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Warping worlds, clashing colours and floating shapes are central to Bruce Asbestos’ Spring/Summer 2020 collection, imagining a world where you can have a new wild look each and every minute of the day.

Inspired by the Motif exhibition, his collection utilises video game technology to generate ready-to-wear looks. Unlikely accessories, objects, shapes and motifs are combined into assemblages of creative possibilities and impossibilities.

The collection will be presented via a multi-video/audio experience, accompanied by a specially produced soundtrack – all situated within the Motif exhibition at Bonington Gallery.

Conceived by Bruce Asbestos using the Unreal Games Engine.

Bonington Gallery is delighted to present C/J, an exhibition of newly commissioned work by Los Angeles-based artist, musician and jewellery designer Chloé Maratta and Glasgow-based artist and musician Joanne Robertson.

Reflecting their shared interests in clothing, both artists have been invited to work with artefacts from Nottingham Trent University’s (NTU) FashionMap Archive, a unique collection of garments and accessories purchased from high street retailers since 2000.

Maratta embeds her practice into her life via a process of gathering clothing and ephemera that she encounters and experiences on a daily basis. Materials are collaged into styled outfits and extended into photography, photo-collage and sculpture.

Robertson works predominantly with painting that frequently extends beyond the canvas to found objects. Presenting racks of clothing alongside her paintings, Robertson objectifies garments in order to emulate the conditions of abstract painting – form, colour, surface and materiality. She’s currently touring her music in New Zealand, and answered a few questions from, in which she refers to the upcoming exhibition at Bonington Gallery, as well as discussing the process of collaborating with other artists, and the strong link between her music and visual practices.

Through art production, music and fashion, both artists convey an immediacy and irreverence towards various forms of cultural and social hierarchy, making the involvement of NTU’s high-street fashion archive all the more poignant.

Artwork Details
Chloe Maratta
Joanne Robertson

Exhibition resources:

From Our Blog

Established in 2016 by a collective of eight, The Community is a Paris-based multidisciplinary art institute dedicated to promoting experimental and progressive artistic practice through interdisciplinary programming. Featuring Ethan Assouline, Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann, David Bernstein, Tenant of Culture, Cyrus Goberville, Philippe Hallais and Ruby Hoette.

The Community’s founding was prompted by a long-standing need for a shared space and platform to stimulate ideas and facilitate collaboration across different creative disciplines including art, fashion, music and publishing.

Extending their methodology to the UK, The Community Live in Nottingham transforms Bonington Gallery into a site for learning, experimentation and production through a programme of free to attend weekly workshops and activities delivered by a specially invited group of internationally prominent artists and creatives, accompanied by members of  The Community. Over the course of a month, participants will create work within the space whilst reflecting and developing upon previous outcomes – building content through experience and accumulation. Participation will be open to all, reflecting The Community’s desire to ingratiate their practice through dialogue and collaboration with local communities.

The exhibition will culminate with a music and performance event at the gallery and in the city with an opportunity to view completed works on Friday 29 March and Saturday 30 March. Details regarding these activities will be announced soon.

The gallery will be open for viewing throughout the exhibition period, but due to the nature of this being an ‘exhibition-as-process’, we suggest following updates via The Community’s instagram account and on the exhibition website to maximise your experience.

Artists included

Ethan Assouline, Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann, David Bernstein, Tenant of Culture, Cyrus Goberville, Philippe Hallais, Ruby Hoette

Weekly Workshop Schedule
Week one

Monday 4 – Saturday 9 March 2019
Ego Altar by David Bernstein

Week two

Monday 11 – Saturday 16 March 2019
Ruby Hoette’s Patternmapping Residency

Wednesday 13 – Friday 15 March 2019
Workshop by Tenant of Culture

Week three

Monday 18 – Saturday 23 March 2019
Anna’s Weekend by Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann

Week four

Monday 25 – Saturday 30 March 2019
Writing Club by Ethan Assouline and Philippe Hallais

Thursday 28 March 2019, 5–8 pm

Come celebrate the finale of The Community Live in Nottingham with an opportunity to view all of the completed works produced throughout the four weeks of workshops plus a music and sound performance.

The evening will consist of two parts: A live performance by Philippe Hallais that will bring together audio-recorded outcomes from the outcome of week four, the ‘Writing Club’ with artist Ethan Assouline; followed by a Nottingham edition of ‘Permanent Cuts’ – a multidisciplinary and experimental live music session co-curated by Cyrus Goberville of Collapsing Market.

