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 Oâ€™Raw | Birmingham Tidal Grace | Vancouver Gerard Hanson | Oxford Baptist Coehlo | Mumbai
The billboard is dead. Long live the billboard. 48sheet.com
Raqs Media Collective
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’.
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 Oâ€™Neil
of unique and distinctive responses that will raise levels of
Executive Dean of Birmingham Institute of Art and Design
consciousness and arouse curiosity.
Advertising free clusters of billboards have been selected
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 Oâ€™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
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.
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
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
Isnâ€™t the plumage beautiful?
Just say the first thing that pops into your mind Harry Blackett & Robin Kirkham
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
Jim Oâ€™Raw Birmingham
Ben Long Photographed by Tim Cornbill
Elizabeth Rowe MadeIn Company Photographed by Leah Carless
Birmingham Viewpoint competition.
Photographed by Patrick Dandy
Photographed by Tim Cornbill
Photographed by Martin Pickard
Raqs Media Collective
Photographed by Helen Ogbourn
Photographed by Edward Moss
Photographed by Nicole Scribble
Photographed by Claire Hartley
Photographed by Dave Harte
Photographed by Leah Carless
Cycle routes & map.
Above map and routes created by Eliot Daves
48Sheet â€˜pop upâ€™ project space intended for artists to talk, respond, create and collaborate. The Mailbox, Birmingham B1 1XL
Project space. Tidal Grace
11 artists, 11 OHPâ€™s, acetate & marker pens. March 2012
Isnâ€™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’.
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
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 (Shanghai) and Raqs Media Collective
As an exciting extension of this GuangzhouÂ 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
to Birmingham. Papergirl is a global project that aims to
7.30 â€“ 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:
Arts Council England
JCDecaux NEC Graph-fix
Professor Chris Oâ€™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 www.urban-language-arts.org
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.
2 â€“ 29 April 2012 Birmingham