Author Archive

The Metabolic Landscape

When: until Saturday 8th November 2014
Where: Parkside Campus, Birmingham City University, Curzon Street, Digbeth, B4 7RD

Humankind’s search for more powerful sources of energy to sustain an urbanising existence has created an energy transition that, while hugely beneficial to human existence, is now being identified as a source of harm.

The Metabolic Landscape is a new book exploring the disciplines of art, science and philosophy to picture and interpret the planet’s current state of ‘metabolic distress’.

An exhibition designed to complement the book hopes to enquire on the world’s energy dynamics. The collective effort of Dr. Geof Rayner, photographer Gina Glover and artist Jessica Rayner, The Metabolic Landscape is now on show at the BCU Parkside Campus near Millennium Point.

Using photography, video, 3D sculptures and traditional prints, the artists examine how we use energy substances such as coal, oil, minerals gas and the sun.

Please see the Birmingham Eastside blog for more information.

Flicker Skitter Stumble

When: Saturday 18th October, 12:00-16:00
Where: A3 Project Space, Unit A3, 2 Bowyer Street, Digbeth, B10 0SA

The West Midlands has made some important contributions to the development of moving image – both the kaleidoscope and the flipbook were patented and manufactured in Birmingham.

Using this fact as a starting point, artists Stephen Snell and Steven Chamberlain, also known as Sellotape Cinema, will hold a workshop at A3 Project Space on Saturday to create a series of exquisite collisions with the residents of Digbeth and Bordesley.

See it…Stick it…Show it

Sellotape Cinema create films worked directly onto sticky tape and played through a specially adapted projector, so the resulting films hand-made can be seen immediately.

For more information, visit the A3 Project Space website.

October Antiques & Vintage Bazaar

When: Saturday 18 October, 10:00-16:00
Where: The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B4 9AA

It’s that time again! The Antiques and Vintage Bazaar returns to the Custard Factory this week.

Step back in time with a very vintage day in Digbeth – from clothing to china, glassware to jewellery, artwork to silver, handbags to hats, there is something for everyone at the bazaar. Shopping can be thirsty work, so refreshments will be available on site in the form of the Ready Maids pop up tea room, along with Custard Factory residents Yumm Café and Alfie Birds.

If you can’t make it this time, never fear, the completely free event will return to Digbeth again for a special Christmas outing on Saturday 13 December!

For more information, click here to visit the B2B website, or call 01636 676 531.

Who’s looking over your shoulder?

A number of incidents have been reported recently where people have had their wallets stolen after thieves saw them enter their PIN when paying for drinks. Digbeth Police are therefore warning revellers to be vigilant and make sure nobody is looking over your shoulder when you pay with your card.

Known as ‘shoulder surfing’, officers are currently investigating a number of offences which have taken place across the city. It is believed that the thefts are being carried out by groups of individuals who wait for an opportunity to steal a target’s wallet and bank cards after they have seen a PIN used.

This video shows just how quickly pickpockets can steal your wallet from your bag; see how the man in the white hoody with the backpack casually sits next to the woman before reaching into her handbag.

For more information about shoulder surfing, visit the West Midlands Police website.

Hidden Talents

When: Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd November 2014
Where: The Arches Project, Adderley Street, Digbeth, B9 4EE

The Arches Project was founded to actively support and encourage the natural creative talent of individuals with a passion for the arts. As such, they will be holding a fine art exhibition showcasing a variety of work – in both size and medium – entitled Hidden Talents in November.

The curators are looking to collect submissions from emerging and established artists. If you would like to submit your work to be exhibited, visit The Arches Project website for more information.

The deadline for submissions is 17:00 this Friday 17th October.

Good luck!

Abigail Borg

Abigail Borg is an artist who hand draws and designs intricate patterns for wallpapers, fabrics and interior accessories, and since this summer, is now a Digbeth resident.

I moved into a studio at The Custard Factory at the start of August, and really appreciate the creative, inspiring environment around me. Already I’ve got to meet lots of other designers, artists and people carving out their own creative path, which is something I really admire.

Abigail’s work is stocked all over the world, and one of her designs was awarded a British Design Award by Elle Decoration for ‘Best British Pattern Design’. Having had a look at her work, it’s no surprise really – I’d describe her style as timeless and elegant, taking cues from the natural world.

Alongside producing her own range of products, Abigail is also a freelance illustrator and pattern designer, and has a long list of distinguished clients, including Laura Ashley, Johnson & Johnson, Crabtree & Evelyn, Kew Gardens and Zizzi Restaurants.

Passionate about keeping the production and manufacture of her products as local as possible, since moving to the neighbourhood, Abigail has been in touch with a Digbeth-based social enterprise specialising in soft furnishings production. She also uses a talented seamstress on the same floor in the Custard Factory – and you can’t get much more local than that!

For more information about Abigail, and to see some of her designs, visit her website, or follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Digbeth Community Garden – October 2014 Newsletter

Plans for Digbeth

Birmingham City Council has made some important decisions regarding the future of Digbeth recently, with development plans for currently unused buildings being approved.

Harrison Drape

An application for the refurbishment, conversion and extension of the former Harrison Drape building on Bradford Street has been accepted. The new development will include a total of 313 residential dwellings, along with a retail opportunity.

If built, the developers will contribute £252,956 towards public realm improvements in Digbeth, such as improved street lighting, way finding and landscaping of public space. For more information about the development, click here to see the planning application, or here to see the plans for the site.

Ladbrooke House

Developers has initially hoped to turn Ladbrooke House on the corner of Bordesley Street and Meriden Street into a hotel. However, a new application now includes a banqueting suite in the basement, along with a four-storey, 51-bedroom hotel with a swimming pool, gym, spa and 25 parking spaces.

Click here to see the the planning application in full.

I for one hope that these projects do go ahead, as the redevelopment of fallow buildings (providing it is done sympathetically) can only benefit Digbeth. As far as we’re aware, plans have not yet been submitted for the recently cleared Connaught Sqaure site, but we will keep readers up to date with any changes.

Whittingham & Baché

When: Saturday 18th October, 20:00-02:00
Where: The Old Library, Custard Factory, Digbeth, B9 4AA

Whittingham & Baché are Maurice Whittingham and Stuart Baché – two designers who have recently joined forces to produce couture menswear.

Based in Birmingham, and having previously worked for Francesco Group, the pair are starting to make waves in the world of menswear having designed garments for Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell.

They hope to showcase an eclectic fusion of creativity, fashion, art, ceramics, dance live music and DJs at the launch of their autumn/winter 2015 catwalk collection, called Against the Grain, later this month at the Old Library.

For more information, see the invite below, visit the Whittingham & Baché website, or RSVP directly by email here.

Halloween at the Giant Screen

When: Friday 31 October, 19:00–23:50
Where: The Giant Screen at Millennium Point, Howe Street, B4 7AP
Tickets: from £10 (available online)

Halloween falls on a Friday this year, so why not spend it in a classic 80s style (and escape the trick or treaters) by hiding out in the cinema with a film double-bill?

The original Ghostbusters film celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, so the Giant Screen have decided to show the re-mastered 4K anniversary edition, immediately followed by Ghostbusters 2!

Revellers will be joined by The UK Ghostbusters, a costuming group, so if there is something strange in the neighbourhood on the night, you won’t need to call anyone, as they’ll be ready and waiting with their proton packs.

For more information and to procure yourself a ticket, click here to visit the Facebook event page.