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Join us for an afternoon of live drawing, performance and video art in a specially devised event by Venture Arts, a Manchester-based visual arts organisation working with learning disabled and neurodiverse artists to create and showcase exciting new contemporary visual art.

Free, drop in from 12pm – 5pm.

Bonington Gallery is proud to host a VA Collectives event alongside John Beck and Matthew Cornford’s exhibition, The Art Schools of the East Midlands.

Experience artist Leslie Thompson create a large-scale drawing live in the gallery space.  A specially devised performance piece by Greater Manchester-based artist Jackie Haynes will also be presented.

Visitors will also be able to watch videos from Narratives, a six month collaborative residency in Venture Arts’ Conversations Series, which ran in partnership with Manchester Jewish Museum, Castlefield Gallery, The Lowry, Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and Project Artworks.  The residency brought together 12 artists, some from Venture Arts and some via an open call, to develop shared ideas and create new artwork over 6 months, exploring personal histories and cultural heritage.

The VA Collectives are a series of events, performances, gatherings and happenings that aim to bring artists together to explore themes of relevance to their work, the arts and the world around us. The VA Collectives are the brainchild of Venture Arts, a Manchester-based visual arts organisation working with learning disabled and neurodiverse artists to create and showcase exciting new contemporary visual art.

Both the videos and the resulting drawing by Leslie Thompson will remain in the gallery over the closing weekend for visitors to enjoy.

Videos that will be presented in the gallery:

Beyond the Shelf (2022) Millie Loveday

Falling – A Memory of Her (2022) Horace Lindezey, Dominic Pillai & Alice Merida Richards

The Dying Fly (2022) Jackie Haynes

The Julie Channel (2022) Sarah Boulter

Images by Adam Grainger and Alex Jovčić-Sas

Artist bios

Thanks to independent curator Abi Spinks for programming and supporting the development of this event in response to The Art Schools of the East Midlands by John Beck & Matthew Cornford.

Header photo credit: Leslie Thompson by Sarah Boulter, 2022.

Sketches and doodles by art and design staff at Nottingham Trent University are to be shown as part of a major exhibition celebrating the practice of drawing.

Drawing Out will feature hundreds of illustrations by both academic and support staff, which will be combined to create a huge ‘drawing wall’ for the event from 21 April to 9 May.

Everybody from the Dean of the School of Art and Design, right through to academics and support staff are being invited to contribute to the exhibition, being staged in the university’s Bonington and 1851 Galleries.

The event will also feature a curated show of work by artists based in the School, which will attempt to look at drawing in its widest sense.This will range from working drawings for set and costume design, to illustrations that use new laser-cutting technology as a drawing tool; and a series of illustrations produced for publication in international newspapers, to photographic responses to archived drawings in the university’s international lace collection.

Between 11 – 17 April 2014, Emma Cocker (Senior Lecturer in Fine Art), will be joined by artist Nikolaus Gansterer (Vienna) and choreographer Mariella Greil (Vienna), inhabiting Bonington Gallery as an experimental ‘method laboratory’ (entitled Beyond The Line) for staging an encounter between choreography, drawing and writing; between body, mark and text.

Beyond The Line is conceived as a pilot project in preparation for Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line (2014 – 2016), a large-scale international, interdisciplinary collaboration involving Cocker, Gansterer and Greil for exploring the points of slippage as the practices of drawing, dance and writing enter into dialogue, overlap and collide. Through processes of reciprocal exchange, dialogue and negotiation between the key researchers, Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line will interrogate the interstitial processes, practices and knowledge(s) produced in the ‘deviation’ for example, from page to performance, from word to mark, from line to action, from modes of flat image making towards transformational embodied encounters. Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line is funded by FWF/PEEK art based research grant of Austria.

In this research seminar, Cocker, Gansterer and Greil will reflect and elaborate on their collaborative research, and introduce the key ideas and concerns of their forthcoming project, Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line.

Drawing is said to have the ability to record both its own making and the movement of the thoughts and body of the drawer.

Bringing together the work of several artists with differing practices Drawology aimed to consider whether this premise is applicable to a specific process or genre of drawing or whether it is applicable to drawing generally.

The works in the exhibition represented an expanded field of contemporary drawing in a Fine Art context to include: works on paper, performance, moving image, installation, projections and three-dimensional drawings. The exhibition was part of a larger research project being undertaken by Deborah Harty entitled ‘Drawing is phenomenology’.

Artists include:

Shaun Belcher, Sian Bowen, Rachael Colley, David Connearn, Paul Fieldsend-Danks, Maryclare Foa, Paul Gough, Joe Graham, Deborah Harty, Claude Heath, humhyphenhum, Juliet MacDonald, Jordan McKenzie, Lucy O’Donnell, Bill Prosser, Karen Wallis, Martin Lewis, Patricia Cain, Simón Granell, humhyphenhumha, David Connearn, Andrew Pepper

In Residence

During the exhibition, the gallery hosted several “in residence” sessions, based on Traci Kelly’s model for interactive research for From Where I Stand I Can See You.

Wednesday 27 November 10.30 am – 1.30 pm:
Professor Marsha Meskimmon
, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History and Theory at Loughborough University

Wednesday 27 November 1 pm – 5 pm:
Danica Maier
, Senior Lecturer Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University

Thursday 5 December 11 am – 2 pm & 3 pm – 5 pm:
Dr Kevin Love
, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Social Theory at Nottingham Trent University

Drawing is

Alongside Drawology the Gallery also hosted a student-led exhibition challenging the notion of drawing in contemporary art. 

Read more about Drawing is.