All Because of You: Northern Soul Portraits

A photographic exploration of Young Northern Soulies in Birmingham and the Midlands

27 January – 24 February 2017

‘Chloe’, image permissions via Bethany Kane Photography

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 …

https://twitter.com/ParksideGallery

https://www.instagram.com/parksidegallery/

https://www.facebook.com/parksidegallerybirmingham

Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research www.bcmcr.org

Bethany Kane http://www.bethanykane.co.uk

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/551044365085019/

Twitter @AllBecauseOfNS

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/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’ @ Vittoria Street Gallery, School of Jewellery

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Over head view of ‘In the Loupe‘ @ Vittoria Street Gallery

‘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)

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Maria Whetman, Plymouth College of Art and Design Alumni.

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Plymouth College of Art and Design Alumni

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)

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Works By Jo Pond, School of Jewellery Alumni

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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.

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Work By Zoe Robertson, Director of Vittoria Street Gallery

“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:

https://victoriasewart.com/exhibitions/in-the-loupe-exhibition-in-conjunction-with-plymouth-art-weekender/

https://twitter.com/soj_bcu?lang=en

https://twitter.com/Vittoria_S

Leanne O’Connor works as a Marketing and Events Assistant here at Parkside Gallery, and is in her Final Year on the BA (Hons) Fine Art Course at Margaret Street School of Art.

5 Christmas tips for Artistic people

Christmas is just around the corner with seasonal stress beginning to take effect. Art can often help relieve some of that stress and help give your busy schedule and hectic mind a rest. Here are 5 Christmas themed tips we have created for artistic people to help relieve the stress.

1.Visit the German Market:

You may think that the volume of people and the hustle and bustle of the Birmingham German market may be stressful. However, it’s all about timing. If you visit the market during the middle of a weekday and it becomes more peaceful. It also gives you a proper opportunity to browse some of the fantastic arts and crafts on display.

2.Winter Art Fair:

If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city centre, then Eastside Projects Winter Art Fair might be for you. It launches during Digbeth’s First Friday on the 2nd of December and continues over the weekend. The gallery will be transformed and filled with affordable artworks, artist books and editions, music, homemade refreshments and will showcase independent artists and self-publishers from the West Midlands and beyond.

3.The Magic Lantern Festival:

This next festival is being launched for the first time in Birmingham at the Botanical Gardens on the 25th of November. The festival is designed as a fusion of art, heritage and culture; a festival of light and illumination. Visitors will follow a trail around Botanical Gardens and explore giant lanterns and more while exploring traditional Chinese culture and the amazing 2000-year heritage of Lantern Festivals.

4.Winter Craft Fair at Ikon Gallery:

On the 25th of November Ikon Gallery will be holding its annual seasonal market showcase. The market contains bespoke handmade products by artists, designers and crafters from around the Midlands. It’s the perfect opportunity to pick up those unique one-off gifts for friends and family. The great thing about holding an event like this at the Ikon gallery is that you have the chance to take in the exhibitions that are on at the moment. Art, shopping and then a relaxing cup of tea/coffee (hot chocolate if not a fan of the others) makes it an ideal destination for artistic people.

5.Netflix and Bob Ross:

If you have had enough of  crowds stressing you out and want to relax. Pick some paints and canvas and be artistic from the comfort of your own home. The best way to do this is to watch Netflix. Relax with Bob Ross as he guides you through the Joys of Painting. There are over 30 episodes with more to come in the future. It  is sure to keep you busy and actively creative over the Christmas holidays.

“We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy accidents.” – Bob Ross ‘The Joys of Painting’.

That’s our five Christmas tips for artistic people. Why not share yours with us. It could be an event, something you like to do over the Christmas period or any tips you want to share us.

Let us know in the comments below. You can also Tweet us or tag us via Instagram and Twitter @ParksideGallery using #PGChristmasTips

The Spotlight: Helen Foot and her handwoven scarves

Helen Foot designs, image courtesy of Julia Nottingham.

Helen Foot designs, image courtesy of Julia Nottingham.

The latest exhibition to grace the Parkside Gallery, ‘Textiles&….’ provides a culmination of all things textiles, focusing on two contrasting themes – textiles & product and textiles & memory, featuring the outcomes of personal journeys.

The exhibition displays pieces from various renowned designers all addressing different themes, evoking contrasting feelings and emotions. Some of the work on show includes the collection of handwoven scarves by Helen Foot.

