The exhibition, running from May 9 until June 2, will showcase the BIAD Archive focusing on costumes within the institution since the 1880s, featuring work form alumni over the last 90 years.
Combining fashion and theatre
Fashion and theatre design will be combined to introduce the historical and contemporary context of costume to audiences including students, staff across the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media, the wider University research community and the general public.
The exhibition also includes the ‘Culture of Costume Conference’, which is scheduled to take place between May 10 and 14.
The overarching theme of the conference is costume as it relates, responds to and influences culture. This will include themes exploring areas such as costume and material culture, costume adornment and costume archiving, as well as many more. Louise Chapman said:
“With costume as an emerging area of research, the exhibition offers the opportunity to place Birmingham as a significant contributor on an international stage. In contrast to the preconceived ways of exhibition costume, we propose to offer a fun, interactive approach to encourage greater engagement from a broader audience.”
Keep up to date with Parkside Gallery’s social media accounts and official blog for more information.
Parkside Gallery hosted ‘All Because of You: Northern Soul Portraits’ between 27 January and 24 February.
The exhibition explored and documented young ‘Northern Soulies’ in Birmingham and the Midlands through the work of Birmingham-based independent photographer Bethany Kane and Sarah Raine, Researcher for the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research.
Having enjoyed a successful stay at Parkside Gallery, documenting Birmingham and the West Midlands’s underground Northern Soul scene through what Raine describes as a “curated collection of photographs, audio, memorabilia and scene insider accounts.”, the show is now scheduled to be exhibited at MAC Birmingham. This comes as a result of the Geoff Sims inaugural bursary being awarded to Bethany Kane.
Social media snapshot
Take a look at some of the key moments throughout ‘All Because of You: Northern Soul Portraits’ at Parkside Gallery:
Parkside Gallery’s sister exhibition space ‘The Shell’ has launched ‘The Paper Project’. The annual exhibition, which opened on Monday 6 February, presents a culmination of student work within ‘The Figure in Space’ module 12 weeks into the BA (Hons) Design for Theatre, Performance and Events degree course.
“It has been really challenging to make it work, but I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been the best project to work on and we’ve all been able to put our own stamp on it.”
This year’s outcome features a variety of characters from Dahl’s children’s stories putting on a 100th birthday party in the woodlands of Great Missenden.
Elements such as Roald Dahl’s writing chair, George mixing his marvellous medicine watched by his shrinking grandmother, Augustus Gloop hovering around the food-table with Aunt Sponge, a drunk rat and Fantastic Mr Fox add to the details captured within the environment. Hollie Wright, BA (Hons) Design for Theatre, Performance and Events Lecturer said:
“It’s an enchanting experience. You can get lost in this world. This is an environment transformed using paper to depict various elements, showing how paper sculpture techniques can be used to create this setting of fun in the forest.”
In addition to celebrating the wonders of Roald Dahl, the exhibition also provides an opportunity for students to collaborate and develop industry skills. Elanor Field, Visiting Tutor said:
“You notice new details everywhere you look, like mice with party hats. This is the first taster of collaboration for the students, mirroring the landscape of the industry, ensuring that everyone has the chance to put their own stamp on the project through collaborative practice.”
Contemporary craft exhibition Made in the Middle is set to be displayed at Parkside Gallery between March 6 and April 29.
The partnership between Craftspace and The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in collaboration with The National Centre for Craft & Design, is a recurring touring exhibition of high quality contemporary craft and applied art from the Midlands. The eighth exhibition in the series, coordinated by Craftspace, is part of the organisation’s 30th anniversary programme, featuring both recent graduates and makers with established reputations.
Through providing an opportunity to purchase and commission work from some of the best makers in the region, a wealth of creativity is on display, including ceramics, jewellery, metalwork and textiles. Selected by an expert panel through open entry, it promotes the best of contemporary craft from makers living and working in the Midlands or with a strong recent regional connection. Emma Daker, Exhibitions and Projects Development Manager for Craftspace said:
“Craft is a vital source of revenue and innovation to the UK. With recent changes to country’s economy we are keen to highlight and explore the value of craft both in economic terms and social contribution. Through the work and careers of the selected makers, the exhibition will explore enterprise through the life of the sole trader. We will also build on the development of digital practices since the last exhibition.”
A panel of curators and craft sector specialists has selected 28 makers to have works on show. The group of exhibitors features individuals such as jeweller Dauvit Alexander, who creates striking jewellery for men combining found materials and precious gemstones, Aimee Boll who also takes inspiration from found items which she combines with minimal ceramic vessels, and John Grayson who uses traditional metal forming and enamel decorating processes to create whimsical, humorous and decorative metal objects.
The exhibition will continue its tour to major galleries across the Midlands into 2018 raising the profile of regional makers and giving them the opportunity to sell their work to regional and national collectors. Visitors are encouraged to consider commissioning new work from local makers and a range of more affordable work will be available to buy, whether your budget is a few pounds or a thousand pounds.
