A look back: ADM One Year On

ADM One Year On edit

‘ADM One Year On’ formed part of Birmingham City University’s annual Inspired Festival celebrations. The exhibition complemented this by highlighting the achievements of graduates from Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Arts Design and Media class of 2016.

Diversity and innovation within the arts

Set against a backdrop of current cohort Graduate Shows spanning across a number of University sites between Monday 12 and Saturday 24 June, the Parkside Gallery exhibition celebrated diversity and innovation within the arts.

Showcasing professional outcomes

The artefacts reflected a small selection of alumni work showcasing professional outcomes throughout the past year in areas such as media, architecture, fashion, textiles, acting and more.

Upcoming costume exhibition to place Birmingham ‘on an international stage’

Cabinets of Costume

Cabinets of Costume

‘Cabinets of Costume’ has been curated by Louise Chapman, Pathway Leader and Lecturer in BA (Hons) Design for Performance, who has been supported by co-curator and BA (Hons) Jewellery and Objects Course Director Zoe Robertson.

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.

Exhibition themes

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.

A look back at ‘All Because of You: Northern Soul Portraits’

chloe allbecausens

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.

MAC Birmingham

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:

Brum Notes Magazine (@BrumNotesMag)

“We’re at the launch for All Because of You ‪@ParksideGallery, a superb new exhibition documenting young Northern Soulies ‪#allbecauseofns

Night Owl (@nightowlbham)

“Fantastic turn out at ‪#allbecauseofns exhibition big congrats to Sarah & Beth & thanks for ‪#nightowl shoutouts ‪#northernsoul ‪#subcultures

MAC Birmingham (@mac_birmingham)

“Great exh at Parkside Gallery & great soul soundtrack ‪#allbecauseofNS –  well done Bethany! MSp”

Jenny Wilkes (@BillyQuiet)

Mingling with the in crowd ‪@AllBecauseOfNS launch. ‪@SarahRaineBCU #allbecauseofns

All Because of NS (@AllBecauseOfNS)

“We are loving ‪@ParksideGallery countdown for ‪#allbecauseofns ‪#northernsoul ‪#Soul ‪#soulmusic

Jacqueline Taylor (@JaxterT)

Exciting to see ‪#allbecauseofns by ‪@SarahRaineBCU and ‪@bethany_kane coming together ‪@ParksideGallery. Opens on 27th Jan!

Visit Bethany Kane’s official website to find out more about ‘All Because of You: Northern Soul Portraits’.

Annual paper project launched at ‘The Shell’

The Paper Project at The Shell.

The Paper Project at The Shell.

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.

The Figure in Space

The module, tailored for first year students, has been developed over the past 16 years, with this year’s celebrating 2016 as Roald Dahl’s centenary in collaboration with The Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre.

Supplied with one kilometer of corrugated card and two kilometers of brown paper, students were set the task of creating a Roald Dahl-themed environment within 18 days using only their ingenuity and basic materials. Rosie Anderson, first year BA (Hons) Design for Theatre, Performance and Events student said:

“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.”

The environment

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.”

Collaborative practice

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.”

To find out more, search ‘The Paper Project BCU’.

Parkside Gallery to host major contemporary craft exhibition

By Sally Collin.

By Sally Collin.

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.

The display

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.

#madeitm30 #madeitm @tweetcraftspace

Midlands Modern from 1930 to 1980

Design, and Manufacturing in the Midlands

7th November – 14th January


Swirl Design – part of the Fiestaware range manufactured by Chance Glass of Smethwick

A showcase of products manufactured by Midlands based companies working with significant designers during the period from 1930 to 1980, highlighting innovative and modernist design. The show will celebrate this Mid-century period – a period during which the Midlands maintained its reputation as ‘the workshop of the world’.

Midlands Modern will contain work from a number of different disciplines, such as lighting, glass, ceramics and furniture. Highlighting and showcasing the breadth of manufacturing in the Midlands.

Featuring in the exhibition is the work of Lady Margaret Casson; an architect, designer and photographer. Margaret Casson had remarkable talent. She studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture University College, London during the 1930s and was one of the few women on the architectural design course at the time. Casson went on to have an accomplished career as an architect and in a number of other design related fields.

She collaborated with Chance Glass in Smethwick to create one of their most well-known and highly collectable patterns – Night Sky (1957). Along with patterns such as Swirl (1955) and Calypto (1959), as part of their ‘Fiestaware’ range during the 50’s. Fiestaware was Chance’s most successful creation: mass produced and affordable glassware for the domestic market.

