S& ART URE T L CU TION EDI h wit rt A New idlands M t s We 2018
Editors: firstname.lastname@example.org | @kerryfused email@example.com | @davefused Writers: Laura Dicken, Caroline Durbin, Nicola Morrison, David O’Coy, Kerry O’Coy, Danny Smith Front Cover: Aileen Doherty Content Image: Larissa Shaw, Flesh Party. Both images for New Art West Midlands 2018.
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NEW ART WEST MIDLANDS
Image: Bob Langridge 04
NEW ART WEST MIDLANDS 2018 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, 16 Feb – 6 May Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, 24 Feb – 13 May AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, 23 Feb – 31 March (Thu-Sun) Opening times vary newartwestmidlands.co.uk | @NewArtWestMids New Art West Midlands is back! This region-wide celebration of contemporary art showcases the most exciting work from local art graduates, and in 2018 there are some thought-provoking and memorable pieces to discover at the three host venues. Now in its sixth year, New Art West Midlands is the region’s largest showcase of contemporary art, and this year the exhibitions are being held at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Herbert Art Gallery & Museum (Coventry) and artist-led space, AirSpace Gallery (Stokeon-Trent). Each of the 28 artists showing their work have recently graduated from one of the West Midlands’ six art schools: Birmingham City University, Coventry University, University of Worcester, University of Wolverhampton, Hereford College of Arts and Staffordshire University. This year, over 130 artists applied to take part in New Art West Midlands and the 28 successful artists were chosen by a group of three female selectors: Patricia Fleming, Curator and gallerist from Glasgow, Sinead McCarthy, Curator, Liverpool Biennial and Ingrid Pollard, photographer, media artist and researcher. The exhibition includes painting, sculpture, digital and sound installations, assemblage, photography, prints and film and video works that reference wide ranging themes from artificial intelligence, fake news, gender inequality and surveillance to timelessness, interruptions, displacement and glitches. New Art West Midlands is a great opportunity to see new work by outstanding emerging artists. Previous exhibitors have seen their work purchased for the national Arts Council Collection and have gone on to achieve solo exhibitions in respected galleries. Don’t miss it! 05
NEW ART WEST MIDLANDS
BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM & ART GALLERY Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery hosts the largest of this year’s New Art West Midlands exhibitions, filling galleries 12 and 13 with new works. The exhibition is open daily 16 Feb – 6 May 2018.
Visitors can see Hayley McNallyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s imposing Urban Heights (2017); multiple stacks of varying dimensions, held together by weight and gravity alone. Her work is about giving new life or attention to the usually unrecognised, mundane and often discarded materials that we encounter every day.
NEW ART WEST MIDLANDS
Bayley Morris’ videos and digital prints explore the unconscious mind and its role in creativity. Her work consists of surreal and sensuous identities that are disfigured by a deliberate and transformative glitch.
Visitors are invited to experience Larissa Shaw’s pulsating sculpture Flesh Party, a curious thermoplastic moving musical installation, with tentacles that ‘dance’ to music taken from the archives of Manchester’s Hacienda nightclub.
And Hereford mature graduate Bob Langridge presents a series of highly atmospheric photographs, uncovering hidden, forgotten rural hollow-ways and pathways in south west England. Langridge’s images have been created using a pinhole camera, with the demand of long exposure times allowing him to spend true time within these locations. 08
Also on display will be Jessica Eburne’s intriguing wall-based interactive exhibits. Inspired by the unbreakable, almost spiritual connection people now have with their mobile phones, Jessica has created an interactive ‘shrine’ to technology. This installation allows you to connect with it via an app to hear a ‘virtual prayer’ sound piece playing through Image: Lorna Brown, If Youheadphones Grew Your Hair Long and uses Bluetooth lightbulbs.
NEW ART WEST MIDLANDS
And check out Lucy Hanrahanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s We Are The Social Media Generation a multi-media installation, composed of colour, text and moving image. Her work focuses on the impact of social media, in terms of alienating and detaching users from reality. (Lucyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work will be on display at all three venues). 011
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This page from top: Aileen Doherty, Jez Dolan, Simon Harris, Bryony Loveridge, Bayley Morris, David Poole 012
This page from top: Jessica Eburne, Lucy Hanrahan, Bob Langridge, Hayley McNally, Lewis Pritchard, Larissa Shaw 013
NEW ART WEST MIDLANDS
HERBERT GALLERY & MUSEUM Returning this year, New Art West Midlands is on show at Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, with new sculptures, installations and drawings. The exhibition is open daily 24 Feb â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 13 May 2018.
Valerija Zukovaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pristine modular Perspex sculptures invite the viewer to explore the beauty of a collapsing architectural shape, light, illusion, and reflections. She explores the relationship between sculpture and photography through the interplay of surfaces in a deceptive, structured form. A beautiful, minimal and spellbinding work to enjoy.
Hidden identity is a recurrent theme in this year’s exhibition. Jez Dolan’s work explores queerness and identity, through the codification of language and text with a specific focus on the things we don’t say, secrecy and hiddenness. (Jez’s drawings will be on show at Herbert Art Gallery & Museum and his installation using sound ‘Magpies’ (2017) at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery). 016
The large-scale piece But Home is the Mouth of a Shark is a sculptural form which represents that toil and risk involved in making any settlement a ‘home’. Gem Douglas’ work focuses on the issues surrounding displaced and marginalised people, the causes of this displacement and the responses of those witnessing their movement. Many of the works explore themes of digital presence and identity, considering the impact of social media. Staffordshire University graduate Keri Jayne presents an installation of drawings taken from online media and social media feeds from 1 April, April Fool’s Day, including fake news stories. The resulting work questions the legitimacy of ‘news’ reported through social media. 017
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Top: Gem Douglas, Jez Dolan, Keri Jayne, Maggie Shuter Middle: Lisa Kemp, Nicola Arnold, Louise Hampson Bottom: Lucy Hanrahan, Valerija Zukova 019
AIRSPACE GALLERY AirSpace Gallery in Stoke-onTrent is a new venue for this year’s New Art West Midlands. The exhibition is open ThursdaySunday (and Wednesdays by appointment) 23 Feb – 31 March 2018.
Visitors can see Lily Wales’ sculpture Radioactive Rhonda (2017), a large-scale papier mache covered sphere, referencing the advent of the first atom bomb nicknamed ‘Gadget’, with its surface covered in photomontage. 021
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Amrit Dollâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s installation Construction/Editing/Thinking (2017) uses light, Lego and wooden blocks to form an assemblage that considers how things come together in an act of constructing. Composition I // Finiteness (2017) is a video work featuring a delicate almost infinite blue sky of moving clouds, an expansive fleeting moment, looped. Tony McClure utilises Japanese philosophy, static cinema and ephemeral technologies and materials to inform his explorations in art and film. 022
Jodie Wingham combines printmaking with nontraditional methods of display to create artworks that distort images into sculptural forms. The resulting work creates an intriguing disruptive experience for the viewer as they play with voyeurism.
