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Thursday, 22 August 2013
By Vicky Godfrey

We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Telegraph Kids in Museums award 2013. The longlist was whittled down to a top six by expert judges, BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz, Andrew Pettie, Head of Arts and Entertainment at the Telegraph and Dea Birkett, Director of Kids in Museums. The panel was chaired by Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The other shortlisted museums and galleries are: Brixham Heritage Museum, Devon, Horniman Museum, London, National Maritime Museum, Cornwall, Nature in Art, Gloucester and North Lincolnshire Museum.

Volunteer family judges are road-testing the venues this summer before the winner is announced on 13 September at an award ceremony in London.

Families in the Octopus's Garden this summer

Dea Birkett, the Director of Kids in Museums said “Contemporary art is a very difficult subject to get the whole family signed up to – a fact this gallery doesn’t shirk away from. Instead, it tackles it straight on, making a strong commitment in their interpretation, trails and activities to make art accessible to all ages, from the youngest child to grandparents. The visitor testimonies in support of the gallery were astounding. It’s obviously loved.”

Amanda Sprut, Learning Manager responsible for family programmes at Nottingham Contemporary said “We work hard to connect with families and help them feel at home. We want them to enjoy exploring our changing exhibitions and participate in really stimulating activities together. All of our activities are free for families to drop-in every weekend and every day of the school holidays, and we are always trying to connect with new audiences through outreach and partnerships. We are absolutely thrilled to be short-listed, but to win this award would be an incredible achievement. It would help us convey our family friendly message so we can welcome even more new families, and be a great excuse to celebrate with our existing families and our staff who put so much into making us really family friendly!”


Families in the Octopus's Garden


We look forward to updating you in September when the winner has been announced. In the meantime thank you to everyone who has nominated and supported us. We’re keeping our fingers crossed!

To find out what is going on at the Gallery this summer visit our Families page. Make it. Eat it. Watch it, a creative workshop and family friendly film screening returns this Bank Holiday Monday. Bring your own picnic! Pick up a kit bag to explore Aquatopia, then visit the Octopus's Garden, down in The Space. Dive into our digital pool, relax on the beach camp and record your adventure in the Pirate Photobooth.

Every weekend during exhibitions we run free family activities led by artists between 11am – 3pm. The next sessions include experimenting with water to make art and building an underwater kingdom.  

Watch our short video to find out it is like in our family activities. We look forward to welcoming you soon. 

Posted by vgodfrey at 3:51    COMMENTS
Friday, 10 May 2013
By Poppy Lepora, Marketing intern

Having been an intern here at Nottingham Contemporary for about a month now I’m really starting to find my feet in this beautiful building. I’ve got stuck in to a number of tasks, mainly based in the office. I jumped at the chance to lend a helping hand at the private view of The Addressability of Dumb Things, curated by Mark Leckey. Arriving at 4.30, the building was already a-buzz with the pre-show nerves you’d expect of a hotly anticipated opening. After a last minute dash to stick up information posters and most importantly signs leading to the bar, the first Benefactors and Supporters began to arrive. The welcoming team including me and my fellow marketing intern (Josh) took up residency at the front desk welcoming guests.Que for Leckey Opening Event

Before the galleries were opened up to the rest of the guest list it was time for Mark Leckey himself to give the VIPs a guided tour of the weird and wonderful exhibition he has assembled. I was lucky enough to be able to join the crowd and found that Leckey was both humorous  and insightful. Whilst talking through the four sections: the Vegetable World, Animal Kingdom, Mankind and the Technological Domain, he described the ways in which technology has created its own consciousness: lifeless creations now demand interaction.Mark Leckey Gallery Tour

Something which I particularly enjoyed was Leckey’s use of a green screen, identical to those used in creating exotic movie backdrops. In front of it laid an array of body parts, from a replica of the digestive system to the dismembered head of a Doctor Who Cyberman, all forming his representations of “mankind”. What caught my attention about this idea is the notion that all of these body parts could be roaming an infinite amount of locations via the possibilities the green screen brings.Mark Leckey, The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things, installation view (detail)

Having soaked in the exhibition it was time to resume intern duties and off I ran to the train station to meet with one of the evenings DJs, NikNikNik. With him coming all the way from London to play for us there was barely time to grab a burger hot off the barbeque before jumping on the decks.

The Space Nottingham Contemporary Photo Dan Matthams.

The evening hardly seemed like work at all, especially at the end of the night as I stood with a complimentary drink and burger with some of the friends I’ve made in my time here so far. Over 1,000 people flocked through the doors to enjoy the art and music we provided and I would strongly urge those who couldn’t make it to grab your coat and come pay us a visit, this exhibition is not one to miss.

Posted by vgodfrey at 19:46    COMMENTS

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