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Join us for the launch of a new exhibition featuring over 120 works by contemporary working-class artists and photographers.

Curated by photographer, writer and broadcaster Johny Pitts, After the End of History emphasises the perspectives of practitioners who turn their gaze towards both their communities and outwards to the wider world. Find out more.

‘After the End of History: British Working Class Photography 1989 – 2024’ is a Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition curated by Johny Pitts with Hayward Gallery Touring.

Presenting over 120 works across a 35-year period, After the End of History: British Working Class Photography 1989 – 2024 brings together contemporary working class artists who use photography to explore the nuances of working class life in all its diversity.

Launching on Thursday 26 September, 6 pm – Book free launch tickets

The exhibition, curated by Johny Pitts, emphasises the perspectives of practitioners who turn their gaze towards both their communities and outwards to the wider world.

Instead of looking at working-class people, the exhibition will explore life through the lenses of working-class practitioners, who have not only turned their gaze towards their own communities but also out towards the world.

Eddie Otchere, Junglists, Roast (The Final Chapter) Stratford Rex Theatre, Stratford, 1997, © Eddie Otchere

The year 2024 will mark 35 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the symbolic end of Communism. The weakening of the Soviet Union in the 1980s prompted economist Francis Fukuyama to announce the triumph of Western Liberal Democracy as the only viable future for global politics.

The counter-cultural energies of the 1980s, very often powered up by the alternative ideologies embodied by Communism, produced a collective, coherent, politically engaged generation of working-class artists. But after the so-called ‘End of History’, what became of working-class culture? Who identifies as such, and why? What of the working class creative? What kind of images has working-class life produced in the last 35 years?

Serena Brown, Clayponds, 2018, © Serena Brown

After the End of History will offer a counterintuitive picture of working-class life today, from Rene Matić’s portrait of growing up mixed race in a white working-class community in Peterborough, to Elaine Constaintine’s documentation of the Northern Soul scene, to Kavi Pujara’s ode to Leicester’s Hindu community, and JA Mortram’s documentation throughout his life as a caregiver. After the End of History will explore the challenges and beauty of contemporary working-class life, in all its diversity today.

Artists in the exhibition include Richard Billingham, Sam Blackwood, Serena Brown, Antony Cairns, Rob Clayton, Joanne Coates, Josh Cole, Artúr Čonka, Elaine Constantine, Natasha Edgington, Richard Grassick, Anna Magnowska, Rene Matić, J A Mortram, Kelly O’Brien, Eddie Otchere, Kavi Pujara, Khadija Saye, Chris Shaw, Trevor Smith, Ewen Spencer, Hannah Starkey, Igoris Taran, Nathaniel Télémaque, Barbara Wasiak, Tom Wood.

After the End of History: British Working Class Photography 1989 – 2024’ is a Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition curated by Johny Pitts with Hayward Gallery Touring.

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry: 29 March – 16 June 2024
Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea: 3 July – 14 September 2024
Bonington Gallery, Nottingham: 26 September – 14 December 2024

Header image: Eddie Otchere, Goldie, Metalheadz (Blue Note Sessions) Blue Note, Hoxton Square, 1996 ©  Eddie Otchere

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:

The School For Lovers was an exhibition by Sharon Kivland, which took place in November 1998.

The title of the new photographic installations by Sharon Kivland is taken from Mozart’s opera, Cosi fan Tutte. The work is based around the structure of the opera; its arrangement echoes its staging and characterisation. The opera is a work of masquerades and doublings, of couplings which are uncoupled under direction of a libertine, Don Alfonso, sets out to prove to his young friends, Gugliemo and Ferando, that all women are unfaithful and, more than that, anyone can come to fill the place of the Other if the conditions are right; in effect, that desire is essentially the desire of the Other’s desire. Through her work she creates a space of highly formulised attention, an event within which the viewer is drawn like a detective, both intellectually and through desire into pleasure of the gaze.

The archive cabinet contains a recreation of the exhibition plan, images of Kivland’s previous shows, images used in the show, and some of Kivland’s publications. There are also postcards from the artist, to the then Gallery Manager, Stella Cauloutbanis.