NEW ART WEST MIDLANDS
Top: George Caswell, Lucy Hanrahan, Darren Withey, Jodie Wingham Middle: Olivia Peake, Lily Wales, Sarah Walden Bottom: Tony McClure
HELEN GREEN Birmingham based Helen Green is a freelance illustrator and lifelong fan of music and all things glam. Her gif depicting the many faces and hairstyles of David Bowie went viral in 2016 after the singer’s death and she counts Lady Gaga amongst her many fans. When did your interest for illustration start? I’ve loved drawing and painting for as long as I can remember, partly thanks to my Granddad who was like a mentor to me and always encouraging. He, along with my childhood TV heroes Neil Buchanan and Tony Hart, kept my creativity alive. Then in my early teens, I remember being heavily inspired by Jamie Hewlett’s work (Gorillaz in particular) and Ray Zell (Pandora) and used to try and emulate their illustration styles. I think it was around 2011 when I took a deeper interest in illustration as a potential career path. This was during my time on an Art Foundation course when I was testing different areas of image making and trying to figure out what I wanted to do at university. The work I was producing at that time was very much leaning towards fashion illustration, and so was my interest in illustrators; David Downtown, Danny Roberts and Jason Brooks among my early favourites. How would you define your style? I usually struggle with that question as I feel like my work shifts and varies in style. It depends on my mood and the subject I’m drawing. Sometimes I will work a piece until it’s super polished and packed with detail. Other times I feel I need to 027
loosen up with a quicker, sketchier style, more suitable for the subject. What is consistent though is the choice of materials. My go-to materials are watercolour, pencil and Photoshop. I like my work to be versatile. I love the digital, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in my nature to draw and paint by hand and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never abandon that. So I always try to keep a hand-made element in everything I do. What is your creative process from inception to creation? I usually start by collecting image references to work from (separate references for the face, pose, outfit, background elements). And with any project, I always start with pencil roughs to help visualise an idea or composition. My final illustrations usually start in pencil. Sometimes I have a sketch that I can trace over using a light pad. Once Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m happy with the pencil stage I then move on to watercolour, blocking in areas first and then layering with details. I then scan the finished illustration and continue adding to it in Photoshop. Your Bowie gif went global. Were you surprised by the reach it had? Completely. It felt so surreal knowing that something I created in my own quiet little space would be seen and shared by millions of people around the world, not just online, but on television. Most bizarre of all for me was seeing
the gif being introduced by Nick Offerman at the 2016 Webby Awards and hearing the crowd applaud it on the big screen. What I’m not surprised about of course is that so many people love David Bowie and used the gif as a way to share that! Whether Bowie himself saw it and liked it (or not) I’ll never know. Bowie features heavily in your work. What attracted you to draw him? I love drawing faces and capturing likenesses, the more distinctive and angular the better. I’d been a fan of Bowie for many years and always thought he would be an interesting face to draw. It was around 2012/2013 when I had a go my first portrait of him, based on a 1976 promo shot from The Man Who Fell To Earth, around the same time I was listening frequently to the ‘Low’ album. It wasn’t the best likeness but that’s often the case with my first attempts. Also I just simply enjoy drawing my favourite artists, some more often than others. Like back in my early teens when I was making fan art of my favourite bands, it’s just something I haven’t grown out of. Which piece of work has given you the most satisfaction in producing? I have a few in mind so here’s my top 5! The #BowieForever animation in January 2017, which marked a year since Bowie passed away and shortly after what would’ve been
his 70th Birthday. The David Bowie social media was first to upload the animation as they already knew what I was working on, and that was an honour. I was so happy with the reaction to it online too. A satisfying end result of many hours of drawing, painting and editing. The Adam Buxton Podcast Artwork (2017). I was VERY happy to be asked by Adam Buxton (of whom I was already a fan) to create some new artwork for The Adam Buxton Podcast (of which I was already a fan) in time for the new 2017 episodes. Definitely one of my favourite commissions. Heroes / Sukita gif. Just so satisfying to see hours of sketching come to life, almost literally. I really want to do more animated sketches like this. Gaga x Superbowl 51. It was just one of those pieces that came together very smoothly, and I was really proud witofw it turned out. Gaga liked it too. Fabulous Bowie. I have other face-patterny pieces like this, but this one started them all off. So satisfying to make from start to finish, and there’s a lot more of these that I want to do. 029
STEPHEN CALCUTT Stephen Calcuttâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique form of street photography is a consequence of frequenting bus stops and shelters around the City of Birmingham. Graffiti can be great art, however for Stephen, the etched, scrawled and scratched graffiti into the plexiglass windows of the bus stop feels like a violation. Like a poke in the eye, or deteriorating vision through age or disease.
