First impressions — Digbeth First Fridays

Artwork at Cheap Cheap Gallery, Author’s own image (2021).

So my overall first impression:

Last Friday I experienced my first Digbeth First Fridays, which is a monthly programme where art spaces, galleries and studios in Digbeth open between 6–8pm (or later) for people to pop in. A lot of spaces are clustered in Minerva Works, which was quite handy when flitting between spaces. The distance between the advertised spaces was not too far for me. But I noticed several accessibility issues to accessing some of the spaces within the two hours such as:

Something to bear in mind…

The Sompson’s exhibition at Cheap Cheap was a really fun exhibition that stood out for me.

Artwork at Cheap Cheap Gallery, Author’s own image (2021).

As a show, The Simpsons has an undeniable recognisable artistic style and cultural reference to so many people. So I was intrigued to see what direction the artists and curators would take on this show. Firstly, the room was quite an open but compact space with artwork ranging from drawings, animation, moving images, paintings, sculptures and photographs. Some of the artworks were discreetly displayed along the ceiling beams or just above the doorway. I then went on a mini-mission to try and see what other obscure places artworks could be hung from, which I enjoyed!

Artwork at Cheap Cheap Gallery, Author’s own image (2021).

Whilst the take on The Simpson’s was different for each artists I sensed distortion was a running theme between all the pieces. And even applies to the name of the exhibition. For example, a few artists played on the personality traits of Bart and Marge Simpson. Marge was a sensible character ( with an unforgettable laugh). Which was directly opposite to Homer’s more spontaneous vibe. So it was interesting to see Marge’s humour highlighted in a literal sense, juxtaposed with a seemingly emotionless demeanour.

Bart was the most popular depiction, appearing in different forms in obvious and discreet places within the space.

Artwork at Cheap Cheap Gallery, Author’s own image (2021).

Just before leaving the show, I got talking with the curator (Dinosaur Kilby). We ended up having an interesting conversation about the history and legacy of artists run spaces in the Midlands (East and West). I definitely will be exploring this further!

So my overall first impression:

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Lisa @Heritage_io

Hi I’m Lisa | Based in Brum, UK | Curator | Blogging to challenge the idea that history, art, culture and heritage is irrelevant| Twitter & IG: @heritage_io