LIGHT & ARTWORKS
A range of new site-specific artworks have been specially created for Longbridge Light Festival in response to the 2016 festival theme ‘Shadow Factory’. The theme relates directly to the history of Longbridge and provides an opportunity for artists to explore multiple social, physical and political narratives that are embedded within the past, present and future of the area. ‘Shadow Factory’ features an eclectic ensemble of installations, interactions, fleeting interventions, performance and experiences devised and created by artists based in Birmingham, elsewhere in the UK, Spain, Germany and Chicago. The work includes temporary, permanent and participatory work that has been produced over the last few years by project artists-in-residence through extensive research and close collaboration with members of the community.
A full festival programme of all the work and a fold out map will be distributed on the night of the festival or pick up a copy in advance from early October in various shops and cafes in Longbridge.
Gizzago, UK | 'The Public Playstation'Gizzago are piloting an industrial scale game console allowing people to experience urban spaces in new ways using alternate reality technologies. ‘The Future - Urban Arcade’ will give a possible glimpse into the future of urban play and challenges videogame stereotypes. Using traditional and new freeform play, the ‘Retro - Play Street’ offers LLF visitors a chance to rekindle the joy of outdoor play and remember the social value of play. The 'Public Playstation' invites players to reimagine public space and consider how it can be used to make places more liveable. Gizzago’s activities have been inspired by site visits to Longbridge, specifically by the connections that world-building and video game programming have to the redevelopment of the site. Their work encourages participants to consider Longbridge’s public spaces from new perspectives.
PlayMID, ESP | 'Axial'A temporary spectacle reminiscent of WW2 search lights will reach into the sky over Longbridge’s new town centre buildings. Barcelona’s PlayMID have developed ‘Axial’, a dramatic display of coloured light, shadow, dry ice and electronic vibrating, booming sound that will transform Longbridge into an enormous outdoor theatre. This spectacular work, previously shown at the world famous Fête des Lumières in Lyon, will be a truly memorable event that makes reference to the energy, creativity and intensity of Longbridge’s manufacturing heritage. The work highlights the significant transition Longbridge has undergone in the last century.
Axial was first commissioned by Fete des Lumieres, Lyon in 2014. With thanks to Fete des Lumieres Artistic Director Jean-Francois Zurawik who is a valued supporter of Longbridge Light Festival.
Cathy Wade, UK | 'Lighting and Planting Scheme'
Working closely with St. Modwen the artist has created a permanent lighting and planting scheme that has transformed a hard-landscaped space into one that can be explored. This is a work of art with a practical and social function that will subtly alter according to season. It is not a fixed monument but one with the capacity to mature, adapt and literally take root in its selected ground. The work is part of the artists ongoing LPAP residency, for more information please visit www.lpap.co.uk
Bobbie Gardner & Anna Schimkat, UK & GER | 'Off The Radar'
Choir Performance Times:18.50, 19.50, 20.50 and 21.50 located within the first floor space of M&S car park.
For Longbridge Light Festival the artists have created a sound installation and live performance, titled ‘Off the Radar’ and inspired by the multi-layered and complex legacy of shadow factories and camouflage techniques. The project takes the form of sonic and visual camouflage, containing sound pieces co-created with St. Columba’s Primary School and West Heath Choir. ‘Off the Radar’ will transform Level 1 of the multi-storey car park in Longbridge into an entirely different place. A natural landscape will be created inside the building, flooded with striking blue light and white Rover cars that will create an illusion of sky and clouds.
Industry Of The Ordinary, USA
In the wake of political and social upheaval, Industry of the Ordinary stood on the edge of the island, contemplating the rising tide and the temporarily diminishing landmass.
Mark Murphy, UKFor LLF Mark Murphy will be making a series of collage works using archive materials related to the factory during WW2. Mark Murphy has spent time in Longbridge with a number of historians including archival research within British Motor Heritage Museum.
These works will appear as small-scale temporary interventions in a variety of existing advertising and display spaces around the retail areas of Longbridge. Rather than creating a spectacle for Longbridge, Murphy’s work is more subtle and abstract in great contrast to the huge scale of the site, the buildings and other artists’ work taking place within the festival. Murphy makes use of existing platforms within Longbridge to embed his work into architectural spaces that are already there.
