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Discover | Explore | Learn

April to August 2017 Exhibitions | Events | Performances | Participation

At a glance Exhibitions

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Marvin Gaye Chetwynd: Dogsy Ma Bone Clare Kenny: Industrial Romantic

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Toil, Trade & Titans

Welcome to our exhibitions and events guide, listing everything happening at Touchstones Rochdale, and by our teams across the borough over the next 5 months. We hope you will enjoy visiting, participating and engaging with our ever-growing offer.

Susan Collis: When we loved you best of all Ancient Egypt: Life along the River Nile Frocks: Dress and Accessories from the Museum Collection

Opening up… memories, conversations and heritage Opening up II… memories, conversations and heritage Fashion: Dress and Accessories from the Museum Collection Performances & Film


pp 8-9

Mixed Grill? Northern Soul Night Alice Jones JOAN

Touchstones Rochdale

One Little Word Double Bubble Boys Don’t Dan Walsh

Touchstones_ Rochdale

Pulp Fiction Regular Activities

pp 10-11

Mindfulness & Wellbeing Knitty Gritty

Touchstones Rochdale

Touchstones Youth Theatre Touchstones Creative Writing Group Make Art!


Touchstones Art Club Tiny Touchstones Homework Club Family History Drop-in Sessions




p 12

Ceramic Cats Tealight Lamps Mono-Printing


he programme of exhibitions, events and activities continues to grow and develop here at Touchstones Rochdale; this brochure announces the launch of a number of new strands of activities we’re really proud to be able to run in Rochdale. One of the most exciting parts of the borough’s Collection; our Egyptian objects will be on display for the first time in a decade, giving you a glimpse into the daily lives of the ancient Egyptians. Following recent extensive research and work into our collections, including consulting with nationally renowned experts, we’re delighted to be able to tell new stories about this beautiful and incredible collection of objects, owned by the people of Rochdale.

Probably one of our biggest steps forward is the introduction of a new and improved offer for children and young people. The launch of our new weekly theatre and art clubs will see Touchstones Rochdale open into the evenings once a week, and be complemented by a significant expansion to our theatre programme. Continuing the theme of late night opening, we’re creating ‘Friday Night at Touchstones’ on the last Friday of the month for a wide range of music, film, comedy and Northern Soul. Our Art Gallery is also going from strength to strength with an ever ambitious and innovative selection of exhibitions, continuing to focus on our key themes; women artists, Northern talent and contemporary craft. We’re particularly pleased to be able to offer a unique opportunity for members of the public to see Heywood-born and Swiss-based artist Clare Kenny’s work coming together during her exhibition installation; a normally hidden process.

Whether you’re visiting for our exhibitions, our performances, our classes or our lovely café, we do hope you enjoy Touchstones Rochdale.

Macrame Necklaces Paper Cutting Easter Holiday Fun

p 13

Tom Besford, Arts & Heritage Manager

Half Term Fun BIG GAMES Touchstones Rochdale Summer Fun 2017 Talk & Tours

pp 14-15 p 16

Talk: Clare Kenny In Conversation with Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey Talk: Susan Collis In Conversation with Lisa Le Feuvre Talks: Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery Tour: Who’s Afraid of Contemporary Art?

Front cover image: Sue Devaney’s Double Bubble, see page 8 for details.


Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery

p 17

Touchstones Rochdale Information

p 18

Floor Plan

p 19


Toil, Trade & Titans


1 April – Winter 2017 Gallery Two Rochdale rose to prominence during the 19th century as a major mill town and centre for textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. It was a ‘boomtown’ of the period, and amongst the first ever industrialised towns.

Liverpool Biennial with Touchstones Rochdale presents Marvin Gaye Chetwynd: Dogsy Ma Bone 11 March – 8 July 2017 Gallery One

Toil, Trade & Titans explores how the social, economic and cultural impact of industry is manifest in the borough’s rich Fine Art and Museum collections. Featured artists include L.S. Lowry, Charles Burton Barber, Cornelia Parker, Taslim Martin, Nora Fok, Lesley Halliwell and Rosa Nguyen.