Curated by Alex Jovčić-Sas

An exhibiton of women’s artwork being produced now, and influenced by Feminism in the 1980’s. Exhibiton selected by Sutapa Biswas, Sarah Edge and Claire Slattery. This show toured from Cooper Gallery, Barnsley. Part of Anne Frank in the World Programme.

Curated by Joshua Lockwood-Moran

Please note this is a rescheduled event that is now streaming online only.

Coinciding with The Art Schools of the East Midlands exhibition, join us for a free event that explores the role of British art schools in shaping fashion, music and club culture over the last 40-50 years.

We will be joined by esteemed writer and curator Paul Gorman, who will discuss his work’s engagement with the significant role played by art schools, their educators and attendees in the broader culture.

Join us as we explore this past and consider it against the wider influence of the notion of the ‘art school’ on other forms of cultural and creative production.

Photo of Paul Gorman by Toby Amies.

A photographic exhibition focusing on the region’s art schools, and the vital role that they play in the cultural life of our cities.

This exhibition is the latest iteration of John Beck and Matthew Cornford’s ambitious Art School Project, to track down and document all of the UK’s art schools – including the iconic Waverley building at Nottingham Trent University.

Featuring new photographic work depicting all the art school buildings of the East Midlands, or the sites upon which they stood, the exhibition raises questions about the role of the arts in relation to education, community and history and offers a space to reflect on what the future may hold for cultural institutions in our towns and cities.

There will also be a programme of public events exploring the themes of the exhibition, that will be announced soon. In our foyer space, our Vitrines exhibition, Art [School] Histories will present materials dedicated to the history and future of the Nottingham School of Art & Design here at NTU.

Launch event

Come along to our launch night on Thursday 21 September, 6 pm – 8 pm for a first look round the exhibition. Book your free tickets

Photographs by Jules Lister

Somewhere Else Entirely is photographer Emily Andersen’s first completed video portrait and is inspired by her decade-long friendship with poet Ruth Fainlight. To coincide with the exhibition, Emily and Ruth will be joining us for a free in-conversation event, hosted by Duncan Higgins, Professor of Visual Art at NTU.

Discover how the artists’ relationship grew after a chance meeting, hear how Emily’s intimate video work was made and enjoy a special reading by Ruth.

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Emily Andersen has been a photographer for four decades. Her work includes interiors, architecture, and landscape but she is best known for her award-winning portraiture, capturing well-known faces including Nico, Peter Blake, and Helen Mirren. A number of her portraits are in the permanent collection of The National Portrait Gallery, London. She has won awards including the John Kobal prize for portraiture. She is a Senior Lecturer in photography at the Nottingham School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University.

Ruth Fainlight (b. New York City , 1931) is an award-winning poet and translator, whose collections have spanned five decades. Fainlight has lived in England since the age of 15, achieving success in fiction, translation and opera libretti as well as poetry. In 1959 she married the writer, Alan Sillitoe, and her many literary friendships included Sylvia Plath, Jane and Paul Bowles, and Robert Graves.  She became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2008.

The relationships and encounters we have with both real and imagined locations will form the basis of a breathtaking exhibition of recent paintings at Nottingham Trent University. Closer than you think: painting, place and mortality, is the inaugural exhibition by Terry Shave, Professor of Fine Art in the University’s School of Art and Design.

A base image layer, inspired by photographs and previous artwork by Professor Shave, is built upon over time by the hand application of multiple layers of coloured resin; the result is a collection of striking images with intense depth and colour. Each image is presented in three sections, each unique, but achieving a sense of equilibrium through the harmonising of colours which thread through the piece.

Katja Hock is a practising artist and a senior lecturer in Photography in the School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University. Her latest exhibition will present a slide installation, Stillness and Silence that has been developed over the last three years.  The work addresses the importance of historical memory to our present perception of our cultural and social context.

As part of this exhibition Katja Hock will be in conversation with Susan Trangmar, Reader in Fine Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Located in the Bonington Gallery, this event is open the general public and admission is free.