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48Sheet Artists: MadeIn Company | Shanghai Raqs Media Collective | Delhi Mary Mazziotti | Pittsburgh Ben Long | London Steve Rosenthal | London Stephen Brandes | Cork Elizabeth Rowe | Birmingham Redhawk Logistica | Birmingham Ian Richards | London Tom Tebby | Birmingham Candice Smith | Birmingham Maurice Doherty | Berlin Shail Belani | Mumbai Lucy McLauchlan | Birmingham Matt Watkins | Birmingham Lawrence Roper | Birmingham Dan Burwood | Birmingham Glenn Anderson | Birmingham Harry Blackett & Robin Kirkham | Birmingham Steve Parsons | Birmingham Helen Sweeting | Birmingham Faith Pearson | Birmingham Mark Murphy & Craig Earp | Birmingham Jim O’Raw | Birmingham Tidal Grace | Vancouver Gerard Hanson | Oxford Baptist Coehlo | Mumbai

The billboard is dead. Long live the billboard.



Raqs Media Collective

Tr y


MadeIn Company Photographed by Leah Carless

Photographed by Helen Ogbourn

From the 2 – 29 April 2012 up to 100 10ft x 20ft 48Sheet billboards will be utilised as platforms for creative expression by 29 artists to transform the city of Birmingham into an urban gallery. Regional, National and International artists including MadeIn Company (Shanghai) and Raqs Media Collective (Delhi) will create large scale work to exhibit within public space, in response to the projects overarching theme of ‘cultural curiosity’.

Steve Rosenthal

Claire Farrell, Director of EC-Arts


48Sheet aims to create a large-scale artistic intervention for

With special thanks to 48Sheet Advisory Board members

people to discover within their everyday commute or journey

for supporting the commissioning, selection and curatorial

across the city and parts of the region.

process of the project:

Artists have responded and challenged the repetitive rhythm of a traditional advertising campaign to create a network

Professor Chris O’Neil

of unique and distinctive responses that will raise levels of

Executive Dean of Birmingham Institute of Art and Design

consciousness and arouse curiosity.

Jonathan Watkins

Advertising free clusters of billboards have been selected

Director Ikon

and mapped to create several routes to encourage people to

Professor Jiehong Jiang

navigate, explore, discover and rediscover their city from

Director of Centre for Chinese Visual Arts (BIAD)

a different perspective.

Glenn Howells Director Glenn Howells Architects, Nigel Edmondson City Design Manager Birmingham City Council Beverley Nielsen Director Idea Birmingham Sophia Tarr Art Producer & Consultant

Prof Chris O’Neil, Executive Dean of Birmingham Insitute of Art and Design

The original design city.

Birmingham, the manufacturing centre of the United

The CBSO, Jaguar Landrover, Glenn Howells Architects and

Kingdom has always valued and always will value the arts.

the Ikon are world defining organisations who are committed

Birmingham knows that its centralisation to manufacturing

to Birmingham and the region because they know the

is best led by a community that understands the relationship

city enriches them, their people and their work.

between sometimes crude industrial process and the

So, turning Birmingham itself into a major urban art gallery

beautiful and refined. Birmingham is the original design

through the vision of EC Arts is further evidence that we care

city. Despite the perception that manufacturing has all but

about our environment and we want to feed and challenge

disappeared in the UK, nothing could be further from the

our creativity.

truth. Birmingham continues to define the high value and

48Sheet is a remarkably ambitious project and it sits

desirable because it is a city that has always invested in

comfortably within the context of this remarkably

arts that are beautiful, sublime, challenging and cordial.

ambitious city.

For a city to be successful there needs to be a proper and balanced blend of innovation, skills, connectivity and environmental quality. Birmingham has this blend and so continues to develop and attract the talented and ambitious from across the world.

Mary Mazziotti Photographic interpretation by Martin Pickard, for Birmingham Viewpoint competition.

