S& ART RE TU CUL WITH ION EDIT W ART NE T WES DS LAN D I M 2017
CULTURE EDITION WITH NEW ART WEST MIDLANDS 2017
Editors: email@example.com | @kerryfused firstname.lastname@example.org | @davefused Front Cover: Lisa Nash, Circle of Life (detail) Content Image: Milly Rowland Both images for New Art West Midlands 2017.
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NEW ART WEST MIDLANDS 2017 Saturday 18 February to Sunday 14 May 2017
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery mac Birmingham Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum (until 3 June) Wolverhampton Art Gallery Opening times vary newartwestmidlands.co.uk | @NewArtWestMids
New Art West Midlands is back for 2017 with an exciting new haul of artists waiting to be discovered. Now in its fifth year, New Art West Midlands is the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest showcase of contemporary art, with exhibitions at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, mac Birmingham, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and this year, for the first time, Worcester City Art Gallery. If you fancy a jaunt around the region taking in the latest trends in art, New Art West Midlands is for you. All of the artists showing their work have recently graduated from one of the West Midlandsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; six art schools: Birmingham City University, Coventry University, University of Worcester, University of Wolverhampton, Hereford College of Arts and Staffordshire University. Being selected for New Art West Midlands is no easy feat: of 180 applications, only 31 artists made it through to the final selection. Together they offer a heady mix of painting, installation, sculpture, drawing, photography, video, animation and digital art. In this special edition of AREA, we show you the names to look out for and pick our favourite artworks from New Art West Midlands 2017. 04
Image: Renata Juroszova, Openness to the Privacy
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WATERHALL GALLERY, BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM & ART GALLERY Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery hosts the largest of the New Art West Midlands exhibitions, giving up its cavernous Waterhall for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s show.
Image: Yazmin Boyle, Orbita
When entering the gallery you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be able to miss Yazmin Boyleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s monumental steel sculptures. Entitled Orbita, they are made from rolled steel that has been etched with a lace pattern and then mathematically engineered into a curvaceous whole. Yazmin learnt how to bend and manipulate steel to make these works, which turn gender stereotypes on their head. 07
Image: Lorna Brown, Why Are Your Thighs So Big
Lorna Brown has poured a lifetimeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience into her photography. As a person of colour growing up in a rural area, she was subjected to subtle forms of racism â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one teacher suggested that she straighten her hair to make it look tidier. Motivated by the desire to explore the role of race within beauty, she set out to make manipulated portraits of her own body. The results are outstanding and a must-see.
Image: Lorna Brown, If You Grew Your Hair Long
Image: Lisa Nash, Circle of Life (detail)
Look out for Lisa Nash’s unsettling sculpture of a woman cradling a baby rabbit in her arms, with a larger rabbit watching on. Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Lisa’s work explores the relationship between humans and animals – but she cunningly leaves it up to the viewer to decide what they think will happen to the baby rabbit.
Image: Poppy Twist, Mic Approach
When sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not performing in her band Table Scraps, Poppy Twist creates artworks inspired by the world of performance and pop culture. Nostalgia-fiends will love Poppyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s installation of retro pop memorabilia from the likes of Ozzy Osborne, Blondie and Elvis Presley.
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ARTISTS 1. Yazmin Boyle 2. Lorna Brown 3. Kerry Farrell 4. Pamela Fletcher 5. Gemma Ford 6. Bruno Grilo 7. Rob Hamp 8. Hao Zecheng 9. Renata Juroszova 10. Damian Massey 11. Jessica Maxfield 12. Lisa Nash 13. Henry Rice 14. Natalie Seymour 15. Poppy Twist 013
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MAC BIRMINGHAM New Art West Midlands takes over macâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first floor gallery with a mixture of sculpture, installation and video.
Image: Halina Dominska. Bound To (detail)
Halina Dominska is proof that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never too late to follow your dreams. The 42-yearold worked at a building society for 18 years before chucking it in to go to art school. The risk has paid off, and she fills a corner of macâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gallery with her hanging interactive sculpture. Skin-like cocoons hang from the ceiling and as you walk towards them, they begin to breathe. We can only describe it as brilliantly weird.
Make-up features in most womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives, but is less commonly seen on an artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s palette. Megan Evans uses lipstick, powder and highlighter to make her striking images of cosmetic surgery, which she hopes will both intrigue and disgust her viewer. The images are undeniably visceral, yet compelling. 017
Image: Sarah Zacharek, Re:Discovery
Sarah Zacharekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s moving installation (pictured left) tells the story of how, as an adult, she retraced the steps of her deceased father back to his ancestral village in Poland. Sarah recreated a journey made by her Dad in the 1980s, taking pictures as she went, in order to feel a connection to the man who died when she was still a baby. She brings her experience together with video, photography and sound.
Image: Bruno Grilo, Where I Should Fold I Wander
Lastly, keep an eye out for Bruno Griloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 8-sheet billboard, Where I Should Fold I Wander, inspired by architectural digital design.
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ARTISTS 1. Susan Brisco 2. Halina Dominska 3. Megan Evans 4. Pamela Fletcher 5. Bruno Grilo 6. Jade Hamilton 7. Katie Hodson 8. Renata Juroszova 9. Damian Massey 10. Jenna Naylor 11. Natalie Ramus 12. Milly Rowland 13. Sarah Zacharek 021
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WOLVERHAMPTON ART GALLERY If you’re in Wolverhampton then a trip to the Art Gallery is a must. Whilst there, you could do worse then checking out Amy Inston’s video for New Art West Midlands, Pipe Dream. A warm-hearted yet bitter-sweet look at Birmingham life, the film records life in Amy’s family home, which is filled with knick-knacks found in car boot sales and pictures of idols from American popular culture. Pipe Dream weaves nostalgia for working class life with the optimism of the American dream, in what Amy calls a “clash of hope and actuality”.
