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A Wednesday at Nottingham Contemporary

Courtesy Nottingham Contemporary Website

Tucked away at the end of Gallery 4 at Nottingham Contemporary is what I consider to be a treasure trove of intellectual delights. The Study and The Small Collections area is one brimming with ideas and inspiration. And precisely because it is so easy to miss, is what makes it special. I very much like the idea of  ending my visit to the gallery by leafing through the books that inspired the curatorial team. And this is where you can find it all.

Courtesy Nottingham Contemporary website

Currently the gallery is playing host to a joint exhibition by Huang Yong Ping and Wael Shawky. The work of these two artists make for interesting juxtapositions, with Huang’s forte being large scale installations and Shawky’s focus being video pieces. This exhibition’s worth a visit especially today, with the Director Alex Farquharson leading the Wednesday Walk Through starting at 1.00 pm.

Courtesy Nottingham Contemporary Website

Shawky will also be giving a talk this evening at the gallery. Being Egyptian and currently based in Alexandria, it will be interesting to see how contemporary artists like him have interpreted and been influenced by the recent political turmoil.

If you do have time before or between these events, nip across to The Study for a look. Along with books about the Crusades and Middle Eastern turmoil (inspiration for Shawky), poetry about bats and Chinese contemporary art (Huang’s work), you’ll find a video giving a behind-the-scenes look at the current exhibition. Getting a life-size concrete elephant through the gallery doors is no easy feat.

I also discovered an interesting book mark project on view in The Study, where 11 Nottingham-based artists have placed bookmarks in their favourite reads. Guides have been placed around to help you find them, but browsing through the shelves is a tad more interesting.

There is a lot to do in the gallery apart from the obvious. And I’m happy to say that though I’ve had mixed feelings about some of their programming in the past, today I’m all geared up to spend a few blissful hours within Nottingham Contemporary.