Enter the ‘razzy’ world of Dogsy Ma Bone, a spectacular production by Marvin Gaye Chetwynd made with and for children.

Image: Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Dogsy Ma Bone, 12 June 2016 at Cains Brewery, Liverpool. Courtesy the artist and Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Mark McNulty

In 2016, the Turner Prize-nominated artist worked with 78 young people from Liverpool to create a new film and performance, using the city as a backdrop to the action. Originally commissioned for Liverpool Biennial 2016, the work is inspired by Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera (1928) and Betty Boop’s A Song A Day (1936). At Touchstones Rochdale, the production is presented in its entirety, surrounded by hand-made animal costumes and props.

It also provides further reflection on some of the same themes of labour, work, wealth and manufacture still being ‘mined’ by the artists in our forthcoming contemporary art exhibitions including Clare Kenny and Susan Collis.

Part of the Liverpool Biennial touring programme, which brings artworks by international artists presented at the 2016 festival of contemporary art to six arts organisations in the North of England.

• Tuesday 4 April: 2pm-3.30pm

• Wednesday 5 April: 2pm-3.30pm

• Tuesday 11 April: 10am-11.30am • Wednesday 12 April: 10am-11.30am


Supported by the Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery.

Much of Susan Collis’ work deals with objects, surfaces and the residue of actions that have been covered up, hidden from view, discarded or forgotten. Her individual pieces act as memorials to the labour, hopes and aspirations that cause certain things to exist for a short while in the world, only to be deemed worthless further down the line.

Image: Clare Kenny, Enough rope to hang ‘emselves, 2016. Courtesy the artist and VITRINE. Photo: Jonathan Bassett

In the lead up to her show opening, Kenny will be installing and making new work on-site in our galleries. During this period, normally hidden from view, she is happy to welcome members of the public to meet with her and gain an insight into her working methods on the following dates and times:

Explore our under 5s interactive boxes in the Art Gallery with tactile toys and beautiful books linked to the exhibition.

29 July – Until September 2017 Gallery One, Three & Four

15 April – 8 July 2017 Gallery Three & Four

For her first institutional solo show in the UK (Industrial Romantic), Kenny will present existing and new work in an installation that reflects the re-occurring interests in her practice and draws not only on her childhood memories of growing up in Heywood (Rochdale) and her new life in Basel (Switzerland) but also a collective experience shared by many.

Photo: Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service

Susan Collis: When we loved you best of all

Clare Kenny: Industrial Romantic

Clare Kenny works with a variety of materials such as found objects, building materials, neon and photography. Through subtle gestures and assemblages, and drawing on her own history, memories and experience, Kenny frequently adapts a personal story, proposing a new narrative and exploring the shifting line between fact and fiction.

Image: Harry Kingsley, The Cooling Tower, Stockport, 1960.

Using a wide variety of materials and craft processes, as well as more recently, film and photography, she recreates these ordinary and ‘unworthy’ subjects in profound detail, often using craft processes such as inlay, marquetry, and embroidery. In so doing, her work encourages a reassessment of labour and craft, themes that link strongly to Rochdale’s collections and location as a former mill town. Having exhibited world-wide, When we loved you best of all will be Collis’ first institutional solo show in the North of England. Spanning three of our gallery spaces, the exhibition will feature key existing work focusing on her sculptural practice and the premiere of several brand new pieces. Image: Susan Collis, By the way, 2014. Courtesy the artist and Seventeen

Supported by the Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery.


Ancient Egypt: Life along the River Nile 27 May 2017 – 21 April 2018 Heritage Gallery Be transported down the Nile into ancient Egypt and discover this fascinating world through centuries-old exhibits from the land of the pharaohs. Preserved and buried for thousands of years, the stunning objects in this exhibition range from a wonderful set of canopic jars to small pieces of intricate jewellery. Featuring objects from Rochdale’s own Egyptian collection, this exhibition spans over 4,000 years of history.

Frocks: Dress and Accessories from the Museum Collection Until 22 April 2017 | Heritage Gallery Take a look at a century of style from the amazing structured garments worn during the Victorian period to the swirling designs of the swinging 60s. Featuring dresses and accessories that have never been previously displayed, the exhibition reveals how fashion, shape and style have changed over time.

