Haptic Home: Selly Oak – An Introduction

Haptic Home: Selly Oak is a collaborative venture between Arts Forum Selly
Oak and Sense @ Touch Base Pears. With funding from the Birmingham 2022
Festival, we have commissioned three contemporary visual artists to work with
the Selly Oak community on an arts and social care project, with the aim of
creating more awareness of disability and disability within the arts.

The three artists involved are:

Clarke Reynolds:

Clarke Reynolds, based in Portsmouth, is known as ‘the blind braille
artist’, and created a new way for people to engage with braille by making it
the centre of his art.

Fae Kilburn:

Fae is a Birmingham based printmaker and arts facilitator, specialising in a
variety of processes including mono print, etching and Collagraph. Her work is
inspired by many subjects; history, disability, identity and the natural
environment. 

Zoe Partington:

Zoe is an International conceptual artist specialising in ‘Disability Art’
practice through 3D dimensional and installation art work. She is a specialist
in creative audio description and inclusive approaches in the arts.

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‘Woodland Games’ – An afternoon with Arts Forum Selly Oak and Hipkiss & Graney

From Sunday 26 June to Sunday 24 July, Number 11 Arts, the federation of Local Arts Forums across Birmingham, will be holding ’10 to 11′; a city wide Arts Council England- funded festival of free local arts activities surrounding the Number 11 bus route.

On Sunday 3 July, Arts Forum Selly Oak in collaboration with Stirchley based artists Hipkiss & Graney will present ‘Woodland Games’ a mask-making workshop based around woodland ecology and the vital organisms that are crucial to keeping our planet alive…

“In our mask-making workshops we learn about three diverse types of organisms that are crucial to our woodland ecologies: Protozoa, Nematode and Arthropods.

Without these important players our world wouldn’t survive!

In this workshop we show our appreciation for these incredible lifeforms by turning them into wonderful folk characters, heroes of the woods and magical guardians of life.”

The workshop will be held at Artefact (1464 Pershore Road.) Doors will open at 1100 and the workshop will commence at 1200. The workshop will be held indoors and is suitable for all ages. Please note whilst Artefact is on the ground floor, there are no toilets for the disabled.

The artists will introduce the workshop once everyone is settled. After masks have been created, there will be a procession at 2pm down Hazelwell Road to the Kingdom Forest Garden, part of the Fruit and Nut Village growing project. The Garden is only a 7 minute walk from Artefact next to the River Rea cycle path.

“A key element of the (Fruit and Nut Village) project is to connect individuals with their communities through food growing and use of local public green spaces. People can do this through the project or through connecting with the local groups we are working with.”

There will then be an artist plenary and discussion of their exciting future Woodland Games projects. Fruit and Nut Village have also kindly offered to talk about their revolutionary project, and also representatives from the National Trust will be present to talk about their Blossoms in Birmingham project to the assembled lifeforms and organisms.

After the talks, there will be the opportunity for a picnic (please bring food, drinks and blankets!) and Woodland Games. The event should finish around 4/5pm, but please feel free to enjoy Stirchley for as long as you like.

What is this 10 to 11 that you speak of? Who are Number 11 Arts?

“10 to 11” is brought to you by Number 11 Arts, the federation of the ten local arts forums in the city of Birmingham, in celebration of their 11th birthday! “10 to 11” an Arts Council England funded project, and is presented in partnership with the National Trust’s Blossoms in Birmingham venture, part of the legacy of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

The event is free, and if you would like to reserve a place, please sign up to this Eventbrite form.

For more information on the ’10 to 11′ project:

For more information on the National Trust’s ‘Birmingham Blossom’ venture:

For more information on Fruit and Nut Village:

For more information on Hipkiss & Graney, specifically their ‘Woodland’ project:

Selly Oak Trust School campaign day event for Echo Eternal commemorative arts project.

