11am - 5pm (Monday - Saturday)
12noon - 4pm (Sunday)
A sensational new exhibition inspired by Alan Sillitoe’s groundbreaking novel and the film adaptation directed by Karel Reisz.
First published in 1958, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning helped frame its cultural moment. It charts a year in the life of Arthur Seaton, machinist in the Raleigh cycle factory, and young urban rebel. The novel appeared at the time of a spate of accounts of urban workingclass life by academics, playwrights, novelists and documentary filmmakers.
Many were concerned with the effect of a burgeoning consumer culture; the very idea of 'community' was counter-pointed by the emergence of a new working-class affluence and individualism. The end of post-war austerity also signaled the advent of a distinct youth culture; for the first time young people - the recently branded ‘teenagers’ - defined themselves outside of their parents’ culture, and had spending power, like never before, which they used on fashion, music and entertainment.
Taking seminal moments from the book and film, this exhibition explores the depiction of these social changes in contemporary photography, focusing in particular on working-class culture in the late 50s and 60s. It highlights the various approaches taken by a generation of photographers drawn to ‘the regions’ in an attempt to capture the authenticity of ‘ordinary lives’.
The exhibition features a selection of never-before-exhibited stills from Reisz’s iconic film, much of which was shot on location in Nottingham. So-called ‘Young Meteors’, John Bulmer and Graham Finlayson, worked for feted newspapers such as The Manchester Guardian and the latest print media magazines, while Roger Mayne and Shirley Baker initiated their own briefs generating new contexts
for their photographic studies. Maurice Broomfield, an industrial photographer, diligently portrayed the nobility of factory workers for company reports. Their works are complemented by that of other national photographers who have been subsequently overlooked, as well as an array of accomplished local amateurs.
Drawing its material from Nottingham and the Midlands, as well as the Black Country and Manchester, the exhibition captures the essence of Sillitoe's world and a country at the point of profound cultural change.
Curated by Anna Douglas and Neil Walker.
Supported by Custom Frames
and Hart's Hotel & Restaurant
DOWNLOAD THE EXHIBITION GUIDEClick here to access the guide and use it to accompany your visit
Image © Shirley Baker