Vessels and pots, amulets, mirrors, tools and animal mummies tell the story of the everyday life of its people and their beliefs. Discover what beauty meant to the ancient Egyptians through the personal belongings that accompanied them into the afterlife. Take a glimpse at a civilisation whose focus on appearance is not dissimilar to our own.

Opening up… memories, conversations and heritage

Visitors of all ages can journey through the centuries to write their name in hieroglyphics, learn to prepare and wrap a mummy and take a ride in an ancient Egyptian river boat.

Until June 2017 | At Middleton Arena This community led exhibition invited people who attend Alzheimer’s Society Memory Cafes to take part in art activities and behind the scenes tours of the Museum Collection to trigger memories from the past including stories of glamourous followers of fashion, working life in the local textile mills and ‘Whit Walks’. Inspired by their stories, artists Alison Cooper, Patricia Cartner and Vincent James have created new illustrations and sculpture to sit alongside museum objects in this exciting display.

Opening up II… memories, conversations and heritage Until October 2017 | At Heywood Sports Village The second part of a community led project and exhibition which invites people who attend Alzheimer’s Society Memory Cafes to take part in art activities. Exploring historic objects to trigger memories, the group have shared stories and sparked inspiration for the new exhibition. The personal experiences of the participants past are brought to the forefront, challenging perceptions of people living with dementia which can often be seen as an obstacle to revealing the true person.

Fashion: Dress and Accessories from the Museum Collection From June 2017 until January 2018 | At Middleton Arena A chance to see a selection of the Museum’s Collection of female dress and accessories. This exhibition features a beautiful 1950s outfit and a 1960s Jaeger woollen suit alongside an Ossie Clarke dress from the early 1970s. As well as clothing, a striking selection of accessories such as shoes, jewellery, handbags and hats are included in the exhibition.

As well as our changing exhibitions spaces, we have a permanent museum at Touchstones which aims to tell a potted history of Rochdale. The Museum is ideally suited to visitors with an interest in the history of Rochdale or families. There are interactive exhibits, films, audios and objects from the borough’s Collection on display.



M6 Theatre Presents One Little Word

Performances & Film

Saturday 24 June | 2pm & 4pm | £3

Beyond Face Theatre Company Presents Mixed Grill?


1 Hour

Tuesday 25 April 4.30pm | FREE

After going out for some Caribbean food, Alix thinks that Lewis should learn how to make a proper Caribbean curry, after all, he is ‘quarter mixed race’, and really should connect more with his roots. Lewis doesn’t see what the big deal is. Alex thinks too much about...well everything and Lewis just goes with the flow and takes life as it comes. Join Alix and Lewis as they explore the past, the present and the future of what it means to be mixed heritage and how your geographical location can have both a positive and negative impact on your identity.

Northern Soul Night Friday 28 April | 7.30pm | £6

Friday Nights

A beautiful and gentle story of friendship, power struggles and the rich world of creative play. We meet two characters who play together - exploring new space, new objects, dressing up and taking turns - but struggles arise when one of them wants to be the ONLY Captain of the ship! One Little Word captivates children’s imaginations with a moving story underscored with original music and told with just ONE spoken word. Director: Andy Manley Rehearsal Director: Gilly Baskeyfield Composer: Tayo Akinbode

Half Moon Theatre Presents Boys Don’t Double Bubble

For Adults

Milk Presents, in association with Derby Theatre JOAN By Lucy J Skilbeck

1 Hour 10 Mins

Saturday 3 June | 7.30pm | £6

Friday Nights

12+ Alice Jones’s background is deeply rooted in the English folk tradition, and the music that she makes instantly reflects this strong influence. Her distinctive voice and innovative style lends a fresh, modern perspective to traditional material and brings new life to old songs. “Her voice shines out of the music.” 4* R2 Magazine


Supported by Arts Council England and BBC Performing Arts Legacy Fund Content: No bad language, nudity or loud bangs.

