Spring into summer at Lakeside Arts

  • Lakeside to begin phased reopening from Tuesday 18 May 2021
  • Lakeside’s exhibitions and museum to reopen first.
  • Indoor and outdoor performances to resume in June.

Lakeside Arts at the University of Nottingham will open to members of the public from Tuesday 18 May, after being closed for over a year.

The phased return will start with the reopening of its Djanogly Gallery, where visitors will be able to see its much-anticipated exhibition featuring works by the celebrated Nottingham-born artist Mat Collishaw. This is Collishaw’s first major solo exhibition in the city of his birth, who, since graduating from Goldsmith’s College in the late 1980s, has established an international reputation.

Mat Collishaw rose to prominence in the 1990s as one of the defining generation of Young British Artists alongside his contemporaries Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas. Often drawing on subjects from the history of art and photography, his works play with opposites, revealing the compelling power of imagery to attract and repel as well as to deceive us. Early forms of photography are combined with recent technology such and animatronics, to create works that address the moral dilemmas of the present day.

Featuring his 2016 installation Albion – a ghostly apparition of the Major Oak – alongside other artworks such as The Centrifugal Soul, a modern version of a Victorian zoetrope hinting at our modern-day preoccupation with self-image; this exhibition provides an inspiring contemporary art experience for anyone seeking a much-needed cultural recharge.

Albion by Mat Collishaw 2017

Also reopening next week will be Lakeside’s Weston Gallery and the University of Nottingham Museum from Thursday 20 May. The Weston Gallery reopens with a display honouring Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday, celebrating the founder of modern nursing. This exhibition sheds new light on the Lady with the Lamp, exploring her family roots in Derbyshire, and her work after the Crimean War to improve sanitary conditions in homes. The Museum, twice winner of Nottinghamshire Museum of the Year, features archaeological artefacts from Nottinghamshire and the wider East Midlands and will re-open with a smaller exhibition showing how the museum’s collections are cared for and the many ways in which they are used.

To ensure an enjoyable and safe experience for all, Lakeside is limiting visits to its galleries and museum to just six visitors per 30 or 40-minute timeslot. This means audiences can pre-book online, safe in the knowledge that they can enjoy a near private tour of these fantastic exhibitions and spaces.

Following next week’s reopening, Lakeside’s reopening programme goes from strength to strength.

Spring into Summer

May half-term sees the Nottingham-based Makers of Imaginary Worlds present Thingamabobas in Lakeside’s Djanogly Theatre, outdoor workshops for all the family in Highfields Park, and an online superhero spectacular, Aidy the Awesome, complete with stunning aerial tricks for families with children. Thingamabobas promises to be particularly special. This playful, sensory experience for all the family (ages 4+) will allow young audiences to meet and interact with an animatronic and robotic circus troupe of bizarrely wonderful machines that are sure to inspire, delight and intrigue.

In June and July Lakeside moves out of its buildings to present theatre and dance performances in its beautiful parkland setting and present two concerts in Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall.

Lakeside’s popular Pavilion Café and externally accessed public toilets will remain open through this period, with the café operating a takeaway-only service.

Many of these events have been made possible through a grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

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