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/



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.



Sunny Digbeth


Here are some photographs of Digbeth on a special sunny day. They were taken a couple of weeks ago, you could probably guess when.

Cold Torag




Urban Village, The Custard Factory, Gibb St.

If you’re ‘Mad about Mod’, go to Urban Village at the Custard Factory. If not, go anyway and meet some colourful and friendly folk. Their website is here: http://www.urban-village.co.uk/.





Glitched Ziggurat

Glitched Ziggurat

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.

City Lights

Pretend It's A Painting

I took some photos this evening, but I was struggling with my inhibitions about photographing in public and poor light. Here are some street lights I love in the city centre of Birmingham. What are your experiences with starting to take photographs in public spaces? Did you feel self-conscious or paranoid that some security guard would move you along?

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).