The graffiti etched and scrawled on the bus stop windows seem to be expressions of frustration or anger. Occasionally there may be declarations of love or hate written into the plexiglass. However, unlike its cousin, the more colourful graffiti that is emblazoned across the walls of buildings and is often seen as art, it is very mundane. Stephen feels a windows full potential as a clear barrier between yourself and the elements is compromised when the view beyond is obscured, distorted and blurred by the scratches. The photographer uses the graffiti etched windows as a lens. He merges the graffiti and the view beyond, focusing his camera on the etched lines. He then puts the view beyond out of focus causing the graffiti and view to merge into a single plane, creating a new perspective that retains and emphasises the energy of the graffiti. Its swirls, zigzags, lines and curves, slash across the abstracted view like paint strokes. At first glance the photos can be mistaken for abstract paintings; the subject matter, that is out of focus, is fairly mundane. Sometimes when waiting for a bus the view may not be particularly exciting and the human activity not particularly dramatic. With this combined, it adds to Stephenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s desire to create an image that ordinarily would be uninteresting or unnoticed. Even the title of each work is mundane, the descriptions of each photograph often droll. The Bus Stop series can evoke a feeling of detachment from people and the environment, an experience felt by Stephen himself when he suffered from anxiety and depression. There is a dream like state in many of the images, with the out of focus people and the world they inhabit. Beyond the clear barrier of the window that is frustrated by the scratches and scrawls. 031
BRUMHAUS Birmingham is a city in which people thrive. Artists, creatives and collectives have been working together more than ever to promote all that Birmingham has to offer; culturally, visually, musically and architecturally. One artist in particular has been particularly successful in developing Birmingham’s skyline into a series of intriguing and explorative graphic-based art; Brumhaus by Alexander Edwards. “I deal with places and spaces. I’ve developed my style from my experience of the city, I know what buildings are the most recognisable.” Alex explained, in reference to the birthing of Brumhaus. Launched in November 2014, Alex found inspiration in his daily commute from Sutton Coldfield to Birmingham city centre, noting the array of old and modern-brutalist architecture running up and down from the West Midlands train track. Already an established designer, Alex used his skills to begin a project that would go on to become a highly commissioned visionary experience of our city. His work is described as ‘environmental graphic design’ which sums it up perfectly. His creations ooze influences of cubism, art deco and Bauhaus, for which Alex credited Paul Klee and Josef Albers as two of his major influences. Stemming directly from the German art movement, Brumhaus’ branded logo is an amended version of Bauhaus’ originally signage, playing homage to the link of retro and architectural themes between the two. 033
“My work is perceived as illustration, graphics and design so I’m a bit of a hybrid really. I’m a commerciallyminded artist who chooses colours carefully.” After confessing yellow as his favourite colour, he uses it as a base that has developed a definitive colour scheme unique to Brumhaus. Colouring and toning are very important to his process, often beginning with a sketch of a Birmingham view point that’s then developed and reinterpreted into a scene of shapes and patterns which at times, can be abstract but still easily recognisable as Birmingham. “You can tell what everything is, all those buildings are more or less in that order. It’s like playing around with a puzzle,” Alex explained. The Birmingham Central Library was Brumhaus’ first print which “got the ball rolling” and is a brilliant example of his talent for representing our city in a style that he has created, while using graphic vectors similar to working-day architects. With over 20 signature pieces now hanging from the walls of financial buildings in Edgbaston to restaurants in The Mailbox and regular commissions from individuals who want a piece in their home, Brumhaus is a real gem – patriotic art for this city and its people. NM
MASTER MAKERS During 2017 photographer Laura Dicken travelled around the Black Country and beyond to take the portraits of a selection of Creative Black Country’s 100 Masters. Choosing 16 ‘Master Makers’, Laura went to their places of work to capture each of them in their creative environments. The 100 Masters project continues in 2018 with events throughout the year that will celebrate and shine a light on the individuals that make up the list. There will also be a set of new videos featuring some of the Masters. See more at 100masters.co.uk. Over the next seven pages Laura talks us through her Master portraits... 036
Scott Povey (far left) - Head Brewer at the award winning Fixed Wheel Brewery in Black Heath, Dudley. Scott has won multiple awards and Fixed Wheel has been heralded as one of the finest breweries in the country. Jas Kapur (left) - Jas is film projectionist and has had a long career in cinema and film projection gaining local and national recognition for his skills. I made Jas’ portrait in his projection room at the Light House in Wolverhampton where he has worked since 1991. Hayley Gammon (above left) - I photographed Hayley in both her own studio in Wolverhampton and the Red House Cone in Stourbridge. Hayley successfully incorporates traditional methods and modern techniques to make beautiful contemporary pieces. Geoff Townsend (above right) - Geoff is a potter and educator. He has shown his pieces in various galleries and exhibitions and has passed on his skills to others by teaching the subject for the past 50 years. For the past 37 years Geoff has organised the ‘Pottery Festival Day’ in Sedgley, bringing world famous potters from around the world to share their skills and experiences. 037
Lofty Wright (left) - Lofty is a traditional blacksmith and artist. I made Loftyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s portrait at his forge, which is also in his back garden!
Dan Westwood (right) - I photographed Dan at his home studio. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a talented Art Director and Graphic Designer who regularly works with well known and prestigious brands such as the BBC, Selfridges, Chanel and Channel 4. 038
John Neave (above) - John has been making letterpress and litho prints since the 1940s. John is a true gentleman and fantastic printmaker. I photographed John at his home and workshop in Wolverhampton. Rachel Trevor-Morgan (above right) - The Queens milliner, Rachel Trevor-Morgan, was photographed at her beautiful 17th Century Atelier in London. Steve Martin (right) - Steve is an impressive aerospace engineer. He has over 30 years experience in the industry and has worked on the design for high profile defence programmes.
Tanya Raabe-Webber (bottom left) - Tanya is an acclaimed and award winning artist. Her leadership work in mainstreaming disability arts continues to pioneer the way forward for young and emerging disabled artists. Gary Clifton (bottom right) - I made Garyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s portrait at the company where he has been a foam engineer for over 25 years. Gary has worked with a polymer chemist to find alternatives for latex.
Luke Roper (top left) - Fashion designer and entrepreneur Luke is originally from Walsall. Starting out working on Walsall Market he then attended the prestigious Central St Martins in London. Sue Blane (top right) - Sue Blane MBE is a BAFTA nominated costume and set designer. She has enjoyed a prolific career working on The Rocky Horror Show, Roman Polanskis Vampires in Vienna amongst many other high profile theatre productions. Sue was photographed at her home studio. Andy Frost - Andy is a mechanical and automative engineer. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s self taught and has spent decades as a speed enthusiast and international drag racer. Andy is the proud owner of Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fastest road worthy vehicle Red Victor 3.
Nicky and Lorraine Nicky Smart and Lorraine Taylor founded â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Penkridge Ceramicsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in 1984. They have created a unique body of work which is now regarded as some of the best in its field.
