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Let’s Bring Mat Home

zoetrope by Mat Collishaw
zoetrope by Mat Collishaw

zoetrope10 (c) Mat Collishaw

The clever people at Culture24, a Brighton-based, non-profit, digital cultural publishing organisation, have come up with a new wheeze for Museums At Night (Thursday, 16 May to Saturday, 18 May this year, right in the middle, coincidently, of the Brighton Festival and Fringe).

They have signed up 10 contemporary artists, each of whom will travel to a museum in the UK for an event they will lead. The twist is that each artist has shortlisted (or had shortlisted for them) four museums which might be their host. There is a public vote going on to determine where each artist will be in the middle of May.

It is not surprising that a Nottingham museum is involved – well done Backlit Gallery. They are bidding to host Mat Collishaw. Mat was born in Nottingham so at least he will know the way from the station. He attended Trent Polytechnic as NTU then was, in 1985/86 before he graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College London in 1989. Matthew Chesney, founder and director of Backlit, said:

I am thrilled that Backlit has been shortlisted as one of the venues to host Mat Collishaw. He is one of the most successful contemporary artists to have come out of Nottingham and it would be an honour for us to have him here. Not only would the visit help raise our profile but it would be great for the whole city to have Mat come to Nottingham again, as he has never exhibited in his home city as far as I know.

Backlit GalleryThe other possible venues for Mat are in Bodmin, Liverpool, Newcastle, all nice places but not Nottingham.

There are nine other artists heading to various other places, so if you are traveling in May, you might want to vote for one of them to be at your destination.

It is easy to vote on Culture 24’s site, although you do have to give your email address to deter multiple voting (but they don’t opt you into any mailing lists without approval). And after you vote, you can see the current split of votes – when I voted at the weekend, Nottingham was in a slight lead.  Voting closes on 5 March.

Bring Mat home!

Update: Backlit won!  As Culture24 revealed:

 Mat Collishaw was another hotly-contested artist, with four venues competing for his presence. Thanks to a resounding 1,768 votes, the photographer and video innovator will be heading back to his hometown of Nottingham for an evening at arts venue BACKLIT, where he will prepare and produce his work in the main gallery with public participation.

So thanks to the other 1767 people who voted like I did, we have a date in our diaries at Backlit Gallery.

John is one of our team of bloggers. When he is not voting online, he can be reached on john AT and followed on Twitter @johnwithbeard