IKON Slow Boat Launch
Following a recent transformation complete with a new design by Lamorna Conlon, a member of the IKON Youth Programme, Ikon's Slow Boat is ready to set sail. Offering a free drop in session for its launch, the boat will navigate the canals of Birmingham and Sandwell whilst promoting workshops and performances to engage the locals. The slow boat, called Looping the Loop, is supported by several trusts and charities in the local area, and is a unique chance for artists to work with new and wider audiences. Make your own limited edition screenprint. Donations welcome.
Wed 21 Mar, 3pm - 7pm. Drop in, limited capacity, Brewmaster Bridge, Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1 2JB. Free. https://www.ikon-gallery.org/
Bad Girls Presents: The Designers
Showcasing fashion, film and photography work from across the Midlands by exclusively female artists, Bad Girls is back for their third instalment. The event is essentially an introduction to local up-and-coming trailblazers at the Mockingbird Cinema in Digbeth, becoming a self-described 'disco haven' throughout the evening. Featuring vintage clothing outlets to designers using their own hand-painted patterns, more artists are set to be announced closer to the time. The event will even feature a screening of the new Vivienne Westwood documentary, creating the event as an overall homage to the fashion and film industries.
Sat 24th Mar, The Mockingbird Cinema, The Custard Factory, Gibb St, B9 4AA. www.facebook.com
Soweto Kinch: These Are a Few of My Favourite Things
Saxophonist, MC and host of day-long music and arts festival The Flyover Show, Soweto Kinch will be appearing at the IKON Gallery this month. The night will consist of him selecting his favourite eight works of art and subsequently revealing his personal inspirations. Already a multi-award winning musician, he is continuing to make waves on the music scene, meaning this event is not to be missed.
Tues 27th Mar, The Ikon Gallery, 1 Oozells Street, Brindleyplace, Birmingham, B1 2HS.
Ghost Streets of Balsall Heath at ORT Gallery
In light of next month's Flatpack Film Festival, The ORT Gallery is opening up its doors to the 1960s American filmmaker Janet Mendelsohn. Mendelsohn’s work documents her time spent in Balsall Heath, with images reflecting the social housing crisis, poverty and migration in the area, Mendelsohn’s work is an interesting insight into the town's past. By being displayed in the town of their creation, these pictures truly reveal a ghost-like quality.
Sat 10th Mar – Sat 28th Apr. ORT Gallery, 500-504 Moseley Road, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, B12 9AH. Open Tues-Sat 12pm-5pm. Free. www.ortgallery.co.uk/
Frank Cook and The Birmingham Scene at The mac
Following on from the pride that can be felt throughout Mendelsohn’s work is another ode to Birmingham, through the gorgeous photographs of Richard P Rogers. Roger’s work also gives an insight into 1960s Birmingham as his shots follow the life of the Ladywood-based artist, Frank Cook. Much like Mendelsohn’s work, Roger’s images reflect a period of Birmingham that is going through change. Whilst documenting the slum clearances and traveller camps right through to Birmingham’s flourishing arts scene, Roger’s images display connections between social mobility and the arts.
Fri 30th Mar – Sun 22nd Apr. People’s Postcode Lottery Community Gallery, The mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH. Free. https://macbirmingham.co.uk
Ikon's Spring Exhibitions ft. internet giants, sculpture & sound + more
Ikon’s latest cycle features the new iconic architecture of global technology companies such as Apple, Facebook, Alibaba and Google in a series of relief sculptures, installations, digital animations and portraits. British artists Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell’s work explores society’s relationship with technology and the data and subsequent influence these big companies have over our lives. Alongside this work will be work by one of the UK’s most experimental artists at the moment: Rie Nakajima. Combining sculpture and sound, Nakajima’s work promises to question what constitutes ‘art’ with works comprising of musical instruments and moving objects.
Sun 21st Mar – Sun 10th Jun (Nakajima until the 3rd). The Ikon Gallery, 1 Oozells Street, Brindleyplace, Birmingham, B1 2HS. Tues-Sun 11am-5pm. Free. http://www.ikon-gallery.org/
Spring Colours: Printmaking and The Rhythm of Light at The Barber Institute
An exquisite Scottish colourists exhibition and a complementary journey through four centuries of printmaking combine to make the current exhibitions at The Barber full of spring optimism. Celebrating Scottish artists and displaying a variety of works based in France, works in The Rhythm of Light display a heavy influence of French art ranging from Manet to Matisse. In the Green Gallery, exploring the language of colour across four centuries of printmaking this display features at least six different types of printmaking and numerous colouring techniques by diverse artists.
Now – Sun 13th May. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TS. Mon – Fri 10am-5pm, Sat – Sun 11am-5pm. Free. http://barber.org.uk
New Art West Midlands at The BMAG
Showcasing a mixture of the region’s fresh new artistic talent, the work at NAWM aims to create new artistic narratives, whilst challenging those that already exist. Featuring a carefully selected group of recent graduates from a variety of art schools, New Art West Midlands is an incredibly exciting insight into the future of the art world. Artwork featured ranges from painting to installation and manages to show a concoction of different styles and themes. NAWM will begin at the BMAG before moving on to Stoke and Coventry.
Fri 16 Feb – Sun 6 May. Round Room, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH. Opens week days 10am-5pm, except Fri 10.30am-5pm. Free. www.newartwestmidlands.co.uk
Diaspora Pavilion at Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Showcasing work from last year’s Venice Biennale, Diaspora Pavillion features work from 19 entrants, exploring the reality that the diaspora holds today. By combining the Biennale’s theme of ‘the national pavilion’ with that of the diaspora, Diaspora Pavilion hopes to expose the feelings of displacement and migration within a patriotic space, whilst also creating a new narrative through its location. With each artist chosen as a representative of their country, the pieces on display are exceptional and a real coup for Wolverhampton. The theme also makes way for a monumental set of art and installation, allowing for a truly exquisite and immersive experience.
Sat 10 Feb – Sun 29 Apr. Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield St, Wolverhampton, WV1 1DU. Open every day 10.30am-4.30pm except Sun 11am-4pm. Free. www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk
Wilderness and Lionheart at New Art Gallery Walsall
An oasis of incredible art in beautiful surrounds, if you haven’t yet come in from the cold and discovered Walsall Gallery it’s well worth your attention. Wilderness is among three new exhibitions opening at the gallery this month and features paintings, drawings and film installations from an array of artists, showcasing a collection of works that are inspired or connected by nature. With contrasting depictions of barren, icy landscapes, and gritty, monumental volcanoes, Wilderness displays our stunning planet in its most authentic states. Also exhibiting is Mike Nelson’s ‘Lionheart’ installation. Despite being nominated for the Turner Prize twice his name doesn’t usurp his work, as Lionheart proves to be as peculiar as it is intriguing.
Wilderness: Fri 2 Feb – Sun 6 May. Lionheart: Fri 2nd Feb – Sun 3rd Jun. New Art Gallery Walsall, Gallery Square, Walsall WS2 8LG. www.thenewartgallerywalsall.org.uk