Luke Perry - Luke is a sculptor and known for his monumental public sculptures. Much of his work celebrate the heritage and industry of the Black Country. I made portraits of Luke at his home studio and a local chain making factory where he often works on his larger pieces. 042
CLINT MANSELL Having found that his phone didn’t record his interview with Clint Mansell, vocalist from legendary Stourbridge greebo band Pop Will Eat Itself and now hollywood composer, scoring such films as Requiem For A Dream, Moon, and Black Swan, our man Danny Smith tries really hard to remember what was said. Clint Mansell is not my older brother. That’s not unusual, lots of people aren’t my brother; Rasputin The Mad Monk, snooker champion and DJ Steve Davis, and Dawn French to name but a few. Out of all of the people that don’t have an elder fraternal connection, Clint Mansell is the most big brothery of them all though. In so far he occupies that space in my head. I’m the oldest of three and I know as an elder brother it’s your job to shape the taste of your siblings, share with them the 044
cultural booty you bring back from the far oceans of adolescence and provide a treasure map for the next phase of their lives. I know how important this is because I utterly failed at that, and as a result, my brothers favourite albums are the Grease Soundtrack and Robson & Jerome’s eponymous first album. I had to make do too, most of what I found was from my dad’s old record collection and things from jumble sales with cool enough covers to pique my interest. One of these such things was a compilation tape from the ‘94 Phoenix Festival. I loved every song on it and played it over and over. The album had fifteen or so songs on it and each song was a new band to discover opening a whole new world of scruffy guitar based music. The Wedding Present, Billy Bragg, and best of all; Pop Will Eat Itself. I was too young to know anything of these bands, while they were big in their own time they had slightly passed me by. I knew of “indie” music but up until then hadn’t got a way in. Culturally that album WAS my big brother turning me onto stuff I had no access too. But that went doubly for Pop Will Eat Itself. Not only was that the stand out song from that very important album, but also the PWEI song on that album is Can You Dig It? And if you’ve never heard it, stop reading and go do so at once - it’s the future you can probably stream directly to your taste buds by whispering to Siri. Good isn’t it? And as you may have tasted, all the lyrics are a list of cultural
items the band like. For the big brother deprived this is a jackpot. Comics, films, songs, a shopping list of influences and pop culture cream. A lot of which I still love. I mention all this because it would explain why I was so nervous interviewing a member of the biggest brother band from the whole greebo plateau that was forever above me. Not only that as my tastes matured Clint Mansell’s career shifted. Now working with some of the most interesting filmmakers to come out of Hollywood of the last 20 years and scoring some of the most iconic scenes in recent cinema history. My stomach was churning as the first couple of calls didn’t get answered. When I get through Clint’s voice is deep and still carries a comforting non specific midlands accent. I remember asking for “Mr Mansell” waiting for him to tell me to call him Clint - he did not. Maybe it was because I was nervous, or maybe it was just a special prank by gods I hadn’t talked to in a while, but Clint Mansell’s half of the call didn’t record on my app. That means you don’t just have to rely on my telling to find out what he says, but also my memory. I tell him before I ask about his work as a film composer I’m going to start with a couple of questions about ‘Poppies’ hoping that using the insider fans vernacular will be some sort of shibboleth to let him know how big
a fan I was. He didn’t sound happy and dismissed PWEI as something he enjoyed at the time but “didn’t really think about anymore”. Not to be daunted, and because I stupidly had at least four or five other questions prepared, I tried again to draw him into talking about PWEI. I asked how he thought they influenced the musicians after them. This isn’t a light question. PWEI were way ahead of their time. Quite early on they abandoned live drums for a drum machine and ignored the standard grammar of other indie bands. With chanting singalong lyrics from the Beastie Boys and samples from radio TV and movies mixed with basslines more reminiscent of later Prodigy and Big Beat. PWEI were the vanguard of the whole section of the late nineties, when the rock metal and indie scene started bleeding into every genre. They were that important. Mr Mansell said he didn’t really think about it. I move onto something else. On Mr Mansell’s website it mentions on a timeline both seeing David Bowie on Top of The Pops and buying Ziggy Stardust, so I ask how it was working with Duncan Jones (Bowie’s son) for the film Moon. Apparently Duncan Jones is “the nicest person in the world” but it was weird to work with someone whose picture (I’m presuming in a buggy being pushed by Bowie) you used have on your wall. “Tell me about it” is what I don’t say, but want to so badly.
As we were on the topic of working with people you admire I asked how he got to work with Charlie Brooker on Black Mirror. Apparently PWEI was Charlie’s second ever gig so he sought him out. Mr Mansell said of the Emmy that episode won, and awards in general, that it was nice to be recognised but he never chased them; he hadn’t really won any awards anyway. As he said this I was staring at his own website under the “ACCOLADES” section where it says he won the Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Original Score, the DVDX Awards-Best Original Score, the Chicago Film Critics Award Best Original Score, the World Soundtrack Awards Best Original Score, the World Soundtrack Awards Public Choice Award, and the Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Original Score along with a sizeable amount of nominations including the Golden Globes. Mansell’s movie work started with his partnership with Darren Aronofsky and the tense and oppressive scifi examination of time travel, Pi, and would develop into such masterworks as Requiem For A Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler, and my favourite Black Swan. I remember him telling me how they met, a girlfriend introduced them. The whole interview was happening because he was promoting Loving Vincent, the first film where each frame has been painted with oils, the first film of its kind. It took nine years to make, which gave him plenty of time because
they had to lock the edit quite early. I ask about his process. He tells me every project is different; he gets up early and works for a couple of hours before nine. “Before dumb journalists ring you up and start asking annoying questions?” I quip, noting the time it would be in LA. I’ve listened to the recording of the conversation a few times, willing there to be anything but silence on the other end of the conversation. I swear when I listen back after that question the quality of silence is different. Reflecting the dense and awkward silence that actually followed. It was when he was talking about his process I get the impression that as well as taking what he does seriously and as his art, Mansell also has a workmanlike aspect to his practice. A person who has come to terms with his incredible skill in what he does but never forgets how lucky he is to get to do it. To wrap up I chance my arm and ask if he ever misses performing with PWEI. He tells me he still performs with people which is like performing with a band, but he’s relieved he doesn’t “have to wear the leather trousers and shake my dreadlocks about”. As I finish I tell him that I am a fan of PWEI and thank him then for introducing me to my favourite film The Warriors, how the soundtrack is a massive part of the film and how timeless but dated it is. It occurs to me afterward that if they ever remade it, he should do the score. And as the only record I have of
this conversation is broken. I definitely did that. Pop Will Eat Itself is gone, and through hard work, skill, and some luck Clint Mansell has become one of the go-to auteur composers of his generation. He deserves better than these nagging questions from a fan with faulty equipment. But that’s the thing about big brothers, they don’t have to pretend to like you while they put up with your annoying questions. But their achievements force you to be better. Their example sets a roadmap. By the time you catch up with them they’ve evolved into something different. Never meet your heroes, but if you do get a chance to phone your big brother, take it. 047
APNA HERITAGE Wolverhampton Art Gallery Until 7 March
THE PAST IS NOW Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Until 12 March
CLARE WOODS: REALITY DIMMED Mead Gallery Until 10 March
Photographers Anand Chhabra and Sarvjit Sra worked alongside the Punjabi community in Wolverhampton and developed a photographic collection of 2000 images covering three decades from the 1960s to 1980s highlighting Punjabi migration to the city. They created new portraits to provide a present-day record of migrants. A selection of the works will be on show at the gallery while a dedicated space exists for the archive at the Guru Teg Bahadur Gurdwara, Upper Villiers Street.
At its height in 1922, the British Empire covered a quarter of the world and ruled over 458 million people. However, the creation and retention of the Empire resulted in many people losing their lives or becoming severely traumatised. Whilst the Empire has officially ended, its legacy still exists today in institutional structures and affects both individual and national senses of identity. This exhibition challenges the typical colonial narrative used to present the history of the British Empire.
Clare Woods is a renowned British painter, who established her reputation with largescale landscapes. Recently, the artist has moved into figurative painting and in this major solo exhibition, Reality Dimmed, the Mead Gallery presents a new series of raw and powerful paintings, frequently vast in scale, which were inspired by found photographic imagery the artist collects. These images often depict people at their most vulnerable, including in situations of conflict and confinement.
