Special edition celebrating New Art West Midlands
Editors: David O’Coy & Kerry Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org | @davefused email@example.com | @kerryfused Writers: Lyle Bignon, Ian Stanley, Hannah Wood Front Cover: Sharon Farrelly Babs (2013). Image courtesy the artist. Content Image: Cheryl Howard. A Grandmother’s Tale – Escaping (2013). Illustration, collage, screenprint. Image courtesy the artist. BOTH for New Art West Midlands.
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AREA Culture Guide tel: 0121 442 6663 www.areacultureguide.co.uk www.fusedmagazine.com @areaguide / @fusedmagazine Facebook.com/fusedpublications This guide is produced by Fused Media DISCLAIMER Reproduction of all editorial/images in any form is strictly prohibited without prior permission. We cannot be held responsible for breach of copyright arising from any material supplied. While we aim to make sure all listings are correct we can not be held responsible for any incorrect entries. Readers should check venues before arrival. Views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily the publishers. This is a Fused Publication © Fused 2014 © Area Culture Guide 2014.
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NEW ART WEST MIDLANDS
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, 14 February – 18 May 2014 The Barber Institute of Fine Arts,14 February – 27 April 2014 Grand Union, 14 February – 15 March 2014 Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 14 February – 10 May 2014 Opening times vary @NewArtWM / #NAWM14 newartwestmidlands.org Want to know what’s hot in the art world? The best place to find out is to look at what new and emerging artists are up to. That’s why Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Grand Union and Wolverhampton Art Gallery have come together to present New Art West Midlands, an exhibition across four galleries showcasing the talent and new work of emerging artists in the West Midlands. It’s the idea of Turning Point West Midlands, the network which supports visual artists. Recent graduates from the region’s five art schools – Birmingham City University, University of Worcester, Coventry University, University of Wolverhampton and Staffordshire University – were invited to apply, and the best 24 have been selected to exhibit their work by a panel of distinguished academics and artists. It’s the largest project of its type in England, a rare chance for a young artist to exhibit in a nationally important venue. With painting, installation, film, printing, photography, sculpture and performance all on show, New Art West Midlands has plenty for audiences to see. What’s more, much of the work is on sale - a great place for budding collectors to pick up affordable pieces of art. Image: Wendy Ann Titmus: Nurse and Child (2012). Exhibiting as part of New Art West Midlands at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Image courtesy the artist.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery devotes two major galleries to New Art West Midlands. There are 13 artists exhibiting here, including Lucy Hutchinson’s dramatic chinoiserie wallpaper and self-portraits (pictured) and Gregory Dunn, whose piece Better than sex uses an embellished Ordnance Survey map to comment on people’s responses to the natural landscape. Morna Lockie Anrig has made an installation of tiled flooring from pulped paper napkins. The urban environment is inspiration to painters James Birkin and Sathanha Nguyen, though Barbara Witkowska takes a wildly different approach, creating sci-fi landscapes in her paintings. Look for contemporary installation from Anna Smith and Ali Reed, and new takes on sculpture by Sikander Pervez and Anna Horton. Csilla Farkas and Cheryl Howard both present striking feminist illustrations and Hannah Sutherland presents a film about our anxious technology-saturated age. We asked BMAG curator Lisa Beauchamp about her experiences working on New Art West Midlands. Lisa, why is it important to work with new artists? Giving a graduate artist their first exhibition opportunity is a big deal, and as a curator it makes you feel good too! Having worked with emerging artists for a few years now I understand how crucial getting that first step on the ladder is. How do you choose which artists to exhibit? First our group of selectors sift through all the work to come up with the list of artists to exhibit. Then its full steam ahead as we meet the artists – sometimes there is a bit of a tussle between colleagues at the different venues about which artists exhibit at each venue, but after a few rigorous discussions and numerous cups of tea we usually come to an amicable agreement. 06
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What should we look out for at BMAG? We will be showing 13 artists and if you think you don’t like contemporary art, think again. Our smaller gallery subverts traditional views of domestic life fuelled by our strong female artists Cheryl Howard, Morna Lockie and Csilla Farkas. Then the larger space appears split in two with a free-standing wall in the centre hosting the extravagant and evocative work of Lucy Hutchinson. The rest of the gallery has a deliberately minimal appearance, through the meticulously made work of Ali Reed, the clean lines of Anna Horton’s sculpture, rounded off with Sikander Pervez’s mesmerizingly quirky sculpture. 07
Barber Institute of Fine Arts The Barber Institute of Fine Arts is shaking up its permanent collection of historic paintings and sculpture with a number of interventions by New Art West Midlands artists, as well as a stand-alone display in the Lady Barber Gallery. Sade Buckle takes inspiration from 18th century anatomical drawings to create subtle sculptural pieces, whilst James Birkin’s painting of an abandoned Coventry nightclub takes a temporary position next to an old master painting. There is real human hair in a witty installation by Leah Carless, and extended protruding legs and arms in the sculptures of Wendy Ann Titmus. Sikander Pervez (pictured) presents another installation work, his simple but somehow menacing red office chair, set with castors, is a dramatic addition to its classical surroundings. Glen Stoker is fascinated with walking the urban landscape; his photographs Walking in Circles document journeys around local ringroads with surprising results. There’s more photography from Chris Wright who presents dozens of postcard-sized pictures recording the unexpectedly eventful life of a Manchester phone box. Caroline Ali brings her animated drawing Fly to the Barber, a compelling use of traditional draughtsmanship in this age of digital animation. Robert Wenley, Deputy Director of the Barber, explained the gallery’s take on New Art West Midlands: Why have you chosen to display the artwork in two very different ways? We wanted to maximise the value of having these exciting guests in our collections. Some works, like Glen Stoker’s photographic series, only really work within the white walls of our temporary exhibitions space. But in other instances, placing contemporary pieces besides our historical collection creates dynamic connections, what you might see as a ‘conversation’ between old and new. The Barber is famous for its collection of paintings and sculpture. Were any of the NAWM works picked because they are in these more conventional media? Not really. It’s true that there are some 2D works in perhaps more 08
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straightforward media – paintings in acrylic on canvas by James Birkin, and photography by Glen Stoker and Chris Wright. But we also have a wittily irritating film, striking and thought-provoking sculptures and radical collages. The variety is one of the few constants – as is the fact that all the works have been selected by the judges purely on their merit. Is it surprising to see these more conventional paintings in an exhibition of contemporary art? Not at all. There will always be demand for such art and always artists who choose to express themselves in this way. It’s the freshness and acuity of their vision and voice allied to their technical expertise that counts. 09
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Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Wolverhampton Art Gallery takes its visitors on a journey through 300 years of art, from Georgian portraits to Pop Art. Itâ€™s fitting then that they join the New Art West Midlands project, adding cutting edge new work to their gallery spaces.
