Svg patterns

‘Fictions’ brings together the work of eight contemporary artists who explore the boundaries between fact and fiction. Taking its name from the collection of short stories by Argentinean writer Jorge Louis Borges, the exhibition draws on the paradoxical scenarios he creates. 

In Borges’ world, ideas of language, time, memory and truth surpass our everyday expectations. As an exhibition, ‘Fictions’ aims to sketch out these relationships within the context of our contemporary society. 

This exhibition is curated by High Dichmont and Fay Nicholson, who will be exhibiting work alongside fellow artists Eugenia Ivanissevich, Glen Jamieson, Aaron Juneau, Girolamo Marri, Helen Perkins and Marianna Simnett. 

The private view for this exhibition will take place in the Bonington Gallery on Thursday 19th March between 6-8pm. All are welcome to attend.

Bonington Gallery is very pleased to present QAI/GB-NGM by Warsaw (Poland) based artist Karol Radziszewski. This exhibition will present archival materials from Radziszewski’s Queer Archives Institute (QAI) that focusses on Central and Eastern European queer history and culture.

Consistent with previous QAI presentations, this exhibition will connect to its locality by featuring materials related to Nottingham’s own queer history and culture. This site specificity is reflected in the title of the exhibition that utilises Nottingham’s International Organization for Standardization (ISO) location code ‘GB–NGM’.

Alongside archival materials from the QAI, the exhibition will feature artworks and ongoing bodies of work by Radziszewski.


Established by Radziszewski in November 2015, the QAI is a non-profit artist-run organization dedicated to the research, collection, digitalisation, presentation, exhibition, analysis and artistic interpretation of queer archives, with a special focus on the countries of the former Eastern Bloc. The QAI is a long-term project open to transnational collaboration with artists, activists and academic researchers. The Institute carries out a variety of activities and projects – from exhibitions, publications, lectures and installations to performances.

Artist Biography

Karol Radziszewski (b. 1980) lives and works in Warsaw (Poland), where he received his MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2004. He works with film, photography, installations and creates interdisciplinary projects. His archive-based methodology crosses multiple cultural, historical, religious, social and gender references. Since 2005 he has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of DIK Fagazine. He is the founder of the Queer Archives Institute (2015). His work has been presented in institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art and Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; New Museum, New York; VideoBrasil, São Paulo; TOP Museum, Tokyo; Kunsthaus Graz, Austria; Cobra Museum, Amsterdam; Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow and Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz. He has participated in several international biennales including PERFORMA 13, New York; 7th Göteborg Biennial; 4th Prague Biennial; 15th WRO Media Art Biennale and recently The Baltic Triennial 14.

In 2021, The Power of Secrets dedicated to Radziszewski’s archival practice was published by Sternberg Press.

Header image credit: Karol Radziszewski, Afterimages, film still, 2018.

Exhibition Resources:

The exhibition has been curated by Tom Godfrey, Director of Bonington Gallery.
Supported by Joshua Lockwood-Moran, Tamsin Greaves (NTU Placement) and Rachael Mackerness (NTU Placement).
Technicians: Harry Freestone, James E Smith, Claire Davies, Emily Stollery.
Thanks to The Sparrows Nest for the generous support, advice and loan of the publications.

The title Soft Painting aims to draw our attention to the actual physical qualities of a painting rather than acting as an introduction to an image or to suggest a narrative.  Simon Callery creates paintings that communicate on a physical level.  A painting can be soft or hard as much as it can be red or green.

From Monday 13 – Wednesday 29 April Simon worked in the gallery space with a selected group of Nottingham Trent BA (Hons) Fine Art students and Nottingham-based artists, to produce three large-scale works.  Rolls of canvas were washed and prepared for saturation in pigmented distempers  – a process where the industrial starch is removed from the canvas and the dense and highly coloured medium is washed into the softened fabric at high temperature.  These worked canvasses were then hung off frames to dry before being cut up, sorted and sewn into the formal configurations of soft paintings.

From Thursday 30 April – Friday 15 May the Gallery took the form of a contemporary gallery space, where the outcomes of the making process were realised in a final staged exhibition.

We caught up with Simon at his London-based studio for a behind the scenes look at his collection and to view his work in progress:

For the duration of this exhibition the Gallery became a space for learning where the connections between the making, installing and exhibition of artwork were exposed.  The public were invited to witness and engage with the entire process.

Participants shared their images on Instagram using the hashtag #SoftPainting, you can read more about how the project evolved on our Latest News page.

Exhibition Resources

From our Blog

In this exhibition artist Sean Cummins explored a found image, depicting a control room of an experimental nuclear reactor from 1963. Cummins used this image as a catalyst for an exhibition of paintings.

The exhibition title refers to both Van Gogh’s early masterpiece The Potato Eaters and the notion of cold fusion, a hypothetical type of nuclear reaction that occurs at room temperature.

This series of paintings makes an unusual connection between early modernist painting and the utopian aspirations of the creators of nuclear technology. There is a humorous juxtaposition between the agrarians depicted in The Potato Eaters and scientists operating the nuclear power station. A depiction of subsistence and the fiction of cold fusion and its limitless supply of energy.

Cummins knowingly played on paintings’ history and processes, as his images aspired to a collapse of space and time.

Beyond the Line was an international, interdisciplinary collaboration involving artist-writer Emma Cocker, artist Nikolaus Gansterer (Vienna) and choreographer Mariella Greil (Vienna).