Image: Amy Inston, Pipe Dream (video still)
Image: Tuschara Kiewpukdee, The School of Art
Thai artist Tuschara Kiewpukdee draws on the kitsch to make his intricate paintings inspired by globalisation. The altar-like triptych The School of Art uses symbols of Eastern and Western culture, including Mickey Mouse, Tin Tin, Ganesh and Poseidon, as well as Japanese manga robot cat Doraemon. 023
On a more sober note, Jenna Naylorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drawings and sculpture remind us of the precariousness of nature. Her dainty and detailed images of marine animals and plants are otherworldly, with the impact of human beings on this delicate environment omnipresent. 024
Image: LJenna Naylor, Entomologist Collection
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5 6 ARTISTS 1. Tuschara Kiewpukdee 2. Sarah Cornforth 3. Amy Inston 4. Kate Morgan-Clare 5. Jenna Naylor 6. Natalie Seymour 027
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WORCESTER CITY ART GALLERY AND MUSEUM Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum joins New Art West Midlands for the first time in 2017.
Image: Lindy Brett, Observations
Look out for Lindy Brett’s video and sound work Observations, which is inspired by the Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank. You can listen to recordings of the voices of engineers and astronomers who work on the telescope – not to mention the extra-terrestrial sounds that their activity produces.
Image: Henry Rice, Pondering
Digital manipulation is at the heart of Henry Rice’s photographs. He recalls how “when I saw the Mona Lisa for the first time I could not help but feel underwhelmed…I concluded that because I had seen (her) face so repeatedly on TV, that these mediated versions had become my defining image”. With the world’s finest art available to us at the touch of a button, Henry set out to explore the positive and negative impact of how we consume paintings. The result is eighteenth century art – but not as you know it.
Architecture is sometimes a forgotten art form. Abigail Day hopes to remind us of the beauty in oft-maligned post-war buildings, and her sculptures, made of wax and stone, are inspired by Brutalist architecture. Image: Abigail Day, Untitled (detail)
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All New Art West Midlands information is correct at time of going to print. 030
ARTISTS 1. Lindy Brett 2. Abigail Day 3. Kerry Farrell 4. Henry Rice 5. Daniel Smart 031
ALL BECAUSE OF YOU: NORTHERN SOUL PORTRAITS Parkside Gallery, Birmingham City University Until 24 February 2017 Open 9am-7pm,Mon-Fri and 9am-5pm Sat
Researcher Sarah Raine and photographer Bethany Kane have come together to present a new exhibition after discovering their shared interest of the Northern Soul scene. While Bethany has been photographing fans of sub-culture scenes like Punk, Skinhead Oi! and Reggae for the past six years Sarah has been conducting research for the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research. “From a young age I have always had a passion for music, and a fascination for subculture, its communities and stylistic elements.” Comments Bethany. “I discovered my love for 60s ska, rocksteady and boss reggae (aged 15), and through attending skinhead reggae nights I was introduced to the northern soul scene.” The exhibition brings together a collection of photographs, audio, memorabilia and insider accounts exploring the underground Northern Soul music scene and its younger participants within Birmingham and the Midlands. “My northern soul re-education began almost immediately after starting my PhD, says Sarah. ”My supervisor emphasised the importance of The Catacombs in Wolverhampton during the early days of the scene, in addition to the numerous youth clubs that existed in the Black Country, which acted as an interlinked and important network of young fans, not quite old enough to attend clubs but desperate for news and records. Birmingham and the Black Country is one of many areas with strong northern soul roots that have been understated in common histories of the scene.” Read an interview with Sarah and Bethany at fusedmagazine.com 035
100 MASTERS 100masters.co.uk
Creative Black Country has started a year long campaign to find 100 Masters; identifying contemporary skilled people from the Black Country and helping to inspire future talent. Did you know that the Playstation font was designed by twins from Wolverhampton? Or that a local cactus-breeder has received gold at RHS Chelsea for the last seven successive years? Ever heard of the person who’s book, written during an evening class, was turned into a Hollywood film starring Nicole Kidman? Rihanna continues to be a big fan of the jackets made by a Dudley fashion student, and last year at the Edinburgh Fringe, a care worker from Sandwell beat 14 other comedians to win the ‘Joke of the year 2016’. The team are looking for more stories of local people receiving attention and accolades for their work. A master should be a noteworthy person who has forged their own path and displayed outstanding ability that has influenced others in their field. They can be from any walk of life and there are no restrictions in specialism but they must have either been born, educated, lived or worked in the Black Country for a significant period of time. If you know of someone you can nominate your master on the website.
HOME OF METAL
homeofmetal.com/the-archive As Black Sabbath come to the end of their final UK tour the team behind the Home Of Metal project are asking fans to contribute to an archive of photos and memorabilia following the bands 40 year history. Capturing the hearts and minds of fans globally the project will aim to explores how the music of four working class lads from Aston had such an impact by paying homage to the fan’s devotion and documenting the forty year relationship.
