Make Believe;
Re-Imagining History
& Landscape

20 July to 22 September 2013
Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery


The exhibition took a statement by Alfredo Cramerotti as its starting point that “truth can only be experienced”, what we receive second-hand as ‘fact’ has already been mediated through someone else’s perception, filtered through the experience of another. If so, can fiction lead us nearer to reality?

Artists were invited to respond to the unique site of Nottingham Castle, its histories and collections, to intervene through temporary artwork that provokes imagination, adds layers of ambiguity and invites us to bring to bear our own experiences, memories and associations.

Rather than finding the exhibition in the usual temporary exhibition galleries, visitors encountered artists work in unexpected places, both outdoors and within the permanent collection displays.

Make Believe was a partnership between Fermynwoods Contemporary Art and Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery, funded by Arts Council England through Grants for the Arts.


Wayne Burrows     Susan Collis      Mark Dixon

Wayne BurrowsSusan CollisMark Dixon

Alan Kane         Debbie Lawson     Jason Singh

Alan KaneDebbie LawsonJason Singh

Shane Waltener

Shane Waltener

The original medieval castle has long disappeared, replaced by a grand Ducal mansion in the 17th century, which was gutted by fire in 1831 during Reform Act protests. The building was left as an empty shell until the 1870s, when its interior was remodelled to become one of the first public art museums outside London.

Fragments of the site’s thousand-year history can be found in the gardens and underground, alongside newer elements: a rescued Georgian door set in the side of a slope, apparently leading nowhere and manmade cladding seamlessly underpins the original Castle rock.

Across this site, fact and fiction literally collide; what is real and what has been imagined can be hard to differentiate, all is not what it seems.

Click here to read Make Believe essay, written by independent curator and writer Angela Kingston.

Click here to read Make Believe Review, written by artist and lecturer Tom Hackett for a-n .

Click here to download Make Believe flyer.


  1. […] Rather, I mean that on Friday night a new exhibition curated by Deborah Dean and Yasmin Canvin, Make Believe: Re-imagining History & Landscape opened at Nottingham Castle, and included the launch of a new publication, film and installation […]

  2. […] Deborah Dean at Nottingham Castle and Yasmin Canvin at Fermynwoods Contemporary Art to be part of Make Believe, a series of interventions in the collections and grounds of Nottingham Castle during the summer of […]

Leave a Reply

*Required fields/Mail will not be published
  • Comments
  • Print
  • Share/Bookmark