Nottingham Castle is looking for a team of volunteers to help with the running of an innovative new exhibition this October as part of events planned for this year’s Big Draw Festival.

ADA – by Karina Smigla-Bobinski, is inspired by Ada Lovelace – the world’s first computer programmer and daughter of Newstead Abbey’s most famous resident, Lord Byron. ADA is an artwork with a soul, an automatic drawing machine that visitors are invited to push, pull and prod.

ADA and the public

The installation has been made possible with grants from the Arts Council and from Nottingham City Council’s Being Great Fund which aims to support innovative and creative ideas from employees to improve services.

The exhibit will coincide with events for the National Big Draw and ‘Leonardo da Vinci – Ten Drawings from the Royal Collection’ which is currently on display. A large, charcoal studded, helium-filled membrane will be contained in a temporary room in Nottingham Castle’s Long Gallery and will slowly makes a series of marks, flecks, lines and points that act as a record or memory of its own movements.

The Castle is looking for a number of friendly and enthusiastic volunteers to help facilitate this short two week exhibition. Main activities will include welcoming visitors, supporting visitors to interact with the work, setting up and packing away of resources and equipment, and ensuring materials are replenished and kept in good condition.

Those interested are invited to attend a training session on Wednesday 5 October from 2:00pm at the Castle with the exhibition team. If you would like to attend please email:  or telephone: 0115 8762205

Big Draw events at Nottingham Castle

This year’s theme for The Big Draw – the world’s biggest drawing festival is STEAM Powered (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths). This fits perfectly with the inventive imagination and subjects of the Leonardo da Vinci drawings currently on display. The public is invited to attend free drawing themed workshops at the biggest public drawing event ever staged at the Castle.

Aside from the ADA installation (6-23 October), There will be two activities running over the weekend of 1 and 2 October. Artist Mick Godley is overseeing the creation of a large da Vinci inspired floor based sketchbook of scientific inventions. This activity aimed at all ages, allowing people to create their own wacky designs or colour in those left by others.

There will also be Sci-Art activities in ‘Fun Palaces Meets the Big Draw’. People can take a trip around the Castle; making, creating, imagining and playing in a series of fun activities based around Leonardo and the human machine. This event has been created with local arts groups Ignite!, Nonsuch Theatre and Illuminate young arts collective.

Cllr Dave Trimble, Nottingham City Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said: “What a great way to bring our housing of the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition to a close. Thousands of people have visited the Castle to enjoy the drawings on display and the ADA installation and Big Draw events are a wonderful way for the public to respond to the drawings and to share their own creative ideas and inspiration. You don’t need to be a great artist to have great ideas. You just need to share them. Come along, and our team will have you drawing away, full of inspiration and sharing your creativity. Who knows what you might invent?”

For more information, please contact Donna Marshall – Communication and Marketing Officer at or 0115 8764443

The Big Draw
Founded in 2000, The Big Draw (formally The Campaign for Drawing) is an arts education charity that promotes visual literacy and the universal language of drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention.
The charity leads a diversified programme encompassing advocacy, empowerment and engagement, and is the driving force behind the The Big Draw Festival – the world’s biggest celebration of drawing.