Take a visit to Lakeside Arts Centre for an exclusive snapshot of 1950s Nottingham.
“Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not”
Delve into Nottingham’s literary history and one work of fiction which instantly jumps off the shelf is ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’ the award winning novel by acclaimed local author, Alan Sillitoe.
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is recognised for its honest portrayal of working class life in 1950s Nottingham, following the story of young Arthur Seaton; a local Raleigh employee with a rebellious outlook.
After being successfully published in 1958, the fictional novel was soon adapted for stage and screen. The film, directed by Karel Reisz and released in 1960, provided a detailed look at life in working class Britain at the time.
Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham is currently honoring the much loved classic with a photography exhibition, including an exciting collection of authentic stills from the film (most of which was shot on location in Nottingham).
The exhibition “explores the depiction of 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’.”
Alongside stunning film stills (some of which have never been on show to the public before), the exhibition brings together a collection of images taken by both professional and amateur photographers from around the same era throughout the Midlands and Manchester – detailing life in the 1950s and 60s.
The exhibition has much more to offer than simply honouring the novel, or as a nod to the much loved film. Visitors interested in Nottingham nostalgia, or who are passionate about the fifties era will equally enjoy taking a look. The black and white images, displayed in the Djanogly Art Gallery offer up perfect examples of the fashion, pursuits and way of life amongst the working class in the Midlands.
If you are unfamiliar with the works of Sillitoe, or are yet to see Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, this exhibition offers the perfect starting point for uncovering this social period.
The exhibition is open to all age ranges and offers the chance to learn about or simply to reflect on times gone by. In an age of digital photography, it is enchanting to take a look at quality examples of original film and photography – something which we now so often take for granted.
Following the exhibition, why not take a look at Sillitoe’s Nottingham for yourself? Discover the stomping ground of Arthur Seaton in various locations across the city. There is even a handy downloadable trail to help you.
Lakeside Arts Centre have also been hosting accompanying talks, screenings and classes to compliment the exhibition, with a celebratory weekend planned for 26 January. All events are FREE but it is best to book in advance.
See Saturday Night and Sunday Morning the authentic moment in British Photography at Lakeside Arts Centre until 10 February. Opening times are Mon-Sat 10-5pm (Sundays 11-4pm)
To find out more about Nottingham’s legendary author, Alan Sillitoe, see our dedicated page here.