Morag Myerscough’s residency opened today in her own Pavilion at the Library of Birmingham. She came to speak to us at Birmingham 2022, back when the both the Pavilion and the Library were still under contsruction. For a little introduction to Morag as an artist, and to find out a little more about the Pavilion and her residency, take a peek at this short video from when we had a little chat with her back in July.
Studio Myerscough residence opens today, September 10th in the Library of Birmingham Pavilion, and runs until the end of the week. Join her from 10 – 6pm each day to try your hand at stencilling, other design techniques, and to immerse yourself in her world of bright and bold.
It was recently reported that the Bible will be made available in almost all language groups by the year 2022 (Ted Bergman from the Summer Institute of Linguistics). Upon reading this, the mention of the year 2022 immediately piqued my interest on account of the fact that I am participating in this project about the year 2022. Given that this project centres around the libraryof Birmingham and libraries are about books, I thought it would be appropriate to take a moment to consider the Bible, the book that is widely regarded as ‘the book of all books,’ honing in on some of its literary styles and techniques that have shaped English language and culture today.
The Bible is mysterious in the sense that it has stood the test of time, it continues to be the best selling least read book year after year despite numerous historical attempts to destroy it. Religious controversy aside, the variety of literary means and methods make the bible interesting from an artistic standpoint as you can find various styles of poetry, drama not to mention stories of every genre under the sun.
The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic and Hebrew in particular is known to be a very powerful, dramatic and emotive language. When the King James Version of the bible was translated into English it did some interesting things for the development of the English language. It is no secret that the bible bore influence on many of William Shakespeare plays and of course Shakespeare is widely regarded to have shaped English Language and Literature.
Just to illustrate my point with a few examples, in English when describing a conversation, we would say simply say something like “And he said…” but the same thing expression in the Hebrew language would say something like “And he opened his mouth and spake, saying…” To give you another example, in English we would say something like “He got up to put on his coat and left.” In the Hebrew it would say something like “He arose, girded his loins and went forth.” Get my point? It all sounds much more dramatic and reading it keeps you on tenterhooks.
As we consider arts and culture in Birmingham and its progression in 10 years time, I think it’s important that we reflect on the foundations on which our creative expression is often built. In 2022, The Library of Birmingham will be that place where we can take the where it will be standard practice for visitors to draw on our heritage to help us make better decisions about our lives and our futures. When we consider where are coming from we will always gain insight into where we are going.
Looking for a unique live music venue in Birmingham? Then Suki10c is the place for you! Although Digbeth is jam packed with party sites this street art adorned establishment is one of a kind. Transformed from an aged boozer to a lively nightspot with an innovative name (pronounced ‘suck it and see’ Ha!) this location is unmissable in more ways than one. It was thanks to the sudden surge of nightlife that Digbeth was transformed from an industrial wilderness to the arts centre it is today, so who better to predict where the future of the district should lie than a bar owner? I spoke to Laur Beech, proprietor of Suki10c to find out what she predicts Digbeth will be like in a decade’s time…
How long have you lived and worked in Digbeth?
Lived in city centre for 7 years and opened the pub on 31st May 2012
Why did you choose to open Suki10c in Digbeth, rather than in another area of Birmingham?
The vibrant, artistic and originality of suki10c is fitting with the other venues and business in Digbeth. It’s also cheap!!
Digbeth is considered an emerging art scene, how has Digbeth developed during your time there?
There are more and more things happening in Digbeth. Shops, studios, galleries and venues.
How do you predict Digbeth will alter during the next decade? (Between now and 2022)
Digbeth is the next big thing in Birmingham, once the new station is built at Curzon Street people will arrive in Birmingham through Digbeth, the new ‘gateway’ to Birmingham city centre. People are also intrigued by Digbeth, its industrial architecture is a great influence to art scene in the area.
Digbeth is known for its abandoned factories, some of which have been transformed into galleries. What do you predict for the remaining empty industrial spaces? Could they be used creatively?
I hope so! Birmingham’s issue is the council; no one has any money and the council offer little help for expansion. I hope that soon they will be used as creative spaces of varying forms and not just turned into apartments or car parks!
Although Digbeth is emerging, it is known for its ‘retro’ atmosphere and its obvious links to the district’s industrial history (The Custard factory for example). Do you feel that during the regeneration it is important to keep these ties apparent for Digbeth’s identity?
Totally, that is what makes Digbeth what it is; most people in the area seem to respect that.
I was inspired by the library of Birmingham to create a character that resembled the likeness of the new structure. I tried to capture the high tech style and merge it with my style of drawing and came up with this imaginary tech-droid that has the shapes and bold colours that build up the libraries form.
Sipping prosecco and pimms, indulging on fluffy iced cupcakes, and posing for photographs whilst standing in a room of admirable art isn’t my usual Thursday evening, but I could certainly get used to it. The launch party of Art in the Heart kicked off last week in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and I enjoyed it that much that I am now inspired to see all of their exhibitions that will be on display this summer.
Art in the Heart is celebrating the region’s world class art collections, across 23 leading West Midlands cultural attractions. In Birmingham venues include the IKON, the planetarium at Thinktank and RBSA Gallery in St Paul’s Square. The Discovery Season Festival at the Library of Birmingham is also part of Art in the Heart, along with Reference Works, a photography exhibition in the new library’s gallery. Other exhibitions have work on display by famous artists such as Rembrandt and Damien Hirst, and my personal favourite; Quentin Blake. You have to have a high regard for the man who brought the BFG to life.
The launch party opened with George Catlin’s American Indian portraits, on display at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery until the 13th October. Catlin was a 19th Century American artist who followed Native American tribes and painted their portraits. The most interesting thing for me was that he wasn’t just an incredible artist, but he was also a writer and a performer. He even visited the UK with his portraits to tell his tale, touring the country and performing dances and re-enactments to support his art work.
George Catlin, Indian Portraits
For the 1800s, he was a well travelled man, and from the things to read in the art gallery, also that of a socialite: He spent a lot of time around Birmingham, visiting the newly restored Shakespeare Memorial room, housed in the new Library of Birmingham, meeting with Mr Cadbury, a stop at the then button factory at Snowhill, and he even partied with a local novelist in her home on Bennett’s Hill. Quite the lifestyle really, almost as glamorous as me attending an arts launch party.
Do try to check at least one of the exhibitions out, if Indian portraits aren’t for you, then there most definitely will still be something to intrigue on the impressive list of what’s on. Aside from Quentin Blake, I shall be gracing my presence at the Stratford upon Avon Poetry Festival based at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
To find out more information on the many events and exciting exhibits, go to: