Surprising Connections: Oldham Lockdown Museum

Toddler running through long grass at Tandle Hill

We launched Oldham’s Lockdown Museum https://galleryoldham.org.uk/exhibitions/oldhams-lockdown-museum/ back in May, and Oldham’s Lockdown Letters in August, with the aim of collecting your photos and written responses to life in our area during 2020. We have received over 300 entries, from people’s personal diaries to photos of Oldham businesses working here and across the country. There are pictures of our amazing local wildlife, and our wonderful green spaces, and of the havens that you have made in your back yards. We have seen smiling faces on your daily walks, and faces hidden behind masks. You have shared with us pictures of key worker children carrying on at school in small groups, medical staff in their new PPE at the hospital and people all across the borough volunteering to help in whatever way they can. In 50 or 100 years when people want to know what life was like here during a global pandemic, we will be able to show them.

One of the surprise outcomes of the project has been the way in which we have connected with other similar projects across Europe, not just with people around our local area. So far your pictures have featured on the Covid Art Museum Instagram account, and most recently, the House of European History’s website. This Brussels-based museum has been gathering information about the Covid history collecting projects currently happening all across Europe. It’s a fascinating resource and well worth a look. The Slovene Ethnographic Museum’s project collecting jokes relating to the pandemic is certainly worth a special mention…

We are no longer sending out weekly themed calls for Oldham’s Lockdown Museum, but we are continuing to collect images and pieces of writing. We will do this for as long as the project seems relevant. Please do keep sending us your photographs, films and pieces of writing by uploading them the website here https://galleryoldham.org.uk/exhibitions/oldhams-lockdown-museum/.

NHS thankyou, graffetti art on wall