The exhibition will put a spot light on art by around 2,500 artists aged between 18 and 30, from around the world, and was secured for the city with help from Nottingham Trent University, the Arts Council and local authorities. There will be a welcome mix of cross disciplinary events including performances and installations aswell as more traditional fine art.
One thing I’m fascinated to see is the ‘hub’ of the exhibition which will be a temporary structure on the Market Square. Personally I’m hoping it’s nice and tall and lights up at night so I can impress visitors with a view of it from my flat, but hopefully the planning is in the hands of those with better taste than I!
Interestingly our transport system was a key factor in winning the bid, so next time we all complain about the trams and busses we need to keep that in mind. The grass is always greener but apparently our transport is ace and perfect for taking the extra tourist traffic around our fair city to see all these wonderful exhibitions!
Something you may have noticed, which comes as no surprise once you take into account all the opportunities winging their way to Nottingham, is our cities recent ‘rebrand’. If you’ve been in any of the new ‘Zones’ you may have noticed fancy new signs, logos and colour codes for “The Castle Zone”,”The Lace Market Zone”, “The Royal Zone”, “The Broadmarsh Zone” and ‘The Victoria Zone”. I have heard many a cry of “Where on earth did that come from?” over the last week!
These signs will be a big help to tourists, and disorientated locals (it happens!). They signpost our cities main attractions, both cultural and retail, and are digitally linked up to tell you what carparks are empty. Love it or loathe I think it’s really rather clever and as a graphic design exersise it presents the city in practical bitesized chunks and with a contemporary look.
So what do all these things mean to us as individual creative people in Nottingham? Most importantly I feel it’s about reputation and public image. Nottingham has suffered over the years with bad press and although we all know that Nottingham is already a city positively brimming with creative talent, unfortunately it may take an event on the scale of the ‘2012 World Exhibition’ to receive the kind of national and international press that the city needs to gain the reputation it already deserves.
Off the back of this individuals, smaller organisations, small businesses and unfunded artistic entities can have a piece of the pie and gain extra exposure. And with the new signage in place perhaps the new audience these events bring in will venture off the beaten track to find the independent creatives amongst the big names and have a great time doing so. I’m feeling pretty positive that the success of the 2012 events and lead up events will mean we’re all in the right place at the right time, that place being Nottingham!
Image copyright of Nottingham Contemporary © 2009