The event will be followed by an off-site event at the King Billy pub in Sneinton with DJ sets by Low Jack, Cyrus, plus others.

Exhibition resources:

Coinciding with his current solo exhibition Now & Then, we’re delighted to screen Dick Jewell’s seminal 2002 documentary Kinky Gerlinky, bringing together footage shot at the legendary club night between 1990 and 1993.

Kinky Gerlinky was the biggest, most fabulous, most stylish nightclub London had ever seen. This documentary, edited from over 200 hours shot on 21 nights in the early nineties, conveys the experience of one full night out at the club. Flamboyant poses on the red carpet, debauchery on the dance floor, glamorous catwalk competitions and extravagant backstage action – this film captures it all.

By nature a fleeting phenomenon, club culture is rarely recorded on film in any depth. Kinky Gerlinky goes the distance, offering unique intimacy with its subject – with most of the action performed directly for the camera; the costumes are out-of-this-world, as are the attitudes. A welcome flashback to wilder clubbing days, it’s also a hilarious in-your-face examination of the cultural and sexual politics of celebrity and glamour.

Following the success of our London’s Calling exhibition, we invited 80s club host and fashion icon, Scarlett Cannon, to join us for an in-conversation event with fashion designer and Nottingham Trent University (NTU) lecturer, Juliana Sissons.

On Wednesday 18 October 2017, Juliana and Scarlett share their experiences of what it was like to be part of the vibrant, transitional youth culture and clubbing scene in London during the 1980s. London was experiencing a social, cultural and political revolution, paving the way for self-expression and rebellion. The club scene in London was explosive and challenged boundaries; and the fashion that came with it was flamboyant, hedonistic and designed to shock.

Chaired by Bonington Gallery curator Tom Godfrey, this in-conversation event posed questions around the importance of fashion, gender and self-expression in the 1980s and what impact it has had on their lives since…

A collection of design memorabilia and reflections, from the 1980s archive of Juliana Sissons.

We have been delving into the archive of fashion designer and Nottingham Trent University (NTU) lecturer Juliana Sissons. Housed within the Gallery Vitrines, London’s Calling reveals an eclectic collection of Juliana’s personal memorabilia and influences, iconic magazine features, design objects, and video footage from the 1980s.

The 1980s was a decade when civil unrest threatened to undermine the country’s social order. Meanwhile, London’s fashion was at its most novel and diverse. At a time when Vogue was covering trend directions in pastel shade twinsets and pearls, the Face, i-D, and Blitz magazines were embracing the raw creativity in the unique style of London’s youth culture.

Young people were making innovative statements about contemporary life through their dress. Not driven by fashion labels of the time, but preferring to create their own ‘signature’ through eclectic mixes of jumble sale finds, vintage pieces, old theatre costumes, and home sewn garments – pushing ideas outside of their traditional influences.

Young fashion designers emerged in an ad hoc way during the early 80s and were echoed in the anarchic environment of the music industry, and in the nightclubs that sprang up spontaneously across the capital. Creative self-expression was the focus that formed the ethos of London’s clubs in the early 1980s and the hedonistic mix of people who were drawn to this scene encouraged creativity and risk taking in design.

This unique display gives a snapshot of Juliana’s life as a fashion designer in London through the 1980s, working with the likes of Lee Alexander McQueen, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Top of the Pops, Divine, Scarlett Cannon, Leigh Bowery, Isabella Blow, and Judy Blame – capturing the excitement of this unique time of self-expression.

Associated Events

In Conversation with Scarlett Cannon and Juliana Sissons
Wednesday 18 October 2017, 2.15 pm – 4 pm

Join us on Wednesday 18 October as Juliana and Scarlett share their experiences of what it was like to be part of the vibrant, transitional youth culture and clubbing scene in London during the 1980s. London was experiencing a social, cultural and political revolution, paving the way for self-expression and rebellion. The club scene in London was explosive and challenged boundaries; and the fashion that came with it was flamboyant, hedonistic and designed to shock.

To reserve your free place, visit the event booking page on the NTU website. This event is open to students, staff, alumni, and the general public.

