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December 2013
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December 2013
July 2013
Saturday Art Club
July 2013


Backlit is a two storey independent art gallery located in the heart of Nottingham, UK. It provides affordable studio spaces for contemporary artists; supporting early career graduates, emerging artists and international touring practitioners.

Backlit provides a dynamic public programme of national and international artists including original artist commissions, workshops, screenings and live debates. It has a strong working relationship with regional and national organisations and universities. It is committed to supporting community engaged projects and provides unique critical sessions for artists working in the city.

Open Thursday to Sunday 12-5pm during exhibitions.

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Our Team

Rosemary MacLennan
Studio Manager
Bo Olawoye
Learning Curator
Tim Jennings
Marketing Manager
Matthew Chesney
Suzanne Golden
Deputy Director


What’s on

Upcoming -

Exhibitions and Events

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2015

Preview: 17th September 3pm – 9pm
Primary 3pm – 6pm, Backlit 3pm – 7pm, One Thoresby Street 6pm – 9pm
After Party at Nottingham Contemporary 9pm – 1am


Show Runs: 18th Sept – 31st Oct

With 2015 marking 15 years of Bloomberg’s sponsorship of New Contemporaries, One Thoresby Street are proud to be a key partner in the delivery of Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2015. Hosted by The New Midland Group inNottingham across artist-led spaces Backlit, One Thoresby Street and Primary. Supported by an additional programme of events at Nottingham Contemporary, New Art Exchange and Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery.

Since 1949 New Contemporaries’ annual national touring exhibition has provided a significant critical platform, offering crucial opportunities for the development and recognition of emerging artists from UK art schools today.

This year’s selection brings together artists working across a range of media, with a focus on materiality, form and the process of making being key themes for the exhibition. The legacy of conceptual art practices permeates the exhibition, revealing layers of narrative in both the finished work and through the process of making. While other works explore and challenge the expectations and perceptions of gender and socio- economic circumstance.


Selected artists for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2015 are:

Sïan Astley, Kevin Boyd, Lydia Brockless, U. Kanad Chakrabarti, James William Collins, Andrei Costache, Julia Curtin, Abri de Swardt, Melanie Eckersley, Jamie Fitzpatrick, Justin Fitzpatrick, Hannah Ford, Sophie Giller, Richard Hards, Juntae T.J. Hwang, Jasmine Johnson, Tomomi Koseki, Hilde Krohn Huse, Pandora Lavender, Jin Han Lee, Hugo López Ayuso, Beatrice- Lily Lorigan, Scott Lyman, Hanqing Ma & Mona Yoo, Scott Mason, Oliver McConnie, Mandy Niewöhner, Hamish Pearch, Neal Rock, Conor Rogers, Katie Schwab, Tim Simmons, David Cyrus Smith, Francisco Sousa Lobo, Aaron Wells, Morgan Wills and Andrea Zucchini.

The exhibition will tour to the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London from 24 November 2015 to 24 January 2016.                                                                  




Also coming up…

Museums at Night Connect! Event with Gillian Wearing


Coming October 2015

Watch this space for further information.


Samuel Morley Learning Programme – Spring to Autumn 2015


For all enquiries or to book a place on The Samuel Morley Learning Programme please contact Bo Olawoye, Learning Curator via email


“Penny Sessions”
Free creative textile based activities


11th June, 1pm to 3.30pm

18th June, 1pm to 3.00pm

25th June, 1pm to 3.30pm

2nd July, 1pm to 3pm

16th July, 1pm to 3pm

23rd July, 1pm to 4pm

30th July, 1pm to 3pm

6th August, Times to be confirmed.

Please note we can adapt the days and times if your group are interested in participating in this project.  Please contact the Learning Curator for more details.

Location: Backlit

Ages: 13+

Group size: 15

Led by artist Phiona Richards

A FREE creative project using textiles based skills such as sewing, bookmaking, create gloves.



