In January 2019, Birmingham’s art scene is as diverse and exciting as ever. Exhibitions at galleries across the city like Forward: New Art from Birmingham and Ways of Belonging highlight the talents of Birmingham-based artists and others like Women Power Protest bring together a wide range of works to create fresh and innovative shows to cure your January blues.
Matthew Krishanu: A Murder of Crows
This January Matthew Krishanu’s gothic painted crows find a perfect home on the walls of the neo-gothic Ikon Gallery, inspired both by his childhood memories of crows in Bangladesh as well as artistic and literary influences like Edgar Allan Poe’s raven. The exhibition is running alongside The Sun Never Sets, another Krishanu exhibition at the Midlands Art Centre (Sat 12 Jan – Sun 10 March).
Tue 8 Jan – Sun 10 Mar, Ikon Gallery, 1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham, B1 2HS, FREE, www.ikon-gallery.org
Sabiheh Awanzai Mahmoud, FreeHandFanatic, Farwa Moledina and Anisa Fazal: Ways of Belonging
In Ways of Belonging, four young female Birmingham-based artists explore what it means to truly belong. Rejecting the kinds of stereotypes about certain communities and individuals that are created by tabloid media, the four artists take belonging into their own hands, offering their own kind of narrative about what it is to be ‘local’. The exhibition is a partnership between MAC and Ort Gallery in Balsall Heath, a local artist-led exhibition space which aims to represent the underrepresented. Celebrating female empowerment and opening up a dialogue about community, this exhibition is not one to miss.
Sat 19 Jan – Sun 17 Mar, Midlands Arts Centre, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH, FREE, www.macbirmingham.co.uk
Forward: New Art from Birmingham
This exhibition is a celebration of all that Birmingham’s artistic community has to offer. Comprised of works by approximately twenty five artists based in Birmingham, this group exhibition is a fresh and exciting look into the current art world of the city.
Wed 23 Jan – Sun 24 Mar, Medicine Bakery and Gallery, 69 New Street, Birmingham, B2 4DU, FREE, www.ikon-gallery.org
Too Cute!: Sweet is about to get Sinister
‘Sweet is about to get Sinister’ warns Rachel Maclean in her new exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, bringing together works from the Arts Council Collection and Birmingham’s collection to examine how the cute and caring can quickly turn to repulsion and disgust. Maclean holds a lens up to the cute and not-so-cuddly from 19th century oil paintings to contemporary life, and injects some extra strangeness with an interpretative video featuring herself as ‘Dr. Cute’ – a monstrous human-teddy bear hybrid – presenting a short lecture on the themes explored in the exhibition.
Sat 26 Jan – Sun 12 May, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH, FREE, www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag
Women Power Protest
Women Power Protest opened at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery’s Gas Hall back in November, but is one of the most insightful and exciting exhibitions in Birmingham right now. Running until March 2019, this exhibition marks the centenary of the first women winning the right to vote. Bringing together works from Birmingham’s collection and the Arts Council Collection, Women Power Protest offers an inspiring look at female identity and the politics of protest.
Ongoing – Sun 31 Mar, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH, FREE, www.birminghammuseums.org/bmag
Image: Ikon Gallery, www.ikon-gallery.org
Published on: Mon 7 Jan 2019