Everyday Olympian exhibition details (click on image)

Exhibition details for Everyday Olympian

So with only a few weeks to go until the exhibition launches I’m manically editing the scanned negatives to get them ready for print next week! I’ve had 3/4 weeks of none stop shooting every evening and at events on the weekends, which means I’ve had little time to blog. Sorry about that but over the next few weeks I will be talking about a lot of the stories from the shoots and updating the blog  with more images that unfortunately might not make the exhibition too…

Look forward to seeing you at the Private View and/or In Conversation!!!

Keith Piper commissioned by Kalaboration to produce video installation

“A Short Sprint “

Kalaboration has commissioned Keith Piper to produce “A Short Sprint”, a video installation. Employing the stadium as a symbolic space within which the athlete is rendered ‘hypervisual’. “A Short Sprint” will treat that relationship as a metaphor to examine the impact and visibility of Jamaican ideas, cultural forms and aesthetics upon the world. The idea of the ‘short sprint’, the explosion of frenetic energy over less than ten incident filled seconds, will itself be viewed in the context of the longer period before the ‘sprint’ begins.


The exhibition is scheduled to take place in August, at a soon to be confirmed venue. Keith Piper is now seeking someone to play the role of the athlete within the video installation. So if you are interested in taking part in the production of this film please contact Kalaboration for more details:

Email kalaborationproject@gmail.com or Telephone: 0121 333 2416

Visit the website: www.kalaboration.co.uk

Artists’ Background

Keith Piper is a founder member of the Blk Art Group, who were art students between 1981-84 and made what they named “radical black art”. They organised exhibitions of that work and gathered other students and artists to discuss its form, function and future. The group’s line up and even its name changed over time but several members; Keith Piper, Eddie Chambers, Claudette Johnson, Marlene Smith and Donald Rodney played a consistent and influential role in its birth and evolution.

Keith Piper is a Visual Artist and Reader in Fine Art and Digital Media at Middlesex University. His creative practice exists in response to specific issues, historical relationships and geographical sites. He adopts a research driven approach, which prioritises thematic exploration over an attachment to any particular media. Therefore, his work over the past 30 years has ranged from painting, through photography and installation to a use of digital media, video and computer based interactivity.

His recent work has included The Perfect City, a multiscreen video project commissioned by Film London (2007), solo exhibitions in the Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis (2004). He was commissioned to produce site specific works for the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of Uncomfortable Truths (2007) and in 2010 undertook an artist residency at the CBK in Dordrecht, Holland leading to a solo show entitled ‘A Future Museum of the Present’. His work has been featured in the Afro Modern at Tate Liverpool in 2010, and Migrations at Tate Britain in 2012. He is a founder member of the ‘Blk Art Group Research Project 2012’, which is examining the legacies of the Blk Art Group in relationship to the 1980’s, and staged an exhibition and symposium at the Graves Gallery, Sheffield in 2012.

This will see a total of four visual arts commissions commencing on 18th June with Jaskirt Dhaliwal’s “Everyday Olympian”, “Freestylee: Artist without Borders” from 16th July both at the Drum Arts Centre.  Sara Fowles’ “Knit 2 Together” launches at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on 27th July.

In addition Kalaborate our project for young people 8-19 will also be hosting two events during the summer. The first event will take place along the Shire Country Park Walk from Sarehole Mill to the Old Brickworks on Saturday 21st July. This will consist of short pieces of circus, dance, drama and photography installation taking place along the walk, and repeated throughout the day. A week later an exhibition of events and activities and the participants will be on display at MAC Birmingham from Saturday 28th July 2012.

For more information about Keith Piper’s commission or any of the other commissions, exhibitions or events please contact the Kalaboration Team at kalaborationproject@gmail.com

K2TOG pop up shop

A few pictures from the first two days of the shop.

furniture luck

I’ve been travelling around the West Midlands collecting and buying furniture for our K2TOG pop up shop. The shop will be a relaxing hub where anyone can drop in to knit a square or a few rows for the project.  If you’re not able to knit, don’t worry, there will be staff on hand to get you started and show you the basics.

It seems that my luck at finding a bargain is in at the moment, just when I need it.   I visited Studley Car Boot to hunt for treasures.  There wasn’t much treasure to be found but I did manage to buy a nest of coffee tables for under a tenner.

The luck continued when I got home.  No sooner had I tweeted about buying the first piece of booty, I received a text from a friend asking if I wanted a sofa, armchair and table.  All were in good state of repair but needed a new home as they had splashed out on new sofas.

The final piece of furniture luck came when I won not 1 but 2 wooden standard lamps on eBay for £8.  I went to collect them on Sunday and they look even better than the photo.

Our K2TOG pop up shop is located in Pavilions Birmingham Unit 13 on the lower ground floor (opposite Julian Barnes).  Opening hours are Wednesdays – Saturdays 12 – 6pm and Sundays 12 – 5pm.  For details of how to get there visit here

Why don’t you pop in and say hello.


And so it begins…!!

Hello hello!!! Well the last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. Why you ask? Well I had the grand pleasure of documenting the awesome Fierce Festival and than even better going to Marbella for my best friends hen do! And in between these two great activities I managed to squeeze in my first two shoots for the Everyday Olympian.

