New Birmingham Arts Map

The end of July sees the release of the new Birmingham Art Map. The map will include the latest exhibition and event details from 1st August until 31st October. The map covers the many events and exhibitions held in venues within the greater Birmingham area and will include listings for our very own Parkside Gallery.

Arts map Capture

Look out for the print versions which should be available for free at many outlets, retailers and cafes toward the end of July.

If you can’t wait for the schedule to come out in print, you can check out for the latest details or follow @_artmap on twitter. The new maps will be hitting Parkside Gallery foyer soon.

A look back at the #BCUInspired Festival


Now in its Second Year the #BCUInspired Festival has proven to be a vibrant and exciting event for everyone. The Festival contained a number of graduate exhibitions that showcased the innovative talent of Birmingham City University (BCU) Students across the Arts, Design and Media sites. During the Inspired Festival, Parkside Gallery participated by showcasing an exhibition titled ‘BCU: A Year in Pictures’ encapsulating various special moments from around the university in 2015/16.

The Inspired Festival launched with a special screening of Tarantino’s classic Pulp Fiction, which was voted as Best Film of the 90’s by BCU Staff and Students.

The first graduate show private view was held at the School of Art. It was an engaging and challenging evening that showcased the multi-medium practices of final year Fine Art and Art and Design Students. The inspired event was accompanied by an awards ceremony with prizes given to students in disciplines that included Sculpture, Painting, Photography and Curation. The Prestigious Pip Seymour Painting Prize being awarded to Tabi Lampe for her vibrant and atmospheric paintings.


Set against the dramatic backdrop of the historic building, Birmingham school of Jewellery showcased a diverse range of work within areas such as Gemmology, Horology, Silversmithing and Jewellery practice.  One of the most striking elements was the multi-disciplinary nature of the work, highly relevant to the industry and contemporary jewellery making. Andrew Glover from BA (Hons) Horology went away with four Awards, most notably the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers Award and the Cartier Award.


The night of the 15th June was the largest Faculty of Arts, Design and Media private view, welcoming over 1000 visitors to Parkside building. Shows filled all four floors – bringing together Industry partners, alumni, staff and family to celebrate the student’s achievements. Some of the most prestigious awards came from Furniture Design, Architecture and Textiles Design. Triple Award Winner Beau Birkett was awarded with the Louisa Ann Ryland Scholarship, which will fund his travel to Copenhagen to work in the Furniture design industry for a month.

The second year of the Inspired Festival has been a huge success, it’s generated a large amount of  interest and strengthened links to industry. We’re looking forward to next year’s shows and wish all of our graduates every success in their future endeavors.



`Sir Michael Balcon – Birmingham’s Film Knight’

Birmingham born Sir Michael Balcon is featuring in a brand new exhibition at the Parkside gallery. The exhibition is dedicated to the film producer whose work had a huge impact upon the British film industry for over half a century. Balcon produced a vast filmography of over 350+ films and mentored the likes of David Puttnam and Sir Alan Parker.


Balcon was involved in many areas of the industry including studio head at Gaumont-British and Ealing Studios. He received a knighthood in 1948 for his services to the film industy and helped set up the BAFTA awards. Balcon was an integral part of the British Film Insitute (BFI) experimental Film fund in the 50’s, now known as the BFI Film fund  headed by Ben Roberts.


Born at his father’s tailoring shop in Birmingham in 1896 and part of a family of eastern European origin that had migrated to the UK Balcon was able to be at the forefront of the British film industry. He had a strong eye for talent and is credited with giving Alfred Hitchcock his first film role.

During the 1920’s Balcon  teamed up with two fellow film pioneers Oscar Deutsch and Victor Saville.  Oscar Deutsch later went on to set up the iconic ODEON film circuit applying the art deco talents of Birmingham architects, Harry Weedon Partnership. Mean-while Victor Saville left for Hollywood where he became an A list movie director. These three ‘Brummies’ who were brought up but a few miles from each other revolutionised UK film in the ‘20’s and ‘30’s in respect to their work rate, entrepreneurialism, innovation and success.

The exhibition seeks to explore the life and times of Sir Michael Balcon exploring themes such as the immigrant ‘arrivals culture’  and the collaborative work that he undertook throughout his career. The show will also explore Balcon’s time at Gainsborough and Gaumont along with his prolific work at Ealing studios. The show reflects upon Balcons legacy and raises questions about Birmingham as a film city and the legacy for the new generation.


