We’re still here !

Hello all just wanted to let you know that Kalaboration is still here, having completed delivery of projects under the London 2012 – Jamaica 50 banner. Remember the Olympics and Jamaica 50? Seems like a long time ago, but very rewarding in terms of the commissions, discussions, exhibitions, workshops, launches and other activities we took part in. So a big thank you to everyone that contributed to making it such a success. We are now at the stage of developing new ideas for 2013 onwards and will keep you informed as things transpire. I am sure you will understand that we can not announce anything until funds etc are in place to do so. So in the mean time we will aim to keep you abreast of what’s happening.

A Short Sprint

Keith Piper has produced an artist publication to accompany the installation that took place in 2012 as part of the Kalaboration artist commissions. A Short Sprint examines the political path taken by the island of Jamaica since independence, using the metaphor of a “sprint”. The publication provides a detailed insight of the history of Jamaica, its, heritage from slavery, emancipation through colonialism to eventual independence, juxtaposed with the islands development in the world of athletics and the prowess of its sprint athletes on the world stage. This is a great read for anyone who was unable to visit the installation as it provides stills, text and images of the gallery and installation in-situ.

As Seen

Tiwani Contemporary is currently hosting Barbara Walker’s first major solo exhibition in London. This exhibition will present new large-scale drawings as well as existing work depicting ‘unidentifiable’ males. Executed with charcoal and graphite, these portraits raise questions about societal constructs and examine how identity has come to be understood as an accumulation of images and cultural representations. As Seen captures nuances of Walker’s practice in the way she selects, interrogates and scrutinizes anonymous male identities in her native city of Birmingham and as well as abroad. Walker’s work is largely informed by her observations of life in urban landscapes and her commitment to giving voice to the anonymous young men she observes, as seen in Dinkies, 2012, – a Soweto born visual artist that Walker met in 2008 whilst on residency at leading visual arts organisation The Bag Factory, in Johannesburg.

Walker’s portraits indirectly reference writer Malcolm Bernard’s book Fashion as Communication, in which he asserts that “fashion and clothing are ways in which inequalities of social and economic status are made to appear right and legitimate and therefore acceptable.” Using clothing and hairstyles of black males as her starting point, this ongoing body of work allows the viewer to consider alternate spheres in which identities are formed.

Her work is also of a personal nature and shaped by her own experiences with raising her son Solomon. As Seen also includes works from the series titled Louder Than Words. The artwork My Song, 2006 is inspired by the stop and search procedures experienced by her son by the West Midlands Police.

Working primarily in drawing and painting, Barbara Walker’s practice touches on class and themes of representation, power and belonging; exploring how social and political realities manifest through cultural praxis and underpin the contemporary society around us.

About the Artist:
Barbara Walker studied at the University of Central England in the 1990s, gaining a first class honors degree in Art and Design. Her work has been included in a number of international exhibitions and she has also presented solo national shows of her drawings and paintings. Recent exhibitions include: Deptford X, London (2012) Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne (2012), The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall (2011), New Art Exchange, Nottingham (2010) East International 09, Norwich (2009),Vane Contemporary, Newcastle upon Tyne (2009), The Bag Factory, Johannesburg (2008), Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham (2008). Her work is in private collections: Birmingham Collective, UK, The Usher Gallery, Lincoln, UK and in several private collections in South Africa, UK and the US. Barbara Walker lives in Birmingham.

Tiwani Contemporary cordially invites you to join them at the opening on:

31 January from 7:00pm-9:00pm
Tiwani Contemporary
16 Little Portland Street | W1W 8BP
T:  +44(0) 207 631 3808 | Directions (Oxford Circus tube)

As Seen will run from 1 February – 23 March 2013 at Tiwani Contemporary.

Vivid Projects

Vivid Projects confirms the launch of a new art space in Warwick Bar, part of the Eastside/Digbeth creative quarter in Birmingham, UK, on 22 February 2013.

