Castle exhibition redefines views of art, work and play

Nottingham Castle

Two collections of drawings by British artists open in the Temporary Exhibition Galleries at Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery on 31 January. Richard Slee: Work & Play | John Plowman: A Life Drawing will be on display until March 22.

Inspired by a love for the ‘great indoors’ and a preoccupation with DIY and popular culture, Richard Slee has chosen to re-imagine the world of the commonplace. He presents tongue-in-cheek, everyday-looking, hand-crafted ceramic objects that will humour and thrill the viewer.

The works presented in this exhibition are a direct commentary on doing and making: ceramic hammers, umbrellas and a silent flute are useless, ridiculing function. All the works shown here are drawn from the past ten years and are grouped into two themes: ‘Work’ which contains the tools and signs of both business and industry; and ‘Play’ which focuses on the equipment and symbols of sport and leisure.

Drawing has been a constant driver for East Midlands-based sculptor and University lecturer, John Plowman’s art for over 30 years. Plowman trained as a sculptor and at the root of his drawings there is an interest in the relationship between two and three dimensions, and between objects, both real and imagined (or as he describes it, the ‘made’ and the ‘yet to be made’).

This exhibition includes a personal archive of drawings that spans his own career from the late 1970s to the present day, alongside rarely-seen works from the Castle’s own collection, representing sketches and drawn thoughts in a thoughtful and dynamic way.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said: “Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery continues to feature important contemporary artists and to introduce them to local people, thereby extending the range of culture in the city. These two artists offer an opportunity to view the world in a different way, whilst highlighting rarely-seen works from the Castle’s own collection and interpreting them in a thoughtful and dynamic way.”

Both artists will be giving talks about their work and individual practices as well as an informal guided tour of the exhibitions:

John Plowman, A Life Drawing: Artist Talk
Wednesday 18 March, noon

Richard Slee: Work and Play: Artist Talk
Wednesday 18 March, 2pm

All events are free, and there is no need to book, but normal Castle entry charges apply.

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