Crafting anatomies through art and design 22 December 2014

The body becomes the centre of a provocative exhibition which, through a selection of visionary artworks, will explore how the human form has been crafted, interpreted and re-imagined in historical, contemporary and future contexts.

Crafting Anatomies brings together an intriguing collection of exhibits by national and international artists and designers who explore the body through the themes of material, performance and identity.

Dr Katharine Townsend, Reader in Fashion and Textile Crafts at Nottingham Trent University, is co-curating the January exhibition alongside Dr Amanda Briggs-Goode, Head of Department for Fashion, Textiles and Knitwear, and Rhian Solomon, Researcher from The Creative Textiles Research Group. They have devised the project and exhibition to provide an opportunity for artists and makers to investigate the body and its meaning in contemporary society’.

Considering skin as a material, designer Amy Congdon is fascinated by a future world where materials are not made but are grown and luxury goods are fashioned from skin cells, not fabric. Her work, Biological Atelier, imagines the sorts of jewellery and adornments that could be created, in the near future, through biotechnology.

“With one of the most controversial sets of materials becoming available for manipulation, that is our body and those of other species, it could be argued that future fashion could be grown from the ultimate commodity,” she said.

Attention shifts to how the body performs for the Human Harp project, by London-based artist Di Mainstone, who has created a piece of body sculpture which literally turns the wearer into a human harp. When attached to the wires of a suspension bridge, the garment allows the wearer to ‘play’ the bridge by translating the structure’s vibrations into sounds.

Artist Amanda Cotton, who gained press attention for her photo frames made out of placentas, will be showing her work Portrait as part of the exhibition. Portrait is a visual diary created from face wipes that the artist used during a three-month period to remove the make-up and natural oil from her face, questioning whether this “mask” is indeed dirt or beauty.

“It is my belief that the by-products of the human race hold equal value aesthetically, to their raw material origins,” said Cotton. “Through critical engagement with my own body’s materials I have crafted a ‘body of work’ that questions people’s preconceptions and explores notions of aesthetic beauty and value.”

Researchers from Nottingham Trent University, whose work draws from and enhances the body, will also exhibit their work. These include senior lecturer and respected couture pattern-cutter and knitwear designer Juliana Sissons.

She will be exhibiting examples of her work that focus upon the fashioning of garments using plastic surgery cutting techniques which she has developed from observations of surgeons at work in the operating theatre.

Sissons began developing surgical processes for fashion through her collaboration with Rhian Solomon and the sKINship project, which is concerned with promoting collaborations between reconstructive plastic surgeons and pattern cutters for fashion.

Her work also explores research into ‘Langers Lines’ – a visual mapping of the grain of skin, used by plastic surgeons. She hopes to consider the benefits of this research for swimwear and body contoured clothing ranges.

Alongside artworks on display, the exhibition will feature a series of historical films concerned with the ‘crafting of anatomies’ from The Wellcome Trust’s film archive and from local historical collections.

Crafting Anatomies will be in the Gallery from Wednesday 7 January until Wednesday 4 February.

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Visiting us safely 12 August 2021

We are delighted to be launching our 2021/22 season with a solo exhibition spanning 50 years of work by Andrew Logan, one of Britain’s most iconic artists.

We have put several measures in place to make your visit safe. They are constantly under review, subject to change and may vary slightly depending on Government guidance. Please check back to this page prior to planning your visit.

– Please do not visit the gallery if you have COVID-19 symptoms, are self-isolating, or have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus. Follow the NHS coronavirus guidelines.

– We recommend that you download the NHS COVID-19 app in advance of your visit and check in via the QR code when you arrive.

– Entry to the gallery is via the main entrance of the Bonington Building and floor markers will assist with social distancing. Please ‘check-in’ to the main building on arrival via the NHS app, and sanitise your hands.

– We recommend that face masks or coverings are worn upon entrance to the building and gallery. There are some free masks available within the building if you forget.

– 2m social distancing is advised inside the gallery, as it is throughout the building and campus. Please follow signage and wayfinding measures to adhere to best routes throughout the building and gallery.

Contact areas in the gallery, such as doors and handrails, will be subject to cleaning throughout the day. An enhanced cleaning regime is in place across all University buildings.
Clear signage at the gallery entrance will outline the key measures we are adhering too. Please refer to these for guidance. A gallery assistant will also be on hand to help.

We have been awarded a certificate for Visit England’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ scheme.

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