Professor Roger Shannon will be curating the show which aligns with his passion for Film and Television and his research in UK film policy and Independent Film. Roger  has previously organised a symposium on Balcon’s career in 2012, he will be supported by film experts at the BFI, Mac cinema, Flatpack Film festival and Birmingham City University.

Birmingham’s Film Knight will take place between 12thSeptember – 21st October 2016.

Slow Wet Tar (a fictional, but stubborn substance)

16th April – 15th May 2016, 9am-5pm, (including Saturdays)

Parkside Building ground floor (adjacent to main lifts)

Richard Schofield, a lecturer at the School of Visual Communications in Birmingham City University, has provided a unique insight into the works on display as part of the Slow Wet Tar exhibition.  Each piece tells an intricate story that stretches beyond the art itself visually and links into make though provoking issues we face today.


Slow Wet Tar, a new work by Richard Schofield:

A – Discontinuity:

Several lines of thought, (almost) simultaneously.

Familiar to us all during the course of the day; one distraction or preoccupation triggering another, from the need to amend our supermarket list, to feelings of frail mortality, and everything in between.  This life of fractions may perplex when applied to the audience experience of an exhibition, where a ‘body of work’ presents instead as a multiplex, a mix of semantics, and a mix of visual ‘languages’.  The convention is generally for the aesthetic to maintain a steady heading, a solid coherence, a singular, continuous visual presence.

This convinces the audience of the vein of authenticity, and reassures the market-place of the continuous vein of salability; whether commercial or intellectual.

At the other extreme, there are individuals who have insisted on cultivating a stream of atypical work.  It’s about somewhere half-way between that interests me.  A couple of times during the hanging of the exhibition I was asked if the work was created by several individuals.  It’s interesting that stepping across boundaries still has an element of awkwardness to it.

Discontinuity……the incursion of slow wet tar….a fictional, but stubborn substance.

B – The Rock Pool:

As a child I served a full apprenticeship in rock-pooling, drawn by the apparent total other-worldliness; staring into a universe whose complex and extraordinary system does not necessarily co-exist with ours.  Escapism certainly, but, above all an exploration; close observation, acknowledgment of another universe, visitor to an alternative multiplex.

Natural history: – its scientific aspect, its mysterious aspect. Precisely delineated and delicate visually, but also a grand abstraction and a medium of continuously variable liquid distortions.

C – Thinking with the hands:

The Italian chemist and writer Primo Levi (1919-1987) I refer to once in relation to four works (We Are Not Monsters) in the exhibition.  Completely

A look back at Flatpack Film Festival


The Flatpack Film Festival is over for another year and Parkside Gallery are proud to have been part of the event. During the festival the gallery showcased the Diafilmprojektor an installation by Gebhard Sengmüller which attracted a lot of attention.

Many attended a private view of Gerhard’s work with new media and slide projection and were able to see the 80 second film sequence in a custom installation at Parkside Gallery. The installation also included the added aspect of a soundtrack that emerges as a by-product of the mechanical clattering of the projectors themselves.


Gebhard Sengmüller’s work has been showcased at Ars Electronica Linz, the Venice Beinnale, the Insitute of Contempoarary Arts London and the Microwave Festival in Hong Kong. Gebhard provided a talk to attendees providing a detailed in depth discussion on creating Diafilmprojecktor and how the piece came to be. Gebhard discussed the history and background of his piece before engaging in conversation with attendees over drinks. Gebhard Sengmüller previous work include VinylVideo makes possible the storage of video (moving image plus sound) on analogue long-play records.

Gebhard’s website provides an in-depth description of his work with this new media piece:

“In this way, VinylVideo™ reconstructs a home movie medium as a missing link in the history of recorded moving images while simultaneously encompassing contemporary forms of DJ-ing and VJ-ing”


This unique installation was part of the 10th annual Flatpack Film Festival which started life as a monthly night in a Digbeth pub a decade ago and has continued to grow in popularity. Through collaborations with various events spaces, including Parkside Gallery, the success of Flatpack will hopefully continue for another 10 years. We’re certainly looking forward to what the festival will have to offer next year!

‘Is There Anyone Out There?’ Documenting Birmingham’s Independent Music Scene 1986-1990

3rd-27th May 2016, Parkside’s Atrium Gallery

Image 3

Paul Long, Jez Collins and Sarah Raine from BCU’s Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Studies have been working in collaboration with Birmingham-based promoter and photographer, Dave Travis, to produce the upcoming exhibition ‘Is There Anyone Out There?’. This exhibition surveys the nature and value of The Click Club, hosted at the Burberries nightclub on a pre-regeneration Broad Street, locating it within the context of a wider set of cultural and economic activity. 2016 sees the 30th year of the Click Club: an opportune moment to celebrate the space and scene it represents.

