Create your own digital art exhibition
December 2013
Nottingham Trent University Open Day
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.

english_compact_black   Print

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


Opening: 5th February 6pm
Show Runs: 6th February 2016 – 21st February 2016




Artists taking part are:

Connor Brazier

Matthew Chesney

Matthew Collins

Daniel Evans Pughe

Anthony Fletcher

Ashley Gallant

Lois Gardner Sabet

Sara Gaynor

Nick Gear

Tracey Kershaw

Gemma Land

Rosemary MacLennan

Jake Moore

Sophia Ogonda

Demi Overton

Jon Pask

Daniel Rapley

Martin Rayment

Antonietta Sacco

Mo Scott

Alison Whitmore

Hannah Whitlow

Jade Williams

Thomas Woodcock



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.

To apply for associate membership send an artists statement, CV and up to 3 images of recent work to Associate membership applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis, the next closing date for applications is 1st March 2016, successful associates will be notified at this time.

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

Associate Membership

This member is designed for an artist that doesn’t need a physical space

Associate membership includes:

Opportunity to apply to Backlit artist opportunities including annual group show

Priority access to events and previews

Name on the website with hyperlink to your own site

Opportunity to rent studio or project space on short term let

Access to crits

Access to regular development opportunities

Access to regular workshops

Access to a one to one with relevant members of staff in person or via Skype

Invitation to quarterly studio meetings

Associate membership is £5 pcm by standing order or £60 per year



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


Thank YouWe'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Error! Please validate your fields, silly billy.
Supported by Arts Council England, Backlit is not for profit limited by guarantee, Company No: 8329205