To book: visit, call 01706 924928 or pop in to Touchstones Rochdale

What’s a boy to do? From the playground to the classroom, from home to the uncharted waters of online, boys learn that displaying their feelings is a no-no. But what happens to emotion that can’t be let out? In partnership with Half Moon Theatre, and Apples and Snakes (South East), Boys Don’t features some of the UK’s leading poets and performers in repertory, including Justin Coe, Hadiru Mahdi, Tanaka Mhishi and Steve Tasane. It is the latest work from Papertale, following on from the Suitcase Trilogy of spoken word performances about migration for young audiences, directed by Rosemary Harris.

Friday 28 July | 7.30pm | £6

Friday Nights

For Adults

With guest appearances alongside Joss Stone, the Levellers and Seth Lakeman; Dan Walsh’s unique and eclectic musicianship has stunned audiences across the world. He is touted as being one of the finest banjo players in the UK as well as a superb singer, songwriter and guitarist.

JOAN is the latest daring fusion of lyrical new writing and anarchic cabaret from the multi-award winning Milk Presents. Performed by drag king champion Lucy Jane Parkinson, Joan takes the stage as a gutsy gender warrior, dragging up as the men she’s defies in this smash hit show. Winner of the Scotsman Fringe First Award, Stage Award and Spirit of the Fringe Award 2016

Who picks up the pieces when boys hide their feelings?

Dan Walsh

An earthy story of courage, conviction and hope, this play is a refreshing look at Joan of Arc – history’s greatest underdog.

Friday 26 May | 7.30pm | £6

For Adults

Star of stage and screen, and fresh from her appearance as Gracie Fields in the hit theatre show, ‘Our Gracie’; Rochdale’s own Sue Devaney joins us for a night of music and laughter with her act Double Bubble.


Not suitable for under 8s

Saturday 15 July | 3pm | £6 Friday Nights

Friday 30 June 7.30pm | £6

Fresh from successful runs at summer festivals such as Kendal Calling, Festival Number 6 and Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul the Northern Soul Dance School is stopping by Rochdale. Aimed at beginners, the emphasis is on having fun and giving it a go in a relaxed atmosphere.

Alice Jones


‘Absolutely terrific’ - Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2

Pulp Fiction Friday 25 August | 7.30pm | £6

This cult classic film is one of our favourites. Spend the evening with us watching this iconic Tarantino film in the unique setting of Touchstones Rochdale.

Friday Nights

To book: visit, call 01706 924928 or pop in to Touchstones Rochdale

For Adults


Regular Activities Mindfulness & Wellbeing

Knitty Gritty

Last Friday of every month | 6pm-7pm 28 April | 26 May | 30 June 28 July | 25 August | £5

Last Tuesday of every month 25 April | 30 May | 27 June | 25 July 29 August | 26 September | 2pm-3.30pm FREE – just buy a brew!

Join us in our peaceful Gallery setting to explore the popular practice of Mindfulness. Learn how to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings through activities and breathing techniques that have been proven to reduce stress and improve wellbeing. Just bring your own yoga mat or towel & get ready to relax. Just turn up

For Adults

Join our monthly knitting circle in The Art Café. Feel free to bring along your own knitting projects, share ideas or start something new inspired by our current exhibitions. Just turn up

All Ages


Touchstones Creative Writing Group Touchstones Youth Theatre Tuesdays | 2, 9, 16, 23 May 6, 13, 20, 27 June | 4, 11 July 4.30pm-6.30pm (for 8-11 years) 7pm-9pm (for 12-16 years) 7pm-9pm (for 16-25 years) £50 for 10 week course

EXPLORE: 8-11years Come and explore! Use your imagination to create new stories and characters. Build confidence, make new friends and have lots of FUN!

CREATE: 12-16 years Come and create! Explore a variety of theatre techniques and styles to create theatre. Young people will be given the opportunity to look at script work, improvisation, voice and movement to tell the stories they would like to share.