 “This glassware was produced flat-rolled sheet glass with decorative screen- and transfer-prints applied prior to it being formed to shape, by reheating and slumping


Night Sky has a clear modernist vibe, with the angular, minimal silk transfers forming what seems like constellations, with golden gilding adorning the rims of the glassware. We are looking forward to exhibiting some these exquisite modernist pieces in collaboration with the Glass Museum in Stourbridge.

Returning to Parkside Gallery will be the works of Tibor Reich, one of the 20th century’s most celebrated textile designers – who notably livened up Post-war Britain with his taste in bright and vividly coloured textiles. Reich fled from war-torn Hungary in 1937 to study textiles at Leeds University. After the completion of his studies he bought a 19th Century cotton mill in Stratford – upon – Avon and established Tibor Ltd. It is more famously known as the Clifford Mill, and it is where Tibor established his career in producing and designing woven and printed textiles, ceramics, tiles and rugs.

“Reich freed colour from the pre-war 2D woven textile, and reimagined it in a revolutionary new way of weaving, that ‘brought a pattern out of texture”

Reich, Tibor (1959). “Responsibility of the Designer To-Day”. Journal of Textile Institute.

Also returning to Parkside Gallery are Brinton’s Carpets, who began manufacturing their world-renowned carpet designs in 1783, in Kidderminster. A town that is inextricably linked to the carpet manufacturing industry, and known at one point as the ‘Woven Carpet Capital of the World’.

Brinton’s market leading modernist design the ‘Bell Twist’ went into manufacturing in 1965, and celebrated its 50th-anniversary last year. The design is still a popular British domestic textile to this day, down to the large variety of shades on offer and the strong wool-rich yarn used to create the famed permanent twist. This ensures that the textile can withstand the rigours of family life.

In 1993, Britons Bell twist carpets were transformed in collaboration with notorious Punk designer Vivienne Westwood. She produced eccentric twists on traditional and modernist fashion trends – proving the versatility of Brinton’s Carpets. This collection was part of Brinton’s first advertising campaign, with Vivienne Westwood’s iconic carpet dresses at the forefront. Westwood’s’ yellow floral carpet ball gown stands in the Brinton’s office in Kidderminster to this day.

Amongst a number of other disciplines, Midlands Modern highlights the contribution of the Midlands to Modernist and Contemporary design history, championing the midlands as a creative hub that is still just as relevant today.

Midlands Modern will be on show from the 7th November untill  the 14th January. You can follow the progress of the show on the Parkside Gallery Blog and our related social media:







Top ten places and events to visit in Birmingham in the coming weeks:

The new academic year is upon us with tens of thousands of students from around the globe descending on Birmingham. We have compiled a short list containing some of the events being held around the city including some of the best places to visit in your first few weeks in the city.