This new agency led by the curatorial team behind ‘VIVID’ has been awarded a crucial grant from Arts Council England to boost a two year programme of work in Birmingham.

The opening multi-media season 33 REVOLUTIONS will be a dynamic and sometimes challenging 8-month programme that asks the question; can art and culture be a catalyst for social change? Thought provoking encounters between new works and archive from 1960s to the present  addresses the ways in which film makers and artists from a diverse range of cultural situations and societies have protested.

33 REVOLUTIONS takes the audience on a journey through film, print, performance and song, celebrating personal acts of protest and resistance from the dance floors of 70’s NYC to the anti-institutional spirit of 1960s – 70s Britain right up to the simmering Arab Spring and Occupy!.

Director of Vivid Projects, Yasmeen Baig-Clifford says: ‘We will be bringing work from film makers, activists and artists from a diverse range of cultural situations spanning the US, UK, the Middle East and Asia, right to the heart of Birmingham.

Professor Roger Shannon, Board of Directors, Vivid Projects: “Following a challenging period of structural development in a difficult economic climate, this development is a fantastic boost for the new agency. We thank Arts Council England for their investment in us.”

33 REVOLUTIONS runs from February – September 2013 and launches with Revolution 01, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, How Long Will They Last?” at 7pm, Friday 22 February 2013.

For more information on the opening season #33revs follow us on Twitter at VIVID_ and www.facebook.com/VIVIDbham. Press enquiries should be sent to laura@vividprojects.org.uk and interview requests to yasmeen@vividprojects.org.uk.

New Art West Midlands

Turning Point West Midlands is pleased to announce the launch of New Art West Midlands (NAWM) is a new platform to showcase work by selected art graduates and is a partnership between TPWM, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, The Barber Institute, Grand Union, and Birmingham City University, Coventry University, Staffordshire University, University of Wolverhampton and University of Worcester.

The exhibition takes place across 3 venues:

  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery - 15 February – 19 May 2013
  • The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham - 8 March – 19 May 2013
  • Grand Union, Birmingham - 15 February – 16 March 2013

NAWM is a major development for the TPWM network, providing a significant opportunity for artists to show work across these reputable institutions at a crucial time in their development.

A catalogue has been produced to accompany the exhibition and includes essays by independent curator Rachel Bradley and Lisa Beauchamp, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, and by the three selectors, Lynda Morris, Jeremy Millar, and Keith Piper.

Information on other TPWM Projects can be found at:



That’s all for now will be back with more information soon.

Kalaborate: Sharing Day

For 6 weeks RoguePlay Theatre, in partnership with The Drum Arts Centre, BCU and BIAD have been delivering FREE Circus, Capoeira and Drama workshops for young people ages 8-19 years. Alongside this, a group of young people have been documenting the workshops through visual arts.

On Monday 3rd December you can come and see what they have been up to at the Kalaborate showcase! The young people will present performances they been working on, alongside an exhibition of their visual art. Come and support the exciting work that these talented young people have created!

Where? The Drum Arts Theatre, 144 Potters Lane  Aston, Birmingham, B6 4UU

When? Monday 3rd December 2012

Time? 4.30– 6:30pm

RSVP by emailing info@rogueplay.co.uk or call 07746 327284

Jobs, Opportunities and Updates

Exhibitions we feel you should see:

Rashid Johnson: ‘Shelter’ South London Gallery, Free, running until 25th November.
‘For his first solo exhibition in London, New York-based artist Rashid Johnson presents an entirely new body of work in the South London Gallery’s main space. Inspired by the idea of an imagined society in which psychotherapy is a freely available drop-in service, Johnson’s installation of large-scale paintings, hanging plants, Persian rugs and four wooden day beds questions established definitions of the art object and its limitations, as well as the relationship between individual and shared cultural experience.’

Vanley Burke, Bob Shipman & Bob Treadwell: ‘Reflections on ‘The Gambia” Mon 12 – 30th November, Park View Gallery, 70 Vicarage Rd, Kings Heath (no website yet).


