AREA GUIDE > NEW CULTURE EDITION

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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
bfi.org.uk/love

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

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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).