Monday, 30 January 2012

Aedas Presents: I have glimpsed the future

Aedas Presents: i have glimpsed the future 

by Anne Guest

Preview Show Thursday 9 February 2012

5pm to 7pm

Colmore Plaza, Birmingham

Aedas Presents: i have glimpsed the future explores issues arising with scientific and medical experiments and discoveries.
Boundaries between fact and fallacy are blurred in order to challenge the assumptions including 'the camera never lies' and 'seeing is believing'.
Anne Guest works across various media which includes video, photography, drawing, text and found objects.
Aedas Presents welcomes you to join us at this exclusive preview show from 5pm - 7pm on Thursday 9 February 2012.  If you cannot make this date, we welcome you to view the work at Colmore Plaza.  Please contact aedaspresents@aedas.comto arrange a visit.
Aedas Presents is supported by Arts Council England.

Further details can be found at:
Follow us on Twitter: @AedasPresents

Sunday, 29 January 2012


Yesterday three members of the TROVE team sat in the ALLOTMENT project shed and live blogged and tweeted all day, as well as spoke to visitors to mac birmingham about the ALLOTMENT project.

Here is the Shed - a place for all plot holders to use for meetings, workshops, etc.

Here's Dan, me and Kate from TROVE speaking to Dan Auluk - Plot Holder #2

The view through one of the Shed windows, look how hard we're working! 

Friday, 27 January 2012

Aedas Presents: Sparrow + Castice Vs opening

Last night was the launch of Sparrow + Castice's Vs exhibition at Aedas Presents.  It was a brilliant night and the voting/award part of the night was really good fun.

Here are some pic's from the evening.


Sparrow + Castice

And the winner was....

Sparrow + Castice!
Dan Salisbury Vs Sparrow + Castice

and the winner of £100...
Daniel Salisbury!


Sparrow + Castice

and the winner...
Sparrow + Castice!


Kate Peel Vs Sparrow + Castice

and the winner was Kate Peel!


Sparrow + Castice

Vs Edward Wakefield


Sparrow + Castice

and the winner...
 Chris Clinton! 

who also picked up the trophy for 'Best in Show'

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

ALLOTMENT - call out for curators

mac birmingham is looking for aspiring curators to take part in ALLOTMENT.

New to 2012 at mac birmingham is ALLOTMENT, an innovative programme which sees our Arena Gallery divided into ten plots. Each is tended by an independent Midlands-based creative practitioner. With a plot to manage and make their own, ALLOTMENT offers plot holders the space to identify, profile and nurture new and emerging visual art talent.

Further information:
-       ALLOTMENT is a pilot project and runs from February to August 2012
-       Located in the Arena Gallery, ALLOTMENT plots are approximately 3.3m wide x 1.9m high 
-       Plot holders must be based in the West Midlands

Applications are now being welcomed from creative practitioners for an unpaid opportunity to tend vacant plots 9 and 10. Proposed activity should take place between April and August 2012, and can relate to the full vacancy period or a standalone 8 week exhibition slot.

To apply, please email the following information to with the subject title 'ALLOTMENT Proposal - Vacant Plot’:

-       100 word project summary
-       Written statement (A4 page max.) outlining your intentions for the space
-       A timetable and potential equipment needed to realise your proposal
-       Links to online materials about participating practitioners. Alternatively, send a maximum of 3 images no larger than 1MB each
-       Artist/Curator CV(s) evidencing relevant experience

For additional information on the project please see project websites:

Deadline for applications is 5pm Friday 17th February 2012

Any questions please email or call sales and information on 0121 446 3232.

Proposals will be reviewed by the ALLOTMENT steering group consisting of mac birmingham's Visual Arts Producer, Craig Ashley, Next Generation Producer Daniel Whitehouse and independent curator/associate producer of ALLOTMENT, Charlie Levine.

If you do not hear back from mac within two weeks after the deadline, then sadly your proposal has been unsuccessful. Due to the high number of applications anticipated we are not able to offer feedback on applications but we will be offering more opportunities to connect with our work in the near future, so please check our website for more details.