DEVELOP: 16-25 years Come and develop! Be part of a young company creating exciting theatre and stories. Develop skills in script writing, improvisation and devising. Booking Required



First Thursday of every month | 2pm-4pm FREE

Now independently constituted, the group meets monthly to inspire and promote creative writing. Encouraging the positive health and well-being benefits which can be gained through expressing yourself with creative writing. The group welcomes new members, both would-be and existing writers, to join in. Just turn up

For Adults

Touchstones Art Club Tuesdays | 2, 9, 16, 23 May | 6, 13, 20, 27 June | 4, 11 July | 4.30pm-6.30pm £50 for 10 week course

Homework Club

Join artist Trish Cartner as she delves through the Touchstones Art Gallery & Museum Collections to create sessions inspired by iconic items and artwork. Over the 10 weeks, participants will discover different art practices and moments in history through imaginative art assignments and collaborative hands on projects. Young people will leave the course with a sketchbook of diverse work and range of artwork displaying a variety of techniques.

Local History Centre Every Wednesday | 3.30pm-4.45pm | FREE Saturdays | 1pm-4.45pm | FREE

Booking Required

Just turn up



Tiny Touchstones 20, 27 April | 4, 11, 18, 25 May 8, 15, 22, 29 June | 6, 13 July

Make Art!

£2 per session

Last Saturday of the month 29 April | 27 May | 24 June 29 July | 26 August | 30 September

Our weekly early years sessions are a great place to meet other parents/carers and enjoy being creative with your child.

School Holiday session dates: Wednesday 12 April & Wednesday 31 May 11am-2pm | FREE Join our artist led drop in workshops to make your own crafty creations inspired by the Art Gallery exhibitions. Sessions run the last Saturday of each month with additional workshops in the school holidays. Just turn up



Babies – 10.30am

A welcome space for babies and their parents to relax and explore the arts through sensory play.

Toddlers – 11.45am

An active session for toddlers and their parents focusing on a different art form each week to explore, create and build adventure.

All under 5s – 1pm

A creative session for under 5s and their parents making music, telling stories and exploring the world. No booking required, just turn up & pay on the day




Got a project to finish, need a picture printing out? Come along to our Homework Club. Children under 11 years must be accompanied by an adult.

To book: visit, call 01706 924928 or pop in to Touchstones Rochdale

Family History Drop-in Sessions Local History Centre Every Thursday | 2pm-4.30pm | FREE Need help with your family tree or don’t know where to start? Call in to our weekly Family History drop in sessions where friendly staff will be able to help you. Just turn up

All Ages

To book: visit, call 01706 924928 or pop in to Touchstones Rochdale


Easter Holiday Fun


Drama Day | Thursday 6 April 11am-2pm | FREE

No experience necessary, please wear comfortable clothing.

Half Term Fun Thursday 1 June 11am-2pm | FREE

Love cats? Love Egyptian art? Come and make your own small clay sculpture influenced by amulets and the Egyptian cat god Basat with local artist Su Hudson.

Tealight Lamps Saturday 10 June 10.30am-12.30pm | £8

Just turn up

All Ages

To tie in with our Egyptian exhibition, we’re looking forward to putting on a fun day of Egyptian themed creative workshops.

For Adults

Learn how to create your very own decorated tealight holder, inspired by the coloured jewels and gems of ancient Egypt with artist Alison Cooper.

Big Games 2017


Saturday 13 May 10.30am-12.30pm | £8

For Adults


Looking for something to do in the Easter holidays? Come along to our drama day.

Inspired by the Ancient Egypt: Life along the River Nile exhibition, try your hand at something new in our fun and friendly adult craft workshops. Cost £8 per session, payable on booking. Price includes all materials. Spaces are limited and booking is essential.

Ceramic Cats

Booking Required

Just turn up

All Ages

Saturday 1 July 11am-2pm | FREE

Our annual Big Games events in Touchstones Rochdale will feature a ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ themed event! For further details visit:

Mono-Printing Saturday 8 July 10.30am-12.30pm | £8

For Adults

Join printmaking duo Karen Vine & Trish Cartner and learn to use gel plates to produce textured monoprints on paper with stencils and stamps. We’ll also help you turn your decorative papers into a stitched notebook too!

Macrame Necklaces Saturday 12 August 10.30am-12.30pm | £8

For Adults

Taking inspiration from decorative Egyptian necklaces, join artist Trish Cartner to create your very own statement necklace using jersey yarn and traditional macrame techniques.