EDMUND CLARK Ikon Gallery Until 11 March
THOMAS BOCK Ikon Gallery Until 11 March
MELANIE JACKSON Grand Union Until 21 April
As the pressures on Britain’s prisons appear ever more regularly in the national news, Ikon presents an exhibition of work by British artist Edmund Clark, the culmination of a residency in Europe’s only wholly therapeutic prison environment, HMP Grendon. Combining photography, video and installation, In Place of Hate explores ideas of visibility, representation, trauma and selfimage, addressing how prisoners and the criminal justice system are perceived and discussed by the public, politicians and media in Britain today.
Ikon presents the first UK exhibition dedicated to the work of convict artist Thomas Bock (c.1793 1855). Comprising a selection of drawings, paintings and photographs, it demonstrates not only Bock’s technical skill, but also his sensitivity to a wide range of subject matter.
Deeper in the Pyramid is an expansive new body of work comprising of animation, sculpture, a filmed performance and a publication in a graphic novel format, written in collaboration with Esther Leslie. Visitors will be taken on a journey of lactic abstractions, through the webs of bio-invasion and collective fantasy that interconnect various life forms through milk, its technologies and representations. The ontologies of species and gender have always been shaped by our relations with this primal liquid, and ensuring a ready supply has driven research in genetics, fertility and robotics.
THE NATIONAL GALLERY MASTERPIECE TOUR 2018 New Art Gallery Walsall Until 22 April New Art Gallery Walsall is the first venue of 2018 to exhibit Hans Holbein’s A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling, as the centrepiece in the Family Gallery. Shown alongside are complementary works from the Permanent Collection encompassing key collections themes Portraits and Animals and Birds. Pop Up Curator talks (15 mins): Wednesday 28 February, 11am. Friday 23 March, 12pm. Thursday 12 April, 2pm, Free, All welcome, Drop In.
ARTIST ROOMS: VIJA CELMINS New Art Gallery Walsall Until 6 May To coincide with Wilderness the gallery presents a selection of works drawn from ARTIST ROOMS by acclaimed LatvianAmerican artist Vija Celmins. Celmins’s densely layered drawings and prints engage with the natural world; the surface of the ocean, expanses of desert, a spider’s web or star-filled night sky. Her images prompt questions around representation, perception and human experience and remind us of the complexity of the simplest things we observe in nature. Stargazing Party Tuesday 27 February, 6-8pm, free. View Vija Celmins’s night skies before stargazing the roof terrace.
NOTES ON COMMUNICATION: VOZ RARA Grand Union 9 February - 1 May VOZ RARA is a season of public programming curated by Valerio Del Baglivo and Anna Santomauro, 2017 curators-inresidence at Grand Union. Responding to the space’s public programming theme ‘Voice and Communication’ the two curators have put in place a series of workshops, screenings, performances and public talks looking at the use of voice as a cultural and political agent. The programme will feature work by Hamish MacPherson, Sabel Gavaldon, Alex Martinis Roe, Jaume Ferrete Vázquez, Mikhail Karikis and Katarina Zdjelar.
CLANGERS, BAGPUSS & CO. Wolverhampton Art Gallery 10 February - 29 April Come and meet Bagpuss, see the Soup Dragon and behold Noggin the Nog. Oliver Postgate’s voice and Peter Firmin’s puppets shaped the childhood memories of millions since they started collaborating in the 1950s. As well as telling the story of Bagpuss and the Clangers, the exhibition from the V&A Museum of Childhood goes behind the scenes of some of their other creations, including Pogles’ Wood, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine. Enter the world of Smallfilms to discover original puppets, sets, and filming equipment.
POP! BRITISH AND AMERICAN ART 1960-75 Herbert Museum & Art Gallery 16 February – 3 June Explore how art found its POP! in this transatlantic showcase of the movement’s most iconic artists. Including recognisable works from both sides of the Atlantic, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Peter Blake, Pauline Boty and others, this exciting exhibition offers an insight into the modern age’s most important art movement.
SAHEJ RAHAL mac bimingham 17 February - 22 April Sahej Rahal is an internationallyrenowned, Mumbaibased artist who works across performance, video, installation and sculpture to develop complex narrativebased installations, taking influences from philosophy through to science fiction. During 2017 he undertook a residency at Primary in Nottingham where he developed new sculptural and film work, which was grown further during a residency and exhibition in Glasgow. MAC is his next stop, where he will continue to develop his work into a new exhibition.
FEBRUARY Africa, Birmingham City University (BCU). Booking essential IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE mac birmingham 13 February, £9/£8.10 Wong Kar-wai’s film follows a man and woman who move into the same apartment building and gradually realise their respective spouses are having an affair. In Cantonese with English subtitles.
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S mac birmingham 11 February, £9/£8.10 In this Hollywood classic, Audrey Hepburn plays a young New York socialite who grabs the eye of her new neighbour. Full of glamour and iconic style, this adaptation of Truman Capote’s celebrated novella is just WOODCUT PRINTING FOR BEGINNERS perfection. RBSA Gallery 14 February, £55 EDMUND CLARK: IN Learn how to make an PLACE OF HATE effective woodcut print in Ikon Gallery several clear stages. 12 February, 11am-6pm, Free A day symposium THE LITTLE LOVE bringing together artists, CABARET critics, ex-prisoners Newhampton Arts and criminologists to Centre consider art, media 14 February and criminal justice. The Little Love Cabaret Edmund Clark, Ikon’s is a scrapbook of reala r t i s t - i n - r e s i d e n c e life love stories from at HMP Grendon, is contributors aged 2-92 in conversation with across the country. Anthony Downey, Ultimate heart throbs, Professor of Visual full-on odd obsessions, Culture in the Middle and wildly mixed up East and North emotions combine in
a heart-warming, funfilled, and at times completely absurd cabaret reminding us of the lengths we will go to for the things we love. RSC: TWELFTH NIGHT mac birmingham 14 February, £17/£15 A hilarious and heartbreaking, bittersweet and glorious tale of unrequited love. Two twins are separated in a shipwreck and forced to fend for themselves in a strange land, quickly becoming entwined in a complex love triangle.
AMÉLIE mac birmingham 14 February, £9/£8.10 When Amélie finds a hidden trove of toys in her apartment, she’s inspired to return the items to their original owner, changing the lives of those around her, and discovering love along the way.
IMPROVE YOUR DRAWING SKILLS RBSA Gallery 15 February, £50 Develop your drawing skills through a range of exercises, including drawing from stilllife and drawing from photographs.
