Forthcoming exhibition: ‘flockOmania2’ by Zoe Robertson

Two of the biggest universities in the West Midlands, Birmingham City University and Coventry University have recently struck up a partnership to produce the contemporary jewellery exhibition coined flockOmania2.

The project has been created and controlled by award-winning jewellery artist and course director at Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery, Zoe Robertson and will be on show at BCU’s Parkside Gallery based in the City Centre Campus from Monday 22 February to Friday 1 April 2016.

What’s on show?

The installation will be showcasing wearable sculptures, exploring the relationship between jewellery, dance and performance. The project was inspired by Zoe Robertson in response to a collaborative relationship with dance artists Dr Natalie Garrett Brown and Amy Voris from Coventry University, whose background in contemporary dance, movement improvisation and site-based performance provided the catalyst for this body of work.

Zoe Robertson, practice-based researcher at the School of Jewellery based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter said: “We’re excited to be launching flockOmania2 the Parkside edition at this up and coming venue for contemporary art and design.

“This project demonstrates the potential of collaboration between universities in the region working across a range of exciting and complementary artistic disciplines. It seeks to be interactive, challenge perceptions of jewellery and will be of interest to both the visual arts and performance.”

Challenging traditional conventions

The resulting jewellery within the exhibition is theatrically-sized to explore themes relating to the scale and movement of the body. In doing so, this collection of work responds to kinaesthetic sensations in which the tactility, sensuality and physicality of the objects is important, challenging the traditional conventions of jewellery display whereby the work hangs freely in the space rather than being contained by a glass cabinet.

Robertson added: “This creates an immersive environment which encourages performativity, audience interaction and response. We want the space to be seen as a laboratory of making in which the dance artists improvise movement and the audience is invited to interact, to touch, to play, to wear, and to explore.”

The objects have been meticulously handmade using a mixture of new technology, traditional craft skills and industrial processes such as ‘flocking’ used by car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover.

Working across art forms

During the exhibition a series of dance interventions will take place leading to a collaborative improvised performance bringing together sound, light, photography and film artists.

Working across art forms these artists will create an atmospheric, dynamic environment within which the dancers will explore the ever-changing relationships between object, body and space.

Live improvised interventions with the dance artists will take place in the gallery between 2pm and 5pm on Wednesday 24 February, 2 March, and 9 March with the finale scheduled to take place on Thursday 17 March 2016 from 6 – 8pm.

The symposium

A symposium to coincide with the exhibition has been arranged for Thursday March 17 2016 called Beyond Jewellery: Performing the Body’ at Birmingham City University’s Parkside Building, with a Keynote from internationally acclaimed Di Mainstone.

To discover the design journey from initial concept to realisation and for more information please visit

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