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Nottingham Contemporary, Weekday Cross, NG1 2GB
0115 948 9750
Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun, 10am-6pm Tue-Sat and Bank Hols, 11am-5pm Sun
Contemporary art gallery in the Lace Market and one of the largest contemporary arts centres in the UK. Opened in 2009.
Regular new exhibitions.
Family activities include regular free family workshops at weekends and during school holidays.
Cafe bar on the ground floor, with high chairs and baby changing facilities.
Times and prices are subject to change. Contact venue before setting out.
Nottingham Contemporary invited us to try their free family workshop, as part of a Nottingham Family Arts Network event in October 2015, during their Alien Encounters exhibition.
Our three-year-old threw herself into painting on the yellow paper-covered walls without hesitation. Referencing the yellow exhibition room devoted to the works of Sun Ra, ideas about space, freedom and alternate identities were in the air but, when you want to paint trees, you paint trees. Encouraging staff delicately aided the approaches chosen by the young artists themselves. The workshop room also offered a cushion-strewn toy and book area for smaller children and quiet moments.
Our second activity may have been a special one for our group, as it involved working within the Sun Ra exhibition room. We donned diaphanous yellow capes, listened to Sun Ra's music from dangling earphones, drew our response on a sheet of stickers, then arranged these onto our capes. The result expressed something of our emotional response to experience, as costume. Performed without inhibition by a small child.
For me, both activities demonstrated the imaginative and material range offered by Contemporary and how different their activities can be from our everyday art and craft experiences. Inspiring, expertly organised and above all, fun.
Contemporary is accessible throughout and has well-planned facilities. Baby changing and toilets are on the ground floor, near The Space where workshops often take place and the café bar, which is spacious, relaxed and has lots of high chairs.
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