6 Oct 2017

Whitworth Wallis Artist in Residence Blog 2017 – Week Three

Week three of the residency at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery followed the continuation of the previous week’s data collecting and reflection. 

Building up the material in the studio space is proving useful, while also helping to grab the curiosity of any visitors passing through Gallery 15. Having a constant open studio exposes our research and development to the general public, a completely different dynamic to how we’ve worked before, yet you can see through their inquisitiveness that there is an interest there. That the narrative we are putting forward is beginning to grab the viewer’ attention, which in turn is pushing developments quickly as we begin to focus on final ideas. It has become a key element that is supporting our progress and process. Read More...

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29 Sep 2017

The making of a people’s museum – one gallery space at a time

Museums are a treasure chest, a hoard of objects brimming with multi-layered histories. 

Behind the glass panes of illuminated cases or hanging in frames in perfectly measured mathematical rows are collections that draw local art appreciators, inquisitive explorers and accidental walk-through the door-ers. Whether they’ve come to see the galleries housing the ancient Egyptian or the Modern European, the items in a museum exist as portals to the past; key holders to the personal stories of its makers, thinkers, creators and contributors. True, the modern age of technology has its own place in art galleries, providing an alternative expression of a concept or reflection on our current world, even allowing for online access to collections. But what about the tangible collections and objects not seen by the public eye, the ones that aren’t currently in the cases or on the walls? Read More...

28 Sep 2017

Beer with the Incas: a 500 year old Kero from Peru

Tucked away on the back staircase of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is a fascinating selection of ancient Peruvian artefacts which are part of a larger collection of items from the Ancient Americas. The particular object I would like to focus on is a wooden kero with incised and lacquered decoration.

A kero is a drinking vessel without handles that is wider at the top than at the base, gently curving upwards and outwards in a trumpet-like fashion. Keros were made by Andean cultures before and during Inca rule (1438 – 1532), and they continued being produced after the time of Spanish conquest. Read More...

19 Sep 2017

Volunteering with Birmingham Manufactures

Three hundred words (or so) on our week as Summer Research Assistants for the Birmingham Manufacturers Project.

Armed with subject files of photographs, a scanner, and an Apple Mac we set to work to see what exactly you could learn in just a week on the project.  Read More...

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14 Sep 2017

Remember a Charity Week: Stanley Sellers’ Legacy

As part of Remember a Charity Week, we are celebrating some of the amazing, generous gifts in Wills which have been left to Birmingham Museums by supporters. Whether it’s helping us conserve the collection or educate and engage people of all ages, gifts in wills can have a significant impact on our charity.

If you have visited the Museum & Art Gallery, you will almost certainly have seen the display of 20th-century British studio ceramics, which were collected by Birmingham-born Stanley Sellers (1933-2013) who worked as an architect in the city for more than 30 years. Read More...

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31 Aug 2017

Whitworth Wallis Artist in Residence Blog 2017 – Week Two

The studio, Gallery 15, is quickly becoming a hive for creativity and discussion. Now open almost constantly to the public, it is evident that our initial research and place within the museum’s collection are beginning to gain momentum. Ideas are flowing and documentation of the space is really feeding into that. The beginning of the week involved layering up that documentation and research, building a foundation from which we will continue our investigation, the hidden collection of Birmingham’s museum and art gallery. We decided to use the studio space as a ‘live’ sketchbook, one constantly in flux with movement. 


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29 Aug 2017

A Queer day indeed

Working in community engagement with arts, poignant and moving are words I encounter quite a bit. They more than aptly describe my day in Liverpool to have a preview of the latest exhibition “Coming Out”.


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23 Aug 2017

Collecting Paradise: Memories of Birmingham Central Library

In June, Birmingham Museum’s Collecting Birmingham Team met in the lounge of the Wellington Pub to collect memories of Birmingham city centre’s now demolished Paradise Forum complex, including the iconic Central Library.

The event was publicised through social media and by specifically contacting those with a particular interest in the building. Part of the evening involved reflection on memories of the library, as well as asking attendees’ opinions on two objects from the library that the museum was looking to acquire. Read More...

18 Aug 2017

Whitworth Wallis Artist in Residence Blog 2017 – Week One

The scene is set. Gallery 15 of the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery will be the base for our next four weeks as Whitworth Wallis Artists in Residence, becoming the pinpoint of our research and development, embedded within the amazing collections that will surround us. As Artists in Residence, a wording that is full of potential and possibility, we began the week becoming accustomed to the interior spaces and meeting the staff members who run it. After briefings on fire, health & safety and technical procedures we set up our working space, soon to be filled with ideas, research and investigation. A setting of our new collaborative practice, working together for the first time.

The studio is located in the middle of the museum, squeezed between Edward Burne-Jones and the 18th & 19th Century Art exhibitions, an ideal central space that will become a hub for activity and experimentation, open to the public through its two pairs of large and beautiful doors. Its ambience drove us to document the space. Read More...

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17 Aug 2017

Destination Moon

We currently have Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon on display until Sunday 20th August which has been incredible popular with visitors. I’ve enjoyed providing our audiences with amazing moon facts and decided to share a blog with everybody too, so why not have a read? 

Before the Moon facts let me share some info with you on Museum of the Moon. Read More...