We Are The Loft Bham

‘We are The Loft Birmingham’ is a celebration of the work and achievements of The Loft, marking the conclusion of a six month residency on Priory Walk as a pilot project in a pop-up in retail space.

This will be the last exhibition at The Loft and it features a selection of past work from new/emerging West Midlands based artists ‘taking a trip down memory lane’ with highlights of previously exhibited work at The Loft.

For more information visit their website, twitter or facebook.

The exhibition launches Saturday 2nd August – 2pm – 7pm.


Birmingham Literature Festival returns later this year for ten days of high quality literature events, conversations and activities. Festival events already on sale include:

They’re currently looking for volunteers to work on the festival:

What they are looking for:

People who are passionate about literature of any kind, who are confident working in a team (sometimes under pressure or at a relatively fast pace) and people who have initiative and drive. They don’t mind whether you have previous voluntary experience, how old you are (as long as you are over the age of 18 by 1 October 2014) or whether you have any qualifications in English or creative writing.

There are several opportunities available:

Event Stewards –includes ushering & making sure audience members know where to go, assisting where necessary with set-up and the breakdown of events, assisting with catering and looking after writers and speakers (where necessary).

Event Runners –includes assisting with the logistics and production of events, moving props and books between venues and meeting writers and speakers at train station/car park/hotel and showing them to their events.

Photo & Videoing Assistants – photographing and videoing the events to create podcasts/a digital record of the Festival.

Ticket and Book Sales Assistants – assisting with the book sales for each event and ticket sales where necessary.

For more information please visit the Birmingham Literature Festival website.

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I CHOOSE Birmingham



Back in October last year, we wrote about a brand new newsletter hitting inboxes across Birmingham. Since then, ICHOOS Birmingham has gone through a facelift courtesy of Claire Hartley, and now the weekly publication is known as I CHOOSE Birmingham.

After a short publishing break I CHOOSE Birmingham returns to subscribers inboxes this Friday. The free e-magazine highlights the very best things to do in and around Brum and includes restaurants, exhibitions, galleries events and much more.

It’s the creation of Tom Cullen the multi award-winning former editor of ShortList.com. It’s now almost 50 issues old and boasts over 3,000 subscribers across the city.

You can subscribe and read previous issues at www.ichoosebirmingham.com

Warwick Bar Fete



The Warwick Bar Fete returns for its third edition this weekend, at a time when the area is going from strength to strength.

This year there will be a bit of a bicycle theme, with Vivid Projects showing a series of bike powered art experiments and holding a bike tea salon. The fete will also see the return of the Bicycle Basket Bazaar (last seen at Flatpack 2013). An array of retailers will be cramming their wares into bike-baskets and pannier-racks – as well vendors selling handmade and homemade goods and vintage wares.

Grand Union, Stryx, Edible Eastside, Harris Moore Canvases, RoguePlay Theatre and Centrala (Polish Expats Association’s new space) will also be open with programmes packed with workshops and activities for budding gardeners, filmmakers, painters and dancers, as well as exhibitions, film screenings, acoustic music and aerial acrobatic performances.

The full schedule for the day can be found on the Warwick Bar website.

WERK_LyonCallOut_ Flyer01

Fête des Lumières de Lyon and WERK have put out a call out for an artist or organisation based in Birmingham to produce one or multiple Monumental Light Objects (meaning a light object which will need to reach between approximately 4 to 7 metres high to ensure visibility for the visitors), for a key central location in Lyon during the Festival of Lights event from 5th to 8th December 2014 and with the opportunity to exhibit the work within the Longbridge Light Festival in 2015, if considered appropriate by WERK.

This Call Out is open to any individual artist, collective, collaboration, organisation, lighting designer, lighting engineer, cinematographer, set designer, designer, graphic designer, filmmaker, architect, artist and scientist but the individual or group must include a lighting or projected image professional, as well as a management role to produce the installation. The co-commissioners are seeking proposals for the conception with a maximum budget of 15,000 Euros (including VAT).

For full information on the Call Out, please email Sophia Tarr WERK Project Manaer: sophiatarr@gmail.com or alternatively see here.  Deadline for applications is August 8th 12 noon.

The Swimmers 3. Credit Attilio Fiumarella

The beautiful Moseley Road Baths was one of the first public facilities built in Balsall Heath. Next year Birmingham City Council intend to close the Baths permanently, following the opening of a new sports facility.

To highlight the plight of the pool, Birmingham-based photographer Attilio Fiumarella is looking for 100 swimmers from across Birmingham to take part in a one-off photo event on Sunday 20 July. The 100 Swimmers will see the Gala Pool filled with swimmers, photography fans, heritage enthusiasts and community supporters captured in a final powerful and thought-provoking image, emulating the famous Terracotta Army sculpture of Ancient China. The images will also complete a community photographic project entitled The Swimmers.

Attilio Fiumarella is a recipient of the first Some Cities bursary scheme. He has been working to document and celebrate the under-threat Grade-II Moseley Road Baths building over the past few months.

If you are interested in taking part or would like more information, email the100swimmers@gmail.com


Late last week I caught up with Ben Waddington, Director of Still Walking, and we chatted about some of the upcoming events for this month’s festival. It’s going to be the fifth edition of Still Walking, and by the 3rd August when the festival ends, it will have been Ben’s fourth Still Walking Festival in 12 months.

At the time of writing, the Still Walking programme has only been online for 24 hours and already several of the events have sold out. Including Birmingham Boscage, featured in my ‘top picks’ below (crossing my fingers and toes for a re-run of this one.)

The festival is spread across the two last weekends of July, packed with walks, tours and gatherings. For this edition, festival-goers can run, cycle and – of course, walk – around the city and see Birmingham in a new light.

Curious minds looking to experience something new can book onto events which include a cinematic run through city woodland at twilight, a cycling tour of Birmingham’s lost cinemas, a tour with promoter Dave Travis of 1980s alternative music haunts, an exploration of Ikon Gallery’s humble origins, and an attempt to get purposefully lost in the city’s ever changing landscape.

Below are a few of my top picks.

For the full programme please see www.stillwalking.org. They tweet too, if you’d like to keep up to date with their happenings @StillWalkers

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Great news from Oliver Jones, Digbeth-based chalk and pastel photorealistic artist.

Oliver who is based at, and also co-founder of Digbeth studio A3 Project Space, will be exhibiting Love the Skin You’re In, at Gusford, Los Angeles, later this year.

Oliver Jones was born in Shropshire, UK in 1985. He currently lives and works in Birmingham, UK, where he graduated from the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design in 2008. Shortly after graduation, Jones was the winner of the Best of UK competition at SaLon Gallery, London, earning a place in the UK’s Future Greats show. His work was selected for the 2009 and 2010 Threadneedle Prize exhibitions in London, and featured in the BBC2 show Show Me the Monet in 2012. Most recently, Jones’ work was shown in the group exhibitions Self at Mall Galleries, London and Future Flesh at Gallery 223, London.

The Birmingham post ran a great article on Oliver recently – which is worth a read to find out more about Oliver’s process.

Oliver’s websiteA3 Project Space

On a side note, I really like Concrete Urban Hello’s photos at A3 Projects taken at the last Digbeth First Friday