Sharon Farrelly is a prison officerturned artist, who makes bright canvases inspired by the popular culture of her teenage years in the 1970s and 1980s. These distinct almost graffiti-like paintings are filled with phobias and humour – not to mention Carry On films. Sharon is joined by Amelia Greville (pictured left), whose striking photographs are self-portraits of the artist dressed in a number of guises inspired by the Frank Sinatra song That’s Life. There’s a video work by Sarah Sehra and also Emily Mulenga, who parodies the profusion of selfies to be found on social media, plus more sculpture by Sade Buckle and Wendy Ann Titmus. Anna Smith (pictured right) shows her clay sculpture modelled on the human body, voluptuous and flesh-like. Marguerite Nugent has organised Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s NAWM exhibition. What can audiences expect to see or experience? We are featuring eight new artists - all women. There is work in a variety of media including paintings, sculpture, photography and video. How do you plan to hang the work?
The work will all be hung in our contemporary gallery. Our technicians and curators have been liaising with the artists about how their work is to be presented. Visitors should look out especially for Sade Buckle’s amazing suspended piece. Why did you want to do the project in the first place? We feel that it is really important to promote emerging talent in the region. New Art West Midlands gives young artists an opportunity to show their work in a public space. So far many of them have only exhibited their work in their degree shows and we hope that by giving young artists a platform it will help them boost their careers and develop their practice further.
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Grand Union Five bursary artists have been selected to create new work for New Art West Midlands which will fill Grand Unionâ€™s entire space. The gallery and studios in Digbeth are known for their support of new and emerging artists and curators. Sarah Sehra has made a new film, full of Shamanic themes and the natural landscape, inspired by the myths and legend of the English countryside. The film, referencing age-old traditions, sits alongside a new video from Hannah Sutherland which addresses the information overload of modern 24-hour culture. Leah Carless is interested in the properties of materials, from silicon to wood, and is making new sculptures that relate to the dimensions of her own body. Anna Smith works in a similar way, but plays with the limitations of the body in relation to a world that is often inaccessible.Â
Glen Stoker (pictured) presents new photography and film work, looking at the politics of urban space â€“ in particular those parts of the city fenced off from the public or used as temporary car-parks whilst the developer waits for them to become profitable to build on.
Grand Union’s Director Cheryl Jones gives us the lowdown: Grand Union often works with artists to make new work, what’s different about NAWM? We hardly ever work with artists straight out of art college, and rarely with artists from the region in the rest of our programme. NAWM gives us the chance to get to know the newest talent coming out of local art schools and hopefully develop a lasting relationship with them and their peers. I hope that the chance to make a new work as part of the bursaries we offer will give them the confidence to continue pursuing a career as an artist, and show them some of the workings of a grass-roots independent art space. How do you choose which artists to exhibit? We choose an artist from each school in the region. This was a difficult process involving interviews with shortlisted artists. We are looking for those who we think are smart enough to continue making work into the future. Have you got any hot tips on which artists to watch in 2014 and beyond? Leah Carless is a very talented artist who’s enthusiasm for materials is infectious. I think she has a successful career ahead of her. Hannah Sutherland is also one to watch - her use of very familiar media (short videos that mimic film trailers) and her interest in current topics such as our insatiable media consumption, conspiracy theory and copyright, are instantly engaging. 013
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What does it take these days to be an artist? Four of the New Art West Midlands artists spoke to Area about their decision to study art and what fuels their creative side.
Santhanha NguyeN Fine artist by day, nightclub photographer by night, Santhanha Nguyen paints the urban landscape, using her skateboard to find little-known and derelict spaces. We hear that you skateboard the city to find new places to paint. What are the advantages of working this way? My mind is constantly active, so each day is a chance to gain inspiration and explore different surroundings. I paint from photographs as itâ€™s an easier way of transferring a memory and translating it to canvas. What gives you inspiration? Not only the places I visit but also films, dreams and artists I have stumbled upon. I like things that challenge the mind. What are your plans for the future? At the minute Iâ€™m finding my feet and seeing where life takes me. I want to carry on painting but at the same time travel and unearth places people dare not go. I suppose youâ€™ll just have to watch this space. 014
Sharon Farrelly Sharon Farrelly left her job as a Prison Officer at Wormwood Scrubs to study Fine Art at Birmingham City University. She now paints bright canvases inspired by her upbringing in the 1970s. What prompted you to change career and go back to university? I started out as a fashion stylist, then worked for a record label. After a while I felt I needed a new challenge so changed career to the police and then the prison service â€“ I got my wish, as Wormwood Scrubs prison was definitely challenging. And then I wanted to get back to being creative, so went back to university. Can you tell us about your inspirations? My working life has given me loads of experiences which I still draw on. But other than that, I love British humour, Les Dawson, Carry-On movies. My parents often feature in my work, played by characters such as Sid James, Barbara Windsor and the Flintstones. Are you pleased you went back to university? Yes, definitely. I now call myself an artist, itâ€™s the best decision I have made in my 43 years. I intend to keep on working creativity, doing and making. 015
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Gregory Dunn Currently studying for a PhD at Birmingham City University, Gregory is fascinated by the iconography of the Wye Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. What is it about the Wye Valley that caught your imagination? The Wye Valley is rich in historical narrative and is the birthplace of modern thinking about landscape â€“ the 18th and 19th century artists who worked here have helped to shape the thinking of contemporary artists. The way we 'see' today is a direct result of the way this place was seen over 250 years ago. The opportunity to time-travel and connect with previous practitioners really compelled me to apply for my PhD. How do you translate this interest into your art? My recent practice has been concerned with how we experience space and how we physically resist and collaborate with terrain. I find the Wye Valley physically rewarding, somehow benevolent. I am going to spend six months at the AONB HQ in Monmouth which will help me to deepen my understanding and find the visual vocabulary to communicate my findings to a wider audience. 016
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Coventry-based artist James Birkin uses his home city as inspiration for his work. His recent work has been focused on the Mustard Nightclub on the corner of Ford Street and Cox Street. First opening as a cinema in 1917, and the first cinema in Coventry to screen Star Wars, the building was later turned into a nightclub and then abandoned in the early 2000s. What is it about the Mustard Nightclub that caught your imagination? I always walked past the building but never really thought about using it in my work until I managed to see inside. The place is a time capsule (abandoned since the early 2000s) and in photographing and then painting it, I feel I am bringing it back to life. It seems that you bring in architecture and town planning into a lot of your work. Do you think your art is political? Slightly political, but it’s more about raising awareness of the rich history of a place. It’s social history really.
What are your plans for the future? I’ve been working with the Coventry Society and the former owner of the Mustard Nightclub building in order to get it listed and hopefully saved from demolition. I’m also currently in residence at The Pod in the city centre and am also working towards opening a studio space in Coventry.
GRAYSON PERRY TAPESTRIES Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 14 February – 11 May 2014 Free entry bmag.org.uk | @BM_AG
Following the BAFTA award-winning Channel 4 series ‘All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry’ BM&G is the first Midlands venue to display the series of six tapestries that were produced alongside the programme. ‘The Vanity of Small Differences’ by the Turner Prize-winning artist comprised of a series of six large tapestries (2m x 4m) which tell the story of class mobility and the influence social class has on our aesthetic taste.
Inspired by William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, the six tapestries chart the “class journey” made by the fictional Tim Rakewell and include many of the characters, incidents and objects that Grayson Perry encountered on his own journeys through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and the Cotswolds for the television series.
