Explore the innovative and curious installations, paintings and photographs at this modern art center set on one of Nottingham’s oldest sites.
Nottingham Contemporary is one of the city’s creative hubs, displaying art that helps us view modern society from different perspectives. Symbolism and hidden messages are prevalent throughout the range of striking and sometimes seemingly bizarre pieces. Learn about the development of international contemporary art through the galleries of one of the country’s largest contemporary art complexes.
The museum opened in 2009 with an exhibition of works from acclaimed artist David Hockney. The center stands on Garners Hill, one of the oldest settled parts of the city. In the past, it has been the site of cave dwellings, a Saxon fort and a medieval town hall. Admire the sleek design of the building, which is decorated with a traditional Nottingham lace pattern that honors the region’s industrial history.
The art center contains four vast galleries, an auditorium and several other spaces for learning and working. Browse the temporary exhibitions, which tend to stay in the museum for a few months at a time. The works of art shown here vary greatly and often make use of performance, film and commonplace objects to make a statement.
Meditate on the meaning behind the intriguing works, which have in the past included a yellow room full of hanging headphones, art from the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and iridescent glass pane sculptures. Attend one of the talks on artistic themes, such as postmodern psychosis or societal justice.
Enjoy a few drinks at the Café Bar Contemporary, which has a stylish terrace that opens on sunny days. Order a meal from the seasonally changing menu. The on-site Shop Contemporary sells limited edition prints, stationery and exhibition catalogues.
Nottingham Contemporary is free to enter and opens from Tuesday to Sunday. The museum is a short walk south from Lace Market tram stop in the center of the city. Visit nearby attractions, such as the Galleries of Justice Museum, Lace Market Theatre and St. Mary’s Church. Nottingham Railway Station is a 10-minute walk south from the gallery.