PEOPLE LIKE US #4 – DISPOSSESSION Ikon Gallery 15 February, 6-8pm, Free Join Ikon Youth Programme for a special screening of Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle (2017). Dispossession explores the agenda behind the neglect, demolition and regeneration of council estates in the UK over the past thirty years. The film reveals how individuals and communities are fighting against the state and private developers, as they try to save their
homes from demolition. The screening is followed by a discussion with artist Mahtab Hussain. Booking essential.
ALUN COCHRANE - ALUNISH COCHRANISH… The Slade Rooms 15 February Grumpy-joyful, sillyserious stand-up. Jokes, ideas and (possibly) movement will all be deployed for your amusement during this show. LOU CONRAN: I LOVE LOU C mac birmingham 15 February, £10/£9 Imagine visiting your favourite friend/aunty/ spinster/woman of independent means. She’s a touch eccentric and always “alright”. Until last year, when it
wasn’t alright and it all went a bit wrong. With lessons learned, a bit of self-discovery and some painful yet funny situations, this is a story about life and, ultimately, death. But in a positive, uplifting sort of way. FABULOUS FORESTS 16 February RBSA Gallery, £55 Design and make a stitched textile and mixed-media piece of work using fabric, paper, metal, pebbles and natural materials. Suitable for all abilities, including those who don’t sew. CROSSCURRENTS University of Birmingham 16-24 February CrossCurrents is a bi-annual festival celebrating new and contemporary classical music. Established in 2016, the event brings together internationally acclaimed musicians and student performers, as well as some of the UK’s most respected composers for concerts, free performances, talks and workshops. 053
FEBRUARY PAINTING PORTRAITS IN OILS FOR BEGINNERS RBSA Gallery 17 February, £55 Receive an introduction into portrait oil painting by learning about the basic palette, how start a painting, facial proportions, and how to bring life to a portrait. Designed for beginners but suitable for intermediates seeking a ‘refresher’.
DRAG AND DRAW – LIFE DRAWING SPECIAL Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 17 Feb, 12pm-4pm Free Join BMAG for a truly memorable life drawing session with drag artist Naz in all her finery. The art of drag continues to evolve, provoke and affect popular culture. 054
Posing, performing and reacting to the crowd, Naz will be there to inspire your own artwork. From how her gown moves, the handcrafted costume detail to the make-up magic and illusion, study a drag performer live. Paper, pencils and boards are provided.
ANDREW O’NEILL: A HISTORY OF HEAVY METAL mac birmingham 18 February Award-winning comedian and life-long heavy metal obsessive, Andrew O’Neill has performed his History of Heavy Metal comedy show to a huge range of audiences; from the teenage metalheads of Download festival, to the broadsheet-reading theatre-goers of the Edinburgh Fringe. He will take us on his own very
personal and hilarious journey through the history of the music, the subculture, and the characters who shaped this most misunderstood genre of music. Come and be educated. PINHOLE PORTRAITS – FAMILY WORKSHOP Ikon Gallery 20 February (and the 22 Feb), 1-4pm, £4 per child Join Ikon during halfterm holidays for an afternoon with artist Jo Gane to make pinhole cameras from recycled materials. Inspired by the current exhibitions take and process your own images out and about in the galleries. Booking essential. CHINESE NEW YEAR PARTY Newhampton Arts Centre 21 February Celebrate The New Chinese Year of the Dog with Chinese crafts, traditional qigong (gentle exercise for health), and Chinese snacks in the café.
FEBRUARY OPEN AFTERNOON AT THE MUSEUM COLLECTION CENTRE Museum Collection Centre, 25 Dollman Street, Nechells, B7 4RQ 23 Feb, 1.30pm3.30pm. Free The Museum Collection Centre is a 1.5 hectare site that holds 80 per cent of Birmingham Museums’ stored collections under one roof. Among the thousands of objects stored here are steam engines, sculptures, an entire collection of Austin, Rover and MG motor cars and even a red phone box. It is not open to the public except by arrangement. The tour will allow you to see a vast range of objects, often with a real focus on Birmingham and the West Midlands. To book phone 0121 348 8231. SCREEN PRINTING WITH PENCILS AND STENCILS RBSA Gallery 24 February, £55
Combine drawing, stencil-cutting, and screen-printing to make a series of prints that are subtle, textured, and colourful. Suitable for all abilities. OUTING THE PAST Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 24 Feb, 12pm-5pm, Free Hosted in partnership with SHOUT Festival as part of OUTING THE PAST (the National LGBT History Festival), this national project curates a programme of speakers on their histories and stories as LGBT+ people. The is a rare opportunity to learn more about LGBT History from the people who have lived it in an afternoon of talks and presentations with perspectives from across the UK, coupled with a tour of and time to reflect in the Arts Council Collection exhibition: Coming Out – Sexuality, Gender and Identity. LEFTY SCUM: JOSIE LONG, GRACE PETRIE AND JONNY & THE BAPTISTS
mac birmingham 27 February, £15/£13.50 Join a riotous evening with three of the UK’s most joyfully rabblerousing acts. Featuring three-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Josie Long, British Comedy Award & Musical Comedy Award nominees Jonny & The Baptists, and acclaimed protest musician Grace Petrie. PETER TATCHELL - REFUGEE DETENTION: BRITAIN’S SHAME Ikon Gallery 28 February, 6-7pm, £7/£5 concs Having campaigned for 055
FEBRUARY over 50 years, since 1967, at this event Tatchell discusses how the asylum system is rigged against genuine refugees, from the moment they apply through to incarceration, legal aid, tribunal hearings and deportations. THE ROYAL BALLET: THE WINTER’S TALE Light House Media Centre 28 February, 7:15pm. £12.50 Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet, created his adaptation of Shakespeare’s late great romance The Winter’s Tale for The Royal Ballet in 2014. The story follows the destruction of a marriage through consuming jealousy, the abandonment of a child and a seemingly hopeless love. Yet, through remorse and regret – and after a seemingly miraculous return to life – the ending is one of forgiveness and reconciliation. With powerful designs
by Bob Crowley and atmospheric music by Joby Talbot, The Winter’s Tale is a masterful modern narrative ballet.
Jenin refugee camp, a stronghold for the alAqsa Martyrs’ Brigade during the Second Intifada, is not a place synonymous with laughs. But it is also home to the Jenin Freedom Theatre and to people with a wealth of stories to tell. Mark tells this story alongside Faisal MARK THOMAS: Abualheja and SHOWTIME FROM Alaa Shehada, two THE FRONTLINE performers, actors and mac birmingham now aspiring comics 28 Feb – Sat 3 Mar, from the Jenin Club. This £20/£15 is a story about being Name the comedian yourself in a place that who might say “I wonder wants to put you in a if I can set up a comedy box. club… in a refugee camp... in Palestine?” Of course, it’s Mark Thomas. And that is exactly what he tries to do. Dodging cultural and literal bullets, Israeli incursions and religion, Mark and his team set out to run a comedy club and put on two nights in Jenin in the West Bank. Only to find that it is not so simple to celebrate freedom of speech in a place with so little freedom.
