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Nottingham Castle to become a Fun Palace


Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery is to host a weekend of activities for children and families as part of a national festival of Arts and Science. On Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 October, everyone will have a chance to unleash their inner artist or scientist, or even both!

Inspired by the summer exhibition ‘Leonardo da Vinci – Ten Drawings from the Royal Collection’, scientists from the Pathology Department of the University of Nottingham and Queen’s Medical Centre, working with visual artist, Chrys Allen and performers from Nottingham’s Nonsuch Theatre Company, will encourage families to explore the science of forensic analysis, how the body’s cells reproduce (and sometimes go wrong), and digital scanning technology in the diagnosis of disease.  The artists will help participants interpret their scientific observations in drama and drawings.

Fun Palaces weekend is an annual celebration of workshops and events first started by theatre director Joan Littlewood over 50 years ago at the Theatre Royal Stratford in the East End of London, where she brought artists and scientists together to show how everyone can get involved in different aspects of popular culture.  Now a national celebration, Fun Palaces have been revived in recognition of the part that art and science can play in our everyday lives.

October also sees the national celebration of drawing and illustration, The Big Draw, which the Castle Museum is marking with special events around the final two weeks of the Leonardo Exhibition.

The activities at the Castle Museum on 1 and 2 October have been funded by the Pathological Society as part of their drive to encourage scientists to reach out to members of the public, and organized by the Nottingham-based company Ignite! who work to get more creative programmes into schools and education.

Families can simply drop into the activities at the Castle Museum from 11:00 to 3:00 on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 October. The workshops are free, though entry to the Castle grounds is charged at weekends.

Cllr Dave Trimble, Nottingham City Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said, ‘The exhibition of Leonardo’s drawings has been one of our most successful, and his work illustrates how art and science come together.  He was one of the first artists to look inside the human body, and now children and families can make their own art based on the science of pathology.’

Mohammad Ilyas, Professor of Pathology, in the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at University Hospital Nottingham, welcomed the opportunity to bring the work of his department to the general public saying; “Pathology is all about understanding disease and how the body works, and Fun Palaces weekend will be a great way to share our research with children and their families.”’

Founder of Ignite!, Rick Hall, also expressed his delight at the opportunity to bring scientists and artists together for Fun Palaces weekend. “Ignite! believes that the sciences are creative subjects in the same way that art and drama are, and thanks to the team at the Castle Museum, and the inspiration of Leonardo, we have a great series of activities and workshops for everyone to experience.”

Work from the Fun Palaces events in Nottingham will also be exhibited in various locations in February 2017 as part of the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity.

Information on all the events at the Castle Museum for Fun Palaces and The Big Draw can be found at http://www.nottinghamcastle.org.uk/explore/exhibitions/the-big-draw

Posted on 19 September 2016

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