Rochdale News | News Headlines | Rochdale residents invited to contribute to new Touchstones exhibit

Date published: March 22, 2022

Rochdale residents are invited to share their own experiences and memories to be part of ‘Whose Voice?’, Touchstones’ latest exhibition which explores the role of museums, art galleries and civic spaces in contemporary society.

Developed by artist Simeon Barclay alongside poet and playwright Liz Mytton, the exhibition examines how history is brought to us through the eyes of the most privileged of the time and intends to represent more contributions and voices from a wide range of local residents.

Presented through two installations, both of which incorporate objects and memorabilia donated by Rochdale residents as well as a series of performance pieces, “Whose Voice?” will explore the role that museums, art galleries and civic spaces play in contemporary society, and examine how our stories are presented and whose voices are remembered.

Simeon Barclay’s installation, ‘Hard to Reach!’, examines the dominant voices of the rich and powerful in the borough’s collections, and through thoughtful selection and positioning of furniture, busts, portraits and mirrors, asks visitors, “are we reflected in these collections?”

‘Echoes’, the exhibition’s second installation developed by Liz Mytton and a small group of local residents, explored the collections and responded to them through personal possessions.

This second installation also includes a recreation of a studio apartment in which one of the residents lived when they first moved to Rochdale. The stories of other residents will be told through films and live performances throughout the exhibition period.

Mark Doyle, Culture Director at Touchstones Rochdale, said of the exhibition: “’Whose Voice?’ is a refreshing approach to showcasing Rochdale’s cultural heritage.

“Throughout history, we’ve been told the stories of the rich and powerful, so it’s been great to have been able to engage local residents and tell some of their stories; many that I’m sure others will identify with.

“The co-creation between artists and residents adds a truly authentic feel to the exhibit, and we are thrilled to host such an empowering installation.”

Visitors to the exhibition and members of the Rochdale community are also invited to contribute to the exhibition through a series of demonstration days. ‘Your voice!’ intends to encourage locals to share their own stories by contributing their special items and keepsakes. These can also be submitted at any time via postcards found in the gallery or online.

‘Whose Voice?’ takes place at Touchstones Rochdale from Saturday March 12 to Sunday July 3, 2022.

Performances and show-and-tell sessions will take place between 1-4pm on April 2, 16 and 30; May 14 and 28; and June 11 and 25 (every Saturday).

About Elaine Morales

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