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Nottingham Contemporary Gallery - Essay Example

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Nottingham Contemporary Gallery and Gentrification Introduction For our group project, the issue of gentrification was explored. This issue was explored by looking at the neighborhood of Nottingham, and examining how the Nottingham Contemporary Gallery has improved the overall class of the neighborhood…
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Download file to see previous pages This makes the area, overall, a better place to live for everybody, while increasing property values. This project examines whether this was the case with Nottingham after the Nottingham Contemporary Gallery came into the area, which had the aim of transitioning the neighborhood from the industry of lace to an area that is more based upon innovation. The results of this project, along with a literature review and conclusion, is the focus of this paper. Literature Review Lace Quarter and Nottingham Contemporary Gallery Then and Now The Nottingham Contemporary Gallery is part of a unique landscape, in that it sits in an area where the alluvial Trent Valley meets a sandstone bluff. Nottingham itself became a part of the industrial revolution in the nineteenth century, its primary product being lace. According to Matthews (2008), Nottingham became during this period of time the world centre for the lace trade, because skilled engineers were able to make lace machines, and the buildings which surrounded the Town Hall became the lace market. This was the area where the merchants could congregate, because it was close to warehouses and sales offices. Mason (2004) writes that during the peak of the lace production, which was around 1810, that there were up to 1,800 frames which were knitting the net that would become known as “Nottingham Lace.” The major groups of warehouses that created this lace was at Hounds Gate and Castle Gate, and around St. Mary’s Gate (The lace industry waxed and waned during the early part of the 20th Century, and entered a decline in the 1930s (Matthews, 2008). With the decline of the lace industry came an overall decline of the area surrounding the site of the Nottingham Contemporary Gallery. Therefore, there became a need to re-use this site, and the arts centre, and the city living apartments planned around it, was the idea for this new use (Matthews, 2008). Meanwhile, the old buildings which served as lace warehouses during the height of the lace era have been re-used as flats, bars, offices and colleges. These are the buildings which remain in the physical core of the Lace Market, and the buildings that remain are large and distinctive, marked by Victorian architecture, an architectural type that came to be valued in the late 1960s, therefore the buildings came to have historical significance (Ferris, Long (2009) states that the Nottingham Contemporary Gallery, which is at the heart of the urban renewal for the area, is a gateway for the city. The NCG “draws an extraordinarily large swathe of the city into visual dialogue” (Woodman, 2009, p. 12). The Lace Quarter is still visible to tourists and residents alike, and the gallery borders this quarter. The building itself was built in response to another type of legacy, that of contemporary art, which is appropriate, considering that Nottingham has a vibrant art school and a history of performance art. The building itself was designed to reflect the physical character of the site, which means that it would reflect the sandstone bluff and valley upon which it sits, as well as reflect the architecture of the grand buildings that served as the lace warehouses (Administrator, 2009). Moreover, the gallery is not just a gallery – rather, it is an arts centre, with a connection to the local arts community. The curator of public programmes, Rob Blackson, ensures the gallery’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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