Locations: Beefeater outdoor billboard and inside Costa Coffee.
Juneau Projects, UK | 'ESCAPING THE LOCAL MAXIMUM'
Within the context of Longbridge’s extensive design and production heritage and its future in digital technologies, sits Juneau Projects’ ‘Digital Longbridge’. Artists Ben Sadler and Philip Duckworth bring together contemporary technologies with more traditional, handmade processes in their practice. Building up to LLF, they have held workshops that tap into the wealth of ideas and skills embedded within Longbridge’s residents. Participants have designed badges that have been made into plywood badges using a laser cutter. They will act as triggers for digital animations when scanned with an augmented reality app during the festival.
These artworks will be worn, disseminated, seen, discussed and interacted with – public artworks on a far more intimate and personal scale than might usually be expected. The badges will be distributed freely. Juneau Projects hope that scanning other peoples’ badges and unlocking animations will create new conversations at LLF and beyond. ‘Digital Longbridge’ is providing a social and cultural snapshot of Longbridge. It is additionally equipping people of all ages with new skills. The project gives people tools to explore new possibilities for creative making and new possibilities for Longbridge.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO DESIGN YOUR OWN BADGE? Make a Longbridge Light Festival badge and collect a free laser cut version of your design at the festival on Saturday 22nd October 2016 from the EE store in Longbridge.
You will be able to paint your badge and add an augmented reality animation. Wear your badge around the festival site, interact and show off your badge animation and view other visitors’ animations with the Aurasma phone app. You can download the free app ready for the festival from Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
Would you like a demonstration or help to download the app? No problem just visit EE in Longbridge anytime from the 28th September and the lovely EE staff will show you how to download Aurasma and even show you a demonstration of how it works using this flyer!
The deadline for final submissions is Monday 17th October – one design will be cut from each submission. We are not able to post any badges that are not collected on the night.
Dan Newso, UK | 'The Wall'
The Wall is a Turves Green Girls School public art project supported by LPAP. The mural has been designed in collaboration with students and is inspired by Longbridge’s rich industrial past and ideas of its bright future. Images of mechanical parts taken from car engines, are used to show that every person plays a part in keeping this community going and each person is as important as the next. It is hoped that this is the first instalment of three, completing the length of the wall in 2017. Projects such as Dan Newso’s are key to LPAP’s ongoing collaborations with local individuals, organisations and groups, enabling them to make, learn and develop projects within their community alongside artists.
Ian Richards, UK | 'Serodiscordant (2016)'& 'A New Death (2016)'
Ian Richards has produced a series of new text-based works that suggest a clandestine domain of secret languages and communication systems.
Serodiscordant (2016) consists of an ultraviolet black light sign written in Pitman shorthand of the word ‘positive’ and a neon white light sign of the word ‘negative’. As with earlier work, Richards continues his investigations into the complex relationships that separate the mainstream and ‘the other’. Richards’ ultraviolet black light is a direct metaphor for what is present but invisible – it is quite literally ‘beyond violet light’ – violet light being the highest frequency of light that can be detected by the human eye.
The sound work A New Death (2016) explores the closed world of signalling used by the ham or amateur radio enthusiast. The amateur radio sphere continues to use the electromagnetic radio frequency spectrum (longer than waves of infrared light) for the non-commercial exchange of messages and wireless experimentation. A New Death consists of multiple analogue radios that transmit words by the author Terry Pratchett using Morse: ‘No matter how fast light travels it finds that darkness has got there first, and is waiting for it.’
Industry Of The Ordinary, USA | ‘Thousand Trades’
Working since March 2016, the artists have with the committee and club members at Greenlands Select Social Club developed a permanent art work for the club titled ‘Thousand Trades’. This title comes from the central role Birmingham played in the Industrial Revolution and the plethora of trades that were once present in the city. Greenlands represents a living monument to the history of the region in this regard, as many tradespeople have passed through its doors over the decades.
The artist's have researched nearly 3,000 club member’s names that will be engraved on two new doors that will replace the current entrance and exit doors at the club.
