Digbeth First Friday: VIVID

Digbeth First Friday: 4th July.

P1050038 (2)
Vivid Projects Space
P1040997 (2)
Record Player Orchestra: Smiles, families, focus.



P1050010 (2)
Ashok Mistry



P1050037 (2)



Neon Dervish.


P1050028 (2)
Archive Wall



P1050060 (2)
Young Matador.


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/


Art is Everywhere

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 .

Staff House.
Clare on Paolozzi
Groovy Law Building Entrance
Our Group. Someone is giving me a suspicious look.
My Enlightened Friend
Peter Lanyon accommodated his mural’s habitat.
The Ashley Building.
The Ashley building interior.
Spiral staircase.
Feeling dizzy.
Metallurgy and Materials Building designed by Arup Associates. Chloe.
Metallurgy and Materials Interior.
Metallurgy and Materials Interior. Last talk.

Review: Hurvin Anderson Reporting Back (IKON)

Reporting Back is the title of an exhibition by Birmingham born artist Hurvin Anderson exploring themes of personal and cultural history, memory and alienation.

These complex themes are examined through the medium of paint as only a painter knows how.

Expanses of pure colour jostle against geometric patterns, imparting the paintings with an immediacy and vividness that play on our notions of Caribbean geography and culture.

Yet the bold, fragmented and frequently abstracted forms distance memories from any hint of sentiment; the joyous colours belie a recurring sense of insecurity and alienation. The Welcome Series exemplifies this: we have to look through and beyond decorative grilles to reach the leisure fun spots.

In these works our view is subtly obscured by chicken wire or gates that give us a tantalising taste of a desirable destination such as a cafe or tennis court. We think we can see it, but the barrier remains and the viewer is not in the place of interest but just outside it, watching.

Although this sophisticated interplay is set in the Caribbean and not Britain, to my mind, the grille imagery symbolises the plight of migrant workers invited to Britain to fulfill labour shortages who nonetheless faced prejudice and discrimination; “you are welcome, but must go no further”. However, it could also symbolise socio-economic barriers and territorial battles that transcend both cultures where the rich hold the poor at bay regardless of where either are from.

The Peter Series depicts the barbershop attic retreat of an Englishman named Peter. Here a delicious blue interior sets the scene of vulnerability and a process of transformation, the haircut. The sitter has his back to us. On the face of it, the viewer is in the most powerful position. The mood is contemplative with no genuine menace and the artist’s past or present feelings about the experience of that space remain illusive.

Such is the enigma that is Hurvin Anderson an artist who deftly takes you on a journey through his memory, presenting tense scenes whilst giving very little of his own emotions away. He is the critical and beguiling watcher and presenter of deceptive beauty whether in Trinidad, Jamaica or Birmingham.


Reporting Back at the Ikon gallery (25 September – 10 November 2013).

Ghost of Now

Ghost of Now

This was taken inside the Ikon gallery in Birmingham. The building is a beautifully converted former 19th century school that houses an ever changing array of inspiring contemporary art.

The warmth of the red brick permeates the attitude of the gallery which is one of welcoming all to art.

It is one of our greatest cultural assets and a place that you must visit if you can.