spaces of (dis)connection: migrant essential workers

spaces of (dis)connection showcases new bodies of work from three Internationally renowned photographic artists in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

spaces of (dis)connection follows a pioneering project conducted by researchers across the UK to investigate how the pandemic has affected the everyday lives and settlement plans of Polish workers in the UK.

This exhibition combines newly commissioned photographic work by Małgorzata Dawidek, Paulina Korobkiewicz, and Sylwia Kowalczyk alongside anonymous testimonies given by Polish essential workers across the UK. The respective works speak to the changing public and private landscapes that resulted from the various lockdowns implemented by the English and Scottish governments. In exploring how spaces have transformed, through depopulation or increased habitation, the artists have produced uniquely insightful and intimate works. Be they spaces of connection or disconnection, these photographs evidence an environment affected by uncertainty and isolation.

Lore + (Dis)order

Lore + (Dis)order is a sciart exhibition celebrating collaborations between scientists and SMQB* Artists in Residence 2020-22. It features new works from artists Agi Haines, Charlotte Dunn, Vicky Roden, Lucy Hutchinson, Karina Thompson, Mellissa Fisher and Carol Breen. The exhibition explores different health conditions or ‘research challenges’ to highlight how interdisciplinarity – including valuable lived experience insights – can offer new ways forward.

SMQB = Centre for Systems Modelling and Quantitative Biomedicine at University of Birmingham. SMQB are a group of research innovators with backgrounds in mathematics, computer science, physics and biomedicine.

Gallery37 presents: Reworlding

We are excited to announce ‘Reworlding’ by Birmingham based artists Hayley Salter & Jacob Carter.

‘Reworlding’ is an experimental brand new exhibition reimagining the city through a green lens – constructing a future utopia which centres community, wellbeing, and harmony with nature.

Salter and Carter have collaborated to create an immersive environment which allows visitors to explore the past, reflect on the present and consider possible futures of our urban and natural spaces. Audiences’ senses will be immersed, and get the chance to witness a combination of photography, sound, sculpture and projection work, which will reconnect visitors with the world around us.

This Digbeth First Friday will feature a live DJ set.

This exhibition has been produced by Gallery 37, Punch Records, Saathi House and Centrala.

Supersonic Exhibition: Print Matters

Print Matters is a showcase of the political and social power of DIY publishing.

Since the mid twentieth century, radical printshops have been seizing the means of production to spread ideas to the masses. While some of this material would previously have been a challenge to get past censors and editors, the photocopier and print press has made it nearly impossible to destroy all copies of a “dangerous” idea; affordable, accessible printing allowed every reader to become author and publisher.

For Print Matters we’ve selected a group of artists who share essential political ideas using the accessibility of print media. We’re delighted to showcase work by Black Lodge Press, Foka Wolf, Gee Vaucher, Dope Magazine, La Linterna & Lucy McLauchlan.

Presented as part of Supersonic Festival


Ania Tomaszewska-Nelson ‘In The Beginning’

Centrala are delighted to host the exhibition on our Ground floor Space “In the Beginning “ by Polish artist Ania Tomaszewska-Nelson from Friday 3rd June – Saturday 25th June

Ania Tomaszewska-Nelson’s exhibition ‘In the Beginning’ is built from memories of landscapes. Simplified, humorous, ancient, political and provocative; these spaces are fictional. When creating the pieces, the artist uses techniques reminiscent of her favourite childhood activities: making snowmen, blot-printing (Rorschach test), playing with fire. Tomaszewska-Nelson pushes these ‘playful’ processes, testing her physical boundaries to restate the seriousness of her message. Through her intriguing aesthetics, the artist invites the viewers to take a step back and reflect on the human relationship with landscape.

Join us at the opening of the exhibition on Friday 3rd june from 6pm – 8pm, the exhibition opening will be followed by a Dj Set by Artist and performer Brutalisturinal until late.

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.