Home Of Metal, was established by Capsule in 2007, to examine the origins of Heavy Metal and its birthplace in Birmingham and the Black Country. Originally delivered across fifteen major arts institutions, including a large-scale exhibition at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, it brought together unseen artefacts, relics, memorabilia and personal stories sourced directly from the fans alongside iconic items from bands including Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Napalm Death. Fans are being asked to contribute to the archive by uploading photos of related memorabilia to help form the content of an exhibition that will tour internationally in 2018, followed by a summer season in Birmingham and the Black Country in 2019.
Image of fan Chris March by Katja Ogrin
“An artist or band’s success can be measured by their relationship with the fans and the success of the ‘Home of Metal’ exhibition brought home just how dedicated and loyal ours are” explains Black Sabbath guitarist and founder Tony Iommi. “It’s always humbling to realise how you’ve touched people’s lives with your music.”
KRIS ASKEY SPLIT SECOND CITY Kris Askey decided it was time to turn the daily commute in to a creative process. The photographer from Birmingham, frustrated with the lack of time he had to take images, used his time before and after work to capture the city and its people. “I worked out I had about 28 minutes from the station to the workplace in the morning and had a bit more time after work finished,” enthuses Kris. “That gave me about an extra hour every day that I wasn’t using before. Then I suddenly had an extra five hours a week, just like that. After that, everything just spiralled slightly out of control, and I became a bit obsessed with photographing everyday life.” 041
Sharing some of the images on social media he has amassed around 8,000 in total. “Most of the photos I captured were quite spontaneous. I wouldn’t stand in one spot waiting for something to pop up. I enjoyed the idea of moving through the city and almost seeking the moments out, rather than waiting for them to come to me and happen. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of candid photography. I believe it produces real moments. Whether it’s at a family event or walking through the city, there’s thousands happening all the time.” 25 images have been chosen for an exhibition at The Print Room at 70b’ which is based at Park View Gallery in Kings Heath, Birmingham. Launching on 18th February for around one month the images will be available to buy as ‘limited edition’ prints. We asked Kris to tell us about a few of his favourites.
This is probably my favourite image of 2016. It’s hard to get capture emotion on a daily basis as people are so reserved. I find older people interesting as they have seen a whole lifetime. 042
Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m interested in overlapping figures during the busy moments of the city. I like this image as it shows people and their paths crossing in different directions, at different paces using different forms of transport.
It took me a while to like colour in my images, I was always wanting to put images into black and white as I never enjoyed the colours that my cameras gave me. My favourite thing about this image is that his outfit was very well coordinated.
One of the earlier images I took of Birmingham, near to the day where the new Library of Birmingham first opened. I love the different colours, shapes and sizes of everyone taking a new view of the city.
Taken from a different vantage point which allowed me to include the street markings. I like how you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t notice straight away that the man is actually holding a spare wheel for his bike. He didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t turn right. All images courtesy of Kris Askey
ARTS & SCIENCE FESTIVAL 2017 The University of Birmingham birmingham.ac.uk/artsandsciencefestival 13–19 March
The Arts & Science Festival is a celebration of ideas, research, culture and collaboration across the University of Birmingham campus and beyond. This year’s theme, land and water, draws together leading artists and academics for a week-long programme of exhibitions, screenings, concerts, workshops and talks. For 2017, Arts & Science Festival partner with Shock & Gore Festival, who present their Trash Film Night, an evening of terrible film complete with ill-prepared commentary at The Electric Cinema. This event forms part of an eclectic mix of screenings including advance previews and a mini-programme of events inspired by Homer’s Odyssey at film venues across the city (Electric Cinema, mac Birmingham, and Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen). A vibrant exhibitions programme approaches the festival theme from a variety of perspectives. Ikon Gallery presents the first solo exhibition of work by the pioneering French film director and biologist Jean Painlevé. Birmingham Open Media presents In Future Forest - a collaboration between sound artist and composer Dr Robin Price and environmental scientist Dr Francis Pope, who explore the creative possibilities of mapping nature into music. Back on campus, the university is transformed into a hive of activity which includes a behind the scenes tour of the newly refurbished Lapworth Museum of Geology; a magical exhibition of fable illustrations at Winterbourne House and Garden; and a cross-disciplinary workshop exploring landscape art through drawing and writing at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. 046
GARAGE LECTURE SERIES The Hive, Worcester meadowarts.org Selected Wednesdays from 8 February - 29 March Meadow Arts and University of Worcester present some of the most exciting contemporary artists working in the UK, talking about their practice. This is the second year that the contemporary arts organisation and the universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fine Art department have worked together on the lecture series. Last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success means that the 2017 talks are being moved to The Hive, an award winning venue in central Worcester. Image: Faye Claridge, Weighty Friend by R. Farkas 049
IDRIS KHAN - A WORLD WITHIN New Art Gallery Walsall Until 7 May
Memory plays a significant role in the practice of internationally acclaimed, Walsall-born contemporary artist Idris Khan. As he presents a major survey exhibition at the New Art Gallery Walsall this spring, his own memories of growing up and studying in the Black Country town will inevitably be in his thoughts. As an artist who has exhibited everywhere from the British Museum to the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton in Paris, this exhibition is not only a homecoming of sorts, but a celebration of all that he has accomplished since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2004. He rapidly rose to prominence with works such as Holy Quran (2004) in which he painstakingly created an image built up of many layers, each one a spread of pages of the holy book of Islam. Beautiful, poetic and powerful, Khan’s work is a testament to the devotion of those who read and follow the Quran. In 2010 Kahn presented the work Seven Times, a large-scale floor installation comprising 144 blue-black steel cubes. Each cube has the proportions of the Kaaba, the sacred black, gold and white structure located inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca that is considered the centre of the Muslim world and around which pilgrims are required to walk seven times. The footprint of Khan’s installation is the same as that of the Kaaba, and each of the artist’s cubes is inscribed with prayers in Arabic that are recited daily by Muslims. Presented in low lighting, Khan’s installation is a memorable and affecting monument to prayer and pilgrimage. Two new layered glass paintings will be included in the exhibition, as well as a sculpture seen for the first time in the UK. On 23 March at 6.30pm join the artist for a talk about his work. Booking essential, call the Gallery on 01922 654400. This edited extract has been taken from an article by Matt Price in Fused Magazine. 050
Image: Idris Kahn in his studio 2016 by Annie Morris. Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro, London.