In the television series Perry went “on a safari amongst the taste tribes of Britain”, to gather inspiration for his artwork, literally weaving the characters he meets into a narrative, with an attention to the minutiae of contemporary taste every bit as acute as that in Hogarth’s 18th century artworks. Image: The Adoration of the Cage Fighters, 2012 by Grayson Perry. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre London and British Council. Gift of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery with the support of Channel 4 Television, The Art Fund and Sfumato Foundation and additional support from AlixPartners. 021
FOR THE RECORD Waterhall Gallery Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery Until 29 June Free entry bmag.org.uk | @BM_AG
For the Record includes a range of artworks by females spanning the 20th century to the present day, including works from Birmingham Museumâ€™s Modern and Contemporary Collection and loans from the Arts Council Collection. Exploring themes of preservation, tradition, documentation and recording across a wide range of media the exhibition includes portraiture, landscape, sculpture and installation as well as timely issues concerning womanhood and identity politics. The exhibition also includes new works by West Midlandsbased artists Faye Claridge and Barbara Walker alongside paintings by Estella Canziani; prints by iconic artists such as Louise Bourgeois; and sculpture by Barbara Hepworth. Image: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Condor And The Mole, 2011. ÂŠ the artist courtesy CorviMora, London and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. 022
10TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR
Compton Verney 15 February - 31 August Admission: £15.00 Adults, £13.50 Concessions, £3.00 Children, £30.00 Family (2 adults and up to 4 children). Under 5s are free. comptonverney.org.uk Compton Verney will be celebrating its 10th anniversary season with an exhibition of two giants of modern sculpture; Henry Moore and Auguste Rodin. Their sculpture will be on display in the stunning ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland at Compton Verney with accompanying exhibition of works inside the galleries. Amongst the works on display are Rodin’s magnificent bronze sculpture Monument to the Burghers of Calais (1889), on loan from the Royal Parks, a coup as it is rarely removed from its usual location outside the Houses of Parliament in London. Magnificent works by Moore include the monumental Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae (1968) and stunning The Arch (1969). As well as key sculptures, the exhibition inside displays an extensive range of drawings by both artists and a set of photographs taken by Moore of his cast of Rodin’s Walking Man at his home in Perry Green. Running alongside the exhibition are a series of related events and activities including: 18 – 23 February, 11am – 4pm: Half term Moore Rodin soap sculpting for all ages 4 April, 3pm: Moore Rodin talk by Sebastiano Barassi curator from The Henry Moore Foundation 12 – 27 April, 11am – 4pm: Easter holiday activities including a Moore Rodin family trail 024
The Library of Birmingham Until 27 April libraryofbirmingham.com | @LibraryofBham After a hugely successful launch and Discovery Season, Library of Birmingham announce the Culture Season, comprising of a brand new exhibition and programme of events for 2014. With a rare opportunity to see one of the Library’s biggest and most expensive books; Audubon’s Birds of America (one of only 120 surviving copies), a chance to see the Library’s earliest printed book (dating from 1479), along with their world-renowned Shakespeare Collection, Library of Cultures; the library’s new exhibition reminds us what a good library does best…books! Taking place in the Discovery Gallery the exhibition tells stories from across the world, past and present. Whilst showcasing some of the highlights of the of the Library’s extensive collections; including a treasure trove of photographs, music, archive documents, and of course more books. The Culture Season doesn’t stop there, this programme of events celebrates human creativity in all its forms. Encompassing exhibitions, performances, drop in sessions, talks and much more. It’s another jam packed programme, and as clichéd as it is to say, there really is something for everyone. You can get involved with the Big Read; Explore the Library’s photographic collection from February at Triple Exposure - a digital exhibition of images of China over the last 150 years; Take the kids to one of the many free family events and workshops during February half-term; Or just pop one of the regular craft or poetry meets in the café. Join Flatpack on 23rd March for a day of film fun, part of the 8th Flatpack Film Festival; Take a free calligraphy workshop in association with the Pen Museum on March 1st; On April 2nd you can meet the author, Jodi Ann Bickley, of ‘One Million Lovely Letters’ published later this year; or do something different at lunchtime and attend one of University of Birmingham’s lunchtime lectures, and much more. Many of the events are completely free but check the website for the full Culture Season programme listings, prices and ticket information. HW 028
Julian Opie Installation view of 2001 exhibition
Ikon Gallery Free Entry 19 February 2014 – 25 January 2015 @ikongallery | ikon-gallery.org Taking place in the Tower Room, Ikon Icons sees the return of five key British artists to the gallery. Running consecutively throughout 2014 the exhibitions revisit five decades, as part of the gallery’s 50th anniversary celebrations and Ikon 50 programme. Kicked off by Birmingham-born John Salt, the first icon in the series was also the very first artist to exhibit at the Ikon back in April 1965. Now recognised as a key figure within photorealism, a range of Salt’s early work will be on display, including paintings, prints and sculptural pieces. The work was created when he was on the cusp of his embrace of photorealism, just before he embarked on his artistic career in both the USA and UK which found him international acclaim. Ian Emes’ French Windows takes centre stage from April 30th; a visualisation of Pink Floyd’s track ‘One of These Days’ from their 1971 Meddle album. A self-taught animator, this surreal masterpiece was Emes’ first animated film and created during his final year as a student at Birmingham Polytechnic. From 2nd July to 31st August the third artist in the series, Cornelia Parker, displays new work related to her 1988 piece 30 Pieces of Silver, which was originally commissioned by Ikon and is now held by the Tate. Yinka Shonibare’s Five Under Garments and Much More (1995), an early suspended installation that foresees the artist’s later mannequin works comes to the gallery from September 10th, following a seminal exhibition from the artist in 1999. Last but by no means least, on 19th November Julian Opie returns to the Ikon gallery. His installation of high-rise building sculptures at the Ikon back in 2001 coincided with 9/11 giving a new dimension to the modernist models, now informed by memories of a day that dramatically changed the world. A number of these aesthetic, architectural models will be on display in the Tower Room. HW 031
MAPPING MY JOURNEY
Community Gallery, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Free entry Until 16th March bmag.org.uk | @BM_AG @GenderMattersUK Mapping My Journey is an exhibition celebrating the history, heritage and personal stories of the transgender community in Birmingham and the West Midlands. Over the last two years the project has worked with transgender individuals in order to share their stories in their own words, culminating in an exhibition at BMAG which runs until March. Mapping My Journey brings the stories and experiences of these individuals and their wider community into focus. The collection displays objects, texts and elements of popular culture alongside local history, legal developments and medical advances, all of which are significant in the â€œjourneysâ€? of those in our transgender community.
