Family Games Design Workshops in Smethwick and Bearwood

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Thimblemill Library, Saturday 5 May 1 - 4pm

Smethwick Library,
Sunday 6 May 1 - 3.30pm

 

Play games and help design new games about where you live! Playing games together isn't just fun, it can make us happier, healthier and make the places where we live better. No tech required.

Free, drop-in workshops for families.
(adults can join in too!)

GoodGame is a new project that explores the positive impact games can have on our lives, communities and the places where we live. Artists Anna Horton Cremin, Betab Zena and Gizzago are working with communities in Smethwick and Bearwood to explore the identity of their area alongside people who live and work there. 

Get involved - Young Creative Producers

We have two exciting creative projects happening this Spring and Summer in Birmingham and the Black Country. We're looking for young creative people ages 16 - 25 to get involved as volunteer producers. It's an opportunity to get involved, input into our creative projects, receive training, build skills and to meet new people.  

GoodGame - happening in Bearwood & Smethwick
Apr - Jun 2018

GoodGame is a project brings together artists with communities to develop games that can help people explore where they live in new ways and to address social issues. We’ll look at games in a whole other way: as a valuable, engaging tool that can improve people’s lives, not just a form of entertainment. 

Green Lungs - happening in Birmingham
Apr - Jun 2018

Green Lungs is a project that brings together artists to work with refugees and asylum seekers in green spaces in Birmingham. The project aims to improve health and wellbeing by promoting long-term access to these spaces and provide opportunities to be creative. 

Volunteer activities
You'll support Ampersand Projects and the artists with the delivery of fun workshops and have creative input into how they are developed and run. You'll help curate exhibitions. You’ll also receive training on delivering your own projects and working with communities. Travel expenses will be covered.

Interested?

Fill out this short form and say hello!

We know forms aren't for everyone and we're happy to chat over the phone. Just email Matt Andrews to arrange: matt.andrews@ampersandprojects.org

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Announcing Green Lungs 2018

We're excited to announce our latest project in partnership with St Chad's Sanctuary, Midlands Arts Center and Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife Trust. 


Building on the successful pilot project Green Lungs in 2016, Ampersand Projects will develop a new programme which will see two artists co-produce new work with refugees and asylum seekers in green spaces in Birmingham during Spring 2018. The project aims to improve health and wellbeing by promoting long-term access to these spaces.

The project will include:
- A series of creative participatory workshops at Cannon Hill Park, MAC  and The Centre of the Earth environmental centre in Winson Green;
- An evolving exhibition and project space at MAC
- A creative development programme for 16-24 year old creatives

The following artists will be commissioned:

Sam Underwood is a sound artist and musical instrument designer. His work in musical instrument design focuses on the development of new musical instruments. These range from commissioned pieces, such as large-scale sub- bass instruments, to simple but playable instruments designed to be built by others in workshop settings. Deep listening is something he encourages in others through sound walks and listening workshops.

Malgorzata Adamowska is a visual artist whose practice explores cultural hybridisation, migration and settling. She creates interactive installations both in the gallery space and outdoor environments both in the UK and internationally. Her installation 'Front Room' at Ort Gallery was a life size installation of a traditional British front room found which invited visitors to experience it first hand. The work commented on the variety of cultures living in modern day Britain and sought to bring to light the subject of assimilation, ways of settling and inclusion of migrants.

We believe that projects like Green Lungs demonstrate the positive social impact great art and artists can have on place: fostering ownership of public space, unlocking new ways of seeing urban environments and giving a prominent voice to marginalised communities.

Funded by

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Announcing GoodGame

We’re excited to announce GoodGame, a new project that will explore the positive impact games can have on our lives, communities and the places we live. Artists Anna Horton Cremin and Gizzago will work with communities in Smethwick to create games inspired by the unique identity of the area and local challenges.


Workshops will take place with residents and community groups held in indoor and outdoor community spaces, as a way of bringing people together in new and unexpected ways. The artists will work with community groups  to create unique games for each place, informed by the needs of residents and the unique identity of the area. They will look at the challenges facing those communities and use the medium of games to come up with creative responses. 

We’ll look at games in a whole other way: as valuable, engaging tools that can improve people’s lives, not just a form of entertainment. Games can create immersive worlds, encourage collaboration and empathy and motivate us to solve problems. They are now an essential part of the fabric of our society and culture but are often categorised as purely entertainment or escapism. We want to unlock the empowerment and skills development inherent in games to benefit communities in the Black Country.

