Illuminate 2020 – Diving into our Natural History collections


We’re super excited about Illuminate, Oldham’s late-night arts festival, which will return again for its fourth year. Clear your diaries for Friday 21 February 2020, 6 – 9 pm, when the town will light up in wonder. Gallery Oldham and Naked Bean Cafe will open late and come alive with a range of illuminating events, creative installations and live performances.


Gallery Oldham

Magic Lantern Show, 7pm and 8pm: Gallery 3

Join poet Ian McMillan and photographer Ian Beesley for fun and laughter in this original improvised lantern slide show. Prepare to be amazed, amused and astounded by the verbal and visual dexterity of this entertaining performance.

Hack the Light Fantastic, 6.30pm -9pm

Visit the Hack Oldham team and create your very own light-up accessory using some reusable and recycled materials.

Amaranthine, 7.30pm

An intricate and emotionally charged dance piece by Company Chameleon exploring modern-day male and female relationships.


Gallery Oldham Gardens

Museum of the Moon, 6 -9 pm

The Moon has always inspired humanity, reflecting the ideas and beliefs of all people around the world. It has been used as a timekeeper, calendar and a source of light to aid night time navigation. Throughout history the moon has inspired artists, poets, scientists, writers and musicians the world over.

Created by artist Luke Jerram and measuring seven metres in diameter, the moon features 120 dpi detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. At an approximate scale of 1:500,000, each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents 5 km of the moon’s surface.

The installation is a fusion of the lunar imagery and surround sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Dan Jones.


Old Town Hall

The Illuminated Ocean, 6 – 9 pm

Gallery Oldham have been assisting Illuminos to create an amazing new 3D projection entitled The Little Diver.

Following last year’s fantastic adventure to the Moon, our little explorer is back. This time he is imagining himself into the deepest oceans, on a journey of aquatic discovery.

Using the architecture of the Old Town Hall, and referencing the natural history collection at Gallery Oldham, come with us as the Little Diver swims with blooms of jellyfish, battles giant crustaceans, navigates plastic pollution and is even swallowed by a mighty whale.

Oldham in a new light.


Natural History curator Patricia Francis has been sharing specimens in the collection with acclaimed visual artist Rob Vale. Watch out for our corals, spider crabs and sponges in the display.

There are loads of other activities happening all around the town centre. Find out more about Illuminate 2020.