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 14 September 2020

We are delighted to reopen to the public on Monday 17 May with Here, the Gold Ones meet by Reactor, and we have put several measures in place to make your visit safe.

These measures have been informed by Government and National Museum Directors Council guidance. They are constantly under review, subject to change and may vary slightly depending on Government guidance and the official roadmap out of lockdown. Please check back to this page prior to planning your visit. 
Planning your visit 

Groups no larger than six should visit the gallery at any one time, providing these groups are complying with government guidance on households and bubbles. Numbers inside the gallery will initially be limited to 8 at any single time. There is additional seating and waiting areas outside the gallery for anyone arriving before their scheduled time.

Do not visit if you’re feeling unwell, or have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus, and follow the NHS coronavirus guidelines.

We will be asking for contact details of all visitors on your arrival. We recommend that you also download the NHS COVID-19 app in advance of your visit.

When you arrive 

Entrance to the gallery is still 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.

If you arrive before your alotted time, you will be required to wait outside where there are benches. The building will be quieter than usual as students’ access to the campus is more restricted than normal.

At the entrance to the gallery, you will be asked to show your Eventbrite ticket and provide your contact details to support NHS Test and Trace. We will keep your details for 21 days, and will only share them with NHS Test and Trace if asked in the event of a visitor or member of the team testing positive for coronavirus. The gallery invigilator will be on hand to assist if necessary.

Face masks or coverings must be worn upon entrance to the gallery. There are some free masks available within the building if you forget. If you are exempt from wearing a mask, then please notify the gallery assistant and you will be welcomed accordingly.

2m social distancing is required 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.

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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.

Our risk assessment that has been conducted under guidance from the government and Public Health England is available to be read here. The overarching risk assessment for the wider campuses can be read here.

We have been awarded with a certificate for Visit England’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ scheme which can be read here.

50 Years of Curating and Creating Contemporary Art 12 August 2019

Bonington Gallery has been a significant part of the cultural landscape of Nottingham for half a century. Its diverse and ambitious artistic programme has consistently presented the forefront of creative practice and through this has gained a national reputation.

The gallery has showcased the very best in visual and performing arts from across the world – so join us, as we plan to make the next 50 years just as memorable.

Read more in our latest blog post.

The Community: Live in Nottingham featured on Notts TV 25 March 2019

Last week, Notts TV’s Charlotte Swindells popped down to the gallery to check out our latest exhibition, catching up with curator Tom Godfrey to find out more about the project.

Watch the video at the link below (segment starts at 27:40):

Chloé Maratta - ARTnews feature 14 January 2019

This April we’re excited to be presenting a two person exhibition between artist, musician and designer Chloé Maratta and artist & musician Joanne Robertson. The exhibition will also involve artefacts from NTU’s School of Art & Design’s high-street fashion archive, FashionMap. Chloé features in a recent ARTnews article that profiles several of the ‘leading lights’ within LA’s art/fashion/music crossover scene:

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