Social Fabric: Sally Harper works with local Kings Heath residents over 8 weeks, to represent the local community in textiles.

Hello Culture 2012: Transforming Culture Through Digital, Thursday 22nd – Friday 23rd November, Gibb Street
‘Join some of the country’s leading cultural and digital minds as they explore digital transformation as a way for organisations to produce, interact, create, curate and engage with cultural experiences.’

Loads of opportunities via Turning Point WM:

Art Book and Zine Fair, 12:00pm – 4:00pm, Saturday 24 November, The New Art Gallery Walsall featuring artists Lucy McLaughlin, Adam Gale and Emma Richardson.

Mercurial Dance is looking for a digital artist closing date Friday 30th November:
‘Mercurial Dance is seeking expressions of interest from experienced Digital Artists: Coders, Geeks or Technical Wizards for a number of forthcoming digital dance projects in 2013. We are looking to expand our pool of freelancers who we collaborate with in our interactive digital dance projects over the next year which will include making work for a variety of places and platforms.’

Central Youth Theatre requires a visual artist:

‘We are seeking an artist who can work with us during 2013 to help us create a hall of fame. We wish to make handcastings of former members and mount these on a wall in our premises in Wolverhampton. We need an artist who can initially advise us on the best way to approach this project – how we can realise it practically, and who then has the availability at various points through 2013 to do hand casting sessions.

In the first instance we are seeking expressions of interest from West Midlands based artists.

Please email a CV and supporting letter to jane@centralyouththeatre.org ‘

Alkhami Arts are seeking sessional freelance artists, crafters, Dancers and Drama Instructors to join our team of facilitators that deliver creative arts workshops across the city to a variety of groups.

If you have a current CRB & Experience of delivering workshops to small groups, please contact us for more information on 01213561944 or 07505111554 & info@alkhami.co.uk



Here’s a quick plug for Frame project curated and run by the lovely Elly Clarke:

‘FRAME_birmingham: 40 ARTISTS / 30 FRAMES / 3 MONTHS / Unique and small edition artworks by local and international artists in 30 different venues across the city. // FRAME_birmingham launches online & in the city at 6pm on 16th November, with the party at The Old Joint Stock. On Saturday 17th Nov tours will be led by artists, curators and venue hosts. FB FRAME_birmingham event page here.’

“Brand” New Generation: Musings

Thanks to all who came and supported the final event of our programme last week! Special thanks to Elly Clarke, Dan Auluk, Karen Mclean and Antonio Roberts who came along to talk about their practice and ACE funded Frame_. Will keep you all informed of developments with Kalaboration here and through our FB page.

Remember that our young people’s programme Kalaborate is still taking place and there is room for more participants follow the link.

Antonio Roberts, has written a great blog post with a great synopsis of what took place. Link here.

Antonio’s presentation is also found below:

“Brand” New Generation Discussion in Full

The last of the Kalaboration lectures in this guise, “Brand” New Generation explored the meaning and the topics surrounding commercial success, what ‘upcoming’ really involves, and how Birmingham itself supports an artist’s career. The talk included artists Antonio Roberts, Dan Auluk and Karen Mclean, with Elly Clarke charing.

Brand New Generation began at 6pm on Thursday 1st November 2012, at The Drum, and ended at 8.30pm.

Listen to the talk in full below:

Freestylee posters to be sold at ska, roots & dub night Silver Dollar tonight

From July – September, Kalaboration hosted “Freestylee: Artist Without Borders” at The Drum, an exhibition of Jamaican poster artist Michael Thompson aka Freestylee‘s internationally acclaimed work.

A selection of poster prints will be on sale tonight at ska, roots & dub night Silver Dollar at The Station Pub, Kings Heath.

Posters cost £10 each, and a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to Alpha Boys School in Jamaica, which Freestylee attended. The school has supported the development of musicians over many years.

We’ll be selling them from around 9:30pm-late, so pop in and say hello!








