Encoded Realities Exhbition Launch

Encoded Realities organised by Interdisciplinary scientists in SMQB at the University of Birmingham who employ mathematical models and computational algorithms to represent, interrogate and analyse such principles in collaboration with other scientists, Artists include Agi Haines, Alex Billingham, Andrea Mbarushimana, Anja Borowicz Richardson, Charlotte Dunn, Emily Scarrott, Felicity Inkpen, Ian Andrews , Shannel James , Tom Ellis , Vicky Roden and Simon Peter Green

Karen Babayan | Out of the Ruins

“Out of the Ruins”: Karen Babayan’s Residency

Join us at Centrala for “Out of the Ruins,” a poignant exhibition by Karen Babayan featured in the Arts Council-supported “Hybrid Landscapes” program. This exhibition showcases the intersection of displacement, hybrid identities, and cultural resilience, deeply rooted in the artist’s Eastern European and Middle Eastern heritage, including her Armenian origins. “Out of the Ruins” explores the nuanced interplay between history, identity, and survival, reflecting the shared experiences of Eastern European communities.

The exhibition features a diverse collection of works, including:
Early career paintings are vibrant with Eastern European religious and pagan iconography. Photographic series on aluminium capturing landscapes marked by historical shifts. Installations of found objects symbolising rites of passage and collective journeys. Excerpts from Babayan’s forthcoming novel, weaving personal and communal stories of endurance.

Special Highlights:
The exhibition title pays homage to Zabel Yessayan’s book, documenting the aftermath of the 1909 Adana massacres, reflecting on the enduring spirit of the Armenian diaspora and their survival strategies through tumultuous histories.

Eastern Incantations

We are delighted to bring to Birmingham another Eastern Incantations weekend , two evenings of Experimental sounds from Eastern Europe and Migrant performers on Friday 5th April and Saturday 6th April

This years weekend will take a different form , as part Of Digbeth First Friday Centrala’s whole space will host a series of Pop up performances from young and emerging CEE artist and performers culminating in an immersive AV sound experience from Lithuanian Sound artist Adas Gecevicius and Leon Trimble ( Chromatouch) . Adas Gecevičius – Lithuanian drummer/producer from bands Sheep Got Waxed and Vilniaus energija.

Vato Klemera is a pianist, composer, and improviser based in Birmingham, whose practice merges the Georgian music and jazz he grew up with. His works range from exploring off-kilter rhythms and Georgian folk-tinged, bebop-style lines, to experimenting with synthesis and sampling in installations. Vato is also a frequent collaborator with Birmingham poets, running the improvised poetry+music night Tell It to the Music

DJ HABIBTATI A Swana and experimental Artist based in the London

From 6pm until late

Hybrid Landscapes | A Celebration of Women in Art

Digbeth First Friday is here, and Centrala is excited to present our resident artist for March: Vlatka Horvat

Vlatka will be taking over our upstairs gallery with a beautiful projection of her short film, “Until the Last of Our Labours Is Done.” Plus, we invite you to join us in our co-creation space, where you can get busy making small works in response to Vlatka’s creative prompts. Some works might be included in Vlatka’s exhibition at Centrala later in the year!
On top of this, we’ve teamed up with Women In Photo for Birmingham’s inaugural Open Call exhibition. The exhibition reel includes a diverse and eclectic range of work, with 16 women selected for mentorship by industry-leading females from across the UK (mentorship announcement at 7 PM). On the night, there will be opportunities to see the exhibition reel downstairs and socialise with like-minded creative women.
And if that wasn’t enough, from 7:30 PM onwards, we will have one of the coolest DJs in town playing tunes all night, featuring songs from some of the best female artists of all time!
This entire experience is yours, free of charge. Dive into an evening of art, music, and community. grab a drink, and get ready to party and celebrate incredible women in the arts!

Circular Catalysts

Join us on the first Digbeth First Friday of the year which will see our resident artist Rosamaria Kostic Cisneros perform two dances from “Ocean: Import & Export” at 7:30pm and 8:30pm. The performances will be accompanied by a screening of Mahala, which will play on a loop during the evening in the downstairs cafe.

Our current exhibition Cultural Catalysts will also be open to the public in our upstairs gallery. “Ocean: Import & Export” is a Flamenco dance piece telling the story Flamenco Roma dance and contemporary way of dancing whilst drawing on the Cisneros’ cultural identity.

