PARTS of Britain paralysed by worsening floods, an annual outcry over rising energy costs, the ongoing debate about finding new sources of energy and how they could adversely affect the climate, which might be causing the floods...

Just when did we lose our faith that science could solve our energy problems and make the future a better, brighter place?

These are among the issues subtly explored in a topical new exhibition of paintings by Nottingham artist Sean Cummins held at Nottingham Trent University's Bonington Gallery between March 12 and 28.

In The Potato Eaters Discover Cold Fusion Cummins has juxtaposed the themes of an early Van Gogh painting and a posed, stagey photograph of a nuclear power station control room in 1963 as the basis for a series of paintings which touch on failed dreams of utopia, the eroded belief in science and the once optimistic view that nuclear energy would provide Britain with endless cheap energy.

The paintings, and the public relations photograph they repeatedly explore, reach back to that period in the 1950s and early 1960s when the Government was building nuclear reactors across Britain. The reactor control room in the photograph is from a nuclear power station at the Winfrith site in Dorset, which was opened in 1961. Its complicated arrays of analogue circuits, switches and dials - of some fascination to Cummins - can be seen as a tactile echo of the faith in a nuclear future and the larger belief that science was a force for good.

But when and why did the nuclear dream turn sour? And if Britain doesn't start generating more power from low-carbon nuclear in the future - as Gaia scientist James Lovelock now believes it has to - then what are the implications for climate change?

"I'm not saying these paintings are part of a solution, or even thinking of them as making a political point, but they are evocative of a moment in the late 1950s and early 1960s when there was a belief that science could not only provide us with lots of energy but also solve many of society's problems," says Cummins, who is course leader of the BA Fine Art course at Nottingham Trent University. "What happened to those beliefs?""

The exhibition is Cummins' first major solo show in Nottingham and also marks a new and more public-facing stage in the history of the Bonington Gallery.

New signage outside the gallery and a more publicly-engaged exhibition programme this year reveal a new ambition to make the gallery more accessible to the general public than hitherto. The gallery recently took part in the exhibition Since 1843: In the Making, which celebrated the 170th anniversary of the university's School of Art & Design, and a full programme of exhibitions is lined up into 2015.

"The gallery is committed to providing a creative platform for new concepts, debates and collections, and to strategic partnerships locally, nationally and internationally," said Professor Duncan Higgins, who chairs the gallery's curatorial committee. "Cummins' exhibition exemplifies the growing status and creative quality of the exhibitions we are hosting. This is a powerful and culturally relevant exhibition."

Cummins' journey into the energy issue began when he saw a painting of Staythorpe Power Station, near Newark, Nottinghamshire, in the catalogue for the 1951 Festival of Britain. The painting, by war artist A.R. Thompson, RA, attractively portrayed the huge power station amid a relaxing nature scene of water, trees and swans. The painting's impressionistic style and combination of soothing nature and polluting power station immediately struck Cummins as "wrong" on many levels but inspired him to begin researching Britain's post-war energy policy.

When he found the photograph of the nuclear control room from 1963 it struck Cummins that there were similarities of composition between the picture and Vincent Van Gogh's portrayal of poor agrarian workers in The Potato Eaters, which was completed in 1885.

That painting helped to shape Cummins' aspirations to subtly explore the distances in time and poverty between the past and the technology-rich nuclear promise of post-war Britain.

Personal history also plays a part in the show on several levels, not least the fact that Cummins' own father was a nuclear scientist who had a role in establishing the causes of the Chernobyl nuclear accident in Ukraine in 1986.

"I remember sitting on Chesil Beach in Dorset with my father and looking at the waves," says Cummins. "We would discuss whether the energy in the waves was moving up or down or pulsing towards us. For my father art and science are linked in that they both address a sense of wonder about the physical world. Although I have a kind of 'future nostalgia' for the middle 20th century today I think that neither art nor science can operate in isolation. I don't know what the answer to our energy problems is, but if we together with scientists are to provide the solutions then I think we all have to be more socially engaged."

Britain's first nuclear power station, Calder Hall, began operating in 1956. Between then and 1976 ten more nuclear power stations were built, producing up to a third of Britain's electricity. All the reactors in this first wave of nuclear power stations have now been closed down or decommissioned. Britain now has nine nuclear power stations producing 19% of the country's electricity. Sites for eight new plants, to be built by 2025, have since been identified.

