15 February Culture events to keep you busy

Newtown Kid
Until 22 February

Reuben Colley Fine Art
During the 1950s & ‘60s University of Birmingham Geography tutor Phyllis Nicklin captured Birmingham at a time of massive change. Not only was the urban environment being significantly  transformed but new communities were changing the city’s demographic profile too.
In collaboration with Brumpic Reuben Colley Fine Art have invited a number of artists to produce work inspired by Nicklin’s photographs. The exhibition will feature paintings & drawings by Reuben Colley, Mark Godwin, Danny Howes (pictured above), Rick Garland, Horace Panter, Mark Lippett, Stephen Earl Rogers, Annette Pugh and Kevin Line.

21. Rosamund Macfarlane, Snow hare
5 February – 10 April

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry
This world-renowned exhibition showcases 100 awe-inspiring images, featuring fascinating animal behaviour and breath-taking wild landscapes. Dive deep into the oceans, fly amongst the tree tops and journey across sand dunes discovering the variety of life this world has to offer.

Sarah Whapples - 4932
7 February, 6 March, 11am – 5pm (and first Sunday of the month onwards)
mac birmingham
An exclusive selection of products from local designer makers offering ceramics, jewellery, paintings and much more – it’s a great place to pick up original home and gift items.

9 & 10 February
mac birmingham
Broken erupts onto the stage in an adrenaline-filled spectacle. Athletic contact work, spectacular acrobatics and a gripping narrative combine with a revolutionary set design and digital imagery that melds with the performers as they move. Tickets £22.

12 February, 11 March, 15 April, 7.30pm – 10.30pm
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry
One night a month the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry opens their doors for an exciting evening of art, music, drinks, talks, performance and history inspired fun.

13 February, 12 March, 9 April, Saturdays 10.30am – 3.30pm
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry
Join local urban sketchers in the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry Café for a day of sketching around Coventry city centre at this informal and supportive event.

14 February
The Lighthouse
Tickets £6.70 / £6.20 concessions £4.50 under 25s/students

15-20 February
Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre
In response to Gerard Byrne’s new exhibition, Coventry artist Jo Gane will curate the activities area in the Mead Gallery.

16 & 17 February

mac birmingham
20 Stories High and Theatre-Rites join forces to create a unique mash up of hip-hop, theatre and puppetry bringing together 4 amazing artists: beat-boxer Hobbit, b-boy  LoGisTics, puppeteer Mohsen and, from the Midlands, singer/rapper Elektric, to form The Broke ‘N’ Beat Collective. Tickets £12.

Bham Camera Obscura
16 February, 12–5pm

Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre
FREE drop in event
Birmingham Obscura will be installed at Warwick Arts Centre, allowing participants a chance to explore a mechanical camera obscura with artists Pete Ashton and Jenny Duffin.

17 February, 1-3.30pm
Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre
Use recycled materials to construct a working pinhole camera in this workshop led by Jo Gane. £3, book in advance.

19 February
mac birmingham
Movies always have a soundtrack… so why can’t a stand up show? Join ‘one of the UK’s best observationalists’ (The Guardian) for a brand new stand-up show accompanied by its own original soundtrack. Tickets £10.

25 February
The Lighthouse & mac birmingham

25 February
mac birmingham
A gender-bending evening of seductive and provocative dance. Three short narrative works form this kitschy and filmic bill of contemporary dance with a very Spanish flavour – a true feast of meaty dance soaked in a salsa of passion.
Tickets £11 (£9).

Austentatious Publicity Image

26 February
mac birmingham
Undoubtedly one of the most talked-about shows on the UK comedy scene, Austentatious: is a comedy play spun in the inimitable style of Jane Austen – and based entirely on audience suggestions.
Tickets £15 (£13).


For the third year in a row we have teamed up with New Art West Midlands to present a special culture edition of Area Guide.

Featuring a wealth of new graduate talent New Art WM chooses the best of the graduate shows to present 4 unique curated exhibitions of work that focuses on cross-art forms. This year the exhibitions, which start this month, will take place at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, mac birmingham, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and Herbert Museum & Art Gallery, Coventry.

This edition also features upcoming exhibitions, festivals and cultural events taking place from now until May.

Read the edition online here or pick up an issue at the venues mentioned above.

REVIEW > Dave Gorman at Symphony Hall

DaveGorman.jpg“If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” intoned Dave Gorman at Birmingham Symphony Hall on Thursday night. In normal circumstances this may have seemed presumptuous as this was the opening gambit of his two hour set. However, and as many of the Gorman devotees in attendance may have suspected, this was merely a preamble to an in-depth statistical analysis of the popular song in graph form via the Stafford funnyman’s weapon of choice, the Powerpoint presentation.

It is a gross understatement to say that this is a man with an inquisitive nature. Previous undertakings have included an expedition to track down 54 namesakes and a globetrotting Googlewhack Adventure. Viewers of “Modern Life is Goodish”, who no-doubt swelled Thursday’s crowd will have been pleased to see many of the elements that make that show so successful in full effect as over the course of a consistently engaging two-hour set Gorman repeatedly challenged the accepted norms and the mundane. In doing so he turned a spotlight on subjects as diverse as Paul Hollywood, selfies and Mrs. Gorman’s knees with a seasoned confidence that enabled him to hold the audience’s interest without the need for scattergun one-liners and the self-assuredness to occasionally let Powerpoint deliver his punchlines.