REASONS TO VISIT... THE HAGUE Once globetrotters have soaked up all that Amsterdam and Rotterdam have to offer, it is well worth considering the short train ride to discover The Netherlands’ third-largest city. Renowned for its stately embassies, mansions and the UN’s International Court of Justice Den Haag also offers a abundance of cultural happenings, hip dining experiences, boutique shopping and some great bars combined with a relaxed café culture. Great for a stopover we’ve picked our must-see places to head to on your visit…
EAT at Capriole Café The newly opened Capriole Café, located in what had been an abandoned paint factory in a quiet part of town, manages to bring in large crowds every day based on a reputation for one of the best burgers in Holland. As well as a fine line in open sandwiches (order the mackerel) and a traditional Dutch coffee roastery, which proudly takes centre space in the middle of the restaurant, it’s definitely worth seeking out.
GET kitted out at... Michael Barnaart Bergen The work of Michael Barnaart Bergen joins the dots between high fashion and popular culture. With informal knitwear and Mondrian inspired dresses he blends graphic design and fashion with fine art. His garments are produced in house in limited editions and both worn on the streets as well as showcased in several museums. SHOP at Listed ‘Clothes, coffee and more’; a perfect combination brilliantly executed at Listed. Simple jewellery, stylish clothing, a few carefully selected homewares and you have the perfect store every city should have. A cheeky sign saying ‘Fuck it lets buy stuff’ – our fave motto too – and we’re covered.
SEE exhibitions at Gemeente Museum The Gemeentemuseum is a modern palace of the arts and with over 150,000 works, is one of Europe’s biggest art museums. It has an outstanding selection of modern, contemporary art and fashion and is also the international home of Piet Mondrian – with 300 works by the famous Dutch pioneering artist and De Stijl member in its collection.
TRAVEL INFORMATION Fly from many UK airports with KLM direct to Amsterdam and then catch a train to Den Haag which takes around 40 minutes. Stay right in the center of The Hague at the 4 star modern and stylish Parkhotel which is situated close to many restaurants, bars and design stores in the city. Visit Holland.com
ON GOING EXHIBITIONS
ARTIST ROOMS ROY LICHTENSTEIN Until 26 Feb Wolverhampton Art Gallery See works by one of the 20th century’s most radical and influential artists at the first regional venue to host this newly assembled group of works by Roy Lichtenstein, shown as part of ARTIST ROOMS. The major exhibition brings together Reflections: Art (1988) and sixteen large-scale screen-prints including Purist Painting with Bottles (1975) – from Wolverhampton’s own acclaimed Pop Art Collection, alongside the celebrated early painting In the Car (1963) and the painted steel relief Wall Explosion II (1965).
SUBODH GUPTA - FROM FAR AWAY UNCLE MOON CALLS Until 11 March Mead Gallery warwickartscentre.co.uk/mead-gallery/ Working across painting, sculpture and installation, Gupta uses objects such as tiffin boxes, cooking utensils and milk pails to reflect on personal and universal concerns, ranging from the economic transformation of his homeland to migration, globalisation and even the cosmos. The artist’s work encourages viewers to question the material, cultural and spiritual values attributed to objects, including pondering the inner life of used and discarded cooking vessels.
ON GOING EXHIBITIONS
BEYOND THE DOOR: THE KOESTLER EXHIBITION FOR THE WEST MIDLANDS Until 26 March Arena Gallery, mac Birmingham Beyond the Door is an exhibition of artwork, writing and music from prisons, secure hospitals, and by people on community sentences in the West Midlands. The work on display has been selected by Walsall Youth Justice Service from entries to the Koestler Awards, an annual scheme that has been rewarding artistic achievement in the criminal justice sector for over 50 years.
GROUP SHOW: HAND AND MIND Until 26 March Grand Union
ANDREW GILLESPIE ANTI-SCRAPE Until 23 April New Art Gallery Walsall
Hand and Mind, an exhibition and series of performances testing connections between the realms of speech and gesture, curated by Vanessa Boni. Artists Alex Cecchetti, Liz Magic Laser, Hanne Lippard, Jesper List Thomsen and Hagar Tenenbaum embody language and thought. Through painting, sculpture, choreography and performance they unsettle political, personal and theoretical channels of communication.
Andrew Gillespieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work revolves around the application of print and the appropriation of forms and imagery lifted from popular culture. For his solo exhibition he has created a new constellation of objects; an urban drift of materials and allusions to everyday experience. Visitors are invited to move through an architectural landscape, looking at, in, down and through the work. Screen-printed, cast concrete fragments cling to utilitarian security fences, which act as chassis for remnants of another time and place.
