German for ‘wonder-room’, Wunderkammer promises to turn the Art Organisation into the fulcrum of Sideshow. It’s a veritable cabinet of curiosities filled by artists across the city to form a crabbed, esoteric survey of creativity - be it artwork created by them or an artefact that gives them personal inspiration. Part survey of the Nottingham art scene circa 2010, part lucky bag of randomness, it’ll be a return to the past for the venue; in a previous life it was known as Hopkinson’s, a hardware shop stuffed to the gills with tools, accessories and clutter,
Fri 22 October- Sun 14 November, The Art Organisation, 21 Station Street, NG2 3AJ. Free
P.S. YOUR MYSTERY SENDER
The debut short of local film-maker, animator and editor Ben Wigley documents the extraordinary stream of weird and wonderful rammell that has been anonymously sent to Sir Paul Smith over the past twenty years - from a child’s tricycle to a glitterball to a female bust to a traffic cone covered in stamps. The fact that Smith himself appears in the documentary is a real coup, as he turns down scores of interview requests as a matter of course. The insertion of a specially-commissioned Benjamin Zephaniah poem sets the seal on a truly unique short.
Friday 3 December, 1 Thoresby Street , NG1 1AJ
SIXES & SEVENS: THE OTHER INTERIOR
Fancy a truly unnerving night in a hotel room, without Derek Acorah acting the dickhead? If you have £50 to spare, this is for you. Sixes & Sevens are the new generation of Notts-art groups, and if this installation – a glimpse at the hidden life of a hotel room, filled with the residue of previous occupants inspired by the likes of David Lynch and novelist Haruki Murakami, created by Notts-based artist Sarah Duffy – is anything to go by, we’re going to have to keep an extremely close eye on them. Pack a toothbrush!
Every Sat and Sun from 30 Oct to 12 Dec, The Ibis Hotel, 16 Fletchergate, NG1 2FS. £50.
JOHN NEWLING: SINGING UNCERTAINTY
The internationally-renowned installation sculptor assembles 150 members of the general public to St Mary’s church in the Lace Market to sing a line each from a hymn. It’s a reflection upon the very human longing for certainty in a random world, taken from memories of school assemblies (when the artist found the unfamiliar words in hymn books an embarassing challenge) and a recent reassessment (when the artist realised the lyrics in hymn those same books were shot through with questions).
Thurs 2 December, St Mary’s Church, High Pavement, Lace Market. Free.Please book via Sideshow in advance
ONE THORESBY STREET ATTIC PROGRAMME
The pride of Sneinton, One Thoresby Street - a network of galleries, project spaces and studios - has become one of the leading artist-led spaces in the Midlands. Naturally, much is happening here, including a VHS festival from Het Wilde Weten, a collaboration between artists Tomas Chaffe and Blue Firth; a new sculptural installation by Tom Godfrey; an interactive video and sculptural installation from Joseph Hallam; a solo show investigating the act of re-learning by Candice Jacobs; a collaborative project examining burial rituals from Jeff Baker and Alex Stevenson, and a drawing exhibition from Pete McPartlan.
One Thoresby Street, NG1 1AJ - Fri 22 Oct – Sat 18 Dec. Free
It’s all well and good banging on about your Moots and Tethers, but studio groups in Nottingham didn’t start or end with them, as this gathering together of artists who blazed a trail with studio spaces in Can, Egerton and the Oldknows Studio Group demonstrates. Expect two dozen artists of the calibre of Geoff Diego Litherland, Inge Tong, Rob Van Beek, Jeremy Millar, Simon Withers and Lisa Clark, to name but a few, taking over the Oldknows in mid-November.
3rd Floor, Oldknows Factory Building, St Anns Hill, NG3 4GP, 17 – 19 Nov, 11am – 3pm. Free
Yelena Popova is a Russian-born artist now living and working in Nottingham. Last seen in town as part of the Star City exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary, her installation in the Wallner Gallery presents a nostalgic reflection on memory and history. Selected as an artist to watch in 2010 by Abi Spinks of Tempreh, her previous and wonderfully bizarre works include the use of Ninja Mickey Mouse costumes, Martian Gardener (a performance and painting series), and flogging her own artwork for next to nothing in the style of a barrow boy on the streets of Warsaw.
