Nearly 100 representatives of the regional arts sector were out in force to help Primary celebrate its official opening. The event offered tours of the site and showcased resident artists work, demonstrating the achievements to date but also highlighting how the organisation will look to develop over the coming years.
Many of the resident artists installed works throughout the building, including an installation by Debra Swann, ‘Tokens and travelling paraphernalia’ in the Primary House (the old caretakers flat), one of the areas that Primary will be looking to develop to provide international residencies and a unique accommodation offer for those who wish stay over and make the most of Nottingham’s thriving cultural scene. There were also a number of performances on the evening, included Chris Lewis-Jones and Simon Withers’ Cyril Seaton’s Cycle Roots, and Simon Raven’s ‘Good Behaviour’ that invited guests to enjoy some canapés from his specially modified headgear.
As well as inventing a very popular Primary cocktail, resident designers Joff + Ollie ensured that every guest left with a little piece of Primary, as inside each specially commissioned Primary notebook there was an insert or intervention by a resident artist.
Words from Nottingham Studios’ Chair, Niki Russell, Chair of Arts Council England Regional Council, François Matarasso and Councillor Cat Arnold, underpinned the value of Primary and what this will offer for artists and the city as we develop.
As the evening drew to a close, one freelance curator commented that “this was the best artist studio she had visited in England, not because it was all brand new with bells and whistles, but because it had warmth and heart”.
We would like to thank everyone that came along and supported Primary to make the event a great success.