  1. Digbeth Dining Club is always a great start when visiting Birmingham. These events held around the city every Friday offering a range of street food from around the world. At the end of every month there is a street closure party. Here the traders from throughout the month come together for a mash up of cultural flavours.digbeth-dining-club
  2. Eastside Projects is a free gallery space that creates public art. Starting on the 1st of October they will be running a new production show titled ‘Prototyping, Discovering, and Analysing’.  This is the second exhibition in an evolving series and will contain new sculptures made in and around Birmingham and Kingswinford. It will contain new works by Alice Channer, Nicholas Deshayes, Linda Brothwell and Des Hughes. The show will feature everything from typography, models of live/work space for cultural workers and more.  The show will take place from 1st October 2016 and will run through 10th
  3. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is located in the heart of the city and always has various events that can be attended almost daily. There are often guided tours at weekends along with various lunch time music concerts. We suggest checking out the Abbeyfield’s Golden Gallery: Art and Soul exhibition. The show is currently ongoing till the 14th of October and highlights the therapeutic benefits art brings to older people. You can find out more about the Abbeyfield’s exhibition and other events via the galleries ‘what’s on’ page.Once you have taken in the breadth and depth of the museum and galleries, there is a traditional Edwardian tea room to relax and recuperate in.edwardian-tea-rooms
  4. Vivid Projects in Digbeth is part of the core spaces in Minerva Works. The space is curator-led and explores all forms of media arts practice. This includes, moving image, performance, digital and interdisciplinary artistic research. The space hold regular events including a new event being held on 22nd September 2016 titled ‘MAPPLETHORPE: LOOK AT THE PICTURES + POP UP POLAROIDS’. The will be a workshop between 7pm and 8pm where you can create Polaroid’s using various techniques used by Mapplethorpe. Following the workshop, a screening will take place and will feature a documentary on Mapplethorpe’s life including unique and unprecedented access to his work.stryx
  5. Stryx is also another great space to see exhibitions based in Minerva Works in the heart of Digbeth. Currently the space is running an exhibition titled ‘Short Circuit’ and features a touring group show consisting of nine new media artists and collectives, and devised by independent curator, Aly Grimes. The project’s structure aims to investigate new ways that exhibition spaces can present touring shows in the Digital Age and will manifest as a highly experimental research project susceptible to failure. It might glitch, trip, malfunction or ‘short circuit’. The exhibition is open Thursday – Saturday between 12pm and 4pm and runs till the 29th October 2016. Stryx will also be involved in a public talk at the Ikon Gallery in association with New Art West Midland ‘Curator Bursary Award. Juneau Projects will also be holding an augmented reality workshop as part of Digbeth’s First Friday on the 7th October 2016.rbsa                                          ‘Dave Walton RBSA’
  6. The Royal Society of Artists (RBSA) in Brook Street is the perfect opportunity to take in some exhibitions while exploring the city’s Jewellery Quarter. There is plenty to see between now and the 8th October 2016. The Wunderlust Craft Exhibition is currently ongoing till 24th David Walton is also exhibiting his work in ‘Portrait Study,   solo exhibition runs till the 1st October 2016. Another solo exhibition currently running till the 8th October is Jasmina Ajzenkol work with sculpture and clay based around the marine theme. Jasmina will also be holding a demonstration event on the final day that visitors can participate in.
  7. MAC Birmingham will be holding a new exhibition from Peter Kennard titled ‘Off Message’. Regarded as Britain’s most important political artists over the last 50 years, his work has become iconic on placards and banners used by activist groups.  His photomontages have been published extensively in newspapers and magazines around the globe. ‘Off Message’ is a retrospective of the artist’s work between 1968 and 2016. It will include some of his iconic photomontages include collaborative works with other artist such as Cat Phillips and Banksy. The exhibition is being curated by Craig Ashley and opens on the 24th of September, continuing till the 27th November 2016.  Opening hours are Tuesday till Saturday between 11am and 6pm.daddiescropped
  8. If you venture further into the city and head into the Jewellery Quarter you will find the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. The perfectly preserved jewellery workshop is a hub for many various regular events. The museum holds regular tours around the surrounding areas in addition to regular workshops such as silver ring and bangle crafting. Currently there is an ongoing exhibition running till the end of the year titled ‘Collecting Birmingham: Stories that should be shared’. It is the first of four exhibition containing stories from local people in Ladywood, Aston, Soho and Nechells areas. The exhibition is exploring how working lives for both men and women have changed over the last 60 years and features various objects and also interviews from over the years. It provides and unique opportunity to look back into the part of what is now a thriving part of Birmingham. The exhibition is open from Tuesday till Saturday between 10:30am through to 5pm. There is also a Halloween spooktacular ghost walk being held on the 29th October. tempest-1800wx900h-new-990x495
  9. This year marks 400 years of William Shakespeare. The Birmingham Hippodrome will be involved in the celebrations with a special performance being held between the 1st and 8th October 2016. The Birmingham Royal Ballet will be performing a full length ballet performance of ‘The Tempest’. Director David Bintley promises a retelling of ‘The Tempest’ that features eye-catching stagecraft, mesmerising puppetry and breath taking flying.
  10. As part of the ‘Birmingham’s Film Knight’ exhibition, Parkside Gallery are putting on a special screening of ‘The Blue Lamp’ produced by legendary British film producer Sir Michael Balcon. This special screening will take place on the 29th September 2016 and is a great opportunity to see this classic movie. It’s also the perfect opportunity to explore the exhibition about Michael Balcons work, life and his contribution to the British Film Industry. There is also a brief talk from co-curator Professor Roger Shannon before the screening. It is set to provide insightful context on what his work has meant for the industry. You can book tickets for screening via our Eventbrite pagethe-blue-lamp

These are some of our highlights on events and venues to visit in Birmingham. If you have further suggestions of further events, please let us know via our Facebook and Twitter pages and we will share them too.