Created in partnership with Gender Matters, the project invites visitors to share the hidden histories and personal stories around the journey to transition. The exhibition not only aims to increase awareness of the transgender community in the West Midlands but also identify and capture oral histories of individuals whilst encouraging others to research and celebrate their own history. HW
PUBLIC ART ERDINGTON:
JOANNA RAJKOWSKA rajkowska.com Â PEA (Polish Ex Pats) has commissioned artist Joanna Rajkowska to create a new public art project in Erdington, Birmingham, to be revealed in spring. The internationally acclaimed artist achieved recognition for her public art commissions including her most celebrated work, Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue (pictured above). The 15-meter tall artificial palm tree installed in the city centre or Warsaw in 2002, has become a known landmark. 034
Rajkowska engages with land art and employs the strategy of unfamiliarity as a political tool. Her works often function as social sculptures in which collective memory, tensions and desires might be manifested as public monuments interwoven into the urban tissue, serving as platforms for dialogue. Â Undertaking a residency in Erdington, Rajkowska will learn about the specificity of the district in order to determine the concept and nature of the work. Following a public consultation this process will be inaugurated with an installation. The work is estimated to reach completion in May and updates will be provided throughout the process on a blog: publicarterdington.wordpress. com. Â
FINE THINKING IN CONTEMPORARY FURNITURE Bilston Craft Gallery Until 29 March Free Entry wolverhamptonart.org.uk/bilston The largest dedicated craft venue in the region presents an imaginative furniture exhibition displaying the works of seven designers. Raw Craft features the contemporary works of Tomás Alonso (pictured), Fabien Cappello, Simon Jones, Max Lamb, Seongyong Lee, Peter Marigold and Oscar Narud. The designs displayed address current issues such as furniture for multifunctional living spaces, efficient storage space and economic use of resources. All seven designers use modest materials and a hands-on approach to prototyping and making. They reject excess, and employ the self-empowering values of traditional workshop culture. Working in an age of austerity, their work is rich in creativity and intelligence.
Included in the exhibition are Seongyong Lee’s lightweight but strong Plytube furniture created from ply strips wrapped into tubes inspired by the model of cardboard tubing. Fabien Capello’s Christmas Tree series uses recycled trees from the annual glut to create rustic but quirky side tables and stools.
TRANSIENT ART transient-art.co.uk
Transient Art is made up of a small group of West Midlands based artists whose concept, and name, refers to the nontraditional spaces they temporarily inhabit and the differing artists they invite to exhibit alongside. With two exciting events lined up for 2014 itâ€™s a great time to see what the group get up to. MUSEUMS AT NIGHT Pen Museum, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham 15â€“17 May Museums at Night is an annual UK-wide festival which seeks to encourage visitors into museums, galleries and heritage sites by throwing their doors open after hours and putting on special evening events. Transient Arts will temporarily become part of the Pen Museum intertwining amongst the exhibits, with over ten artists covering performance art, video, live ink making, sculpture, writing and drawing. Art Rave The Arches, Adderley Street, Birmingham July 2014 ART RAVE will involve around 25 artists showing painting, sculpture, film, performance, sound and installation over two weeks in the Summer and will include artist led workshops and talks. The opening event will include live music from up to 30 bands, all local to the Birmingham area, covering everything from jazz and soul to alternative rock and beyond. 039
Extraordinary Music from Downtown New York & Birmingham 22 March-5 April & 2-8 June frontiersmusic.org Presented by Birmingham Conservatoire and Third Ear a major festival of music, celebrating the sounds and cultures of downtown New York and Birmingham, takes place this spring. 040
Frontiers Festival looks to the collaborative and do-it-your-own-way traditions of New York and the sounds, ideas and iconic moments from that city which have fuelled music culture. Birmingham’s own vibrant music scene, with its strong young voices and bold new work, adds to the programme. As well as group performances encompassing post-punk to new composition, and jazz to theatre-of-sound, visitors can expect performance art, exhibitions and cutting-edge technology, including a real time networked improvisation encompassing two continents and a 24-hour marathon of music by the American giant Thelonious Monk. Highlights include the first fully-realised performance of Robert Ashley’s ‘String Quartet Describing the Motion of Large Real Bodies (1971)’, a work requiring 42 laptop artists alongside the Elysian Quartet. Elliott Sharp brings his stunning graphic score ‘Foliage’ for a big band improvisation, together with Christian Marclay’s ‘Shuffle.’ The performances coincide with SCORE, an exhibition of graphic and text scores in the Library of Birmingham curated by Joe Scarffe and Beth Derbyshire. Winner of the 2012 John Cage Award, Pauline Oliveros has over the last 50 years established a unique body of work and practices focused on improvisation, meditation, electronic music, myth and ritual. She will lead a ‘Deep Listening Meditation’ at Ikon Gallery, and directs a real-time improvised performance, linked through the internet, with collaborators in Stanford (California), Troy (New York), and Montreal. Classic works by Philip Glass are presented by Frontiers’ resident ensemble Decibel, whilst the ‘king of sampling’ Carl Stone presents his latest work ‘Fujiken’ in which the sounds of south east Asia shape-shift into clouds of sound. Other events include the Frontiers Marathon, a ‘festival in a day’ with sounds, performance and film; and the UK premiere of Morton Feldman’s ‘Swallows of Salangan’ performed by Thallein alongside Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. 041
CHROMA JEWELLERY COLLECTIVE
Museum of the Jewellery Quarter Until 7 June Admission to the temporary exhibition gallery is free - an admission applies to the museum chromajewellerycollective.co.uk With a shared goal to create vibrant and colourful jewellery that make a statement the Chroma Jewellery Collective is a group of four British emerging contemporary designers all based in Birminghamâ€™s historical Jewellery Quarter. The unique collective promotes its makers; Amy Logan, Lana Crabb, Ruth Laird (pictured above) and Amanda Trimmer, through innovative projects, exhibitions and workshops aspiring to raise the awareness of contemporary jewellery made within Birminghamâ€™s Jewellery Quarter. The exhibition showcases the most recent work of the Collective. Each maker uses unusual and colourful materials not found in traditional jewellery such as spray paint, powdercoated metal, comic books and even rubber gloves! 042
THE STORYTELLING SALON Katrice Horsley, the Birmingham born National Storytelling Laureate, spent the early years of her life as a selective-mute before finding her voice through storytelling. Recently returned from a tour of China, Katrice has a new central Birmingham location for her lively Storytelling Salon for adults, and believes more than ever that “storytelling is fundamental to the human species [and] in making sense of who they are.” Over the past few years Katrice has worked with parents, teachers and children in a number of countries across the world, as well as visiting schools across the UK. When asked about recent praise of the high-performing education system in China, Horsley leans in eagerly and explodes passionately and lyrically about her experiences: “The Taiwanese and Chinese kids that I was working with go to school and then go home to study – the Taiwanese kids even went to school after school and worked until late. This meant so many were falling asleep when they were being taught the next day. There’s too much suppression, compression, depression and repression. And that translates throughout the adult livelihood. The creative storytelling workshops we did encouraged them to think differently. I really do believe storytelling is fundamental to the human species to forming who and what they are.”
Returning to the UK, Katrice has brought back her love of creativity in her Storytelling Salon. With a new location at Urban Coffee just off Colmore Row in Central Birmingham, Katrice is hoping to introduce a new collection of people to spoken word stories and a unique storytelling experience.
