It's been a hectic fortnight donning my Illustrated Brum cap and getting to work with Sarah Isaacs to deliver our first ever exhibition install together, ready to showcase our latest project One Hundred Thousand Welcomes. The opportunity to take over a linear corridor space at mac birmingham was both exciting and challenging, and we've decided to fill it with creative 'welcomes' ie. introductions, invitations, instigations and reflections on the City of Birmingham forming a collection of engagements. Currently existing as a blog online and within us as a creative partnership, we are excited to break Illustrated Brum out into a physical space and allow other people to become a part of it: artists, students, passers by; making mac the perfect location to tap into.
Opting for a colourful graphic approach to the base design, we allowed ourselves to be led by a process in the space rather than realising a prefabricated idea, yet sought to reflect some of Birmingham's architectural shapes, including forms inspired by Central Library, The Mailbox and mac's very own Hexagon Theatre. The colours are linked to the categories on our blog, anchoring the exhibition in a series of signs and visual signifiers centred around reading meaning and creating understanding. Currently structured to receive welcomes and generate initial interest, in January we will build on the space by showcasing specially commissioned prints by local artists alongside all submissions we have received.
The fluidity of the project at this stage makes it both wonderful and terrifying, but above all it has already begun to connect us with new people and organisations through a concept that means something to us; one centred on openness, generosity and (re)discovery. It has also shown me that it's very special to have someone to work alongside jovially and cohesively, even when things get stressful.
|Papped by the one and only Kate Andrews.|