Installing TROVEs first ALLOTMENT

Here are some pictures from TROVEs/todays install at mac birmingham for the ALLOTMENT project

"Thirst for Iridescence," Sophie Bancroft, 2012

Lauren opening Anna Francis' piece "How to Survive"

Me installing with Silas

Anna Francis in the 1st cabinet

Matt Robinson in the first cabinet

Milk, Two Sugars under the first cabinet

the first cabinet by TROVE and the first piece in the ALLOTMENT project!

Friday, 20 January 2012

The Mobility Project

Last night The Mobility Project opened at The Metre Room.  Curated by Elly Clarke // Clarke Gallery here are some pictures from the show and the official blurb.

The Mobility Project
Curated by Elly Clarke/Clarke Gallery

Exhibition: 19th January – 19th February 2012
Open: Friday – Sunday, 1-5pm

With work by Simon Clark, Elly Clarke, Enda O’Donoghue, Kerstin Honeit, Rebecca Pittman, plan b/Sophia New & Dan Belasco Rogers, Fedora Romita and Kym Ward

“Keep connected, you are never alone, never alone with a mobile phone in your pocket.”[1]

Over the last decade, particularly since the mass take-up of the mobile phone, the ever-increasing mobility - of people, goods, information and images - has radically altered the way we perceive, interpret, navigate and even describe the world. Notions of presence and absence, solitude and togetherness and even of geography are changing, as our personally tailored collections of contacts, communities, photos and politics are with us 24/7. The way we travel around the places we live in, and how we interact with others whilst we’re there has a great impact on the way we understand not only where we are but also who we are. Communication and movement are, and always have been, closely linked, dictating the scope of our influence. But today, in a world where one tweeted photo can be seen across five continents within seconds, that influence can reach areas and cultures of which we have no concept.

Here, seven projects present seven different projections of mobility. From Simon Clark’s epic cycle journey around the UK delivering postcards he picked up from the Galapagos Islands direct into people’s hands to plan b’s live redrawing of their GPS traces gathered over their past year in Berlin direct onto the gallery wall; from Enda O’Donoghue paintings created from low-res mobile phone photos found on the internet to Kerstin Honeit’s multi-city performance-experiments where she instructs women to stand on the same area of pavement for fifteen minutes - and finally from Fedora Romita’s audio recordings of the U-Bahn network of Berlin as a means of getting to know the city she just moved to, to Rebecca Pittman’s two screen video installation of her journey along a featureless road in the states listening to driving music and finally also my own five minute video showing an unexpected moment of stillness on the German Autobahn - these are personal portraits of navigation. But, between them, they touch on wider issues that affect us all as we negotiate our way around the world - including gender, power, surveillance and the relationship between physical and virtual materiality.

All work in this exhibition is for sale. There is also a specially commissioned set of prints, the sales of which will help fund this exhibition’s onward journey. Please enquire for a price list.

On 21st January at 2pm a panel discussion will take place in the gallery, featuring most of the artists in the show plus some invited guest speakers.

The postcard were by Simon Clark, and they are just part of a larger project, and I loved them! Postcards picked up from the Galapagos Island and hand delivered to the addressees in the UK.

Some of Enda O'Donoghue's paintings.

A couple of lovely on site wall drawings by Plan B/Sophie New & Dan Belasco Rogers

A couple of the editions for sale

And finally the sound pieces by Fedora Romita

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

A conversation with boys who sew

Last night I attended a talk hosted by Trevor Pitt at mac birmingham entitled 'A conversation with boys who sew.'  It was a great night introduced by Trevor as a sort of 'chatty man' meets 'parki' style interview.  He invited each interviewee down one at a time to sit on the original knitted bench (the inspiration for this talk and his interest in boys who sew) from his project 'A Flock of Benches'. (below)

Here's the blurb with some (blurry - sorry!) images from the night.

Trevor Pitt hosts an evening of lively conversation with men who have taken to needle and thread as their chosen means of expression.