Please see below some additional information regarding Selly Oak Trust School’s campaign day event as part of Echo Eternal, a commemorative arts, media and civic engagement project which will be broadcast online on Monday 25th September at 4pm. 

Selly Oak Trust School, a Specialist Science College for students with Special Educational Needs, is leading one of the campaign days for Echo Eternal, a dynamic commemorative arts, media and civic engagement project for children and young people, inspired by the testimony of survivors of the Holocaust.

I visited the School before the Christmas holiday, and I was delighted to see the fantastic arts provision on offer to its students, who in turn are able to produce an incredibly high level of art across a range of disciplines. 

Due to ongoing restrictions, the project will be shared as a virtual celebration, as part of the Echo Eternal Horizons Festival 2021 sharing Holocaust Memorial Day’s theme of ‘Be the light in the darkness.’ Selly Oak Trust School’s response has been to deliver a short film alongside a soundtrack in the form of the minimalist drone genre, in this case a series of sustained notes arranged and played by the pupils. This work forms part of a pledge from the school to continue to share the testimony of their Holocaust Survivor Susie Lind and in her name shine a light on the good work of the neighbouring Acorns Hospice.

Those of you who enjoyed the School’s excellent virtual advert calendar that I shared before the holiday will be pleased to know that the ‘virtual artwork’ will also involve photography and sculpture, as well as music and film disciplines.

The film will be shared at 4pm on Monday 25 January via the front page and will stay on its own dedicated page all year.

The Festival started on the 7th January and you can catch up on the daily content and watch upcoming events via the projects microsite. Other highlights include the Horizons21 collaborative film which Selly Oak’s pledge features in and the online exhibition which will be published on the 27th January to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day and will feature art work from Selly Oak students.

If you have been inspired to create your own pledge you’ll be able to add these to the website. You can also use Echo Eternal’s social media sites to share your thoughts, responses and pledges if you wish @echoeternal112

https://horizonsfestival.uk

Arts Forum Selly Oak meeting – 25th November – Minutes.

Good afternoon to you all, I hope you are all well. Please see below the minutes of Arts Forum Meeting held on the 25th of November. 

We have details of forthcoming local events in December and news of funding opportunities and arts markets. There is also a spotlight on two organisations who have been chosen by Birmingham City Council to carry out a feasibility study into local arts programming in 2022, and also news of opportunities for Arts Forum Selly Oak to get involved with in January and February next year. 

 If you have any questions, or would like to get in contact with me or the attendees, please do not hesitate to let me know artsforumsellyoak@gmail.com

The plan was to talk about the planning and organising of arts and community initiatives during this time, and to go forward into 2021 with arts and cultural activities both online, socially distanced and (hopefully!) slowly back into the live settings we all enjoy.

Forthcoming Winter Projects

Heidi from Stirchley Snowflake Festival shared with us information regarding the inaugural Festival, supported with funding from Arts Council England. It is ‘a festival of magic, community and creativity’ from 7th – 23rd December 2020.

Created with an enthusiasm to share the message that creativity is something that everyone can do, Heidi told us of several projects connected to the festival that the local community can get behind. A ‘snowflake trail’ – simply making snowflakes and winter scenes and displaying them in your front window; a ‘communi-tree’ – where clay stars will be decorated and hung on the tree outside Stirchley school, and easy-to-make kits to craft at home.

There are also competitions for businesses along Stirchley High Street to decorate their shop frontages, and also four giveaways supporting some of the best independent businesses on Stirchley High Street.

https://www.facebook.com/stirchleysnowflakes

https://www.stirchleysnowflakes.co.uk/

We were joined by Emma from Friends of Cotteridge Park. Whilst the excellent CoCoMAD festival had to move online this year, they have also been hard at work getting the Park café, The Shed open for business. Emma came to our meeting to say that there is electricity at the venue, so they are welcoming creative arts, including live performance, music and drama to be performed in the Park over the Winter months. If you are interested – please get in touch with them.

info@cotteridgepark.org.uk

There are outdoor events  at Selly Manor, including a Nativity on the 5th, and a performance by Bournville Voices on the 13th. Tickets go on sale on Monday 30th November, however, in light of recent government restrictions, please get in touch with them to see if the events are going ahead.

https://sellymanormuseum.org.uk/events

Selly Park artist Maggie joined us to let us know of online craft fairs occurring in December and January.

