When Nottingham Castle first opened as the ‘Midland Counties Art Museum’ in 1878, it began straightaway to collect art and craft by artists living and working at that time. Work was drawn together from near and far, including the 1878 Paris Exhibition, in order to inspire and delight local people. This approach to collecting the art of our time for today’s and future generations has continued. Now for Tomorrow II looks at some of the contemporary art and craft acquired by Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery since 2010.
Before any new work is acquired, consideration is given to how it will sit alongside the existing collection, making connections across time and between different media and disciplines. The recent contemporary acquisitions are therefore shown here in the company of mid to late 20th century works that place the new arrivals in a wider context.
Just as in 1878, artists today are interested in landscape, the body, the human condition and pushing the boundaries of what art can be – yet they approach these subjects with new eyes, in different ways. For example, the exhibition invites visitors to compare Marion Adnams’ line drawing of a young woman, with a brooch by Melanie Bilenker, in which the outline of a woman is created with strands of the artist’s hair. Thomas Joshua Cooper’s photographs of landscapes in Derbyshire and Shropshire from the 1970s show a fascination with the details of landscape, in trees, rocks, light and shadow. Similar interests can be seen in Christina Mackie’s references to the Australian landscape in her sculptural work The Judges III.
NOW FOR TOMORROW
Nottingham Castle, England
January 30 – April 17, 2016