Love is Real, and it’s Inside Of My Computer

Join us on Friday 7 May 2024 for a late night opening of Babeworld x Utopian Realism’s exhibition, ‘Love is Real, and it’s Inside of My Computer.’ We’re so excited to present this project reflecting on the ever-ubiquitous need within the arts to have new and innovative ideas.

Told through the eyes of a neurodivergent coded character, ‘Love is Real, and it’s Inside Of My Computer‘ plays on the structures of the gallery and art world, asking us to question and renegotiate how we define what is considered ’new’, ‘exciting’, and ‘taste making’ in the arts.

Based on Babeworld’s lived experience as an intersectionally disabled collective, this commission navigates the fine line between mental productivity and mental burnout through an experiential understanding of disability whilst exposing the alienation of marginalised folk in the art world.

Access: Grand Union is located up two flights of stairs with no lift access. Light and sound levels within the exhibition space can be changed upon request, please speak to a member of staff in the space to arrange this.

Spring Open Studios

Twice a year Grand Union’s studio artists open their doors to the public for an open studio event, inviting visitors into our active art-making community. This is a great opportunity to meet and chat about the work and practices of our brilliant artists and to see inside the spaces they work from.

You can expect speed painting, readings, interactive crafts, and the opportunity to pick up some goodies made by our studio holders amongst lots of other exciting activity!

Alongside our resident studio artists we also have our Bruntwood Artists-in-Residence joining us, you’ll be able to browse products created by our Minerva Garden Group, touting their wares and selling delicious cakes and Teas of Resistance, and you can check out the brilliant sale in Modern Clay.

Join us for the evening, have drink or a cuppa and visit our wonderful creative community

Love is Real, and it’s Inside of My Computer

Join us on Friday 3 May 2024 for the launch of Babeworld x Utopian Realism’s exhibition, ‘Love is Real, and it’s Inside of My Computer.’ We’re so excited to present this project reflecting on the ever-ubiquitous need within the arts to have new and innovative ideas.

Told through the eyes of a neurodivergent coded character, ‘Love is Real, and it’s Inside Of My Computer‘ plays on the structures of the gallery and art world, asking us to question and renegotiate how we define what is considered ’new’, ‘exciting’, and ‘taste making’ in the arts.

Based on Babeworld’s lived experience as an intersectionally disabled collective, this commission navigates the fine line between mental productivity and mental burnout through an experiential understanding of disability whilst exposing the alienation of marginalised folk in the art world.

We will be open from 6—8pm, please join us to celebrate Babeworld’s largest exhibition to date.

Film Screening – Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

For March’s DFF, we will be hosting a screening of the 2016 film, Citizen Jane: Battle for the City. 

During the day we will be hosting a community activation day from 2pm. We invite our neighbours, friends and anyone concerned with Digbeth to help us map out the alternative community plan for Digbeth’s future. We will have soup and refreshments for us all to share. 

There will be an initial screening of the film 3.00 – 4.30pm. Please drop in.

We will have a second screening at 6.30pm, preceded by a short introduction. Join us for a chat and a drink.

The film is 1 hour and 32 minutes long and will be shown with subtitles.

‘Jane Jacobs was an American activist, and theorist who organised grass-roots activity campaigning to protect communities and neighbourhoods during the post-war ‘urban renewal’ of New York in the 1960s. It is important at this particular moment in time to retell Jacobs’ story and think about it in Digbeth’s current context – the intensive regeneration that has already begun in the area. The film echoes themes and questions raised by our previous exhibition, A Bedroom for Everyone, relating to the power of grass-roots activism and the rights of communities in the face of development and the ongoing housing crisis.’

Late Night Exhibition Opening and Art Sales

For the final time, the gallery will be open for a late-night screening of Ed Webb-Ingall’s brilliant film, A Bedroom for Everyone, from 6-8 pm. Alongside this, the film will be available to watch via our website across the weekend.

Lots of our studio holders will be opening their doors to the public for an open studio event, inviting visitors into our active art-making community. This will be a great opportunity to meet and chat about the work and practices of our incredible artists and to see inside the spaces they work from.

