At Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery

8 June – 3 November 2024

Exhibiting artists: Siddharth Gadiyar, James Gladwell, Thompson Hall, Richard Hunt, Nnena Kalu, Cameron Morgan, Michelle Roberts, and Leslie Thompson.

Kaleidoscopic Realms presents artworks and film by eight contemporary artists, brought together for the first time at Nottingham Castle. The exhibition reveals a colourful insight into intuitive mark-making in its many forms. The featured artists have all travelled different paths to firmly ground themselves within their art practice, each with a distinctive style, working throughout the UK in studios including ActionSpace, Barrington Farm, Project Ability, Project Art Works, Shadowlight Artists, and Venture Arts.

Unfettered explorations of repetition, pattern, detail, and culture weave their way into the artworks. A clear sense of storytelling and play often features, whilst others just ooze the pure joy of mark-making and material investigations. Ceramics, embroidery, pen drawings, and large-scale painted canvases invite closer viewing, whilst an impressive installation of bold, wrapped sculptures entices you with its strong presence.

Co-curated by Jennifer Gilbert of Jennifer Lauren Gallery and artist Christopher Samuel, the exhibition runs alongside a programme of workshops, talks and live events exploring who gets to be an artist, and who gets to be seen in galleries and why? Kaleidoscopic Realms is designed to challenge preconceived ideas, and to stimulate conversation and interaction. This exhibition not only allows the observer to appreciate the artwork but also presents a series of films revealing the artists in action, divulging more about their processes and motives.

This exhibition was born out of the project SHIFT, from Jennifer Lauren Gallery, which exists to give recognition and to amplify the visibility, voices and works of UK-based neurodivergent and learning-disabled visual artists within contemporary art. SHIFT creates space for inclusion, and for conversations between artists and gatekeepers, to deepen understanding, to commit to change, and to champion acceptance without prejudice. Jennifer Lauren Gallery champions these artists, raising their profile helping to gain respect, and providing a platform to showcase their work.

The Kaleidoscopic Realms exhibition opens Saturday 8 June, 2024 – with a public free preview event on the evening of Saturday 8 June, 2024 at 5 pm – 7 pm. Free tickets for the preview event, and more information can be arranged via the website:

Nottingham City Council’s Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Carbon Reduction, Cllr Sam Lux said: “I am thrilled that our Nottingham City Museum team have been working with eight inspiring contemporary artists to bring the new Kaleidoscopic Realms exhibition to Nottingham Castle. I know it will interest and excite visitors, near and far, with new forms of colourful and insightful artwork.”

“This exhibition, hosted at Nottingham Castle, will celebrate and elevate diversity, inclusion and culture in our city and far beyond.”

Co-curator Jennifer Gilbert said, “These eight skilled artists are now beginning to receive the recognition they rightly deserve within contemporary arts, but it feels there is still a journey that audiences, gatekeepers, and art critics need to embark on to acknowledge the artists voice and the importance of this work. My hope is that this exhibition, and accompanying films and events, will raise awareness, generate conversations, inspire and create change for these and many other artists.”

Co-curator Christopher Samuel said: “I am always cautious about labelling exhibitions of artists who identify as disabled, due to preconceived notions around what ‘disabled art’ is and what qualities it has. These opinions are often outdated and judgmental – and that label can skew perceptions of the work. As a disabled artist myself, I am excited by work which speaks for itself or which creates a dialogue with the viewer… this work does just that!”

Tristram Aver, Curator of Exhibitions at Nottingham Castle, said:  “When Jennifer Lauren Gallery searched for a collaborator open to new ideas and inclusive, forward-thinking exhibition-making, Nottingham Castle was the perfect fit for this need. We combined our experience of bold programming of underrepresented and neurodivergent artists with Jennifer and Chris’ exceptional vision, knowledge, and support. The result of this collaboration is ‘Kaleidoscopic Realms’, which offers an engaging, motivating and accessible experience for all but also provides the platform that the artists deserve within our beautiful galleries. We are tremendously proud to showcase this exhibition here in Nottingham.”

Exhibition Artists

Siddharth Gadiyar likes to work big and bold! His large paintings on loose canvas, are often built up in layers with some completely changing over the course of a few hours.

James Gladwell’s delicate embroideries are drawn from memories of visits and events or his imagination and dreams: simple yet beautiful. His delicate stitches across old found fabrics were taught to him by his grandmother when he was just seven.

Thompson Hall often works in series, with the exhibited works revealing his more politically driven work. With inspiration from the news and newspapers, as well as his own life, he aims to provide an accessible route to understanding the hardships people go through and the anxiety this often brings.

Richard Hunt is a gentle man with a love of popular culture, animals and, for this exhibition, the sea. His canvases display his enjoyment of mark making and pattern, with each piece telling a story born from his love of watching films and his memories of them.

Nnena Kalu is a powerhouse who is not afraid of colour and is the queen of wrapping and rhythmic circular movements. Process is pivotal to her practice, alongside colour and material selection.

Cameron Morgan makes work about things he collects, likes to watch or has seen locally. For this exhibition, hislove of old cameras is explored through varying mediums in bright poppy colours and bold forms.

Michelle Roberts’ signature characters dance across her large-scale canvases, all attending events or taking part in activities. Her most recent canvas is in homage to Bodium and Nottingham Castles. Leslie Thompson’s memory never fails to intrigue and amaze us, with his animals in their myriad of forms easily recalled, displaying perfect structure and pose. Leslie can turn his hand to many art forms, including drawing, embroidery, and ceramics.

Plan your visit to Nottingham Castle, or book your free place for the preview evening on Saturday 8th June: