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Current Exhibitions

Throughout the year, Ushaw runs a series of exhibitions, ranging from accounts of the more notable of our alumni, through to art exhibitions of different themes. Visitors can come and see our exhibitions during standard opening hours. Our current exhibitions are detailed below, along with the dates between which they are here:


Sink or Swim? Catholicism in Sixties Britain through John Ryan's cartoons

27th September - 22nd December

An exhibition curated by historian Dr Alana Harris and Isabel Ryan portraying the tumultuous history of the Church in the 1960s, as depicted by the Catholic Herald’s weekly cartoonist John Ryan. This exhibition will be in the Pontop Room.

Image (left): ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ artwork by John Ryan originally produced for Michael Davies’ book The Church Since Vatican II (1985)

Captain Pugwash

27th September - 22nd December

'AHOY ME HEARTIES!' A merry and colourful display of posters that will drop you into the world of John Ryan's Captain Pugwash books and TV films: treasure maps, sea monsters, and Pugwash's arch enemy, sea battles and the wicked Cut-Throat Jake!

This exhibition will be displayed along the Refectory corridor, with merchandise available in the gift shop.

The Works of Frank Henry Mason

22nd September - 10th November

An exhibition of around 40 paintings by Frank Henry Mason (October 1875 - February 1965), an artist best known for his maritime, shipping, coastal and harbour paintings. He was also a creator of art deco travel and railway posters and a founder member of the Staithes Art Club whose members are known today as the Staithes Group Artists, or the Northern Impressionists. The exhibition, in the William Allen Gallery, will also feature Ushaw's own painting HM River Clyde landing troops. 

Tomoaki Suzuki
July 5th-September 15th

Following on from the success of Chuck Close tapestries shown in St Cuthbert’s Chapel during summer 2017, we will be installing another contemporary art exhibition featuring figurative work – populating the spaces of Ushaw with adverse group of figures.In a modern twist on the tradition of Japanese woodcarving, Tomoaki Suzuki sculpts small wooden and bronze portraits of human subjects, each some 20 inches high or so, with a remarkable sense of psychological presence. A London resident, Suzuki finds subjects in his Hackney neighbourhood; he works with his models in front of him, sketching and photographing them in detail before embarking on the two-to-three-month process of carving, sculpting, and painting each figure in acrylics. The sculptures typically depict diverse urban youths in natural postures, their personal dress styles expressive of their identities.There will be eight wooden sculptures displayed in the William Allen Gallery, four relief portrait panels in the foyer area in front of the gallery and five bronze sculptures in the quadrangle.The separation of the figures and the sense of isolation between them is an essential element of the artist’s intentions and encourages viewers to think about loneliness and solitude. “We are born alone. We die alone. So I install my sculptures as isolated individuals”.

Faith in Exile

In 1568, the small textile town of Douai in Northern France was transformed into a hub of intrigue and rebellion. During the reign of Elizabeth I, the Catholic religion was outlawed and harbouring a Catholic Priest was made punishable by death. As a result, English Catholics had to practice their faith in secret, with many fleeing to the safety of Catholic Europe. This included William Allen, a former member of Queen Mary I government and later Cardinal in the Catholic Church. Allen wanted to make sure the Catholic faith was kept alive in England and therefore established Douai College as a school and seminary for English Catholics.

Douai College became a centre for plots against the Tudor and Stuart governments and sent numerous missionaries secretly back to England with many becoming martyrs to the cause. During the French Revolution, war with England led to the students being forced to leave the College in fear of their lives.  By the 18th century laws against Catholicism started to relax in England which meant the student body could return and subsequently establish Ushaw College in the North and St. Edmund’s Ware in the South.

As of the 5th of July, the silver has been moved into our chapels. 

Chris Younger

The Chris Younger Photography Exhibition 'Ambiguity and Uncertainty in the Deerness Valley' starts 19th April - 29th September. Images will be on display along the corridor leading between the gallery and the refectory, with some prints available in our gift shop. 

 Shield of Faith - Ushaw College at War

Ushaw's own World War One Exhibition focuses on the stories of men from Ushaw who served on the Front Line, including students, teachers and domestic staff. It will also consider the role of a Catholic Chaplain in the conflict and how individual soldiers' faith was influenced by warfare. For more information, visit our page.

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