“Brand” New Generation

We are fast approaching the end of the project and as corny as it may sound, it has really been a fantastic journey! We never could have imagined the amazing people, artwork and ideas we have encountered. Our last event is a celebration of all these things, we hope you can be there to join us.

“Brand” New Generation

“Who are the new wave of artists practicing today and what are their influences?

Can artists become a success commercially whilst addressing politics, diversity
and identity? Should participating in the arts for young people be purely a creative
process, or is it important to address social, environmental and cultural issues?
Our panel of speakers and presentations provide an insight of the “Brand New

To mark the end of this year’s programme of Kalaboration events we are pleased to
present “Brand” New Generation on Thursday 1st November 2012 at The Drum Arts
Centre, 144 Potters Lane, Aston, Birmingham from 6pm – 8pm.

Our first panel discussion chaired by Elly Clarke of www.clarkegallery.de
and features artist/curator Dan Auluk of the recent Allotment project at mac
Birmingham (www.danauluk.co.uk),
digital artist Antonio Roberts who delivered
BYOB at Vivid (www.hellocatfood.com)
and visual arts artist Karen Mclean (www.karenmclean.co.uk).

The discussion focuses on who are the new wave of artists practising today and
what are their influences? Each artist can be regarded as emerging in the past
couple of years and are beginning to make a name for themselves in their respective
practises. This is an opportunity for them to share their ideas and experiences of
recent projects with our audience. The discussion will also focus the ever changing
social, economic and political environment, locally and globally and the impact/
influence this has had on their practice.

Our second and final panel discussion features members of the Kalaboration
steering committee and invited guest speakers, looking back on some of the
achievements delivered during Kalaboration and the featured artists Jaskirt
Dhaliwal “Everyday Olympian”, Sara Fowles “K2TOG”, Keith Piper “A Short Sprint”
and Michael Thompson’s “Freestylee: Artist without Borders”.

We also celebrate the achievements of Kalaborate our young people’s programme
delivered by RoguePlay, which offered young people 8 -19 the chance to learn
new skills in circus performance, performing and visual arts and is now delivering a
further programme of events this time offering commissions to young people.

We also look forward to future developments for the Kalaboration with details of
learning and recommendations from the evaluation report.

So come and celebrate our successes and put forward any ideas you may have to
assist us in developing future projects and opportunities in the spirit of collaboration!

To reserve a place at this event rsvp to:

or visit the following Facebook event page 

What’s On

Here are a few recommendations for upcoming events this month:

Re-framing the Moment: Legacies of the 1982 Blk Art Group Conference, Saturday 27th October at the Lecture Theatre, University of Wolverhampton, Millennium Campus (MC) Building.  Booking details here and & Facebook details here.

‘On Thursday 28th October 1982 a group of radical black art students hosted The First National Convention of Black Art at Wolverhampton Polytechnic. Their purpose was to discuss ‘the form, function and future of black art’. Thirty years later almost to the day, on Saturday 27th October 2012 a group of artists, curators, art historians and academics will gather, once again in Wolverhampton, to share scholarship and research the ‘black art movement’ of the 1980s, its core debates, precursors and legacies.’

Turning Point West Midlands Annual Visual Arts Forum, 19th October 1pm – 4:30pm, free entry.

  • Find out from artists running collectives what is going on in their cities and area
  • Learn about the `small change’ philosophy from Nabeel Hamdi
  • Debate the priorities put forward by representatives from artist collectives in Coventry, Stoke, Worcester, Birmingham, Hereford and Wolverhampton
  • Explore how artists set the agenda for the sector and for CVAN, the national network
  • Contribute to decision-making on the actions we take forward in the West Midlands.

(From Turning Point WM website).

‘Imagining Africa – Film Night with KINO 10′ 

‘….we’ll be taking you on a trip to Africa (in spirit, not literally) with a selection of African short films screening at The Barber Institute. We’ve got Oscar nominees and all sorts!’

Africa Unite! The Sibikwa African Indigenous Orchestra – Saturday 13th October, 10pm at the Drum Arts Centre. (Part of Afrovibes Festival).