University of Nottingham - logo
Periodic Table of Nottingham


Nottingham element: Nottingham Contemporary

Nottingham Contemporary grew out of Angel Row Gallery, which presented more than 200 exhibitions between 1991 and 2007. Nottingham Contemporary and the iconic purpose-built venue, was made possible through capital funding from Arts Council England, Nottingham City Council, East Midlands Development Agency, Greater Nottingham Partnership.

Celebrating Nottingham’s heritage, the building takes inspiration from the historic Lace Market quarter of the city. It references the bold, elegant design of the warehouses that serviced Nottingham’s famous lace industry. The concrete facade is embedded with a mid-19th-century cherry blossom lace design by Richard Birkin, which was discovered in a time capsule buried on our building’s site.

Nottingham Contemporary is sunk into sandstone cliffs, giving it an irregular structure, and a sense of being much larger on the inside than on the outside. By maximising the use of the available land, our building sits within the existing city skyline, nestled among the red brickwork of neighbouring Georgian townhouses. It is based in the oldest site in the city – the site of a Saxon fort, a medieval town hall, and a late Victorian railway cutting.

Scientific element: Cerium

Cerium has an atomic number of fifty-eight, and fifty-eight protons in its nucleus.

It is an iron-grey member of the rare earth metals group, and is the most abundant of all of those elements. 

Three scientists discovered cerium in 1803, two of them independent of each other.

Cerium is used in flat-screen TVs, low-energy light bulbs and floodlights.

Watch and learn

Explore more elements