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Past Exhibitions at Ushaw

As each new exhibition is displayed in Ushaw, we sadly have to say goodbye to our current selection. Here you will find a comprehensive list of our previous exhibitions:

Life at the College

Life at Ushaw College in the days when our purpose was to train young boys and men for the Catholic priesthood, the atmosphere was alive and buzzing with achievement and ambition. Visit our page to learn more about the environment that gave rise to some of the finest young men and boys this country had to offer. 

Life at Ushaw

A Precursor to our future 'Life of the College' Exhibition, this exhibition showed images of Victorian and early 20th century Ushaw, and the ways the training of young men changed across these times. Visit our page for more information.

Joe Tasker - Savage Arena

This exhibition tells the story of the life of former Ushaw student and world famous mountaineer, Joe Tasker.  The exhibition contained many of Joe's personal photographs and possessions and also told his story through film. Starting his training in the quarry near our College, Joe Tasker went on to become one of the most accomplished climbers of his generation. Visit our page to learn more.


Ushaw had the privilege of housing some of the famous Canaletto paintings, created by an unknown student of the great artist, whilst they underwent cleaning and consolidation. Giovanni Antonio Canal, better known as Canaletto, was an Italian painter of city views or vedute, of Venice. Ushaw was proud to house one such students creations, and is honoured to have been a part of their story. Visit our page for more information.

Science at Ushaw

Ushaw, and its predecessor, Douai, were both firmly rooted in education of all topics, not just theology. Among these was science, or 'natural philosophy', a topic which Ushaw felt a strong need to educate young men about as they took their path towards priesthood.

Visit our page for more information.

The 'I Love Durham' Exhibition

Courtesy of the brilliant photographers of the Durham Photographic Society, Ushaw is proud to house a selection of images that celebrate everything about our lovely part of the world. For more information, visit our page.

Sentence: A Work in Progress (June 2017 - August 2017)

The paintings displayed here are from an ongoing collaboration between artist Alan O'Cain and a British former banker who pleaded guilty to securities fraud in 2008 and is now serving a sixteen-year prison sentence in a notorious US prison. Because the prisoner lacks US citizenship, he is forbidden from serving the sentence in a low-security institution.

The subject, in his sixties, a university graduate, family man, former art collector and high-flyer of the corporate banking world, now shares a cell with a convicted murderer and has no opportunity for parole before serving a minimum of fourteen years (2022). Alan has vowed to create a painting for every year his subject remains incarcerated. Each four-foot square work is inspired by the emotional and intellectual content of letters Alan has received and is based on a single photograph of the subject with an arm around his wife taken by a mutual friend whilst the subject was under house arrest pending trial. For more information, visit our page.

Fay Pomerance: Redemption (August 2017 to September 2017)

Durham University and Ushaw College present Redemption, an exhibition of little seen work by British Jewish artist, Fay Pomerance (1912-2001).

Pomerance stood apart from the mainstream of post-war British art. Throughout her life the artist experienced spiritual visions, which informed her dreamlike iconography and complex narratives. Building on the work of nineteenth-century visionaries such as William Blake, her unique style foreshadowed the flowing imagery of 1960s psychedelia. Pomerance's mystical faith was central to her work, and this exhibition explores her response to questions of evil and redemption. For more information, visit our page.

Chuck Close Tapestries (Jun 2017 - September 2017)

Marking the artist's first solo show in the North of England, Chuck Close Tapestries will be the first contemporary art installation to be displayed in the ornately designed chapel. Six 2-metre tall tapestries from Chuck Close, who is renowned for his highly inventive techniques of painting the human face, will become part of the congregation, including a portrait of former US President Barack Obama that has never before been exhibited in the Uk. For more information, visit our page.

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