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Exhibitions at Nottingham Castle

Information about the Exhibitions programme here at Nottingham Castle. If you wish to be invited to future exhibition launches and special events please subscribe to our email newsletter.

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One Day, Something Happens: Paintings of People Dragicevic Milena

Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery

20 June to 6 September 2015

A touring exhibition from the Arts Council Collection curated by Jennifer Higgie, editor of Frieze.

'On a series of apparently tiresome, flat sittings seeming to lead nowhere - one day, something happens, the touches seem to "take", the deaf canvas listens, your words flow and you have done something.'

One Day, Something Happens explores a kind of everyday theatricality. The artists approach figuration in very different ways and the people they depict are both imaginary and real characters. Jennifer Higgie's fascinating selection of works from the Arts Council Collection teases out common themes across the decades: work, introspection and individuality, joy and loneliness. Higgie has also hand-picked a selection of works from Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery's Fine Art Painting collection to show alongside those from the Arts Council Collection.

The exhibition title is a quotation from artist Walter Sickert, whose beautiful study of a woman from 1906, her forehead patterned like a diamond, is the earliest work on view. Other paintings include the light-filled brilliance of Lucian Freud's Girl in a Green Dress from 1954, exuberant representations of the body in the 1960s and '70s from artists as diverse as Peter Blake, Alasdair Gray and David Hockney, and contemporary works by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Paula Rego. Artists such as Enrico David and David Noonan explore painting's further reaches through silkscreen and sculpture, placing the body centre stage - sometimes literally.

*The exhibition is accompanied by a full-colour publication that includes an essay by Jennifer Higgie and is available in our shop for £16.

Special Events

Saturday 22 August, 1pm: Jennifer Higgie curator-led tour of exhibition*

*Booking required, all talks are free but normal Castle entry fees apply. Call 0115 876 1433, or email, to book.

One Day Something Happens

One Day, Something Happens is the inspiration for a new community project at Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery entitled Body Image.

Community group MySight will be working with artist Graham Elstone to explore and capture their own identities whilst creating a collective art piece that will be shown at the Castle. Participants will be invited to consider which artworks in One Day, Something Happens provide more internalised and external views of human nature, encouraging the group to think about how they view themselves and the choices they make about how they are seen.

Cafe Table Commissions

George Chinnery: Small Porcelain Romances George Chinnery

20 June to 6 September 2015

Since they were first commissioned in 2006 by former artist-led gallery Moot, the Nottingham Castle café tables have continued to provide a platform for regional artists to present work to the public in an unusual yet accessible display format. Midlands based artist and agricultural engineer George Chinnery is the latest artist be invited by Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery to produce six new artworks exclusively for the café tables. Each table - or unit - functions as a quietly theatrical space to coax ambiguous, comical and poetic relationships between the images, text and objects that form Small porcelain romances.

Chinnery's is concerned with narrative structures, humour and a national identity obsessed with nostalgia, motifs and heritage. Fictional narrators and performative objects explore these conditions or themes. Text elements are drawn from poetry and short narratives that have become increasingly significant within Chinnery's practice. Acting as both a catalyst and response to the accompanying elements, they function as covert narrators to an unseen Tragicomedy, blending melancholy and surrealism with enough comic elements to lighten the overall mood around the table. A cast of small handcrafted objects and images form jarring material relationships with one another and function as characters inhabiting the space and responding to the atmosphere created by of the text. These elements allude to mistaken museum artefacts, leftovers from a buffet lunch and loaded motifs. Chinnery's use of a recurring sensitivity to careful arrangement, material and humour unifies the six works. The effects of digitised content are also visible throughout all six arrangements, each of which present us with a different playful scenario.

The Grand Tour

Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery and Newstead Abbey Alison LLoyd Stone Circle

The Grand Tour is the formative cultural experience of the 18th century traveller - made modern day. It invites you to view the treasures of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire through the eyes of today's leading artists, in a partnership of Nottingham Contemporary, Chatsworth, Derby Museums and The Harley Gallery, together with Experience Nottinghamshire and Visit Peak District and Derbyshire.

Join artist Alison Lloyd for two newly-commissioned Grand Tour Walks that offer fresh perspectives on the collections, architecture and landscape at Nottingham Castle and Newstead Abbey. Lloyd adopts the role of a 'woman on the Grand Tour', breaking free from the confines of house and garden to explore the architecture, landscapes and vistas of two of Nottinghamshire's most significant heritage sites. Explore the buildings and their immediate grounds on the short walk or go further into the landscape on the long walk, following in the footsteps of Lord Byron at Newstead Abbey, or taking in panoramic views from the Castle terrace, before roaming the urban landscape of the city centre.

Lloyd often photographs herself in the landscape - a lone figure on the horizon, or close-up details of hiking feet. The images suggest uncertainty, even vulnerability but at the same time asserting her right to be 'uncontained'. A series of photographs depicting Alison walking within the Castle will be on display at Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery from Saturday 27 June to 6 September 2015.

Grand Tour Art Walks

Contouring: Castle and City

25 July at Nottingham Castle (10:30am - 2 miles)

26 July at Nottingham Castle (10:30am - 4.5 miles)


Contouring: Newstead

9 August at Newstead Abbey (1pm - 2 miles)

16 August at Newstead Abbey (1pm - 4.5 miles)


Book here (limited to 20 spaces on each walk) TGT Logo

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