This work pays tribute to the concept of social club members, the camaraderie, unions and unity of a wealth of skills, craftsmanship and tenacity that enabled the clubs independent existence. This is a story that is echoed across the UK, social clubs have been significant contributors to the fabric of society for decades, some are declining, but all are defiant.
General Public, UK | 'Our Lives Begin to End the Day we Become Silent About Things That Matter'
General Public (artists Elizabeth Rowe and Chris Poolman) bring a touch of 1960s idealism to this year’s LLF with their 'very civil' rights march. Taking its name from a Martin Luther King quote - 'Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter' - the parade will feature local community groups and school children marching with banners and holding placards. These have all been made by the people taking part, highlighting the things that are important to them. Musical accompaniment will be provided by 8-piece brass band The Young Pilgrims who will be performing a special 'protest song' musical medley. Banners will draw upon the iconography of trade union banner designs – a history resonant with the Longbridge car plant. The parade showcases and celebrates different groups and voices local to Longbridge, the project having grown from workshops with various community members.
Cathy Wade, UK | 'Found Sculpture, Sightlines of Longbridge'
Wade’s ‘Found Sculpture, Sightlines of Longbridge’ will use light to transform redundant elements of local architecture as markers of industry and an enduring signal of the ingenuity and creativity that evolved industry in Longbridge. Within the current built environment, these three tankers are structures that have an unseen symbolic weight as part of Longbridge’s industrial landscape, they are illuminated for the festival to signal the past, present and near future.
Cathy Wade, UK | 'Star Map'
Cathy Wade has been an LPAP artist-in-residence since 2013. Wade’s ‘Star Map’ is a visualisation of the night sky over Longbridge at the time of Lord Austin’s visit to select the site for the car plant. Constructed from stainless steel, with constellations cut through to reveal points of light, this is a monument to an auspicious moment. ‘Star Map’ echoes the flux, energy and power of machinery within the sky above us.
Ryan Funnell, UK | 'Chromatic:'
Ryan Funnell’s ‘Chromatic’ is a visual response to shadows and to the colour spectrum of light that forms them. Lighting design, be that theatrical, cinematic or architectural, is concerned with the way light interacts with space and environments. Adjusting the temperature and colour of light can alter the mood of a place and the people in it. This is possible because of the colour spectrum. Funnell comes from a theatre lighting background and is particularly interested in the theatricality of natural spaces and the way that light can interact with them.
His installation for LLF comprises two main components – ‘The Factory’ and ‘The Shadow Art’. Both will provide visitors with a stimulating presentation of light and dark and a visual exploration of the formation of light. Constructed and designed for a site of significant historical importance to British industry, and with an industrial feel to the frosted acrylic pipes used, the artist hopes to pay homage to the Longbridge’s heritage and industrial roots.Each pipe contains LED primary colours, creating a confluence that manifests into white light behind a screen. The screen allows the environmental shadows to define and punctuate the space.
Luke Perry, UK | 'Longbridge Street Signs'
Artist in residence Luke Perry developed and installed a series of steel road signs within the Longbridge area for LPAP. The words on each sign are phrases taken from conversations with numerous former plant workers. The street signs reflect the thoughts, experiences and emotions of how people feel about Longbridge. One sign reads ‘I slept to the sound of the hammers’ – a particularly evocative statement about the audible and emotional reach of the plant. The signs are currently being re-made and will be launched as part of LLF. In a subversion of typical informative and factual street signs, they offer a more personal and reflective approach to orienting oneself around Longbridge.Perry’s long family history of skilled industrial manufacture can be discerned in all the work he makes. Perry’s primary research concern is not in the cars produced in Longbridge during the existence of the plant, but its working population – a community entirely dominated by the factory, that has the factory in its very being.
Stuart Whipps, UK | 'Longbridge Colours: Sound'
Stuart Whipps will create ‘Longbridge Colours: Sound’ a sound installation featuring the voices of residents and ex-employees within the tunnel of the A38 bridge - an important site within the social and political history of Longbridge. This tunnel is the future location for a number of permanently-sited artworks Whipps has designed that will enhance this new public gateway for pedestrians and cyclists in Longbridge. Whipps’ designs will incorporate elements of Longbridge’s past in permanent public artworks to be realised in 2017.
