'Strangers not allowed on this works' Gallery tour
Saturday 25 March, 2-3pm
Free, but normal entry charges apply. Booking essential.
Join exhibition curator Tristram Aver and photographers Ben Roberts and David Severn for an introductory tour of the exhibition, and hear more about the archives and commissions on display.
About the exhibition:
Strangers not allowed on this works
Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery
25 March – 7 May 2017
Examining how manufacturing has changed the environments in which we live, this exhibition presents late 19th and mid-20th century glass-plate negatives and archival photographs of former Nottingham lace and John Player & Sons factories and their workers, alongside contemporary commissions: Ben Roberts, who examined how the arrival of the online shopping giant Amazon had upon a former coal-mining town, and David Severn who visited the historic Middleport Pottery, Stoke-on-Trent, the oldest continuous working china factory in Britain. Each photograph in the exhibition makes connections to local industries where economic success, and at times decline, has helped shape the Midlands and its people over time.
Despite the stories that have been told and the struggles experienced, the employees in these photographs seem content and dedicated to their work. Generations of families and communities have grown up around these bustling distribution and production lines, preserving expertise, trades and skills. As the decades progress, we also witness evolution and loss due to mechanisation, economic fluctuations, or changes in the use of workforce, but with one remaining observation - the role of the worker, regardless of scale and vastness in the factory floor, has been integral to the operations, stories, and legacies of the businesses.
Curated by Nottingham Castle, this exhibition has been staged in conjunction with FORMAT International Photography Festival coordinated by QUAD, Derby. The photographic archives have been drawn from the Nottingham City Museums & Galleries Industrial and Social History Collections based at Wollaton Hall and Brewhouse Yard. Ben Roberts is an award-winning British documentary and travel photographer currently based in Madrid, Spain, and shoots on assignment globally for international magazines and brands. David Severn is a documentary and editorial photographer based in Nottingham, who has a focus on working class culture and the places associated with it, both historically and today. Amazon Unpacked (2013) and Middleport Pottery (2014) were both originally commissioned by the Financial Times Weekend Magazine.