Tom Tebby Photographed by Nicole Scribble

Tom Tebby

Raqs Media Collective Photographed by Helen Ogbourn

Ben Long Photographed by Leah Carless

Matt Watkins Live installation 2 April 2012 Photographed by Leah Carless

48Sheet Programme 2012

MadeIn Company Shanghai

All events will take place at 48Sheet project space, Hint

The Mailbox, Birmingham B1 1XL

Artist talk: Stephen Brandes 2 – 2.40pm Thursday 19 April

Ta k e n

Workshop: Screen Printing with Jim O’Raw

Raqs Media Collective

12 – 5pm Saturday 21 April


Papergirl night 7.30– 11pm Tuesday 24 April

Workshop: Rip of Brum with Steve Parsons 1.30 – 5pm Wednesday 25 April

Workshop: Shanty towns with Faith Pearson

Mary Mazziotti Pittsburgh

2 – 5pm Friday 27 April

Event: Collage party with Elizabeth Rowe 12pm – 5pm Saturday 28 April

Papergirl distribution day 12pm onwards Saturday 28 April For more information please visit

Ben Long London

Steve Rosenthal

Ian Richards



Stephen Brandes

Tom Tebby



Elizabeth Rowe

Candice Smith



Redhawk Logistica

Maurice Doherty



Shail Belani

Dan Burwood



Lucy McLauchlan

Glenn Anderson



Isn’t the plumage beautiful?

Matt Watkins

Just say the first thing that pops into your mind Harry Blackett & Robin Kirkham



Lawrence Roper

Steve Parsons



Helen Sweeting

Gerard Hanson



Faith Pearson

Baptist Coehlo



Dream like purple old building, very modern for its time has taken over the smell of chocolate in my garden all through the night and we don't want to lose it

Mark Murphy & Craig Earp

Tidal Grace



Jim O’Raw Birmingham

Ben Long Photographed by Tim Cornbill

Elizabeth Rowe MadeIn Company Photographed by Leah Carless

Birmingham Viewpoint competition.

Shail Bela

Ben Long

Mary Mazziotti

Photographed by Patrick Dandy

Photographed by Tim Cornbill

Photographed by Martin Pickard

Raqs Media Collective

Helen Sweeting

Tom Tebby

Photographed by Helen Ogbourn

Photographed by Edward Moss

Photographed by Nicole Scribble

Ben Long

Helen Sweeting

Mary Mazziotti

Photographed by Claire Hartley

Photographed by Dave Harte

Photographed by Leah Carless

Cycle routes & map.

Above map and routes created by Eliot Daves

48Sheet ‘pop up’ project space intended for artists to talk, respond, create and collaborate. The Mailbox, Birmingham B1 1XL

Project space. Tidal Grace

Lee Crutchley

11 artists, 11 OHP’s, acetate & marker pens. March 2012

Draw off.

Isn’t the plumage beautiful?

Just say the first thing that pops into your mind

Harry Blackett & Robin Kirkham

Text by Paul Wright. 48Sheet writer-in-residence. April 2012

In between, around and about. A quick insight into what happens when walking and looking are made political acts; some ways that visual art helps reframeour perceptions of Birmingham’s industrial landscape.

Walking and looking Birmingham is a city of two-million. It’s a place where

Walking provides scope to reengage with parts of the city once

local and regional artists sit alongside large corporate

forgotten and looking becomes an act of critical engagement.

advertising – and they’re vying for your attention! It’s a city

Putting art in an advertising space may make us once again

of artistic enterprise and social tradition held together by a

critical of the advertising billboard space; but also don’t forget

pedestrianized commercial centre. The philosophy backing up

to look at the urban landscape around these sites. By using

48Sheet – a wide reaching public art project – involves artistic

art in this way 48Sheet encourages advertisers to see us as

intervention and staging walking and cycle routes around the

more than just puppet-consumer-spectators with a buck in

city. The point being to render a minds-eye collage of the city.

our back pocket.

This type of civic-minded activity recalls the fertile nomadic

We have feelings and desires beyond that. And walking and

practices of the fluxus city happenings of the 70’s. Back then,

looking brings us closer to exploring those feelings. The

artists unearthed poetic statements by carving up decaying

project offers a way for us to alter our beliefs about how we

buildings, and stumbled on joyous moments by getting the

want to engage in our city. Jane Warnick of the campaigning

public to join in with their musically-rhythmic performances.

organisation Building Futures says that the best projects

This type of happening pioneered re-engagement both for

get people ‘to smile, stop and ponder, to generate memory.

artist and the public with what was already there in their cities.

To develop a reaction. Or simply see anew a place that has

This year, 48Sheet emulates a fluxus-happening, this time

dropped out of our view’. Walking, or better still, wondering

on the streets of Birmingham. The invitation is for the public

around and looking are purposeful activities that help us to

and they’re being asked to ‘encounter art in a public space’.

do this.