PRODUCTION SHOW / NIGHTMARE ON BAME STREET Until 22 April Eastside Projects The third in a series of evolving ‘Production Show’ exhibitions this iteration includes solo exhibitions, generative performances, a new production display system, a set of useful editions and proposals, concepts and prototypes as events and workshops. In the second gallery ‘Nightmare on BAME Street’ is a developing animation, comic, knitwear and rap tour de force. Birmingham born, Hardeep Pandhal is developing new knitted work, a comic animation and a reading list, based primarily on written experiences and mythologies surrounding motherhood across cultures.
HOME MADE IN SMETHWICK 13 February-10 March Wednesbury Library Multistory present Home Made in Smethwick, an exhibition of photographs by local photographer Liz Hingley, touring to six Sandwell libraries. Liz worked with residents for two years to create an intimate photographic portrait of the people and the food cooked in Smethwick in the Black Country, one of the most culturally diverse towns in the UK. A book of the work was published in August 2016 but this is the first time an exhibition of photographs has been exhibited publicly. See multistory.org.uk for further dates
DRAW NEW MISCHIEF - 250 YEARS OF SHAKESPEARE AND POLITICAL CARTOONS 25 February-15 October Royal Shakespeare Theatre’s PACCAR room Shakespeare’s plays have long shaped the way we understand and engage with contemporary politics and nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the works of political cartoonists. Celebrating more than two centuries of political cartoons inspired by Shakespeare and to coincide with its forthcoming Rome Season, the Royal Shakespeare Company opens ‘Draw New Mischief’.
DAVID O’DOHERTY BIG TIME Glee Club 6 February, 8pm David O’Doherty – the Aldi Bublé, the Ryanair Enya – is delighted to present a brand new show of talking and songs played on a crappy keyboard from 1986. £17.50 IN THE MOTHERHOOD Foyle Studio, mac Birmingham 6 February, 8pm A sharply accurate representation of the perils of modern parenting by Hayley Pepler. Celebrating motherhood in all its messy glory, offering support and encouragement, albeit using sometimes unorthodox methods. £12 (£10) GEORGE MONBIOT & EWAN MCLENNAN: 058
THE AGE OF LONELINESS Theatre, mac Birmingham 8 February, 8pm A unique collaboration between journalist and author George Monbiot and folk singersongwriter Ewan McLennan. Following Monbiot’s popular Guardian article on the effects of loneliness, McLennan is penning an album to be released later this year. £16.50 (£12.50)
BIRMINGHAM COMEDY FESTIVAL AND FRED THEATRE PRESENT: THE GOON SHOW The Bear Pit Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon 8-10 February, Wed, Thu, Fri 7.30pm, Thu 2.30pm & mac Birmingham, 11 February, 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Relive the lunacy of Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe as Seagoon, Eccles, Bluebottle, Major Bloodnok and Minnie uncover the dark secret of The House of Teeth, while a devilish case of Government misspending reveals a seemingly impossible invention in The Jetpropelled Guided NAAFI. This is a rare chance to see two classic Milligan radio scripts performed on stage, complete with full cast, live sound effects and jazz band. £12-£15 OPERAUPCLOSE: PUCCINI’S LA BOHÈME Theatre, mac Birmingham 9-11 February, 7.30pm An innovative, Oliver Award winning restaging of one of the most moving operas ever written. La Bohème charts the ups and downs of a group of idealistic graduates as they bicker, party, and try to make ends meet. £19.50
SUSAN MURRAY & GARETH BERLINER Encore Lounge comedy, Grand Theatre 10 February, 10pm until midnight £12.50 MUSIC VIDEO KLUB Centrala 10 February, 8pm Share your creations or just go along to support other like-minds with a beer or coffee! Free entry MATT FORDE: IT’S MY POLITICAL PARTY The Old Rep Theatre 11 February, 8pm £15
JULIAN COPE Glee Club 12 Feb, 7pm The singer, poet, occultist and photographer has enjoyed a 30-year career releasing over 20 solo albums, countless collaborations, and six acclaimed books. £23.50
HEAVEN EYES, THÉÂTRE SANS FRONTIÈRES The Old Rep Theatre 16 February, 1pm & 7pm VERVE FESTIVAL OF POETRY AND £12 (£10/£8) SPOKEN WORD Waterstones High St, Birmingham 16-19 February Birmingham’s biggest bookshop hosts VERVE, STEPMOTHER | the city’s first festival STEPFATHER of poetry and spoken DanceXchange word. The festival will see at Birmingham events running over all Hippodrome six floors of the store and 16 & 17 February, 8pm in a specially constructed Fairytales distort into indoor poetry marquee. nightmares as Snow The line-up features White & Rapunzel are established as well as pursued by a force of up and coming poets, cruel Stepmothers, in internationally acclaimed turn discovering what talent and undiscovered drives these wicked local artists, writing women on. Stepfather workshops, spoken is inspired the US folk- word masterclasses, punk band Violent poetry slams and lively Femmes’ Country Death children’s poetry and Song. Drawn from a storytelling events. real-life 19th-century Confirmed poets include case in which a man was 2016 Costa Book convicted of murdering shortlisted Melissa Lee his stepdaughter by Houghton, PBS New throwing her down a Generation poet Daljit well, with the search for Nagra and Mona Arshi, redemption played out winner of the 2015 beyond the grave. Forward prize for Best £14 / £10 first collection. vervepoetryfestival.com 059
(2016) and ‘We Move in Her Way’ (2017), images produced during these events will be used to generate a new wallpaper design and JOSIE LONG: bespoke skateboards SOMETHING BETTER which will be deployed The Old Rep Theatre by Eastside Projects. A 17 February, 7.30pm second performance will A show about optimism take place on 7 April. and hopefulness, looking for people and things SUNDAY XPRESS to look up to. It’s about Centrala wanting more from life 19 February, 5-10:30pm than it might be up for Now in its 11th year, giving out. It’s about the Xpress is known struggling with realising for its loyal support of what you are, who you underground music are and what you can’t and spoken word in change about yourself, the Midlands, and has and about really feeling also been praised for its like an outsider for the diverse programme of first time. acts, from traditional folk £14 to power electronics to SONIA BOYCE: WALLPAPER / PERFORMANCE Eastside Project 17 February, 6.30–8pm The first of two improvised performances by internationally acclaimed artist Sonia Boyce take place in the gallery against a panoramic backdrop of wallpaper from ‘Paper Tiger Whisky Soap Theatre’