Paper Cutting Saturday 8 April 10.30am-12.30pm | £8

For Adults



£5.31 PER WEEK*

Join illustrator Trish Cartner and become inspired by patterns and textures in the Frocks exhibition to create your own paper cut design in the style of artist Rob Ryan.


yourlink4life *T&C’s apply. 01706 924200 01706 923170

01706 927560

01706 927202

Link4Life is the trading name of Rochdale Boroughwide Cultural Trust. Registered Charity No: 1118610


To book: visit, call 01706 924928 or pop in to Touchstones Rochdale


Touchstones Rochdale Summer Fun Welcome to the annual Summer Fun Programme. We have lots of arts and crafts activities on offer for a range of ages from 5 to 13+ that cost just £4 per ticket (accompanying adults go free). To book your place, visit our website, ring 01706 924928 or pop into Touchstones Rochdale for tickets.

Don’t miss our Egyptian exhibition opening in the Heritage Gallery in May 2017! Look out for the sessions below in orange that have taken inspiration from the exciting Egyptian objects on display. Choose Your Own Adventure

Hieroglyphic Comic Strips

Elemental Theatre

Tuesday 25 July

Thursday 27 July

Thursday 3 August

10.30am-12noon & 1.30pm-3pm



Help storyteller and goblin scientist, Professor Jigget from City of Trees to create tales inspired by trees and woodlands around Rochdale. Bring your story to life by building props, scenery and characters from a variety of craft materials. Imaginations necessary - may involve lots of nonsense.

Bring hieroglyphic symbols to life by creating your own ancient Egyptian comic strip.

Join local artist David ChattonBarker in making props for the magical ‘Elemental Theatre’ a world made of up of imagination and folklore. Use natural materials to create props and backdrops and become a member of the theatre, performing with lights, sound and action.

Marvellous Mummified Cats Tuesday 1 August 10.30am-12noon Use cardboard tubes to create a mummified sculpture inspired by the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet.

Thursday 27 July 10:30am-12noon Make a colourful collaged Egyptian scarab beetle to ward off evil spirits.


Curly Cobra Straws Tuesday 1 August 1.30pm-3pm The cobra was often seen as a symbol of royalty and authority in ancient Egypt. Join artist Alison Cooper to create your very own serpent using colourful craft straws.

Scorpion In My Pocket

Beautiful Bird Mobile

Thursday 10 August

Tuesday 15 August

Tuesday 22 August




Learn the techniques used by the ancient Egyptians to make one of the earliest types of paper. Using strips of scrap, flour, water and some good old fashioned muscle power you can be just like an ancient Egyptian and use hieroglyphics to decorate your finished creation.

Find out about our unique ancient scorpion fossil and make your own plaster cast replica.

Use a selection of yarns and fabrics to create a collection of beautiful birds ready to hang on a decorative mobile.

Pop-Up Monsters

Mask Making

Thursday 17 August



Join local artist David Chatton Barker to make fantastical masks out of natural materials collected from the locally enchanted site of Healey Dell. Create masks from your own imagination or masks based on local characters of myth and legend.

Miniature Museum Thursday 10 August

Elemental Lantern Making 1.30pm-3pm Using natural materials, create an illuminated lantern and become part of an enchanted performance.

Artist Vincent James will help you create fearsome 3D pop-up monsters!

1.30pm-3pm Ever wanted to show off your collection of trinkets and jewels to the world? Have you ever found a magical stone or fantastically beautiful shell and thought ‘this needs to be in a museum’? Well this is your chance! Just bring along a found object and learn how to make your own miniature museum to put your collections in.

Plaster Cast Egyptian Pendants Tuesday 15 August

Thursday 3 August

Shiny Scarab Beetles

Egyptian Paper Masterclass

10.30am-12noon Make a plaster cast brooch or pendant inspired by the symbols in our ancient Egyptians exhibition.

Happy Hedgehog Habitat

Tuesday 22 August

Thursday 17 August 1.30pm-3pm Join the RSPB in creating a cosy hedgehog home for your garden. Just bring along a shoe box & any spare leaves & twigs you can find and watch your box transform into a welcoming habitat for visitors to your garden.

Terrific Star Gazing Telescope Thursday 24 August 10.30am-12noon Get ready to go stargazing! Create your very own telescope using cardboard tubes and paper cups. What constellations will you find?

