In the Beginning by Ania Tomaszewska-Nelson

Ania Tomaszewska-Nelson is a visual contemporary artist of Polish origin. She moved from Poland to study art at The Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University. After graduating in 1996 in Painting and Mixed Media, Tomaszewska-Nelson settled in Brixton, London, where she has a studio.

Predominantly a painter, Tomaszewska-Nelson also works with video, photography, performance, land-art, installation and sound, always seeking a language best suited for the subject matter.

In her artistic practice, she is interested in the way an individual experience relates to the everyday universal narrative, and how a single gesture originates from a vast natural phenomenon. Tomaszewska-Nelson is a great admirer of artistic simplicity that conveys the complexity of the world around us and its pattern.

Ewa Partum ‘My Problem Is a Problem of a Woman’

For this Digbeth First Friday we are excited to announce Ewa Partum’s, ‘My Problem Is a Problem of a Woman’, curated by Karolina Majewska-Güde.

Partum has been a pioneer in Eastern European feminism, documenting her experiences both politically and personally through her art. ‘My Problem Is a Problem of a Woman’ refers to the performance realised by Partum in Łódź in 1979, during which the artist recognised art as a tool of the feminist struggle developing tactics of resistance and protest through the means of art. The works will introduce audiences to the many stages of Partums work over the course of decades as she paved the way for feminist art, marking a shift in radical discourse.

Partums work has gone on to be exhibited worldwide and included in collections such Tate, London and MoMA, New York.

As part of the launch, we will have Partum’s live performative work ‘Action Tearjerker’. Following this, Selextorhood founder and DJ, Holly 1-10 will be hosting a live set including Funk, Jazz, Soul, and more to celebrate this exhibition as part of this launch.

With thanks to Arts Council England for their support in this exhibition.

We Are Here: From Ukraine

Join us for this exhibition launch that shares experiences in words and photos from the people of Kyiv. Some have been unable to leave and others are seeking refuge in other countries. Come along to find out more.

This exhibition at Centrala has been organised with Ukrainian students and staff Birmingham City University. It has been generously supported by the Heart of England Community Foundation.

At the exhibition launch, we will be selling a collection of posters, prints + more, with all profits going towards supporting refugees.

We will also be hosting a celebration at Centrala with a live DJ set offering an opportunity to come together in solidarity.

Simona Žemaitytė, A̶l̶l̶ ̶Y̶o̶u̶ Need Is Love Launch & Live DJ Set

Centrala presents, A̶l̶l̶ ̶Y̶o̶u̶ need is love by Simona Žemaitytė followed by a live DJ set.

In the workshop-based video, Simona Žemaitytė, a Lithuinan artist, bought together five strangers from a diverse background encourgaging a stream of conversations surrounding the addictive side of love and sex. Choreographed to a complex soundtrack, Žemaitytė reflects the combination of emotions which exist alongside the issues of addiction; shame, guilt and trauma being at the forefront of this. Working closely with a composer and a choreographer, using possibilities of their bodies and voices, performers explore triggers, boundaries and guilt, that would illuminate a path to belonging and healing.

The launch of this exhibition will take place between 6-8pm.

This will be followed by a live DJ performance for the remainder of the evening from 8-11pm.

Visions of Krasnodar Artists

Yana Alalykina, Sacha Demina, Elena Kolesnikova, Yulia Shafarostova and Katerina Vierba

A showcase of five female artists based in Krasnodar, Russia who are tracing and remaking the past by creating a space of their own, opposing the socio-political environment that surrounds them. In Krasnodar, the opportunity for formal visual arts education, funding and resources for artists is scarce, despite this, these women are part of a community of artists that drive for self-organisation, autonomy and connection.

Katerina Vierba and Sacha Demina retrace their colonial origins and the displacement of communities under the Soviet regime. Yana Alalykina, Elena Kolesnikova, and Yulia Shafarostova consider Krasnodar’s architecture, infrastructures, history and civic life, presenting alternative realities. This exhibition showcases the implications of a fast developing region, simultaneously, it presents Krasnodar’s vibrant and formidable creative community who are continually building an alternative and much-needed platform for artists based in Russia.

With thanks to Translocalities, a programme of exchange between cultural institutions outside of capitals in Russia and the UK.

Silent Auction for Baobab Women’s Project

We will be displaying works from a plethora of artists in our downstairs space to be bid on throughout the night and the following day.

All proceeds will be donated to the Birmingham based charity Baobab Women’s Project. Their aim is to provide benefit to refugee and migrant women who are suffering hardship due to precarious immigration status, refusal of asylum, domestic or gender violence, labour and sex trafficking or domestic servitude.

With a live jazz band playing and the Centrala Bar and Cafe open as usual, we welcome everyone to come down, do some christmas shopping, support local and emerging artists and an amazing cause.

W A ( Y ) S T (O) E D F R E E D O M exhibition by Malgorzata Drohomirecka

The newest exhibition by London-based, Polish painter Malgorzata Drohomirecka, exploring how visual representations in patriarchal society objectify women as the symbol of a community and the embodiment of its ‘culture and traditions’.

In the 19th century, Poland was often depicted in paintings as a female figure called ‘Polonia’. The series of paintings by Malgorzata Drohomirecka presented at the exhibition: W A (Y) S T (O) E D F R E E D O M alludes to those depictions from a 21st century point of view and transforms the national ritual of martyrdom into a sadomasochistic subversion.

Casa Mare exhibition by Pavel Brăila

First solo exhibition by Pavel Brăila in the UK explored the links between wedding industry and cultural scene in Moldova.

Brăila focuses on the artistic existence and reveals the economic framework conditions of misery in the entire system: free economic structures take over the support of artists, which the state refuses to provide. Sectors such as the wedding industry, which is booming in Moldova, contribute to an already small number of cultural workers and cultural life. The juxtaposition of these two installations has a disturbing effect: the attention given to the bride and groom at these intimate events in the 1990s is giving way to commercialization to such an extent that the happy moments of the couples are no longer the event, but the industry itself is the centre of attention.

All Systems Go Showcase + Ranbir Kaur ‘Out of the Frame’ exhibition opening

Join us for a real Digbeth First Friday treat! In the upstairs gallery, we are featuring special showcase of All Systems Go commissions – a series of films created by an amazing group of artists commissioned by Centrala as a reaction to the COVID crisis.
In our downstairs gallery, we are officially opening ‘Out of the frame’ – the newest exhibition by Ranbir Kaur.
We will be screening works by Egyptian electronic audio-visual artist Shadwa Ali, British bandleader and drummer Kai Chareunsy, Japanese musician and sound artist Rie Nakajima, Italian illustrator-performer Conny Prantera, Polish AV artist Ela Orleans, Midlands based experimental composition duo 7balcony.
Originally, the commissions were presented as a mix of in-person shows and live-streamed performances.
More about the project:
‘Out of The Frame’ features handcrafted South Asian arts and crafts created by rangoli and textile artist, Ranbir Kaur. It showcases Ranbir Kaur’s expertise in traditional Indian crafting techniques and the knowledge acquired from her extensive research of South Asian craftwork conducted over her 30 year long career.
More about the project: