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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.

Our Team

Rosemary MacLennan
Studio Manager
John Harris
Assistant Curator
Bo Olawoye
Development Director
Rhiannon Jones
Marketing Manager
Matthew Chesney


In Dialogue
International Symposium

2-5 october 2014


'A Visual Discussion' by Bartram O'Neill 2012, photograph by Rebecca Gamble.

‘A Visual Discussion’ by Bartram O’Neill 2012, photograph by Rebecca Gamble.

An International Symposium that interrogates how artists and researchers use dialogue in practice. Hosted by Nottingham Contemporary, PRIMARY and Backlit in collaboration with Dance4.

Guest speakers include Grant H. Kester, Gary Anderson (The Institute for the Art & Practice of Dissent at Home), Fucking Good Art, Janna Graham (The Centre for Possible Studies) Rachel Marsden, John Newling, and Lorena Rivero de Beer.

Artists presenting talks, discussions, performances, workshops and installations selected from UK, Italy, Peru, USA, German, Prague, Columbia, Brazil, Portugal and Finland:

Frank Abbott, amaCollective (UK, Italy and Peru/USA), Gabriella Aragoni, BartramO’Neill, Isabel Becker (Germany), Sophie Bush, Ken Byres, Tom Estes (UK and USA), Figure Ground, Rachel Gomme, (h)edge kelectiv, Dan Hunt & Selina Mosinski, Monika Jaeckel (Germany), Howard Lotker (Prague), Mary Loveday-Edwards, Safeground, Gavin Rogers, NoN, Suvi Nurmi and Saara Honkanen (Finland), Emma O’Connor, Hester Reeve & Helen Blejerman, Bruno Santos (Brazil/Portugal), Rajni Shah and Karen Christopher (in collaboration with Dance 4), Fern Smith, Jane Trowell & Phillip Ralph, Aria Spinelli, Dr Bambo Soyinka, Kate Stobbart, Cally Trench, Arlene Tucker (Finland) & Alejandra Pineda Silva (Columbia), Karen Wood.

The event will be chaired by Dr Gillian Whiteley, and Michael Pinchbeck will collate observations made over the 4 days and facilitate a discussion on Sunday morning.

In Dialogue 2014 takes place across the city of Nottingham,UK. In Dialogue 2014 is curated by guest curator Rebecca Beinart and founders Heather Connelly and Rhiannon Jones.

Click here to book tickets to this event.

Full details of the programme can be found here.



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 info@backlit.org.uk


Import X Port – Traci Kelly
House of the Flying Wheel
«Rotations» solo show by Zimoun
Museums at Night, Mat Collishaw
Alignment curated by Leila Al-Yousuf
Taste of Stone, Frank Kent
Ensemble curated by Dave Charlesworth and Ben Judd
The Art of Conversation facilitated by Rhiannon Jones
Sisyphus Happy, Robert Luzar and Rachel Maclean
Hyper real
Paul Heijnen
Grotesque, Jonathan Baldock


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

Unfortunatly we have no available studios but we do hold a waiting list for more information on studios please contact rosemary at rosemary@backlit.org.uk

Full Studio Membership

With full membership you get:

24 hour access

Internet, heating and electricity all inclusive

Regular critical sessions

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

A diverse and exciting studio community

Associate Studio Membership

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

An associate membership includes:

Regular critical sessions

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 01158372426


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