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Flatpack Film Festival

The Street & Modern Life, 2015 © Hans Eijkelboom
Running from 19-24 April across Birmingham, Flatpack Film Festival celebrates its tenth edition this year.

Born in a Digbeth pub as a short film night, Flatpack has since grown in many interesting and wonderful directions. The festival’s tenth outing will be a packed week of screenings, performances, installations, workshops and happenings.

Visual arts highlights include:

Hans Eijkelboom: The Street and Modern Life - Commissioned by Multistory as part of an ongoing body of photographic work and archive that documents life in the Black Country and the West Midlands. The exhibition at the Gas Hall at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery explores the construction of identity through clothing and personal appearance and, in turn, the relationship between individual and social identities in an increasingly globalised culture.

Action Space - A giant, colourful inflatable will land in Victoria Square. They will explore the legacy of Action Space, the pioneering 1970s performance art group whose enormous inflatables popped up in council estates, parks and shopping centres reaching people who wouldn’t dream of entering a gallery. Flatpack will be using the blow-up space for film screenings, live painting, workshops and talks.

Gebhard Sengmüller: Slide Movie – Diafilmprojektor - Using multiple slide projectors, the source for the work is an 80 second sequence from an old film. Each frame of the footage is mounted as a slide, then distributed among a series of slide projectors. Flashing, one immediately after the other, the projectors produce the appearance of a projected motion picture. Gebhard will deliver a talk about the work followed by a drinks reception at 5pm on Wednesday 20 April 2016 at BCU's Parkside Campus.

Unpacked - In partnership with Birmingham City University, hear from artists and filmmakers as they deconstruct their work, explain their creative process, and divulge their inner musings through workshops, talks and demonstrations.



Andrea Hannon: The House is Still Named After Him 

'Housekeeping' (2014). Detail Installation, existing images (various), wallpaper, paper, card and existing objects © Andrea Hannon 2016

The House is Still Named After Him presents Andrea Hannon’s most recent body of work that explores pre-existing ideas of gender and the home.

Combining imagery and objects from a range of old and new sources such as encyclopaedias, magazines, books and second-hand shops, Hannon creates surreal two-dimensional and three-dimensional works that question existing knowledge structures that define us in multiple ways according to our biological sex.

The exhibition continues at Wolverhampton Art Gallery & Museum until 14 May 2016.



Dan Flavin: It is what it is and it ain’t nothing else

Dan Flavin, untitled (in honor of Harold Joachim) 3, 1977. Pink, yellow, blue, and green fluorescent light 8 ft. (244 cm) square across a corner CL no. 410 © 2015 Stephen Flavin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; courtesy of David Zwirner, New York/London

From 13 April to 26 June, Ikon Gallery presents a major exhibition of fluorescent light works by Dan Flavin (1933-1996), one of the most important post-war American artists. The exhibition opening takes place on Wednesday 13 April from 6-8pm.



Random String Fellowship

The Random String Fellowship is an opportunity open to artists and practitioners from any discipline who are interested in embarking on a technology-focused creative enquiry.

A Ludic Rooms production in association with Warwick Arts Centre, they are looking for six enthusiastic mid-career artists with an established body of practice to explore how technology might make their work more interactive, develop a more meaningful relationship with audiences or explore future notions of co-creation and participatory practice. Deadline: 1pm, Monday 18 April 2016.



Ingenious and Fearless Companions

Ingenious and Fearless Companions is a new exhibition exploring microscopic life at the edge of space which runs until 11 June at Birmingham Open Media (BOM). It is the first ever exhibition by the High Altitude Bioprospecting (HAB) science-art team.

The HAB team includes Melissa Grant (BOM Fellow and biochemist at the University of Birmingham), lab robotics scientist Oliver de Peyer, mathematician Paul Shepherd and artists Anna Dumitriu, Kira O’Reilly and Alex May. Initiated in 2010, they have searched for microorganisms adapted to life in space in order to consider their uses in novel biotechnologies.

With a mixture of success and spectacular failure, the HAB team have developed remotely operated robotic devices to sample the air at high altitudes, investigating the effects of space travel on bacteria in collaboration with NASA and civilian space authority The Rocket Mavericks.

The exhibition features photographs and cyanotype prints, sculpturally altered relics, environmental samples and video-mapped film footage of test flights in the Nevada desert. The exhibition will tour to the V&A Museum, London as part of the Digital Design Weekend later in 2016.



The Syllabus

Eastside Projects, Wysing Arts Centre, New Contemporaries, S1 Artspace, Spike Island and Studio Voltaire, invite applications from artists for Syllabus II; an alternative peer-led learning programme in its second year that will support ten artists across ten months.

Starting in September 2016, Syllabus II will provide selected participants with a series of intensive seminars at each of the partner venues. Syllabus II will be co-developed with the artists selected to participate who, with the support of staff and artists working with each of the partner organisations, will have the opportunity to bring forward ideas to the programme and actively contribute to its delivery. Syllabus II aims to reach artists with a range of practices and artistic approaches and bring together individuals from a wide geographic spread across the UK.

More information about the programme can be found here. Deadline: Midnight, Sunday 10 April 2016.


Message from Wendy Law

Photo credit: Paul Thomas
My term as Director of Turning Point West Midlands is due to finish today, 31 March, the end of the current TPWM project phase. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the artists, TPWM colleagues, all those in arts organisations, universities, national agencies, the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN), and others, for their contribution in developing and supporting the delivery of the Turning Point West Midlands network and its programmes.  There have been many high points along the way and I look forward to keeping in touch with future developments and the people who continue to make a difference in the region, and outside.  Thanks are also due to the Arts Council England for its continued support. 
TPWM Director 2010-2016 
The TPWM Artist News & Opportunities e-bulletin will continue as usual.
Birmingham City University as host to TPWM will make an announcement in due course.



Latest artists' news and opportunities bulletin published

Castillo's Office (c) Richard Savine. Currently on show at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry as part of New Art West Midlands 2016

The latest Artists' News and Opportunities Bulletin has been published and can be found here.

The next bulletin will be published on Thursday 21 April 2016.

If you have any news, events or opportunities you would like to submit please email: artistsnewsandoppstpwm@bcu.ac.uk


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