Sean Cummins gained a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Manchester Polytechnic in 1981 and an MA Fine Art from Goldsmith's College in 2000. He has taken part in many solo and group shows in Britain, Austria, South Africa, Hungary, Poland, New York and Rome. He also helped found the Gasworks gallery and studios in Vauxhall, London.

The Potato Eaters Discover Cold Fusion can be seen between March 12 and 28.

The Bonington Gallery, Dryden Street, Nottingham NG1 4GG, is open Monday – Friday 10 am – 5 pm

Macmillan Cancer Support's mobile service is stopping off in Nottinghamshire between 19th and 22nd March, including Hyson Green, Kirby in Ashfield, Beeston and Mansfield. A team of information and support specialists will be on board to offer free, confidential, advice and support to anyone with a concern or a question relating to cancer. No appointment is necessary, and anyone is welcome.

March is prostate cancer awareness month so the team will be raising awareness about the signs and symptoms to look out for. Prostate cancer is the most common cause of cancer in men with 114 men diagnosed everyday in the UK.

The most common symptoms of prostate cancer include having to rush to the toilet to pass urine, difficulty in passing urine and passing urine more often than usual, especially at night. However, most men with early prostate cancer are unlikely to have any symptoms, for some men the first noticeable symptoms are from prostate cancer which has spread to their bones causing pain in the back, hips or pelvis. These symptoms could be caused by other problems such as general aches and pains or arthritis, but it is still a good idea to get them checked out by a GP.

Helen Kennedy, Lead Macmillan Information and Support Specialist on the unit, says, "Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in men in the UK. However, survival rates are improving, and as with all types of cancer early diagnosis and treatment will ensure the best outcomes. We would urge anyone exhibiting symptoms to go and get checked by their doctor, most enlargements of the prostate are not cancer but it is always best to be safe."

More than 15,000 people in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire receive a cancer diagnosis every year, and each of these people require support. The Macmillan team is with you every step of the way. If you have any worries or questions about cancer, whether it's about you, a relative or friend, come on board the bus and talk to us."

Our 5 mobile information units travel around the UK visiting local communities, providing cancer information and advice on the ground. Last year they helped an average of 60,000 people a day in over 500 locations.

Details of upcoming visits:
Wednesday 19 March
Hyson Green ASDA, Radford Road, Nottingham, NG7 5FP
10am to 4pm

Thursday 20 March
Kirby in Ashfield, Morrisons Supermarket, Ashfield Precinct, NG17 7BQ
9.30am to 3.30pm

Friday 21 March
Beeston, Town Square, Chilwell Road, NG9 2AN
10am to 4pm

Saturday 22 March
Mansfield, Market Place (near front of Old Town Hall), NG18 1HX
10am to 4pm

Cancer is the toughest fight many people will ever face, and the feelings of isolation and loneliness that so many people experience make it even harder. But you don't have to go through it alone. If you cannot visit the unit but have questions about cancer, or becoming more active visit www.macmillan.org.uk or call Macmillan free on 0808 808 00 00.

Tickets for the Newark Amateur Operatic Society production of Guys and Dolls are now on sale at the Place Theatre Newark. The show will take place from Tuesday 25 March until Saturday 29 March, tickets are priced £15 (Concession £14 and a £45 Family Ticket – two adult and two children) and the booking office can be contacted on 01636 655755.

This show is the 79th for the Society and revolves around the world of gangsters, gambling, romance and salvation and features the ever popular songs "Guys and Dolls", "Luck Be a Lady" and "Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat".

Said Lyndon Warnsby, Director:

"Rehearsals are progressing really well and we are furiously working on the dance routines and perfecting the staging of this exciting and fast paced show. It really is an exciting show and one that everyone can enjoy – there really is something in it for everyone. If you are really sharp eyes you may even see me on stage at some point"

This show builds on the recent success of "Sing!, Sing!, Sing!" which saw society members alongside local schools perform an evening of musical highlights at the Theatre. During this performance it was announced that the 80th anniversary show for the Society would be the ever popular "The King and I" which will be performed at the theatre during March 2015.