Funny Face Flip Book Thursday 24 August 1.30pm-3pm Taking inspiration from portraits in the Art Gallery collection, join artist Alison Cooper to design your very own funny face flip book. How many combinations can you make?

Don’t forget to wear your painting clothes! 15

Talks & Tours

Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery Talks: Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery Second Tuesday of every month 11 April | 9 May | 13 June | 11 July | 8 August 12.30pm-1.45pm | £3 members & £4 non-members - pay on the day

Image: Clare Kenny. Courtesy the artist

Our Friends organise monthly talks by invited speakers about art and craft and an annual trip to visit other regional art collections. For more details about the next season of events please visit touchstones/frags.

Image: Hayley Tompkins, Chair. Courtesy the artist and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow. Photo: Ruth Clark

Saturday 27 May 2pm-3.30pm | FREE

Clare Kenny will discuss her practice and new show (Industrial Romantic) at Touchstones Rochdale with Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey (Head of Production and International Projects – Liverpool Biennial).

Image: Susan Collis. Courtesy the artist

Booking Required

Tour: Who’s Afraid of Contemporary Art? Talk: Susan Collis In Conversation with Lisa Le Feuvre Saturday 29 July 2pm-3.30pm | FREE

Susan Collis will discuss her practice and new show (When we loved you best of all) at Touchstones Rochdale with Lisa Le Feuvre (Head of Sculpture Studios – Henry Moore Institute). Booking Required


Last Saturday of the month 27 May | 24 June | 29 July | 26 August 2pm-3pm | FREE

Have you always felt a little mystified by recent developments in art? Join one of our Art Gallery team for a chance to take a closer look at some of the key contemporary works in our current exhibitions. Continue the discussion over a cuppa and a cake in The Art Café with 25% discount for attendees. Booking Required

To book: visit, call 01706 924928 or pop in to Touchstones Rochdale

How to join

The Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery have been essential to our continued growth and development as an important regional art gallery.

• Post a cheque (made payable to FRAG) c/o Touchstones Rochdale, The Esplanade, Rochdale OL16 1AQ (please make sure you include a cover letter giving your full name, address, postcode, telephone number and email address).

You can join in a number of ways:

Through their generous donations over the years we have been able to conserve and acquire countless key works of art for the collection.

No Booking Required

Talk: Clare Kenny In Conversation with Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey

Join the Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery

Annual membership is ONLY £10 and in addition to supporting the Art Gallery, you will receive discounted rates on the annual programme of talks and trips organised by the Friends and invitations to private views for all exhibitions at the Art Gallery. Take a closer look below at one of the artworks the Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery have helped us acquire.

• Ring 01706 924928 and pay over the phone. • Come along to one of the talks organised by the Friends and pay in person.

Further information To discuss any aspect of the Friends or membership please contact Jenny Buckley (Chair, FRAG) on 01706 358686 or Mark Doyle (Art Gallery Curator & Collections Manager, Touchstones Rochdale) on 01706 924555 or

Interior (The Open Window) by Vanessa Bell (1879-1961) Vanessa Bell was part of the Bloomsbury Group, a group of artists and writers who lived in the Bloomsbury area of London. The group also included her sister, the writer Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) and the artist Roger Fry (1866-1934). Bell’s early work until 1910, and her paintings after the First World War, are tasteful and fairly conventional, but in the intervening years she was in the vanguard of progressive ideas in British art. This painting of a view from a window is one of Bell’s later works. The vase of flowers sits on the border between the house and garden. The main motif is of a landscape, seen through the open window of a domestic room; it is a recurring motif in her paintings. This acquisition was supported by a donation from Mayor Gallery by Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery, 1982.

Vanessa Bell, Interior (The Open Window). © Estate of Vanessa Bell. Courtesy Henrietta Garnett. Photo: Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service


Touchstones Rochdale Information

Floor Plan


Ground Floor

Schools Service

If you are a school or educational group looking for exciting and engaging learning experiences, then why not visit Touchstones Rochdale. Our expert led sessions support the new national curriculum and we have been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge which is a nationally recognised indicator of high quality educational provision. Download our Schools Programme from our website or ring the Education Team on 01706 924931.

