The concrete blocks, the gold and green perforated walls and the elegant lace design is one of the initial views that we were greeted with on our first visit to Nottingham Contemporary. Despite the rain we were all in good spirits, welcomed into this authentically designed building with gifts and brightly coloured wristbands that we were all so keen to wear.
The atmosphere from the first evening of Circuit: Affinity festival the night before had been carried onto this wet and rainy Saturday, brightening up our afternoon. The ceilings had been decorated with flowing drapes and delicate materials inviting us into the space and allowing us to explore and relax at this fantastic festival. We had a brief tour in which we got to see the surface of the festival and what was going to be happening over the day and even the exhibitions that had been so cleverly curated by the youth group.
We were drawn straight towards the music, the live acoustics, the inspiring conversation from the spoken word artists, all of which made the space feel ambient, and exciting. They made me, as an artist want to write and create and develop. They should be pleased, as I am sure others felt that same creative drive. There is nothing quite the same as listening to live art, the words, the music, and the passion from the artists. They had so carefully chosen and planned the acts, right down the finest details, showcasing some of Nottingham’s best and upcoming artist talent.
They had workshops placed around the art gallery throughout the day, including jewellery making and a beautifully constructed ‘Look up’ Illustration Booth that incorporated both evaluation and something we, as the visitors, could take away; a drawing of ourselves. As you moved throughout the Gallery you would come across an activity on every corner. A dark, cosy cinema room housing popcorn and beanbags, showcasing independent films, was the perfect escape from the busy stage downstairs. It was great to see so many different age groups getting involved with the activities and the turn out is something that they should definitely be proud of.
To draw the evening to a close was the fun and unusual ‘Silent disco’ that finally brought the festival to a great end. The music alternated between jazz, Michael Jackson and 70s and we all found ourselves dancing along to anything and everything. The festival was a great success, collaborating with some incredible artists, they definitely created a name for themselves. It was fun, exciting and I feel that they did Circuit proud defining all the areas that Circuit as a whole represents.
Lead Young evaluator for WYC