From our Blog

Imprints of Culture explored the contemporary production and use of Indian block prints. Like few other objects, block prints embody richly diverse histories that have been shaped by trade, conquest and colonisation, technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

This exhibition showed how block printing, one of India’s foremost crafts, has not only played a role in the ritual life of the subcontinent but also in the creation of visual identity. Integral to caste dress and modern urban style, block prints have been a significant source of revenue through centuries of domestic and international trade.

This show included block prints from leading centres of the craft in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, including traditional designs as well as innovations. It has been developed in collaboration with block printers in these areas as well as fashion designer, Aneeth Arora.

This exhibition was supported by the British Academy (International Partnership and Mobility Scheme, 2014-17). The research underpinning it was funded by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2012-14).

Read a recent Q&A with the curator, Eiluned Edwards, as she talks to Aesthetica magazine about the exhibition.

Associated events


Wednesday 24 February, 5 pm – 7.30 pm

Joining us for the special preview event will be Deirdre Figueiredo, MBE, who will deliver a welcome speech at 6 pm.

Deirdre is the Director of Craftspace in Birmingham. Aside from the Crafts Council, Craftspace is the only independent crafts promotion, development and touring agency in the country and as such occupies a unique position in the national infrastructure for the contemporary crafts. It supports the creative industries whilst also building social and human capital within communities.

Apart from her position at Craftspace, Deirdre has also played a wider voluntary role contributing to cultural policy and strategy through a range of advisory panels, boards and steering groups including the Museums Association Equal Opportunities panel, Regional Council Member of Arts Council West Midlands, member of Arts Council Capital Lottery panel, Creative and Cultural Skills Advisory Panel and Birmingham City Council cultural strategy working groups.

Block Printing Demonstration

To coincide with the exhibition, Bonington Gallery is delighted to host a public block printing demonstration with Abduljabbar M. Khatri, a renowned block printer from Kachchh district, Gujarat, India.

A richly diverse collection of the futuristic and the retrospective: Knitting Nottingham challenged popular perceptions of knitting as cosy and nostalgic; showcasing creative design, art, technology and research across a wide range of knit-inspired work from internationally renowned designers, artists and researchers.

As part of Nottingham Trent University’s 170 Years of Art and Design event series, it celebrated the transformational role played by Nottingham in the growth of the knitting industry and knit technology, and provoked a serious question: how far can we stretch our ideas about knitting?

The message was don’t get comfortable;  contrary to what we might think, the relationship between knitting and pushing the boundaries of technology is extremely close.

Stunning garments, 3D prints, performance footwear, knitted conductive textile technology, priceless historical artefacts, a tea set made from electro-plated knit, and working state-of-the-art knitting machinery were just some of the exhibits on show which demonstrated the innovative and challenging nature of knit today.

View a selection of images from the Knitting Nottingham exhibition by visiting the 170 years website.


As part of Nottingham Trent University’s celebration of 170 Years of Art and Design heritage, we supported  BBC Radio Nottingham’s Big Poppy Knit in support of the Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal.

A commemorative poppy specially designed by Sir Paul Smith was on show during the exhibition.

From dying fabrics for costumes and hangings for nine touring companies of the musical Hair in 1970, to producing an atelier collection of hand-dyed garments and accessories under her own label from 1981-2005, Marian Clayden’s unique and luxurious designs are virtuoso Bohemian chic.

This vibrant and diverse exhibition showcased examples of Clayden’s work with influences from Grand Opera, Iran, Kabuki and ethnic dance. Clayden’s trail-blazing textiles and garments blurred the boundaries between art, textiles and fashion.

Born and raised in Preston, Marian Clayden studied painting at Nottingham School of Art and prepared for a career as a primary school teacher. Her passion for painting developed into an interest in textiles-as-art while living in Australia with her young family. Their move to California in 1967 led to collaborations with stage/television designer Bob Mackie in Los Angeles and the New York fashion designers, Georgio di Sant’Angelo and Mary McFadden.

Under her own label, Clayden Inc, she forged a high-profile list of clients for her evening wear, including Lisa Marie Presley, Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Students from the Textiles, Fashion and Decorative Arts courses at Nottingham Trent University were inspired by its lace archive to produce drawings, textiles, products and investigations. Using the rich heritage of the archive to form the starting point, they explored the concept of lace, exploring materials and the use of heritage to inform design thinking for a new generation of designers.