Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery


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Nottingham Castle announces the premiere of STIM CINEMA – a new touring exhibition and moving image installation exploring repetitive actions and autistic experiences, tracking back to the earliest forms of moving image, and the birth of cinema and cinematic language. STIM CINEMA is part of Nottingham Castle’s season of new programming focusing on Neurodivergence.

Exhibition dates:  25 November 2023 to 12 May 2024

The exhibition has been co-created by members of The Neurocultures Collective (Georgia Bradburn, Benjamin Brown, Sam Chown-Ahern, Robin Elliott-Knowles, Lucy Walker), with artist and filmmaker Steven Eastwood.

STIM CINEMA takes the action of stimming – ‘the practice of physical repetition as a way of taking sensory pleasure in recurrence, or of expressing and alleviating anxiety, and a common trait of autistic experience’ – as its starting point, connecting delight in repetition to the birth of cinema and to the contemporary fascination with GIFS.

The exhibition invites the audience to take pleasure in discovering hidden movements in every part of the frame, reminding us all of the pleasure we share in seeing actions rock and loop, and revealing that such stimulation is not only common to autistic experience but in the DNA of the moving image.

The exhibition encourages the viewer to consider our shared neurodivergence, and to discover stimming as a joyous perceptual and bodily possibility, one which challenges the very notion of normativity and is in fact a desirable state.

STIM CINEMA is accompanied by a special artwork from artist Sam Metz, who has been commissioned by Nottingham Castle to create an interactive response to the exhibition through their ‘Drawing as Stimming’ practice, where visitors of all ages can create their own ‘stim’ with wire and add it to an ever-evolving sculptural form in the gallery.  In addition, new artworks will feature in the Ducal Palace café by the first recipients of the Café Neuro commissions, a project targeted exclusively for neurodivergent creatives in the East Midlands.

STIM CINEMA was funded by the Film London FLAMIN scheme, Arts Council England and The Wellcome Trust, with support from Queen Mary University of London. It is curated by Gilly Fox and produced by Chloe White (Whalebone Films) and Steven Eastwood. The advisory group consists of Tim Corrigan (Project Art Works), Maggi Hurt (BFI), Damian Milton (The Participatory Autism Research Collective) and Collective member Sam Chown-Ahern.

STIM CINEMA launches at Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery, then will tour to Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, and Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea.

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