Lentonness

A public artwork by Near Now Fellow Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad.

On display at the Savoy Cinema, Derby Road, Nottingham, NG7 1QN from April – September 2019.

Lentonness is a public artwork created by designer and Near Now Fellowship alumnus Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad, in collaboration with Lenton residents.

Commissioned by Primary and co-produced by Near Now through the Near Now Fellowship, the artwork takes the form of an LED light display, situated on the side of the Savoy Cinema. The artwork will share over 50 definitions of ‘Lentonness’ submitted by Lenton residents.

Photo by Reece Straw

Photo by Reece Straw

What is Lentonness?

In 2018, as part of Making Place, Primary's long-term programme focusing on learning from the city and use of public space, Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad ran workshops with Lenton residents, sharing stories, images, and myths about the local area. Through this process the group distilled a question to ask the wider public in the area: ‘What is Lentonness?’

The responses gathered so far feature in a new public artwork taking the form of an LED sign, displayed on the side of the Savoy Cinema. The different definitions give a rich picture of the many things that Lenton means to local people – from long-term residents, elders and children, to new communities and students – at a time when the neighbourhood has undergone significant changes. They offer snapshots of place, memories, humour, poetry, loss and hope from Lenton residents: riding the lifts in the now demolished flats; writing poetry on napkins; the struggle to maintain community; jacket potatoes; and understanding ‘wha worrit thingy said’.

Photo by Reece Straw

Photo by Reece Straw

The artwork will be on display for six months, and during this time there will be the opportunity for new contributions to be added.

Photo by Reece Straw

Photo by Reece Straw

Thanks to everyone involved in creating the project: Thomas Helwys Baptist Church, Lenton Drives and Neighbours Residents Association, Edna G Olds Primary School, and all the local residents who have contributed their definitions.

Lentonness was commissioned by Primary as part of the ‘Making Place’ programme, and was produced in partnership with Near Now, supported using public funding by the Arts Council England. The project is kindly supported by Near Neighbours and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.