It’s an opportunity to reengage with the poetry and joy of the city. The project combines flamboyant gestures of art with the human-ized activities of walking and looking.

A pop-up gallery There won’t be any rousing done by rebel advertising slogans.

48Sheet aims to create a unique outdoor gallery. The project is

And you’ll notice that the paternalistic messages that usually

simply looking at ways in which to move beyond established

flourish, where advertising billboards colonise the streets, have

visual boundaries to question anything and everything urban

been pasted over. This means you won’t be told how to feel

ranging from the vilification/ of graffiti and colonies of new

or how good to look. You’ll simply be able to observe at close

retail/ living spaces that pop-up. Greater interest will be

range the fidelity of fine detail in the art works. And observed

to ensure enjoyment of exploring the city boundary. The

from across the street you’ll get a feeling of the colour, form,

billboards require you to move your head to at least 30 degree

content. In all there are 100 advertising hoardings for your

tilt upwards. In the specific cuts and remixes of artworks

public-sighted enjoyment. It amounts to art spanning 30,000

there’s glitchy beat chimes; noisy sound clashscapes; testing

sq ft, or a third of one floor in Birmingham’s Selfridges retail

repetitive rhythms; evocative shapes and form, discordant


elements; aural textures; sobering meditations; tricksy puns;

There’s a beautiful vagueness to it all. This is its strength.

otherworldly psycho-social skits; poetic drawings; and

Art-clusters at locations throughout the cities boundary have

botanical fantasies.

been chosen as a way to separate and organise the work for your enjoyment. This way you’ll encounter wildly creative work which doesn’t have to compete against the backdrop of advertising messages.

Alter-modern city-user 48Sheet (2012) is a public art project celebrating art, people

The city is a place in flux, and urban scientists Park and

and the city. The project aims to brings colour, discovery and

Burgess identified it as a space governed my many of the


same forces of Darwinian evolution. Quite colourfully they

Birmingham is a poster-city known for its diverse culture and

said ‘the city is rooted in the habits and customs of the people

natural city-beat rhythms. This city’s boundary is a place

who inhabit it.’ One objective driving the 48Sheet project is

where people and place are seen to be gradually changing.

to broker discussion about how the visual landscape shapes

Buoyant words like frequency, blend and erosion give a

our collective habits and customs. On this occasion they have

positive spin to conversations.

ensured artists get a free hand. The outcome is that for four

One objective driving the 48Sheet project is to provoke

weeks in April 2012 the commercially-charged landscape gets

discussion between city users about how the visual landscape

re-faced. The outcome is a visual art project with an assertive

shapes our collective habits, customs and experience. On this

viewpoint that questions the type of society we live in today.

occasion they have ensured artists are provided with public platforms for creative expression. Progression.

Professor Jiehong Jiang , Director of Centre for Chinese Visual Arts, Birmingham Institute of Art & Design

International Cultural exchange.

MadeIn Company

MadeIn Company (Shanghai) and Raqs Media Collective

As an exciting extension of this Guangzhou Triennial and

(Delhi) were commissioned to produce 45 new works

cultural exchange between the East and the West,

for 48Sheet billboards. Co-curators, also of the Fourth

co-curators Jonathan Watkins and Professor Jiehong Jiang

Guangzhou Triennial were Jonathan Watkins, Director of Ikon

invited the internationally acclaimed artist groups, MadeIn

Gallery and Professor Jiehong Jiang, Director of Centre for

Company (Shanghai) and Raqs Media Collective (Delhi),

Chinese Visual Arts, Birmingham Institute of Art & Design.

to produce new work for 45 billboards across the city of

48Sheet project is featured within the Guangzhou Triennial


as an international off-site exhibition by connecting the work produced by MadeIn for the Unseen exhibited across fifteen 400 square foot 96Sheet billboards as part of 48Sheet. Guangzhou Triennial, is hosted within the Guangdong Museum of Art established in 2002 by Dr Luo Yiping and has become one of the most influential contemporary art events in Asia.


48Sheet support Kate Grundy bringing the Papergirl concept

Papergirl night

to Birmingham. Papergirl is a global project that aims to

7.30 – 11pm Tuesday 24 April

open the art world into the urban streets of everyday life.

48Sheet project space, The Mailbox, Birmingham B1 1XL

It is an intervention seeking to surprise people and to heartily upturn the notable predictability of day to day life.