Said Rita Crowe, Chair of the Board:

"To be able to say that we will be performing our 80th anniversary show is quite an achievement for the Society and one that we are extremely proud of. It is all made possible by the dedicated cast and backstage crew without who no performance would be possible. If anyone would like to get involved in future productions contact us on 01636 758706 or visit our new website at www.newarkoperaticsociety.co.uk

We look forward to welcoming friends old and new to this year's exciting show and to our future productions."

The Minster School, Southwell is holding a Fashion Show event on Thursday 3rd April at 7pm. Featuring clothes from REISS of Nottingham, there will also be beauty treatments, a raffle, refreshments and much more!

Tickets are £5 per adult, children £1. Contact 07776 134558 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A Flood Mitigation Community Meeting will be held on Thursday 10th April at 6.30pm at The Minster School, Southwell.

Since the beginning of February, the Medical Centre in Southwell has started an online service for booking appointments and ordering repeat prescriptions.

A new Headteacher has been appointed at the Minster School in Southwell.

Southwell Choral Society is currently inviting applications for its annual Choral and Music bursaries.

Enjoy a local run or bike ride while raising money for local charity Southwell Care Project (SCP) that supports adults with learning disabilities.

Leading charity Action for Children is teaming up with The World of Eric Carle and encouraging children's centres, nurseries and groups for under-5s in Nottinghamshire to host a Giant Wiggle event on The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day, Thursday 20th March.

The day, celebrated annually, marks the start of the 45th anniversary celebration of the UK's most read children's book. The event will bring together under-5s to wiggle along in giant caterpillar conga lines, encourage them to help others, and open up their imaginations through storytelling and creative activities.

Ruth Sorby, partnership fundraising manager at Action for Children, said: "By hosting a sponsored Giant Wiggle at your centre you'll be helping us continue to support vulnerable children, young people and families in the heart of communities in Nottinghamshire, and across the UK.

"If you would like to join in the celebrations on 20 March and organise a Giant Wiggle at your local children's centre or nursery, then please get in touch and we'll send you everything you need."

For more information, and to register for a fundraising pack to host a Giant Wiggle near you, visit www.actionforchildren.org.uk/giantwiggle or telephone 0300 1232112 (lines are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

This heart-racing production will be showing at The Palace Theatre, Newark on Thursday 6th March at 7.30pm.

Recovering stroke patients in the Newark area can benefit from a 12-week course combining gentle exercise and information starting at The Grove Leisure Centre in Balderton on Thursday 6th March.

Starting on Monday 24th February, World War One at Home in the East Midlands begins broadcasting the first of 100 stories on BBC Radio Nottingham and at www.bbc.co.uk/ww1

World War One At Home, a UK-wide project, will broadcast over a thousand powerful stories throughout 2014 and 2015 - all linked to specific places across the country - in a way never told before.

This unique broadcasting event will uncover surprising stories about familiar neighbourhoods where the wounded were treated, crucial front line supplies were made, major scientific developments happened, prisoners of war were held and where heroes are buried.

To help unearth and bring these original wartime accounts to life, IWM (Imperial War Museums) is working together with the BBC in a partnership that will span the World War One Centenary. World War One At Home is also working with academics from universities across Britain who have been supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Based in Swindon, the AHRC funds research in the arts and humanities and helps share the findings with the wider public.

In the East Midlands, BBC Radio Nottingham, BBC Radio Leicester and BBC Radio Derby will broadcast a World War One At Home story at 8.15am each weekday morning, and at various times throughout the day from Monday 24th February to Friday 28th February. More World War One At Home stories will be broadcast in April and through the rest of the year.

BBC East Midlands Today will also broadcast a World War One At Home story each weekday from 24 – 28 February at 6.30pm on BBC One.

BBC Radio Nottingham and BBC Inside Out East Midlands tell the story of Albert Ball, a World War One Flying Ace from Nottingham and the first pilot of the Royal Flying Corps to receive the Victoria Cross - awarded posthumously. Albert is credited with shooting down 43 German planes in only 15 months. He died on 7th May 1917, aged 20, reputedly shot down by Lothar von Richthofen, the brother of the infamous German Flying Ace, the Red Baron. However, new documentary evidence and expert opinion suggests it is more likely Ball's death could well have been down to a combination of fatigue and mechanical failure. He was last seen coming upside down out of a cloud with no engine running. Albert Ball is also significant because he became one of the first to have his name and actions thrust into the media spotlight at a time when 'celebrity' was a new concept. A hero at home was needed and Albert became that hero...much to his own discomfort.

