Week Notes # 6

Hi all! Hope you had a great weekend whether that was watching the Wimbledon finals or like me spent time enjoying some art. 

In an attempt to show up more frequently on this blog I’ve decided to resurrect my Week Notes feature which will be a roundup of my week, sharing with you a few things I’ve enjoyed.

 This week has been rather art focused as I attended exhibitions by one of the admins from Igers Birmingham Fraser McGee at Medicine  Bakery and the first UK exhibition by Polish artist Przemek Branas which is being held at Centrala.

Fraser’s photographs capture life behind the curtains at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. I love that the crew of the Rep have made the stands and fixtures to display the photos as it ties all together wonderfully.

Production by Fraser McGee is on until 5th August.

After seeing Fraser’s exhibition I headed down to Digbeth to Centrala to check out Przemek Branas’ artwork. I Is Somebody Else is made up of a video performance, an installation constructed from used products packaging (see image below) and a wall of masks made from materials such as leaves and papier – mâché. I liked how it raised questions about hidden identity and the relationship between face and mask. The wall of masks did make me think of a dystopian version of the iconic wall of faces in the original Snobs nightclub. 

I Is Somebody Else is on until 11th August.

As part of the Home of Metal exhibitions on Saturday I went to hear an in conversation with Alan Kane, Lisa Meyers, Mark Titchner and Deborah Reynolds at New Art Gallery, Walsall. It was quite a relaxed, informal talk as they were sat on one of  the beds which forms part of the 4 Bed Detached Home of Metal exhibition. It was vaguely reminiscent of Paula Yates’ Big Breakfast interviews but with added recordings of Noddy Holder’s voice in the background as we were sat by the lifts. It was fascinating to hear the perspectives from the Metal and non Metal fans alike on curating this group show.

I’ve also been to see the Black Sabbath exhibition at BMAG, Looking Beyond The Concrete Wall: Stories from the Polish Underground at Centrala and Hell Mouth 3 at Eastside Projects as part of the Home of Metal 2019 programme which I’ll put together as a highlights post for you in due course.

As you can see from the first image in this post I went to see the Watt In The World exhibition at the 3rd floor gallery in the Library of Birmingham. I attended on the launch day on Friday and was surprised I was the only one there however the library had only just opened.  Well worth a visit if you want to find out more about the life and work of James Watt. I hope to do a standalone post on this exhibition at some point.

 

LINKS I’VE LOVED

• Akram Khan’s love letter to diversity in  arts and culture

• Holland covers hundreds of bus stops with plants as gift to honeybees

• How to create thoughtful and memorable content

 

WHAT I’VE WATCHED

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 episode 6 ‘Household’ – in the latest episode of The Handmaid’s tale we see June being summoned to Washington as part of Fred and Serena’s campaign to repatriate baby Nichole from Canada. As she arrives at the train station we see the Washington Monument has been transformed into a giant crucifix, gender separation on the escalators, handmaids with their mouths concealed and June being made to wait on a giant red spot until she is collected by her owners. 

My only complaint is to do with the character arcs of Fred and Serena, how could Fred get to mingle with the top brass of Gilead when earlier in the season he was demoted thanks to the kidnapping of Nichole and how many more times can Serena go from being June’s ally to her enemy?

For fans of the the show’s imagery there is a beautiful shot of June’s red umbrella moving through a sea of black ones. As ever Elisabeth Moss’ face and body language brilliantly portrays her character’s rage and defiance simmering away. Without giving too much away about this episode my prediction is unlike the handmaids in Washington I doubt June will be silenced in future episodes. 

Moon Launch Live – to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landings Channel 4 televised the launch day of Apollo 11, using a combination of NASA archive with global television footage from the day to take viewers back in time. I was certainly enthralled and and looking forward to watching the accompanying show Moon Landing Live. 

Portrait Artist of the Year 2019 – previously broadcast on Sky Arts and currently on Channel 4, I’m fascinated each week by how the nine artists capture their celebrity sitters who this week were Anna Chancellor, Stephen Graham and Beverley Knight. 

 

CURRENTLY READING

 

The book club I attend had our last meeting before our summer break on Thursday. Over copious amounts of cake we discussed The Lido by Libby Page which I will share in more detail shortly as I’m currently putting together a book post. If you’re a fan of uplift lit and are looking for a summer read I would recommend reading this book.

Although I generally prefer reading physical books I’ve had a bit of a splurge on Kindle editions of books recently which was kickstarted with Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams which although it’s her third book marks her first foray into fiction. This was 99p at the time of purchase.

Also bought for the Kindle thanks to tips from my fellow book club member Sinead were:

The Binding by Bridget Collins (£1.99 at time of purchase)

Dear Mrs Bird by A J Pearce (99p at time of purchase)

The Familiars by Stacey Halls (£1.89 at time of purchase)

Trick To Time by Kit de Waal (£1.99 at time of purchase)

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on these books, if you’ve read any of these titles please leave a comment below.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

For The Love Of Concrete

RAF Museum London

William Mitchell Murals, Hockley Flyover

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