a gallery with art adorning the walls


Attenborough Arts Centre is the largest contemporary art gallery in Leicester and one of the largest in the East Midlands. The gallery was  funded by Arts Council England, University of Leicester and over one thousand public donations.

Art is for everyone

We curate four free-to-access gallery spaces across Attenborough Arts Centre. Situated on the first floor, our balcony gallery connects our bustling studio spaces with our café and theatre, and hosts four to six exhibitions a year. Our three main galleries host three large scale exhibitions per year, and can be the most peaceful spaces in Leicester.

Highly adaptable, these spaces have hosted a wide range of art pieces from artists all around the world from across the spectrum of artistic disciplines.

a silhouette sat in front of a martian landscape

Kelly Richardson: Mariner 9

Monday 28 September – Friday 18 December
Gallery 1
Mariner 9 (2012) presents a video of panoramic view of the Mars landscape hundreds of years in the future, littered with the rusting remains of various missions to the planet.

Created with software used by the film and gaming industries, and using data from NASA’s missions to Mars, Richardson has created a realistic representation of the Mars landscape covered by the debris of centuries of exploration. Despite the apparent abandoned state of the planet, some of the spacecraft continue to work, looking for signs of life.

Kelly Richardson (b. 1972, Canada) is one of the leading members of a new generation of artists using digital technologies to create hyper-real, highly charged landscapes. Recent solo exhibitions include Dundee Contemporary Arts, CAG Vancouver, VOID Derry and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. Her video installations have been included in presentations at the Toronto Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival.

UK New Artists

UK New Artists

Friday 26 February – Monday 1 March 2021

New and emerging artists from across the UK will take over the city of Leicester for a long weekend.

Exhibitions, performance, music, writing and film and much more will animate cultural spaces and unusual places, presenting the work of over 50 practitioners at the leading edge of contemporary arts. In parallel, 20 artists will take up residence in Leicester; participating in collaborative ‘weekenders’ which will investigate   ‘sustainability’, ‘placemaking’ and ‘common interest’, respectively.  The overall programme will put a spotlight on Leicester’s geographic creative clusters; taking audiences on an immersive journey across spaces and art forms, and encouraging conversation through Q&As and tours. All events are free.

low brick corridors in a forest

Mik Godley: Considering Silesia

Monday 22 March – Friday 4 June 2021 

‘Considering Silesia’ observes the context of our evolving relationship with the internet, which increasingly enables us to virtually “visit” parts of the world and connect with strangers without leaving home.

Mik Godley is an artist and art school lecturer based in Nottingham. He is a painter who makes work using both traditional analogue painting techniques and digital iPad technology. His ongoing body of work ‘Considering Silesia’ was initiated in 2003, and explores the artist’s Anglo-German heritage, cultural memory, displacement and migration.  

‘Considering Silesia’ observes the context of our evolving relationship with the internet, which increasingly enables us to virtually “visit” parts of the world and connect with strangers without leaving home. Despite having never visited his mother’s homeland, Lower Silesia, Mik’s work documents the landscape and architecture of the region through images, video footage and maps found online. 

The selection of works presented in this exhibition at Attenborough Arts Centre form just a small part of this major body of work that has occupied the artist for over 15 years. Alongside major paintings and digital works, there will also be a selection of small sketches and works on paper that give further insight into how the project has developed over time, through Mik’s own evolving artistic practice and the technological developments that have offered increasingly detailed and immersive experiences of physically distant places and people. 

an image of a chair floating above the earth

The Sky Above Your Head

Saturday 26 June 2021 – Sunday 12 September 2021
Gallery 1
The Sky Above Your Head will survey the many ways in which contemporary artists have responded to the subject of outer space

Some artists have used space as direct subject matter, creating real and imaginary scenes of what lies beyond Earth. Other artists have used materials from space directly in their work, including fragments of meteorite and chemical elements that are more often found in outer space. Others still have responded to the long history that humankind has with the stars, using the night sky and the vastness of the universe beyond as a starting point for exploring the human condition.

Represented artists include: Glenn Brown, Angela Bulloch, Tim Etchells, Simon Faithfull, Fiona Finnegan, Stefan Gec, Brian Griffiths, Cornelia Parker and Michelle Stuart.

the cafe full of people with a group singing

Gallery Late

A night of music, spoken word, film, debate, and art, all happening across our galleries.
Join us for our latest Gallery Late, an opportunity to see the current exhibition after hours whilst enjoying Life Drawing in the galleries, and a night of film, spoken word, debate, arts and crafts, a brownie bar and more.
Tickets for this event are free but booking is recommended.
tetrahedrons in combed sand

Visual Arts Commissioning 2019 - 2020

We are working with a wide range of artists throughout 2019 – 2020 across a number of disciplines and styles.
covers of the NJITA magazine

No Jobs In The Arts

No Jobs in the Arts is a new zine, shining a light on some of the amazing visual artists working in the East Midlands today.
A golden clad dummy wearing a golden sun mask

Exhibition Archive

An archive of the exhibitions we have shown over the last 20 years