So contemporary art is the new rock’n’roll, at least in Nottingham. This evening I went to Nottingham Contemporary for the opening of the John Newling and Piero Gilardi exhibitions. John Newling, being a ‘local’ talent probably in-sighted the greater turn out but to see a queue outside a public gallery on a freezing cold January evening is very pleasing. Both exhibitions are engrossing and challenging. I have known John Newling (through the day job) for several years and have enjoyed many conversations about his practise and hopefully helped in some small way in the production of some of the artefacts.
The works on display for the Ecologies of Value exhibition are loaded with intent & consideration but still remarkable as items with permanence and subtle resonance. Plant life gilded and revered, nature praised and science unfolded.
This short film explains far more than I can describe.
Being unfamiliar with the work of Piero Gilardi and only distantly aware of Arte Povera the work in this part of show was surprisingly bright & playful but still barbed with political criticism both historical and contemporary. From graphic prints for campaigns to foam sculptures of landscapes and puppets. There was even a ‘dance’ piece that kept my generally waning interest for this particular form of expression.
This is utterly unrelated but was the song that hung around my head whilst looking at the work.
…and here are some more picture.
Following what transpired to be a record breaking turn out for the opening last night, John Newling presented his #Riddler jacket and the Where a Place becomes a Site : Values event in the Broadmarsh Centre. Asking the passing demographic what they value, the aim was collect a sample of opinion which will later form the basis of a spoken word performance. My contribution: Children & Warmth.
This film is now up on Nottingham Contemporaries You Tube channel. Mr Newling is a genuinely nice man. It’s a pleasure to know him a little.