Nottingham Contemporary

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I'm lucky that Nottingham, the city I live in, has a strong focus on the arts with lots of galleries and theatres, as well as other opportunities to look at and engage with all types of creative arts. 

One of the great venues is the Nottingham Contemporary gallery which we popped into recently. We weren’t intending to visit any particular exhibition (we like the shop and cafe!) so it was a bonus that there were two fab exhibitions for us to see. 

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One celebrated the work of Swiss architects and designers Trix and Robert Haussmann whose work includes buildings, product design, furniture, and textiles (on until 7th October 2018). Their work is known for its blend of pop culture and traditional techniques, as well as their use of illusion and irony. The pieces on show really interested us from our perspective as D&T teachers, particularly as their work goes across all D&T material areas. 

Trix & Robert Haussmann

At the same time as this exhibition Pia Camil also had a small installation (until 7th October 2018) with some interesting statement pieces. Although more of a contemporary art exhibition the work included some interesting pieces that also relate to D&T, particularly the massive curtain made of t.shirts and the hammock made out of jeans, both of which would be great inspiration for students.

Pia Camil

The building itself is just as interesting as the exhibitions inside. Nottingham is famous for its lace history and when the contemporary was designed by Caruso St John Architects based in London, the concrete façade was designed to incorporate an antique lace design taken from a piece of Richard Birkin machine made lace from 1847. Lacemaker Louise West recreated the antique lace to enable the design to be cast in concrete to create 7 metre panels that are all around the building with brass coloured trims to cover the joins in the panels. A great celebration of the history of the town in a contemporary style building that reflects the work on show inside.

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