“Penny Sessions”
Free creative textile based activities


Thursdays: 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th August. 3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th September. 1st October

Times: 1pm to 3pm

Location: St Ann’s Valley Library

Ages: 18+ (BOOKED – Knit & Stich group of 12-15 people (ages 30 to 70+)


Led by artist Phiona Richards

A FREE creative project using textiles based skills such as sewing, bookmaking, and creating gloves.



Fashion Project

Mondays: 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th June. 6th, 13th and 20th July Fashion show!

Times: 4.30pm to 6.30pm

Location: Urban Fashion, 23 Robin Hood Chase, Nottingham NG3 4EZ.

Owner Ivy Kenton.

Ages: 13 to 17, 18 +

Working with Frances Heap & Maria Luisa Olmos from Costumologists – a creative costuming partnership.

Design or up cycle old clothing and stage your own MORLEY inspired fashion show.


Finding Samuel Morley – Photography Project

Fridays: 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th June  

Times: 10am to 2:30pm

Ages: 18+(Priority, Sneinton, St Ann’s and surrounding areas)

Location: based at Backlit and sites around the city

Led by Human Camera, Sneinton.

A photography project, led by Human Camera, suitable for anyone at any level. Participants will gain an insight into Morley’s contributions to the city through, discussion and documentation of historical sites and buildings related to the Morley legacy.

Images from Phiona Richards at Rare Notions

Image – Phiona Richards












Image Phiona Richards


Image Costumologists

Image Costumologists

Image Costumologists

Image Costumologists



Morley Memory Day, 8th August 2015, 11am to 5pm – Backlit

‘We need you!’ Backlit are beginning to put together a historical archive of Nottingham’s industrial past, whilst also rediscovering the former textile company owner, Nottingham born Victorian philanthropist, social reformer and MP Samuel Morley.

Morley Memory Day, will take place at Backlit, a huge former factory that was commissioned by Samuel Morley and was once home to I & R Morley the flourishing textile company. In its heyday, over three hundred and fifty people worked in the building. This will be commemorated during Morley Memory Day with projected photography and real life artifacts and memorabilia that relate to Morley and our industrial past.

So this is a ‘Call to Action’ for all local Nottingham, Leicester or Derby residents to bring memorabilia and clothes relating to the region’s industrial past, as well as offering the chance for people to share their stories and have them documented for future generations to enjoy.


Workshops & Courses

Workshops & Courses



Young People

Young People

Backlit Learning Vision

Backlit is an artist-led venue, offering an inspiring learning and engagement programme that creates an open dialogue between artists, communities and the wider public.

We are committed to delivering high quality contemporary exhibitions, events and activities to the widest possible audience

We actively consult with local residents, community centers and not-for profit organisations when developing creative outreach projects.

We are the only artist- led studio based in one of the most economically deprived areas in Nottingham creating workshops and activities that directly respond to the needs of local audiences.

We develop innovative participatory projects with community groups creatively collaborating with a range of partners, national and international artist.

We are working towards creating a learning and engagement programme, led by our studio artist’s providing them with an opportunity to share their skills and encourage public participation with their practice.

We support critical debate for local artists, students and new and existing audiences.

If you would like to find out more please contact   Bo Olawoye, Development Director/Learning Curator on 0115 837 2426 or email


We currently have 45 visual artists housed in 26 studio’s of varying sizes. You can download the current studio price list HERE. At present we are full, if you wish to be considered for a studio in the future, please download and complete the application form.

To apply for a studio space please complete this application form.

Our Associate Membership scheme is currently being reviewed and will be relaunched in 2016.

Studio Membership

Full membership includes:

24 hour access

Internet, heating and electricity all inclusive

Profile on the website

Access to any member only opportunities generated by the group including exhibitions and events

Priority over non-members to workshops, talks and other critical sessions

Part of a diverse and exciting studio community


Don't hesitate to contact us at Backlit or phone us on 0115 837 24 26


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Supported by Arts Council England, Backlit is not for profit limited by guarantee, Company No: 8329205