University of Leicester’s arts centre celebrates 20 years

University of Leicester’s arts centre celebrates 20 years in series of new exhibitions

The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre is delighted to announce a series of new exhibitions, Leicester: Memories of Industry, Alan Caine: Retrospective and A Brush with Colour, exploring the city’s past, celebrating local artistic talent and marking 20 years of Attenborough Arts Centre.

Leicester: Memories of Industry is two new exhibitions in Galleries 1 & 2 exploring the influence of Leicester’s industrial legacy on its urban and natural landscapes. The exhibitions have been developed by local artists Diane E Hall, Graham Ensor and Robert Thacker, alongside sound and visual artist Lucy Stevens. Collectively, their work will aim to reflect the cyclic nature of the landscape, from industrial use to the reestablishment of the natural environment.

In Gallery 1, People, Pattern and Process brings together seldom seen artefacts and contemporary art work in unexpected ways, provoking interaction between science, technology, philosophy and art.

Many of the artefacts on show have never been researched or exhibited before, so Attenborough Arts Centre is inviting exhibition-goers to share their memories or knowledge of these items. Via recordings, written testimony or film, spectators will be able to contribute their knowledge or experience of the artefacts on display.

Diane E Hall, who has worked with AAC since its inception, said: “People, Patterns and Process is both a story of our heritage but also a narrative of human experience. Seeing the items in the museum warehouses was both moving and stunning. The artists felt enormous pride at the diversity and skill in Leicester’s industrial heritage, but also grateful to learn from the archival staff whose expertise and knowledge was of enormous benefit for their research.”


In Gallery 2 Park Life Hall, Ensor, Thacker and Stevens present a collection of objects relating to the history of Leicester’s green urban spaces. Inspired by Leicester EXPO 72, a major celebration of industry and science held at Abbey Park in 1972, the display draws connections between the development of the city’s parks and the industries that funded them. This will also include a major off-site piece of land artwork by Graham Ensor; mowed into the grass at Abbey Park, the work will evolve throughout the show before being left to grow and fade until after the exhibition.

Councillor Piara Singh Clair, Assistant City Mayor for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “The Park Life project is helping to document and celebrate the important role that our city’s parks have played in the lives of Leicester people for generations. This collaborative exhibition is an opportunity to explore another fascinating chapter in this history.”


In addition to Leicester: Memories of Industry, Attenborough Arts Centre opens two more exhibitions, marking its 20th anniversary and showcasing the talent of its artists and creative learning students.

Alan Caine: Retrospective

Gallery 3 is a retrospective of Leicester artist, tutor and former Associate Director at Attenborough Arts Centre, Alan Caine. Caine played a crucial role in establishing the centre, where he was responsible for curating the Balcony Gallery. Featuring drawings and paintings that show his ongoing fascination with nature, geometry, pattern and colour; this exhibition spans the last 30 years of Caine’s career and celebrates his significant contributions to the centre.

A Brush with Colour

A Brush with Colour opens in the Balcony Gallery, showcasing over 500 postcard-sized works by 50 artists from the centre’s Creative Learning artists. Working to a brief set by tutor Jenny Gravette, artists of all abilities and experience created both individual pieces and joint murals based on the theme ‘a brush with colour’.

Leicester: Memories of Industry and Alan Caine: Retrospective continues until Sunday 20 August, and A Brush with Colour runs until Sunday 6 August.

The galleries are open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 12 noon – 4pm and entry is FREE.


Guided Tours

Every other Thursday of the month during the exhibition on 15 June, 29 June, 13 July, 27 July, 10 August
FREE, booking advised.

Join our curators, gallery assistants and learning staff for a deeper insight into the exhibition and the ideas behind it.


Family Workshops

Saturdays 9 June – 20 August 2017, 1pm – 3pm

FREE, booking advised.

Explore themes, materials and ideas from the exhibition with our friendly learning team and expert artists. No experience needed.


Attenborough Forum Events

Artist Talk: In Conversation with Alan Caine

Thursday 22 June, 7.30pm

Join exhibiting artist, tutor and one of the founders of Attenborough Arts Centre, Alan Caine and Visual Arts Officer, Sam West for a fascinating discussion reflecting on 20 years of art for everyone. This evening of retrospective insight will uncover stories and memories that have shaped the centre into what it is today. The event will include an audience Q&A with a chance to ask the artist your own questions.


Performance: Lucy Stevens and Peter Wyeth

Thursday 27 July, 6pm – 6.45pm

Sound and visual artist Lucy Stevens collaborates with local musician Peter Wyeth for a unique, one-off performance exploring soundscapes that reflect the themes inspired by Leicester: Memories of Industry.

For more information  and details on how to book visit:

You May Also Like