Cocker, Gansterer and Greil inhabited the gallery as an experimental ‘method laboratory’ for staging an encounter between choreography, drawing and writing; between body, mark and text.

Through processes of reciprocal exchange, dialogue and negotiation between three different practices, Beyond the Line interrogated 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.

Glimpses of the unfolding ‘method laboratory’ were made possible through a live-feed video stream that could be viewed in the Bonington foyer. The ‘laboratory’ was open to the public at scheduled times where the artists were ‘in-residence’ to share their working processes.

Beyond the Line was conceived as ‘test-bed’ for exploring collaborative methods for working between and beyond the disciplinary lines of drawing, dance and writing and is supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture (BMUKK). Ideas and working processes emerging from Beyond the Line will be developed further as part of a 3-year collaborative research project between Cocker, Gansterer and Greil entitled Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line 2014 – 2017 (funded by the Austrian Program for Arts-based Research, PEEK).

The Method Laboratory

Thursday 17 April from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm.


10 am – 12 pm: Live Exploration Session

12 pm – 1.30 pm: The lab remains open with fragments of the research process made visible

1.30 pm – 3 pm: Live Exploration Session

3 pm – 4 pm: Discussion

This exhibition brought together a unique group of artists and designers who are members of a research group based at Cardiff School of Art & Design.

Led by Robert Pepperell, the participants were each interested in the way art and design can contribute to questions about human nature and experience, of the kind often asked by scientists and philosophers. How, for example, are we able to have visual knowledge of the world, and what does it look like? What is a body, and how does having one change the way we make and experience art? Are aesthetics properties features of an object, a person, a brain, a mobile body, a social context – or some combination of these?

Artists included:

Professor Robert Pepperell, Alise Piebalga, Robin Hawes, James Green, Craig ThomasTheo Humphries, Chris de Selincourt

An exhibition of over 100 selected works from Nottingham Trent University alumni, held across the University’s City site. The work detailed the impact that our alumni have had internationally on the visual arts and creative industries.

Just a few of the alumni who were involved with the exhibition:

Urban artist Jon Burgerman, Turner prize winner Simon Starling, Artist duo Tim Noble and Sue WebsterPhotographer Andy Earl, Film director Jonathan Glazer, Knitwear designer Motohiro Tanji, Actor and comedian Paul Kaye, Sculptor Wolfgang Buttress, Landscape designer Sarah Price, Paper cut artist Rob Ryan, Visual artist Lucy OrtaFurniture designer Alexander Taylor

Plus many more; some of the exhibits on show were newly commissioned work special for the NTU Alumni Show.

For more details about In The Making and all events and activities surrounding Since 1843, please visit the Since 1843 webpage.

Audio Guide

Click here to download the exhibition audio guide.

Exhibition Catalogue

A catalogue featuring the profiles of all the exhibitors is available to buy online, or directly from the Bonington Art shop.

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.

In the run up to the opening of Mastered, we’ll drawing your attention to just a few of the artists and designers who will be exhibiting their work in the show – bringing together the best work from across Nottingham Trent University’s School of Art & Design postgraduate courses.

Fiona Nugent, MA Fashion Knitwear Design

Project Distorted Lines: An Investigation into Anxiety

“Anxiety is a lasting feeling of unavoidable doom. Anxiety is a state of tension and expectation of disaster.” [1]

The MA project ‘Distorted Lines: An Investigation into Anxiety’ looks at the subject of anxiety and the ways in which it can be translated through the medium of knitwear. The project takes the contrasting ideas of restriction and comfort, contorting and altering the surface of knitwear to reflect the ways in which anxiety binds and restrains, creating physical and mental suffering. Against this, comfort is juxtaposed as a means of lessening these negative effects, brought through in the softness of the lambswool and the oversized, engulfing garment silhouettes.

The work incorporates handcrafted, dubied machine knitted techniques and crochet to create pieces that are at once unique and high quality. A huge importance is placed on sustainable design practices, from the careful sourcing of premium, organic yarns to the fully fashioning of all pieces to eliminate unnecessary waste.

[1] (Ed) Wolman, Benjamin B/(C0-ED) Striker, George, Anxiety and Related Disorders, A Handbook, New York, John Wiley & Sons, INC, 1993.

Images: © Fiona Nugent

Tong Zhang, MA Photography

Tong’s series of self-portraits explore the differences between oriental and western women in social status – the old society and the new society. The photos can be divided into 3 groups: playing the part of celebrities, self-expression and regional culture.

As an international student, Tong hopes to make oriental feminist culture known to more people through her works based on her experience and study overseas.

The composition is important too: the photos are all taken from the same angle, and there is a large space left above the top of the heads of the characters. This not only endows the photos with a sense of space, but more importantly, Tong hopes to express that there is a large space for women to improve their social status and pursue freedom in the future.

Images: © Tong Zhang

Yi-Ying Chen (Ellen), MFA Fine Art

Ellen is an artist who is intrigued with the colour grey. She is inspired by traditional black Chinese ink, which when diluted and applied to rice paper, produces a variety of shades of grey – soaking into the paper layer by layer.

Ember- Floating space’ is a performance piece, in which Ellen attempts to make invisible space visible, through wax formations in water.

Something unpredictable and uncontrollable emerges in the process of conflict; and beautiful, mountain-like spaces are created as the liquid wax cools and solidifies in the water.

All images: © Yi-Ying Chen