We’ll be producing a community games toolkit which we will present along with the outcomes of the projects at an event later this year. We hope that other arts, community and voluntary organisations can benefit from the learning outcomes of the project. 

GoodGame is supported by Creative Black Country and funding from Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts and Big Lottery Fund’s Awards For All. 

 

Get Involved


Paid Artist Commission:
We are seeking an emerging/ early career artist to develop new work as part of the project, working alongside Ampersand Projects, Anna Horton-Cremin and Gizzago to develop participatory activities and artworks. We are seeking an artist that is based in The Black Country or Birmingham that is at the early stages of their artistic career (less than three years from graduation). This is an ideal opportunity to explore new ways of working with communities on a research-in-action project. 

For further details of this commission, please click here. Closes Friday 2nd March, 5pm.

Young Creative Producers: 
Are you aged 16 - 25 and interested in developing your skills on a creative project? Ampersand Projects are looking for three young people from The Black Country and Birmingham to volunteer on the GoodGame project. You’ll support Ampersand Projects and the artists with the delivery of workshops and have creative input into how they are developed and run. You’ll also receive training on delivering your own projects and working with communities. You don’t need any techy skills such as coding, just an enthusiasm for playing games and working with communities. 

Interested? Please use this 5 minute form to tell us a little bit about you and why you’d like to get involved. Closes Friday 2nd March, 5pm.

Community Groups:
Are you involved in a community or voluntary organisation in Smethwick or Bearwood? We’re seeking organisations or groups to get involved - please get in touch with Matt Andrews to discuss further: matt.andrews@ampersandprojects.org
 

  © Gizzago

© Gizzago

  © Anna Horton-Cremin

© Anna Horton-Cremin

Call for Artists - Green Lungs Project

Ampersand Projects are currently developing the second iteration of the Green Lungs Project in partnership with MAC Birmingham, Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife Trust and St. Chad's Sanctuary. The project is due to take place April - July 2018. Read more about the first Green Lungs project here.

Green Lungs will include the following activity:

  • A series of artist led workshops which will introduce people with refugee status and those seeking asylum to Cannon Hill Park and the Centre of the Earth wildlife centre (Winson Green). The project aims to be a symbolic welcome to Birmingham’s green spaces: havens of peace and quiet in the urban, post-industrial landscape.
     
  • A live exhibition space at MAC Birmingham (April - end of July) showing the participant exploration of the green spaces and new works by the commissioned artists.
     
  • The commissioning of two artists to create new work and contribute to the development of the exhibition.  We're looking for artists with a process led practice who can develop exciting new work in collaboration with participants with low levels of arts engagement experience. 
     
  • The project will be co-produced with a group of voluntary young creative producers from Birmingham, who will work collaboratively with us, the artists and the participants to creatively document the project and to shape the exhibition.

We are looking for expressions of interest from artists who would like to be considered for a paid artist commission for the Green Lungs project. We are looking to commission contemporary artists working with experience of, or interest in creating exciting new work in collaboration with participants with low levels of arts engagement. We welcome expressions of interest from artists based in the West Midlands, and from diverse backgrounds, including BAME artists and those with and without disabilities.

Please note that the progression of the Green Lungs project and any related artists commissions are subject to successful funding, which is currently unconfirmed.

Please fill out the form below to express your interest. Deadline 26 January 2018.

Name *
Name



 

 Sound works by Justin Wiggan. Photograph by Stephen Burke.

Sound works by Justin Wiggan. Photograph by Stephen Burke.

 Project participants from St. Chad's Sanctuary.

Project participants from St. Chad's Sanctuary.

You Must Disagree With Authority Figures

This summer we created a project with mac Birmingham inspired by the ARTIST ROOMS: Jenny Holzer exhibition. You Must Disagree with Authority Figures captured the opinions, fears and hopes of young people, families and community groups in their own voices. 

The activity culminated at the end of the summer with an artistic disruption to the public spaces at mac and Cannon Hill Park with politically informed interventions and public performances which were developed over a weekend lab with artists aged 16 - 25. Over thirty thousand visitors experienced the activity over the weekend-long interventions, giving the young artists a unique opportunity to develop site specific work, and to exhibit to a large public audience.

