We asked our work experience intern, Oliver, to take a look round Eastside Projects, an artist-led gallery space just down the road in Digbeth, which is doing great things for the cultural growth of Birmingham. Here’s his write up:
‘Eastside Projects is an exhibition space in the heart of Digbeth. It’s a free public space which is transformed by different artists from all over the world. While showing some very experimental and contemporary pieces, Eastside Projects also aims to show how art and architecture can come together to create a new contemporary space, and, with new exhibitions every 2-3 months, Eastside Projects is constantly changing much like the landscape surrounding it.
On my tour of the exhibition, Eastside Projects was currently showing pieces by Caroline Achaintre, Sara Barker and Alice Channer, as well as the FormContent project. The first exhibition room featured 3 artists with very different approaches. Alice Channer has created a sculpture that comprises of stretched pictures of monuments from the British museum printed onto a long piece of silk. Furthermore, with the monument stretching from the floor to the ceiling, the sculpture almost seems to be tearing apart, revealing a sort of violence in Alice Channer’s work. Her work is also clever in expanding to the size of the room, puzzling the eyes as they try and scale it back to size.
Also in the first exhibition room is work by Sara Barker and Caroline Achaintre. Achaintre created a number of anamorphic ceramic masks, freestanding on the wall. The piece shows ‘Achaintre’s concerns are the junctures between the ancient and modern, psychological and physical, exoticism and technology’. Sara Barker’s work consists of a geometric sculpture of different metals hand painted with layered washes of paint. With some structures anchored down, some supported and some freestanding, I think that Barker is trying to show the development of life in her sculpture from being anchored down with the many stresses of life and the need to be supported to overcoming these and being free. Furthermore the washed, abstract look of her work shows that life is different everyday and not just one colour, but a mixture of light and dark days.
In second exhibition room, which is called FormContent, Francesco Pedraglio , Pieternel Vermoortel and Anca Rujoiu created an exhibition that transforms the audience into an investigator to try and solve the mystery of the room. With several different pieces such as seven newspaper articles that don’t reveal everything coupled with other pieces of evidence, like a beaming light shone down onto a silver coin, the exhibition arouses a suspicion amongst the audience.
Unlike most spaces which are primarily a blank canvas for artists to place their work, Eastside Projects exhibition room itself is a piece of art that is constantly changing its layout which interacts in interesting ways with the artists’ work.’