Until Tues 9 Nov, Lakeside Arts Centre, University Park, NG7 2RD. Free
THE END OF OUR TETHER
It’s the end of an era for NottsArt, as Tether fly their Huntington Street nest and strike out as individual artists. They’re going out with a bang, however, with a huge range of events - including their Black Swans series (an arts-based quiz show with artists from both Sideshow and the BAS), Sideshowshow (a round-up of both events that’ll be screened online at tethervision.co.uk), giving over their space to Sixes and Sevens for one night only, and throwing a closing party with live music at the end of the festival – not to mention offshoot exhibitions a-plenty…
Throughout the festival, 17a Huntingdon Street, NG1 3JH
THE HEURISTICS LABORATORY
The Malt Cross – already one of the more cerebral drinking holes in town - gets its gallery converted into an idealised learning environment for three weeks in November, opening itself up to play, experimentation and reflection. It’s the first public project for the three members of The Heuristics Laboratory, and they’ll have a week each to learn completely new skills, while you have a nosey. Pete McPartlan’s Telecine will create an experimental and counter intuitive post-production laboratory, Line Walk by Ruth Scott will be an exploration of balance and imbalance, and Georgie Park has a go at wood turning.
Tues 9 – Sat 27 Nov, The Malt Cross Gallery, St James’ Street, NG1 6FG. Free
HATCH: IT'S ABOUT TIME
The indescribably eclectic Notts performance art collective - who gleefully throw together local artists, writers, musicians and actors, just to see what happens - take over the Castle to unfurl a large-scale, multi-disciplinary project including the likes of Hetain Patel, Reckless Sleepers, Frank Abbott (the man once wrote storylines for The Tales Of Robin Hood) and Chris Dobrowolski, the British Antarctic Survey’s artist in residence.
Nottingham Castle, Weds 10 Nov, 6pm – 11.45pm. Free
SOUND IT OUT
The first self-shot film by locally-based artist and director Jeanie Findlay tracks the life of the last surviving vinyl record shop in Teeside – Sound It Out Records, located in Stockton-On-Tees. It’s a fascinating 18-month insight, packed into - aptly enough - 45 minutes, as the camera clocks the stream of random vinyl addicts, and then follows them home to see them spinning their purchases in their homes or at DJ sets. It’s a painfully intimate film about men, music, memorabilia and Makina – a genre of Happy Hardcore popular only in Valencia and the North East.
One Thoresby Street, NG1 1AJ, Sat 11 Dec, 7.00pm.
ANNEXINEMA: HISTORY OF NOTTINGHAM CINEMAS
Once upon a time, you could have gone to a different cinema in Notts once a week over the course of year without ever returning to the same one, and Annexinema - the local champions of social cinema – have been documenting all fifty-two of them, in the form of 16mm and digital audio recordings, from Leno’s in Hyson Green to the Byron in Hucknall. Previously, they’ve held screenings at disused shops, in decommissioned cinemas, and have even used a cycle-powered projector for a screening under a motorway flyover. This time, they’re ensconced in the confines of the Byron, which is now a bingo hall.
Byron Bingo Hall, High Street, Hucknall, NG15 7HJ, Fri 10 Dec, 6pm – 10pm. Free
SIDESHOW ALLEY CAFE
The perennial LeftLion favourite when it comes to meat-free snap will be handling the bar and catering at One Thoresby Street, as always, dealing out coffees, soft drinks and booze, as well as the usual cake, pizza, soup and the like - with a special tea being supplied for Sideshow by those lovely people at Lee Rosy’s. Obviously, in keeping with the get-in-where-you-fit-in ethos of the festival, there’ll be plenty of commissions, events and exhibitions too - including the launch, afterparty and gigs organised by Artnot.
One Thoresby Street, NG1 1AJ Fri 22 Oct – Sat 18 Dec.
A very special one-off performance event curated by Simon Raven and others, this examination into the role of the guide in contemporary art will feature Professor Lesley Smith (who, when not acting as head curator at Tutbury Castle, is the UK’s No.1 Queen Elizabeth I impersonator), performance group The Wolf In the Winter, and a cast of artists both national and local for a multi-disciplined tribute to Wollaton Hall. Roll up during the day, or book your place on the coach from Sideshow Alley Café from 5pm for the evening events.
Sun Oct 24, noon - 4pm, Wollaton Hall, Wollaton, Nottingham NG8 2AE, England
SIXES & SEVENS: PILE
Co-curated by Simon Franklin and Craig Fisher, this comprehensive sculpture exhibition takes in the works from a huge list of Notts artists and forces them to interact with each other. In some cases they are piled on top of one another, with a collection of individual objects which become one overarching piece - NottsArt Jenga, if you will. Artists include David Bance, Craig Fisher, Dan Ford, Simon Franklin, Lyn Fulton, Mark S Gubb, Frank Kent, Brendan Lyons, Zoe Mendelson, Jock Mooney, Audrey Reynolds, Lucienne Simpson, Debra Swann, Lee Triming, Gerard Williams, Annie Whiles and Neil Zakiewiez, to name but a few.
Fri 19 Nov – Fri Dec 10, Surface Gallery, 16 Southwell Road, NG1 1DL. Free