‘Time to Connect’ art trail links six stunning nature and heritage sites across Nottinghamshire

by | 8 June 2024 | Art, Heritage, Retford

A new arts trail connecting six locations across Nottinghamshire encourages communities and visitors to take the ‘time to connect’ with heritage and nature in their local surroundings.

The Time to Connect trail features a series of six artworks created by artist and sculptor Chris Campbell, based at the sites of Papplewick Pumping Station, Newstead Abbey, RSPB Sherwood Forest, Rufford Abbey, Vicar Water Country Park and Bestwood Country Park.

Inspire: Culture, Learning and Libraries and the Miner2Major Landscape Partnership Scheme (supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund) collaborated on the project to connect local artists, venues and community groups to help leave a legacy of artworks in key locations across Sherwood Forest.

The trail is the result of Inspire and Miner2Major’s work with The Big Draw, and was sparked by the 2023 theme #DrawingwithSenses to connect communities with nature through sensory exploration.

Visual artists Mandy Keating, Tracey Meek and Chris Campbell teamed up with local groups and school children to create drawings inspired by Nottinghamshire’s heritage and landscapes, and the artwork from those workshops has been used by Chris in his designs for the sculptures along the trail.

Groups involved in the project include children from the 28th Nottingham Boys Brigade and Girls Association, Newstead Primary School, Beardall Fields Primary and Nursery School, Bilsthorpe Flying High Academy, 1st Edwinstowe Rainbows and Brownies and 1st Clipstone Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. Each sculpture on the trail invites you to take time to connect with this place and with each other.

The trail is part of a wider national project led by renowned portrait photographer, Alistair Morrison. Alistair has created Time to Connect, photographing people and places around the UK, and Nottinghamshire is the starting point for this journey. The Time to Connect project is the largest undertaking of his career; a five-year journey will take Alistair across the nation in a converted camper van to capture a portrait of the UK and document people and places from all walks of life.

Central to the project is Alistair’s mission to meet and connect with people of diverse backgrounds across all 100 counties of the UK. Nottinghamshire’s Time to Connect trail is the first of these artistic projects to be completed.

Peter Gaw, Chief Executive Officer of Inspire, commented: “It’s been brilliant to work alongside Alistair and so many fantastic artists, community groups and local heritage organisations to bring this project to Nottinghamshire. With huge thanks to our six sculpture venues who worked alongside our Libraries and Culture team and Sculptor Chris to bring this community arts trail to life.”

The Time to Connect Art Trail booklet is available to view and download at www.inspireculture.org.uk. Copies are also available to pick up at all Inspire libraries, all six sculpture sites and Nottingham Tourism Centre.