Stuart Thomas, Head of Regional & Local Programming for the East Midlands, said: "I've been fascinated to hear the incredible World War 1 stories that originate in the East Midlands - many that have never been told before. From stories about famous firms and the impact they had on the war - to individuals who did extraordinary things in our villages, towns and cities. Bringing these stories to life online, on radio and on television is very exciting, and I look forward to seeing all 100 from the East Midlands at http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww1 "

The 1400 stories from World War One at Home are being broadcast in phases; the second phase will begin in Spring 2014.

Listen to BBC Radio Nottingham on 103.8 & 95.5FM, DAB Digital Radio and online via the BBC iPlayer

Browse hundreds of stories online at www.bbc.co.uk/ww1 from 24 February. #WW1AtHome

With the new year there comes a new series of public walks around Laxton. These offer a great opportunity to learn more about the unique farming system.

  

On Saturday 1st March Gosh Gallery will open its doors to the public, bringing with it a whole host of exciting events.

Located 20 minutes drive from Southwell in Tuxford and run by Rebekah Hunter, Gosh is a contemporary art gallery with a focus on 'Affordable Art for all'.

With gallery space to display work from local, regional and national artists current exhibitors include Al Heighton, Becky Pate, John Oldfield, Graham Laughton, Daniel Hardacre, Linda Boughton, Nick Deakin, Anthony Zinonos, Rebekah Hunter and Bea Kadlicsco.

There is also a Children's Art Corner to keep them occupied whilst you view the works on show.

Another feature of the gallery will be regular creative workshops run by established artists. Participants will be able to learn more about the work they do and pick up tips, techniques and knowledge.

First up is Graham Laughton on Saturday 8th March with a Drawing Workshop Taster Day – Come and enjoy a fabulous day of drawing, learning some new skills along the way. Taking place 10am-3pm (1 hour lunch break), priced £40 including materials.

An exciting range of print workshops starts on Saturday 15th March, which aim to include mono printing, open and paper stencil screenprinting and lino printing.

"Our printmaking tutor is a qualified lecturer and practising artist. We aim to give you plenty of inspiration, new ideas and a number of fabulous prints to take home at the end of the session, all you need to bring is your enthusiasm!" explained Rebekah.

For the more experienced printmakers bespoke and in depth print courses are also available.

Studio space is also available for small creative businesses to set up as their place of work, taking advantage of the creative environment that surrounds them. 

Please join Rebekah on Saturday 1st March 12noon - 6pm to find out about all that Gosh has to offer– there will be refreshments, a taster drawing session (2-3pm) and Cool NAIL Art where you can get your favourite art on your nails!

www.goshgallery.com

Nottinghamshire's 'Not for Profit' Family Charity music festival Deerstock, taking place from 25th to 27th July 2014, will this year move to a new site near Newton.

Having raised £5,000 for the last two years, the aim of the event is primarily to raise funds for good causes but also to give families a chance to experience a 'proper' music festival in a field with camping and the chance to meet other families and festival goers in a small safe environment.

Charities to be supported will be Notts & Lincs Air Ambulance, The Lee Bonsall Memorial Fund and Teenage Cancer Trust.

The line up for the event includes: This Wicked Tongue, Stuck in 2nd, Leo and the Seraphim, Doggen 'All Star' Band, Rev Hammer, The Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonican, The Bedroom Hour, Ferocious Dog, Def Digby, Lauren Faith and many more!

There will be two stages and a 'Stage in the Glade' for casual buskers and singers.

Tickets cost: Early Bird £35 (Full price £40) Adult; Early Bird £25 (Full price £35) Under 18; Children Under 11 free with an accompanying adult. All tickets for the weekend include three nights camping. This event has sold out for the last two years, no tickets will be held back for sale on the day if it is a sell out.

To purchase tickets go to: www.eventbrite.co.uk