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.

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.

For Those That Didn’t Experience Moog Soundlab…

Birmingham’s Supersonic Festival teamed up with the brilliant Moog Sound Lab to host a four-week artist residency at Birmingham City University’s Parkside campus.

Musicians were able to experiment and compose with analog sound-scaping, synthesis and effects using the iconic synth of these revered instruments.

Brighton-based producer, composer and artist Elizabeth Bernholz or Gazelle Twin was one of the artists to let loose in the Moog Sound Lab with a hooded accomplice. Click here to watch the performance.

Composer, sound historian, roboticist, and theremin genius Sarah Angliss was also one of the artists experimenting in the Moog Sound Lab. Watch Angliss pull music out of thin air in the video here.

The Moog Sound Lab also featured the Birmingham duo – Free School who are local purveyors of silky disco, with a cosmic twist. Watch their performance here.

 

Supersonic Festival 2015

Supersonic festival is partnering with internationally renowned Moog Sound Lab and Birmingham City University, to create a four-week artist residency programme based at The Parkside building from 1 June 2015.

Dr Robert Moog (pronounced like ‘vogue’) first introduced the world to the ‘Moog Modular Synthesiser’ a new type of instrument just over fifty years ago.

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Although Moog himself was not musically talented his instrument has gone on to become an influential and fundamental element, with regards to changing music history and becoming a key fixture within experimental and rock compositions.

Audiencefalcons will famously recognise the use of the Moog Sound in the majority of Kraftwerk’s seminal 1974 album Autobahn, the guns in the newest Star Trek movies and the taking off sound of Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon.

The Moog Sound Lab continuously moves to different venues and was previously pioneered at Rough Trade NYC. The lab becomes a temporary residential space offering a unique opportunity for artists to explore and create. There will be a number of academics and students from Birmingham City University that will be able to experiment and compose with the iconic instruments, but the festival will also feature the following artists:

4 June 2015 – Sarah Angliss: Award winning composer, roboticist and historian of sound.

9 June 2015 – Free School: A Birmingham retro-futurist, mask-donning disco duo, exploring a unique fusion of electro house, Balearic and Kosmiche.

11 June 2015 – Gazelle Twin: Twisted Cronenberg-inspired persona of producer, composer and artist – Elizabeth Bernholz.

As part of the Supersonic Festival, the All Ears exhibition will be at Millennium Point for two weeks from 1 June 2015 and will display a collection of archaic music boxes alongside a selection of new works, in response to the innovation of early technology and programmable music machines. Owl Project, Sarah Angliss, Morton Underwood and Paul Gittens are some of the artists who have contributed their fascinating pieces.

All ear

Admission for the All Ears festival is FREE, but do not hesitate to contact parkside.gallery@bcu.ac.uk for more information on any of the activities and opportunities regarding the festival.

BCU Swipeside Festival 2015

Flatpack Film Festival is now in full swing and for the second year, the festival has worked alongside a team of visual communication, media and art students from Birmingham City University  to curate and deliver a new strand: Swipeside.

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Swipeside runs for one week from 23-30 March in the brand new Parkside Building and has a number of exciting events, talks, screenings and workshops all taking place.

There will also be a host of national and international guests attending the official launch in the Parkside Gallery on the 24 March, including Nobuaki Doi and Mirai Mizue, Priit PärnCyriak, BAFTA-winners Will Anderson & Ainslie HendersonChris Randall, and Eimhin McNamara. Continue reading

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Flatpack Film Festival 2015…

As the Flatpack film festival 2015 begins, here are just a few reasons as to why you should check it out…

  1. Flatpack held it’s first festival back in 2006, making this year its ninth event! Oh-Willy_stil-051
  2. The festival is taking place across 30 venues in Birmingham including BCU Parkside, The Mockingbird, Impact Hub, Custard Factory, Hackney Picturehouse, St Paul’s Church, Great Western Arcade, and Old Joint Stock Theatre.8990465782_c62e856eba_b
  3. This year Flatpack’s organisers are expecting a turnout of just over 9000 people across the whole festival.Untitled
  4. Animation, documentaries, artist’s film and installations as well as shorts are  just a few of the listed categories for 2015, with 120 films expected to screen across the festival.David Bowie is - V&A Exhibition 2013
  5. Winner of three Cannes Critic’s Award ‘The Tribe’ will be screened on the 22nd March 2015 at The Electric. The entire cast for the film is deaf and mute therefore the ‘dialogue’ throughout the film is in complete sign language with no subtitles or voice over. TheTribe
  6. Since the early years of Flatpack, the production has been soundtracked by WFMU which is currently the longest running freeform radio station in the United States. In honour of flatpack station Manager Ken will be broadcasting a special one-off show from Birmingham to mark the UK premiere of Sex and Broadcasting.Dave_the_Spazz