Represent Project - Peoples Heritage Cooperative & The Active Wellbeing Society

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New project klaxon! I’ve been commissioned by the People’s Heritage Co-operative and The Active Wellbeing Society to work on an 18 month / three-phase design project for ‘Represent’. I plan on documenting my work on the project as we go.

Represent focuses specifically on the impact and legacy in Birmingham of the 'Representation of the People Act, 1918', which extended the franchise to include most men, and for the first time some women. It had a radical impact on political representation, campaigning and the development of civic life in Birmingham and it was the beginning of an exciting era of ideas and activism. Coupled with the huge upheavals of the First World War and citizens’ responses to this, the post-1918 period of Birmingham's history is rich with important stories which still have resonance today.

The project will engage with members of the Saheli Hub and Edgbaston Community Centre and focus both on women's roles as active citizens and historic housing campaigns, drawing parallels between then and now. The project will culminate in a touring exhibition (which I will be designing the interpretation for).

Through exploring local archives and drawing on their own lived experiences, the groups will 'represent' their archival research for new audiences through the touring exhibition, co-created with local artists, due to tour to leisure centres and other community venues in Summer 2020.

The project is managed by Project Manager Rachel Gillies, supported by a project Advisory Group and monthly meetings of the Committee of the People’s Heritage Co-operative.

Last week (Weds 27th March) I had my first visit to the Wolfson Centre for Archival Research on the fourth floor at the Library of Birmingham - I can’t share the archival images due to copyright restrictions - however the Wolfson centre is open to the public and is free of charge so you can go and explore yourself! You just need to request an appointment in advance and bring along ID. I loved looking through 100 year old printed materials and it has given me a lot of ideas for the direction the identity and preliminary stages of the design.

This week (Thurs 5th April) I visited my friend’s traditional printing workshop The Holodeck in Digbeth, as a starting point for the identity design and also to discuss producing a promotional flyer to tell people about this project / how they can get involved / follow the updates. The Holodeck has a number of vintage printing presses including an Arab press which is the kind of press which would have been used to print the parliamentary posters / printed ephemera we were looking through in the archives last week. Joseph also has an extensive collection of wooden block type sets which have decorative blocks / flourishes - these are stunning pieces of design and I hope to feature them - especially as most of the records that we were looking through are text based and have decorative borders.

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Bournville Hub (community space)

Here’s a new identity design project I’ve been working on for the last couple of months alongside the larger-scale arts projects for New Art Gallery Walsall, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Oxford University Museum of Natural History - a visual identity system for small community organisation Bournville Hub.

I love working with individuals on small community-based projects like this, I feel like the design elevates an already great project and has the opportunity to empower the client by making them even more proud of their work - which ultimately helps them to spread their message so they can reach more people within the community. Bournville Hub have a number of workshops, activities, meet-ups, classes and events, for all ages - and in particular I admire the work they are doing to tackle isolation in the ageing population by creating The Age of Creativity, a festival for 50+s, a group so often not given the spotlight.

It’s not often I post the straight-up logo and identity projects I work on - but these brightly coloured ‘diamonds’ have been cheering up some of the grey January days we’ve been having. This project launched at the beginning of January and is being rolled out gradually through their marketing and incremental changes to the building’s interior and website.

For more about Bournville Hub, the best place for info is their Facebook. A new website is in the works!

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Sculpture in Focus, New Art Gallery Walsall

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To coincide with the 60th anniversary year of Jacob Epstein’s death, in 2019 New Art Gallery Walsall are celebrating sculpture in all forms throughout their Collections programme.

I’ve been working closely with the Collections Curator, Julie Brown, on identity design, exhibition design, print and digital work for Sculpture in Focus. Julie has created a sculpture trail which highlights 10 key works in the NAGW collections; the Permanent collection, and the Garman Ryan Collection (set up by two power women - Kathleen Garman and Sally Ryan ). ⁣The collections at NAGW are laid out in 10 rooms thematically: Kathleen Garman wanted to show unexpected links and comparisons across the works from different cultures and centuries. ⁣

As part of the year-round celebration for Sculpture in Focus, in addition to the trail, there will be temporary exhibitions including The British Museum spotlight loan Rodin: rethinking the fragment and the first major solo exhibition of London-based artist Daniel Silver, supported by the Henry Moore Foundation. I’ve created the marketing graphics for these too - and I’m really happy with how they turned out within the overall Sculpture in Focus identity.

The Season Launch of the Sculpture programme is on Thursday 7 February, 6-8pm. Sarah Taylor Silverwood (part of the Women Power Protest zine I wrote about in my last post) has a solo show (4th floor), opening same night.

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Image: Auguste Rodin, The Thinker, 1880-81, The Burrell Collection © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

Image: Auguste Rodin, The Thinker, 1880-81, The Burrell Collection © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

Image: Daniel Silver, Peter, 2018, Courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London

Image: Daniel Silver, Peter, 2018, Courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London

Women Power Protest - zine

Close up details from the WOMEN POWER PROTEST zine for Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery & Arts Council Collections’ partner exhibition, exhibition and zine curated by Emalee Beddoes-Davis and zine project managed by Helen Waite.

Inspired by the bold work of feminist artists, this zine celebrates women’s activism, research and creativity in Birmingham. It includes artwork by Sarah Taylor Silverwood and Baljinder Kaur, poetry by Amerah Saleh and Jasmine Gardosi as well as an essay by Dr Nicola Gauld about the Brummie Suffragette Bertha Ryland.

Printed so beautifully by The Holodeck - it has a glorious holographic hot-foiled cover which no photo I take will do justice of!

This zine is available at the Gas Hall main desk & in the BMAG shop on Level 2.

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