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For the fifth iteration of our ‘Bonington Archive’ series, we are delighted to present materials from our archive related to Burst, a solo exhibition by artist Tom Hackett that took place in the gallery from 8 May – 9 June 1990. The installation consisted of a large sculpture made from fabric and 80 x 3-8ft wooden cable reels.

These wooden cable reels were sourced by Exhibition Organiser, Stella Couloutbanis, from a British Telecom depot in Arnold, Nottingham. BT agreed to lend these reels for the show, but they would not deliver them to the gallery. So the question was – how do you transport 80 giant cable reels into Bonington Gallery?

The answer? A photoshoot and a press release, obviously!

Curated by Alex Jovčić-Sas

Bonington Archive is a revolving display of material drawn from the Bonington Gallery Archive. If you have any materials relating to the programme, especially before 1989, please contact:

As part of this year’s Light After Dark Film Festival, Bonington Gallery is pleased to present Peep Show, an innovatively staged exhibition of archival film curated by feminist collective Invisible Women.

Only visible through spyholes in the outer perimeter walls of Bonington Gallery; Peep Show brings together a series of archival film fragments that explore the interaction between spectator and subject, eye and body —across the history of film.

Weaving together extracts from early films by women working at the cutting edge of the emerging artform—including Alice Guy Blache, Germaine Dulac and Lois Weber—this innovatively staged exhibition reflects how the medium’s conventions have been shaped by the eyes behind the camera.

Over the course of its transformation from novelty to artform, cinema has continually drawn on its peep show roots to captivate, titillate, and absorb. By drawing inspiration from quietly subversive, once-forgotten work made by early women filmmakers, Peep Show also invites us to question who has shaped this cinematic language, offering a playful potential subversion to dominant aesthetic conventions.

Beware—sometimes this peep show looks back.

Curated by Invisible Women Archive. In collaboration with Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University.

Image credit: Suspense (1913) directed by Lois Webster.

Future Factory, based within Nottingham Trent University, is delighted to present Town and Country, featuring work by Southwell Artspace artists: Georgina Bell, Geoff Litherland, Stuart Parkinson, Stephanie Richards and David Uden. The exhibition, which takes place in Bonington Foyer, runs from 23 February until 10 March.

This exhibition provides a rare opportunity to view the wide range of work from some of the resident artists at Southwell Artspace – which offers a focus for the contemporary visual arts in a rural setting, allowing the audience to reflect upon the importance of the artists’ working space, and the impact this has upon the work.  

Featured work includes: textiles by Georgina Bell; drawings by Stuart Parkinson; silk-screen prints by David Uden; and paintings by both Stephanie Richards and Geoff Litherland.

Summer Lodge celebrated its 5 Year Anniversary in 2014. For ten days each July, the Fine Art studios and workshops of Nottingham Trent University are transformed and play host to a gathering of thirty diverse artists.

As part of this celebration the Gallery was used as a testing space, giving the public a glimpse into the activities of the Lodgers through live stream to screens in the foyer before being used as an exhibition space.

The Lodge was a collective space in which to undertake experiments, pursue new ideas and allow unexpected leaps of imagination. Participants in the Summer Lodge came together with the aim of initiating new dialogues and critical exchange through engaging in a period of sustained studio / workshop practice.

This years participants included artists from Nottingham Trent UniversitySheffield Hallam UniversityBergen Academy of Art and Design; Harrington Mills Studios; One Thoresby Street; and Backlit Studios.

At the completion of the Lodge, the Gallery was opened to the public to showcase the diverse range of work created across the ten days.


Summer Lodge: 30 June – 11 July 2014 (public could watch activities unfolding via live stream in the foyer)

Exhibition: 14 – 22 July 2014

For more information, and for ongoing documentation during the Lodge, visit:

In Works from the Hallucinated Archive, Wayne Burrows brings together material by six artists (five real, one fictional) who work across a range of media and traditions but all share an interest in ideas around folklore, spiritual belief and art as psychic manifestation or transmission.

The vitrines and foyer are occupied by works from the fabricated archive of an entirely fictional British artist, Robert Holcombe (1923 – 2003). Gathered into an exhibition that might be read as a scholarly contribution to a previously unknown (and wilfully esoteric) chapter in the story of Post-War British Art. Or perhaps a fiction exploring ideas of authenticity, class and cultural identity by ‘restoring’ to our attention a figure who might plausibly have existed, but failed or refused to fit the standard narratives and frameworks of his time.

This archival fiction is further layered and complicated by its deployment as a framing device for a group of works by five other artists, mostly contemporary, sometimes hallucinatory in effect, and all real. Their shared fascinations with altered states, fringe beliefs, folklore and ritual, play against their own (and our) ingrained sceptical instincts with humour and a strong awareness of absurdity. After all, whatever the precise nature of any particular psychic or paranormal phenomenon might be, such subjective experiences plainly share conceptual ground with the transformative, healing and wish-fulfilling objectives of art itself. Just as a fiction is a very literal kind of alternate reality, a song, a form of spell-casting or invocation, and any film or photograph in existence is a very literal kind of ghost.

The artworks and fictional ephemera featured work together as something that exists between a curated group show and a single installation to generate a kind of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ rabbit-hole: a collage portal into a parallel world that may already exist within the familiar yet often nightmarish one we currently inhabit.

Featured Artists

Aslı Anık, Arianne Churchman, Maryam Hashemi, Robert Holcombe, Chloe Langlois, Z.K. Oloruntoba