Mahala explores Roma dancing starting from the perspective of the body and references the Mahala, community or neighbourhood. This short screendance film is an offering which will ask the viewer to sit, breathe and reflect on legacies and also consider the future.

The Circular Catalysts documentary exhibition presents objects, texts, sound and photographs captured by Ioana Cîrlig during five creative residencies where contemporary UK artisans were hosted by local organisations working with traditional craftspeople in rural Romania. 

Yi Zhang, curated by Yan Chao | FALL OFF

Fall off is Yi Zhang’s first solo exhibition in the UK. The exhibition will debut Zhang’s most recent artworks related to her working experience at a wig factory, including video, and installation. This exhibition will take inspiration from her interest in social and working relationships that are under high-commerce-concentrated global pressure, and friendship among female workers in a factory that is seeking efficiency and speed. Fall off will unfold in scenes designed to place visitors into the rural factories that drive urban development.

For this project, Yi Zhang went to Xuchang for a month. Although Xuchang is a small village in Henan Province. It is in fact the world’s largest wig manufacturer. At the factory where Yi worked, the hair, as a supply, comes from India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. It undergoes acid treatment and high-temperature processing. The processed hair is sent to North Korea for hand-weaving and then sent back to China for secondary processing. Dark-skin models are hired to take promotional pictures, and they find influencers from the black community to market the products. These products are packaged to represent entirely different cultures and are sold in the United States and Europe.

Paulina Korobkiewicz | HOMELAND

Centrala is pleased to present Homeland, an exhibition following an 18-month residency of the photographer and visual artist Paulina Korobkiewicz, also featuring work by Sylwia Ciszewska-Peciak, Yuxi Hou, Ismail Khokon, Marcin Forys and interviews from the Central European Photography Club participants.

Homeland is departing from the research project Post-Socialist Britain?: Memory, Representation and Political Identity amongst German, Polish and Ukrainian Immigrants in the UK, a large-scale research project in collaboration with the University of Birmingham and the Nottingham Trent University exploring how and if memory is linked to political identity, and how this is manifested in a different national context.

Homeland will address themes of political identity, belonging, memory and representation among migrant communities in West Bromwich and Hyson Green, with a specific focus, but not limited to, Polish migrant communities. Throughout the residency, Korobkiewicz familiarised herself with these areas and established relationships with the members of the migrant communities, initiating dialogues and participating in local celebrations and events, researching and creating a contemporary portrait of those communities.

Prism Photo Network Present Open Reel

On our ground floor space , Prism Photo Network Present Open Reel , the works of 25 Photographers from the West Midlands. The Digital presentation will loop all the evening.

Paulina Korobkiewicz | HOMELAND

Centrala is pleased to present Homeland, an exhibition following an 18-month residency of the photographer and visual artist Paulina Korobkiewicz, also featuring work by Sylwia Ciszewska-Peciak, Yuxi Hou, Ismail Khokon, Marcin Forys and interviews from the Central European Photography Club participants.

Homeland is departing from the research project Post-Socialist Britain?: Memory, Representation and Political Identity amongst German, Polish and Ukrainian Immigrants in the UK, a large-scale research project in collaboration with the University of Birmingham and the Nottingham Trent University exploring how and if memory is linked to political identity, and how this is manifested in a different national context.

Homeland will address themes of political identity, belonging, memory and representation among migrant communities in West Bromwich and Hyson Green, with a specific focus, but not limited to, Polish migrant communities. Throughout the residency, Korobkiewicz familiarised herself with these areas and established relationships with the members of the migrant communities, initiating dialogues and participating in local celebrations and events, researching and creating a contemporary portrait of those communities.

Gallery 37 Showcase at Centrala

See an immersive experience of the arts, as over 80 exciting emerging artists from various creative disciplines will gather and make Digbeth First Friday their stage.

We welcome you to meet Birmingham’s creative future.

Experience first-hand Birmingham & the West Midlands next generation of creative artists, which have been hand-picked to be a part of this years Gallery37 Residency; Birmingham’s flagship creative development programme. After an intense 2-week Residency, you will see the work which they have prepared for this showcase.

You will get the chance to see:

Brand-new work based on the theme of ‘Elements’
Exciting cross-artform collaborations
Live performances and digital & visual art exhibitions
Keynote speeches to be announced
This showcase will span various artforms and creative practices including: Music Production, Dance, Film, Vocal Performance, Digital Arts, Creative Writing, Visual Arts, Photography and Acting.

Visit wearepunch.co.uk/gallery37 for more information and keep up to date with #Gallery37 on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and TikTok