The Grand Tour, a cultural journey across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, takes place this March to June 2018. An exceptional programme of exhibitions and events will be hosted by Chatsworth, Nottingham Contemporary, The Harley Gallery at Welbeck and Derby Museums, as well as at eight additional Fringe venues
From the reinterpretation of traditional techniques to the sublimation of ancestral topics in art history and the rediscovery of forgotten knowledge, the Fringe events echo The Grand Tour’s celebration of both the artistic process and the impact of industrial creation.
The programme ranges from exhibitions, to workshops, walks and talks, and the venues include cathedrals, archives, country houses, and coffee houses.
BACKLIT – Mirrors for Princes (26 May – 15 July)
With ‘Mirrors for Princes’, BACKLIT presents the work of Slavs and Tatars, a collective of unnamed artists founded in 2006 by a Polish-Iranian duo. The title ‘Mirrors for Princes’ refers to a form of political writing from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, acting as a guide for future rulers. The exhibition explores the retelling of lost narratives through oral iteration and histories, in an attempt to reactivate certain ideas, behaviours, and thought- processes which migrate across Eastern and Western identities. Other featured artists will include Wu Tien Cheng, Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian and Ryan Heath.
Derby Cathedral – Developing and Redeveloping (6 April – 25 May)
‘Developing and Redeveloping’ is an exhibition of never-before-seen historic photographs, found in the archives of the world’s oldest purpose-built photography studio, W. W. Winter. These historic negatives explore the changing face of All Saints – from the soot-blackened tower in 1889 to the construction of the Bishop’s cathedra in 1926 and the building of the Cathedral extension in the 1970s. The Photo Parlour, Nottingham, has produced new photographs from the fragile glass plates using traditional darkroom methods, shedding new light on the history of the building.
Djanogly Gallery – Nottingham Lakeside Arts – Scaling the Sublime: Art at the Limits of Landscape (23 March – 17 June)
‘Scaling the Sublime’ explores the continuing fascination of the landscape Sublime for contemporary artists. Drawn to subjects such as mountains, glaciers, the icecaps, forests, the ocean, the moon and the remotest stars, the featured artists uncover new ways of reflecting on our relationship with the unimaginable forces of nature, in an age of accelerated technological advance and the unprecedented expansion of knowledge. Working across a variety of media, these artists embrace the newest processes and techniques as well as traditional methods of image making. Artists include: Martin, John Callanan, Simon Faithfull, Tim Knowles, Mariele Neudecker, Rebecca Partridge, Katie Paterson and Richard T Walker, and is curated by Nicholas Alfrey and Rebecca Partridge. The exhibition is accompanied by an events programme including a panel discussion and symposium with the curators and artists.
Nottingham City Museums and Galleries – Lace Unravelled Symposium (15 March – 16 March) and Lace Unveiled exhibition (10 March – 22 April)
‘Lace Unravelled’ will reflect on the multiple perspectives of lace as a product, an industry, and an inspiration for contemporary creativity. A two-day symposium will bring together curators, lace industry experts, academics and artists to share knowledge about lace and lace making, within the historical context of lace making in Nottingham. The symposium takes place at Wollaton Hall, a masterpiece of Elizabethan architecture and home to Nottingham Industrial Museum, and Newstead Abbey: the ancestral home of the poet Lord Byron, which also houses the Costume, Textiles and Lace collection. A weekend of activities will follow, including behind the scenes curator tours, lace machine demonstrations and ‘lace walks’ across the City with designer and historian Chris Matthews. An exhibition at Newstead Abbey will features work by artists Joana Vasconcelos, Lucy Brown, Shane Waltener, Joy Buttress and Manolis Papastavrou.
Renishaw Hall and Gardens – Brothers in Arts – The Sitwell Passion and Patronage Tours run from April to end July
Renishaw Hall and Gardens exhibit the rich collection of the brothers of the influential Sitwell ‘Trio’, Osbert and Sacheverell. The Sitwell family’s private collection features an eclectic mix of works from the 1300s up to the present day. These artefacts are re- interpreted by contemporary poets through poetry wall hangings as well as art-specific hall and garden tours examining the estate through the eyes of the artists inspired by Renishaw, including John Piper – the English painter, printmaker and designer – known for his depictions of British landscapes.
School of Artisan Food – A Gastronomic Utopia, Renaissance Sugar Craft and Learning to Eat (Dates to follow)
The School of Artisan Food, located on the Welbeck estate, will host three workshops as part of The Grand Tour Fringe programme – presented by Food Historian Ivan Day, ‘A Gastronomic Utopia’ will revive historical recipes inspired by The Land of Cockaigne providing a unique culinary experience; the ‘Renaissance Sugar Craft’ workshop, hosted by the founder of AVM Curiosities Tasha Marks, will allow participants to create their own sculpture from 17th century sugar paste and to learn the many facets of the dessert course; finally, Tasha will also introduce a ‘Learning to Eat’ demonstration to discover how crockery, cutlery and the environment can heighten the senses and enrich the pleasure of eating.
Syson Gallery – The Penny Podcasts (March – May)
Syson Gallery presents a programme of talk events investigating the provision of free access to education, debate and exchange for artists and the general public. The concept is inspired by 17th and 18th Century coffee houses – often referred to as ‘Penny Universities’ – which were considered critical spaces where all members of society could exchange ideas, outside of the elite structures of university. In the spirit of the ‘Penny Universities’, Syson Gallery hosts a series of live talks from artists and educators, recorded as ‘The Penny Podcasts’, available to download from the gallery website. As part of The Grand Tour journey, at live events, Syson Gallery will create a coffee house in partnership with artisan bakers and chocolatiers, Ottar, serving premium coffee, small bites and high quality chocolate.
University of Nottingham, Manuscripts & Special Collections – Hosiery and Lace: Exploring the Archives (16 May)
‘Hosiery and Lace: Exploring the Archives’ takes visitors behind-the-scenes of the University of Nottingham’s Manuscripts and Special Collections to explore the rich holdings of hosiery, lace and textile records from the 18th to the 20th Centuries. Britain’s hosiery, knitwear and lace industries were centred in the East Midlands and the records have a strong regional focus. Visitors will be able to see and handle original lace pattern books, samples, advertising material and photographs, all relating to the ‘art of making’. They will also be able to view material from several recently acquired collections, never previously accessible to the public, including the records of the Pasolds textiles firm, makers of the well-known Ladybird brand. The event will unveil how these unique records are conserved and the role that digitisation plays in increasing access to archived material, helping to globally promote and celebrate the East Midlands’ unique manufacturing heritage.