Archives For Uncategorized

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.

mr gambles

Today Siobhan and I were lucky enough to secure an interview with Brian Gambles (Project Manager and chief executive at The Library of Birmingham Trust.) Being the man in charge, Mr Gambles was understandably very busy as the preparations leading up to the big opening in September continue!

The interview was held in the new Library on the seventh floor. Walking through the building I couldn’t help but notice an enormous sense of anticipation contained between its glass walls.  This feeling was confirmed by Brian Gambles himself who was obviously eager for the Library to open its doors.  He talked about the new concept behind the Library and what sets it apart from all the others as well as discussing the building’s fascinating artefacts and how they will be brought to life through the discovery season and trail. We also learned Mr Gambles’ thoughts about the future of the Library and how it will affect arts and culture in Birmingham.

Listening to the answers and opinions of somebody behind such a new concept really triggered my excitement for what the future of Birmingham may hold.

The full interview will be uploaded as a pod cast very soon!

16.07.13 4Square 040

Continue Reading…

Hidden away in the heart of Birmingham, imposing itself between magnificent greenery and lofty trees sits the Edgbaston Priory Club, home to the annual Women’s Tennis Association’s AEGON Classic.  As a major part of the Women’s Tennis Tour calendar since 1982 and a valued grass court warm-up event for Wimbledon, the tournament has previously been won by many big-hitting stars such as Billie Jean King, Maria Sharapova and Li Na. Despite being a big Tennis fan (or rather someone glued to the television from the opening match of the French Open to the Wimbledon Final), I had never had the pleasure of experiencing this sporting contest first-hand and unmediated.

Even though the event was intended as a counterpart to the simultaneously-running Men’s AEGON Championship at London’s Queen’s Club, due to a lack of publicity and media interest, the tournament felt like a secret from the world’s press and popular consciousness, a little niche event only attended by those who know that it’s on and where it is. This is certainly a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can feel like the Women’s event is not as important as the Men’s (and speaking to people who live in Birmingham it is clear that its marketing and promotion is severely lacking) but equally, the seclusion and secrecy that this allows imbues one with a sense of superiority over the unknowing masses, as if a member of a private club who meet clandestinely to enjoy the cream of contemporary Women’s tennis.

The site’s Centre Court, named after Birmingham-born 1969 Wimbledon Champion, Ann Jones, compliments the event’s hushed camaraderie with its modest capacity and intimate architecture. Soon to become a Premier Tennis venue in 2014 (to be no doubt followed by a price increase from this year’s bargain offerings), Centre Court features immaculate grass covering, comfortable seats and exquisite views from everywhere on the Court. The only thing better than the calm beauty of its leafy surroundings however was the tennis on display. The Court played host to the Singles Final between Slovakian tour veteran, Daniela Hantuchova, and 16 year old Croatian player, Donna Vekic, in a perfect encapsulation of warm-up tournament spirit, the old hand versus the young pretender, the favourite versus the underdog.

With an enthusiastic crowd behind them (but regrettably many empty seats) the two players began the contest for the prized trophy beneath a cloudy sky under which lay a blazing sun that always threatened to force itself through but only did so sporadically. Despite a vast difference in experience and age ( a 14 year gap between the two competitors) this gulf did not readily show itself and even when Hantuchova broke Vekic’s serve in the 5th game, Vekic fought back valiantly to level the match once more. After a tight first set in which Hantuchova eased into the lead through a tie-break victory, the loyalty of the Birmingham crowd was heard with extravagant individual chants of ‘Come on Donna’ and louder cheers when the young Croatian picked up breathtaking points. As the second set unfolded, it was clear that the court’s intimate setting helped Vekic to recover from her first set defeat as she unveiled a stronger game imbued by continuous encouragement from the crowd. However, despite Vekic’s best efforts, Hantuchova’s wealth of experience led to an improved game as she looked to capitalise on her opponent’s fragility and naivety and clasp her hands around the trophy. Finishing 7-6, 6-4 after a ferocious battle, both players were gracious and respectful in victory and defeat much to the delight of the passionate crowd. We may not have been watching Shakespeare at the REP but with the Ann Jones Centre Court as the stage, both heroines performed wondrously until Daniela Hantuchova stole the show with a powerful second set offering leading to a rapturous applause from all around the modest stadium, red-defining the world Classic in the process.

Low on attendance but high in passion, lacking in publicity but drowning in enthusiasm, I am sure the AEGON Classic in Edgbaston will continue to grow year on year especially now that its venue status has been upgraded. There is, however, something heart warming and special about its modesty and its set up in the middle of Edgbaston’s grandiose greenery that may disappear if Women’s tennis begins to grow into the same sort of phenomenon as the Men’s game. I guess the debate between secret and elect or commercial and mainstream will rage on as long as some of the rallies on Ann Jones but one thing’s for certain, this year’s Classic served up an ace and demonstrated that, at least for the time being, there was no love lost for Women’s Tennis in Birmingham, or at least those savvy enough to attend.

Barts-and-The-Royal-London-morag-myerscough-vitalarts-

Part of the role of Birmingham 2022 is to create the Discovery Season Brochure to accompany the 4 month opening season of the new Library of Birmingham that has been curated and produced by Capsule, who have a history of crafting extraordinary events for adventurous audiences.

One of the key artists of the season is designer & wordsmith Morag Myerscough who will be responsible for the look and feel of the Pavilion, the space where it all happens. This structure act as a spectacular billboard to what the Library has to offer and is designed to house an 18-week rolling creative programme focused around discovery, set to be a playful & welcoming environment, Morag plans to incorporate words that can be associated with the library and all it’s potential.

Can you help us to generate words for this unique creative space?

Send us your suggesstions using hashtag #WordsForMorag by Tuesday 21st May

Morag Myerscough has produced an eclectic — and sometimes eccentric — body of work that is frequently unclassifiable but always engaging. She combines formal design methodologies with highly individualist craft skills. She recently collaborated with Zynga on the spacial design of their new headquarters in San Francisco. She believes in creating a narrative in the built environment and enhancing the physical experience of being in a space. To Morag, how people feel in a space is important. Making people smile and feel happy is one of the best outcomes. To see more of Morag’s work check here: http://www.studiomyerscough.com