Duke’s Wood Project

Dukes Wood Project is a new art exhibition and programme curated by Ordinary Culture. The exhibition programme runs from August 31 until September 29 2013 and takes place at the Dukes Wood Nature Reserve near Eakring in Nottinghamshire. The exhibition features 7 new works of art. The museum and artworks are open Tuesday to Sunday, 12pm until 5pm for the whole of September with special events every weekend.

The project has developed through an artist residency programme, in which we invited 9 artists to spend time at the wood at different points throughout the year. This has enabled each practitioner to undertake an intimate engagement with place and a deep level of enquiry. Duke’s Wood Project is the result of over a year of such study. 

Duke’s Wood, close to the Nottinghamshire village of Eakring, is a site of distinct historical and environmental significance. The wood is located on the U.K’s first onshore oilfield, now a nature reserve supporting a rich eco-system. Once a ‘top secret’ military installation, it is now a site of reconciliation; the wood expresses cooperation between two practices that might normally be considered ideological opposites – oil production and conservation.

Duke’s Wood Project has something for everyone. Learn about the sites unique industrial and wartime history, explore the woodlands nature trail and encounter innovative and challenging contemporary art in a unique setting. We hope you can join us.

If you would like to book a place on an event, get directions to Duke’s Wood or would like more information please contact us.



The Blog

The Duke’s Wood blog is intended to be a space for critical reflections from the project artists and associated writers and academics. The blog has been developed throughout the project and there will be new posts throughout September. For more detailed information on the project artists and all of the September events please visit our main website.



Ordinary Culture

Ordinary Culture is an art organisation, which develops art projects with people, and organisations in rural and urban settings where art might not usually be presented.

Ordinary Culture was set up in 2012 with a view to facilitating publishing and curatorial projects that explore the ways in which art and artists connect with place; illuminating lost or forgotten histories, imagining alternatives for the future, or simply unearthing and drawing attention to things in our environment that were hitherto overlooked or unrealised.

‘Culture is Ordinary that is where we must start.’

‘A culture is common meanings, the product of a man’s whole committed personal and social experience. It is stupid and arrogant to suppose that any of these meanings can in any way be prescribed; they are made by living, made and remade, in ways we cannot know in advance.’ – Raymond Williams, Culture is Ordinary

‘Culture is Ordinary: that is the first fact.’

Culture is often, if not always, thought of and partaken in on our own terms. Even if it is not acknowledged as such, it occurs naturally, in-exclusively and unsolicited.  Culture requires no invitation, no special knowledge; it exists, as William’s states, in ‘common meanings’, in acts of lived experience, as part and parcel of everyday life.

‘Culture is Ordinary, in every society and in every mind.’

Culture for Williams is not, or should not be, what separates people, but what joins them in community. Culture is not for the discerning few, but for the many. It is characterised by aesthetic and intellectual scarcity only in its alienated, elitist forms.


8 thoughts on “About

    • Dear John,

      We are in the process of finalising our copy for the project brochure currently, which will contain all dates for the September core programme. We will both make a blog post and FB post with all of this information very soon.

      Very best,


  1. I am trying to find out where and when I can visit the project which I would have thought the word ‘about’ would have explained. However in this context the word “about” seems to be obscurantist art-speak. Useful practical details of when and where I can see it would have been helpful. In Williams’ words: “Culture is not for the discerning few, but for the many” – but how many local people would be able to understand your website

    • Dear Sally,

      Thank you for your comments. The full details of the programme are just a couple clicks away from our homepage found here – http://ordinaryculture.org.uk. You will also find a full pdf version of the project brochure to download. The blog for the project is intended to be more of a space for critical reflections from the project artists and associated writers and academics. This said, in anticipation of the launch of September’s programme I made a post on July 29th titled ‘Duke’s Wood Project – Key Dates and Events’. You will find a link to this just four posts down on the right hand side of the screen when viewing the ‘About’ section that you mention. I hope this helps.

      Thanks for your thoughts regarding the tone of some of the text on our website, we do tend to get carried away sometimes and will take your ideas into consideration for all following information we provide. The last thing we want is for what we offer to be alienating. We have thoroughly enjoyed meeting many local people over the past few days during the project launch and into our first few open days. We’ve had some wonderfully positive comments and many people saying they will come back and attend future events. I sincerely hope you are able to make it out to us and that the above information is clear enough so you are able to establish when things are taking place over the next month.

      Very best,

      Ordinary Culture

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