MARCH THE BOCK STREETS OF BIRMINGHAM - A GUIDED WALK WITH BEN WADDINGTON Ikon Gallery 1 March,1.30pm4.30pm, £6 Meet at Ikon for a tour of the Thomas Bock exhibition, followed by a guided walk led by Ben Waddington, exploring the industrial geography of Birmingham and looking for evidence of the city that Thomas Bock would have recognised. Join us for rest, refreshments and conversation afterwards in a local public house.
WE ARE THE LIONS, MR MANAGER! mac birmingham 5 March, £12/£10 The remarkable story of Jayaben Desai, the inspirational leader of
the 1976-78 Grunwick Film Processing Factory Strike, recently named amongst the women who have had the biggest impact on women’s lives over the past 70 years, as part of the Radio 4 Women’s Hour Power List. Not only did she stand up for workers’ rights and fight against oppression with selfless dedication, but with her steadfast resolve she turned the dispute into a national movement for human rights and dignity, inspiring future generations.
CHANJE KUNDA: SUPERPOSITION mac birmingham 6 March, £10/£9 In an age where women’s eroticism is commodified and cheapened, Kunda combines art, science and philosophy to
construct an alternative narrative from a feminist perspective, usingspoken word, live art and dance fusion to present her findings in a paradoxical but hugely entertaining show. IN THE FRAME Steelhouse Lane Lockup, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham B4 6NW 7 March, 6-8pm, £5 Photographic historian Pete James discusses the early history of photography in Birmingham, with reference to its use as a means of surveillance by the Birmingham Police Force in the nineteenth century, and in relation to Edmund Clark’s exhibition at Ikon. The talk takes place at Steelhouse Lane Lockup in collaboration with West Midlands Police Museum. PENGUIN BY LONG NOSE PUPPETS Newhampton Arts Centre 9 March, 10.30am & 1.15pm, Ages 2-7, £5.50 Adults, £3.50 Children
MARCH A delightful puppet version of the award winning book by Polly Dunbar. Exciting, surreal and full of surprises, laughs and lively songs by Tom Gray of Gomez.
THE SOUND OF ACTIVISM - FREE RADICAL YOUNG PEOPLES ART DAY Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 10 March, 1pm-4pm Free A takeover day combining youth arts and activism in the space. Free Radical, part of the Beatfreeks collective, host a powerful and engaged arts afternoon. Aged 16 plus and over? Lend your voice and learn about youth activism based on identity. Take a look at key works of art in the collections, and work with a sound artist to share your views on identity in a warm and inclusive environment. The artist will record your statements, passion and beliefs on youth identity and use this to create a new sound based piece of art to share.
DALISO CHAPONDA: WHAT THE AFRICAN SAID... mac birmingham 9 March, £15 Britain’s Got Talent finalist, Daliso Chaponda has been both a journalist and a jaded newsreader, living in countries where the press is censored, and in countries with no libel laws where they can say anything. He is the perfect comedian to discuss what the media has become. In his new show he discusses recent news, old news, fake news, and stories that were never quite but ALMOST news, as well as the things we say to each other; gossip, tall stories and declarations ARTS & SCIENCE of love. FESTIVAL
Univeristy of Birmingham 12-18 March A week-long celebration of ideas, research and collaboration at the University of Birmingham and beyond. artsandsciencefestival. co.uk
VAMOS THEATRE: A BRAVE FACE mac birmingham 14 March, £12/£11 Ryan is on tour in Afghanistan. Training is complete, combat is a buzz, he’s part of a team. But on this particularly hot and desperate tour of duty, he sees things he can’t talk about, to anyone. And then, when he returns home, the trouble really begins. Created from research with ex- and serving soldiers, families and health professionals, Vamos have created a compassionate and fearless exploration of PTSD; an unseen and often unrecognised injury of war.
FRANCESCA BEARD: HOW TO SURVIVE A POST-TRUTH APOCALYPSE mac birmingham 14 March, £10/£9 Join mac on an epic adventure through a wonderland of lies, fictions and Wikipedia facts in a show for anyone who has ever said they read the terms and conditions. In a world that down-votes experts and clicks on Donald Trump, this new show asks: What is the global cost of make believe, are all humans liars and can the truth set us free? IN CONVERSATION – HINTERLAND New Art Gallery Walsall 15 March, 7pm, £5 An opportunity to watch Hinterland (2002) by Esther Johnson, followed by a panel
discussion with the filmmaker, Wilderness curator, Zoë Lippett and Steven Bode, Director of Film and Video Umbrella. Johnson’s film focuses on a community living on the Holderness coast, the fastest eroding coastline in the UK where land is rapidly becoming sea. THE WARDROBE ENSEMBLE: EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION mac birmingham 20 March, £12/£10.50 May 1997. Tony Blair won the election and Katrina and the Waves won Eurovision. Channel 5 is a month old. No one knows who Harry Potter is. Meanwhile, at the local secondary school, Miss BelltopDoyle can’t control her year 9s, Mr Pashley has been put in charge of a confiscated Tamagotchi, and for some unknown reason Princess Anne is attending the Year 11 leavers assembly. This is a love letter to the schools of the 90s, asking big questions about a country in
special measures, exploring what we are taught and why, and where responsibility lies.
SUPER HANS Newhampton Arts Centre 23 March, 7:30pm, £15 Light up a massive 8-skinner and release the snakes – it’s all about to get a bit messy. Croydon’s best loved drug-addled maniac SUPER HANS is back and ready to pound some of the biggest beats possible into your skulls. Following a sell-out tour, killer festival shows at Glastonbury & Leeds and praised by the likes of NME, Mixmag and The Guardian, Hans is ready to provide you all with more than just a powerful sense of dread. 059
APRIL DAVID BADDIEL - MY FAMILY: NOT THE SITCOM Wulfrun Hall 28 March My Family: Not the Sitcom is a show about memory, ageing, infidelity, dysfunctional relatives, moral policing on social media, golf, and gay cats. A massively disrespectful celebration of the lives of David Baddiel’s late sex-mad mother, Sarah, and dementia-ridden father, Colin. Come and be offended on David’s behalf!
PAUL CHOWDHRY 29 March Wulfrun Hall Following phenomenal demand and instant sellouts across the country, comedy powerhouse and star of Taskmaster, Live at The Apollo and Stand Up for the Week, Paul Chowdhry is back during the Spring.
UNCANNY THEATRE: OUTRAGE mac birmingham 6 April, £12/£11 Welcome to the age of Outrage: a highly visual, interactive response to a world where the most offensive seem to set the agenda. This show will wind you up so much you’ll take to the streets… or at least post a strongly worded response on Twitter. With your help, and the most shocking issues of the day, Uncanny Theatre plan to make themselves famous by the end of the show.
