Art SOAK 2015 Guest Blog: Rob Foster: Stirchley Sketch Crawl

Saturday 21st March, from 11am, Meeting at Bournville Station (B30 1LG)

Free event; suitable for all ages but participants will be walking around the area unsupervised so children must be accompanied and make sure you dress for the weather!



Before the day we make a poster and map available outlining the timings and meeting points for the day as well as a contact number.

We start the crawl at 11:00 at the given point (this time Bournville Station) and after shaking hands and introductions people proceed along the provided route (or their own route if they wish, nothing is compulsory) and draw, paint, sketch or just chat until the mid-point meet-up.

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We stop for a break, usually in a café, pub or eatery of some kind so people can have a bite to eat and a drink and maybe warm up a little at this time of year! We also share some of our mornings’ work (if you wish, no pressure) and see what each other have been sketching.


After the mid-point meet-up some people go home but most carry on along the route, sketching until the final meet-up, also usually in a pub or café; more showing of works and chatting about the day until people are tired and head home.

Following on from the day people can post their work on the Facebook, Flickr and Blog pages where we also share photos from the day as well.

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Now you know a bit more about a typical Sketch Crawl we hope to see you on the 21st, please get in touch if you have any questions.

Art SOAK 2015 Guest Blog: Emma Perry, Pop-Art Portrait Workshop

Saturday 21st March, 2-5pm at The Hub Hazelwell, (318 Vicarage Road, B14 7NH)

Pay-what-you-can, drop-in workshop that is suitable for families.

This workshop will be looking into the fun art movement that came about in the mid 50’s that is called is Pop Art. It is all about bright colours and bold lines – picture comic strips! We will be looking at the likes of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein for inspiration.

The outcome of the workshop will to be to create either a portrait or a 3D model.

We will be using card, paint, print, collage and our creativity to make a portrait. This could either be a self-portrait, or of someone you know. Think BOLD and block colours to define the features of the faces. This can even be styled like Roy Lichtenstein’s work and resemble a comic book strip.

For the 3D models, we will be using Andy Warhol’s Brillo Pads for inspiration. Aiming to make the items as simplistic and non-functional as possible! For example you could make a giant version of your favourite mug, or shoe.

Emma Perry is a Midlands based artist who is interested in exploring colour in space through different mediums. She has recently set up Black Sheep Studio and Art Gallery which provides a service for local artists & crafts people to display and sell their products online and at craft stalls, as well as providing different workshops and events run by the artists they represent.

Art SOAK 2015: Back Down

Saturday 21st March, Selly Park Baptist Church (1041 Pershore Road, Sell Park), 7pm.

Tickets £5 from OxBoffice

We are excited to be hosting a brand new show from the Birmingham Rep as part of this years Art SOAK. Written by award-winning local spoken-word artist Polarbear and featuring local actors this is an amazing opportunity to see a funny coming-of age story that explores post-school choices and is perfect for young people. Back Down is the Barry Jackson Trust supported production for 2015.

Make sure you get your tickets in plenty of time!

Back Down Title for web

Never been camping before. None of us have, but how hard can it be?

Luke, Zia and Tommy have known each other for forever. With Luke about to leave for university it’s time for one last adventure together. Armed with Zia’s mix CD and a bag of Brummie pride, they set off to conquer Snowdon. But when their jaunt takes an unexpected turn they are forced to face up to the reality of why they needed the trip in the first place.

Back Down is the highly-anticipated first play by Steven Camden, more commonly known as the award-winning spoken word artist, Polarbear. Steven has crafted a must-see coming-of-age story that is both insightful and incredibly funny.

This production is supported by the Sir Barry Jackson Trust and The John Feeney Charitable Trust.