Gorman demonstrated his love of the lower reaches of the internet in what for many were the highlights of the show, two “Found Poems” lovingly compiled from the comments sections of website news stories. Lacking the usual string quartet, Dave was accompanied firstly by a somewhat reluctant CD and for the conclusion of the show by support act for the evening, Nick Doody. The Yorkshireman had earlier performed an excellent half-hour set of incisive, topical satire and proved himself to be an equally accomplished pianist as the show was bought to a hilarious denouement.

It’s fair to say that when the Symphony Hall crowd spilled out into the cold Birmingham night they certainly were happy, and boy did they know it.

Words: Ian Thomas

SOUP Birmingham #2

WELL DONE to the second Birmingham SOUP winners Soul City Arts who won the most votes on Saturday taking the £474 door takings for their new venue.

The project with the most votes was presented by Emily Jones from Soul City Arts, raising funds to re-open Mohammed Aerosol Ali’s alternative arts centre in the heart of Sparkbrook in Birmingham. This important community venue is called The Hubb, which means love in Arabic.

SOUP was visited be the first winner Elliot Lord whose cardboard beds for the homeless project is going from strength to strength with more partners and important exposure in national press.

SOUP is a great way to raise money, build community support and get connections to local resources that can help you carry out your project. See the website for more information.

BFI LOVE SEASON at Moor Street Station

Brief Encounter.jpgThe BFI are sharing love stories with the nation and hoping to rekindle our passion for some of film and television’s most enduring love stories.

They’ll be heading to Birmingham during December as part of their UK-wide season that includes 1,000 screenings at 100s of cinemas, special one-off events, new and rare releases on DVD and the BFI Player. David Lean’s British Classic, Brief Encounter will bring 1940s railway romance to the city with a high-impact pop-up screening in historic Moor Street train station providing a perfect chance for film fans to meet their stranger in a railway station.

This will be the fitting finale in a series of events screening the rereleased classic film across the UK throughout the season to celebrate the films 60th anniversary.

4, 5, 6 December
Moor Street Station, Queensway, Birmingham, B4 7UL
Tickets £10 from macbirmingham.co.uk

SALON contemporary art for sale

Dean Melbourne - Consider her Ways.jpgThe latest exhibition organised by New Art WM features the work of 75 artists and is giving art-lovers the chance to buy and collect new work starting at just £20.

SALON features paintings, prints, sculpture, photographs, drawing, books and film from some of the West Midlands’ leading artists and galleries. Ikon, Grand Union and Division of Labour will showcase their portfolio of limited edition prints and artworks from internationally-known artists including Gillian Wearing, Bedwyr Williams, Vanley Burke, Stuart Whipps and BAZ.

Also selling work is photorealist artist Oliver C. Jones, whose drawings were recently exhibited in Los Angeles. Artist duo Juneau Projects, illustrative embroiderer Stewart Easton, Coventry painter George Shaw, Illustrator Sarah Taylor Silverwood and Stourbridge rising star Dean Melbourne (pictured) are all ones to look out for.

Waterhall Gallery, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
13 November – 23 December, Tue-Sun 10am-5pm
newartwm.org | @newartwm 

THIS MORTAL COIL > this weekend


Vivid Projects continues its exhibitions, talks and live events exploring representations of death and the macabre delving into the darker side of the relationship between art and the body.

From a collection of images, stories and sounds around illicit recordings using X-Ray plates lifted from hospitals during the Soviet era (Saturday 21st November, 12-5pm) to a talking ‘Death Salon’ (27th November) and a Death Drawing event from Art Macabre (27th November, Tickets £12.50).


Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 17.31.37
Yesterday (19 November 2015) marks the 75th anniversary of the Birmingham Blitz. Just five days after the devastating Coventry attack, Birmingham suffered four nights of consecutive heavy bombing and this tragic period is being commemorated through an illuminated multimedia art installation, created by Birmingham Hippodrome and award-winning arts organisation, Metro-Boulot-Dodo.

Artist Sophie Handy has been working with members of the public making over 1000 lanterns that will carry the names citizens who lost their lives in World War Two in this dramatic re-telling of this important moment in the city’s history.

2,241 Reasons to Remember will be open and free to the public until Sunday 22 November. Members of the public will still have an opportunity to help make the remaining lanterns by attending free workshops to be held at St. Martins Church in the Bull Ring on tomorrow Sat 21 November from 10am – 4.30pm.

The installation will be located adjacent to the Tree of Life Birmingham Blitz memorial on Edgbaston St opposite Bull Ring Markets in Birmingham city centre.

Adagio Aparthotel Birmingham

There’s a welcome addition to the city’s thriving hotel offering with new Aparthotel Adagio Birmingham City Centre which had its official opening last week.

Situated in the historical Beorma Quarter of the city (just opposite St Martin’s in the Bullring) the new Aparthotel is ideal for longer stays in the city thanks to the multi-sized flexible apartment style rooms and handy kitchens with a ‘just like home’ experience for travellers to Birmingham.

The signature red rooms feature stylish furniture, unfussy decor and views across the city’s Eastside making it a great place to stay if your heading to any of Digbeth’s many festivals, clubs & bars or if you just want to check out the latest shopping offer from the Bullring and Grand Central.

At the launch attendees were treated to an event on the theme of ‘Beorma:  Past, Present and Future’.  The idea was for guests to understand more about both the historic past of the Beorma Quarter, but also more about how this part of Digbeth continues to develop and is rapidly becoming a new centre for Birmingham, a centre for the creative industries, new businesses, colleges and great places to eat, as well of course as home to the new hotel.