MACE in Artist’s Hands

In April, Barret Hodgson, a Nottingham based video artist, was invited by Anna Petry, curator of the Digital Broadway programme at the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham, to work with MACE to create a video installation that would be shown in the cafe bar of the cinema for the month of August.

Having worked with artists in the past we have seen how creative pratitioners have the ability to see the collections we care for in a way that we never could.  The outcomes of their work are often unexpected and always interesting so we accepted this commission wholeheartedly.

Barret had two initial interests.  Firstly, he wanted to work with material that related in some way to his home town.  Secondly, he wanted to make sure that what he produced was going to change every time it was shown.  As the intention to screen the film on a loop for the length of time the bar was open he was concerned that diners, drinkers and staff would not engage with it for a sustained period of time unless it was constantly changing.

Barret Hodgson's installation at the Broadway CinemaTo meet his interest in Nottingham MACE directed Barret to three films that are part of the Nottinghamshire Archives collection: OLD MARKET SQUARE (1951), FESTIVAL OF BRITAIN 1951: CELEBRATIONS and CORONATION CELEBRATIONS IN NOTTINGHAM 1953.  These seemed to meet his brief and, with additional material from the ITV regional news collection and some of his own footage, he began to piece together an idea.

This revolved around software that is able to take extracts from the source material and randomly order them and overlay them.  The result is a piece that is forever changing, forming juxtapositions and meanings that are sometimes dark and at other times humorous.

The completed work was premiered on 31 July and will be shown in the cafe bar at the Broadway Cinema until 31 August.

Barret Hodgson's installation at the Broadway CinemaBarret graduated last year from the Creative Collaboration MA at Nottingham Trent University and now heads Vent Media, a company specializing in digital video production, live cinema, graphic design and installation.  You can contact him at


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