Papergirl distribution day 12pm onwards Saturday 28 April

48Sheet Advisory Board & Project Partners: Glenn Howells

EC-Arts gratefully acknowledges the

Glenn Howells Architects

following sponsors of 48Sheet:

Jonathan Watkins

Arts Council England

Ikon Gallery

JCDecaux NEC Graph-fix

Professor Chris O’Neil Birmingham Institute of Art & Design Professor Jiehong Jiang Birmingham Institute of Art & Design Nigel Edmondson Birmingham City Council Beverley Nielsen Idea Birmingham Sophia Tarr Freelance Artistic Consultant Claire Farrell EC-Arts Marketing Birmingham The Mailbox

Glenn Howells of Glenn Howells Architects

“48Sheet is marvelously subversive across the entire city. It challenges our tolerance to increasing levels of advertising by swapping it for art. Throughout April Birmingham’s pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and passengers will be treated to an unexpected range of ideas and images from around the world.”

Contributors: Writer: Paul Wright

Pop up space artists:

Paul Wright is editor of

Matt Watkins, Rob Hewitt, Ian Richards, Tom Tebby,

His studio Out-Of-Phrase is based in Brussels.

Faith Pearson, Steve Rosenthal, Steve Parsons, Glenn Anderson, Lee Crutchley, C George, Tidal Grace.

Writer: Jon Perks Interns / Emerging artists: Programming : Jacob Masters at Gabba

Leah Carless, James Gill and Dan Cooper for creating installations in

response to 48Sheet pop up space.

Design: Ian Richards at Heavy Object

Benjamin Stanley Trilby for much need technical

expertise and hi-tech equipment on loan!

Cycle routes: Eliot Davies

Pete Sloan, Birmingham Loves Photographers and Craig Bush for filming, photographing, contributing and setting

Map: Andy Robinson at Boregis

up Birmingham Viewpoint competition.

from OpenStreetMap data with stylesheet inspired by Stamen Design’s ‘Toner’.

Illustration / Vinyl: John Eddy

Photography: Leah Carless

Web editor: Cat Dickie

Cultural map research: Dan Cooper

Gary wood aka Mr Radar for filming and creating.

Thanks: To members of the public for embracing, participating,

So many organizations and individuals have helped to make this

and enjoying the project.

project happen on countless levels, it could not have happened without their support so thank you one and all:

48Sheet artists for creating some incredible work that

Claire Rigby (thank you…!) Emma Thompson, Hannah Dunn,

has transformed the city into a gallery.

Simon Farrell, Si Hensley and the team, Martin Nokes, Emma Cummings, Matthew Farrell, David Farrell, Tim Felton,

A huge thank you to project sponsors;

Dan & Sean Tighe, Michelle Aucott, Suzy Denbigh, Angela Maxwell,

The Arts Council England, JCDecaux, NEC Graph-Fix.

Sophia Tarr, Matt Watkins, Natalie Slayman-Broom, Laura Dreyor, Greame Howell, Ben Searle, Mel Evans, The Bullring

48Sheet Advisory Board and project partners for

(Louise Hamer-Brown), Graham Hardy, Alma.Aganovic,

supporting EC Arts throughout the entire process.

Alex Rusch, Jo Wheatley, Tim Newbold, Paul Patterson, Marie Rattigan, Ian Francis.

Dr Luo Yiping, Director Guangdong Museum of Art and the Fourth Guangzhou Triennial.

A special thank you to South Birmingham College Mike Hopkins for being so kind to sponsor all the printed postcards, maps and this

48Sheet’s incredible Project Manager, Clare McLaughlin

booklet, and to Dawn Cockcroft and Derek Osborne for making it

and the very hard working creative Sarah Nokes.

happen on a very tight deadline.

Birmingham Institute of Art & Design interns – brilliant.

Bitters and Twisted Matt Scriven and Julian Rose-Gibbs,

Theodora Pangou, Leah Carless, Cat Dickie, James Gill.

Carl Clinton Contractors, Paul & team from Snatchpac.

Organisations & participation:

And extra special thanks to Ian Richards for so much support and

Graham Hardy Headmaster Calthorpe School, Access to Music,

contributing so many consistently brilliant ideas to the project.

Alderman Bowen, CommUnity, The Drum, Bournville.

Design: heavyobject

2 – 29 April 2012 Birmingham

Produced by

48SHEET Catalogue