some of the best indie bands that Birmingham has to offer. CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP: THE PLAY’S THE THING RSC 20 February, 11am-1pm Children can create their own poetry inspired by the history of the RSC with writer Sue Brown. Part of the session includes entry into the
Company’s brand new permanent exhibition, The Play’s The Thing. Sessions are for those aged between 12-16 years. £9 INTRODUCING: JULIUS CAESAR RSC 21 February, 2pm 3.30pm Families can enjoy being actors in this session which looks at the RSC’s forthcoming production of Julius Caesar. No previous experience or knowledge of the play required as you’ll be introduced to the story on the day. Suitable for ages eight plus. £3.50 adult or £2.50 child INTRO TO ZINE MAKING Rope Press 22 February (and 29 March) In this introduction to the world of zine making you will learn how to make your very own 2 colour risograph zine. Participants can bring along their own content for their fanzine or use
resources for drawing or collaging. This workshop is suitable for illustrators, comic book makers, artists and designers and anyone interested in learning the basics of D.I.Y publishing. Individuals leave with 20 copies of an 8pp (inc cover) 2 colour A5 zine. £40
RICHARD HERRING: THE BEST The Old Rep Theatre 23 February, 8pm Richard Herring picks his favourite routines from his 12 one-man shows and crams them into 60 minutes for your delectation. From his deconstruction of the genealogy of Christ to him proving that racists are less racist than liberals, via some of the best knob jokes in the business. See if your favourite routine make the cut? £15
FAMILY WORKSHOP: PERFORMING WITH MASKS RSC 23 February, 10am-12noon Join Vamos Theatre for a hands-on session learning how to perform with masks. £5 adult / £3.50 child CREATE A MASKED PERFORMANCE RSC 23 February, 1.30pm-4.30pm Take part in this special workshop led by theatre company, Vamos, and learn more about how to create a masked performance, as well how to explore character and communicate using only your body. Suitable for ages 13 to 17. £10
24 February, 10am-4.30pm Learn how the action is created on stage with this special fight workshop inspired by the RSC’s forthcoming Rome season. Participants can then show off their new skills to family and friends with a demonstration at the end of the day. Sessions are for those aged between 14-17 years of age. £25
BIRMINGHAM IS FUNNY: ONE LINER NIGHT Hexagon, mac Birmingham 25 February, 8.30pm INGRID DHALE & Four of the best oneDAVID JORDAN liner comedians on Encore Lounge the West Midlands comedy, Grand Theatre circuit assemble for a 24 February, 10pm until celebration of puns, midnight one-liners and wordplay. £12.50 Hosted by Masai Graham (UK Pun Champion STAGE FIGHTING: 2016/Joke of the Fringe CAESAR’S BATTLES 2016 pictured). RSC £8 (£6) 061
MARCH PA/NG Theatre, mac Birmingham 3 March, 7pm Celebrating the best local emerging artists spanning music, live art, drag performance, dance and digital art. Headlined by playwright, poet and screenwriter Sabrina Mahfouz. £10
BANFF FILM TOUR Birmingham, Town Hall 4 March (matinee and evening screenings) Short films, starring the world’s top adventurers on exciting journeys in mind-blowing destinations have been selected from hundreds of films entered into the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival held every year in the Canadian Rockies. Each screening brings together people with a wide range of outdoor passions. banff-uk.com
RISO FOR BEGINNERS Rope Press 8 March (and 5 April) Explore the possibilities of risograph printing as a creative medium to make exciting images. Using a combination of drawing and collage you’ll have the opportunity to make own two colour A5 mini prints whilst learning MADE IN THE MIDDLE how the process of - CONTEMPORARY risograph printing works. CRAFT FROM Colours printed with will ACROSS THE be chosen by the group MIDLANDS collectively. Parkside Gallery, £8 Birmingham City University LEE NELSON: 6 March–29 April SERIOUS JOKER A touring exhibition The Old Rep Theatre showcasing and selling 9 March, 7.30pm some of the best £20 contemporary craft and applied art from CARLY SMALLMAN & across the Midlands. NICK PAGE madeinthemiddle.org Encore Lounge Free comedy, Grand Theatre 10 March, 10pm until NEW WORK NIGHTS: midnight INTERNATIONAL £12.50 WOMEN’S DAY, PAVEN VIRK & MOOVILLE THEATRE The Old Rep Theatre 8 March, 1pm & 7pm £10 / 8 (Schools & Groups £6)
BIRMINGHAM IS FUNNY: HANNAH SILVESTER & CRAIG DEELEY Hexagon, mac Birmingham
11 March, 8.30pm Join mac for an evening of comedy from two of Birmingham’s rising stars. Midlands Comedy Award-winner Hannah Silvester takes the stage with her show Special Little Snowflake and Craig Deeley presents his first full-length standup show Truly, Madly, Deeley. £8 (£6) TWO COLOUR PRINT MAKING Rope Press 15 March Participants can refine their riso skills and create a limited edition of A3 two colour prints. With two hours working time and 19 colours to choose from this session is perfect for illustrators, artists and designers wanting to learn the process of risograph printing. Participants also receive a complimentary beer and workshop guide. Individuals leave with 5, 2 colour A3 prints. £20.00
JEAN PAINLEVÉ Ikon Gallery 15 March-4 June Jean Painlevé’s cinematographic and photographic portraits of octopi, lobsters or starfish were at the centre of the surrealist and avant-garde movement of the 1920s and praised by Fernand Leger, Alexander Calder or Luis Bunuel among others. Throughout his career, which spans the 20th century, Jean Painlevé defended the documentary style and science films, in an output of more than 200 shorts. His ground-breaking aesthetic, irreverence and unique humour, as well as innovative filming technique and commitment to serious scientific observation, have allowed the work to remain relevant and still influential today.