Alongside the open studios, we will have a Medical Aid for Palestine fundraiser stall, selling a wide range of artworks on a pay-as-you-feel basis. There will also be an opportunity to check out and buy products made by our Growing Project participants – such as the Digbeth Pot and Minerva Teas – which will help support the work we do and make for lovely Christmas presents.

Grand Union Christmas Party!

Please join us from 8 pm at Grand Union for our festive Christmas party!

We’ll be kicking off the holiday season with dancing, drinks, and festive vibes. Expect a roaring log fire, exclusive DJ sets by friends of Grand Union, and a bar fully stocked with Attic Brewery beers.

Late Night Screening of A Bedroom for Everyone

Join us for a late-night screening of A Bedroom for Everyone, an exhibition comprising a newly commissioned animation by filmmaker Ed Webb-Ingall. The project explores the power of grassroots activism and organising in the face of the ongoing housing emergency; whilst making space for the camaraderie that unfolds in the community centres and meeting halls where this work takes place.

Following time spent with housing and migrant-support groups from Glasgow, Nottingham, Liverpool, Birmingham, and London, filmmaker Ed Webb-Ingall has collaborated with members of these groups to co-write the script for this new animation, illustrated by lead artist Sofia Niazi and animated by Astrid Goldsmith.

Late Night Screening of A Bedroom for Everyone

Join us for a late-night screening of A Bedroom for Everyone, an exhibition comprising a newly commissioned animation by filmmaker Ed Webb-Ingall. The project explores the power of grassroots activism and organising in the face of the ongoing housing emergency; whilst making space for the camaraderie that unfolds in the community centres and meeting halls where this work takes place.

Following time spent with housing and migrant-support groups from Glasgow, Nottingham, Liverpool, Birmingham and London, filmmaker Ed Webb-Ingall has collaborated with members of these groups to co-write the script for this new animation, illustrated by lead artist Sofia Niazi and animated by Astrid Goldsmith.

Hildegard Von Bingen Society: Workshop and Performance

We are so excited for October’s Digbeth First Friday, where we will be hosting members of the Hildegard Von Bingen Society for a workshop and performance.

From 4.30-5.45 pm, artists Sophie Seita and Seda Ergul will be leading a workshop entitled ‘Listening to the Environment, from a Queer Perspective’. During this sound walk workshop, participants will focus on listening to the environment and creating an immersive experience. The short walk will take place along the Canal, making various stops at Grand Union gardening sites along the way.

No experience is required and all are welcome, but booking is essential for the workshop – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/workshop-listening-to-the-environment-from-a-queer-perspective-tickets-726647150187?aff=oddtdtcreator.

From 6.00 pm, artist Niya B will be performing ‘Umbilical Stories, Navel Sensualities and Reproductive Desires’ in the canalside Minerva Garden. In this intimate performance, Niya B will engage with her post-reproductive body and a deep sense of longing to nurture life. Revitalising her umbilical cord, she is looking to reconnect with the m-Other in a trans-interspecies temporality of care. No booking is required, just show up!

RESOLVE Collective General Assembly

We are looking forward to August’s Digbeth First Friday with RESOLVE Collective.

General Assembly will mark our first event with RESOLVE, as part of their FIELD Commission with Cooking Sections, Industrial Actions, celebrating histories of resistance, organisation, and reimagination by asking how sabotage can aid in critical community-focused work in Birmingham today.

At 7pm, a screening of Heather Powell’s 1988 film Paradise Circus made with the Birmingham Film and Video Workshop will be shown in conjunction with RESOLVE’s event in the gallery space. Paradise Circus documents the ways in which the city of Birmingham (its built environment and architecture) is perceived by women, living in an environment largely designed by men.

From 8pm, we will be hosting a celebratory gathering with music, food and dancing – all are welcome to join us in marking this first event with RESOLVE Collective as part of Industrial Action which we look forward to seeing evolve over the coming year.