Members of the Birmingham Etsy community (of which Maggie is one!) had an online Christmas market on the weekend of the 28 – 29 November.

https://www.facebook.com/birminghametsy

https://www.birminghamoriginals.co.uk/

https://theetsymarket.etsy.com/BirminghamOriginals

MAC Birmingham will be having their ever-excellent Christmas market online this year. It’s started already, but will run until the 4th of December, so there’s plenty of time to support a local artist over Christmas!

https://macbirmingham.co.uk/event/mac-christmas-arts-market-online-edition

Maggie is also a member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) and also wanted to mention that the RBSA Prize exhibition will stay online until the extended date on the 16th January.

https://www.rbsa.org.uk/rbsa-prize-2020

https://www.maggieleaver.com/home – she is also hoping to exhibit at the Moseley Exchange in the New Year – http://moseleyexchange.com/

News

The Bone Ensemble and Windswept Workshops have been awarded funding by Birmingham City Council to carry out a feasibility study into community arts projects for delivery in 2022. The projects will be co-designed by Birmingham artists/art leaders, arts organisations/groups, residents and communities.

Arts Forum Selly Oak are very much looking forward to be working closely with both The Bone Ensemble and Windswept Workshops on this project, and have already provided local context and guidance in meetings and conversations – it was good to have representatives from the organisations (Jill from The Bone Ensemble, and Erin & Gabi from Windswept Workshops) at the meeting, and hear about their ideas for the forthcoming year.

Arts Forum Selly Oak will also facilitate local networks and opportunities for local engagement and enable the voice of the neighbourhoods to be heard. The Bone Ensemble will be carrying out their study around the area of Bournville Railway Station, and Windswept Workshops, working alongside Sense at Touch Base Pears, will be carrying out their study around Selly Oak Railway Station.

Any help with this from the local community will be very gladly received, and if you want to get in touch with either The Bone Ensemble or Windswept Workshops on this, please let me know.

https://www.windsweptworkshops.com/

https://www.theboneensemble.com

Sense Connect

Sunney Sharma, the Arts and Wellbeing Manager wanted to share their new Sense Connect project and manifesto. The manifesto was created with acclaimed disabled/visual artist Tanya Raabe-Webber, and is ‘a set of values supporting people with complex disabilities, their friends and families to connect.’

Earlier on in the Autumn, Sunney reached out to Arts Forum Selly Oak to share news of opportunities for local artists and arts organisations to get involved with the planning and making of a series of videos for Sense Connect. Windswept Workshops got in touch,  and they have produced together a video that will be hosted on Sense Connect’s YouTube site within the next few weeks.

In the meantime, do take a look at the manifesto, and also have a click around the YouTube page.

Manifesto – https://youtu.be/c7Eh0IKMifA

Arts Forum Selly Oak news

A lot has happened this week. Whilst these projects are very much in the infancy stage, the dream of looking forward to events during the Winter months and a further lockdown is seeming to be answered. More on these TBC, but for the moment…

Echo Eternal Festival

This week I was approached by Claire Marshall, co-ordinator for Erdington Arts Forum, to have a meeting with Selly Oak Trust School, a specialist science college for unique students with special educational needs.

The School will be taking part in one of the campaign days for the Echo Eternal Festival in January, a commemorative arts engagement programme inspired by Holocaust survivor testimony to promote respect and understanding between different communities.