Local History Centre

First Floor

Discover the past for yourself first hand. Whether you’re interested in local history, want to trace your family roots or just want to know a little more about the street you live on, we can help you find out more. Our collections include maps, photographs, ephemera, archives and local newspapers on microfilm. Free internet access including is also available. Just pop in and our friendly staff will help with your enquiries.

Local History Centre

Gallery Two

Arts and Heritage Resource Centre

Venue Hire

Touchstones Rochdale offers a unique venue for meetings and events. Our studio space and meeting room are available for hire. Ring 01706 924492 for more details.

The place to get that unique card or gift. We stock a range of souvenirs, postcards, local crafts, jewellery, books and pocket money gifts for children.


Gallery Three

Visitor Information Centre

Don’t just stop in Touchstones Rochdale, let the Visitor Information Centre provide you with details of places to visit including local, regional and national attractions. Information about events and accommodation is available. We can also arrange group tours of Touchstones Rochdale and other local heritage venues. Call 01706 924928 to discuss your requirements.



Gallery Four

Heritage Gallery

Visitor Information Centre Shop

Volunteering The Art Café

Open 10am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday, serving a wide selection of fresh hot and cold food, drinks and snacks. With free wi-fi and a relaxed atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to catch up with friends, meet colleagues, or simply relax after enjoying our exhibitions and displays.




See a wide variety of exhibitions in the Art Gallery’s four gallery spaces including selections from the borough’s impressive Art Collection.

This is where we keep and care for our Museum, Art Gallery and Local Studies Collections. The centre is fully accessible and tours can be organised for small groups to visit. You can also arrange to meet a curator and get help with identifying and researching objects. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Thursday 10am-5pm. Visits arranged by appointment only. Ring 01706 641085 to book.


Art Gallery

Gallery One


Our family friendly Museum is the place to find out all about Rochdale borough’s heritage from famous faces to the lives of ordinary people, there’s lots to see and do.

In Touchstones Rochdale, we’re always looking for volunteers to help out both inside and outside of the building. Whether you’re helping out with our loans boxes, giving tours of the galleries, collecting feedback or supporting our workshops and activities, if you would like to get involved, please email

The Art Café

Education Studio Performance Space

You are invited to touch exhibits where you see this sign. For safety reasons it is important that children are supervised at all times by an adult, particularly when touching exhibits. Thank you.


Art Gallery • Museum • Local History Centre • Visitor Information Centre Events Programme • Education Service • Shop • Cafe Where to find us A671 from Burnley






A640 from Milnrow and J21 - M62



















































dale Roch Hall n Tow



B n ET tio RE ta T ST s S ER S KE V RA







From Bury and Bolton
























A680 from Blackburn

A58 from Halifax


Train Station

A671 from Royton and Oldham

A58 from Sandbrook Park and J20 - M62

Contact Information


Main Reception: 01706 924492

Touchstones Rochdale is fully accessible for people using wheelchairs. There are three designated parking bays for blue badge holders outside the venue.

Visitor Information Centre: 01706 924928 Email: Online: Follow us on: Facebook (Touchstones Rochdale) Twitter (@Touchstones) Instagram (Touchstones_Rochdale) Pinterest (Touchstones Rochdale)

Opening Times Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm Art Cafe: 10am-4pm

FREE Admission Good Friday Hours: 14 April 12noon-4.30pm

Travel Information Touchstones Rochdale is located close to Rochdale town centre approximately 5 to 10 minutes walk from Rochdale Transport Interchange with bus and tram access and 10 minutes from the Rochdale Railway Station. We are 10 minutes drive from J20-M62. Cycle parking is available outside Touchstones Rochdale with Pay & Display car parking available close by.

This information is available in large print on request. The Esplanade, Rochdale, OL16 1AQ

01706 924492

Link4Life is the trading name of Rochdale Boroughwide Cultural Trust. Registered Charity No: 1118610

Touchstones Rochdale - April-August 2017  

Welcome to our exhibitions and events guide, listing everything happening at Touchstones Rochdale, and by our teams across the borough over...