Friday, 15 March 2013

Nav's Gallery Report: RBSA Gallery

The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) is an artist led charity that supports artists and promotes engagement with the visual arts. Their gallery is situated near Birmingham city centre and has exhibitions on 2 floors. The RBSA's craft gallery has established a reputation as a leading Midlands outlet for contemporary craft. It showcases designer makers from the UK, exploring contemporary approaches to traditional craft-making techniques and materials.

The ground floor consists of solo shows as well as a craft gallery. When I first entered the gallery this exquisite handmade jewellery and metal work caught my gaze and pulled me in for a closer look.

I then began to look around the solo shows such as Rob Hand's ceramics and Kevin Line's pencil drawn portraits. Line's portraits reflect his attempts to make and convey emotional connections.

On the 1st and 2nd floor are works from various artists with different approaches to their work such as collaging, oil painting, line drawing, textiles and sculptures etc.

For more information on the RBSA Gallery click here.

Nav's Gallery Report: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Yesterday I visited the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. The institute was founded by Lady Barber in 1932 and is currently celebrating its 80th birthday since it was opened by Queen Mary in 1939. 

The Barber is currently holding over 150 painting, approximately 50 sculptures, 1000 drawings and prints, and a large collection of Byzantine coins in Europe which makes it one of the finest art collections in the UK.
The gallery is a grade ll listed art-deco building designed by Robert Atkinson that is situated on the campus of University of Birmingham. The building contains a central concert hall which is surrounded by lecture halls and a library on the ground floor and the gallery on the first floor.

The collection in the Barber is full of famous works by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso and Rembrandt, displayed in spacious galleries on the first floor. The Renaissance is represented by masterpieces by Giovanni Bellini, Veronese and Simone Martini, Rubens, Van Dyck, Poussin and Murillo. British artists represented are Aubrey Beardsley, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Rossetti and Turner.

Clause Oscar Monet (1840 - 1926),
The Church at Varengeville, 1882,
oil on canvas

As well as these well known and established artists there was an exhibition from the New Arts West Midlands which is a ‘brand new collaborative venture in partnership with Birmingham museum and art gallery and grand union, Birmingham.’ This exhibition profiles the ‘best critically-engaged work by recent graduates from the West Midlands university art schools such as Birmingham City University where I'm currently studying.
The work I was particularly interested in was Clair Waltons ‘Dying West’, (image below). 

 'Dying West' consists of a bike wrapped in wool, its utility removed and replaced by a new functionality. The bike was placed randomly among famous renaissance painting which begs the questions like who owns the bike, what's the history behind it, what colour is it, is there actually a bike inside it?.

For more information about The Barber Institute of Fine Arts click here.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Nav's Gallery Report: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Another gallery I visited last week was the Museum of Art Gallery in the heart of Birmingham's city centre on Chamberlain's Square. The museum boasts their extensive collections of 500,000 pieces dating back 200,000 years to present day.

The part of the gallery that most interested me was the 'History Of Birmingham' section.

Immerse yourself in over 500 years of life, passion, strife and achievement. In the iconic new 'Birmingham, its people, its history' galleries visitors can explore the city's global heritage from medieval times and the industrial revolution, through to the World Wars - to the technology-led life of the 21st century.

The exhibition gives the audience a sense of pride about the city and how the people and place have contributed globally. The gallery experience is suitable for all ages as it offers an interactive experience with hands-on activities which can be enjoyed by all the family.

The exhibition is an in depth look into the life of Birmingham though the years, from entrepreneurial migrants, world wars, to influential people such as Michael Boulton and how they contributed to society thus affecting how we live today.

The part that most interested me was the kinds of clothing they wore throughout the years, which look miles apart from the clothing we wear today.

Overall I think the exhibition is a must see for people from Birmingham and visitors to the city as they can explore and discover the wonderful city of Birmingham.

For more information about Birmingham Museum and art gallery click here.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Nav's Gallery Report: Bilston Craft Gallery

Last week I visited the Bilston Craft Gallery which is situated near Bilston town centre. The gallery has a reputation of exhibiting modern and contemporary artists and designers within the disciplines of ceramics, glass, jewellery, textiles, metal, woodwork and many others. When walking through the first exhibiting room there were a large range of enamels which are famous and part of the Bilston heritage, these enamels are a collection from the past 300 years from local craftsman in the Black Country.

The exhibition which was currently on show was the 'Bags: The Craft Of The Carrying Companion'. This exhibition showed a range of personal approaches to bags, with different design aesthetics and ways of manufacturing carrying cases such as rucksacks, ipad cases and suitcases. These were made from a range of materials such as leather, textiles and basketry etc.

When looking at each designers innovative approach to bags I could see diversity between them, some by the way that they have assembled the bag together and others with the kind of fabrics they have chosen to use to create these fully functional accessories. Alongside each designers collection was a description of each exhibitors profile and a mini interview compiled of questions about their personal approach and design journey of their creations. Questions such as 'what are the top 5 things you always carry in your bag' gave it an endearing and personal touch.

Here are some examples of Lisa Farmer's work exhibited at the show.

Bags designed by Lisa Farmer

For more information on the Bilston Craft Gallery click here.