Third year Birmingham City University BA (Hons) Textile Design students are taking part in the ‘Trends’ project for this year’s NEC Furniture Show taking place from January 22 – 25 2017. The project is a collaborative partnership with Color Hive which has been ongoing for the last seven years and includes working partnership with industry partners such Ikea, HF Contracts, Tektura wall coverings and Brinton’s Carpet’s.
The ‘Trends’ project work has helped contribute to the Trends Academy project with Color Hive. During the 2016 project, Kiddermister-based Brinton’s Carpets have helped students with the manufacturing process. The collaborative work resulted in students’ work being displayed at Clerkenwell Design Week.
This year’s project involves tasking BCU students with contributing to two of four trends that Color Hive have identified for Autumn/Winter 2017 range. The two trends selected for the students include ‘Grace’ and ‘Punk’, two very contrasting themes.
“The students have really risen to the occasion, in relation to both trends. They have explored processes new to them, in terms of workshop practice. Each of the students has extended their textile design language. That is really exciting, and exactly what trend development is about”.
– Kate Farley, Programme Leader, BA (Hons), Textile Design.
Grace has a colour palette that includes soft shades of green and ochre with rose and cashmere cream. Using moody back drops of dark colours that include laurel green, navy and peat brown, it allows for light and mid tones to combine to create a rugged natural world look. The references include serene landscapes of Scottish heather on misty mountains that present some interesting design challenges to create unique designs. It becomes a very real journey of exploration, which causes individuals to questions their own thoughts and interpretations of grace and match it with the serene and luxurious roots that has formed Grace into a trend.
Punk by contrast presents a real opportunity to explore the anarchic and exuberant spirit of punk. It allows for exploration of personal freedom that is boldly inclusive but rejects the common clichés. Punk allows for inclusive inspiration taken from challenging social views through design in new technologies such as the internet, exploring overt embellishment in areas such as jewellery along with tribal references and the development of rich gaming landscapes. It provides a rich, diverse field of colour while avoiding and challenging clichés making it rich for exploration. The Punk colour scheme is usually dominated by rich and sensual dark tones using pinks and yellows to provide balance, all grounded in pale shade blush white. It is a broad opportunity to create something uniquely personal, reflective, and challenging.
The aim of the project is to really question the existing design interpretations and allow for creative and personal responses from the students to push the boundaries of design. The students themselves will have access to utilising their full range of core skills and be encouraged to experiment outside the realms of the traditional workshop environment.
“The Trends project is a fabulous opportunity for students to see the development of a studio module, in to something that’s actually within an industry environment. Through the exhibiting of their work at the trade show – it’s a really proud moment for our students, and working with a client like Color Hive will help them to question their practice within the industry as well”.
– Kate Farley, Programme Leader, BA (Hons), Textile Design.
Selected design concepts from the students work and design proposals will be realised, actualised, and made into products for display. This will be achieved through liaising with several manufacturing firms including Tektura Wallcovering and MRF furniture manufacturers to create the trend forward products and proposals.
The entire project allows for industry experience and to help take students on their own personal journeys with design by encouraging multi-discipline work practices and experimentation in textile design right through to the process of manufacturing and displaying forward thinking designs. That journey is a vital one of personal exploration that can really contribute to bigger and wider discussion within textile and product design.
You can find out more about the work being undertaken by students and their various projects at the BCU Textiles Design Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @textilesBCU for the latest updates.
A photographic exploration of Young Northern Soulies in Birmingham and the Midlands
27 January – 24 February 2017
Coming to Parkside Gallery this January is the work of Birmingham-based independent photographer Bethany Kane and Sarah Raine, a researcher for the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research. They have documented the underground northern soul scene in Birmingham and the West Midlands through what Raine describes as a “curated collection of photographs, audio, memorabilia and scene insider accounts.”
The exhibition takes its name from the 1967 hit track, All Because of You, by The Dramatics. A true classic, it is a must-listen for anyone interested in this pivotal period of music and culture. You can listen to the track below…
The exhibition has a focus on the younger ‘Soulies’ on the scene, which has been achieved through ethnographic studies of Northern Soul in Birmingham and the West Midlands. Raine has been awarded a rare insight into the social mechanics of this secretive cultural movement, which is firmly underground within the wider music scene.
A 19-year old Birmingham-based Soulie called Nancy said the scene had been crucial to shaping her personal identity…
“Before [finding] Northern Soul…the clothes I [would] wear, I felt like it wasn’t me and I never really knew why… I just felt like I didn’t belong here. I didn’t really like people’s opinions on stuff and I didn’t like listening to the music they listened to. I didn’t know what was out there for me and then after my first all-nighter, I just felt like a completely different person, that I’d finally found who I was and that’s all down to the music.”
I can personally identify with Nancy as I felt the same before I experienced the beauty and vibrancy of the Northern Soul music scene. I couldn’t relate to what people my age were doing and experiencing, I knew I liked Motown and Soul but there was something missing. There’s something about the music and the passion of the people that surround you within a Northern Soul event, you can be yourself – or anyone you want to be. I feel that it is so important to listen to young people, to their stories, memories and experiences within this city and within wider society. I feel this to be the crux of the exhibition, as there has been a real care and concern for how this is affecting young people.