FLATPACK Various Venues across Birmingham 13-22 April Flatpack is a cityspanning week of cinematic invention and audio-visual delights.
KATHY LETTE: GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT mac birmingham 13 April, £15/£13.50 Embark on a psychological journey, guided by celebrated and outspoken comic writer, Kathy Lette. She’ll talk you through Puberty Blues to Menopause Blues, with tales of love, lust, men, marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, sexism, parenting, ageing, and poignantly, about the trials, tribulations and hilarity of raising a child on the autistic spectrum. So, grab your girlfriends and enjoy an evening with wit, warmth and full-frontal frankness, guaranteed. (Men, attend at your own risqué!) GEINS FAMILY GIFTSHOP: VOLUME 3 mac birmingham 13 April, £10/£9 Like persistent dandruff, the multi award-winning
sketch group are itching to show you what they’ve come up with. Skin ailments aside, the four-strong, five-star sketch group is comprised of Kath Hughes, James Meehan, Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Edward Easton. The quartet joined forces in the city of Salford (the Birmingham of the North) post-University and have been arguing on long car journeys ever since. ROBIN INCE: PRAGMATIC INSANITY mac birmingham 20 April, £12/£10.50 In his brand new show, cultures clash in a joyous romp through Ince’s favourite artists and strangest scientific ideas. Expect 90 minutes fizzing with ideas about creativity in science and art. DRINK & DRAW Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 21 April, 6.30pm10.30pm. Free Drink and Draw returns to The Edwardian Tearooms. A free social
drawing event for anyone who likes to doodle. No booking required, just drop-in. Pens, pencils and paper provided.
KIRI PRITCHARD MCLEAN: APPROPRIATE ADULT mac birmingham 26 April, £10/£9 Chortle Award-nominee Kiri thinks the world revolves around her, but she didn’t let that stop her wishing to mentor vulnerable kids. Consequently, she’s going to be extremely careful with what she wishes for in future. An immoral comedian’s morality tale about other people’s lack of morals. MOTHER’S RUIN: A CABARET ABOUT GIN mac birmingham 26 APRIL, £17/£15 Equal parts historical and hysterical, lose yourself in the company
of sailors, barmaids and bootleggers in this darkly comic cabaret. A raucous journey through the history of gin, two of Australia’s rising stars share tales of love and women, gin and secrets, tipsily making their way through 18th Century London, a few New York speakeasies, the Australian bush and the jungles of Peru. Featuring songs by Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone, Martha Wainwright, The Popes, The Pretenders and more. INDEPENDENT COUNTRY (PLUS SUPPORT) mac birmingham 27 April, £11/£10 This Birmingham–based country/rock band specialise in re-imagining your favourite indie tunes. Since forming in 2015 they have stunned audiences with their wry, authentically country and legitimately creative take on songs by the likes Oasis, Happy Mondays, the Stone Roses, The Smiths and so many more. 061
LOOK OUT FOR...
GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS! A photographic exploration of India and her women in modern day Black Country and contemporary Punjab is being produced through the lens of four pioneering female photographers from the UK and India. Marking the 70th anniversary of the partition of india from the UK the British Councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Reimagine India is a cultural exchange programme investing in creative collaborations between art and cultural organisations in England and in India. With an award from the Arts Council, Creative Black Country, along with partner Multistory, will produce a new body of work titled Girls, Girls, Girls! for an exhibition at the Nazar Foundationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Delhi Photo Festival as well as exhibitions in the Black Country during 2018. The work, by photographers Jennifer Pattison (UK), Jocelyn Allen (UK), Uzma Mohsin (India) and Andrea Fernandas (India), aims to capture contemporary culture and lifestyle, and explore the journey women have made from the Black Country to India, and India to the Black Country. It will also investigate interesting synergies, quirks, subcultures and social behaviours unique to people and places in both countries. 062
Jocelyn Allen recently visited Jalandhar: “I had never been to India before. A few women from my project in the Black Country told me to expect for my mind to ‘be blown’ and that they often feel culture shock when they visit. We worked a lot with an all girls college and I was surprised by the amount of different sports they participate in: archery, wrestling, basketball, swimming, etc. Though they can get scholarships if they are good at sports, so for girls that are from poorer backgrounds or from families where the sons are chosen to be educated over the daughters, it is a way for them to get educated. Another place that we visited often was an organisation for orphans, unwanted children, children from destitute families and a refuge for women. The children and young women loved having their photographs taken and seeing the results, but after a couple of visits they wanted to have a go with my camera as well. Hiding and revealing is something that I play around with a lot in my work, and it quickly became apparent in Jalandhar that this was a way to shoot in my style with other people whilst also commenting on the visibility and attitudes towards women there. Often we would be walking or driving down a street and we would not see any other women around.
You’ll be able to find out more at creativeblackcountry.co.uk in the forthcoming months.
VENUE DIRECTORY AIRSPACE GALLERY 4 Broad Street City Centre Stoke-on-Trent ST1 4HL airspacegallery.org @AirSpaceGallery BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM & ART GALLERY Chamberlain Square, B3 3DH birminghammuseums. org.uk @BM_AG CIVIC & WULFRUN HALLS North Street, WV1 1RD wolvescivic.co.uk @wolvescivic GRAND UNION Fazeley Street, B5 5RS grand-union.org.uk @grandunionltd HERBERT Jordan Well, Coventry, CV1 5QP 024 7683 2386 theherbert.org IKON GALLERY Oozells Square, B1 2HS 066
ikon-gallery.co.uk @ikongallery LIGHT HOUSE MEDIA CENTRE The Chubb Buildings, Fryer St, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT light-house.co.uk @lighthousemedia MAC BIRMINGHAM Cannon Hill Park macarts.co.uk @mac_birmingham MEAD GALLERY University of Warwick Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry CV4 7AL warwickartscentre. co.uk NEW ART GALLERY WALSALL Gallery Square, Walsall, WS2 8LG thenewartgallerywalsall.org.uk @NewArtGallery NEWHAMPTON ARTS CENTRE Dunkley St, Wolverhampton WV1 4AN newhamptonarts.co.uk @Newhampton
RBSA 4 Brook Street, Birmingham, B3 1SA 0121 236 4353 rbsa.org.uk @rbsagallery SLADE ROOMS Broad St, Wolverhampton WV1 1HP wolvescivic.co.uk @wolvescivic UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM Edgbaston Birmingham B15 2TT birmingham.ac.uk WOLVERHAMPTON ART GALLERY Lichfield St, WV1 1DU wolverhamptonart. org.uk @WolvArtGallery