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Making an exhibition of Birmingham. For Birmingham. By Birmingham.

Categories: Events, Extra-curricular, Jewellery Quarter

Yesterday evening I was lucky enough to be invited along to the private view of Birmingham Photospace's Birmingham's People exhibition which is currently housed in the (stunning) Jewellery Quarter offices of architectural practice, Bryant Priest Newman.

A bit of background incase you're not familiar with Birmingham Photospace – they're a collective of folks who love photography and are working incredibly hard to establish a permanent public gallery space for photographic works here in Brum.

The photos featured in Birmingham's People were taken over just two days at last year's Artsfest and are an eclectic bunch. The images really are beautiful and it's impressive to think they were taken in a marquee, in a bustling city centre, in the middle of a festival and with a very quick turnaround time per subject. Massive kudos to photographers Jennifer Peel and Matt Murtagh – it takes real talent to get people so relaxed and natural in front of the camera even at the best of times!

Sadly my quick attempt at getting an arty shot of reflections of the building within the photos didn't work terribly well, as you can see, and really doesn't do Birmingham's People justice. The exhibition runs until 19th June though, so you can go and see the images properly over at Bryant Priest Newman – the exhibition's open during office hours but you do need to call or email in advance as it's a working office. Contact details can be found on their blog.

A culinary experience

Categories: Extra-curricular

Last night James and I were lucky enough to attend Repast – an event to celebrate the life of creative professional development organisation Arts+Media which is evolving into a purely online organisation at the end of this month.

Repast was set in the seemingly strange location of a disused warehouse in Coventry's Far Gosford Street – though as this is an area currently undergoing redevelopment into a hub for creative businesses and activities, it's actually a perfectly apt venue for a creative event.

The building had been divided into different rooms, the first of which had been dressed with Bill Drummond manifestos and notices and, with the usual drinks table in the corner and some background music setting the tone, it wasn't terribly different from the usual arty shindig. And then we were greeted by a lovely but, I'm sure she won't mind me saying, slightly peculiar woman who introduced herself as Blanch.

Curious.

Anyway, we mingled, sipped wine, chatted with artsy folks – then James did a quick interview on camera whilst I met Blanch's friend who introduced herself as 'Shock'. Hmmm … so this is how the evening's going to be, is it?!

So yes, Repast's catering was provided by Blanch and Shock and the food was served by … you guessed it, Blanch and Shock; two welcoming yet bizarre pantomime/fairytale/mediaeval/Judderman/Pippi Longstocking-type characters. This was proper smile-inducing, enjoyable and not-at-all-scary-like-I'd-thought-it-might've-been performance art. (And possibly something to do with Kindle Theatre? If you know either way please pop a note in the comments.)

As for the food itself – it was stunning. Weird and wonderful Ferran Adrià-style concoctions; the most incredible of which was a 'spherified lime and mint cocktail' which seemed to be a jelly-like oystery thing, but it then burst into liquid as soon as it left the spoon. It really was a feast for all the senses – especially when the aroma balloons were released!

I loved the fact that the venue was peculiar but perfect, and that the folks handing the food around – who'd usually remain in the background – were, along with the food, the main event of the evening. Suffice to say, Repast was magical, amusing, delicious and wonderful – and most certainly an experience.

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A+M have documented Repast and the process of putting the event together, and this'll be online for all to see over on their website shortly.

University of Warwick, Centre for Cultural Policy Studies

Categories: Extra-curricular

Last week I was at the University of Warwick to talk to a group of MA students at the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies.

Focussing on fields including Arts Management, Cultural Policy and the Creative Industries, I was invited in to give some industry perspective on things and talk about my background, Supercool and issues surrounding running a small creative agency. Having been slightly dreading the prospect of having to talk about myself for 45 minutes it actually went really well.

Nobody dropped off to sleep and most people responded well by asking some tough questions. In fact having rushed over to Warwick straight from a pitch, I found the students’ questions were far more testing than any potential client.

Issues ranged from creative sign-off, budget approval, business planning and cash flow. Hopefully everybody learned as much out of it as I did.

Thanks to Dr Jonathan Vickery [Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies] for inviting me in, and everybody who listened to the talk and managed to remain looking interested, I really enjoyed it.

Font Aid Update

Categories: Extra-curricular

The ampersand font, Coming Together, that we contributed to a few weeks ago is now on sale.

Around 400 designers (some listed above!) from around the world took part in producing this cross-platform OpenType glyph font, and all the money raised from the sale of the font is going to help the relief efforts in Haiti.

You can buy Coming Together from the following places now – Veer, Ascender Fonts, FontShop – and from MyFonts later this week.

(Ours is the zero, by the way!)