All Together Different opening for Preston's Harris Museum and Art Gallery

Protest art and though-provoking photography....Preston's landmark Harris Museum and Art Gallery is coming back with a bang when it reopens on May 17.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 11:16 am
A piece of Bob and Roberta Smith art previously displayed at the Harris

After successfully securing funding for a major refurbishment and redisplay of the building, staff are keen to test out new ideas, and encourage a more diverse section of society to visit.

>>>Click here to read more about the Harris' cash boost

To achieve this, when the building reopens later this month, a new project will launch, called All Together Different: Exploring Ideas for the New Harris.

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As part of this, slogan-like art from the acclaimed Bob and Roberta Smith will be installed at the front of the building, and there will also be a celebration inside and out of Black female photographers from the UKBFTOG community.

It comes after local people have been working with staff to tell a wider range of stories and display the collections differently to see how the Harris can be better.

A spokesman for the Harris said: "We want to change the way we tell stories, bring our collections together like our artm history and books, and work more with local people, including groups that have historically not been well represented at the Harris. This includes people from the LGBTQ+ community and those of African Caribbean heritage."

In the weeks leading up to the exhibition opening, content about the initiative and behind the scenes footage will be shared on the Harris' web page, with people asked for their feedback afterwards, with questions such as "What do you love about the Harris?", "What would you like to see improve?" and "Have you visited another museum, gallery or library that you love? How does the Harris compare?"

Patrick Brill, artist behind Bob and Roberta Smith works

Photography from the UKBFTOG Black female photographers community is now available online on the Harris' website, and will be available to see in-person from May 17. The exhibition shows thought-provoking portraits, empowerment through protest and the admiration of nature from the Black female perspective.

Bob and Roberta Smith's Look, Listen, Make Things 2021 will be installed on June 4.

Bob and Roberta Smith is the name of British artist Patrick Brill, best known for slogan-like works including Make Art Not War, and Letter to Michael Gove.

Exhibitions are free to enter.

The Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library

Neil Fairhurst, deputy chief executive and director of customer services at Preston City Council, said: “We're working with local people to explore ideas for the new Harris.

"It's all about making the Harris better, more welcoming and more exciting by exploring the stories that people would like us to tell, along with the things they would like to see on display when they visit.

“We're asking lots of questions in the exhibition and testing out different ideas, and we'd love to know what you think when you can visit from 17 May.”