Back Down 1 Back Down Official Image


Zia                                                                        Waleed Akhtar

Tommy                                                                 Sam Cole

Luke                                                                     Lawrence Walker

Writer                                                                   Steven Camden

Director                                                                Tessa Walker

Designer                                                              Olly Shapley

Lighting Designer                                                 Simon Bond

Composer and Sound Designer                           Giles Thomas

Movement Director                                              Anna Morrissey


Waleed Akhtar: His past theatre credits include Velocity (Finborough Theatre); The Kite Runner (Nottingham Playhouse/ Liverpool); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Tooting Arts Club); Under 11’s (Soho Theatre); Love Match (Cheltenham Everyman); I Call My Brothers (Arcola); Betrayed (Tron Theatre Company); Black I (Kali); Gladiator Games (Etc, Germany) and Screwface (Tristan Bates). Television credits include Edge Of Heaven (Hartswood Films); Doctors (BBC); Law And Order UK (Kudos) and Dustbin Baby (Kindle for BBC1). Film credits include Night Bus (El Capitan); Miss You Already (Embargo Films); Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (Kudos Film); Sidney (BFI/ Tomboy Films); Sparks And Embers (Cinemagine); Lipstikka (Gal Films & Obelis Productions); Diary Of A Jihadi (Independent Image Ltd); Scratch (Breakthru Films) and Tonight (UK Film Council). Radio credits include What The Papers Say (BBC Radio 4).

Actors headshot by Alex Winn

Sam Cole: He is a member of First Act Workshops, an actor’s training ground and casting centre. During his time there Sam has been cast as Kerry in the short film, The Hazing, presented at the NEC for The Skills Show.  Sam has also previously been a member of the Young REP, performing in As You Like It, Heartbreak Beautiful, and as Achilles in I Iphignia in Aulis and as Patrolus in Homer’s Iliad. Sam has also appeared in Doctors and WPC56 (BBC).

Sam Cole BW

Lawrence Walker: Lawrence trained at Rose Bruford College. His television credits include a regular part in Our Girl as the character Dangleberries (BBC), and as Matt in Casualty (BBC). His film credits include Generation Z (Matador Pictures).

Lawrence Walker

Networking Meeting: Tuesday 3rd March

Our next Networking Meeting will be on Tuesday 3rd March, 6pm at St Andrews on Dogpool Lane.

This meeting is just before our Art SOAK festival so we will be talking about the programme as well as volunteers and marketing. We will let you know how the end of our Connecting Communities project went and of course hear all the latest news from members.
Everyone welcome; come and get involved in your local arts scene.

Invitation to Exhibition Opening

We have now finished our photography workshops in Druids Heath and we are really proud of the amazing work that has been produced by all the participants. To show off what we have been doing we are holding an exhibition on Saturday 21st February 3-6pm at Manningford Hall and everyone is welcome. The exhibition will be curated by some of the workshop participants and will showcase photos that have been taken in all of the different workshops and by the many people who brought in personal photographs from home.

Druids Heath Exhibition

There will be refreshments available as well as a chance to have your portrait photo taken by the Some Cities professional photographers.

If you can’t make it to the exhibition opening then don’t worry! The photos will be moving down to Druids Heath Library where they will be on display until the end of March and will feature as part of our Art SOAK 2015 programme. Make sure you don’t miss out.

Amazing Stories from the Druids Heath Elders

Our last workshop will be in Druids Heath at Manningford Hall, this Thursday 5th February. Aimed specifically at elder people, we have been collecting some fascinating stories and histories of the area as well as, of course some great photos.

Manningford Hall Scan-4Manningford Hall Scan-6

The participants have taken cameras away this week and we can’t wait to see the pictures they come back with. If you haven’t been to any of the previous workshops but still want to take part, you are welcome to come along on Thursday at 11am. Alternatively we will be hosting an exhibition, opening on 21st February at Manningford Hall before moving onto Druids Heath Library which will showcase the great work from participants from all of our workshops in the area over the past few months.

Find out more about everything we’ve been doing in Druids Heath on the Connecting Communities page.