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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.

Just outside the gallery, you’ll find the Bonington Vitrines – two display cases that present an ever-changing series of projects that run alongside our exhibitions.

For the 15th instalment of our Bonington Vitrines programme, we are delighted to welcome Nomadic Vitrine, a curatorial project run by Recent Activity in Birmingham. Nomadic Vitrine invites artists to respond to a nomadic display case, either using it functionally to present work or intervening with it sculpturally. The vitrine in itself is a redundant sculpture, replacing the gallery as a space for artists to create work in/on/for. It builds on historical notions of display and visibility, both within and beyond the gallery, and is placed in various locations around Birmingham and further afield.

This instalment will be inhabited by Glasgow-based artist Mick Peter. Mick’s playful installations incorporate imagery influenced by illustration and commercial art. His work for Nomadic Vitrine wittily undermines the assumed hushed reverential attitude of the gallery goer. Using the inverted vitrine, the space becomes a site for an unexpected sight gag.

Recent Activity

Recent Activity is a curatorial project based in Birmingham, delivering exhibitions and events. It is organised by artist Andrew Gillespie, with support from Ryan Kearney.


Mick Peter lives in Glasgow, UK. He has recently had solo shows at BALTIC, Gateshead (2019), Deborah Bowmann, Brussels (2018/19), Glasgow International (2018), Galerie Crèvecoeur, Paris (2017), Workplace, Gateshead (2016), Tramway, Glasgow (2015), and Drawing Room, London (2016), Popcorn Plaza, part of Generation: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland, Jupiter Artland (2014) and Almost Cut My Hair, part of Generation: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland, Tramway Hidden Gardens, (2014). Recent group shows include ‘Voyage au long cours’ at FRACNormandie Caen (2018), Natural Selection’ at Galerie 5, Angers (2016), France and & ‘Corps narratifs’ at the Domaine départemental de Chamarande, Chamarande, France (2016). Puddle, pothole, portal at Sculpture Center, New York (2014), L’Echo at HAB Galerie – FRAC des Pays de la Loire, (2014), Monument at FRAC Basse-Normandie, (2014), British British Polish Polish: Art from Europe’s Edges in the Long 90’s and Today at the Centre for Contemporary Art, and Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, (2013).

Between 16 December 2019 and 10 January 2020, Nick Chaffe worked within the gallery as our ‘Motif Artist in Residence’ alongside Bruce Asbestos. During this time, Nick embraced laser cutting technology to further explore his illustrative style of minimalising and fusing together everyday items to create new meaning and possibility.

Concurrent to Bruce Asbestos’ Spring/Summer 2020 collection launch, Nick will be showcasing outcomes from his residency in the form of jewellery, sculpture and prints, as well as experiments and samples from the various processes he has been exploring.


Nick is a graphic artist, illustrator and brand designer based in Manchester. He has worked with Amnesty International, The Oscars, Time Out, London Jazz Festival, Manchester International Festival, and more locally Nottingham Contemporary and 200 Degrees Coffee.

Visit Nick’s website for more information on his work.

Complementing the exhibition The Serving Library v David Osbaldeston, here we present available copies of a family of publications that continue to feed The Serving Library’s archive of objects; each item in the gallery is the source of an illustration that usually triggered an essay in one of the journals on display.

Founded in 2000 in Amsterdam by graphic designers Peter Bilak, Stuart Bailey, Jurgen X Albrecht and Tom Unverzagt, Dot Dot Dot was published biannually for 20 issues over 10 years, gradually drifting from its founding subject to sprawl across the humanities according to the ebb and flow of its editorial makeup. Albrecht and Unverzagt left after the third issue and David Reinfurt supplanted Bilak in the mid-2000s.

In 2011, Bailey, Reinfurt and Angie Keefer established The Serving Library as a non-profit institution in New York to explore the new possibilities afforded by digital publishing, at which point Dot Dot Dot morphed into the institution’s house journal Bulletins of The Serving Library. The enterprise continues to be powered by, a website that simultaneously distributes and archives component ‘bulletins’ in distinct online and print formats. These bulletins comprise essays and related contributions, assembled and released each season on common themes such as time, psychedelia, fashion, sports, colour and perspective. For practical and conceptual reasons the last three print editions of Bulletins of The Serving Library shrank to half that of the original format.

Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey joined the editorial team in 2016 and helped set up a physical incarnation of The Serving Library in Liverpool as a base for teaching with a regular public programme of talks and events, then in 2017 the name and format changed once more to yield its current incarnation as Serving Library Annual – a hefty A4 volume now published every autumn. This year’s instalment, hot off the press, speaks to the subject of translation.

Featured Items

Ahead of the exhibition we’ll be highlighting just a few of the 100+ framed objects that make up The Serving Library collection over on our blog, along with the accompanying text from TSL’s website.

Established in 1976 by the Association of Illustrators, Images is the premier and longest running jury-selected illustration annual and touring exhibition in the UK.  It provides the leading showcase for the huge variety of contemporary illustration commissioned in the UK today, published alongside self initiated promotional artwork and up-and-coming new talent.

Images 34 is a selection of 220 artworks showcasing incredible talents of illustrators who have made a significant contribution to their industry over the last year.  In addition to the original artwork, the illustrations will also be showcased in their applied form – published copies, packaging, animations – to present the many uses of illustration today.