“We create the right atmosphere for the stories by making dressing up mandatory. Some people arrive in fantastically elaborate costumes, others in very basic costumes, it all adds to the feeling of the evening. And there are always one or two accessories available to borrow on the night.” The Storytelling Salon was inspired by a similar night in London at 40 Winks hotel where adults all wear night clothes to make them regress a little into a state of childlike wonder. For the event a different theme is planned for each month. The first at Urban Coffee was called ‘Naughtical Nights’, which saw a collection of impressively turned out pirates, one diver in a wetsuit and many stories told; atmosphere achieved. Katrice believes being creative and thinking differently is fundamental to being functioning human beings. Whether a small child or a fully-grown adult, storytelling is important, enjoyable and relevant/ “The Storytelling Salon is a way for adults to regress, have as much fun as children and slip into the joy of storytelling. But possibly with some stories sinister and dark, some salacious and saucy.” The Storytelling Salon is at Urban Coffee, Church Street, Birmingham on the third Wednesday every month. Entry is £7 and fancy dress mandatory. See ‘The Storytelling Salon’ Facebook page for more information. IS 045
CULTURE FESTIVALS 2014 Festivals don’t have to be about trench foot, warm beer at a fiver a pint and craning your neck to see the dots on stage a kilometre away, you know. One of the benefits of living in an awesome metropolis like Birmingham is the year-round choice of incredible festivals all year round - celebrating music, visual and performance art, film, photography, literature and plenty in between, and all within a short car, train or bus journey of the city centre. We’ve selected a bunch of brilliant events to look out for this year – and who better to tell us about them than the creative heads who work hard to devise and deliver some of the best city festivals around? Read on, and get planning… The Emerald Village 16 March theemeraldvillage.co.uk “We are really excited to announce that The Emerald Village will be part of Birmingham's legendary St Patrick's Day celebrations, taking place in The Custard Factory. The Family Zone is a no alcohol controlled area that provides families with entertainment and refreshments away from the hustle and bustle of the parade, whilst the Live Arena will offer a showcase for local talent curated by Moseley Folk Festival. Food offers will be in conjunction with Digbeth Dining Club and we will be uniting with Mr Birds and Sutton Vintage Fairs to create a large indoor market area.” Kieran McInerney, Event Director
International Dance Festival Birmingham 24 April – 25 May idfb.co.uk | @IDFB
Flatpack Film Festival (pictured) 20 – 30 March flatpackfestival.org.uk | @flatpack
“We are thrilled to work with Birmingham Hippodrome to coproduce one of the world’s largest dance festivals right here in the Midlands. From April 24th, four consecutive weeks of dance performance, including world premieres, youth dance, opportunities to participate and spectacular outdoor shows will be presented in venues across Birmingham. Hugely established names from the dance world, such as Sylvie Guillem, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and the work of Matthew Bourne will grace stages all over the city. Together we show the world how much culture, passion and talent the Midlands has to offer.”
“The first glimmer of spring means the return of Flatpack Film Festival, an eleven day event which has carved out a unique space in the UK’s film calendar. Not content just with stirring together an eyepopping line-up of new features, shorts and special guests, Flatpack acts as an alternative route-map to Birmingham, bringing walking tours, installations and pop-up screenings to venues across the city. David Massingham, The programme is also known for using an eclectic, Co-Artistic Director all-encompassing definition of ‘film’, and this eighth edition is no exception.” Ian Francis, Director
Espirito Brum June - August espiritobrum.org | @EspiritoBrum “Espirito Brum 2014 is all about trying something new, with someone new. We'll be collaborating with arts organisations to take risks with outstanding, unexpected programming, bringing hidden gems from Birmingham's creative underground into accessible spaces, to celebrate our city's eclecticism alongside artists from Brazil, and other corners of the globe. Included in this year’s programme is the UK premiere of Bahia's hottest contemporary music export Tiganá Santana and the return of Rio born reggae star Jota III for another edition of Rebel Spirit, in partnership with Birmingham International Dance Festival's Paint the Town Red and Capoeira Cordão de Ouro.” Tessa Burwood, Co-Director
BE Festival (Pictured) 2-13 July befestival.org | @befestival “Birmingham's International Theatre Festival, brings together the most daring and unforgettable new performances from across Europe, resulting in a programme of theatre, dance, circus, live art, installations, workshops and talks. Audiences are offered the opportunity to see four 30-minute long shows each night and to eat dinner with the performers at the interval, a truly unique experience.” Miguel Oyarzun, Co-Director
Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival 11 - 13 July mostlyjazz.co.uk | @mostly_jazz “Now an established festival on the UK summer calendar, Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival strides into its fifth year following a complete sell out in 2013 which presented Bonobo, Soul II Soul, Candi Staton and Nile Rodgers! This year looks set to be another classic with the announcement of Earth, Wind & Fire Experience Featuring Al Mckay, plus long-term festival curator and compere, Craig Charles, who will be bringing his Funk & Soul Club to the festival.” John Fell, Event Manager
Shock & Gore July shockandgore.co.uk | @ ShockGore “The Midlands’ premier horror and fantasy festival offers up another blend of the weird, the wonderful and the just plain wrong. This year’s gathering will have something of a ‘witchy’ theme, so expect some spellbinding classics and even a few kid-friendly witch flicks courtesy of KINO 10, plus there’ll be a live score to seminal BBC drama Threads, a lecture from horror expert Dr Karen Oughton, live Q&As, the annual Shock & Gore all-nighter and some exclusive previews.” David Baldwin, Festival Programmer
Birmingham Literature Festival 2 - 11 October birminghamliterature festival.org | @ BhamLitFest â€œThe Birmingham Literature Festival promises a rich mix of good writing and challenging ideas from its new home in the splendid new Library of Birmingham. Expect a stimulating line-up of writers and thinkers from the Midlands and beyond. Heart FM breakfast presenter Rachel New will be back for a new writing challenge, undaunted from her Ten Day Sentence, a 30,000 word novella written in the 10 days of the festival in 2013.â€? Jonathan Davidson, Chief Executive
Eye Candy Festival of Popular Visual Culture (pictured) Autumn eyecandyfestival.co.uk | @EyeCandyFest “Determined to brighten up the disused, derelict and unloved Eye Candy is on a mission to turn Birmingham’s streets in to works of art by commissioning artists from across the globe, and a little closer to home, to produce bespoke works for walls, windows and venues. Visitors get the chance to see art as it is being produced live over a weekend as well as getting the chance to take part themselves through a series of workshops, talks and interventions.” Co-Curator, Kerry O’Coy Compiled by LB
FEBRUARY Walls with Wounds 15 February – 18 May The Herbert Free entry Originally a graffiti artist spray-painting the walls of Bristol under the tag ‘Vermin’, Dale Marshall was sectioned in 1999 in one of Britain’s oldest asylums, St Lawrence’s Hospital in Cornwall. Walls with Wounds draws inspiration not only from graffiti and Marshall’s time at St Lawrence’s, but also from his studio, a former Victorian workhouse in North Wales, its decaying walls inscribed by children over 100 years ago. Each painting is inspired by a dramatic memory and represents a healing journey through physical destruction and repair. Leather Bay Workshop 15 February, 10am3.30pm Bilston Craft Gallery £29, booking required Gosia Weber’s popular handmade leather bag workshop returns this New Year. Try your
hand at leather-working, stitching and construction techniques to design and create a bag that reflects your personal style. A Crack in the Window, Dennis Isou 20 February, 6.30pm A3 Project Space Free – Book via A3 Dennis Isou is the pseudonym for the collaboration between recent graduate artists Mark Bleakley and Josh Wilson. The artist-duo, based in Newcastle, will be in resident at A3 Project Space during February as part of Connect/Exchange funded by Northern Film & Media. Their artist residency will culminate in a performance of ‘A Crack in the Window’, produced in collaboration with a regional actor and sound artist. Through fictional writing, film, installation and performance. Their table top performance explores the act of ‘spectating’ and will pull the audience in and out of out of a trance-