A central venue on the touring circuit, the club showcased bands such as Primal Scream, Fuzzbox, The Mighty Lemon Drops, The Charlatans, Mighty Mighty and Killing Joke, becoming one of the key nights in the Birmingham alternative music scene. Setting many bands on their way to national recognition, The Click Club also provided a space for the expression and regional adaptation of a range of subcultural styles, inspired and influenced by these particular surroundings. Drawing on the personal archive of Dave Travis, this exhibition engages with posters, magazines, contract sheets, video and audio recordings, ticket stubs and set lists, in addition to a photographic record of the club, detailing a dynamic space and time.Burberries

The Click Club holds a very special place in my memories of the time. It was a brilliant experience, full of hugely talented and dedicated people from the bands to the promoters, record shop workers and owners to indie and rock kids out for a good time.

A Click Club regular.

In addition to working with Dave’s personal archive, the curators have engaged with the club’s community of regulars, who continue to produce their own archives of memory and memorabilia on and offline, including individual and group memories in both curatorial interpretation and the development of an exhibition catalogue. Through the use of a range of archival materials, the Parkside Gallery will host the spaces, people, bands, music and ephemera created by the four years of culturally and musically influential nights at The Click Club.

In collaboration with Vivid Projects post-punk season and the BFI National Archive, BCU will also be hosting This is Now: Film and Video After Punk, a major new touring project that looks at artists’ film and video from the post-punk era (1978–85). During this event, Video Killed the Radio Star will be screened at BCU, followed by a panel discussion and tour of the exhibition. Dates to be confirmed.

Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research

Havill & Travis

Birmingham Music Archive

Vivid Projects

BFI This Is Now

5 jewellers moving beyond the boundaries of jewellery design

Parkside Gallery’s latest exhibition flockOmania2 has been attracting a lot of curious interest, as the work of creator Zoe Robertson along with other artists and performers pushes the boundaries of jewellery design.

  1. Di Mainstone : Di Mainstone has garnered international recognition for her work within creating sonic sculptures that extend from the body and trigger sound. Di has been featured within the New York Times and acquired critical acclaim for projects such as the Human Harp Project. Utilising sound and technology and creating wearable sonic instruments. Di has pioneered “body-centric design” and is considered as part of a new generation of visionaries.

12. Zoe Robertson: An award winning jewellery artist, Zoe is pushing jewellery into the fields of performance, sound, and dance. By designing using unconventional materials, her work not only explores the boundaries of what jewellery is perceived to be, but also initiates a visual language for audiences. Her pieces convey key themes such as body extension, movement and dual wearability in immersive environments, which invite audience interaction and participation. Zoe is constantly planning new shows and collaborative works.


3. Michelle Jessop : Michelle is researching further into art–led contemporary jewellery that goes from being just a physical object and instead becomes a form of language. Her focus is on relational strategies that evoke a sensory response or trigger a memory from the audience. This is further expanded through the use of digital media, social interactions and exploring the role of viewers in gallery spaces.


4. Katrin Spranger : Focuses her work on the future depletion of natural materials and combines this with time-based interactive jewellery. This allows for the creation of stories that comment on consumer culture, environment and science fiction that touches upon several disciplines like fashion, food, photography, performance and installations.


5. Noam Ben-Jacov: A former jewellery design student at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Noam has been discovering broader perspectives through jewellert experimentation. This has resulted in him uncovering and developing his own unique language and style, revolving his works around the human body and drawing upon the mental and physical elements combined with the space, expanding on potential restrictions. Noam considers that “The human, is both ‘viewer & participant’ at the same time on the one hand he is the center (participant) of the ‘unit’; on the other hand, he is also the viewer, looking on events…”.


flockOmania2 and the symposium are testament to pushing and exploring the boundaries of Jewellery design. The collaborative relationship with dance artists Dr Natalie Garrett Brown and Amy Voris also make this abstract experimentation possible through tailored chorography that matches the vision of the designers, creators and artists. It is expected that design, wearable technology and art, along with interaction will become a more prominent focus for contemporary discussion. These very discussions will show how new stories can be created when exploring beyond conventional and potentially rigid boundaries.