Tag Archives: Visual arts

John Newling – Nottingham Contemporary


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.




Updated update….

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.

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Last week as part of the aforementioned day job, I attended the Opening Event for World Event Young Artists 2012 at Nottingham Trent University.

The event will be taking place around Nottingham in early September and promises to be an exciting and multifaceted festival bringing together a 1000 young artists from across the globe.

The event has been several years in the making and whilst organised by UKYA, The Arts Council, Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham City Council it is also widely supported by local business and an army of local volunteers.

I had the opportunity last year to be involved with Derby Quad and the Format11 Photography festival. These events are an excellent way of creating symbiotic relationships between business, education & local government all providing much needed platforms for young creative individuals and a presenting our local communities with diversity of art forms that might otherwise struggle to get noticed.

WEYA will include visual arts, poetry, dance, music and gastronomy. The launch event included a new piece by local writer and director Micheal Pinchbeck as well as a sample of 2D & 3D art and an excellent piece of contemporary poetry from the leader of a local youth poetry group.

The event will be the finale of the East Midlands Cultural Olympiad 2012 which will also see a wide range of new performances & exhibitions on show around the city and the region during August.

On Monday evening I had to stand on a stage at Nottingham Contemporary in front of 400 University of Nottingham architecture students and presented a gift to the winner and runners up of our sponsored Photography Prize. Nottingham Contemporary is another amazing venue in the City and has hosted some unique and engaging exhibitions since it opened. It’s also a wonderful building and gallery space.

Nottingham has done incredibly well over the last few years in attracting some major exhibitions, exciting premiers and developing the facilities open to local students and arts practitioners. I’m very pleased that the day job allows me to be a part of some of these and to provide various levels of support and sponsorship where we practically can.


Filed under Comment, Fine Art, Hipstamatic, Photography