Jenny and Pete are building a portable Camera Obscura for Birmingham and need your help to make it happen AMAZING.

There are camera obscuras all around the world but not in Birmingham – the second biggest city in the UK. We want to fix that.

We have a five-year plan to build lots of camera obscuras in the city.

To start that process we built a portable prototype out of random stuff, which we took out in Birmingham to see what people thought. They liked it a lot!

Now we want to make a better camera with more features, one that will be a lasting resource for Birmingham and for people to learn about this simple machine that is the forefather of the modern camera.

I experienced their prototype Camera Obscura live in action at Warwick Bar Summer Fete earlier this year and thought it was fascinating. To have a sturdier, permanent Camera Obscura in Birmingham would be a huge asset to the city.

The process is very simple but the effect is strangely magical. Seeing the world projected onto a flat surface while inside the machine itself is a delightful experience which never fails to bring a smile.


They’ve reached their kickstarter target, but have launched a series of stretch goals that could help make the Camera Obscura even better. Take a look at their kickstarter to read more about (and back) the project.

Recently discovered Indent – “a curatorial project based in Birmingham that is coming to a venue near you.”

Here’s their first event:


Indent invites you to join us in a drawing workshop where we will be exploring fragility and the positive effects of limitations. All materials will be provided although we encourage you to bring along one other material of your choice. The artwork produced will be made into a zine and exhibited at a later date.

They tweet: @indent__


Guest post by Lara Shingles / Inkygoodness:


After weeks of sifting through a dizzying collection of submissons, we’re delighted to announce the winners of Inkygoodness & Created in Birmingham’s Glug Birmingham Poster Competition – Louise Byng and Laurie Ramsell.

A fun, playful and inventive competition entry, the creative pair ticked all our boxes with their playful DIY aesthetic.

We received some fantastic entries, but Louise and Laurie’s design was unlike anything else! Their clever interpretation of the theme makes great use of the limited colour palette, whilst combining hand made and digital image-making to produce a fun and playful design that really stands out.

– Lisa Hassell, Director of Inkygoodness

Louise and Laurie took inspiration from Birmingham’s cultural and economic landscape for their winning design: “How [Birmingham] looks now; what it is becoming known for; and how that may have shifted since the original crest was conceived. With start-up companies and innovative independents now a huge driver for the city’s contemporary status, says Louise.

We approached the design as a collaborative project, recreating the City of Birmingham’s crest physically and applying its dual representation of arts and industry to the creative sector. Our reworked motif depicts creativity as a personal expression and philosophy, but also a trade and a craft – something that resonates with Birmingham’s values and rich history as a city.


The assemblage itself is low-fi and involved bringing together cardboard, staples and paint into a photographic set-up, keeping much of the construction visible in order to share this with the audience, encouraging a playful DIY approach to design rather than hiding the process away.” continues Louise.

It was a lot of fun to make, and as artists in the early stages of our careers it’s great to be recognised by glug in our home city; to share our impression of Birmingham with a wider audience.

The creative pair are now in the throes of preparing a short presentation to join our Glug speakers on stage to share the process behind creating their winning artwork. 2nd prize goes to illustrator William Wright who designed this snazzy pencil design. William receives a goodie bag of art prints and illustrated zines, plus a pair of tickets to attend Glug Brum on Thursday evening!


Our shortlist includes 23 artworks hand picked from our entries earlier this week. Selected exhibiting artists are (in no particular order): Ian Aparici, Scott Williams, Sophie Kozlowski, Adam Moore, Ngu Ngok Chin, James Baldry, Jenny Sjodin, Bethany Raistrick, Georgia Fenton, Chantal Caduff, Rhiannon Sanderson, Súa Agapé, Fiona Hall, Mouni Feddag, Katie Tomlinson, Lesley Imgart, Jimmy Rogers, Amy Kilner, Liam Anslow, Daniel O’Brien, Raj Dhunna, Nick Tyler, Adam Corns & Graham Johnson.

Attendees will get the opportunity to pick up their favourite Glug Poster design as a limited edition print courtesy of our exhibition sponsors Ripe Digital – priced at £15 each.

We’d like to thank everyone for taking part in our first Glug Birmingham competition – we received over 100 entries and selecting our shortlist was a (fun) challenge. We hope you can join us on Thursday evening.

More Notworking than Networking™

Glug Birmingham will launch on Thursday 20th November at Boxxed in Digbeth, Birmingham. Early bird tickets £7.50 / Standard tickets £10 – available via eventbrite. http://www.glug-birmingham.eventbrite.co.uk. Visit http://www.glugevents.com for full details.

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Here’s a quickfire round-up of activities at our Glug Birmingham event with Inkygoodness next Thursday 20th November at Boxxed. Tickets available on eventbrite, standard tickets priced £10.

Inkygoodness & Created in Birmingham present ‘Midland Masters’ – a series of three events featuring talks by local designers, illustrators and creative studios celebrating the creative talent of the Midlands and beyond, in association with Glug.

For the second edition of Glug Birmingham our focus turns to illustration and character design, presenting an evening of talks by leading artists and collectives at Digbeth warehouse venue Boxxed.


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  • GET A GRIP and Glug Birmingham are giving you the opportunity to print your own t-shirt using GAG’s pro printing equipment, all with waterbased inks on premium organic cotton tees. Come prepared to get inky.
  • Momiji BIG IDEAS Doodle Wall – To celebrate the launch of their brand new giant-sized Momiji doll you’re invited to write or illustrate your own ‘LIVE BOLDLY‘ mantra on their giant canvas. There will also be a chance to win one of 25 dolls. PLUS find out how you could become one of Momiji’s guest designers and have your character design turned into a real Momiji product.
  • Live Drawing from BEARD, Worcester-based Design, Illustration and Development agency!