I was very excited to hear more about the project, and was glad to have the meeting, especially when I learnt about the high standard of art that the students are engaging with; visual arts, photography, mini-sculpture and music making (one note drones) and am looking forward to visiting the School next week to meet the students and staff.

https://echoeternal.uk/

Open Theatre

From February 2021 Arts Forum Selly Oak will be one of four Local Arts Forums who will be working alongside Open Theatre, as part of their forthcoming ‘Digital Doorways’ project. Open Theatre ‘use non-verbal physical theatre to collaborate with Young People With Learning Disabilities, creating quality art which reflects and celebrates their unique types of creativity.’ During December I will be having more meetings with the organisation, and I am very much looking forward to letting you know more about this.

Digital Doorways in Erdington alongside Erdington Ars Forum https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InD1YLS5NWg

Further funding

It’s been an excellent year for Arts Forum Selly Oak, and I’d like to thank my colleagues within Number 11 Arts, the Arts Forum Selly Oak network and our funders (!) for all their help this year. I am currently looking into the possibility of putting in a bid for the Arts Council Thriving Communities Fund and working in collaboration with Northfield Arts Forum on this. Please have a look, and if you have any ideas – let me know.

Next meeting, undecided yet. Possibly January but if December becomes interesting it may have to be earlier.

Your thoughts on a potential studio space in the Selly Oak district…

I’ve had contact from a key organisation in the district who have the wherewithal to transform their sizeable office space into a block of modern artist studios and workshop spaces. The building is modern and has a sizeable lift.

 

The questions I would like to ask you are as follows:

 

  1. How much as an artist do you think is an acceptable amount of money to pay to rent a studio located in the suburbs?

 

  1. What would you expect from such a space? Powerpoints, wi-fi, good lighting? Take this as a wish-list of sorts, in order to get a good idea of what you would want from your space.

 

  1. If the organisation were to provide a members scheme, what would you like to be included? Further training? Access to materials? Discounts on rent? Guidance sessions and networks?

 

If you could please get back to me on this as soon as possible on the email below, I would really appreciate it. Please also feel free to share this around your own networks.

 

artsforumsellyoak@gmail.com

 

The next Arts Forum Selly Oak meeting and newsletter will appear very soon.

Your thoughts on a potential studio space in the Selly Oak district…

I’ve had contact from a key organisation in the Selly Oak district who have the wherewithal to transform their sizeable office space into a block of modern artist studios and workshop spaces. The building is modern and has a sizeable lift.
The questions I would like to ask you are as follows:
1. How much as an artist do you think is an acceptable amount of money to pay to rent a studio located in the suburbs?
2. What would you expect from such a space? Powerpoints, wi-fi, good lighting? Take this as a wish-list of sorts, in order to get a good idea of what you would want from your space.
3. If the organisation were to provide a members scheme, what would you like to be included? Further training? Access to materials? Discounts on rent? Guidance sessions and networks?
If you could please get back to me on this when you can at the email below, I would really appreciate it. Please also feel free to share this around your own networks.
The next Arts Forum Selly Oak meeting and newsletter will appear very soon.
With kind regards
James Kennedy
artsforumsellyoak@gmail.com

Minutes of Arts Forum meeting 16.05

Arts Forum Selly Oak Meeting Minutes and Agenda

Location: Artefact, Pershore Road

Date: 16 May 2019

The meeting was held to discuss and share information about empty spaces in the Selly Oak district, and the potential to use them as a venue for community groups, workshop spaces, community art clubs, or a mixture of all three.

I also wanted to hold this meeting to introduce the group to Open Studios Birmingham, and get them to talk about the logistics for exhibiting work in their forthcoming programme this Autumn.

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Minutes of Arts Forum meeting 11.12.18

Happy New Year to one and all. Here are the minutes for the last Arts Forum Selly Oak meeting that was held at Artefact in Stirchley last month. It being the lead-up to Christmas, it was a bit thin on the ground attendance wise, but there was some excellent discussion, and the drawing out of some plans for next year.

The next meeting? Click on the Eventbrite link here, it’ll be on the Wednesday 12 February, again at Artefact in Stirchley.

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