Vanley Burke: By the Rivers of Birminam

We are very excited to be attending the launch of Birmingham’s (and the UK’s) top documentary photographer Vanley Burke. You can catch his exhibition at mac arts from Saturday 22 September until Sunday 18 November.

‘Vanley Burke has photographed the Jamaican Community in Handsworth since the mid 1960s. His images reveal a great compassion for his own people, expressed in his image of the Africa Liberation Day crowds gathered in Handsworth Park.

The exhibition will contextualise the images through a collage of quotes from the press on the history of immigration to Birmingham. Nowhere can tell that story better than Birmingham and Vanley Burke is the photographer who was there and who knew he was living through a great moment in history.’

(Taken from mac arts website)

Photos from our events

Knit 2gether launch:

Freestylee launch:

Artist Talk: Mykaell Riley – Artist without Borders:

In conversation with …..

Artist Talk

Freestylee Artist without Borders

Tues 4 September, 6pm

The Drum

Admission Free

Mykaell Riley, Programme Director, Black Music Research Unit, University of Westminster discusses Jamaican and Jamaican inspired music in Britain as heritage since the 50s. Riley’s talk will encompass; recognising what it is and new ways of interpreting it, utilising Michael Thompson’s art work and exhibition “Freestylee Artist without Borders” currently on display at The Drum.

Mykaell S Riley has had a career in music for over thirty years, starting out with Steel Pulse, who went on to win a Grammy. Over the years he has performed, produced, managed and consulted on many successful artists and their projects.


Thursday 13th Sept 2012

School of Art, 6pm

Admission Free

 Knit graffiti artist Sara Fowles and Craftspace’s Director Deirdre Figueiredo discuss Knit 2 Together, commissioned by Kalaboration and inspired by the colours of the Olympics, Jamaican, US and UK flags.  This ambitious project has seen the façade of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery covered with the knitting of over 400 individuals and enthusiasts from local communities.

Keith Piper talks about his installation ‘A Short Sprint’

If you couldn’t make it to see Keith Piper in conversation at the Lake Gallery (Custard Factory, Digbeth), then don’t worry, you can hear the talk in full below….

Keith Piper talk part 1

Keith Piper talk part 2

A Short Sprint’ will be exhibited until Friday 17th August, so you’ve still got time to check out the installation for yourself!


Keith Piper Exhibition ‘A Short Sprint’ launch: This Friday

‘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.’

Keith Piper’s launch of “A Short Sprint” will take place at the Lakeside Gallery, Custard Factory, 6pm.

Midland knitters take Birmingham by yarn storm

To celebrate the arrival and stay of the Jamaican and American Olympic teams in the second city for London 2012, textile artist Sara Fowles and Stitches and Hos, a Birmingham-based motley crew of enthusiasts of all things knitted, crocheted and stitched, will cover the lower columns on the exterior of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery with knit graffiti.

Over three months a pop-up shop in the Pavilions Birmingham shopping centre has played host to knitters of all ages and abilities to make the piece for the K2TOG – Knit 2 Together project. It has taken 1,300 balls of wool, nearly 400 volunteer knitters and approximately 4,500 hours to make the installation. The piece will be unveiled on 27 July to coincide with the beginning of the Olympic Games and remain until the end of September. It is estimated that the piece will be seen by 2 million people over the two months it is displayed.

Six colours, red, blue, white, yellow, green and black have been used for the project. The colours are used on both of the teams’ national flags and are also the same colours used in the Olympic rings logo.

The project has been chosen to be part of Kalaboration (, celebrating both the forthcoming 2012 Olympics and the 50th Anniversary of Jamaican Independence.

The piece has been knitted by the people of the West Midlands, a colourful, personal, visually spectacular welcome to the teams. Individuals and community groups from across the region, existing knitters and those who have never picked up a pair of knitting needles were invited to contribute to the piece. The piece has been made by the people for the people and has aimed to pass on the skill of hand knitting to those who have little experience of traditional crafts.

Freestylee: “Artist without Borders”

Here are pics taken by Candice Smith of the Freestylee “Artist without Borders” launch, thanks to all those who attended!!

In conversation with Jaskirt Dhaliwal: photos

Here are some photographs taken by Candice Smith of our talk featuring Jaskirt Dhaliwali led by curator Dave Thomas.

Freestylee ‘Artist Without Borders’, Michael Thompson’s exhibition at The Drum: Audience’s Response

Jamaican poster artist Michael Thompson‘s (aka Freestylee) commission was exhibited at The Drum on 16th July. It will be here until 14th September.

For the opening, I found out what the audience thought about the commission………..

Kalaborate Saturday Spectacular at Sarehole Mill

After months of hard work and preparation, the Kalaborate 12-18 year olds are back to showcase their talents along the Shire Country Park Walk this Saturday 21st July.

Photography by Jo Egan

Performing pieces of circus, dance and drama along the walk from Sarehole Mill to Old Burbury Brickworks, Kalaborate young people will be showing that they really have something to say about the Olympic Games and Jamaica 50 celebrations.

The performances alongside a photography exhibition of 15 year old Jo Egan’s images that capture the heart of circus, are developed from the successful Kalaborate sharing exhibition that took place at New Life Baptist Church in February.

The general public and local community are welcome to join the performers, friends and family at this unique outdoor exhibition. Audience members should arrive at Sarehole Mill between 12-4pm. Please note, if the weather forecast is predictably rainy, it is likely the event will be held inside the mill.