As Raine has said: “This exhibition aims to explore how these young people place themselves within the dominant ways of seeing the scene, and how they make their engagement meaningful as both a Northern Soulie and a young person in the 21st century.”
Here at Parkside Gallery we are getting ready for the upcoming show. To follow our progress you can access our social media below, and that of AllBecauseofNS …
Leanne O’Connor is a Fine Artist, Curator and Collaborator based in Birmingham, UK. She works as a Marketing and Exhibitions Assistant here at Parkside gallery, and is in her final year on the BA (Hons) Fine Art Course at Birmingham School of Art.
‘In the Loupe’ is the inaugural show for the new Vittoria Street Gallery at the School of Jewellery. The exhibition brings together a multi-disciplinary group of ‘artists, educators, researchers and practitioners from the School of Jewellery, Birmingham City University and The Plymouth College of Art and Design’ (Zoe Robertson). The show is also applauding the work of School of Jewellery Alumni, in addition to the Gallerist Victoria Stewart, as she is celebrating her 10th Anniversary as Director of The Victoria Stewart Contemporary Jewellery Gallery.
The creators exhibiting are as follows:
Dauvit Alexander, Beaulagh Brooks, Sybella Buttress, Rachael Colley, Sally Collins, Sian Hindle, Andrew Howard, Bridie Lander, Anna Lorenz, Jo Pond, Claire Price, Zoe Robertson, Fern Robinson, Kate Thorley and Maria Whetman.
Zoe Robertson kindly gave us a Curators Tour of the new exhibition,and her insights are reflected throughout this article.
“What we’re trying to do is celebrate the depth and diversity of what we do here at the School of Jewellery, each member of staff has a really different voice, a really different style and a really different practice or concept that they are exploring”
– Zoe Robertson
The exhibition truly emphasizes the ever changing nature of the Jewellery Industry, as there is an eclectic mix of designing, methods and materials used. The show will be highlighting the breadth of talent of those involved, through the collaboration between The Plymouth College of Art and Design and School of Jewellery, Birmingham City University. There is an interesting contrast between these jewellery styles, with the coastal landscape evidently reflected in the materials and textures used in the Plymouth alumni’s pieces as demonstrated by Sybella Batress in her use of sea-life-like textures and Maria Whetman’s use of precious materials that are reminiscent of coastal rock formations. (Pictured below)
Whereas the Birmingham based Makers styles are more reflective of the Industrial Landscape that this city offers – echoed in the various tones and treatments of the metals and materials used in the works.
These industrial, aged textures are prominent in Jo Pond’s work. Jo pond is a narrative Jeweller who creates works that are extremely multi-faceted in narrative, materiality and meaning. Her work really resonated within me and I feel it was one of the strongest within the exhibition.
‘I come from a family of ‘Ponds’ who appear to have a genetic necessity for hoarding and a passion for objects which others might not quite appreciate… Some of these find their way into my work.’ – Jo Pond, Jopond.com
According to colleague Pete Croton, ‘ Jo takes old objects, is able to retain the original quality, and turns them in to something beautiful’. Croton went on to explain the original objects, revealing one as a match stick holder, beautifully crafted and adorned with lettering that created a new narrative within the piece. Zoe Robertson expanded upon this by explaining that the lettering on the piece was taken and reconstructed from old biscuit tins. (Picture Below)
To find out more about Jo Ponds practice, you can visit her website: jopond.com
The Curator and Director of The Victoria Street Gallery – Zoe Robertson has exhibited a past work (pictured below), that was part of the development of Flockamania. You can find out more about Flockamania at Parkside Gallery by viewing our past blog post on the show. Flockamania fused performance and contemporary jewellery making that resulted in an innovative and vibrant Show and series of performances.
“My past work has been a real investigation in materials, I really like industrial materials that aren’t used in the traditional, commercial side of jewellery”
– Zoe Robertson
The detailing that has gone in to this piece is immense, with a multitude of processes being utilised. Such as flocking; sublimation and vacuum forming. The outstanding qualities of the work is firstly in the drawing that has been sublimated on to the work. Using special inks that has been transferred using heat and pressure. Secondly, in the vibrancy achieved in the flocking that adorns the entirety of the work.
Overall the show is an eclectic and engaging inaugural show for Victoria Street Gallery, which reflects the breadth of the Jewellery Industry and the talent of the makers both at Birmingham City University and The Plymouth College of Art and design.
All those involved in the realisation of ‘In the Loupe’ should be congratulated. We look forward to more successful exhibitions!
The exhibition is running until Friday 16th December 2016.
The Gallery is open Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm, term time only. Please be aware that the Gallery is not open on weekends.
To keep up to date with the new Victoria Street Gallery and for more information on the individual practitioners, you can access the links below: