My daughter Millie and I watched with anticipation the building of Nottingham Contemporary 3 years ago, walking past regularly being wowed by the gold and the lace detailing of the building that was being created right in before our eyes! For some time all I heard from Millie was "When will it be open, when will it be open?" as we drove past.
She was 4 at the time and really had no idea of what to expect, but she just knew from my excitement that it will be a place full of wonder and inspiration.
I have always taken Millie to galleries and was happy that there was something local to us and something that would put Nottingham on the map creatively!
The first time we went, we didn't really know what to expect but we were all wowed by the first exhibition. Walking around we were delighted to see that the staff were engaging with visitors and the whole experience felt relaxed and welcoming. We always grab an Explorer Bag too every time we visit, being full of toys and games it totally brings the exhibitions to life for children.
But the real delight came when we found out about the FREE family drop in events at the weekends! (And the Nottingham Contemporary Zebra - more about him later!) Taking inspiration from the current exhibitions, the family events engage children in a way so that they can understand and take away information about the artists. What is great is that as a family we all join in with the activity together and produce artwork that has been created by us all. I have to admit I do get carried away with it all!
The Zebra...ok, so I have had to run across Nottingham City Centre and follow him across various events so that Millie can have a photo with him (or her). I have on my camera pretty much nearing 20 odd pictures of Millie in the same pose with the same Zebra throughout the past 3 years!
But it just goes to show that Nottingham Contemporary is so pro-active into making children feel welcome, making an art gallery a place that is full of fun and not just a place with pictures on the wall. Nottingham Contemporary allows children to feel inclusive within the art world, something that I think will stay with Millie forever!
However from all the creative thinking Millie does she often needs to refuel, so we always take a trip to the Couture Cafe Bar for some home cooked food. Millie loves the home made fish fingers and chips in a can! Its great value for money and the staff are friendly and funny! We heart "Notts Con" (as we call it in our family) x
A few extra words from Millie, aged 8
It’s a nice place to meet up with friends.
It’s nice to have a gallery nearby.
I love the jewellery in the shop, well my mum does.
Me and my friend liked the sequin art. I also liked the bit where you can take photos at the photo booth when its open.
I like the cafe, it’s got nice food. I like the lace on the building.
Love Millie aged 8 x