OLIVER BEER Ikon Gallery 15 March–4 June British artist Oliver Beer returns to Ikon with a new work, commissioned by the gallery, I Wan’na be Like You (2016) is a “reanimation” of a scene from Walt Disney’s Jungle Book. 2,500 local school children, from early years until the age of 13, were invited to join in, drawing film stills in order of their age, so that the animation becomes increasingly “grown up”. Frame by frame the scribbles of infants progressively give way to the increasingly lucid drawings of children and then adolescents. Beer touches on the inexorable passage of time - through a timebased medium - in order to encourage a consideration of what it is like to be human.
SEAN MCLOUGHLIN Hexagon, mac Birmingham 16 March, 8.30pm There’s panic on the streets. Terrorists, politicians and Kardashians have made the human race hellbent on its own selfdestruction. Luckily, Sean McLoughlin (the misanthrope’s misanthrope) might just have the experience to get us all through this fog… £10 (£8)
MK ULTRA Birmingham Repertory Theatre 17 & 18 March MK ULTRA is the new work by Rosie Kay Dance Company, headed by artistic director and choreographer Rosie Kay; winner of Best Independent Company at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. The show, featuring Lady Gaga designer Gary
Card’s first costumes for contemporary dance, will explore Illuminati symbolism in pop culture, conspiracy and brainwashing through a hypnotic, high energy, supercharged mashup of dance, music and imagery. www.mkultra. dance
beautiful music with Birmingham’s best and brightest. The performance will be followed by a DJ set in the Arena Bar. £7 IGNACIO LOPEZ & SIMON EMANUEL Encore Lounge comedy, Grand Theatre 24 March, 10pm until midnight £12.50
SCARY SH*T Foyle Studio, mac Birmingham 18 March, 7.30pm Smashing the UK dance scene, with quirky and outrageous dance theatre; Rhiannon Faith brings a real-life experience to the stage. Two young women attend therapy to learn about themselves, the world and imagine a future without fear. FRONTIERS FESTIVAL £12 (£10) BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS THROUGH MUSIC Birmingham Conservatoire 25 March – 1 April With a visit from guest composer Martijn BOAT TO ROW / Padding, Ensemble MIDSUMMER Court-Circuit, the Fidelio Foyle Studio, mac Trio performing Joe Birmingham Cutler’s music, events by 24 March, 8.30pm Seán Clancy and Michael A laid back evening of Wolters and a concert
by Ed Bennett’s group decibel, NO FRONTIERS festival celebrates the creativity and cultural diversity of staff and students at Birmingham Conservatoire. NO FRONTIERS explores the ways in which barriers are broken down through music. This week long celebration of boundless creativity and crossborder collaboration features contributions from Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, South Africa, Taiwan, UK and the USA. MOTHERING SUNDAY - FREE ADMISSION TO IRONBRIDGE GORGE MUSEUMS FOR MUMS 26 March As part of their 50th Anniversary celebrations The Ironbridge Gorge Museums are inviting mums to enjoy a day out as their guest at five of their sites on Mothering Sunday (when accompanied
by another full-paying adult). To make the day extra special, treat mum and buy her a Victorian High Tea in the Club Room with delicious sandwiches, cream-filled scones and pastries along with a glass of Prosecco and a pot of freshly brewed tea for an additional £15.50 per adult and £12.50 per child (of all ages). Afternoon tea must be pre-booked.
VAMOS THEATRE: THE BEST THING Theatre, mac Birmingham 29 March, 8pm It’s 1966. The record player’s on, her hair’s bobbed and eye-lashes curled: for seventeen year old Susan, life is an adventure waiting to begin. Funny, heartbreaking and human, The Best Thing is the latest touring production from one of the country’s must-see theatre companies. £14 (£12)
THE SEVENTEEN Until 25 March Centrala Gallery As human lifespan keeps increasing, doubles of all the decades will occur. One could think of the ‘30s as the 2030’s or the 1930’s. In 1917 there was a Russian revolution. Russians still refer to it as ‘The revolution of the year seventeen’, but from this year it will mean both 1917 and 2017. Three artists, Yelena Popova, Nika Neelova and Olga Grotova, are drawn to this suggested doubling of history: a return to a fluctuating point in the past and reaching out to an illusive future. This suspended, circular, contemporary state of déjà vu gives rise to the idea of a reanimation of time.