Here we look back at the works, interventions and performances from that weekend:

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Gallipollis Apartments by Tara Collette & Amrit Randhawa
Golden Lion pub, Cannon Hill Park


Inspired by the prevalence of the term ‘fake news’ in politics and the media in 2017, the artists designed fictional hoardings that advertised luxury apartments being built in Cannon Hill Park in 2019. Designed to shock observers into considering the cultural value of free, open, democratic public spaces, the work was informed by the artists’ concerns around private landowners buying public land across the UK. Tara and Amrit are both based in Manchester.


The Debt Song by Jade Foster
Cash machine alcove, mac Birmingham


Jade’s spoken word performance piece presented the bleak reality of a postgraduation student life saddled with student debt and the difficulty of finding work, affording food and living with mental health problems. Positioned above mac’s cash machine, visitors were confronted with the artist’s own weary voice intercut with the same statements in an anonymised voice that suggests the universality and shame of debt, along with media debates on the issue. Jade recently graduated with a BA (hons) in Fine Art from University of Derby. She currently lives and works in Sandwell, West Midlands.


Hipkiss & Graney

Dead Shrine and Public Spaces. Public Food by Hipkiss & Graney
Cannon Hill Park

Dead Shrine was a large scale sculptural work informed by shifts in the socio-political landscape and public speech in the past 12 months. Communal spaces now hold new and often foreboding forms that did not exist there before. Public Spaces. Public Food  was a food based work which suggested a possible social policy in which public spaces such as parks are used for the growing of free food, empowering visitors to consider an alternative to the current food industry. Jonathan Graney and Dale Hipkiss are based in Birmingham. They play with alternative social narratives and realities, often reaching into the fantastical, to create objects and spaces.


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Appropriated Statements by Amarno Inai
Cannon Hill Park

Inspired by Holzer’s Truisms, Amarno appropriated statements from literary figures and embedded them as bold provocations to park visitors. Like Holzer, Amarno has used the vernacular of the street; in this case stencil and chalk paint. Amarno is an upcoming, Birmingham-based visual artist whose work is political in nature. He is passionate about creating and solidifying community bonds within urban communities, by developing creative outreach programs that empower and inspire.


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BIGGER BETTER MORE SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS THAN EVER by Liz Ord
Live performance at mac Birmingham


Liz created a fake launch for a fashion brand, creating a line of T-shirts featuring slogans that play on the marketing campaigns of major fashion and beauty brands, which co-opt, repackage and sell back to consumers the ethics they already have. In addition to posters and advertising throughout mac, this brand also held a catwalk show on mac’s terrace on 25 August, featuring genuine models. Liz is a performance artist and professional model based in Birmingham.


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Untitled by Chloe Knibbs
Park benches, mac terrace


Chloe’s work addresses the dramatic rise in homelessness in Birmingham and other cities in the UK. Utilising park benches, the stereotypical symbol of sleeping rough, this work consisted of a series of brass plaques featuring statements taken from Crisis’ Impact Report 2016. It asks visitors to consider the plight of people who are homeless. Chloe is a composer and singer-songwriter, and has recently completed her Masters in Composition at Birmingham Conservatoire.


Humanities 101 by Maniba Zariat
mac Birmingham


Maniba’s short film used the language of advertising and the cut and paste nature of YouTube to convey a barrage of political messages. Maniba merges her background in marketing and business with a passion for youth work, arts, social action and diverse settings.


Thank you!

A huge thanks to all of the artists named above along with all of the participants and staff from Crisis Birmingham and St. Chads Sanctuary. Thanks to Jess Litherland at mac Birmingham, ARTIST ROOMS, Cannon Hill Park, Frilly, Mark Murphy, Scott Johnson, The Holodeck. 

All photographs © Stephen Burke


ARTIST ROOMS

The ARTIST ROOMS collection of over 1,600 works of modern and contemporary art is displayed across the UK in solo exhibitions that showcase the work of more than 40 major artists. ARTIST ROOMS Jenny Holzer at mac Birmingham was part of a touring programme that gives young people the chance to get involved in creative projects, discover more about art and learn new skills. Since 2009, 40 million people have visited more than 150 displays at over 75 museums and galleries. 

The ARTIST ROOMS collection is jointly owned by the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate, and was established through The d’Offay Donation in 2008, with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund, and the Scottish and British Governments. YOU MUST DISAGREE WITH AUTHORITY FIGURES was created in partnership with ARTIST ROOMS and supported by Arts Council England, Art Fund and Creative Scotland.

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