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17th June 2022

Form 6 Critical and Contextual Studies enjoy trip to Nottingham Contemporary

Form 6 Critical and Contextual Studies enjoyed a trip to Nottingham Contemporary to see an exciting new exhibition.‘Assemble and Schools of Tomorrow: The Places we Imagine’ is an exhibition, which encourages a different relationship between the audience and the artworks and gallery space. 

Director of Art, Elinor Brass, tells us more:-

Nottingham Contemporary have collaborated with the design collective ‘Assemble’ to bring architect Linda Bo Bardi’s vision to life.  The drawings by the Italian-born Brazilian modernist architect were of a fantastical playground.  This imagined utopian play-space is what inspired Assemble to consider what it would look like today.  What if children were the architects of their own play?  And how can galleries be reimagined?  Assemble worked with young children from Nottingham to explore ideas around play and the children’s contributions have informed the exhibition. 

The exhibition is made up of colourful, sculptural play pieces that encourage the audience to climb, slide and be playful.  There is guidance on how to approach the space, but it is set up to allow a freedom not normally experienced in a gallery. 

The Oakham students who visited were very lucky to have a talk from Lisa Jacques who is the gallery’s Learning Programme Manager.  Lisa explained some of the challenges of the exhibition, from the dynamic nature of the project due to the collaborations it involved, to navigating the risk with people playing with interactive artworks in the space.  It was so interesting to hear about how the project has been approached and the impact it has had on the number of visitors to the gallery and the way that young people have visited in large numbers. 

The Critical and Contextual Studies course focuses on the development of fictional exhibitions. Alongside considering what works the students would exhibit, they also have to consider the public programme that supports the exhibition and how to get visitors to attend. 

The visit to Nottingham Contemporary was such a wonderful experience for the students as they hadn’t encountered such a participatory exhibition that had also been developed in a very collaborative way.


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