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
John Harris
Assistant Curator
Bo Olawoye
Learning Curator
Tim Jennings
Marketing Manager
Matthew Chesney
Suzanne Golden
Deputy Director


What’s on

Current Exhibition


Einstein On The Beach

Robert Wilson / Philip Glass / Lucinda Childs /   Christopher Knowles / Andy De Groat

April 11th – May 17th 2015

Open Thursday to Sunday 12:00pm – 5:00pm

A revolutionary opera by avant-garde artist and theatre director Robert Wilson, award-winning composer Philip Glass and choreographer, Lucinda Childs.

In 1976, Einstein on the Beach was performed for the first time and broke all the rules of opera. It was in four interconnected acts and five hours long, with no intermissions allowing the audience to enter and leave as desired. The opera shifts from a deliberate pace to unexpected explosions and rhythmic combinations of voice, violin and amplified instruments that are interwoven with cryptic poems by Christopher Knowles and a vivid choreographic score by Lucinda Childs.

Nearly four decades after it’s first staging this exhibition reimagines the unique visual, dramatic and musical languages of Einstein on the Beach through the exhibition of props, manuscripts, and stage designs. Often described as the “DNA” of the original performance in 1976 these artworks invite viewers to once again, discover new interpretations of their own.




Einstein chair, 1976, Robert Wilson                                       (Image courtesy of Paula Cooper Gallery, New York)

Upcoming Events and Talks


Hourglass – Sally Doughty

Saturday 9th May 1:00pm – 2:00pm and 3:00pm – 4:00pm

Inspired by the original choreographic score of Lucinda Childs and the exhibited arifacts, Dance4 has invited artist Sally Doughty to make response to the exhibition within the gallery.

FREE but booking is essential, the performance is 1 hour long with two different time slots.

This performance is suitable for all.

Book Now 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Book Now 3:00pm – 4:00pm





Talk – Sally Doughty & Paul Russ

Saturday 9th May 4:00pm – 4:30pm

Following the performance Hourglass, Sally Doughty will be in conversation with Paul Russ (Artistic Director, Dance4) about her approach to creating new work from archived material.

FREE but booking essential.

This talk is suitable for all.

Book Now 4:00pm – 4:30pm



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 have 21 studio spaces and house 25 artists, spaces range in size and start from £60 per month

We have available studios for more information on studios please contact Rosemary at

Full 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 Studio Membership

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

Associate membership includes:

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

Associate membership is £7 pcm


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


Nice One You're message has been sent and will 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