like state of immersive viewing. Moon on a Rainbow Shawl 20 - 22 February The HOUSE at Birmingham Rep £12.50 to £25 Talawa Theatre Company and the National Theatre take Errol John’s “bruising, brilliantly witty play” on tour after its critically acclaimed run in London in 2012. In Port of Spain, Trinidad, the snatches of calypso music, hymn tunes and drums are interrupted by the raucous celebrations of troops returning from war. Here, neighbours drink, bawl, make love, look out for each other and crave a better life. But Ephraim is no dreamer and nothing, not even the seductive Rosa, is going to stop him escaping his deadend job for a fresh start in England. ART SPEAKING 21 February, 1pm Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Free An audio described tour of A Big Bang:
The Origins of the Pop Art Collection Part 1 for people with visual impairment. Free entry, drop in. Craft Club 22 February, 11am-1pm Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Free A forum for anyone interested in making things together. Practice your craft and share skills and information with like-minded people. For everyone from beginners to experts. Please bring along your current project to the session. Textile Group 26 February, 10.30am12.30pm Bilston Craft Gallery £3 per session If you are a textile maker or simply interested in textiles, then the Textile Group is an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded people in a creative environment and swap knowledge and skills. MEET ME @ WAG 26 February, 11am12pm Wolverhampton Art
Gallery, Free Regular conversation club for people 50 years and over, offering a chance to relax and enjoy a chat about the topic of the month, supported by objects from the handling and reminiscence collections. Foundry Night 27 February The DOOR at Birmingham Repertory Theatre £5 (concessions avail) New stories, new voices and new visions of the world. As The REP moves into the next phase in its remarkable history they are offering a new, yearlong development programme, REP Foundry, for emerging directors, writers, theatre makers and companies from across the West Midlands. The selected artists will present their work in progress at REP Foundry Nights. These scratch performance nights will provide a unique insight into how new theatre is formed and staged. Be the first to see work from REP Foundry artists
throughout 2013. REP Foundry Nights take place on the last Thursday of the month at 8.00pm Never Try This at Home 28 February - 8 March The HOUSE at Birmingham Repertory Theatre £12.50 to £25 (concessions available) In the year 1609, brilliant scientist Galileo makes an astonishing discovery that will change the world. But as he sets out to prove that the earth moves around the sun he creates uproar and finds himself facing the wrath of the church. SPRING SEASON LAUNCH 28 February, 5.30-8pm Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Free Enjoy an after-hours preview of thenew exhibitions the BP Portrait Award 2013 (opens 1 March) and New Art West Midlands 2014. A not-to-bemissed introduction to the spring season at Wolverhampton. 055
MARCH A Short History of Drawing 1 March, 11.00am – 12.00pm The Herbert, Free What’s behind the drawing? Art historian David Packwood offers a brief history of drawing, referencing the diverse artworks on display in Exposed. Booking is advised.
housewife Mrs Barbara Nice. Rob Deering, the UK’s foremost guitarwielding, loop-layering stand-up comedian, is heading up a hilarious line up including the talented Susan Murray and the brilliant Matt Hollins. Laughing for A Change aims to bring people who don’t have mental health problems into social contact with Blink those who do. Evidence 3 - 5 March suggests that this kind The DOOR at of contact is one of the Birmingham Rep most effective ways of £12 (concessions avail) breaking down stigma This is the tale of Jonah and discrimination. tudes and Sophie. It’s a love and behaviour in relation story. A dysfunctional to mental health. love story, but a love story all the same. Viaduct, Rich Against the lonely White backdrop of London, 15 March, 12pm the worlds of two shy A3 Project Space individuals collide, and a Free – Book via A3 charming, delicate and Rich White has been darkly funny story unfolds commissioned by before your eyes. A3 Project Space to research the abandoned Women & Theatre: Duddeston viaduct as Laughing for a part of the ‘You Are Change Here’ programme. 11 March, 8pm His research culminates Lighthouse in the distribution of a free Tickets are £8 / £7 newsprint publication A hilarious triple bill that will be launched in compered by loveable Digbeth at an event at 056
A3. The event will include a group walk along the viaduct. Since January Rich walked the route of the Viaduct with a number of Digbeth residents and interested people, finding out about their experiences and ideas about the structure. Walks have included an artist, an architect, an historian, a community leader and an urban planner. Arts & Science Festival 16 – 23 March University of Birmingham – Edgbaston campus www.birmingham.ac.uk/ artsandsciencefestival Ticket prices vary Themed ‘Life & Death’, the festival programme will showcase culture, research and collaboration at the University through talks, exhibitions, performances, workshops and screenings. Birdsong 17 - 22 March The HOUSE at Birmingham Rep
£18.50 to £30 (concessions available) Marking the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, Birdsong is the hit, critically acclaimed stage show based on the world famous novel by Sebastian Faulks. In pre-war France, a young Englishman Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire that turns their world upside down. As the war breaks out over the idyll of his former life, Stephen must lead his men through the carnage of the Battle of the Somme and through the sprawling tunnels that lie deep underground. Faced with the unprecedented horror of the war Stephen clings to the memory of Isabelle as his world explodes around him. Herbert Illumination: Curator Talk 18 March, 1.30pm – 2.30pm Free event with £4 exhibition entry fee
The Herbert Join Victoria Osborne, Curator (Fine Art) from Birmingham Museums as she explores selected works within the Exposed exhibition from a curatorial perspective.
the poverty line. It all sounds rather familiar doesn’t it? Macheath and Polly Peachum are newlywed, much to the dismay of her father Mr Peachum. A plan is set to catch and arrest Macheath. Egusi Soup Through brothels, 18 - 22 March blackmail, deceit and The DOOR at many many women, he Birmingham Rep is eventually caught and £12 (concessions avail) taken to the gallows. As the Anyia’s, a British- Will he hang? Let’s see Nigerian family, pack what the government their suitcases and decides… prepare to head home to Lagos for a memorial Maia Conran service in honour of the 28 March - 10 May late Mr Anyia, they soon Grand Union, Free realise they will need to Video installation get rid of some excess exhibition by the London baggage first! based artist. A fast, furious and funny new family drama Black Hole Club about inter-generational March - April and crosscultural Vivid Projects Vivid Projects presents relationships. the Black Hole Club, The Threepenny a brand new ongoing Opera programme supporting 27 March - 12 April artists and curators The HOUSE at working with moving Birmingham Rep image, performance £7 to £32.50 and sound to test In a world where evil goes experimental new work. unpunished. Money is corrupt. The law is fickle. Lowly souls remain on 057
APRIL The Room Next To Mine: Marlene Smith 3 April, 6.30pm A3 Project Space Free – Book via A3 Marlene Smith presents the findings from the recent series of study days at A3 Project Space as part of her project ‘The Room Next to Mine’. The study days involved conversation with artists Amanda Holiday, Barbara Walker and Claudette Johnson and brought critical attention to the artists’ work. It was discussed with a group of artists, curators, educators, historians and activists, paying particular attention to where it fits with contemporary practice. All three days were documented using still photography and audio recording which Marlene will share as well as talk about the future of the project.
up; stories, jokes, adventures – a master maker-upper. But where did it all begin? Mouth Open, Story Jump Out is about the moment that started it all, and how one little decision set off a chain reaction that changed his life forever. International assassins, secret codes, dog eating boa constrictors and much more fill the hole left when a father disappears and a boy discovers a talent for telling tales. The production is an interactive storytelling show in which the audience shape the content of through writing, drawing and responding to questions and prompts from Polarbear.