So lots of exciting stuff! I was, I have to admit, quite nervous about the outcome of the first two shoots. Having bought a new camera, a medium format Mamiya RZ67, I had that anxious wait before the film rolls were developed. Would they come out right? Did the softbox fire off properly and sync with the camera, were all my shots going to be wonky??!!!

I’m sure you’ll be glad to know that the shots came out! I had photographs on negatives and here’s a secret, they weren’t half bad either haha!

The first shoot I did was on a local swimming club called Warley Wasps and the second was a boxing club called D&A. The swimmers were a mixed age from 7-15 years old and the boxers were 18+. The shoots went well but I will be revisiting the boxers when they fight competitively at the tower ballroom on May 20th and I’m really excited about that. Even my brother is taking an interest in my work (or maybe its just the boxing…) which is a first!

I was thinking about putting some of the images out in cyberspace but I have decided against doing that until just before the exhibition in June. So until than I am going to tease you with crops of the close up portraits, I know how devilish of me ;)

Can I just also mention before I sign out, I love film cameras!! The aesthetic is so completely different to digital, and as much as I love digital cameras (and use them too) I could never imagine shooting on anything but my Mamiya’s for my personal work…and the quality of my new sparkly camera has only cemented that view further

Everyday Olympian ©Jaskirt Dhaliwal

Everyday Olympian ©Jaskirt Dhaliwal


Good luck Sara Fowles! BBC WM Interview

Artist Ms. Fowles (Stitches and Hos) will be on BBC Radio West Midlands talking about her Kalaboration commission. Around 1pm. We wish Sara the best of luck, will we get to hear a husky radio voice!?!

A message from Sara Fowles (Stitches and Hos)

Hello everyone,

As you may (or may not) know I am running an Olympic knit graffiti project called ‘K2TOG – Knit 2 Together’.  For this I will be covering the columns on the outside of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery with knitting.  The installation is to commemorate the visit and stay of both Jamaican and American Olympic teams before London 2012 and will use 6 colours (red, white, blue, green, yellow black) taken from the teams’ national flags and the Olympic rings logo.

As part of this project I am trying to raise £2500 by crowd funding.  For this I have set up a page on Sponsume.

I would be really grateful if you could spread the word far and wide through your networks, include it in any mailouts or newsletters that you send out.

The project does have its own blog where I’ll be posting up progress and info as it comes.
I’ve attached a lo(ish) res mock up drawing of the installation if you would like to use it.

Thank you in advance!


Kalaboration: Artist Commissions & International Exhibition Programme

Kalaboration is a partnership project between The Drum Arts Centre, School of Art Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) Birmingham City University and RoguePlay Theatre. It is funded by Arts Council England and Birmingham City Council and granted the Inspire mark by the London 2012 Inspire programme.

We are pleased to announce the Artists’ Commissions; each artist has drawn inspiration from the themes of the Olympic Games and the anniversary of 50 years of Jamaican  independence.


Jaskirt Dhaliwal - ‘Everyday Olympian’,  18th June – 8th July, The Drum.

The ‘Everyday Olympian’ documents people involved in local community sports, be it a 12 year old swimmer, 60 year old hockey player or 30 year old amateur boxer. These are the people that make up the tapestry of sports that thrive at grass roots level across the region. They may not have the skill or talent to be an Olympian, however it is through their commitment and participation on a weekly or daily basis that so many sports still function and exist.

“The Kalaboration project is a phenomenal opportunity for me to expand my practice and create a significant body of work around one of the biggest sporting events this country will ever see. I am enormously honoured and privileged to be selected and I hope that this will be the start of something special.” Jaskirt Dhaliwal

Sara Fowles – ‘Knit Together’ (K2TOG) – 21st July – 30th September, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Graffiti knitting is inspired by the colours of the Olympics, Jamaican, US and UK flags.  This project will see the façade of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery covered with the knitting of local communities, individuals and enthusiasts. This will be Stitches and Hos‘ (a motley crew of enthusiasts for all things knitted, crocheted and stitched), most ambitious effort to date, since giving the Bull Ring Bull a woolly jumper and the Floozy in the Jacuzzi a scarf. To find out how to get involved check the website for further details.

“I am thrilled to have been selected for a Kalaboration commission.  This project is my most ambitious to date and takes me one step closer to my ultimate aim of world domination through knitting.” Sara Fowles



Freestylee Artist without Borders’ – 16th July – 14th September, The Drum.

Kalaboration is pleased to be hosting “Freestylee: Artist without Borders” an exhibition of poster art by internationally acclaimed poster artist Michael Thompson aka Freestylee. Thompson studied graphic design at the Jamaica School of Art in Kingston, Jamaica, now the renowned Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. On landing an apprentice position he started to experiment with simple silhouetted graphic designs concepts suitable for screen-printing and poster art.

Thompson has been living in the United States since 1990 and worked as a freelance graphic designer and consultant. He has been described as a “creative activist” in a recent interview in Arc Magazine, due to the subject matter his work; from reggae music, police brutality, homophobia in Jamaica, the Arab Spring and persecution of fellow artists such as Ai Wei Wei. Thompson launched the first International Reggae Poster Contest in order to celebrate the pioneers, musicians, artists and institutions that made Reggae music possible and this exhibition features many of these artists and genres, which have seen reggae music become a global phenomenon.

Artist Commissions

We have chosen 3 Artists who will each receive professional development support and produce new work for exhibition in 2012. We will be announcing them next week! We are very excited to work together and see the results of their work, so watch this space!