Colourful prints, originals, handmade jewellery and products by some of the region’s illustrators and designer-makers including:


Young professionals, students and graduates are invited to take part in our Glug Birmingham exhibition – deadline midnight Sunday 16th Nov – 25x of these entries will be displayed at Boxxed and available to purchase, with all profits going back to the artists themselves.  More info / entry guidelines here.


Grab your tea from Birmingham’s best street food vendors – situated outside in the Boxxed Courtyard.

  • Big Daddies Diner – Gourmet hotdogs & burgers, served with homemade slaws and sauces using only the freshest of ingredients, locally sourced where possible. Vegetarian options available.
  • Esmie’s Seafood Kitchen – Esmie’s Seafood Kitchen does exactly what it says but with a Caribbean twist! Prawns, mussels, scallops, sea bass, lobster, salmon served with Esmie’s special caribbean spicy sauce, fried dumplings stuffed with the seafood and salad, wrapped in nan, roti or flat bread or topped with steaming rice or pasta. On cold nights expect warming seafood chowder with crusty bread. Delicious!

Free Stuff


  • Exclusive ‘You Are a Work of Art’ three colour screenprint poster designed by Simon Peplow, FREE for the first 100 ticket holders through the door (kindly printed by Whiteduck Screenprint)
  • £3 Droplet voucher for each glug attendee! Paying with Droplet? Get a pint for a pound!

 Get Your Tickets

Our last glug event (way back in August) was a sell out, don’t miss out and get your tickets in advance on eventbrite here! Standard Tickets £10.  It’s sure to be a good night.

See you there!


bomThis week a new space for art, technology and science opens in Birmingham city centre. Located just round the corner from the Electric Cinema, BOM (Birmingham Open Media) will include a gallery, co-working and creative spaces, open studios, wetlab and cafe.

The launch night takes place on Friday from 6pm with the opening of their inagural show Chaos Computer Club and part presented by 8-Bit Lounge, featuring a special guest performance by the trip-inducing Ceephax Acid Crew.

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From Thursday – Sunday this week, Shout Festival celebrates queer arts and culture with a long weekend of theatre, performances, workshops and exciting activities throughout the city. This is Shout’s sixth year of bringing the best in LGBT arts to Birmingham.

The festival kicks off at mac Birmingham with Fierce & Fabulous, a high energy gay comedy cabaret extravaganza hosted by comedians Dana Alexander (Russell Howard’s Good News).

At the REP, festival goers can experience a theatre double bill of Only On Sundays and Dorothy Towers – where a group of LGBT residents from the city centre tower blocks known as Dorothy Towers share their memories of LGBT life in Birmingham.

Shout takes over Library of Birmingham for a whole Saturday with poetry and musical performances, theatre, literary discussions and workshops. This includes the day long performance Love Letters & Lehman Brothers by Brian Lobel, where Brian splices together words of the 2000-page Lehman Brothers Examination Report (which Brian’s boyfriend Grant wrote shortly before his death) to recreate emailed love letters written between Grant and Brian from 2005-2006.

Literary lovers can attend London’s award-winning LGBT literary salon Polari at mac Birmingham, a Polari Writers Workshop at the Birmingham LGBT, a Bards & Books panel discussion at Library of Birmingham and a performance by artist Tom Marshman about hiding yourself in a good book.

The weekend closes with MY Comedy night at Eden in Birmingham’s Southside, starring the hilarious Barbara Nice (“Imagine a hybrid between Mrs. Merton and Victoria Wood” – The Times).

For more information and event times visit the Shout website.

Eye Candy Festival



Eye Candy Festival kicks off this week, celebrating the best of visual pop culture, and bringing world-class pop artists, illustrators, photographers and designers to Digbeth.

The free festival will feature one-off installations, street art, workshops, talks and performance. Artists include Daisy de Villeneuve, who will lead an illustration masterclass; Paris-based artist Fafi, Miss Led and Anna Garforth, who created a stunning wooden Geo-Fox for Eye Candy 2013.


Visitors can witness the creation of a large-scale mural over two days by Brothers of the Stripe, an all-male collective of illustrators and image makers. There will also be plenty of opportunities to produce your own work with screen printing and photography workshops as well as talks and interventions.

Most of Eye Candy 2014 will take place at Boxxed. Additional activities will take place around Southside. The festival takes place from Thursday 13 – Saturday 15 November 2014.


My Route is Sampad’s HLF-funded community heritage project documenting the post-war history of the area along the Stratford Road. Working with local residents between Sparkbrook and Hall Green, My Route is identifying how the population, landscape and culture has changed and developed over the years, with the settlement and migration of new communities along the road.

In partnership with Birmingham Archives, My Route will deliver training for volunteers, allowing them to develop new skills in heritage research. Members of the public can enjoy a series of free arts and cultural activities, and people of all ages will be able to gain access to several unique resources created during the project, including a new archive about the history of the road.

My Route is working with local residents and communities to document the changes in the area, by collecting oral histories, archival data and public donations. The findings will be exhibited next summer in electronic and print forms, before being archived in the Library of Birmingham.

For more information about the project, and how you can take part, visit My Route’s website.

They’re also on twitter & facebook too.