Matthew J Watkins, UK | 'Mutally Assured Distraction'
Inspired by technology and using defunct/out-moded tools and found/discarded materials, Matt Watkins will create a new work in the window display area of M&S Longbridge.
Joseph Potts (UK)
Joseph Potts is a filmmaker and video artist based in Birmingham. For the festival he is creating a series of large scale projections influenced by time spent with historians in Longbridge and with the
British Motor Heritage Museum. The project culminates in an immersive environment made up of multiple light projections and sound within a retail unit in Longbridge.
Sarah Taylor Silverwood, UK | 'LMO Live Transcipt'
Sarah Taylor Silverwood has been in residence with LPAP throughout 2016 developing her project ‘Longbridge Mass Observation’ and creating a huge digital archive. For the festival she will create a ‘live transcript’ and asks visitors to share messages, ask questions or have a conversation and see these created in pen and ink and projected on a wall inside Bournville College. This is a framework for investigating the 'everyday' of Longbridge using a range of evolving and flexible methodologies that research the idiosyncrasies of the area. The original Mass Observation Project took place in Britain in 1937 and was a pioneering study of everyday lives using original techniques. The topics covered were unique, including things like 'shouts and gestures of motorists', 'kissing' and 'the private lives of midwifes'. It aimed to bridge the gap between media representation and what people actually thought. The artist’s project is a methodology to channel the voices of a community. It aims to engage with ideas that are beyond the usual limits of record keeping, even in a digital age. Complex characteristics of our communities are hard to record. LMO aims to provide a different sort of narrative to everyday life in Longbridge in 2016.
For more information about LMO please visit www.lpap.co.uk
Stuart Whipps, UK | 'Longbridge Colours: Light'LPAP artist in residence Stuart Whipps is restoring a 1275GT Mini made at the plant in 1979 with the help of several ex-employees. Many of the processes of stripping down and replacing or repairing the parts have taken place in a glass-fronted cabin-come-workshop in the carpark of Bournville College, as well as being featured in various galleries across the country as part of Whipps’ participation in the touring ‘British Art Show’. The (dis)assembly of the Mini provides an echo of the cyclical changes experienced by Longbridge itself.
For the festival, as part of this ongoing work the artist will create ‘Longbridge Colours: Light’ by transforming the cabin into a lightbox reflecting colours manufactured at the car plant.
Sarah Taylor Silverwood & Emily Warner, UK | 'Longbridge TV'
Artists Sarah Taylor Silverwood and Emily Warner have been out and about in Longbridge filming ‘The Longbridge Roadshow’. Borrowing themes from TV channels like QVC and TV programmes such as ‘Challenge Anneka’ and ‘Art Attack’, as well as taking influence from contemporary YouTube vloggers, this is a project made for Longbridge, by Longbridge. It offers people the chance to demonstrate skills and expertise – both silly and serious – in a low-fi homemade set and celebrates the contributions of the many wonderful and interesting individuals with a great sense of humour LPAP has been fortunate to work with over the years.
Cathy Wade, UK | 'Wild Longbridge 2016'
This Summer, in collaboration with Northfield Ecocentre, Wade began planting a micro wildflower meadow on the bank of Platform 2 at Longbridge train station, a site that played (and continues to play) a key role in the everyday lives and jobs of the car plant’s workers. They have been joined by local residents and businesses to clear and enrich the land with donated plants and seeds.
The artist will create a multi media installation within the ticket office are of Longbridge Train Station for Longbridge Light Festival. The moving landscapes ‘Wild Longbridge 2016’ is a reflection of the experiences of making the work so far.
Samantha Williams, UK | 'The Play Factory'
A collaboration with Samantha Williams and students from Bournville College, The Play Factory is an interactive installation that considers the effect the Shadow Factory scheme and the war effort had on play and leisure during WW2. Rather than producing ammunition and aeroplanes, this factory produces joy and encourages participation - a utopian ‘wacky warehouse’ for adults and children alike.
During the war effort toy factories were given over to the war effort too, rendering toys expensive. Many children created street games from what they could find or would make games with adult family members from cheap materials. Williams will use board games, street games and toys from this wartime period as inspiration for the activities for LLF, offering professional development opportunities for Bournville College art students to get involved with the festival.