THE WARRIORS Edgbaston Stadium 1-2 April The cast of classic movie The Warriors will be making their way to the UK for a special Warriors 2017 celebration event featuring exhibits, panels, cosplay, stalls and a variety of other fun elements and surprises… Whether you’re a Baseball Fury, a Lizzie, a Bopper or a Rogue show your allegiance. Attendees so far: Michael Beck (Swan), David Harris (Cochise), Terry Michos (Vermin), Brian Tyler (Snow), Deborah van Valkenburgh (Mercy), Thomas Waites (Fox), Dorsey Wright (Cleon) and more to come. www.ukconclave.com JAMES COUSINS COMPANY ROSALIND DanceXchange, The Patrick Centre,
Birmingham Hippodrome 6 & 7 April, 8pm Free post-show talk: Thursday 6 April £14 (conc £10, under 25 £8)
BRICK WONDERS Wolverhampton Art Gallery 7 April - 5 July Using thousands and thousands of pieces of the much-loved plastic bricks the master LEGO artist and author, Warren Elsmore, has created more than 70 aweinspiring models. Under the theme of natural, ancient and modern Elsmore has recreated everything from the Great Wall of China, Niagra Falls and the Great Pyramid of Giza to a modern surgical operating theatre, incredible container ships and a hitech airport all in LEGO.
JOLI VYANN IMBALANCE DanceXchange, The Patrick Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome 26 & 27 April, 8pm Free post-show talk: 26 April. £14 (conc £10, under 25 £8)
SARA PASCOE: ANIMAL The Old Rep Theatre 29 April, 7.30pm The show is a mixture of completely true stories about Tony Blair, Oedipus Rex and the wildlife of Lewisham, plus a load of stories that don’t sound true at all about Jason Donovan, Henry the Hoover and when God took over the tannoy in Sainsbury’s. £12
ROB ROUSE - ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY? Glee Club 5 May, 8.30pm He’s married, has two kids, a dog and an eyewatering mortgage, (is in debt) in these times of austerity and uncertainty, but remains resolute that a career in unpredictable world of comedy was absolutely the right way to go. (It’s far too late to try something else now.) Rob takes this trademark comedic storytelling to a career high in this full length show, as he leads us on an irresistibly hilarious journey of enforced introspection, that has taught him to relinquish any attempts to control his life and to face down literally one of the most awkward situations you’re ever likely to hear about. £13
GARY DELANEY: THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT GARY The Old Rep Theatre 6 May, 7.30pm Gary thinks a good joke should be like a drunk Glaswegian, short and punchy. His new tour show is not only great for people who like lots of jokes but also fun for people who enjoy getting offended by jokes too. £14
FLAMENCO EDITION ’17 & ANA MORALES CO - REUNION DanceXchange, The Patrick Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome 10 & 11 May, 8pm £16 (£12/£8) HARRIET KEMSLEY & KATE LUCAS Encore Lounge comedy, Grand Theatre 12 May, 10pm until midnight £12.50
ANDY PARSONS: PEAK BULL The Old Rep Theatre 13 May, 8pm Worried about your job? Worried about your family? Worried about yourself? Worried about the health service? Education? Climate change? World War 3? Worried about worrying? Sod it! Come and have a laugh about it. £15 BALLET BLACK TRIPLE BILL FT. RED RIDING HOOD 25 & 26 May, 8pm DanceXchange, The Patrick Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome Free post-show talk: 25 May, £14 (£10) DARREN HARRIOTT & BEC HILL Encore Lounge comedy, Grand Theatre 26 May, 10pm until midnight, £12.50 067
VENUE DIRECTORY BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME Hurst Street 0844 338 5000 birminghamhippodrome. com BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM & ART GALLERY Chamberlain Square, B3 3DH birminghammuseums. org.uk | @BM_AG BIRMINGHAM REPERTORY THEATRE Broad St, Birmingham, B1 2EP 0121 236 4455 birmingham-rep.co.uk BIRMINGHAM TOWN HALL Victoria Square thsh.co.uk CENTRALA Unit 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley St, B5 5RT centrala-space.org.uk EASTSIDE PROJECTS 86 Heath Mill Lane, B9 4AR eastsideprojects.org | @eprjcts
GLEE CLUB Hurst Street, B5 4TD glee.co.uk GRAND UNION Fazeley Street, B5 5RS grand-union.org.uk | @grandunionltd HARE & HOUNDS 106 High Street, B14 7JZ hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk HERBERT Jordan Well, Coventry, CV1 5QP 024 7683 2386 theherbert.org THE HIVE Sawmill Walk, The Butts, Worcester WR1 3PD IKON GALLERY Oozells Square, B1 2HS ikon-gallery.co.uk | @ikongallery MAC BIRMINGHAM Cannon Hill Park macarts.co.uk @mac_birmingham NEW ART GALLERY WALSALL Gallery Square, Walsall, WS2 8LG thenewartgallerywalsall. org.uk | @NewArtGallery
THE OLD REP THEATRE Station Street, B5 4DY 0121 359 9444 oldreptheatre.co.uk @TheOldRep THE PARKSIDE BUILDING BIRMINGHAM CITY UNIVERSITY 5 Cardigan Street, B4 7BD RSC Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6BB rsc.org.uk WARWICK ARTS CENTRE University of Warwick Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry CV4 7AL warwickartscentre.co.uk WOLVERHAMPTON ART GALLERY Lichfield St, WV1 1DU wolverhamptonart.org.uk @WolvArtGallery CIVIC & WULFRUN HALLS North Street, WV1 1RD wolvescivic.co.uk