Now for Tomorrow II

Gestalt by Tina Hage. Photograph. 2015.

Tina Hage, Gestalt (guise #005), 2012, © the artist, Nottingham City Museums & Galleries collection

Now for Tomorrow II 30 January – 17 April 2016

Marion Adnams, Craigie Aitchison, Phyllida Barlow, Helena Ben-Zenou, Melanie Bilenker, Richard Billingham, Jon Burgerman, Helen Chadwick, Louisa Chambers, Alice Channer, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Giovanni Corvaja, Craig Fisher, Tina Hage, Tristram Hillier, Permindar Kaur, Christina Mackie, Nick Mobbs, Anne Morrell, Yelena Popova, Bettina Speckner, Ian Stephenson, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Shizuka Yokomizo.

When Nottingham Castle first opened as the ‘Midland Counties Art Museum’ in 1878, it began straightaway to collect art and craft by artists living and working at that time. Work was drawn together from near and far, including the 1878 Paris Exhibition, in order to inspire and delight local people.

This approach to collecting the art of our time for today’s and future generations has continued. Now for Tomorrow II looks at some of the contemporary art and craft acquired by Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery since 2010, thanks to the support of individuals, funders and charitable trusts such as the Art Fund, Contemporary Art Society and the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.

Before any new work is acquired, consideration is given to how it will sit alongside the existing collection, making connections across time and between different media and disciplines. The recent contemporary acquisitions are therefore shown here in the company of mid to late 20th century works that place the new arrivals in a wider context.

Just as in 1878, artists today are interested in landscape, the body, the human condition and pushing the boundaries of what art can be – yet they approach these subjects with new eyes, in different ways. For example, the exhibition invites visitors to compare Marion Adnams’ line drawing of a young woman, with a brooch by Melanie Bilenker, in which the outline of a woman is created with strands of the artist’s hair. Thomas Joshua Cooper’s photographs of landscapes in Derbyshire and Shropshire from the 1970s show a fascination with the details of landscape, in trees, rocks, light and shadow. Similar interests can be seen in Christina Mackie’s references to the Australian landscape in her sculptural work The Judges III.


Now for Tomorrow II – A Creative Response

From January – June 2016 Nottingham City Museums and Galleries have been working with Becky Cullen, a poet and Nottingham Trent University PhD student funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership. In February and March, Becky led two Creative Writing workshops to explore Now for Tomorrow II, using it as inspiration for prose and poetry.

Inspired by the writer Flannery O’Connor’s encouragement to ‘paint with words’, the workshops used the exhibition to do exactly that. Becky led a series of writing exercises based on observation and response. The workshop group considered the way a piece of art can inspire a new narrative or experience in writing, as well as reflect or intuit the artist’s experience. Becky also shared examples of Ekphrasis, or poems about pieces of visual art.

Download the full catalogue of poems created by the group over the duration of the course, and performed in the gallery spaces, surrounded by the works that inspired their responses – Now for Tomorrow II A Creative Response






Now for Tomorrow II: Talks & Lectures

 Tina Hage: Artist Talk and discussion with Tristram Aver, Exhibitions Officer at Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery*

Saturday 12 March, 2-3pm

Tina Hage will present an introduction to her practice and provide a closer look at her recent photographic series, entitled Gestalt. This will lead into an open discussion with Tristram Aver and audience Q&A.

London-based artist Tina Hage explores the formal visual language that has emerged from the increasingly spontaneous and rapid-change circumstances of modern day protest. Hage is interested in how protesters improvised in these circumstances to protect their identity.

*Craig Fisher will no longer be able to participate in this in conversation as previously advertised.

All talks are free, but booking is essential and normal entry fees apply.

FREE but normal entry fees apply.

Gestalt by Tina Hage. Photograph. 2015.


Leonie O’Dwyer on Helen Chadwick’s Ego Geometria Sum

Saturday 19 March, 2-3pm

Leonie O’Dwyer’s research on the British artist Helen Chadwick (1953-1996) focuses on the material and performative nature of Chadwick’s multidisciplinary sculptural practice. She has explored the artist’s investigation of the body and questioning of gendered identities through the elaboration of new visual idioms. Drawing on Helen Chadwick’s extensive archive, she has examined the artist’s research-led process within the context of post-conceptual and feminist practices from the 1970s-1990s.

This talk will explore conceptions of memory and subjecthood in Chadwick’s early sculptural installation Ego Geometria Sum (1982-84). This ten-part autobiographical work has been presented in various formations since its first exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, London, in 1984. The component parts are today held in different collections. High School, the ninth part of the series, was acquired by Nottingham Castle in 1990 and is presented in the exhibition Now for Tomorrow II.

Leonie O’Dwyer teaches in the History of Art Department at the University of York. With a background in art history, fine art and curating, she has delivered conference papers and talks on Helen Chadwick in academic and gallery contexts. Her extended essay Ego Geometria Sum: a biography (2012) was published as part of the Henry Moore Institute’s ‘Essays on Sculpture’ series.

FREE but normal entry fees apply.


Alice Channer

Saturday 9 April, 2-3pm

Alice Channer’s artwork explores and manipulates the sculptural properties of volume, dimension, material and weight, often in direct relation to a body. References to mass production alongside cultural and environmental overtones also play a role within her practice, which she will examine in an illustrated presentation and talk of her recent work.

Algae, the work displayed in this exhibition, presents a unique combination of technique and material, including pools of tiny plastic beads, known as ‘nurdles’, nestled in the creases of beautifully printed fabric. The work was acquired for Nottingham City Museums & Galleries through the Contemporary Art Society’s Special Collection Scheme in 2015. Now for Tomorrow II sees Algae displayed for the first time at Nottingham Castle.

FREE but normal entry fees apply.