Wednesday, 2 February 2011

there is beauty in the city goes to nottingham

Last Sunday saw there is beauty in the city take to the streets of the UK with the first in a series of 12, monthly city visits to find the urban beauty and to spread the word. We had asked for some suggestions on our facebook page and the first reply came from Céline Siani Djiakoua who has recently moved to Nottingham and promised us some cake for our troubles!
We arrived in Nottingham and set about our mission: to ask the public, "where is the beauty in the city of nottingham?". Our aim was to find a consensus - the one spot which was more popular than all the others, which we would then find and photograph. We set ourselves a time limit of an hour and, armed with a score of magnet packs, a clipboard and a camera, we set about asking as many Nottinghamites as possible. Each respondant was offered a magnet pack as thanks for their time and involvement.


Car Park Attendant - The castle because of the grounds or The Royal Concert Hall for the architecture

Young Barman - The castle - it is the only green area in the centre apart from the Arboretum, which is further out.

Young Couple (goths) no photo - Wollatton Park - you get the no. 36 bus to get there. It's nicer than the castle because it's massive. The castle is a bit of a disappointment. There's a reason why they never filmed Robin Hood in the Castle grounds.

Old Lady on Bench - no

Old Rockabilly with Luminous Specs - no, have a train to catch.

Radical Couple - The castle is beautiful, or down by the canal. The Trent Bank is really beautiful. The architecture in the city centre is beautful if you look up, there's a real juxtaposition of ugly and beautiful. The city edges are beautiful, and the secret park - we've heard that's beautiful, but we've never found it.
Radical Lady - The ugliest building in Nottingham is Nottingham Contemporary, it was a complete waste of money. When they were building it I thought that the outside was just a hoarding and they would take that down to reveal something beautiful inside, but it turned out THAT was IT! I couldn't believe it, it is so ugly.

Young Couple - The old council building was beautiful but it's covered in scaffolding.

Lovely Guy - If you go up that street to the left there's an area with all the churches and the cathedral, but I love the Lace Market.

Adam the Busker - I love this square where we are now.

Glamorous Lady - My heart - I love people - I love Life - I love everything, I walk a lot and I love everything.

Litter Collector - Good question - Nowhere in Nottingham is beautiful.

Cool Guy with Star Earring - The lace market, it's quiet, it's tidy, it's cleaner. Walk with me - I'll show you. It's for people who've got money, or people who haven't - you can buy things for £20 or £2. It's the main attraction, it's peaceful.

Painter and Decorator - This is the only building I know here, I'm from Milton Keynes.

Lovely Lady with Long eyeLashes - You've asked the right person! The lace market. The Pitcher and Piano used to be an old cathedral and it's a restuarant now. I am a dressmaker and there are buildings with dressmaking schools - in the old lacemakers - they used to be so loud, full of noise when they were working.

Young Couple outside Nottingham Contemporary - The lace market for how it used to be.

Bohemian Couple outside Nottingham Contemporary - St. Mary's Church - the oldest part of Nottingham, that's still been left and has a lovely old wall and Regency Buildings.

Gallery Invigilator (Sam from Tether) - The Victoria Centre Car Park, where the old train line used to go - it's dug into a cliff. I was trying to think of something that was not too arty.

Minutes : 60
Asked : 18
Responded : 16
Posed for photograph : 12
Nottingham Contemporary - where we met Sam from Tether
And the consensus? The Lace Market, a bustling, thriving, cool area, housing a national class art gallery and numerous bars and restaurants, helping Nottingham feel like a truly beautiful city. The area was full of really wonderful architecture, but the building below struck us as a beautiful signifier of the city's past and, if treated to a bit of love and respect, an obvious role to play in its future.

And so that wraps up there is beauty in the city : on tour #1. Tune in next month, when Manchester, as voted for by Contents May Vary's Alice Bradshaw comes under the spotlight.

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