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.

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.  

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