Saturday, 30 June 2012

TROVE as launch pad

Last night at TROVE was the launch of Fierce Earth's rebranding and the launch of the amazing Fused Magazine's latest issue.   It was nice to be able to open our doors to these two organisations and accept so many compliments on the building! Here are a couple of pictures from the night.

Helga (Creative Shift) and Kerry (Fused) giving a little toast.

Friday, 29 June 2012

The Just Price of Flowers

Earlier this week I skipped over to our TROVE neighbours, A E Harris, to see the latest Birmingham REP production - The Just Price of Flowers.  I really enjoyed the Rembrandt imagery within each scene and the gorgeous origami pieces by Brian Duffy (!), here's the blurb >

A play about the 2008 financial collapse, set in 17th Century Netherlands, looking like a Rembrandt, featuring origami and paying homage to the great theatre maker Bertolt Brecht.
Tulips were imported into Europe in the early 17th Century at a time when merchants were generating wealth through trade. Collecting exotic items was a fashion. A passion developed for tulips, their price rose rapidly and created the possibility of making profit through speculative buying. For a brief time certain tulip bulbs were sold for prices equivalent to those of a house, or three years of a craftsman’s wage. In 1637 this financial bubble burst.
Using Tulipmania as its inspiration, The Just Price of Flowers finds the Van Leasings buying a tulip from Van Eek, using money borrowed from Van Hire. It follows them as they chase their dream of wealth through the growing complexities of futures trading, credit ratings, sub-primes, credit default swaps, and the horror of short selling.
This is a simple, playful production, which explains the complexities of high finance with great humour, in a remarkably straightforward way, whilst steadily setting you up for the inevitable heartbreaking finale. There are also two songs and an origami peacock.

In addition to the play Birmingham Central Library Photography Archives had lent A E Harris some beautiful John Blakemore photographs of tulips taken in the 1980's.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Under Gods in Paris

I have been lucky enough to have previously worked with and curated photographer Liz Hingley's  series Under Gods, as well as helped initiate the religious objects collection that accompanies the exhibition.  Over 12 months on since its first exhibition in October 2010 the photographs and objects were in Paris, and the collection has grown into a mass collection and shop style presentation of the religious objects.  The downstairs install at Galerie la Petit Poule Noir of the objects was amazing, it felt full and just like the shops on the Soho Road, where all the photographs were originally taken. 

Here are some pictures from the preview night in Paris.

Liz Hingley with flowers in her hair.

The Under Gods red carpet.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Paris 'La Triennale'. Palais de Tokyo

This weekend I popped across the channel to Paris.  In between sitting in the sun and wandering the streets of Paris I went to see La Triennale, the Paris Triennial, 'Intense Proximity' at Palais de Tokyo, and here are my highlights. 

Adrian Piper 

Walker Evans 

Camille Henrot 

 Thomas Struth

 Chris Ofili

 Aneta Grzeszykowska

 Oyvind Fahlstrom

Carrie Mae Weems 

Dominik Lang  

Victor Man

 Nina Canell

Claude Closky

Emmanuel Fremiet

Annette Messanger

Haroon Mirza

Monday, 18 June 2012

Spectacle Works

Yesterday I took a short walk from TROVE to Spectacle Works in the Jewellery Quarter.  This beautiful building has recently been developed and opened by Midland's Heart as live/work spaces for creative people, offering them new large apartments (which we got a sneak peek at - they are very nice indeed) as well as studio spaces of differing sizes.  If you're a young creative in Birmingham looking at ways to showcase, sell and develop your work, this is definitely worth checking out.  They were also showcasing some of their artists work around the building. 

Jonathan Branson bird prints

Marcus Wemyss painting

Candle sticks by Victoria Delany, who kindly opened her studio for us.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Birmingham Made Me

Birmingham Made Me is touted as a Design Expo, highlighting the best of Birmingham.  The group of exhibitions, in and around the Mailbox, include the big boys of Birmingham, most notably Jaguar, but also some smaller local gems. 

In the BIAD Visual Arts shop you get some familiar pieces from the BA Fine Art graduate show, but also some new pieces too.  Here are some pics from that shop unit.

Sara Dobson (also currently showing at mac birmingham, part of the MA Curators ALLOTMENT plot)

 The REP showcased some amazing costumes and selection of Coppelia posters - I really enjoyed this part of the showcase.
 Simon Wild's poster

And finally some pieces from some independent Birmingham makers, including the great Acme Whistles.

Jane Devall

Plant and Moss' lovely palette's. 

and finally the MA Product Design works that were first seen at Aedas Presents earlier this year.

Saturday, 16 June 2012


TOYBOX opened Friday 15th June at TROVE.  Here's the blurb and below are images of all the works.
In June 2012 TROVE, with Antonio Roberts, are hosting an exhibition about toys.  This project leads on from the discovery that the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, where TROVE is based, used to produce more ‘toys’ than jewellery, guns or pens during the industrial revolution; all things it is now more famously known for producing.  When researching what toys were produced in this area of Birmingham it was discovered that the term ‘toys’ was used to describe items such as buttons, cuff-links and belt buckles. 

With the misinterpretation of the word ‘toys’ TROVE are presenting an exhibition of the contemporary understanding of the word.  With a mixture of performance (preview night only), film and modified/hacked toys, this group exhibition is lively, fun and playful. 

Here are the toys:
Sam Underwood

James Gill 

Katy Morrison

Duncan McKellar 

Claire Davies

David Lee

The films were by:
Rosie Curtis and Steph Bryant

Emilie Crewe 

Maria Mattos 

And finally for the preview night there were performances by:
Kate Spence

Daniel Salisbury

and Richard Peel.