Arts & Culture in Birmingham This Bank Holiday

Birmingham Arts

This weekend I’ve been enjoying Birmingham’s arts and culture offerings and my how the city has delivered.

On Sunday I attended Swingamajig, which was outstanding – the UK’s first urban festival dedicated to electro swing, gypsy folk and vintage mayhem, taking the sounds and styles of the 20′s and bringing them up to date with dance, electro and a dash of dubstep.

Based in Birmingham’s artist’s quarter, and just a stones throw from the bohemian charm of the Custard Factory, the event was awash with hipster types and I felt somewhat bereft of a quirky hat – perhaps a top hat, or a fedora, or at the very least a beard.

I feel very confident that no where else in the city that night would I witness a man wearing a red matadors jacket, bobbing around to dance music, while lighting up a cigar at the same time … and to my absolute joy, I later found to be also wearing a squid necklace. Impressed? Yes. Have a bit of a crush? Hell yes.

Some video footage of one of my favourite acts of the evening;

Today I took my children to Birmingham’s city centre museum and art gallery to look at the new graduate art installation (from art graduates around the city), but actually the most interesting new thing I saw there today was this!

Birmingham Arts

On first glance there is something creepy about it anyway (these are full height characters), but when you read the information card it tells you all the models have real human teeth in them, which to your horror you can really tell when you lean in closer. It was like serial killer art! Maybe one senses it the moment one enters the room, hence the instant feeling of unease upon seeing it.

I tell you, those eyes really follow you round the room. I’ll have nightmares, especially as the teeth looked rather small to me … like children’s teeth.

Also, I was plagued by the question as to why the front character has underpants the same colour as the blood on his hand.

    Birmingham Arts

Birmingham Arts

We got chatting to an extremely knowledgeable museum attendant (trained as an archaeologist) for quite some time while there and he told us that the piece is inspired by the Mexican Day of The Dead – I was delighted to get this insider information not detailed on the information card :D

The graduate installation itself was fairly interesting and this is my favourite art within it;

Birmingham Arts

As I drifted around the museum I came across this poem on the wall below, and was quite enchanted by it.

Birmingham Arts
It’s a poem by Madison Cawein called ‘Morgan Le Fay’

And in the gift shop I bought a card with a nice black and white illustration of a Victorian lady on the front, because I liked the image, but mainly because I love the poem inside of it, which reads;

I love thee, I love but thee.
With a love that shall not die,
Til the sun grows cold,
And the stars are old.
And the leaves of the Judgement Book unfold!

This is an extract from ‘Bedouin’ Song by Bayard Taylor. The poem is well worth a read, as it’s far more beautiful in it’s entirety.

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