Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery is pleased to present the first new exhibition of 2016: Now for Tomorrow II, which looks at some of the contemporary art and craft acquired by Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery since 2010. The exhibition runs from 30 January to 17 April 2016.

When Nottingham Castle first opened as the Midland Counties Art Museum in 1878, it immediately began collecting art and craft made by artists living and working at that time. Work was drawn together from near and far, including the 1878 Paris Exhibition, to inspire and delight local people. What was considered then to be different and ground-breaking is now widely popular.

This approach to collecting art has continued. Before any new work is acquired, consideration is given to how it will sit alongside the existing collection.  Care is taken to make sure new items fit with those already in the collection although the styles and techniques may differ.

Just as in 1878, today’s artists are interested in landscape, the body and the human condition – yet they approach these subjects with new eyes; in different ways. It is interesting to compare this work with that of yesterday.

For example, the exhibition invites visitors to compare Marion Adnams’ line drawing of a young woman, with a brooch by Melanie Bilenker which shows the outline of a woman 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.

Another section of the exhibition shows how artists continue to work with abstraction, experimenting with colour, texture and form for their own sake, rather than representing something that already exists. These ideas began in the early years of the 20th century but really took hold in the 1960s. In Now for Tomorrow II, contemporary examples are shown with a painting by Ian Stephenson from 1967.

Many works have been acquired for the collection with support from individuals, funders and charitable trusts such as the Art Fund, Contemporary Art Society and the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said: “We are looking forward to another year of exciting and thought provoking exhibitions at Nottingham Castle and the Now for Tomorrow II exhibition is a really interesting way for people to look at modern art which is sometimes quite challenging. I am keen to go and see how art from long ago still inspires modern artists and would encourage others to visit the Castle to experience our wide and varied collection.”

Now for Tomorrow II artists include:  Marion Adnams, Craigie Aitchison, Phyllida Barlow, Helena  Ben-Zenou, Melanie Bilenker, Richard Billingham, Jon Burgerman, Helen Chadwick, Louisa Chambers, Alice Channer, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Giovanni Corvaja,  Craig Fisher, Tina Hage, Tristram Hillier, Permindar Kaur, Christina Mackie, Nick Mobbs, Anne Morrell, Yelena Popova, Bettina Speckner, Ian Stephenson, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Shizuka Yokomizo.

Sam Taylor-Wood Escape Artist (2008)
Sam Taylor-Wood Escape Artist (2008)

Exhibition Launch: Friday 29 January, 6-8pm
The exhibition opens to the public on Saturday January 30

  • All of the works in the exhibition are from the Nottingham Museums and Galleries collection
  • A public programme including an artist talk by Alice Channer, in conversation with Tristram Aver (Nottingham Castle), Tina Hage and Craig Fisher and lecture by Helen Chadwick specialist Leonie O’Dwyer (University of York). All free and bookable on Eventbrite (castle admission still applies)
  • Becky Cullen, our AHRC Midlands3Cities Poet-in-Residence, will be delivering an exciting short series of Now for Tomorrow II creative writing workshops. All free and bookable on Eventbrite (castle admission still applies)
  • Private view to talk place on the evening of Friday 29 January, free to attend, tickets can be booked in advance on Eventbrite

All for more information please visit our website –