Hung, drawn and celebrated

08 Jan 2010 11:30:00.000


One of Nottingham's most famous authors is to become a permanent fixture at The University of Nottingham.

A new portrait of Alan Sillitoe is to be donated to the School of Education on Jubilee Campus by local artist, Dr Edward Sellman, who teaches in the School of Education at the University.

Dr Sellman will officially present the oil on canvas to the University on Monday 11 January. The Jubilee campus, where Dr Sellman teaches, is built upon the former site of the Raleigh bicycle factory where Sillitoe once worked and set his most famous novel, Saturday Night Sunday Morning.

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The portrait, one of a selection shown at Sellman’s first solo exhibition held at the Nottingham Society of Artists in October, was painted after he visited Nottingham-born writer Sillitoe earlier this year.


“Hanging the painting in the education foyer seems really fitting as its really close to where Alan used to come when he worked at the factory”, said Dr Sellman.


“Alan is the best-know person I’ve done a portrait of. I am very pleased with how it has turned out and delighted to be able to present it to the University”.


The occasion will be marked by speeches from academics at the University including Peter Preston (Special Lecturer in the Faculty of Arts and expert in modern and contemporary literature), Colin Harrison (Professor of Literacy Studies in Education, School of Education), Paul Thomson, and Gill Murray (both former Heads of English and English teachers at Nottingham Comprehensive Schools and now Lecturers in English on PGCE courses, School of Education), who will talk briefly about the contribution of Alan Sillitoe's work to literature, education and the city. An English Literature student will also do a reading.


Edward Sellman is particularly interested in portraiture and the figure in modern spaces. He explores the relationship between human activity, the language and symbols used to mediate the world in which we live and the impact this has upon searching for meaning in the world.


Born in Stafford, Edward studied Art & Education at Exeter University and now lives in the East Midlands. He is a full-time academic at The University of Nottingham in the daytime, where he teaches and researches issues concerning educational and social theory. Edward paints in the early mornings and at weekends, drawing upon similar themes in his visual work.


— Ends —


Notes to editors: The unveiling ceremony will start at 2:30pm, an official photograph with David and Julia Sillitoe, Alan’s son and daughter-in-law, will be taken at 3:15pm.


Refreshments will also be provided.


The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings.


More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.


The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.


Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives ( in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

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