David Littler (sampler-cultureclash), Jamie Chalmers (AKA Mr X Stitch), Stewart Easton (Four Tragic Tales) and TWIGGY (Birmingham) will talk about their artistic and conceptual approaches to the creative use of stitch.

First up was Stewart Easton who is currently exhibited at mac birmingham, during his talk images of his works got little gasps and swoons from the audience
Stewart Easton is a coventry based artist currently working in hand embroidery and digital print on fabric. His work is focused on stitch and narrative using authorial illustration to create large scale embroidered panels. Using folk song and story as a starting point Easton weaves story-based narratives, utilising the space of a single panel to explore time, movement and transition within his tapestry based works. Stewart Easton's Four Tragic Tales, curated by Trevor Pitt, is currently at mac until 22 January 2012

Second was the wonderful, and local icon, TWIGGY
TWIGGY is one of the Midlands' most outrageously flamboyant drag artists. Turning heads wherever he goes, the self-styled monarch of eccentricity has become a symbol of Birmingham's constantly evolving and outlandish gay and alternative club scenes. His self-styled unconventional presence has graced fashion shows, night clubs, alternative events, exhibitions, carnivals and parties for over a decade. 

After the short break was Mr X Stitch AKA Jamie Chalmers, he was very funny and I approved greatly of his roller derby t-shirt
Jamie Chalmers (AKA Mr X Stitch) is on a mission is to bring the world of cross stitch and embroidery to a whole new audience. He has been cross stitching for years and really believes in the benefits of stitching, both from a relaxation and a sustainability perspective. Mr X Stitch was started in 2008 as a way of highlighting cross stitch patterns that he was excited about, and has evolved into a terrific resource showcasing the best in new needlecraft and textiles.

and finally artist/curator, David Littler
David Littler is an artist, curator, educator and DJ currently based in Berlin. In 2007 he initiated sampler-cultureclash - an international collective of dj’s, embroiderers, sound artists, textile designers, dancers, spoken word artists, curators and graffiti artists. Together they explore the connections between textiles and sound and the cultures of embroidery and dj-ing using the common word “sampler” as the starting point for investigation.

 And finally - all the boys take to the bench!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Bharti Parmar rug update

A few months ago I invited Bharti Parmar to exhibit at Aedas Presents in 2012.  She came to the venue with plenty of ideas, one of them was to make a 5ftx5ft rug made from human hair.  In September last year I made a first visit to Bharti's studio to see how she was getting on with the rug and the techniques she had been learning, see previous blog post HERE.

Bharti was just getting to grips with techniques found in wig making, since then she has become quite the master in it! The rug is growing nicely and here are some images of its progress.  There is also a short video clip of Bharti in action, this is part of a longer film piece that will be on show at her exhibition in May 2012.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

TROVE at mac birmingham

TROVE at mac birmingham 28th January 2012 - 9th September 2012

TROVE is an independent contemporary art gallery.  Located, since October 2009, in the Engine Room of the old Birmingham Science and Industry Museum in the Jewellery Quarter, they have also exhibited in other heritage sites around the city.  TROVE has worked with over 100 artists at various stages of their careers in a varied programme, which consists of monthly changing exhibitions and events.  TROVE offers unique solo show opportunities to early career artists as well as produces group shows often using objects, collections, multiples, creating curiosity cabinets and touring exhibitions around the UK in plan chests. Since TROVE opened over two years ago they have been partnered by various national festivals and galleries including from Birmingham: mac birmingham, Fierce Festival, Birmingham Architects Association, Birmingham City Council; and nationally Hereford Photography Festival and Minnie Weisz Studio, London.
For ALLOTMENT, TROVE is producing a series of in house designed cabinets.   The first, designed by Sophie Bancroft, will contain a series of curious objects, the collection of which will expand throughout the project and spread onto additional cabinets, one of which will appear every 8-week cycle throughout the 9-month project.  Artists included in the first curiosity cabinet are Anna Francis, Matthew Robinson and Milk, Two Sugars.