris’ 20th century print collection, uncovering hidden gems that have not been displayed
in recent years.

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Black History Connections: Local African and Caribbean Stories

Silver denarius for Septimus Severus, 201AD

Discover Preston display
26 September 2015 - 25 June 2016

Spotlight On ... Black History Connections: Local African and Caribbean Stories
Find out about the ancient connections between Lancashire and Africa; stories of individual triumph in the face of adversity and the flourishing of the Windrush generation.

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Postcard to Preston

Laura Jamieson, Soon to be home, 2015 postcard

Stairway Exhibition
8 April to 14 July 2016

Artist Laura Jamieson has sent almost 2000 miniature artworks to each of the addresses listed for the men remembered on Preston's WW1 Roll of Honour. She is seeking to build a new community that reflects those joined together through losing loved ones. See both the artworks and responses in this exhibition. postcardtopreston.com

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Homing by Jen Southern and Sam Thulin

Image of visitor in headphones

Sound Art Work and Display 
Audio 21 May –  13 November 2016
Display 21 May - 2 July 2016 

Walk, sit, drift and meander from the Harris to the Cenotaph to experience this new sonic art work. Take part by collecting headphones from the Harris Library.

Homing is based on the original letters of Preston soldiers serving in the front line trenches of World War 1, from the archives of Lancashire Infantry Museum. Follow @homingpreston for daily quotes from the soldiers’ writings.

The letters demonstrate the attempts of soldiers and their loved ones to keep in touch despite the war. The distance was not only physical; the longer the war continued, the greater the distance in life experience between soldiers and those at home. Each letter represents an attempt to bridge that gap and, as much as is said, more is left unsaid or is unsayable.

Homing uses sound to make connections at a distance; between presence and absence, people and place, displacement and home. 

The experience begins at at the Harris' Roll of Honour and moves out onto Preston's Flag Market and the Cenotaph. 

Photographs, drawings and letters belonging to the soldiers can also be seen in the museum's first floor cabinets until 2 July.

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Harris Museum and Art Gallery

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PR1 2PP 

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Please note we will be closed on Bank Holiday Monday, 1st May,
and on Wednesday 3rd May until 12.30pm for essential staff training.

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