24 Guildhall Road is currently closed as it undergoes capital renovations before our reopening to the public in 2024.
We are temporarily based at Vulcan Works from which we are delivering our limited programme. For any inquiries, please contact us via this page. 

Launching the Sensing Place Programme

Sensing Place, NN Contemporary Art

We are delighted to announce Sensing Place, a public programme exploring critical and creative approaches to public realm & placemaking across Northampton. 

Focusing on the relevance of placemaking for social and artistic communities, and the role of regeneration within cultural institutions, we aim to question what it means to inhabit, share and transform public space. Through a series of paracuratorial activities –including a 3-days symposium, screenings, workshops, writing groups, tarot readings, food events, walks, virtual gestures and other participatory events– we will investigate placemaking through two different entry points: architecture & design, body & movement.

Artists, curators, academics, researchers and our local communities will gather to reflect upon various economic, environmental, territorial, political and cultural implications of placemaking, or creative processes by which people and their institutions shape the public realm. By focusing on the idea that bodies are places, territories, or grounds in which new forms of placemaking can be seeded and grow, we will investigate the relation between interior and exterior spaces, individual and collective experience, the public and the private, and other critical and creative approaches to engage with the embodied experience of public space.

Sensing Place is a call out to develop strategies for collaboration and to strengthen connections between our individual identities and the environments we share. What does it take to create more just and equal environments? How can we collaboratively inhabit places and foster a sense of belonging in our communities? As we are creating a new phase of NN Contemporary Art at 24 Guildhall Road, we are looking closely at the policies and processes involved in designing public space and exploring their challenges and outputs. Our institution is actively involved in Northampton’s town regeneration strategies and we want to explore themes such as agency, infrastructure and sustainability across the creative collaborations that merge art, culture, and community-led design in placemaking.

Sensing Place is developed in partnership with West Northamptonshire Council.
The programme is structured into two Chapters:

Chapter 1 (Autumn-Winter 2022)

Joe Moss, Model Village
19th November -2nd December

Collaborative exhibition making programme Model Village explores Arts and Crafts’ role in the development of the new towns. Over the programme, participants are asked to make houses out of any material, either in the exhibition space or at home. These are then placed by their creator on tabletop-gaming landscapes. There are no rules to this, from assembled kebab napkins to pebbledash mini-houses the event facilitates exchange between people, and over the process a logic, specific to the event, arises independently from any singular vision of what the ‘Model Village’ might be. The idea is to create a sense of place which encapsulates a ‘culture’ that emerges naturally from the creation of a physical display. 

Joe Moss: Artist and Creative Producer at The London School of Mosaic. Alongside making physical work, his practice includes a breadth of educational and facilitatory activities. Recent related projects include presenting at the Tate Exchange as part of School of Civic Action, curating the show Underpinned by The Movements of Freighters and a residency at Eastcheap Projects in Letchworth Garden City, where he developed the Model Village programme. Joe regularly exhibits across the UK, and has recently started an MFA at the Slade to focus on developing his mosaics.

Sensing Place 3-Day Symposium
23, 24, 25 November 2022

Explorative and participatory design consultation and symposium at our new site to discuss and develop dialogue for the design brief and blueprint process for 24 Guildhall Road (phase 2) and subsequent public realm projects in Northampton. We will start every day with a tour of the site to open up consultation processes and community dialogue.
We have invited a consortium of thinkers, collaborators, artists and members of the community to present their projects, provocations and processes, and be in dialogue with our design team and partnership stakeholders.

Tickets available through Eventbrite.
Free to attend, ticket required.

Location: 24 Guildhall Road St Giles’ Square, Northampton NN1 1DE.

Participants (more TBC)

  • Sean Griffiths 
  • RESOLVE Collective.
  • PEROU (Screening) 
  • The Growing Project at Grand Union 
  • The London School of Mosaic (Dr Silvie Jacobi)
  • UP Projects (Moira Lascelles)
  • Nephertiti Oboshie Schandorf (Peckham Platform)
  • Her Visions (Zaiba Jabbar)
  • SPACEX researchers Dr Andy Hewitt & Dr Mel Jordan (University of Northampton & University of Coventry)
  • Create London (Marie Bak Mortensen)
  • Cecily Chua, Theatrum Mundi
  • Tessy Britton, Participatory City
  • Clare Louise Staunton
  • Rachel Pimm
  • Pollinaria: food & place workshop on wine & olive oil from Abruzzo, Italy 
  • Open-weather (Sasha Englemann & Sophie Dyer) 
  • Roger Malbert (Hayward Gallery Touring) 
  • Colaboratory Kitchen (Emilio Hernández Martinez)
  • Haley Morris-Cafiero (University of Northampton)

Cocina Colaboratorio (Emilio Hernández Martínez), Colaboratory Kitchen: Extended Table.

1 – 10 December

Location: 24 Guildhall Road (ticketed event).

Open kitchen installation where participants are invited to co-create and cook new dishes inspired by their territories of origin, followed by an open discussion of the narratives that food can tell us, embodied knowledge and food displacement to contribute to the development of our future Civic Reading Room site.

Chapter 2 (January – April 2023)

Through this programme, we aim to deepen the awareness of the embodied self in relation to places (urban and natural) and to other bodies; understand the interconnected condition that we hold with spaces, bodies, and the rest of the world; localise and awaken inherent potentialities within the body and the spaces we inhabit; recognise the many challenges that public spaces face within the urges of the contemporary context –social inequalities, environmental violence– but also their capacity to generate resistance and resilience, and provide shelter and protection; create ‘interstices’, as described by Karl Marx, or trading possibilities other than those in effect within the capitalist system (non-reproductive, alternative economies); generate spaces for learning and conviviality, critical thinking, affective encounters and knowledge exchange; finally, we wish to devise strategies of well-being and care towards the individual’s body, the care of other bodies and the spaces they occupy.

Artists to include:

  • Sidsel Meineche Hansen
  • Harold Offeh 
  • Musarc
  • Lucy Suggate & Charlie Ford
  • Erica Scourti
  • Jennifer Reid
  • Resolve II
  • Daniella Valz Gen
  • Khairani Barokka
  • David Panos 
  • Lauren Craig

More details to be announced soon…

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