Refugee Boy 8 - 12 April The STUDIO at Birmingham Repertory Theatre £15 (conc available) Alem is fourteen, in Polarbear London with his father Mouth Open, Story on the best holiday Jump Out he has ever had, only 6 April, 11am & 2.30pm then the unthinkable Foyle Studio, mac, £8 happens, he awakes Polarbear makes things to find himself alone, a 058
stranger in an unfamiliar country. Overnight he has become a refugee. As a violent civil war rages back home, Alem’s Ethiopian father and Eritrean mother make the heartbreaking decision to leave him in London, on his own but hopefully safe at last. Masked Ball 12 April, 8.00pm – 11.00pm The Herbert, £7.50 Make use of a range of unusual materials to create your own masks supported by artist Adie Blundell and inspired by Gillian Wearing’s photograph of a masked Lily Cole. Liberated behind your mask you can reveal your confessions and desires, be they real or another creation. FRANK SKINNER: MAN IN A SUIT 22 - 24 April, 7.30pm Symphony Hall The famous Black Country son, Baggies superfan and acclaimed comedian returns to his old stomping ground in the Midlands for three
nights of brand new material. War Correspondents 24 - 26 April The DOOR at Birmingham Rep £12 (conc available) Whilst reporting the outbreak of war, a journalist is held at gunpoint, caught in the no-man’s land between two nations. War Correspondents is the second song theatre performance created by composer Helen Chadwick and choreographer and co-founder of Frantic Assembly, Steven Hoggett, (Oliver award winner for Black Watch) following the success of Dalston Songs commissioned by the Royal Opera House.
Shakti: Nikhil Chopra Until 5 April Wolverhampton Art Gallery Free As part of Meadow Arts’ major exhibition Shakti, artist Nikhil Chopra created drawings on the walls of Wolverhampton Art Gallery during his three-day performance of Space Oddity in November. Arriving from his home in Goa, Chopra wore a specially designed costume while he drew members of the local community for eight hours each day. The drawings are on show until April, alongside an exhibition of photographs chronicling his previous performance Inside Out; evocative images taken in Italy, suffused with drama and colour.
David Rowan: The Dark River Until 27 April Arena Gallery, mac Free David Rowan’s new body of work navigates the course of Birmingham’s River Rea through a series of moving pictures. Taking inspiration from Roy Fisher’s poem Birmingham River, The Dark River continues Rowan’s long term photographic and film interest in the city’s waterways, and builds upon his recent photographic series Pacha Kuti Ten.
MAY Girls Like That 1 - 3 May The STUDIO at Birmingham Rep £7 (conc available) Phones come to life with the buzz of a new message, a new email, a Facebook update. A single photo… When a naked photo of Scarlett goes viral and she becomes the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons, Scarlett remains silent. Swingamajig Festival 4 May Boxxed www.swingamajig.co.uk/ tickets Swing dancing, circus performances, electric hamster racing, walk about acts and vintage cinema. Headliners: Molotov Jukebox, Electric Swing Circus, A.Skillz, Bobby Friction Swingamajig is the UK’s first one day urban festival dedicated to Electro Swing, Vintage Sounds and Gypsy Madness the festival takes the sounds and styles of the 1920’s and updates 060
them with a modern twist, bringing together several thousand of the UK’s best dressed ladies and gents to party like it is 1929. Sequence 8 8 - 10 May The HOUSE at Birmingham Rep £12 to £20 Bringing a deeply human dimension to the world of aweinspiring acrobatics and phenomenal physicality, groundbreaking Montreal circus company Les 7 doigts de la main (The 7 Fingers) perform at The REP as part of International Dance Festival Birmingham 2014. Playful and profound, Séquence 8 is an exhilarating race through the furthest reaches of acrobatics, circus arts, dance and theatre.
teenagers develop an unusual and unlikely friendship. Meanwhile a young girl is witness to her mother’s attempt to leave a violent relationship. Against the backdrop of a changing city these relationships force everyone involved to reexamine all they thought they new about love, trust and friendship. Interweaving and colliding they build to shocking conclusions.
Dial M For Murder 13 - 17 May The HOUSE at Birmingham Rep £12.50 to £35 (concessions available) When murder calls… hang up. Frederick Knott’s intense and darkly gripping thriller, Dial M for Murder, famously filmed by Alfred Hitchcock, is now on a UK tour. Circles Tony is convinced his 9 - 24 May wife is having an affair. The DOOR at We watch mesmerised Birmingham Rep at Tony’s precision in £12 (conc available) planning what must Circling the outskirts surely be the perfect of Birmingham on the murder… until it falters number 11 bus, two in the most unexpected
way. Claustrophobic and frightening, Lucy Bailey’s exciting new production reclaims this brilliant and erotic tale of betrayal, passion and ultimately, murder. Private Peaceful 14 - 17 May The HOUSE at Birmingham Rep £12.50 to £25 (concessions available) Private Peaceful relives the life of Private Tommo Peaceful, a young First World War soldier awaiting the firing squad at dawn. During the night he looks back at his short but joyful past growing up in rural Devon: his exciting first days at school; the accident in the forest that killed his father; his adventures with Molly, the love of his life; and the battles and injustices of war that brought him to the front line. Catch 22 20 - 24 May The HOUSE at Birmingham Rep £18.50 to £30 (concessions available) Explosive, subversive,
wild and funny, after 50 years the strength of Joseph Heller’s story is undiminished. Northern Stage is proud to produce the first ever UK production of Heller’s electric dramatisation of his classic novel. Set in the closing months of World War II, a bombardier named Yossarian is trapped in the absurd world of an inescapable war. Frantic and furious, as thousands of people he has never met try to kill him, Yossarian is stalked and thwarted by the merciless Catch22. Birmingham Pride 24-25 May Gay Village, Southside, Birmingham Ticketed The annual parade and carnival celebrating the LGBT community in the city.
A BIG BANG: THE ORIGINS OF THE POP ART COLLECTION, PART 1 Until 21 June Wolverhampton Art Gallery First of a two-part display exploring the reason why art works by some of the biggest names in Pop Art (including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein) found a home at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. This exhibition features some of the earliest works acquired for the Art Gallery’s Pop collection and tells the story behind the collection, which began in the mid-sixties with the purchase of the ICA print portfolio featuring work by Derek Boshier, Peter Philips, Bridget Riley, Peter Blake and more.