About Helen

Helen was educated at the Royal College of Art where she undertook a master’s degree in woven textiles. From this Helen went on to occupy the role of studio manager for scarf designer Wallace and Sewell in Islington, London.

The display

The products on display reflect how Helen predominantly works with natural fibres, wool, cotton and cashmere, and includes two lines of handwoven scarves with examples from all of Helen’s collections. Helen said:

“I hope that the playful, fun nature of the products is really delivered to visitors of the exhibition, I would like to think that my products on display portray a sense of happiness and light. I feel this work on show really does break out of tradition, especially with the new collection.”

The collections

New scarf collections are now produced roughly every two years by Helen, with all products being handwoven from start to finish. Current collections include the ‘Festival Collection’; inspired by the Festival of Britain, including 1950s colour palettes, ‘The Regal Collection’; a lightweight set of summer themed scarves made from 100% cotton and demonstrating bold sharp stripes, and finally the ‘Canvas Collection’; knitting and weaving using French knit tubing.

To find out more about the products that will be on display within ‘Textiles &….’ visit  Helen’s official website.

New exhibition: Textiles & ..

Image courtesy of Kate Farley.

Image courtesy of Kate Farley.

 

Now that winter is coming and as the nights are drawing in, we have a great exhibition on November 23 to keep you warm. The ‘Textiles &’ show presents a collection of fabrics to warm even the iciest of days.

The focus

The exhibition focuses on two contrasting themes – textiles & product and textiles & memory, featuring the outcomes of personal journeys. This ranges from concept through design development to retail product outcomes and personal emotive expressions of significant social issues. Marlene Little, Curator of the exhibition said: 

“Textiles could be considered synonymous with ubiquity – such an essential part of everyday life there is a risk of being overlooked, taken for granted.   But place textiles &  ..… at the centre of a mind map and the exponential growth of the diversity of possibilities is astounding.”  

The work is a reminder of the diversity, significance and value the term ‘textiles’ can embrace.

To keep up to date with all the latest information follow @parksidegallery on Twitter and Instagram.  

A look back at Birmingham Galleries Night

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Birmingham City University’s Parkside Gallery.

 

A highly anticipated event unique in its approach, a date on the calendar worthy of being highlighted extensively, and a culmination of intriguing conversations and likeminded individuals embracing both people and art of all varieties. Galleries Night.

The art lovers

The annual occasion where six of Birmingham’s best art venues open their doors to all culture lovers in a city-wide celebration of all things arty has finished for another year. The evening of October 30th saw hundreds of art enthusiasts from all over the world circulating around the city with the help of the designated ‘Art Bus’, chauffeuring guests to the doorstep of each gallery for free.

People of all ages and nationalities mingled around the galleries at their own leisure, accompanied by the odd complementary glass of wine and a handful of nachos. Their love of art being the one thing that undoubtedly united them all.

Something for everybody

Exhibitions, paintings and traditional sculptures in all shapes and sizes were but a few of the varieties available for viewing, whether it was Parkside Gallery’s ‘Punk Rock! So What?’ exhibition full of attitude, controversial images and punk artefacts spanning over the past 40 years, or a glimpse into 17th-century Dutch Portraiture from one of Rembrandt’s most talented pupils at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts. Galleries Night really did have something for everybody.

Let’s get social

The evening sparked conversations widely across social media, with various local bloggers and groups including ‘Instagrammers of Birmingham’ in attendance. One of its members made an extra special effort by dressing up as a skeleton, putting a Halloween twist on proceedings.

Here’s to next year

So now we look to next year, and anticipate another truly encompassing and diverse evening. If you didn’t make it this time, make sure you pencil October 30th 2016 in your diary, it will be worth it.

For more information on Birmingham Galleries Night follow us on social media at @parksidegallery or visit #BrumHour.

Reminiscing over Reich …

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After months of preparation and organisation, it is time to say fair well to the Reich exhibition! To celebrate the exhibition that has been displayed in the Parkside Gallery for the last few weeks, we have captured some of our favourite Reich pieces  for those of you that missed the terrific exhibition:


DSC_0595editDSC_0657edit (1)DSC_0610edit DSC_0613edit FullSizeRender (1)The Parkside Gallery hopes you enjoyed the exhibition as much as we did, but we are just as excited about the BCU in Pictures exhibition coming to the University on the 8 June 2015!

For more photos, follow us on Instagram: @parksidegallery or contact sara-anne.mills-bricknell@bcu.ac.uk for more information on our upcoming exhibitions.