Archive for February, 2008

Pricked: Extreme Embroidery

Pricked: Extreme Embroidery. In New York, of course. Closer to home the Midlands gets the decidedly more sedate three-day events Quilts In The Garden 2008 (4th-6th April 08) and the Embroidery in the Garden (20th -23rd June 08), both at Trentham Gardens in Stoke-on-Trent.

Birmingham Bloggers 2

Down to the Birmingham Bloggers 2 pubmeet, last night. One of the things that struck me (Joanna Geary and Julia aside) was the overwhelming maleness. As well as name-tags and mingling-activities, perhaps we also need to find ways to encourage an ambience where you might have a chance of spotting something like this…?

“Meet me at the cemetery gates…”

Large cemeteries have become rather important havens of increasingly rare large urban trees, wildlife and gothic ornamental sculpture — and even fine typography — all preserved in the heart of a rapidly changing urban environment. For now, sentiment usually prevents planners from turning run-down cemeteries into car parks or widened roads or flats. Don’t think […]

7 Inch Cinema

Birmingham’s 7 Inch Cinema is… “Crawling out of hibernation to begin our spring [ 2008 ] season with a super 8 special, including a filmficciones selection and a visit from the folks at straight8. They’ll be showing a selection of greatest hits from past straight8s and talking about how you can involved in the scheme.” […]

aas maga-zine #5: the tent edition

Another cultural goodie I missed during the summer house-move last summer. In June Birmingham-based artists’ group a.a.s. released aas maga-zine #5: the tent edition (PDF link, 2.6mb), neatly chiming with the theme established by Dave Pollard’s Festival of Extreme Building.

Neil Moore

Figurative realist painter Neil Moore now has his own smart new website online. You may remember he was the painter who was the subject of a ridiculous attempt at censorship when his home-town gallery, the Royal Pump Rooms galleries at Leamington Spa, pulled his solo show in summer 2006. He’s running a Life Drawing & […]

Andrew Tift

Walsall’s figurative realist painter Andrew Tift has just finished a fine portrait painting of a member of The Kavern Motor Cycle Club of Walsall, and has placed a large copy of it on his weblog… “I’m always interested in people who live their own alternative lifestyle, on the fringes of society, outside of the mainstream. […]

After the rains

  (Larger version, 100kb)   (Larger version, 100kb)  

Colin Carruthers

Colin Carruthers is a painter of Scotland’s empty landscapes and weather-haunted seascapes. He graduated from Birmingham’s BIAD in 1997. Living in Birmingham, he regularly takes trips north of the border to paint. Several of his paintings can be seen locally at The Purple Gallery in Bournville, Birmingham. His main selling gallery is Artery. And he’s […]

Dark fashion

Fashion takes the temperature of culture… “Medieval warriors, body armour, fabric dissolving into rags, witchcraft, and fetishistically restrictive clothing were all recurrent themes. … With such a strong influence from the darkside, it’s not going to be the easiest of seasons to love. But the good news is, we’ll be absolutely sorted come Halloween.” Diane […]

Birmingham Visual Arts Coalition

An interesting call for submissions, from the previously unknown B-VAC (Birmingham Visual Arts Coalition)… “Birmingham suffers from a lack of small-scale gallery venues that are open, approachable and accessible to artists working in contemporary ways (installation, video, sonic, digital etc), especially young and inexperienced artists. Although many venues offer a varied, interesting programme of contemporary […]


Birmingham photographer kingsfool is documenting live fantasy role-player events such as the locally-staged Maelstrom. More photos at his photoblog and his website.

“Don’t let the milkfloat ride your mind…”

On the internet, everything will be chronicled eventually: even Milkfloats in the Arts. And no, it’s not a joke site, it’s a serious milkfloat-spotter website.

Percent for art?

I know it’s very early days for the New Street station Gateway Plus & shopping centre revamp, but now that the city has the money ‘in the bank’ and the enabling details are presumably starting to be worked out… I’m wondering if there’s to be a “percent for art” from the +/- £550-million? Or, more […]

Joe Rogers

Tasty illustrations by Birmingham’s Joe Rogers (aka Rudiger/Colourbox). He creates lapel & bag badges via the Prickie badge-on-demand service, for those young (or ancient) enough to wear badges without people pointing and laughing,… … and he also does illustrations for those who want to freshen up their print materials or have a portrait for the […]

Cultural economy paper

Various early frothy-and-frothing responses to a leak of the government’s ‘cultural economy’ positioning paper… “The government cannot create culture” in Guardian blogs… “This cultural boom began without anyone planning it or even wanting it. Artists and collectors – the private sector – made it happen in the early 1990s and the rest of the world […]

Destinations of Art, Design and Communication Students

There’s nothing on the web about this yet, but there’s to be a new in-depth National Longitudinal Survey of Destinations of Art, Design and Communication Students. It will be conducted across 20 institutions, and will attempt to follow the 2002, 2003 and 2004 graduate cohorts for six years after graduation. It will also examine foundation […]


The first new geospatial exhibition for more than 15 years comes to Coventry in April 08. GEO-8: World of Geomatics and GIS Innovations (9th – 10th April 08 at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry)… “is set to become the UK’s biggest exhibition showcasing all aspects of geospatial information … bringing together suppliers from all aspects of […]

Grants for the Arts cuts

An interesting snippet from the Guardian blogs… “No one seems to have mentioned that some of the uplifts [ in funding ] trumpeted by the Arts Council come with strings attached – in particular, that companies will no longer be able to apply for [ Lottery ] Grants for the Arts.” In addition, Grants for […]

‘The fantastic’ in sculpture

At last, a reason to visit Leeds. The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds has just opened a wide-ranging survey exhibition. Against Nature: The hybrid forms of modern sculpture runs until 4th May 08… …an extraordinary collection of hybrid sculptures, made over the last 100 years, ranging from mythical centaurs to the modernist monsters which haunted […]