JUNE Bass 14 1-14 June Various Venues and ticket prices bass14.co.uk Punch, return with their annual BASS Festival in 2014. Now in it’s ninth year, BASS has established itself as one of the UK’s most innovative boutique festivals, with an annual theme running throughout the events. This years theme is MADE IN BRITAIN, a celebration of the Black music & arts scene here in the UK. Under Milk Wood 2 - 7 June The HOUSE at Birmingham Rep £18.50 to £35 (conc available) Under Milk Wood is a work of genius; ripe with vitality, rich in humour and populated by sublime, eccentric, enchanting characters. Come to Llareggub, a small Welsh town by the sea. Meet blind Captain Cat, Mog Edwards and his sweetheart Miss Price, Sinbad Sailor, Dai Bread, Polly Garter, Nogood Boyo 062
and Lord Cut Glass. Walk along Coronation Street, Cockle Row and Donkey Street, down to the little fishing harbour and back to Milk Wood. Dylan Thomas explores their lives, hopes and thoughts in the dreams of a night and the rhythm of a day. Level Up 6 June The DOOR at Birmingham Rep £5 (conc available) An explosive night of spoken word in performance, featuring some of the country’s very best poets alongside local rising stars. Besides sets from our special guests, you can expect open mic slots for you to share your work, poetry video showcases, and time to socialize and share your work with like-minded people. This is a chance to make your voice heard so what are you waiting for? Crowd Out 8 June Millennium Point, Birmingham www.bcmg.org.uk/
CrowdOut Free B i r m i n g h a m Contemporary Music Group is looking for 1000 people of all ages and abilities to build an all-singing, all-shouting super group for the world premiere performances of Crowd Out by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. Whether you prefer to stand out or become lost in a crowd, this is a fantastic opportunity to have your voice heard in the first ever performances of a brand new piece of music by one of the world’s leading composers, which will be led by Simon Halsey, one of the world’s top choral conductors. Woman in Mind 13 - 28 June The HOUSE at Birmingham Rep £18.50 to £30 (concessions available) One afternoon Susan finds herself lying on the lawn of her suburban garden, concussed by a garden rake, and the family doctor tending to her; soon her adoring,
JULY handsome husband and the rest of the family arrive home to spoil her. But when her real husband – a vicar whose main love is writing the 60-page history of the parish – arrives home, we realise that Susan has created an entire fantasy family as an antidote to the real one.
Next Door 2 - 4 July The STUDIO at Birmingham Rep £12 (concessions available) When Ivan Hansen’s neighbour passes away suddenly, Ivan realises he doesn’t know anything about him. Intimate storytelling and high-octane physical theatre explore what it is that really connects us. Multi-award winning Danish company Out of Balanz return to Birmingham following their sell-out Edinburgh Fringe run and a critically-acclaimed European tour.
AUGUST Summer in Southside 2014 22–24 Aug Southside Spaces: Hippodrome Square, Inge Street, Hurst St and Arcadian summerinsouthside. com Free Southside comes alive again this summer with spectacular FREE outdoor performance! With a packed programme of events, come and join our enlivening festival atmosphere where you will find mind blowing physical theatre, thrilling dance, heavenly singing, clowning around and much, much more. For the latest announcements and programme developments please keep an eye on summerinsouthside. com or join Birmingham Hippodrome on Facebook or Twitter for updates.
Epic Encounters February - April Birmingham Rep A festival season of Epic Theatre, cabaret and comedy curated by Mark Ravenhill. Have your say on issues of poverty, wealth and power with games and debates. This major celebration of the great German poet and playwright, Bertolt Brecht will explore his work, influence and opinions with an exciting programme of events across all spaces of the theatre.
Walk On Until 30 March First Floor Gallery, mac Free ‘Walk On’ is the first exhibition to examine the astonishingly varied ways in which artists since the 1960s have undertaken a seemingly universal act – taking a walk – as their means to create new types of art. The exhibition offers an as-yet-unwritten history of recent art practice. It proposes that, across all four of the last decades, artists have worked as kinds of explorers, whether making their marks on rural wildernesses or acting as urban expeditionaries.
Exposed: The Body in Art from Dürer to Freud Until 21 April The Herbert Adult: £4.00, Children (18 and under): Free The exhibition explores a range of artistic responses to the human body presenting over 60 works spanning 500 years. At its heart is Burne-Jones Pygmalion series (1878), which brings together the five themes explored in the exhibition: the body as a focus for the artist’s observation, the creation of the ‘ideal’ body, the mutation of the body, art as a means of preserving and memorialising the body, and the body as a vehicle for the artist’s imagination and fantasy.
Tim Shaw: Black Smoke Rising 12 April â€“ 8 June First Floor Gallery, mac Free Belfast born sculptor Tim Shaw grapples with contemporary and political realities whilst evoking the mythical and metaphysical. Recently elected a Royal Academician and with increasing public recognition, this is Shawâ€™s first solo exhibition in a major public gallery and is a unique opportunity to view a seminal body of work.
Venue Directory ART VENUES A3 Project Space
THE HERBERT Jordan Well, Coventry, CV1 5QP 024 7683 2386 theherbert.org
Oozells Square, B1 2HS 0121 248 0708 ikon-gallery.co.uk | @ikongallery
BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME Hurst Street 0844 338 5000 birminghamhippodrome. com
Unit A3 2 Bowyer Street, Digbeth, B10 0SA | @A3projectSpace Ikon Gallery A3projectspace.org Barber Institute Univeristy of Birmingham Edgbaston, B15 2TS 0121 414 7333 barber.org.uk Bilston Craft Gallery
Mt Pleasant, Bilston, WV14 7LU wolverhamptonart. org.uk BM&G Chamberlain Square, B3 3DH bmag.org.uk | @BM_AG CUSTARD FACTORY Gibb Street, B9 4AA custardfactory.co.uk EASTSIDE PROJECTS 86 Heath Mill Lane, B9 4AR, 0121 771 1778 eastsideprojects.org | @eprjcts Grand Union Fazeley Street Birmingham B5 5RS grand-union.org.uk | @grandunionltd
The Lighthouse The Chubb Building Fryer Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT 01902 716 055 light-house.co.uk MAC Cannon Hill Park macarts.co.uk
AE HARRIS 110 Northwood Street Birmingham, B3 1SZ aeharrisvenue.co.uk
BIRMINGHAM REPERTORY THEATRE Broad St, Birmingham, B1 2EP 0121 236 4455
VIVID PROJECTS Minerva Works, 16 Fazeley St, B5 5RT
RSC Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6BB
WARWICK ARTS CENTRE University of Warwick Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry CV4 7AL 024 7652 4524 warwickartscentre.co.uk
Wolverhampton Art Gallery Lichfield St, WV1 1DU 01902 552055 wolverhamptonart.org.uk
LIBRARY OF BIRMINGHAM Broad St, B1 2EP
libraryofbirmingham.com MILLENNIUM POINT Curzon Street, B4 7XG SYMPHONY HALL Broad St, B1 2EA