Digbeth First Friday: 4th July.
Digbeth First Friday: http://digbethfirstfriday.com/
VIVID projects: http://www.vividprojects.org.uk/
A3 Projects Space: http://a3projectspace.org/
Record Player Orchestra Website: http://recordplayerorchestra.com/
Trevor Pitt at Pod Projects: http://www.podprojects.org/about
Ashok Mistry: http://ashokdmistry.com/
Weeds are organic rebels. They grow where they want to grow. They are hardy and relentless. They seem small and conquerable but ask a gardener how much effort he or she has to spend fighting them. You will see how formidable they are.
On the day I took these photographs, the sunlight hit them in such a way that I could respect and admire them for the first time. And it made me question whether this, like most other wars, was a war worth fighting. The images I saw answered my question for me. I expect nobody else will agree, but maybe it’s time to make peace with weeds. I hate false dichotomies, straw men and making enemies where they are not needed. So I decided that I didn’t want to wait for the obliteration of my green crack-dwelling friends before I could fully enjoy how beautiful it was to be in my garden bathed in light, sitting on a badly constructed patio.
This made me realise that we should never wait to feel joy at being alive and sharing particles or structures with all that surrounds us.
We are all one big simultaneously smelly, ugly, beautiful, broken, delicate, intelligent, contrary, wilful and mysterious bunch of things lumped together in this world so we may as well like and respect one another.
Last week I attended a brilliant Art Walk arranged by the University of Birmingham Research and Cultural Collections department. Clare Mullett and her colleague Chloe Lund delivered a captivating tour of some of the art and sculpture around the University of Birmingham campus.
I have studied there for years and always thought that it was a special place. Now I know it is. Clare and Chloe led our group around the campus through wind and rain, shining a light on each piece and each neglected corner with enthusiasm. Their words and stories about works from Paolozzi, Hepworth and Lanyon brought the pieces to life. I can’t replicate that but can recommend their work. Some of this can be seen here: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/culture/index.aspx .
These photographs were taken during a visit to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. It’s haven of Culture, History and Art. For all of the wonderful and amazing things inside, it is quieter than it should be. But I am glad that I can float and ponder in peace. I love the building as much as its contents, even the spaces and the steps.
There’s a great display following the history of Birmingham from its Anglo Saxon roots to its cosmopolitan present. This was the one for me today.
It features the HP sauce sign, our equivalent of Gotham’s Bat-signal. Unlike the Bat-signal however, Birmingham’s distress has probably increased since its removal along with the manufacturing jobs it represented. But you can’t base an economy on sauce; times and markets change.
There was a deranged looking horse.
A photo of old Birmingham.
I really liked the way that these chunks of concrete from Spaghetti Junction were displayed, more like gems than industrial materials. I want one.
These ancient friends are Zapotecs. My best friend has a band called Zatopeks, they formed in Birmingham.
I noticed these lines on my way out.
For a lot more information, here is a link to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: Website http://www.bmag.org.uk/ .
Here you get the Edwardian Police Station reflecting on its much younger commercial neighbour, Smithfield House.
As I snapped this quiet grey building, I was reminded of many other underused buildings. It’s a shame, especially in the current financial climate, that we are not getting the full value of our assets as a city. Of course, I’m really talking about my beloved library (again).
My meditations were soon interrupted by these chaps indicating that they wanted a photo.
Conclusion: Brummies are great and we should make the best use of what we have.
My view of this place may be rose-tinted, but I love it. Saying this, I love the interior even more than the Brutalist exterior. There were orange carpets, exceedingly well laid out books and great desks. The place is currently closed and soon to be demolished so the interior shots below are old.
I took these a couple of years ago in my favourite corner: the intersection between Foreign Literature, Architecture and Art History on the second floor.
I would come to this spot to grab books on Dostoyevsky, Haiku and Calligraphy. They were all located in conveniently close proximity. But a clever Greek once said: ‘without change, there would be no World’.
I have been experimenting with a very basic form of glitching. For me, the main appeal of glitch art is colour. I have combined this with a photograph I took of the old Birmingham Central Library. I love this brutish concrete building more than any other in the world, but my photographs have never portrayed the beauty I see in it. Using a glitch generator has reaffirmed how amazingly bold this structure is, as the concrete Ziggurat asserts itself whatever the distortion.